Thursday, July 7, 2016

Island Hopping

A photo posted by Jason Ramos (@thejasonramos) on

A lot of boxes are checked off for Made In LA 2016, even poetry, in the form of the exhibition’s subtitle “a, the, though, only”, which was also exhibiting artist Aram Saroyan’s piece for the biennial. In light of the invitation of fashion collective DIS to curate the 9th Berlin Biennale around the same time, the inclusion of participants in Made In LA 2016 that identify as a fashion design label (Eckhaus Latta), a conceptual entrepreneur (Martine Syms), and a member of a trend-forecasting group (Dena Yago) seems to forecast a trend in contemporary art at the biennial/art fair level that echoes the buzzy, corporate tech industry trend and language of “disruption”. Disruptive innovation is originally described in 1995 by Clayton M. Christensen as "innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect” that “tend to be produced by outsiders" (The Innovator’s Dilemma, 1997). If the divided reviews of the Berlin Bienniale are any indication, it is a trend in art that is meeting some resistance. Fortunately, this year’s iteration of Made in LA, curated by bona fide art curators Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, is designed as "condensed monographic surveys, comprehensive displays of multiyear projects, the premiere of new bodies of work, and newly commissioned works from emerging artists”, as opposed to a more blended, equalized grouping of more artists, as in biennials past. Many of the rooms and areas of the exhibition stand on their own and often demand consideration as a series of individual projects and solo exhibitions.


A photo posted by Jason Ramos (@thejasonramos) on

Made In LA 2016 succeeds on the grounds of diversity and plurality. But a reminder of how diverse the population of artists in LA is, or how pluralistic their forms of production are is hardly revelatory at a contemporary art biennial in 2016. Viewers of art have been conditioned to expect more from biennials, figuratively and literally – this year’s artists count is 26, down from 35 in 2014 and 60 in 2012. Conversely, the exhibition offers less overwhelming, more intimate encounters with the work, reading at times like a clinical, abridged version of Surround Audience, last year's New Museum triennial. Standouts among the compartmentalized presentations of Made In LA include spaces devoted to Hugette Caland, Kenzi Shiokava, and Rebecca Morris. Others, like the presentation of Margaret Honda's films in thier canisters, Sterling Ruby's welding tables, and Guthrie Lonergan's Mn’Ms website hack would test the credulity of some viewers, and confirm the the beliefs of skeptical and/or cynical ones. There was apparently an ambient sound piece from Lonergan throughout the museums galleries, and though I bent down to get closer to the speakers in the rooms, I never heard anything. Perhaps that was fortunate, as Lonergan’s collaborators for the piece, Barefoot Music, are proudly credited on the Hammer website for the theme songs of reality TV hits like Top Chef and The Real Housewives. I felt a mixture of ghoulish intrigue and offense at the idea of Todd Gray’s Ray Manzarek performance (shades of Roberto Cuoghi), but I never saw him, as the Hammer website explains that there is only an "off-chance that Gray should visit the museum” during his performance. A gallery devoted to Fred Lonidier’s Labor Link TV easily feels like a single component of a hypothetical and perhaps overdue Lonidier museum retrospective. The sampling offered of Martine Sym’s work similarly whets the appetite for a broader overview of her multivalent production. The web page paintings of Joel Holmberg exhibit intriguing surface and conceptual qualities, but also feel stuck within cynical, Koons-esque painting “quotes”.


A photo posted by Jason Ramos (@thejasonramos) on


There are sparks of dialog between some presentations. Gala Porras-Kim’s and Daniel R. Small’s projects share an affinity that recalls both the strategies of Fred Wilson and the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Rafa Esparza’s crowd pleasing underfoot installation also links up with those works, all three underscoring a connecting theme of anthropological excavation. Kenneth Tam’s video and Mark Verbioff’s installation could be mortal enemies, bros, or frenemies. But it is Silke Otto-Knapp’s large scale multi-panel watercolor in the lobby that sets the stage for the whole exhibition, with an image of islands, an apt metaphor for the overall exhibition structure, and maybe Los Angeles itself. Made In LA 2016 brings together representatives of many of the islands we have come to identify as existing within the contemporary art sea: painting, sculpture, installation, performance, film, video, etc. Colonies and trade have been established with the islands of fashion, reality television, the tech industry and more, expanding the definition and reach of the contemporary art territory. But who are the colonizers and who is the colonized? If the language and machinations of corporate capital continue to overtly influence the world of art (the original “disruptive innovation”) in a reversal of art’s historically disruptive character on culture writ large, what space will there be for authentic articulations of un-alienated labor from creative individuals of their own free will, beyond the concerns of how their labor fits in with commodification, monetization, and corporatization? Who benefits most from a blurring of the line between what it means to be a contemporary working artist and what it means to be a worker within the dubiously defined, mythical “creative class”?


A photo posted by Jason Ramos (@thejasonramos) on

1 comment :

  1. It’s primarily based on the 5-card draw poker and makes use of a single deck of fifty two taking part in} cards. Video poker has several of} variants, however the oldest is Jacks or Better, recognized as|also called|also referred to as} Draw Poker. Is a great sport and straightforward to play should you already know how to to|tips on how to} play five-card draw poker. It has a 카지노사이트 component of talent in addition to luck, in contrast with the pure luck of taking part in} slot machines. Your chances of profitable are improved should you use an excellent strategy to play the machine.

    ReplyDelete