DRUGSTORE BEETLEPosted: March 30, 2010
Organized by David Horvitz
April 3-8, 2010
Opening Reception April 3, 7-10 pm
RAID Projects and workspace are joining forces for one month to bring you a single entity: RAIDspace/workPROJECTS. In a series of four one-week exhibitions opening every Saturday in April, four independent curators were invited to organize shows that take place in both spaces at the same time, in an attempt to bridge spatial and temporal gaps present in the narrative of art viewing around Los Angeles.
602 Moulton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031
2601 Pasadena Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031
RAID will feature:
Mary Walling Blackburn
Daniel Gustav Cramer
Sarah Rara Anderson
Josh Kit Clayton
Michael G. Bauer
workspace will feature:
Kristina Lee Podesva
Drugstore Kiosk will exhibit two new organized projects by David Horvitz that will feature 35 international artists. RAID will debut DRUGSTORE BEETLE (Sitodrepa Paniceum). workspace will re-exhibit Kiosk, recently shown at Golden Parachutes in Berlin. Horvitz’s practice can be found somewhere in between (or beyond) the two positions of artist and curator. What he produces are frame-works in which other art-works can exist both independently and as a component within the system. These systems examine exchange, distribution, and reproduction – and can be seen as parallel to interfaces and frame-works of contemporary digital-culture.
The project at workspace, titled Kiosk, is an exhibition of 24 5″x7″ photographic prints by 8 artists. The prints were produced using the photo kiosk of a local drug store. These kiosks become places of reproduction and distribution for this exhibition. The word kiosk historically has meant an object that creates shadows. Later, through its association with vending, it would become associated with machines such as automatic parking ticket dispensers. Coincidentally, it then comes full circle when it is applied to the automatic photo printer as “photo kiosk” – the word re-unites with its original associations with shadows (photography, literally, a box of shadows). All 24 image files are freely available for download on workspace’s site, and via a burned CDR in the gallery-space. The show becomes a “traveling show” through dispersive reproduction. The Kiosk exhibition in Berlin will close almost the exact same moment it opens in Los Angeles, 6,000 miles away. A group of international artists were selected whose practices explore various ideas of travel. Lisa Tan’s photographs were all shot in foreign cities, while Kristina Lee Podesva’s focuses on the global nature of contemporary North American life. A trip to Japan is the source of Lucy Raven’s photographs. For Oraib Toukan a juxtaposition on political art tourism: a man photographing the Apartheid Wall in Palestine, within the frame of her own photograph. A supplementary reader will accompany the exhibition that will include texts chosen by the artists. Included will be John Berger, Joan Didion, Homi K. Bhabha, Werner Herzog, Italo Calvino, George Bataille, among others. This will also be available as a PDF download and via the burned CDRs.
In a reverse direction from Kiosk, instead of distributing into the open, DRUGSTORE BEETLE (Sitodrepa Paniceum), exhibited at RAID, aims to infiltrate into a closed circulatory system: the library. Using the process of the library donation, 30 exhibitions-in-a-box were donated by Horvitz to various art libraries around the world. From Los Angeles to New York to Tehran to Shanghai to Denver. Before these exhibitions were gifted, Horvitz purchased an ISBN and coordinated the meta-data for the exhibition to be uploaded into Worldcat, the database librarians use to input and receive a publication’s information. Since the information will exist in two digital databases, the hope is that this exhibition can slip with ease, like a sly fox, into collections around the world (the title refers to the most notorious of book-worms, burrowing into books and shelves). Though, there is certainly the risk of these being rejected, returned, or lost, giving it a similar fate to the open qualities of Kiosk. You never know what may happen to them. Each exhibition contains the work of 27 artists. All works are loose, and contained in a box like structure called a four-flap, an archival casing librarians use to contain loose prints so that they may be shelved with the books in the collection. What results, when accepted, is an exhibition ready to be checked-out. Or, for non-circulatory collections, an exhibition one may view, with white cloth gloves and a surrounding silence, inside of the library by appointment. RAID will be checking out the exhibition from USC’s Architecture and Fine Art Library. On display will be various types of prints, the archival four-flap container, and other documentation/ephemera that surrounds the project. Some works, such as the paintings by Marley Freeman, Paul Branca, and Graham Anderson, will be unique works (at each library is a similar but different painting). Avalon Kalin and Santos Vasquez’s photographs were made inside other libraries. Jon Pestoni’s kitty litter covered piece references Guy Debord and Asger Jorn’s book from 1959, Mémoires – a book bound in sandpaper that would eventually destroy every book it is shelved next to. Luke Fischbeck of Lucky Dragons presents small musical notation, which is different at each library and would combine to make his idealized complete piece when played all together. Similarly, Daniel Gustav Cramer has put in a different colored paper in each one, which when combined would form a complete rainbow.
A precedent to DRUGSTORE BEETLE (Sitodrepa Paniceum) is Marcel Duchamp’s boîtes-en-valise, miniature replicas of his work bound in a leather box, which he was making duplicates of. Yet, it is not just the similarity between the exhibition in a box – or the duplicates of identical exhibitions in boxes – but Duchamp’s own trickster qualities. When the Second World War broke out across Europe, Duchamp found himself dressed as cheese buyer from Paris, sneaking the boxes through Occupied France to Marseilles, and then to Lisboa, and then across the Atlantic to New York in 1942. As Duchamp’s boxes were disguised as cheese to cross international borders amidst a World War, these come as gifts amidst hard economic times (an economic period in which libraries are most grateful of donations because many face budget cuts). Yet, unlike the story of the Trojan Horse, this gift is not guised as a gift with the sole intention of infiltration. It is given as a true gift – as a sacrifice, and with nothing expected in return. In the case of Marley Freeman (as with everyone’s pieces): all of her paintings are given away, with the potential of them all disappearing as well. That is the sacrifice.
The time and thought and energy put into something, which in a simple gesture, is given all away.