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Kristi Engle Gallery

Exhibition Detail
Slow Smile
5002 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042

January 28th, 2012 5:30 PM - 9:30 PM
© Courtesy of Kristi Engle Gallery
performance, video-art

Performance times: 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm  

“Slow Smile” is a 22-minute video and solo electric guitar live-performance. The music and images alter our everyday experiences of common things like trees and unmet people. This work was performed in August 2011 for Art Lab Aichi in Nagoya, Japan, and was conceived during the initial recovery from the trauma caused by the catastrophic tsunami. “Slow Smile” highlights the familiar cruelty of advanced world politics and spiritual ideology when the natural environment is upended.

A mash-up of characterizations of different ages is presented, beginning with an 18th century imperialistic western man. He is an almost comic version of a Victorian arbiter of sensibility and culture. He is posed with a presumably late 20th century artist who presents her work individually for his approval. It is unclear as to whether she is being commissioned or creates freely, but she clearly depends on his judgment. A kind of “painting court” is at work. Over and over, he pristinely regards then violently negates each work; until one painting is presented that sends him into orgiastic spasms. A “Goth” dancer periodically appears in same small church (based on an Anglican Church in Highland Park, CA) as the painting court, which becomes nearly transformed into a nightclub. The dancer and his moves presents a ghostly liaison between the ages and the characters. The live musical performance interprets the drama of all the images and sequences.

The video is presented in a round frame, as if we are looking at a kaleidoscope that mixes eras. Images appear upside down at first and slowly are returned upright. The aim in ”Slow Smile” is to acknowledge the beauty and absolute necessity of graceful reconstruction. For more information about this work, please visit

For more information on this release or to schedule an interview please contact 626.272.4853 or Kristi Engle or

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