Tilt/Shift L.A.: Queer Perspectives on the Western Edge

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
Tilt/Shift L.A.: Queer Perspectives on the Western Edge
Curated by: Darin Klein

2685 S. La Cienega Blvd.
90034 Los Angeles
January 28th, 2012 - February 25th, 2012
Opening: January 28th, 2012 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

culver city/west la
Tue-Sat 11-6
photography, mixed-media, digital, installation, video-art, performance, conceptual, pop, figurative, modern, sculpture


Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce Tilt-Shift L.A.: New Queer Perspectives on the Western Edge, a Participating Exhibition in Pacific Standard Time.  Curated by Darin Klein & Friends and featuring 15 local Los Angeles contemporary queer artists, Tilt-Shift L.A. will be on view at the Gallery from January 28 through February 25, 2012. An artist's reception will be held on Saturday, January 28, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., and a  series of free programs will be presented at the gallery during the run of the exhibition, including an opening-night performance by Our Lady J; 'Zine Fest 2012! (February 12); and itch dance (February 18).

“Tilt-shift" refers to the use of camera movements typically employed in creating a simulated environment or miniature scene. The term in this context is well suited to Los Angeles-based queer artists who do not shy away from exploring and exploiting the visibility of a specific timeframe and geographic location, skewing and adjusting concepts of queerness to illuminate individual ideals.  In the introduction that accompanies this exhibition, Darin Klein writes:

As queer artists, we navigate a city that may have been built on illusion but is being held together by individualized histories. Our bodies and our intellects seek harmony with or rebel against the disparate confluences of our surroundings while gleaning information and inspiration. Our art proposes pragmatic solutions to, fantastic alternatives for, or straightforward documentation of the world as we experience it at the western edge of western civilization. …Because the ground we stand on is unstable—literally and metaphorically—the fortification of our psychological landscape is of utmost importance. There is no singular viewpoint on important issues that are certain to affect entire communities where nature and man threaten to wipe out the bedrock of our collective and varied efforts and hopes. Piece by piece we work to ensure that each of our voices is heard, confident that our contributions must strengthen the foundation of a future historical dialogue as it will pertain to queer artists living and working in Los Angeles right now.

Much of the art in Tilt-Shift LA has been created specifically for this exhibition, while key pieces from the past half-decade were sourced from the artists’ studios, and several recent works not shown previously will now be on view for the first time.  

A symbolic representation of celebration, play, and rituals that punctuate the passing of time, Brandon Andrew’s neon sculpture points to the precariousness of the human experience and references exuberant moments of the absurd.  Zackary Drucker and A. L. Steiner collaborate (Zackary Drucker = A. L. Steiner) to produce staged photographic tableaux wherein their bodies are positioned in opposition of traditional gendered representations.  The digital video animations of Deanna Erdmann collapse time by weaving together found and original footage in specific sequences. In her latest work, a tranquil river voyage shot on a trip to Southeast Asia unfolds as a mesmerizing Rorschach test.  Folklore, cultures of fluid or interchangeable gender, self-representation and psychedelia are threads connecting Matthew Greene’s earlier paintings to the new work on view here, featuring stark ghoulish figures set against dark fields.

Abel Baker Gutierrez's work is concerned with the overlapping systems that shape perceptions about the archetypal male. Inspired by rock music's aesthetic trends, Scout culture and Old Master paintings, Gutierrez mined his diverse archive of source material to create the two new paintings presented in this exhibition.  Painter, photographer and skateboarder Lia Halloran plumbs the depths of her subjects of interest to the fullest extent of research and personal submersion. Science, nature and sexuality are explored and represented as poetic manifestations in her latest suite of works in custom ink on Duralene.  Danny Jauregui’s paintings of long-shuttered Silverlake bathhouses propose new forms of “documenting” or “recording”—deeming traditional documentary film and photography insufficient at capturing loss, absence, marginalization and invisibility.  Matt Lipps describes his practice as being “in, with and alongside photography,” as he encounters found historical and popular images and appropriates them into three-dimensional compositions to be re-photographed and recontextualized.

Highlighting gaps in queer representation, intentional or unintentional homoerotic pop references, and the obvious but unspoken in mainstream media, prvtdncr & bodega vendetta will present a site-specific installation of mixed media works and personal objects from their homes and studios.  Christopher Russell and Halle Tate will present a unique hand-made collaborative artist book of short texts as well as a call-and-response photographic installation that plays on the traditional mentor/protégé relationship.  George Stoll renders everyday objects as deliberately handcrafted works of art.  Source materials such as fast food wrappers, toilet paper, sponges and Tupperware are carefully recast and imbued with his unique sense of humor.  Suzanne Wright’s sculptures and works on paper incorporate explicit queer concepts and rainbow hues while critiquing cultural standards with their placement of the female body in positions that question power and control.

About the curator:

With an ever-expanding network of friends, Darin Klein curates and organizes exhibitions and arts programming, simultaneously creating, collecting and promoting artists' publications and independent media.  Recent and upcoming curatorial and arts programming endeavors include the traveling film program Dirty Looks: Long Distance Love Affairs (with Bradford Nordeen); the traveling film program New Skin for the Old Ceremony (with Lorca Cohen); a series of exhibitions and related public programs at Amy Adler's Echo Park Studio, Los Angeles; and Hammer Projects: Christopher Russell at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

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