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Los Angeles
Group Exhibition
Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024
March 8, 2009 - May 31, 2009

Charlie White - Nine Lives
by Sasha Bergstrom-Katz



Charlie White's video "American Minor" is a standout in the current exhibition at the Hammer, Nine Lives.  The show, curated by Ali Subotnick, shows a wide range of Los Angeles based artists, from young artists like Kaari Upson to established artists like Llyn Foulkes.  When I left the show, although so much of the work was fabulous, Charlie's video really stuck with me the most.

The film depicts a teenage girl in states of perpetual boredom.  The aesthetic of it is what is most appealing at first.  It's beautiful.  Neutral, pink and soft.  You can smell how clean it is.  Stylistically, it encapsulates a girl's preteen years.  The colors and softness of the light emit a sensitive and new found sexuality.  Furthering the mood,  girl's poses, as she openly reclines, claiming space with her body while purposely conveying boredom, portray the newness of preteen and teenage years.  I can't help but think of Lolita.  The ownership of sexuality, but the naiveté of just discovering it.

The boredom of teenage life is something I can feel and revisit.  That angst of having a fully formed mind and a forming body, but no sense about things.  There's a new found sense of self, but an underlying timidity. 

I was surprised by the sensitivity in the film, as it was made by a man.  It is certainly an outsider view, but his care in research and development is extremely evident.

-Sasha Bergstrom-Katz

(Images from top to bottom: American Minor still #3 35mm transferred to Blu-Ray, TRT 07:44; American Minor still #4 35mm transferred to Blu-Ray, TRT 07:44; American Minor still #2 35mm transferred to Blu-Ray, TRT 07:44; all images courtesy the artist)

Posted by Sasha Bergstrom-Katz on 4/24/09

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