LA><ART, a nonprofit contemporary art space in Los Angeles, hosts a panel discussion on Sunday (April 10) on the book Mario Pfeifer: Reconsidering The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974.
Moderated by CalArts faculty member Andrew Freeman, the panel will also feature fellow artist and faculty member Allan Sekula, writer-critic Catherine Taft and film artist Mario Pfeifer, who was a Fulbright Fellow at CalArts in 2008-09.
In the original project, Baltz, a visual artist and photographer, focused his lens and work on changing landscapes of America, with Irvine as its microcosm. From the Museum of Contemporary Photography's description of Baltz's Irvine series:
The project’s 51 pictures depict structural details, walls at mid-distance, offices, and parking lots of industrial parks. Contrast and geometry are important in these pictures, but what marks them as uniform is Baltz’s attention to surface texture and lifeless subject matter. Often displayed in a grid format, it is important to Baltz that his pictures be seen collectively as a group or series. The series format suits his desire that no one image be taken as more true or significant than another, encouraging the viewer to consider not just the pictures but everything outside of the frame as well, emphasizing the monotony of the man-made environment.
The book, which serves as a critical reader on New Topographics and landscapes, focuses on Pfeifer’s 16mm film installation. Pfeifer, who revisited one of Baltz's Irvine sites for his own project, uses the first monograph of Baltz’s work as the installation's starting point.
This discussion on Sunday will focus on representation, reproduction and realism in the artists' works with "critical observations of labor depiction within socio-political and conceptual art practices [from] the 1970s until today."
Mario Pfeifer: Reconsidering The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974
Panel Discussion at LAXART
2640 S. La Cienega, Los Angeles
Sunday, April 10