Armory DigitalForum presents
Recent videos by 5 emerging artists
In the Courtyard at One Colorado, Pasadena, California
Opening Friday, March 9, 6 – 11 p.m.
Pasadena, CA - The Armory Center for the Arts and One Colorado present Strange Relations, the third installment of Armory DigitalForum, an ongoing program of art videos screened outdoors in the open spaces at One Colorado. Strange Relations includes six recent videos by five emerging artists and will be shown nightly beginning March 9, from 6-11 p.m., opening with a reception coinciding with Pasadena ArtNight. The One Colorado Courtyard is located between Colorado Boulevard, Union Street, Fair Oaks Avenue, and DeLacey Street.
Strange Relations consists of contemporary videos that evoke the challenges, complexities, and humor that often define human relationships. Featuring work by Brian Bress, Silvia Gruner, Cynthia Hooper, May Jong, and Laura Riboli.
In Portrait Room (2006), Brian Bress creates a surreal scenario in which a black and white portrait of the artist provides the backdrop for and becomes witness to two dueling actors wearing full-length boxes, each painted with half of the same portrait. They engage in an absurdist duel using black and white striped wooden "swords" as they yell out both polite salutations and combative remarks to each other in French.
In Silvia Gruner’s Lazy Susan (2000), two glasses of water on a spinning lazy susan appear to move/dance closer and further away from each other. While they spin, we hear Burt Bacharach’s hit song “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.”
Employing decidedly low-tech means of animation, Laura Riboli’s videos Absorber III (2005) and Meddlers (2005) capture her geometric sculptures humorously interacting with each other, challenging the possibility of perfect geometry in a complicated world.
Cynthia Hooper’s continuing fascination with the growing neighborhoods of Tijuana, Mexico, and the region’s mostly handmade domestic infrastructure resulted in her video Lazarao Cardenas Electrizada (2006). The video takes the viewer on narrowly focused journey from the governmentally sanctioned electrical power source to the farthest reaches of improvised and precariously home-made power lines and poles.
In May Jong’s video The Birds (2005), the artist has arranged breadcrumbs spelling out her name “MAY” on the blacktop of a parking lot. The video calls to mind everything from the 1960s Hitchcock film to the catchphrase “for the birds,” to the position of the artist as subjected to the unrelenting art world machine. Not more than a few seconds pass when seagulls and pigeons alight and struggle to maintain their places at the feast.
Brian Bress is a Los Angeles based artist. He received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 1998 and his MFA from University of California, Los Angeles in 2006. His collages, photographs and videos have been shown in screenings and exhibitions in the US and Europe. Bress is a recent Witt Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design. In January Bress had his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles at Angstrom Gallery. Currently Bress is working on an artist book to come out in 2007, published by 2nd Cannons Publications.
Silvia Gruner lives and works in Mexico City. She received her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited at Bienal de la Habana (Cuba), The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), The Kitchen (New York), Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil (Mexico City), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is represented by Iturralde Gallery (Los Angeles).
Laura Riboli lives and works in Los Angeles. In 2005 she received her MFA from USC's MFA program. Her work has been included in group shows in Los Angeles including exhibitions at Art2102, compact/space and LACMA. Riboli recently had a solo show of her work at Wallspace Gallery in New York.
Cynthia Hooper was raised in Los Angeles and now works and teaches in northern California. For the last two years, her work has explored the built terrain of the fluidly and precariously expanding working-class communities of Tijuana, Mexico. Hooper is fascinated by the formal beauty and conceptual complexities generated by degraded and environmentally problematic landscapes. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and in Mexico. She has contributed to several interdisciplinary projects including collaborations with SIMPARC and the Center for Land Use Interpretation.
May Jong uses materials and strategies of the everyday (paper măché, spray paint, seagulls and pigeons, the internet, calendars, etc.) that have a direct relationship to a viewer's life experiences. Humor is another element she employs to offset the expectations of serious subject matter. Jong is a Los Angeles-based artist and recently earned her MFA from Claremont Graduate University. She has recently shown works at NURTUREart Gallery in New York and Outpost for Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. She is also Co-Founder and Co-Director of an artist-run space, Me & You Variety Candy Los Angeles.
Armory Center for the Arts
The Armory Center for the Arts’ mission is to offer innovative approaches to creating, exploring, and presenting the visual arts. In addition to providing an outlet for contemporary art exhibitions and performances, the Armory offers studio art classes and a variety of educational outreach programs to schools and in the community. The Armory has been a leader in the field of art education since 1947 when it began as the education department of the Pasadena Art Museum. When the museum closed in 1974, the education program became the Pasadena Art Workshops, today known as the Armory Center for the Arts. For more information about the Armory visit www.armoryarts.org .
One Colorado is an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment district spanning one city block in Old Pasadena, between Colorado Boulevard, Union, Delacey and Fair Oaks. This award-winning destination unites the urban environment of 17 historic buildings with 40 contemporary fashion and dining attractions. The One Colorado Courtyard, designed in the tradition of European town squares, is Old Pasadena’s main public space for film festivals, live music, high-quality fine art markets, children’s programs and site-specific art installations curated by the Armory Center for the Arts.
Armory DigitalForum is made possible by the generosity of One Colorado. Additional support has been provided by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Annenberg Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, the Estate of Victoria Solaini Baker, Armory Board Members, and individual donors.