On Lydia Rosenberg by Daniel Haun

Lydia Rosenberg is an intellectual artist, who is hyper-aware of meta-narratives.

 

Contradiction:

The struggle with material occupancy, and some sense of time: the permanence & impermanence of materials and ideas. An idea is a word, and a word is an idea. The connotation of a word is inseparable from the word itself. Language has both a reductive and expansive property. Do we let words define the physical world, or vice versa?  The use of redundancy as a way of maintaining a generative process, creates oppositional forces in the work, a push/pull of truth and meaning. To see what something truly is, you have to see it in as many forms as possible. The influence of word function in the missing-letter effect. Do we see patterns and words together? Do physical creations become words and language historically or as an archive? We speak about redundancy where image and object overlap.

 

Ambiguity:

To define factuality or reality: is the metaphor cement? The universality of language incurs a natural ability to observe and understand. Chomsky’s universal grammar theory states that linguistic ability manifests itself without being taught. Do we become that which we observe? Can we innately relate image and language? The initial humor of the work recedes to a meditation on the reductive nature of language. Can we be reduced to a single word or idea? Individual constituents, phenomenon, and theories can be reduced to the sum of their parts. The mental world exists as a derivative parallel world to the physical world. Phenomena can be explained in terms of relations between other fundamental phenomena. When we explain a property we define it via language. Can we transcend the matter and spirit, or the words that define us? We wrestle with an internal logic that is tied directly to language.

Binary:

art/thought/factuality/reality/concrete/abstract/image/object/paper/stone/poetry/tautology/humor/meditation/mediator/regulator/text/visual/material occupancy/sense of time

 

Translation:

Lydia is an intellectual, a philosopher, a linguist, and epistemologist. Lydia is exploring knowledge understanding, theories of knowledge and language, truth, belief, justification, value, redundancy and binary oppositions, through certain postulates:

 

To think about an idea and wrestle with an internal logic that is tied directly to language

To compare formed stone, and paper mâché, and cast concrete, and the quality of materials contrast from paper to stone

To read about language, linguistics, poetry, and tautology, to find a true statement formula: that which is true in every and any possible way

To find redundancy: by saying something twice you give it more truth and validity

To illustrate language, and the redundancy of language, reflected in material objects that have an inherent redundancy

To struggle with material occupancy, and some sense of time: the permanence & impermanence of materials and ideas

To speak about redundancy where image and object overlap

To define factuality or reality: the metaphor is cement

To find abstract ways to think about language

To use redundancy as a way of maintaining a generative process: to see what something truly is, you have to see it in as many forms as possible

To find literary loops, all the necessary information is provided at the beginning, so that its redundancy is a form of expansion

To use humor that has an inherent darkness: when we laugh it is because something didn’t work the way it was supposed to

To use words as a mediator, and a regulator at the same time

To make work that results from a fascination with language, without using text in the objects

To make your thoughts visual: Art is about thought, Art is a different alphabet

On Daniel Haun by Lydia Rosenberg

Daniel Haun is a video artist.  His works can be found on Youtube but he won’t tell you where.

 

Contradiction:

The proximity of familiar representations of our surface-level values tease us into comfortable complacencies. Slowly images of war and catastrophe filter in, seeming to ask for an awareness or reconsideration of the idealized image of beauty, celebrity, intrigue and consumerist infatuation.  The trouble of it all is that representations of war and beauty are not distanced enough in their life as images in the prevalent media displays that surround.  Found images take on a second life, combined with powerful, ritualistic digital auditory experience, their significance and gravity is dually heightened and somehow mutually leveled into a horizontal plane where war, bombings, perfume ads and beauty campaigns are of equal import.  For the critically attuned, an offensive position is easily grasped; too often are we bombarded with false images of the male and female form, and in kind, with aggrandized and incommensurate perspectives on the visual accounts of war. Here we see a timid criticism, a non-position filled with hopeful expectations of an independently ascertained evaluation. The choice is before you, sink in or rise up, protest or celebrate.  A lack of direction becomes a powerful direction, a non-stance becomes an instance.

 

Ambiguity:

Murky, uneasy in its smooth delivery, lulled and seduced the way that good marketing does, it is easy to find oneself lacking the vision to distinguish the abhorrent and obscene from the real and substantial, or the overlaps between them for that matter.  The intensity of aural and visual stimulation muddle my capacity to differentiate.  I am besodden by the weight of active resistance to these familiar tropes, whispering and indulging me.  On September 11 I stayed home from school.  When I woke up and turned on the television, I wondered why the same movie was playing on every channel. That is what war feels like, only vaguely different from mediated perceptions of value, both are tinged with guilt.  Some people pay more attention to video games than the violence portrayed, some people pay more attention to celebrity gossip mags and Cosmo than domestic politics. We have accepted this passivity, and here it is presented to us.

 

Binary:

Ugly/pretty/war/peace/good/bad/shame/pride/white/black/loud/silent/ignorant/learned/foolish/wise/still/moving/objective/subjective/lucid/vague/fast/slow/wild/tame

 

Translation:

Generational attention spans lose capacity with the proliferation of tools created for immediacy, computer programs are charting this pattern of behavior. Data-visualization becomes Da Da-visualization.  It is easy to change the channel. Reconstructed and reconstituted, and yet in essence unchanged, a faithful translation holds its power in the ability to morph the language into another, while maintaining lingual and contextual similarity.

The Work of Charles Hall

Written by James Howzell

 

Saturday morning I am walking to the studio of Charles Hall; this pilgrimage is gearing up to be unlike any other ordinary studio visit. Questions I might ask race through my mind as I enter level two block of the Morgan factory. As I approach studio ten, an eighteen percent gray curtain shields the outside world from the inner world of the artist. I cannot help but to address the reasons behind this palette selection within the institutional art paradigm. Registration of the eyes and how colors are presented could be the causation, also light is held impart of this premeditated selection. I enter the studio only to have another curtain reveled in its place; I part this drapery sea adorned in lush maroon at that moment I realized I’ve entered a sanctum of holies. Lights, tipping point ephemera on the walls, floors and books upon books all harmoniously ordered to relinquish a symposium of the mind in glorifying splendor. The interview started as the regulated meet and greet nothing overly special about the origins of studio visits. I asked Charles if he wanted to stay in his studio or have the interview somewhere else, since it was raining and neither of us wanted to catch cold we stayed in his studio. I started the interview by stating my intentions for the questions I was about to ask of him. I set the stage by asking three general questions, what are his likes and dislikes along with his contentment’s. These questions in part were red herrings in nature; the true questions were the two quotes I used to book end the interview. The quotes are from two contemporary films, The Tree Of Life by director Terrance Malick and I Knew It Was You by Richard Shepard. One could go on to describe the physical space juxtaposing the assumed metaphysical space while unpacking the conceptual space. One could write about his verbal artistic language and the roles the canons set forth with in his work. One could describe in detail the architectural forms of the workspace, which outlines the relationship between talent and gift in reference to his work ethic. I will not describe neither above, I will assume the artist studio is a hidden diary of the artist that the whole world takes part. How does one describe the artist and their art with visual fluidity and understanding that covers the mindscape in its entirety? How can you predict genius and prospective truth in an artist’s life and purpose? You don’t, its an unanswerable duality, I witnessed this first hand through the dialog and physicality shown as Charles responded to these quotes. “It takes fierce will to get ahead in this world”, “The artist is born in a suffering child”. To make a feeble attempt at analyzing what I saw and heard from him, I will use sports analogies and urban street corner rhetoric. In boxing one would describe the punching power of a boxer as a person who hits with bad intentions, a tennis player, a striker of the ball, a graffiti artist, going All City and for football players it’s intensity and tenacity. In the case of Charles Hall, his movements are subtle like vel’ká macka, English to Slovak translation (The Big Cat). His artistic power is a controlled nuclear explosion churning in on it self, harnessing massive amounts of energy, a living breathing catalyst.

Jason Rhoades, Four Roads WWIV

Jason Rhoades is fluent in the language of excess. As presented in his posthumous retrospective Four Roads, his aesthetic channels a middle ground between Rube Goldberg and Paul McCarthy, irreverently constructing expansive environments out of the blunt implements of contemporary everyday life. The sheer mass of banal consumer crap has the potential to overwhelm the viewer like she walked into a messy Walmart, or stumbled upon the aftermath of an eviction. But methods begin to emerge throughout the chaos over time. The constellations of drywall, dust, photographs, chairs, TV screens, and lights spatialize themselves and the viewer via their scale and presence. The elements reveal themselves to relate to one another like a machine, with moving parts activating and vibrating all at once. It is impossible to experience everything occurring in a complete way. He revels in incompleteness, anti-climax even, despite his work’s complexity and obsessiveness. There is no decisive moment. Things are just arranged and left on, like any average American suburban household. This aesthetic is most pointed in his early works, specifically CHERRY Makita (1993) and The Creation Myth (1998). The works in the show that are any less than overwhelming lack the cohesiveness to be of consequence. With such masses of information, one would be hard-pressed not to find wry juxtapositions peeking out. The log forest in The Creation Myth is textured with images of pornography and vernacular photographs — both of which have a propensity to be masturbatory. And Rhoades’ propensity to Do-It-Himself leads to comical manifestations of cardboard, tin foil, and hastily scrawled-upon surfaces of all sorts. The exhibition in addition delineates the artist’s thinking process in a bare and visible manner, with a vital collection of drawings, writings, and scale models of the environments (this last inclusion sets up a jarring dynamic as the viewer ponders a model of the piece from within the actual piece itself). But with all the indulgence present in these works, one is left puzzling about where Rhoades’ extra-formal criticality enters into the work and the process. The work seems to acknowledge and then simply replicate problematic dynamics all throughout its appropriative aesthetic. Masculinity begins to reach levels of parody in works such as CHERRY Makita, but falls short, perhaps because of the lack antagonism accompanying the work’s bodily implications. The work falls beyond sex-normsubversive and into misogynistic, with objectifying texts of women and female genitalia hung up (bleeding out) all throughout. This is particularly acute in My Madinah, which is formally compelling but thoughtless and juvenile in its obsession with “pussy words,” a term tacitly accepted by the curatorial team as an indicator of Rhoades’ “playfulness.” Hegemony is the safety net of his falls.
Indeed, upon deeper examination Rhoades can be said to have adopted indulgences of a different sort: the work is a little too clean, a little too mellow, and a little too recognizable to be deeply visceral or subversive. In relation to the aforementioned metaphors of Walmart and evictions, Rhoades at his loosest is similar but ultimately too neat to leave the same impact. The Creation Myth, his messiest work, fits neatly within the gallery, with little walking paths carved through like a leisure garden. It even conforms to the gallery’s rules: viewers are not allowed to touch any part of the piece. There is nothing at stake for Rhoades in registering his American
suburban framework, the workings of which are so normative and pervasive that only in pushing them to a logical end can one provide new insight via. His ’00-era works are even colder and more sterile, setting up neat lines and distancing themselves from the viewer’s space. Rhoades can be seen refining an aesthetic of consumerist and middle-class space throughout this retrospective, but he failed to push its facets to a critical breaking point during his lifetime.

Annie Zverina

You make objects obsessively.  You are a smartass.  You take everything so seriously that your only recourse for expression is to start from an offhanded dead pan sarcastic response.  Someone tells you that your work is masculine so you make a needlepoint.  But you can’t escape your seriousness, so you end up obsessively making.  You are now entrapped in this hyper reality where your gender is shaping how people view not only you, but also your work.  You begin drawing out images of the uterus.  It is this sexual organs, a most internal and personal thing, that you begin to realize not only makes you and your body subject to legislation on reproductive rights, but gives others a false yet accepted lens through which to view your work.  Suddenly you realize why you are so angry, where the aggression came from that had produced work described as masculine.  You feel trashed and commoditified, so you begin to embroider, using plastic bags as thread, these images of the uterus that you have been drawing.  You assiduously research.  You make your smart ass response a theoretical assertion, your internal dialogue becomes a constant debate.  In your head you are always adding to an obnoxiously obtuse academic paper, the kind that is worked on for years and never completed, centered on what started as a sardonic response.  You wonder if an artist statement can have footnotes, endnotes, an Ibid referring to something in your head.  And of course your statement would be in APA, because really isn’t that the only really respectable format?  You obsessively create overtly aesthetic objects that you think express the disregard you perceive, because isn’t to aestheticize really to negate?  But you do this with painstaking care, slicing white shopping bags into thread, making stitch upon stitch.  And you see it all come together; this rambling endless paper you have written in your head is actualized in a body of work.  And then people respond.  “How can these beautiful objects be an expression of your rage that is slowly bubbling to the surface?  Are women’s rights really still an issue?  Why didn’t you put a baby in one of the uteruses?  You titled the pieces HP-15 after the Texan law requiring intra-vaginal ultrasound before any abortion, but ultrasounds are pretty noninvasive right?  Don’t they just put some jelly on your belly and run a wand over it?  And how does the material and process really relate to your subject?”  So now you are really angry, but it’s something more serious, more lasting than anger, which of course means you must respond the only way you know how, as a smart ass.  You begin making needlepoint, still with plastic bags, based on American patchwork design.  And now suddenly,” your process and subject are really intertwined and understandable.”  But again, you can’t escape your seriousness, so this little “fuck you” experiment becomes a whole new body of work.  You can use this idea of Americana to expand on your ideas of aesthetics and politics.  Isn’t the American flag the pen ultimate of aestheticized politic, one with easily accessible art historical precedents?  Once again you start obsessively making, obsessively researching.  It becomes clear to you that these objects that you are making must be displayed together; they must be displayed in excess.  You will create your own museum, your own version of Marcel Broodthaer’s Musée d’Art Moderne, Départment des Aigles.  Your use of plastic bags will be a detournement of the ready-made.  Yours will be a museum of Americana sewn from American trash.  But of course, you will keep all your feelings that lead you here to yourself, because the only way you know to express any of them is to create the work.  Keep the work smart.

Re: Diego Ben Lalo (or James Howzell)

The media artist formally knows as James Howzell changes his name to Diego Ben Lalo. Nothing astounding or original about this happening, but knowing Diego, he plots his course with timepiece mastery. His ego is a tad underdeveloped for an artist of his stature, never the less he never fails to astound his media minions. His work produces pounding rhythmic structures, passively reminiscent of young Joe Frazier. Diego bobs and weaves throughout his work never losing sight of detail; his Svengalic approach to cause and form attracts galleristas to him like humming birds to honeysuckles. Entering a Lalo piece can be quite horrific upon the mindscape, abandon all hope as one passes the event horizon. All horrors aside, one can navigate the cultural landmines his work thrives on and the motives he sets forth to address. Lalo’s work isn’t easy to reverse engineer, you can label every piece side by side, and will never figure out why or is. The playful color schemes in his work send childlike responses into the viewer erasing all nostalgia from generational time stamped ephemera. To some up the inner workings of  Diego Lalo, I’ll share the first and only encounter with him. I happened to meet Diego while picking up a pack of gum from a convenience store, it rhymes with Evan & Heaven. I said Diego Lalo right, do you work here? He said no, I said why are you cleaning the hot dog grill? He said because it’s dirty and the people working obviously don’t know how to clean it properly. I said how does one clean it properly, he said with POP sprite or seven up; coke doesn’t work well at all. I deliberated for a second then I said are you crazy, he responded without a beat, yes. An awkward silence, he smiles and laughs like a child then states, I’m just fucking around, and I’m completely sane. This would be a great encounter to write about huh, and then he walks away out of the store. One can be easily lulled into his disheveled persona like an emaciated mosquito to a sleeping O blood type baby; but not moi. Diego floats like a butterfly and creates work like a worker bee. After my chance encounter with Mr. Lalo, it suddenly hit home; I’ve just been Rope-A-Doped. Diego Lalo has a show running in LA at the Zero gallery the whole month of December then it moves to Toulouse to the Pink Gummy Octopus gallery in January.