HARRIET “HARRY” DODGE
In the early 1990s, Harry Dodge was one of the founders of a community-based gathering and performance space, The Bearded Lady, which galvanized and provided a touchpoint for a then-new DIY, poly-sexual queer scene in San Francisco. In association with this venue, Dodge curated several successful writing and performance series, which launched many writers and artists onto the national stage. During that time, Harry also wrote, directed, and performed several critically-acclaimed, evening-length monologues/performances (such as 1997's Muddy Little River, and 1998's From Where I'm Sitting). This work, which the Bay Area Reporter called "performance genius," received significant critical attention, including a cover feature in the SF Weekly.
In the latter part of 1990s, Harry co-wrote, wrote, directed, edited and starred in a narrative digital video feature, By Hook or By Crook, which premiered at the 2002 Sundance Festival, and went on to become a five-time Best Feature winner, securing theatrical release from Artistic License, national video/DVD distribution with Wolfe video, and circulation on the Sundance Channel.
Ambivalent about the formal concessions involved with film industry viability, Harry subsequently turned attention to an (ongoing) fine arts practice, earning an MFA from Bard College (2001), working primarily in video, sculpture and writing. Harry’s practice has since employed a range of elements deriving from a diverse background: performative video (behind and in front of the camera), narrative fundaments, conventional film grammar (punctuated by dysphoric sound and visual collage), found and made objects and footages, installation-based presentations, social experiments, live performance, costumes (with a special interest in hoods and masks), theatricality, and frequently, cartoon-based drawings.
From 2004 to 2009, Harry was part of a collaborative videomaking team represented by Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York. The collaboration's work was selected for inclusion in the Whitney Biennial 2008, and has been extensively featured and well-reviewed in many periodicals, including a feature in Frieze, a cover article in Artforum, a New York Times feature, as well as numerous positive mentions in reviews of the Whitney Biennial (The New Yorker, Artforum, TimeOut, Art in America). The collaboration's 2008 solo show at Elizabeth Dee was named (by Howard Halle) in TimeOut NY as one of the top 5 shows of the year. This work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Getty Institute, and the Hammer Museum. New York's Museum of Modern Art acquired the video piece, Can't Swallow It, Can't Spit It Out, for their permanent collection. Two of the collaboration's works were also included in "California Video" at the Getty; a still from the video piece "Whacker" was chosen as the cover for the show's catalogue. In 2008, Harry also co-founded a distinct collaboration, TESTHOLE, which has undertaken a series of community-based, interventions/partnerships experimenting with decomposition and fertility in Los Angeles. Video, audio and artifact documents regarding this project will figure into plans for its eventual exhibition.
Other recent activities have included a 2009 talk and video program (presented at Light Industry in Brooklyn) titled "Hooded and Headless: An Erratic Survey of Anonymity in Recent Video and Life," which explored the function and condition of anonymity and faciality in contemporary art, life. In 2009, Dodge also worked with Rachel Harrison during her show at the Hessel Museum in upstate New York, "Consider The Lobster and Other Essays." Here Dodge curated a room of works from the Hessel collection that explored various evolving states of nameability and figuration via groupings of 80 or so works of art; Art in America called the room an "example of visually stunning contrasts" whose "[u]northodox installation lends room for experimentation that allows for fluid visual connections and the type of conceptual leaps that make Harrison's postmodern sensibility possible."
Harry has taught video art, cultural studies, new genres, creative writing, and sculpture at a variety of institutions, including UCLA, UC San Diego, CalArts, and Bard College's MFA program.
From community organizing to feature film work to video art to sculptural practice, Dodge's most abiding intellectual and artistic interests have been in dimensionality, materiality, the unnameable, between-ness or "bardos" of various kinds, cyclicality, and post-binary possibilities. Harry’s current body of work continues to investigate these concerns, with a pointed focus on resilience, transformation, brutality, and the precariousness engendered by humans and human exploits.
Dodge’s next show of new work is scheduled to open in March 2012 at Wallspace in NYC.
MEET at 3pm, at the Balzac sculpture in Rodin garden, in front of LACMA along Wilshire, east of Chris Burden sculpture
Maria Nordman, a contemporary of Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Douglas Wheeler and Larry Bell, is known for her work using light and space as her primary materials. She has a film currently up at LACMA as part of PST, and will be giving us a guided tour/artist talk.
Maria Nordman Filmroom: Smoke, 1967–PresentShot on a beach in Malibu in 1967, this film features two professional actors, a man and a woman, who were asked to be present at the given location at a certain time. No script was provided to them but the artist gave them specific props: a cigarette lighter, a box of cigarettes, and a chair. “The Pacific ocean and the sun are also actors in the scene,” Nordman says. Two cameras—one static on a tripod, the other one following the movement of the actors—recorded the situation. The films are shown side by side with a wall in between that creates three defined spaces. The room to the left features the film shot with a hand held camera and the chair used as a prop in the film. The room to the right loops the film made with the fixed camera. There is a third room where the viewer is able to look at both screens, witnessing a situation that keeps unfolding in time and space.
Desire and transformation are recurrent themes in British artistMark Leckey's work. In his performances, sculptures, films, collages, and sound pieces, he investigates these ideas by mining his personal history and character--as a man who grew up in a working class family in the north of England in the eighties, a self-described ‘autodidact,’ a participant in contemporary culture, and an artist in London. In his work he celebrates the “tawdry but somehow romantic elegance of certain aspects of British culture” as well as the imagination of the individual, and our potential to inhabit, reclaim or animate an idea, a space, or an object. For his residency, Mark Leckey is continuing his research and explorations into green screen technology, 3D cinema, CGI, and other cinematic effects. He will be working towards new video and performance projects.
“Jennifer Pastor's sculpture inspires a giddy silence, the same gravid hush that occurs when we first catch sight of something truly strange. In nature and in life, such spectacles come ready-made: solar eclipses, concept cars, pedestrians struck by speeding cabs. In art, the strange and the new and our need for them have long been examined and formulaically deployed. But Pastor sidesteps the institutionalized strangeness of art for the strange institution of artifice: her work takes as its subject the realm of the reverently unreal, where nature's serendipity is frozen and a novelty is achieved that is fundamentally different from the usual artworld kind.�? From Jennifer Pastor- Woman Sculptor by David A. Greene (Art Forum; September, 1996).
Jennifer Pastor’s exhibitions include venues such as Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA; Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA.
Andrea Bowers has an MFA from CalArts and is represented by Suzanne Vielmetter Gallery where she will have a solo show this year. Andrea Bowers says her work "focuses primarily on direct action and non-violent civil disobedience enacted through the lives of women. I present the stories of activists to express my belief that dissent is essential to maintaining a democratic process, as well as to illustrate the importance of a political strategy that stands in opposition to violence and war. My work explores the intersections between art and archival processes, and between aesthetics and political protest." Her work takes the forms of video installation, drawing and bookmaking, yet also encompasses a wide variety of other materials and interventions.
Press Release from January 2011 show with Harris Lieberman, New York:
Morris’s “perverse formalism” mixes direct paint handling and strikingly bold forms. Since leaving school in 1994 for an art world largely indifferent to abstract painting, Morris has mined an intensively personal, uncanny visual language. The conversation has shifted, in the interim, to focus on resurgent modes of abstract painting, and with it comes greater understanding of Morris’s paintings, which confidently toe the art-historical and the everyday, the “old school/new school,” of abstraction. In her personal manifesto “For Abstractionists and Friends of the Non-Objective” Morris gives ideological heft to the hard-won and unconventionally beautiful visual language that makes her such a singular painter in the field. Over a series of large, predominantly square canvases on view in the gallery, Morris runs the gamut of painterly techniques, interlocking jig-jag fields of diluted oils, in one work, with a Constructivist-byway-of-Memphis bravado; and in other paintings, dialing down the painterly excess to let her grids and swarms jitter about on spare grounds. Morris customarily makes her paintings on the floor of her studio atop a canvas working tarp – a method that contributes to the grit and tactility of her surfaces. One such tarp has been repurposed for this show as a backhanded painting, and its accumulated marks and splotches have been stained and set in relief by a thick field of silver spray paint. Though the silver divides the tarp into triangles and polygons, under the aegis of geometric abstraction, the effect is far stranger than expected. Stumbling out of their ideological frame, Morris’s canvases uncover new and fertile routes for abstract painting.
Rebecca Morris was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She received her BA from Smith College and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Morris was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and has also received awards from the Tiffany Foundation, The Durfee Foundation, Art Matters, and the Illinois Arts Council. She has had solo exhibitions at The Renaissance Society, Chicago and The Santa Monica Museum of Art. Group exhibitions include The Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland; The Hessel Art Museum, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; and Participant Inc., New York.