In February of this year, the building in downtown Los Angeles where Rimas Simaitis and Tim Brown had their studios was raided by the LAPD. A massive marijuana growing operation that occupied nearly half of the three-story warehouse came under suspicion due to the large quantity of power it had been consuming. One neighbor claimed that the power lines supplying the building would glow blue at night, that is, until the city removed these power lines a few days after the police raid. Everyone vacated and the building became a ghost town.
The original premise for Dark Star had something to do with low-budget science fiction films and the idea of making portable and elemental bodies of work. This was compounded by the shock of being displaced from their studios, and the transitionary “Hey brah, can I borrow your studio?” phase that followed. The result is an exhibit that explores space, time, and contrasting approaches to objecthood & materiality. Tim combines the degradation of the urban landscape and the everyday working aesthetic to create banal objects pointed in other earthly directions. Rimas dilutes romanticized components of escapism in an effort to bring them to an elemental and mystical realm. The approaches come together somewhere in John Carpenter’s 1974 student film Dark Star, a low-budget parody of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey where the ship’s crew is bored with their mission and spends ample amounts of time remembering the days they spent in California.
“You know, I guess I miss the waves and my board more than anything.” – -Talby, Dark Star
Rimas Simaitis was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene, ID, and shares dual citizenship with the U.S. and Lithuania. He holds a BA in Music and a BA in Management from Seattle University, and he recently earned an MFA in Spatial Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has received public funding from the NEA and the Idaho State Commission on the Arts, was selected for an MFA residency at Ox-Bow in 2011, and was awarded a Regent’s Fellowship to attend UCSB. His work was featured at Art Platform – Los Angeles for the opening weekend of Pacific Standard Time in 2011, at UCLA’s 2012 New Wight Biennial, and most recently at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum. Rimas is based in Los Angeles, and is currently preparing for a residency on Indy Island at the Indianapolis Museum of Art this coming summer.
Tim Brown is a native Oklahoman transplanted to the West to earn his MFA at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has shown at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston, the Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum, and Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles. In 2006 he co-founded Okay Mountain Gallery in Austin, Texas, and continues to show with the Okay Mountain Collective all over the country, most recently at Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City, California. He currently resides in Los Angeles.