Las Cienegas Projects, an artist-run curatorial project and gallery space in Los Angeles, opens three solo exhibits by artists Millie Wilson, a CalArts faculty member, Bari Ziperstein (Art MFA 04) and Vincent Johnson this weekend.
For Wilson’s Main Gallery exhibit, I am not here anymore but i am fine, her black and white photographs are presented as “20 small light box transparencies in a darkened gallery surrounding a large chrome cage sculpture.” The sculpture, which is filled with glass objects, references 17th and 18th century Wunderkammer or “cabinets of wonder.” These collections were precursors to the modern museum, chosen and arranged by the wealthy. Wilson’s exhibit, “presents one layer of possible relationships in the photographic archive, with formal and aesthetic choices at work, much in the way the Wunderkammer objects might have been constructed, in search of an underlying yet subjective order.”
Ziperstein’s Decorative Protection < Protecting Decoration takes over the gallery’s Project Space, and examines America’s love of excess and its desire to collect, and the houses that protect those collections. Here’s a description:
Influenced by a 1980s decorative metal gate advertisement urging Los Angeles residents to buy ‘non prison-looking bars’ for a key to their own security, Ziperstein’s mutated tableaux depicts a pair of skewed windows transposed with a photographic view of a lusciously overgrown domestic garden in L.A., decades of debris collected and scattered about including lamps, cars, shoes, rotting wood, and stage sets. This would-be future site of an archeologist’s dig on American culture is seen through a domestic curtain featuring hand-drawn security bars and offering sporadic views of the garden. Two altered slip cast ceramic figurines adorn the windows, equally protected with decorative armor hats shielding their faces. Engaging and fanciful, what initially appears as a celebration ultimately critiques the politics and economy of protecting one’s security and domestic space. Ziperstein asks us who, what, and why are we protecting ourselves from modern living if only to feed into a paranoid American culture?
In Cold War Photomontages, Vincent Johnson, an LA-based artist, presents large-scale photographic works in the Back Room of Las Cienegas Projects, focusing on several dramatic Cold War events. “Gathering hundreds of found images from online sources, Johnson selects, juxtaposes and shifts in scale those images which best index the particular moment, personage or event.” He references events such as the launch of Sputnik and the Soviet space program, the American home-based bomb shelter program, and the war in Vietnam.
The opening reception for these three exhibits takes place on Saturday (March 27) from 7-10 pm.
Millie Wilson | Bari Ziperstein | Vincent Johnson
Las Cienegas Projects
2045 S. La Cienega Blvd.
The exhibits run through April 24.