LAXART Galleries One and Two
LAXART is pleased to present Safe/Vanish, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Glenn Kaino, and one of the most ambitious projects of the organizationʼs anniversary year. Safe/Vanish includes a major sculptural installation, a series of new objects and performances, and a video, as well as a publication produced specifically for the exhibition.
In Safe/Vanish, Kaino will create a site-specific installation featuring a safe filled with recorded secrets collected from a range of art world and celebrity personalities, among them actresses Pamela Anderson, Jodie Foster, Lisa Ling, fashion and art photographer David LaChapelle and A&M Records founder Jerry Moss, to name a few. By amassing these secrets, which range from the personal to the professional, and from the benign to the criminal, Kaino explores his interest in the archiving of conceptual power and the inherent power in brokering secrets.
Over the past year, Kaino has embarked upon the study of magic and has virtually transformed his studio into a magic shop. The exhibition at LAXART will act as an extension of his studio, providing the viewer with a behind-the- scenes view of the artistʼs experiments and the magic conceptual and performance pieces being developed. The exhibition will also include a stage for a rotating series of performances by the artist as well as various local magicians. The stage itself will present a unique design of magical ambiance, modeled after the legendary Magic Castle. While technology has broken down the wall of secrecy behind many of the techniques and methods of magic, it has also served to expose the art to a much ider audience, creating a crisis of belief that is a mirror of the postmodern crisis of meaning. In juxtaposing performance space and studio space, Kaino brings the conflicts between method and effect, preparation and performance, and object and ephemeral into full view for public assessment and reinvention. The artistʼs preoccupation with magic also extends to his interest in the dialogue between art and entertainment.
Using the history of the renegotiation between magicians and their audiences that took place in the late 19th century as a departure point, Kaino has created a wide array of both performance and conceptual deceptions aimed at exposing, interrogating and reformulating the value of art in a theoretical environment outside of the singular commodity of the object. Safe/Vanish marks an ongoing investigation into the restructuring of the social contract between art and audience. To Kaino, this exhibition marks the end of a journey that can be characterized as, "an artist learning how to believe again through magic while questioning value through the brokering and archiving of secrets."
About the Artist
Glenn Kaino received his MFA from the University of California, San Diego and his BFA from the University of California, Irvine. His work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, amongst others. In 2004, Kaino was included in the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York. In 2009, he was included in Performa, the internationally renowned Biennial of Performance in New York, NY.