garage talk: Disorderly Conduct

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On April 5 and 6, 2008, the haudenschild Garage collaborated with the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) to present a Garage Talk, performance, panel, and film screening in conjunction with the OCMA exhibition Disorderly Conduct: Recent Art in Tumultuous Times (February 3 – June 1, 2008).  The exhibition and its public programs were co-sponsored by the haudenschild Garage.

Disorderly Conduct: Recent Art in Tumultuous Times featured painting, video, and installation projects by local and international artists whose works reveals the political turbulence, cultural malaise and general instability of our tumultuous times. Including Pilar Albarracin, Karen Finley, Pearl C. Hsiung, Glenn Kaino, Mike Kelley, , Daniel Joseph Martinez, Rodney McMillian, and Robin Rhode, these artists reference subjects such as war and terror, social and racial tension, urban and environmental disaster, psychological break-down, and criminal behavior in a range of mixed media and video installations. Using striking images and imposing structures, often imbued with surrealist absurdity and irony, they represent and perform this pervasive sense of global chaos and disorder. Disorderly Conduct was curated by Karen Moss, curator of collections.

Saturday, April 5th began at the haudenschild Garage with a video screening of Martin Kersels‘ opening performance at the Orange County Museum of Art. Following the video screening, Kersels performed Breath.

Glenn Kaino‘s Burning Boards installation at the Garage consisted of 16 chess games with candles in place of chess pieces were played simultaneously by artists, writers, and chess pros who included Daniel Chamberlin, John Doloszycki, Mari Eastman, Stephanie Hanor, Christian Haye, Pato Hebert, Pearl C. Hsiung, Martin Kersels, Larry List, Elliot Liu, Daniel J. Martinez, Aaron Sandnes, Jennifer Shahade, Afshin Shahidi, and Sage Vaugh.

On Sunday, April 6th videos by Pearl C. Hsiung, Rodney McMillian, and Robin Rhode were screened.

Following the video screening, Daniel J. Martinez was in conversation with cultural critic Mike Davis and Martin Kersels presented with Pearl C. Hsiung.

About the Participants
Daniel J. Martinez

Fifteen years after his indelible first appearance in the Whitney Biennial in 1993, Daniel Joseph Martinez continues to create work that unapologetically probes uncomfortable issues of personal and collective identity, seeking out threadbare spots in the fabric of conventional wisdom. A strategic provocateur with a keen intelligence and a wicked sense of humor, Martinez deploys the full range of available media in his practice, having used at various times (and in various combinations) text, image, sculpture, video, and performance to construct his uniquely tough-minded brand of aesthetic inquiry. The artist’s works over the last few years vividly demonstrate both his methods and fascinations. The House America Built (2004), for example, staged an improbable, mordant collision between Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and design maven Martha Stewart (with an added touch of Gordon Matta-Clark’s anarchitecture), in the form of a wooden cabin that filled the space at his New York gallery, The Project. Painted in deliberately tasteful Stewartesque pastels, the looming structure—riven from bottom to top by a widening slice evoking Matta-Clark’s famous house cut, Splitting, of 1974—was in fact a reimagining of the Montana dwelling where Kaczynski penned his infamous manifesto.

Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino, a Japanese American artist born, raised, and currently working in Los Angeles, has versatile skills as an art maker and director of large media projects. Weaving in and out of fine and commercial art realms Kaino has worked as a co-founder of Deep River Gallery in LA and as chief creative officer of Napster. He has also taught at UCLA and University of Southern California. Kaino’s work has been shown at the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Studio Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Transforming commonplace objects and iconic cultural symbols, Kaino (like Andy Warhol) references the subtleties and ironies of popular culture. He often explores issues of cultural identity through both still and kinetic sculptures. In Graft, a proud and ominous ostrich stands atop a light box. The Ostrich is a plastic, life-sized reproduction, but the artist has sewn the bird’s exterior—by hand—using real python snake skin. Kaino gives careful consideration to his materials and process in order to evoke meaning. Possible associations a person might make after viewing Graft range from plastic surgery and second skins, to fashion accessories and trends. In grafting new skin onto this nomadic, head-in-the-sand herbivore Kaino creates a new bird—a likely predator capable of dealing death by its grip. The inner nature of the tightly bound bird is hidden in plain sight. Like taxidermied animals found in hunting lodges and natural history museums around the world, this once-fast hybrid ostrich is now permanently stilled.

Martin Kersels

Martin Kersels, co-director of the Program in Art, is a Los Angeles-based artist who works with sculpture, audio, photography and performance. He has had one-person shows in New York, Los Angeles, Bern and Paris. In September 2008 Martin Kersels’ retrospective exhibition, Heavyweight Champion, was shown in the Santa Monica Museum of Art and at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. He recently won a Guggenheim Fellowship Award for 2008/09. Martin Kersels’ work has been shown in numerous group shows such as Departures: 11 Artists at the Getty, Young Americans 2 at the Saatchi Collection, and The 1997 Whitney Biennial. His work is held in various collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MOCA Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Norton Family Foundation.

Mike Davis

Mike Davis is an American social commentator, urban theorist, historian, and political activist. He is best known for his investigations of power and social class in his native Southern California. Named a Macarthur Fellow in 1998, Davis was also honored for distinguished achievement in nonfiction writing this past fall by the Lannan Literary Foundation. Davis is the author of more than 20 books and more than 100 book chapters and essays in the scholarly and elite popular press. His scholarly interest span urban studies, the built environment, economic history and social movements. Perhaps his best know book, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles was named a best book in urban politics by the American Political Science Association and won the Isaac Deutscher Award from the London School of Economics and has been translated into eight languages.

Pearl C. Hsiung

Born in Taiwan in 1973, Pearl C. Hsiung received her BA at the University of California, Los Angeles (1997) and her MFA at Goldsmiths College, London (2004). Hsiung has had solo exhibitions at Max Wigram Gallery, London (2006) and Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles (2007). Hsiung’s work has been featured in group exhibitions including Humor Us at the Los Angeles Municipal Arts Gallery (2007); 2006 California Biennial and Disorderly Conduct: Art in Tumultuous Times (2008) both at the Orange County Museum of Art; 2006 Busan Biennale, South Korea and Expander, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, London (2005). Pearl C. Hsiung makes works that are an amalgam of diverse, metaphor laden images of transmogrified landscape-portraiture hybrids. Hsiung draws from varied sources of visual vocabulary, including generic photography books found in thrift stores, sci-fi/fantasy illustrations, medieval alchemical drawings, mass culture graphics and images culled from memory. The resulting images offer a multitude of interpretations ranging from the psycho-sexual to the anthro-geological. Click here to visit her website.