March 14, 2014 - April 2, 2014
Opening Friday, March 14, 2014, 7-10pm
And a better heart
Yo' own yard
And a place to park
You wanna Trust 'em ??”
-Trick Daddy, America
Elephant is pleased to present home(-)free, an exhibition of new works by Sofía Córdova and Megan Lindeman.
Córdova’s and Lindeman’s works both question the nature of freedom as it relates to American-ness. Questions of origin, outsider/insider status, belonging (and not belonging), political and historical patterns come together through photography, painting, video, sound and performance.
Lindeman’s project, My Freedom Is Too Big, uses the expansiveness of the Western American landscape as the backdrop for the proclamation of personal freedom. My Freedom Is Too Big began in 2011 at the start of the Arab Spring and presents a collage of abstracted images of protests in Tahrir Square alongside photographs of hand-painted banners floating over the open landscapes of California. The banners, which depict colorfully painted statements such as “My Freedom Is Too Big” and “I’d Like to Tell You Why,” are thrown in the air and photographed in California’s picturesque landscapes. Their depiction plays in contrast to most contemporary visual depictions of the fight for freedom -photographs of mass protests, police brutality, blood and violence-. Lindeman’s composite of abstracted protest imagery and the Californian landscape create a wallpaper of sorts, on top of she scrawls in crayon and gouache. The results resemble cave paintings, emphasizing the connection between the 30,000 year-old act of painting and the need for demonstration. In doing so, Lindeman points to a shared origin between this act of expression and the act of protest.
Lindeman also presents Whoa, You Guys Ok? (2011-2014), a sound installation consisting of an original song and painted text on paper encased in acrylic glass boxes. The song layers Egyptian rhythms, old American military marches, and marches from the Ottoman Empire, the oldest military marches known to man. The artist’s voice is heard in a call and response asking, “Whoa, you guys ok?” and responding with “It’s cool.” Together the works present a visual and auditory concern for the other and yet reveal in the artist’s placid response a sense of apathetic detachment associated with ‘freedom’ in the West.
Córdova presents work meant to exist in a speculative near-future, where the decline of suitable conditions for human survival has brought about the end of culture as we know it. National identities have been stripped away, placing everyone in a state of not-belonging. In the series, The Kingdom Is Me (2013-2014), Córdova uses black paint to redact photographic documents of our cultural past based on our historic present as a means of mapping out the physical and psychic landscape of this uncertain future. The three channel video, They Held Dances on the Graves of Those Who Died in The Terror (2013-present), made up of digital re-recordings of the projections of 8mm black and white films shot in Miami, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico, focuses on a fading natural world. Images of birds, tropical plants and atmospheric events become the records of the lost past in Córdova’s fantasy future. The accompanying music is a mash-up of the song Fantasia, cover of Mariah Carey, and Tom Tom Club’s Fantasy and Genius of Love. The song -- which also is a part of Act I of the performance Odas Al Fin De Los Tiempos (2012-present) -- describes a world in which dances are held on concrete slabs under a dying sun and human survivors are in constant peril not just from hostile conditions but from each other. Act II of Odas consists of original material written through the use of tarot cards (something Córdova does not know how to do) thus tying the installation and performance together as a provisional voice of divination. An excerpted performance will be done as part of the opening.
Sofía Córdova (b. 1985, Carolina, Puerto Rico) received her MFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2010. She has performed at SFMOMA, SomArts and Southern Exposure among others. Her work has been exhibited at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, AMOA/Art House, Galeria de la Raza, Queen’s Nails, The International Center of Photography as well as other venues internationally. Her work is part of Pier 24’s permanent collection. She lives and works in Oakland, California.
Megan Lindeman (b. 1981, Tucson, Arizona) received her MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2008 and her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2003. Her work has been exhibited at Chime&Co., Los Angeles, CA; Coup de Ville, Artist Village WARP- Contemporary Art Platform, Sint Niklaas, Belgium; and The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE. Her work has also been screened at the Beijing Film Academy, Modern Creative Media Academy, Quindao, China. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
February 8, 2014 - February 23, 2014
Opening Saturday, February 8, 2014, 6-10pm
Elephant is pleased to present Black Moon, featuring drawings by Caitlin Foster and paintings from Kiki Johnson. The artists' create work with seemingly opposite methods; Johnson makes quick, succinct small paintings on panels, while Foster often labors for months on one large drawing. Johnson's subject matter is culled from historical archives and books, lifting historical objects and figures to create an invocation of her own making. Johnson's work serves to blur the distinctions between truth and fiction, past and present. Foster's detailed drawings are portals into a consideration of endless expanse and black holes. Unidentifiable organic shapes are familiar and yet unplaceable in Foster's dense black and white meditations. What is shared between the artists is the ritualistic act of making the work, of conjuring onto a blank surface. Their work shares an interest in exploring the idea that image-making can take on revelatory properties, and the act of making becomes an integral part of the work itself.
Caitlin Foster (b. 1983) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2006 and Tufts University, and also studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Foster has exhibited her work in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Boston, and has an upcoming solo exhibition in Madrid, Spain.
Kiki Johnson (b. 1985) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Johnson received her MFA in painting from Yale University in 2012, and her BFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2007. Her work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Houston, and Halifax, Canada. She was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center.
Plum Pudding Peanut Island (Gilligan’s Squaw Fire Island II)
Closing Reception w/Performance: Friday, November 22, 2013. 6-9 PM
Performance begins at 7:30
Elephant is pleased to present new work by Vincent Ramos. For this exhibition, the artist has created a new installation and performance piece that is inspired by the collective sense of loss and confusion surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, fifty years ago this month.
Using popular media as his primary resource, Ramos researched and collected over a dozen prime time network television shows that were preempted as a result of the tragedy. From this material, he has created a performative piece that will be intertwined within a site-specific installation inspired by various facets of Kennedy’s biography. It is a body of work steeped in a disjointed pictorial and verbal language: a labyrinth of non-linear actions, narratives, and emotions.
A second, alternative version of Plum Pudding Peanut Island (Gilligan’s Squaw Fire Island II) will be taking place simultaneously in Dallas, Texas at the Brazos Gallery at Richland College, from November 22nd until December 20th, 2013.
Vincent Ramos (b. 1973, Santa Monica, California) received a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2002 and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007. Solo and two-person exhibitions include, Pachuco Cadaver or There Are No Heavies in America, Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles, Outsider Art: Others from Elsewhere Doing Something Altogether Different…Sort Of, 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica, and Motown Took Us There and Motown Brought Us Back, Crisp London/Los Angeles. Group exhibitions include, Made in L.A. 2012, Hammer Museum and LAXART, and, In the Good Name of the Company, ForYourArt, Los Angeles and See Me Gallery, NY. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Curatorial projects include, Le Vent d’ Est, Actual Size and Elephant, Los Angeles, After The Gold Rush: Reflections and Postscripts on the National Chicano Moratorium of August 29, 1970, Vincent Price Art Museum, ELAC, Los Angeles, River, Elephant, Los Angeles, Chasing Shadows, The Onion (The Church of the Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society), North Hills, and The Sharon Show & 1969, Dan Graham, Los Angeles.
The Poet, Blinded by the Sun
Date and Time: Saturday, November 23, 2013. 6-9 PM
A one-night exhibition within the current gallery installation and around the premises of the Elephant compound that investigates broader notions of memorials and mourning, as they relate to the erasure and subsequent retrieval of memory, both collective and personal.
Konrad Smolenski and Vincent Ramos
Merwin Belin (b. 1949, Norwalk, California) received a BA from California State University, Long Beach in 1973 and an MFA from California State University, Long Beach in 1975. Solo exhibitions include, Frontpages, 1984-Present, Assembly, Los Angeles, Merwin Belin, Emeritus College Gallery, Santa Monica, and School of Belin: A Mid-Career Survey, 1973-2010, Warschaw Gallery, San Pedro. Group exhibitions include, Shangrila 2013: Burrito Deluxe, Joshua Tree, Group Show, Las Cienegas Projects, Genre Studies, Cardwell Jimmerson Contemporary Art, Culver City, and Radical Past: Pasadena Art in the 1970’s, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena. He Lives and works in Los Angeles.
Alice Clements (b. 1973, Berkeley, California) received a BA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2005 and an MFA from Art Center College of Design in 2008. Solo exhibitions include, In the Basement, Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles, and Stillness, POST, Los Angeles. Group exhibitions include, Dig the Dig, LA MART, Los Angeles, Chockablock, University Art Museum, Cal State University, Long Beach, Candor: In Honor of Mike Kelley, Long Beach City College, and Unit/Constellation, Dan Graham, Los Angeles. She Lives and works in Los Angeles.
Stephen Lapthisophon (b. 1956, Elkins, West Virginia) received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979. Recent solo exhibitions include Isolation, A Slender Gamut, New York, NY, The Construction of a National Identity, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL, and Las Palabras en la Sombra de Esta Fecha, El Escaparate, Barcelona, Spain. Recent group exhibitions include, Variations on Theme: Contemporary Art 1950’s-Present, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, The Café, SHOW Studio, London, UK, and Archival Impulse, Gallery 400, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL. He currently has a solo exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art, as part of their Concentrations series, entitled, Coffee, Seasonal Fruit, Root Vegetables and “Selected Poems”. He Lives and works in Dallas, Texas.
Lauralee Pope (b. 1980, Tulsa, Oklahoma) received a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2002 and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2013. Group exhibitions include, Keep in Touch, New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles, Ex. 11, Brazos Gallery, Dallas, Texas, Show and Tell, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, and The Sharon Show, Dan Graham, Los Angeles. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Konrad Smolenski (b. 1977, Kalisz, Poland) Exhibitions and performances include Was ist ist ..!!, Manifesta 9, Genk, Belgium, Intense Proximity, La Triennale Paris, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, The End of Radio, Manhattan Gallery, Lodz, Poland, and IT’S ON, Leto Gallery, Warsaw, Poland. Most recently, he represented his native Poland in the 55th Venice Biennale with the exhibition entitled, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More and has just completed a series of performances entitled, Tribute to Errors and Leftovers with the artist Radek Szlaga for PERFORMA 2014, New York, NY. He is based in Warsaw, Poland and Bern, Switzerland.
Sue Tompkins (b. 1971, Glasgow, Scotland) graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1994. Solo exhibitions and performances include, Expressions, The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Skype Won’t Do, Diana Stigter, Amsterdam, It’s Chiming in Normaltown, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, SEA DEEP, Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin and Elephants Galore, Scottish Pavilion, Venice Biennale. Group exhibitions include, Repertory, Palazzo Cavour, Turin, SOUNDWORKS, ICA, London, Sáo Paulo Biennale, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London, and Art Now Live Work, Tate Britain, London. She lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.
Opening Friday, October 4, 7-10pm
How I Tell It To Myself
Elephant is pleased to present the exhibition How I Tell It To Myself, an exhibition by Minneapolis based artist Caroline Kent. The exhibition brings together text and abstraction in painting to explore the construction of personal history. Utilizing film dialogues, scripted manuscripts, and abstract painting, Kent interrogates the performative aspects of language and how they become constituted and comprehended against highly subjective social and cultural landscapes. Caroline Kent lives and works in the Twin Cities, MN. She is a practicing artist with an interest in the orientation and navigation of reality as it relates to the social and the individual. Working in the mediums of drawing, painting, sculpture and video her practice is informed by film, travel, and abstract painting. She received her MFA from the University of Minnesota in 2008. She is a recipient of a Jerome Fellowship ('09) and a recent 2012-2013 Creative City Making grant recipient. She has show at the Soap Factory (Minneapolis), Juxtaposition Arts (Minneapolis), The California African American Museum (Los Angeles), Burnet Gallery (Minneapolis), and The Suburban (Chicago). She is co-founder of the Bindery Projects, an artist run space founded in 2012 in St. Paul, MN.
I've Got a Mind of My Own
Performance starts at 8pm
Part ventriloquist vaudeville, part Christian story-hour, part musical, and part purification ritual, I’ve Got a Mind of My Own is a performance that unravels the imprint of religious ideology upon individual subjectivity. Sprouting from a previous project involving the creation of a fictitious twin brother, the performance uses a doppelgänger ventriloquist puppet as a surrogate for the artist as he unearths the latent residue of growing up in a fundamentalist Christian family. Entertaining and disturbing in equal measure, A Mind of My Own is an expressive musical journey that is generated live by the artist looping and layering his voice in ways that are inspired by the language and worship of his religious upbringing. Moving beyond narcissism or shock, the performance opens up a vulnerable space in which the audience is allowed to witness a human creature struggling with understanding who he is in relationship to the larger forces that shaped him. Zach Kleyn is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work is an examination into the ways in which ideologies weave themselves into the tapestry of a human personality. His projects have been shown at the Torrance Art Museum, the New York Center for Art and Media Studies in New York, Cirrus Gallery in Los Angeles, Monte Vista Projects in Los Angeles, and Espace Curtat Tunnel in Lausanne, Switzerland. His writing has been published inThe Art Book Review and Notes on Looking, and his artwork has appeared in several literary journals, including LIT, VLAK, and SPECS. He received his MFA from CalArts in 2010.