Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tom Go Bye-Bye

I only ate there once, and it was pretty bad, but I was always reassured that a place as greasy as Tom's Burgers could hold the line at an intersection as theoretically chichi as Sunset & Silverlake. Unfortunately, the old hole has been reamed out and is currently being transubstantiated into a woodfire pizza boutique or something. Weirdly, the one thing they left untouched so far is the old signage. This is its shadow.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christian Cummings (b 1979) at Chin's Push

Chin's Push is pleased to present ANTI-URGES & STARGATE, a solo exhibition of new works by Christian Cummings.
"Christian Herman Cummings is a conceptual artist based in Los Angeles. His work explores the relationship between socially defined 'static' subjectivity and ‘actual self’ - or in his words, between our impostor and our intruder. Calling his art prosthetic for a self that isn’t there, Cummings is an ironist who uses topsy turvy logics, nontraditional authorship, and daydreamy psychical introspection as primary modes of expression."
                                                     -- Miriam Hanks-Todd

ANTI-URGES & STARGATE is on view by appointment until December 6th.
Opening Reception is on November 15th, 6pm - 9pm.
4917 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042
For Appointment: 626.375.6466

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I am the host DJ for this performance/broadcast this Saturday...

Mannlicher Carcano Radio Hour on KCHUNG at The Hammer Museum
Saturday November 23rd 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
The Hammer Museum Lindbrook Terrace, 10899 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90024
Free admission, $3 validated parking under the museum

Dateline Los Angeles: Mere coincidence? The Mannlicher Carcano Radio Hour, now in its 15th year of improvised live multi-city audio collage based experimental radio broadcasts, have been “randomly” scheduled to participate in the KCHUNG Radio residency at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles on the very day in between the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Mannlicher Carcano – whose name derives from the rifle allegedly used by LHO to shoot JFK - is an improvisational audio collage group that coalesced in the late-1980’s out of a number of new music, sound art, and post-punk experiments, and has been performing and recording regularly for 25 years -- in spite of not living in the same city for the last 20. Their output has regularly addressed the JFK assassination and its cultural fallout.

For the November 23rd performance in The Hammer courtyard, Los Angeles MCRH anchors Really Happening and Kenneth Friendliness (and whatever other local adjunct members show up) will perform live turntable-plus radio art, drawing heavily on thematic material related to the JFK assassination, including rare radio interviews of Oswald on William Stuckey’s Latin Listening Post program on WDSU New Orleans 3 months before the assassinations.

This performance will be broadcast live on KCHUNG’s Hammer radio frequency, and transmitted via the internet to MCRH HQ in St. John’s Newfoundland, where it will be mixed with signals from Montreal, Guelph, Ontario, and possibly other cities, and rebroadcast over the airwaves and internet. That internet feed will then be picked up and reintegrated into the mix of the Hammer broadcast. We’re through the looking glass here, people!

The Mannlicher Carcano Radio Hour can be heard regularly on CHMR-FM 93.5 Campus and Community Radio in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and can also be accessed on the net at www.mun.ca/chmr every Saturday from 11:30am – 1:30pm PST. More information and download links for recent programs and studio recordings are all available atwww.mannlichercarcano.blogspot.com

For more on the KCHUNG Hammer residency visit http://hammer.ucla.edu/residencies/detail/residency_id/34

For more on KCHUNG visit http://www.kchungradio.org/

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New 'Joe's Temper' Painting in Walnut

I wasn't sure what to expect when I went for the panel discussion and reception for Sense & Sensibility II at MtSAC (that's Mount San Antonio College) Art Gallery in Walnut last week, but was flattered to see that my big weeping gladiator sniffing a flower painting plus a really big previously unexhibited Joe's Temper abstract painting on paper had been installed in the front gallery by the entrance. I didn't think they'd have room for the JT piece, but now that I know it's up, I'll plug the show again -- in case any Joe's Temper fans were unaware. I'll just put a detail up for now, to encourage you to visit the show, which has many other fine works of art, though very few are based on the Joe's Temper advertisement to the best of my knowledge. Walnut's about 20 minutes east of downtown LA on the 10. Here's a map. The show's up through December 12.

Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday nights, 5 to 7:30 p.m.
For more information, call the Art Gallery at (909) 274-4328 or visit the gallery’s website at www.mtsac.edu/artgallery.

Friday, November 15, 2013


For some reason former Work of Art celebrity panelist Jerry Saltz seems to be obsessed with my disinterest in Christopher Wool's paintings -- last week, his New York Magazine review of Wool's Guggenheim retrospective hinged on a fairly unanimous LA critical dismissal of a similar exhibit 15 years ago at MOCA, plus a later dig from yours truly in an unrelated review.

Normally I'm flattered when people quote me, but this is a rehash and further garbling of a 2004 Village Voice article, where Saltz made the assumption that my lack of enthusiasm for Wool was a matter of jumping on some kind of Dave Hickey/Christopher Knight bandwagon. In truth, I arrived at my assessment of the Wool MOCA show completely independently of Dave and Chris, and probably wrote my review first - Art issues just had a slower turnaround. Not that I didn't pretty much agree with their respective perspectives.

In Saltz's recent revival of this teapot-tempest that never was, the rehashed quotes are summarized as indicating that "these guys don’t like that Wool’s art isn’t “beautiful” in traditional painterly ways and isn’t dryly conceptual or pop." WTF? Wool's work is nothing if not exactly that - dryly, derivatively conceptual, palely pop-inflected decorator crap for one-percenters who like to imagine they would have been on the barricades in May 1968, if only they hadn't been on probation already at boarding school.

In case anyone wants a less distorted and less soundbite-sized understanding of my take on Wool, you can read my original review of the MOCA show here, and the review of The Undiscovered Country painting survey show at the Hammer hereThe Undiscovered Country didn't include Wool's work, but the review refers to him with the bon mot "schtick-crippled" (which Saltz seems to find particularly inflammatory), and contains a more general rant about lousy painters which you might enjoy.

If I was writing now, I'd probably be less mean, but I haven't changed my opinion about Wool. He certainly hasn't done anything different enough in the subsequent decade and a half to warrant reconsideration. This is honestly the most thought I've given to the guy since 1998. There's nothing rewarding there to look at or think about, and there never was. There's no West Coast rivalry or "anti-intellectual" conspiracy here -- I guess it's just easier to make out the emperor's new clothes from a distance.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Greg Curnoe 1936 -1992

21 years ago today, Greg Curnoe was killed by a truck while riding his bicycle outside London, Ontario. He remains a great inspiration. Check out these videos, then go dig his art and the music of the Nihilist Spasm Band.

Image: Using up old coloured ink March 22 1987 watercolour, stamp pad ink on paper 48 X 76 inches

PS: It's funny this should have come to mind just before this little Chris Wool thing -- some people have misinterpreted my disinterest in Wool as reflecting a prejudice against text in visual art -- I can't think of a better rebuttal than my endless enthusiasm the aesthetically and conceptually rich and risky text-based work of Greg Curnoe.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Prosthetic Enthusiasms and the Meta-historical Bauhoroque

"In retrospect, Machine Project—the Echo Park storefront operating for the last decade as a rapid-fire curatorial clearinghouse for founder/director Mark Allen’s tireless curiosity—would seem to have been one of the most influential artistic endeavors of the new millennium. Bridging the faux-institutional critique of the Museum of Jurassic Technology and Center for Land Use Interpretation with the collaborative rhizomatics of Generation Occupy, MP has been both a model for a host of subsequent networking nodes, and one of the busiest neural clusters in the increasingly web-like cultural underground...

Machine’s latest project is essentially a video zine documenting a representative sampling of typical MP happenings from 2010–12. These range from an opera starring dogs to a guy singing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” through a megaphone while climbing a hill in San Francisco; from a relational aesthetics museum residency for houseplants to a drag tableaux-vivant reenactment of scenes from the Marlene Dietrich western Destry Rides Again; from the perverse harnessing of the kinetics of an aerobics workout to churn butter to a workshop on how to escape from the trunk of a car “so that the next time you’re kidnapped it doesn’t have to ruin the rest of your day.”...

An equal but opposite dummy institution is the Boston Visionary Cell, though I’m not sure it ever involved anyone but founding artist Paul Laffoley. Which is fine, because the guy could probably fill two dummy institutions. Since the late ’60s, Laffoley’s information-dense paintings have successfully straddled hermetic mysticism, paranormal phenomena (including alien contact), fringe physics, and utopic architecture and engineering, not to mention some badass graphic design. Articulating an ornately modernist didacticism—while predicated on a radically reimagined psycho-spiritual function for art—his exquisite charts defy easy assimilation by the mainstream art world, as well as the lowbrow and outsider...

When I first encountered Laffoley’s work, I wasn’t clear about his sincerity—could this be merely an elaborate but superficial appropriation of the vocabulary of expanded consciousness and paranoid conspiracy cognition? The newly published Premonitions of the Bauharoque dispels any such concerns, delivering a mother lode of Laffoley’s writings dating back to 1972. .."

Read the rest of Prosthetic Enthusiasms and Perverse Harnessings here, or in the November 2013 hard copy of artillery magazine.

Images: Machine Projects, I Left My Heart; Cabeza Debacle (not included on DVD). Paul Laffoley, The Kali-Yuga: The End of the Universe at 424826 A.D. (1965); The Zodiac Wheel (1967)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Austen City Limits

I'm on the panel at 3 (not sure where) and have work in the show (not sure what) and it isn't actually as far as it sounds -- in good traffic, 20 minutes from the Free Republic of Edendale...

Mt. SAC Art Gallery to Feature “Sense & Sensibility II” Exhibit

WALNUT, Calif.–––The Mt. San Antonio College Art Gallery will present the second of a two-part exhibit, featuring the works of noted art professionals, “Sense & Sensibility II.” This month-long exhibit will run Nov. 7 through Dec. 12 at the campus Art Gallery and is free and open to the public.

A long time in the making, “Sense & Sensibility II” will showcase the work of curators, critics, dealers, consultants, exhibition designers, teachers, and others employed in the local art industry. Participating artists are Michael Arata, Leslie Brown, Jonathan Burke, Delia Cabral, Andi Campognone, Dino Dinco, Mat Gleason, Doug Harvey, Tulsa Kinney, Juri Koll, Jared Linge, Perin Mahler, Andrea Harris McGee, John David O'Brien, Eric Stoner, Richard Turner, Fonje DeVre, and Suzanne Walsh.

Artist Panel: Sunday, November 10; 3:00-4:00 pm
Artist Reception: Sunday, November 10; 4:00-6:00 p.m

Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday nights, 5 to 7:30 p.m.
For more information, call the Art Gallery at (909) 274-4328 or visit the gallery’s website at www.mtsac.edu/artgallery.