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The Assistants explores the transitive potential of art\, inclu ding how artworks can take on attendant guises and play assisting roles\, s erving as custodians of memory while also producing resistant gestures and deviant substitutions. The exhibition features new works developed specific ally for this context\, including several by artists who will be seen in Lo s Angeles for the first time\, as well as a number of postwar works of hist orical importance that help give contour to its field of inquiry. 
The latter include Adrian Piper' s video The Mythic Being\, 1975\, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles' main tenance art event\, Washing/Tracks/Maintenance: Inside\, July 22\, 1973 \, in which the role-playing of gender and labor is destabilized and t ypology is upended\, disrupting social narrative through acts of excess and attunement that unsettle empathic identification. Everyday acts become per formative moments of crisis\, fear\, and seduction. 

Throughout the show\, memory becomes corporeal \, a symptom in the continuity of events. Just as the bracing guardian-like figures and spectral painting of Cathy Wilkes' work further elaborates art istic practice as a form of heightened attentiveness and strange company\, Andrea Büttner's prints bear out a reverent yet roughhewn approach to catha rsis through an iconographic investigation of devotion\, entreaty\, and los s. 

Alongside such seemi ngly self-effacing gestures\, works by Uri Aran\, Matthew Brannon\, Dieter Roth\, and Laure Prouvost open up the transitive to a secondary register of residual composition and wayward narrative. Delving further into material transference and linguistic re-tracing\, an atmosphere of genre forms\, car icature\, and estranged typography is encountered wherein impoverished tabl eaux are populated with objects and words standing in for each other\, outm aneuvering references and familiarity. 

Existing between behavior and function\, titles and charact ers morph into comic hybrids that become surrogate. Equally anxious and ecs tatic\, works repeatedly slip into a gap of metaphysical doubt\, reaching o ut to trip the viewer further along the path of substitution\, as in Slavs and Tatars' Mystical Protest\, 2011\, whereby a welcoming gesture induces erasure and canny replacement. 

Modes of arrival act as way stations for sentiment here\, o ccupying a mode of transition and modification. A stand-in aesthetic of rev ision animates the restive\, shape-shifting minimalism of Nairy Baghramian' s sculptural scenography even as Rosalind Nashashibi's film Carlo's Vis ion\, 2011\, guides the viewer into an uneasy allegory of revelation a nd economic critique\, equal parts corruption and impatient epiphany. Repea tedly exploring how the message gives way to the role of the messenger\, The Assistants looks to art as a mode of direct translation and narr ated difference. 

Resign ed to respond and generate rather than fix meaning\, The Assistants are inalienable and moving within and among us\, writes Walter Benjamin\, "None has a firm place in the world\, or firm\, inalienable outlines... Th ere is not one that is not either rising or falling\, none that is not trad ing qualities with its enemy or neighbor\, none that has not completed its time and yet is unripe\, none that is not deeply exhausted and yet is only at the beginning of a long existence."¹ 

For it is in the act of setting out\, the act of seeking\, in taking on the direct translation\, the digging from here to an unknown elsewhere\, that transmission reveals its significance. The message is seco ndary to the role of messenger\, the task of art remains always unfinished.

—Fionn Meade


The Assistants is a ccompanied by a publication featuring artist contributions\, designed and d istributed by Mousse Publishing. 



¹ Walter Benjamin\, "Franz Kafka" in Walter Benja min: Selected Writings\, Volume 2: 1927-1934 (Harvard University Press \, 1999)\, p. 799

DTEND:20130223 DTSTAMP:20140820T081836 DTSTART:20130118 GEO:34.0544257;-118.3432562 LOCATION:David Kordansky Gallery\,5130 W. Edgewood Place \nLos Angeles\, CA 90019 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Assistants\, Uri Aran\, Nairy Baghramian\, Matthew Brannon\, An drea Büttner\, Rosalind Nashashibi\, Adrian Piper\, Laure Prouvost\, Dieter Roth & Björn Roth\, Slavs and Tatars\, Mierle Laderman Ukeles\, Cathy Wilk es UID:253506 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130118T210000 DTSTAMP:20140820T081836 DTSTART:20130118T180000 GEO:34.0544257;-118.3432562 LOCATION:David Kordansky Gallery\,5130 W. Edgewood Place \nLos Angeles\, CA 90019 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Assistants\, Uri Aran\, Nairy Baghramian\, Matthew Brannon\, An drea Büttner\, Rosalind Nashashibi\, Adrian Piper\, Laure Prouvost\, Dieter Roth & Björn Roth\, Slavs and Tatars\, Mierle Laderman Ukeles\, Cathy Wilk es UID:253507 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR