Gray Wash

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Gray Wash

2006 E 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
June 9th, 2011 - June 16th, 2011
Opening: June 9th, 2011 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

downtown/east la
By appointment and Sundays during exhibitions. Please see event info and website for hours and updates.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
design, media art mixed-media, digital, installation, video-art, performance, conceptual, modern, sculpture


Control Room
2006 E 7th St 
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(A few blocks East of S. Alameda St., Downtown LA)

Gray Wash: design art // a group show
Opening Reception Thursday, June 9, 7-10pm
June 9 - June 16

Kevin Cheng
Aaron Dadacay
Ashi Diamon
Rafael Esparza
Dawn Faelnar
Ralph Guerrero
Lucas Kazansky
Omar Lopez
Kristine Manalo
Julie Ok
Chris Phillips
Anna Reutinger
Trenton Szewczyk
Cliff Simmons
Vladlina Syrkin
Samantha Vaughan

gallery hours Sunday, noon-6pm or by appointment
contact or for further information or to schedule an appointment.

Control Room, Los Angeles

Gray Wash: design art
June 9-16, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 9, pm

Gray Wash: design art is an exhibition featuring 16 artists whose practices up until now have been focused largely in either design|media art or fine art. For this exhibition, the artists and designers work in four distinct collaborative groups that have emerged from a student-led workshop at UCLA. This exploratory class was designed to consider the varying methods and approaches attendant to each field, and to specifically investigate the moments of commonality that may or may not be offered by various kinds of institutional delineations. As a culmination of this inquiry, each group will present not only an artwork, but something that underlines the result of differing modes of collaborative art making. Less a concise statement than a broad investigation, this exhibition presents works that double as readable records of various collaborative approaches, which among other things momentarily highlight, obliterate, generate and/or combine the group of distinct individual practices into one form. 

Aaron Dadacay • Dawn Faelnar • Omar Lopez • Kristine Manalo • Samantha Vaughan
The multi-media installation Timekiller appears to be a familiar living environment complete with a comfy chair, television, telephone, ipod and computer, but actually functions as a stage that presents an assemblage of five individual interpretations of media. One voice looks to critique the bombardment of images, while another looks to celebrate the abundance of an archive. One artist’s hand points to the importance of gestural intervention while another perspective considers art’s ability to self-reflectively look at its role in staging this investigation in the first place. Another separate voice looks at the punctuated moments of desire embedded within this kind of critique. This compilation of both newer and older modes of electronic display and media underlines a dichotomy of traditional and modern modes of communication, reflecting the varying backgrounds of the artists from both art and design fields, further drawing attention to the position of the individual rather than presenting any single cohesive view.

Kevin Cheng • Ralph Guerrero • Cliff Simmons
Inborn Nature is an interactive performance in which the physical appearances of individual audience members are appropriated and layered onto anti-anthropomorphic forms in real time. Utilizing technology and performance, Inborn Nature questions assumptions of interpersonal dynamics that we often take for granted: To what degree can we actually derive meaning from one’s appearance or affect? In what other ways might we acknowledge a stranger’s subjective articulation? Inborn Nature directs us toward the fallacy of the majority, proposing an obliteration of the norm in service of the anomaly.

Ashi Diamon • Julie Ok • Chris Phillips • Vladlina Syrkin
The installation Body of Text presents the artists’ shared impulse to re-appropriate the book form, in this iteration freeing it from its inherent structures as a bound, physically limited object. In place of the front and back covers that normally bind the contents of a book, the artists have inserted a mirror and wall projection into the gallery, filling the space in between with pillows made from actual book pages to create a tactile and intimate space. The viewer is invited to sit in this space and is able to see themselves reflected in the surrogate book cover. On a separate monitor, a short 4-channel video serves as a prologue and displays each collaborator’s hands as they approach and modify four individually selected texts in the spirit of détournement.

Rafael Esparza • Lucas Kazansky • Anna Reutinger • Trenton Szewczyk
At noon on May 27, 2011, at the intersection of Westwood and Le Conte near UCLA in Los Angeles, the group calling themselves SCWUL9527_ (Social Constructivist Workers Union Local 9527_) staged a performance/event. The four artists were stationed at each of the four corners of the intersection dressed in worker’s coveralls, each partially dyed either pink, green, orange, or blue, with each artist carrying a bucket filled with chalk matching the color of their coveralls. The artists/workers spread chalk dust on their respective corner, in hopes that passersby would leave their mark as footprints in the intersection, tracing their walking path. The intended result didn’t go as planned. In their own words, “While the material did not behave as we anticipated, the intervention of our bodies was a 100% success.” Instead the project became about the interactions between the artists and the passersby. Included in the exhibition will be documentation and remnants of this event, as well as new patches of chalk to potentially trace the steps of exhibition attendees, acknowledging the possibility of a new interaction. The performers’ uniforms hang in the gallery space, perhaps pointing to the structural uniformity of this particular groups approach, where the individual interests in the group – fashion design, art history, performance and intervention among others – have been folded into one unit as an evenly distributed outgrowth of the interests of each member. 

Out of an effort to investigate what defines a practice, and how it influences, and is influenced by, group interactions, there emerged four distinct representations. Some of the projects in this exhibition maintain interpersonal boundaries, some distort the notion of the individual, some are overtly thematic, while others are more systematic and combinatory; and there is plenty of overlap between them. Each group’s approach can be seen as the result of an attempt to problem solve. Given the unique nature of this workshop that asks heretofore unlikely collaborators to work quite closely with one another, the projects create a space to acknowledge the interests and concerns of an unfamiliar group, necessitating a strange level of intimacy that extends to the viewer. Investigating methods of collaboration and group dynamics along with the influences of institutional divisions that define individual practices, Gray Wash: design art considers the relevancy and generative potential of an interdisciplinary practice. By looking at the discrete or localized history within one institution, these 16 artists have been led – and in turn led us, as viewers – to consider the broader implications of various types of delineations. 

Very special thanks to William Kaminski and Evelena Ruether for hosting and facilitating this exhibition.

Exhibition and class overseen by Professor James Welling (Art) and Professor Erkki Huhtamo (Design Media Arts), and instructed by Alexis Hudgins (MFA, Art 2011), Ivan Iannoli (MFA, Art 2011), Rhazes Spell (MFA, Design Media Art 2012), and Tiffany Trenda (MFA, Design Media Art 2011).

Please contact or for further information or to schedule an appointment.

Control Room - 2006 E 7th Street - Los Angeles, CA 90021 -
Gallery hours Sunday, 12-6pm or by appointment. Please email for a viewing.