Saturday, August 2, 2014
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Also, Elliott's current show of amazing new works - described by David Pagel in the LA Times as the most "muscular and skeletal ... since his first solo show in 2006" - are on view at Regen Projects through next Saturday (May 17th). I also advise you to check out his recent work from last year's show at Andrea Rosen Gallery.
"...In truth, Hundley had been searching for a method to dislodge his praxis from the tyranny of glue, and—inspired by both the poetically formalist land art of Andy Goldsworthy and Öyvind Fahlström’s magnetic variable paintings—he hit on the humble solution of turning the picture plane into a pincushion. This single small shift had enormous repercussions within Hundley’s craft, allowing him to isolate individual pictographic elements literally and allegorically and to deploy them across a newly liberated topological landscape in a manner that suggested a roiling surface frozen in one of an effectively infinite set of possible configurations.
In addition to these dimensional, compositional, and semiotic benefits, the pins incorporated a whole sphere of connotative content, with the domestic craft of sewing being the most immediately observable. From the outset, Hundley’s collage works have openly embraced the disparaged amateur side of their heritage, most fundamentally in his constant integration of original photographs of emotionally significant personal friends (the artist has likened his work to “the back pages of a high school yearbook”), but most conspicuously in his abundant use of beads, sequins, shells, costume jewelry, ribbons, upholstery, dollhouse furnishings, plastic flowers, peacock and ostrich feathers, and sundry items of the type reclaimed as fine art materials by the feminist artists associated with the pattern and decoration movements of the 1970s. His use of straight pins as both basic structure and (in the case of colored-plastic-headed and other specialty pins) content aligns his collages with the body-centered art of sewing (as well as the world of haute couture fashion) in an emphatically process-oriented manner; sewing pins are explicitly temporary placeholders, meant to be removed as soon as the garment is complete.
Of almost equal and somewhat creepier import are the pins’ connotations of entomological taxonomy: the passion of the insect collector, whose specimens, on retrieval from the killing jar, are mounted on specially coated beetle-juice-resistant display pins, usually with an accompanying didactic panel. This association summons a dark pop cultural archetype of erotic fetishism—à la John Knowles’s 1963 novel The Collector (in which a butterfly collector wins the lottery and repurposes his hobbycraft towards an art student with whom he’s smitten)—that adds considerable gravitas and humor to Hundley’s inventory of partial friends. But it also speaks to the less caricatured fetishism inherent to amateur keepsake collage: the identification of even the smallest ephemeral object as identical with (or a vessel for) a fond or meaningful memory and therefore deserving and in need of preservation.
It is difficult not to imagine these connotations spilling over to encompass the eventual acquisition of Hundley’s finished works by museums and private collectors—and the role of collecting in the history of art to which Hundley so often makes reference. The displays of natural history museums have been an important strain in recent art, from the Museum of Jurassic Technology (which includes several insect exhibits) to Damien Hirst, but Hundley’s approach is more allusive, his categorical impulse filtered through a nonverbal, nonhierarchical syntax, more akin perhaps to Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne-Atlas (1924–29), or the Internet.
Social stitching and phallic piercing aside, Hundley’s pinning bears several fruitful second-tier connotations, most notably as a form of mutated cartography, where coded pins are arranged to represent troop movements or consumer demographics, in constant flux, simultaneously a site for accounting and strategizing. This aerial topographic motif has emerged as a subtle but typically expansive formal device in Hundley’s art, with undulating contours articulated through variations in the height of the pins and the placement of the collage elements along their length. The results have been uniformly organic: a wall-mounted relief map of a forested landscape or ocean floor, or a giant model of some parasitical worm bristling with setae..."by DH from "Cut Up or Shut Up: The Unspeakable Narratives of Elliott Hundley" in Elliott Hundley: The Bacchae , published by the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University in 2012.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Between the coupons and the car troubles, haven't had much bloggy time, but since the KCHUNG archive is taking its time slithering over to its new server, I've uploaded the most recent edition of Less Art Radio Zine, featuring the lovely and talented Colin Cook playing his video soundtracks and "musical" offerings from The Charles Ray Experience (including some unreleased material!) and The Legion of Rock Stars.
Colin said something about getting free made-to-order LORS CDs. I don't see anything specific about that on their website or their Facebook page, but you can contact them there, and link through to some of their amazing online videos -- original music videos overdubbed with the Pure Pleasure Processed LORS versions of the songs. Screenings of these were the hit of my 'patacritical Interrogation Techniques Salons last year!
The Charles Ray Experience Anthology: Hooked on Dialectics is available for free download at archive.org, courtesy of Pleonasm Music. Here is the link to an unedited mp3 of Colin and Bill on LARZ on KCHUNG -- available for a limited time: the link.
Friday, April 25, 2014
But which is which? The abutment of these discrete modes in this once-removed theatrical space encourages literary, symbolic speculation. There is obviously a fundamental dualism at play in these mutually interpenetrating but non-porous illusionistic realms. But what other dualisms -- among the myriad defining the phenomenal world -- are implied? There’s certainly class and gender polarities embedded here, but many of the subtleties of the work depend on the ambiguity of the two drawing styles’ respective validity in the art world.
Ironically, on it’s own, Shambaugh’s incorrectness commands more currency in contemporary art terms – with recent contextual conceits like “Bad Painting”, deskilling, and the continued blurring of high art with the traditions of illustration and comics. In contrast, the accomplished rendering that goes into Cook’s portions of the pictures has been relatively unsupported since the advent of Abstract Expressionism, having to provide its own quotation marks if it wants to become part of the discussion. Thus the areas realized with elevated criteria-laden skills – the landscapes against which men pose, the female participants (almost exclusively) in the sexual pairings, and the beleaguered face of Cook – depend on their symbiotic contact with wrongness to be right.
While these are rewarding areas for narrative conjecture, the most significant impact of the collaborative model has been on the parameters of self-conscious isolation portrayed in Cook’s art, where discrepancies in political nuance are trumped by an emphatic egalitarianism. The seemingly insurmountable chasm between self and other (which in his solo work is played out as a one-sided -- therefore arguably hierarchical -- communication from a tower of creative solipsism) is translated into a diagram of equilibrium, a yin-yang of intricately frustrated miscegenation..."
Read the rest of When Worlds Collude: Colin Cook’s Irreconcilable Differences here.
See more of Colin's collaborative drawings with Bill Shambaugh here.
And tune in to KCHUNG Sunday April 27 at 12 Noon to hear Colin live on Doug Harvey's Less Art Radio Zine, listening to their grad school collaboration with Hector Romero "The Charles Ray Experience," Colin's postgrad antics with 'patacritical oldies cover band The Legion of Rock Stars, soundtracks to some of Colin's amazing videos, and much more!
PS, I got the "COOK" logo from the label of one of COOK Laboratories records, which seems curiously appropriate to the collaborativity discussed above, and beyond. Dig it:
Monday, April 14, 2014
Derek rocked the LARZ-house on Sunday, with selections from his former student "Woody" Mellor's band "The Clash," plus David Bowie, the Pretty Things, John Lennon, and more. At the end we hear the remarkable audio collage soundtracks to two new films that make up part of the Boshier-centric group show Cogwheels Carved in Wood opening at Night Gallery Saturday April 19th at 7 PM.
Download the program from the KCHUNG archives now. Here's the link: the link.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Been a crazy week with dog shows and a movie being shot next door and what have you, and I was having trouble getting a guest lined up for Less Art Radio Zine -- Jeffrey Vallance and Elliott Hundley both agreed to do later shows, but I thought I was going to have to wing it with my record collection, until the great English Pop artist Derek Boshier said he was willing to come on, even though he will have presumably been up late at Night Gallery's one-night-only re-staging of his Journey/Israel Project installation originally exhibited at the Miskan Le Ormanut Museum of Art, Ein Harod, Israel in 1996.
Derek's a great talker, came of age in swingeing London, and worked with David Bowie and The Clash, so this should be a good one. Not that they're not all good. That's Doug Harvey's Less Art Radio Zine at 12 noon on Sunday April 13 on KCHUNG pirate radio, www.kchungradio.org
PS: Here's a link to my September MODERN PAINTERS feature on Derek: the link.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
I really have to start writing out the stuff I want to say beforehand, or at least think about it. You can skip over the bumbling talky parts though, when you download this hour+ of highlights from Mike Kelley's career as an experimental musician. The main point I made that I think is worth re-emphasizing is that if he had produced only this wide-ranging, ambitious body of sound work Mike Kelley would be an extraordinary figure in contemporary culture.
The mp3 is available for free download from the KCHUNG archive. Here is the link: the link. Bear in mind that this is fairly low bitrate mono mp3, and if you dig what you hear you should seek out the original recordings, most of which are still available from the Compound Annex section of Mike's website.
Thanks to Jim Shaw for filling the gaps in my collection at the last minute! I'll try to add a playlist here when I get a few minutes...