I took a break from packing to check out the Waist Down exhibit at the Prada Epicenter on Rodeo Drive, and I’m so glad I did. The show consists of 100 vintage and new skirts by Miuccia Prada, with the exhibition designed by Amo, in the Rem Koolhaas designed store.
Skirts become organic objects vacuum-sealed in bags and hung on translucent walls; skirts animated in twirled motion and short kicks; skirts camouflaged into the material they sprang from; skirts sunk into pod-like recesses in the floor; skirts as bean bags; as flowers; as sea anemone; as ghosts; as relics; as specimens.
Prada excels at the seamless marriage of art and commerce, without compromising the integrity of either. It’s hard not to be a fan of a company that mocks itself wittily in Marfa, Texas, while consistantly showcasing the very best designers and architects, not the least bit afraid of good design competing against the Prada collection. Last summer, I popped in the Prada store in NYC to see the 2×4 designed interior. A few weeks later, I saw the exact same work in an exhibition at SFMOMA. That’s Prada for you.
Waist Down is on view at the Prada Epicenter on Rodeo Drive through Aug. 27.
Robert Rauschenberg, Museum Installation View, 2006 [source]
Jesper Just, No Man is an Island, Still from DVD, 2004 [source]
Jesper Just, Bliss & Heaven, Still from DVD, 2004 [source]
Jesper Just’s video exhibition is another current must-see show at UCLA’s Armand Hammer Museum. It is currently showing next to the Elliot Hundley sculpture exhibit, creating a two fisted attack that will leave you on the floor. Just’s works are highly polished, yet maintain a poetic sensibility through singing [!] and tightly restrained choreography, that will float you. This is video art you won’t mind sitting through.
Elliot Hundley, Hyacinth, 2006 [source]
Elliot Hundley, Hyacinth detail, 2006 [source]
One of the best sculpture shows I’ve seen this year, Elliott Hundley’s delicate works at Hammer’s Vault Gallery are magical. This is a show not to miss–oh: and Hammer’s Societe Anonyme: Modernism in America is good too, but the destination is the Vault and Jesper Just’s inspiring video works next door, which we’ll write about tomorrow.
Jasper Johns, Three Flags, 1958 [source].
The thing about Jasper Johns’s flag images is that they are so conceptually acute that they swing right back around the curve and into the mainstream just as easy as American pie.
I can’t help but think that Johns would be pleased to find his Three Flags behind the counter at a Dennys.
The fact that it’s a collaboration between Tom Waits, Robert Wilson and William S. Burroughs is reason enough to see The Black Rider, playing at the Ahmanson Theatre through June 11.
The music is vintage, undeniably good, Waits; the writing is bizarre Burroughs at his best, and Robert Wilson, as regular readers might remember, is one of our favorite performance artists. My only slight hesitation in recommending this work is the datedness of the visuals and lighting. It’s a revival from 1990, and it shows. If you approach the work from a historical perspective, though, rather than as seeing it as cutting edge theater, you won’t be disappointed.
During intermission we overheard someone ask, “is this what you’d call avant-garde theater?”
No, madam, it is veritable convention these days. But don’t let that spoil it for you: just like you won’t go to the upcoming Rauchenberg retrospective to see the direction contemporary art is going (except in a potentially influential revival sort of way), don’t go to The Black Rider to see where theater is going, but to see the path that led us to where it is now.
Click here for videos and MP3s from The Black Rider.
Orlan: Omnipresence and After, Lecture at 7pm, free
UCLA Hammer Museum
Eric Wesley, Thirty Three Point Three Three Three, 2006 (source)
A show you’ll immediately hate yet gradually fall in love with, Eric Wesley’s new installation at The Museum of Contemporary Art’s Pacific Design Center has a nasty sense of humor, wit and poetry.
Wesley’s installation, Thirty Three Point Three Three Three, is a stage with various odd details: an easy-to-miss replica of a museum column, a unique interactive rotating floor section, an informal video of two people playing in the installation [perhaps instructions?], a Vespa motorcycle under a camouflaged net hidden in the garden behind the museum, an old Vespa manual on the museum wall and an open museum closet exposing a ladder to the roof of the museum. Audience members can walk on the stage and [presumably] climb the museum ladder.
These elements have a playful relationship to each other and the museum space: the humor is well disguised, yet forceful. I’m interested to see where Eric Wesley goes from here.
The Schindler House is among the many 20th century residential architectural treats in Los Angeles. Built in 1922, it showcases an early anticipation of the geometric lines that became more prominent mid-century. It is a sophisticated flash of edgy Bauhaus ideology and aesthetics, in the midst of cheerful California arts and crafts. The plan is forward-thinking as well: the home is designed to shelter two working couples, featuring distinct separations for privacy and shared communal spaces.
It’s interesting enough to visit simply for the architecture and landscaping, but the home is also the headquarters of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. With a residency program and an innovative exhibition schedule, the MAK Center is a go-to place for contemporary art, and the emphasis is on the complementary pairing of art with architecture.
Sandeep Mukherjee, Untitled, 2006
The Symmetry show, on view through May 21, is an example of the center’s exploration between curation and space. In a building as heavily flavored as the Schindler House, it’s a careful thing to put together a show that enables scholarly interplay between art and architecture.
While not all the work finds that harmonious balance, Sandeep Mukherjee’s luminous, Untitled, 2006, is the notable standout of the show. The dialogue between light and space; the sensitivity of this work to this house; the subtly of the curved edges which arch towards the window and back out on the other side. This piece is reason enough to make an effort to see the show before it closes on May 21.
More of Mukherjee’s work is viewable at State Gallery.
This is actually only half of the structure (see review below).