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Los Angeles
Fiona Connor
Various Small Fires
812 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90038
January 7, 2012 - February 12, 2012

Wall Works
by Andrew Berardini

Yes, the walls were moving. Not the four holding up the ceiling, but some other walls in the room, fugitive, unstuck, wandering the space freely.

You’re not supposed to touch art (at least in the white cube-ish rules), but they’re walls so maybe you turn your back to it, and then maybe, as happens after so long standing, you maybe start to lean. So maybe you just lean ever so slightly against the wall and the thing shudders, wheels, you catch yourself from continuing the lean-cum-graceless collapse to the floor.

These fugitive walls made it so awkward to be at the opening. Openings are already awkward of course, but somehow this awkward combines with that awkward and together they become really funny and good. All the elegant ladies try to maneuver past the jaunting art/walls in high heels without touching them, long-stemmed glasses of white wine clutched in their ringed fingers, arms spangled with tasteful jewelry. People stand unusually close together to talk, the whole affair uncomfortably and titillatingly intimate.

The walls are fakes, as much as anything is a fake that is real. Somebody told me, they were replicas from the neighborhood, outdoor walls with brick matrices and woody-seeming shingles. A kind of landscape compendium, a showroom for textures, an assembly of real fakes, perhaps they are the “murals” of the title.

Moving through the shifting labyrinth into a back area/room (is a room defined by its walls even if the walls are regularly shifting), where a coterie of women manned a commercial photo-copy machine, making sundry copies of this and that, expressions of identity or passage, driver’s licenses and things jangling in pockets, my daughter Stella stuck her hand in it as Fiona Connor, the artist responsible for all this appeared and explained to us that this machine was making the catalogue. That it reflected the passage of events and people, that the number of pages of each copy would depend on how many copies there were.

Fiona took the copy of Stella’s hand onto the scanning bed and then Stella placed her hand next to the hand and Fiona punched in a hundred copies. I stuck my face to the glass sans glasses whilst Fiona punched in eighty copies. When the first one spit out, it made my mug both ugly and beautiful, like a woodprint of my face, each hair and blemish came out in crystalline relief, my skin a map of scars, polka-dotted with pores and stubble, but its clarity so real, so human, mischievous. A decent facsimile. Fiona said she was happy to have it in her catalogue.

Stella and I each took our contributor’s copy (a single sheet of each of our contributions), chased each other around the replica walls, and headed out into the sunset. She wanted to frame the images and so we did.

Andrew Berardini

Posted by Andrew Berardini on 1/10/12

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