Sunday, March 13, 2011

Countdown of Biennial Highlights...Nina Waisman

Nina Waisman, Between Bodies / Tijuana, 2008-2010;
First showing 2008; new site-specific iteration for OCMA (with new sound), 2010;
Site-specific mixed media, computer, software, electronics, audio equipment;
With Pure Data programming by Maruis Schebella, runs continuously, interaction times vary;
Dimensions variable; Photograph of guests within the installation courtesy of

"I spent 10 minutes walking back and forth, waving my hands and orchestrating, addicted."
—Dave Barton, OC Weekly

Biennial Artist: Nina Waisman
Nina Waisman is a new-media artist based in San Diego. Often situated in transitional public spaces, her site-specific, interactive installations explore the relationship between the body and physical space and place. Her installation Between Bodies/Tijuana, as Waisman explains, “uses technology to connect visitors’ gestures to everyday work and play sound-gestures, recorded throughout Tijuana, focusing on aspects of richly layered lives that are not being portrayed by mass media.” The piece has a similar sonic structure as a theremin—the position of the visitor’s body within the museum interacts and shifts the pitch, speed, and volume of the emanating city sounds of Tijuana, establishing a gestural and sonic dialog between the two locations.

Sounds from the streets of Tijuana include:
Border gates (pedestrian entrance into Tijuana)
Taxi drivers calling for fares on Revolución
Wind chimes for sale near Revolución
Filing devalued coins into pricier tourist mementos on Revolución
Bike-horn used to advertise sweet ices to passers-by on Revolución
Street musicians playing Fara-Fara for market-goers near Revolución
Making tortillas in a corner restaurant on the way to 5 Y 10
Die-cutting cardboard for packaging in Colonia Chilpancingo
Typing online reports of toxic manufacturing practices in Chilpancingo-based factories (these factories produce consumer items for the US market)
Pushcart salesman calling for ice cream sales in residential streets of Colonia Chilpancingo
Raking up street rubble to prevent it being thrown by cars at pedestrians in Los Laureles
Hammering repairs on improvisational housing in Los Laureles
Jump-roping girls on the street of Los Laureles
Boys and men digging a ditch along the street in Los Laureles
Children riding tricycles and bikes in circles outside their homes in Los Laureles
Norteño music played in a street market in ejido Maclovio Rojas
Car-mounted advertising playing through the streets of Maclovio Rojas
Telecommunicating via dial-up (volunteers in community-run government offices in Maclovio Rojas seeking basic services and constitutionally-granted title to community land, in the face of global corporations’ attempts to privately acquire this land)
Ice cream truck heard throughout the streets of Maclovio Rojas
Children working in the market in Maclovio Rojas
Bike bells advertising push-cart sales
Roosters raised for cockfights
Military helicopters
Police sirens

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Countdown of Biennial Highlights...Wu Tsang

Wu Tsang, Damelo Todo (Give Me Everything), 2010;
HD video, color, sound; 20:07 min.; Courtesy of the artist

"[Damelo Todo (Give Me Everything)] interweaves unexpected subjects in unforeseen ways." –Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times

Biennial Artist: Wu Tsang
Wu Tsang is a Los Angeles-based artist working in film, performance, social practice, and identity and gender politics. Tsang co-organized the party/performance night WILDNESS at MacArthur Park’s Silver Platter, a family-owned bar and refuge to the Latina transgender immigrant community. Damelo Todo (Give Me Everything) examines the intersection of the Silver Platter and WILDNESS, envisioning partying as community building, cultural exchange, and cultural production. By adopting the style of a documentary, Tsang hopes “to impact as many people as possible to see an important ‘ambiguity of being’ that is shared by transgender and immigrant communities.”

Friday, March 11, 2011

California Biennial Closing Celebration: Sun, March 13, 2011!

OCMAscots dancing with guests

Enjoy hands-on craft projects inspired
 by the works in the Biennial!

Meet Illustrator Robin Glasser from 12-2 pm

Sunday, March 13, 2011, 11 am–4 pm
Biennial Closing Day Celebration
Don't miss your last chance to see the 2010 California Biennial before it ends!
Enjoy free admission and Free Second Sundays programming including performances by the students of the Orange County Educational Arts Academy, story time with Fancy Nancy series illustrator, Robin Glasser, and projects inspired by our vibrant Biennial artists before they March on!

11 am
Program Begins

11 am–4 pm
Hands-on Projects
Museum Education Center
Orange Court Patio

11:30 am–12 pm
Interactive family tour through the 2010 California Biennial
Museum Galleries

12–12:30 pm
Story time with Fancy Nancy series illustrator, Robin Glasser
Museum Pavilion

12–2 pm
Book signing and activity with Fancy Nancy illustrator Robin Glasser
Museum Pavilion
Orange Court Patio

12:30–1 pm
Student performances presented by OCEAA
Museum Pavilion

1–1:30 pm Public Tour through the 2010 California Biennial
Museum Galleries

1:30–2 pm
Artist Talk with Biennial artist John Zurier
Museum Galleries

2:15–3 pm
Student performances presented by OCEAA
Museum Pavilion

2–3:30 pm
Open Engagement
Museum Galleries

3–3:30 pm
Interactive family tour through the 2010 California Biennial
Museum Galleries

4 pm
Program Concludes

Countdown of Biennial Highlights...Luke Butler

Luke Butler, Landing Party II, 2009; Acrylic on canvas;
26 x32 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Silverman Gallery, San Francisco

Biennial Artist: Luke Butler
Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times describes Luke Butler's approach to his Enterprise series "like a Pre-Raphaelite consecrating mythic national literature or Benjamin West painting The Death of of General Wolfe in 1770." Butler’s paintings from this series contemplate issues of masculinity and mortality. Using stills taken directly from episodes of Star Trek, Butler carefully and faithfully isolates and captures the sorrow, loss, confusion, and vulnerability of the characteristically heroic male figures in the popular television series.  Yet, while he is drawn to such heroic narratives, he is also skeptical of the notion of the hero’s invulnerability. For him, “the hero must always win, but he must fall first.  Isolating him there, in his cycle of agony, makes for a story that starts in his world and hopefully illuminates ours.”  At every instance of Captain Kirk’s struggle and pain, Butler observes a pantheon of pathos, of noble and virtuous suffering that is simultaneously shallow, absurd, and poignant.  Butler lives and works in San Francisco.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Countdown of Biennial Highlights...Zoe Crosher

Zoe Crosher, Like Miko Smiling for Christopher Williams, 2008;
From the Reconsidered Archive of Michelle duBois;
Black and white fiber print, edition 10 +2 AP;
19 3/4 x 23 3/4; Collection of Siri Kaur

Biennial Artist: Zoe Crosher
Using images and ephemera from the archive of mythical figure Michelle duBois, Zoe Crosher explores ongoing themes such as identity, travel, transience, and obsolescence through analog photography and its outmoded states of production, collection, compulsion, and collapse. She has extensively rephotographed, scanned, and reordered duBois’s slippery self–portraits into a recontextualized archive. Michelle duBois, to whom Crosher bears a slight physical resemblance, is one of five aliases kept by an aspiring flight attendant who turned tricks to sustain her travels across the Pacific Rim in the 1970s and 1980s. She took on many different costumed guises and kept fanatical documentation of her many dramatic transformations. Crosher has fixed in on duBois’s transient obsessions, culling from crates, boxes, and photo albums consisting of endless flirtatious smiles, tourist shots, cheesecake mementos, and suggestive poses in every film type and size. Activating the archive by making pictures of these pictures, Crosher’s work finds form in installation techniques as varied as the archive itself. Always suspecting the authenticity of the original, the work ideally thrives in the soft spaces between fantasy and fiction, documentation and theatricality, and individuation and anonymity.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Countdown of Biennial Highlights...Drew Heitzler

Drew Heitzler, There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand, 2010
Inkjet prints on watercolor paper Prints: 11 5/8 x 10 ¼ in. each;
overall dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist;
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles; and Renwick Gallery, New York

Biennial Artist: Drew Heitzler
Dubbed "simultaneously nostalgic and finger-flipping" by Dave Barton of OC Weekly, Drew Heitzler’s installation, There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand (2010), includes approximately 60 images of and related to Orange County. The images become intertwined through their relationship to the history of the region; taking inspiration from KB Homes, the television show Arrested Development, Disney's three little pigs, Mischa Barton, the California Wing Chun Association, Fashion Island, John Glenn, President Richard Nixon, the Wild Animal Park, the Huntington Beach surfer riot, and the Norton P-61 aircraft, to name just a few—exploring the notions of value, perception, and histories in Orange County.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Final Week of CA Biennial! Countdown of Biennial Highlights...Taravat Telepasand

Taravat Talepasand, The Censored Garden, 2008;
Egg tempera and gold leaf on linen; 44 x 30 in.;
Collection of Michael Frank Black, Scottsdale, Arizona
Image courtesy of the artist and Marx and Zavatterro, San Francisco
Biennial Artist: Taravat Talepasand
San Francisco-based artist Taravat Talepasand, of Iranian descent, explores the intersections between dual cultural traditions—American/Persian, insider/outsider, male/female. In Censored Garden (2008), she addresses the marriage between beauty and ugliness, desire and censorship, tradition and innovation. The painting, made of egg tempura paint and gold leaf, depicts a traditional Persian flower motif with pixilated imagery that reveals and conceals.