Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Canine Freestyle Scratchin'

To compensate for my lack of critical blogging over the course of the Spring Semester, I have posted my 3rd video to youtube -- a delightful funny animal number that will undoubtedly be the ground zero of one or more paradigm-shattering human/canine sound art collaborations. Thank you for your support.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The crowd is swelling, but there's still plenty of bacon...

Carol Cheh said I should be live blogging instead of working on my Art History Powerpoint, so...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Teenage Wasteland Party Shoot

Made it out to E 150th street off the Pearlblossom outside Palmdale last night to partake of some small form simulacral party action for the much-anticipated follow up to Mike Ott's Littlerock. And boy howdy let me tell you if fake parties aren't just as good if not better than the real thing!

Lee Lynch and Cory Zacharia in some ill-defined hostage situation. Nobody was clear about what was going on but Walter seems to approve. And it seemed to get Cory's thespian juices stirring.

Dave Nordstrom (who's Sawdust City debuts at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival between June 16 - 26) kept a tight rein on things from his luxurious production offices.

Scary Cory. Unfortunately, the filmmakers didn't get any of Walter's extended whipped-cream antics in the can, so this image will have to stand as the historical documentation. There was so much more though. So much more...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

FREE PANCAKES AND BACON! (with attendance of panel discussion)

This Sunday May 22 at the Beacon Arts Building (808 N. La Brea Avenue Inglewood, California 90302) from 1 -4 PM, there will be pancakes!

Plus sausage and bacon, coffee. Courtesy IHOP. This is not a Put-On!

Plus at some point an ARATALAND! panel discussion with me, Arata, Pagel, Mat Gleason, Carol Cheh,and Shana Nys Dambrot (if she can hobble down)... and YOU! I think it's set for 3 - that's what it said on the invite - but there's been talk of moving it up so people can still get to the COLA show after. Check back here or on facebook.

UPDATE: Looks like we'll start at 2, but keep yakking for the stragglers, for as long as any of us can stand it. OK, my top ten Pere Ubu songs...

Don't miss this last chance to see this historic show! Here's what the critics have been saying:

Rainbow larvae. Hello Kitty bombs. Secret pine cone messages. Such inspired madness may sound like the contents of a precocious and/or demented child’s toy box but in fact, they're the building blocks of Arataland!, the “mid-career survey of artworks by Mount Washington's Michael Arata:" a description that, while factually accurate, can’t begin to convey Arata’s mix of the playful and the disconcerting; the observational and the interactive.

Read the rest of Kim Axelrod Ohanneson's review/interview here

In the 32,400 feet square art space that used to be used for storage is a massive collection of Arata’s works, some that have been previously seen and excitingly, those that have never been displayed in public. Expanding over the space of three floors in the four-story building, the exhibition has many installations that guests can ponder over as well as play with. Composed of small to large-scale installations, the show ignites a youthful energy in the viewer with its bright pop colors and whimsical forms.

Read the rest of Cindy Kyungah Lee's review here

Arataland! wants to be slick but can’t help itself from slipping on the proverbial banana. For Example, in Arata’s Pet Spaces photos, Arata re-creates the poses of Victoria’s Secret models as the ideals of feminine beauty, here is the catch, its Arata making the poses in the photographs. In Pet Spaces, Arata absurdly mocks his own masculinity and fascination with the Venus of our time typified by the Victoria’s Secret model. By mocking the model of beauty, Arata’s sexiness itself is nullified, that he chooses to decorate the areas of his own portraits with googly eyes is no wonder. The googly eyed negative “Pet Spaces” are as goofy as they are sad. In Arata’s own objectification he seems to turn the mirror on us. Through him we see desire as spectacle that prods us into such poses in the first place, and makes us all look a little pathetic.

Read the rest of Mary Anna Pomonis' review here

The sense of opening up that one gets upon ascending to the fourth floor mirrors the overall feeling one has while traveling through this exhibition. Arata's ideas truly bloom in these spaces, which are clean and neutral yet casual, lacking the stiff formality of a museum space. His individual works bloom as well, whether being showcased in the broad light of the fourth floor, or peeking out from unexpected corners between galleries on the second; they seem to simply live and breathe everywhere. Arata says that his artmaking process begins with a massive junk pile of ideas and material, which he stores in his mental warehouse; the ideas that are good enough to work on are then moved into his mental library. It is fitting that his finished work now finds an apt showcase in a warehouse of another kind.

Read the rest of Carol Cheh's review here

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Visions of Pagan Renewal

Boy Howdy and if that weren't the hootinest hollerinest Walpurgisnacht celebration in all of Inglewood this year! By which I mean of course One Night Stand: Walpurgisnacht, a temporary subdivision of ARATALAND! consisting of a one night guerrilla show featuring 30-some artists, many of whom created unique objects or performances on the theme of pagan renewal (or something). Here, for example we see Matt Wardell installing a 10 LB APE kiosk as Steve Hurd and Young Summers look the other way in pious terror.

Brad Spence nailed his street cred with a site-specific homage to Michael Arata's Pet Space series on the advertising mural of an adjacent building.

Rebecca Ripple's Prosthetic Suburban Awning dangling ominously before a terrified and bewildered Hurd.

Electomagnetic oscillations from dueling totem poles by Don Suggs and Dani Tull created a wormhole that swept Eamonn Fox and Lee Lynch back in time and space Medieval Hibernia where they will remain trapped until they recover the lost Hexenbesen (Hibernian for "penis roomba") left there by Ross Rudel, via Mel's Hole. OK, hold on -- here's where it gets complicated...

Before and after shots of Mary Anna Pomonis' tantric alchemical performative installation.

DJ Green Light/Green Heat vogueing in front of a photo of Arata's butt. More barely-concealed masonic iconography.

Steve Hurd hurting everyone's feelings. I guess this is the kind of attitude you need to make it to the top.

The two ends of Arata's Hot Dog Exchange. Drawing theme options included Virginity, Pets, Magic, and Reproduction.

An unscheduled gymnastic performance by...? Who was this amazing kid anyway? She was doing cartwheels across the parking lot for hours!

Gypsy jazz band Meme Lateef invoking Captain Howdy (seen in window in upper left - detail following).

It is perhaps regrettable that Captain Howdy's global reign of fire will bring an end to civilization as we know it, but thanks to everyone who helped close it out on such a high note!