George Herms Opera Workshop" – Collaborative Art Installation with Farmlab

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George Herms Opera Workshop" – Collaborative Art Installation with Farmlab

Various Locations
269 235 Beverly Dr
Bevelry Hills, CA 90210
August 9th, 2007 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

west hollywood/b.h.
(213) 626-2854
Phantom Galleries LA and Farmlab
installation, assemblage, jazz, environmental, community, based, Opera


Opera Workshop" – Art Installation and Free Jazz Opera Workshop –


Open To Public: 8/18 and 8/25


Project Features Collaborative Interplay Between George Herms & Farmlab

 Takes place in ephemeral Beverly Hills "Phantom Gallery;" Reception 8/11/07




 "Opera Workshop" is the umbrella title of two blended, process-based

installations that set out to develop ideas and create a zone of play,

flexibility, and collaboration in the heart of a busy commerce

district. "Opera Workshop" consists of two projects:


*"Amaze," by Farmlab Team; and

*"The Artist's Life: A Free Jazz Opera" workshop by George Herms

 Additional art exhibits by Maura Bendett and Roland Reiss at 235

Beverly Dr and Dayton way window off Beverly and Dayton Way




Limited room capacity


Phantom Galleries LA; 269 N. Beverly Drive; Beverly Hills, CA 90210

 Dates & Hours: August 11-August 31, 2007; Thurs-Sat, 12-5pm, and by


*August 11 @7-10pm: Opening Reception

 *August 18 @ 7-9pm: Free Jazz Opera workshop performance by George

Herms & jazz musicians

 *August 25 @ 10pm: Free Jazz Opera performance by George Herms &

jazz musicians




 Farmlab is a collective dedicated to the preservation and perpetuity

of living things. More info @


George Herms is a Los Angeles-based artist.


 Phantom Galleries LA is a Los Angeles County-based organization that

transforms unoccupied storefronts and spaces into temporary art

galleries. More info @





 George Herms' Jazz Opera Workshop, set in the eye of the maze,

mingles with the rollicking larger construction and is best viewed

from a cocoon-like seating arrangement built within the maze's

framework. Public workshops of two of the acts of this five-act opera,

with accompaniment from leading jazz musicians, will take place on

August 18 & August 25.


The opera's structure will ultimately consist of –


 Act One, Scene One: A Sculptor's Studio; Act Two: Away; Act Three:

Oops: Act Four; Evil (The taking down of the Serapeum); and Act Five:

The Redemption Kiss.


 MORE ABOUT WORKSHOP ON AUGUST 18, 2007 @ 7-9PM (invitation only: open

to the public to be announced)


 On this evening, Herms and musicians will workshop, "Act Two: Away."

Jazz musicians joining Herms on 8/25 are: Roberto Miranda (bass),

Bobbie Bradford (cornet), Vinnie Golia (reeds), Clayton Cameron

(drums), Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (viola).


 MORE ABOUT WORKSHOP ON AUGUST 25, 2007 @ 10PM (invitation only: open

to the public to be announced)


 On this evening, Herms and musicians will workshop, "Act One, Scene

One: A Sculptor's Studio," a salute to john Coltrane. A spiral

staircase will be elevated, and a large spherical buoy played. Jazz

musicians joining Herms on 8/25 are: Theo Saunders (piano), Adar

Lawrence (tenor sax); Henry "The Skipper" Franklin (bass); Ramon Banda

(drums); David Dalston (trombone). Levitation of the spiral staircase

is courtesy of Bill Gray.




 Working inside the otherwise vacated "Phantom Gallery" space at 269

N. Beverly Drive, in Beverly Hills, Calif, members of the Farmlab team

have set about creating, "AMAZE." This experimental labyrinth is a

zone of play, flexibility, and collaboration located in the heart of a

renowned commerce district where passers-by are offered constant

opportunities to consume, but far fewer to build and make.


 Utilizing a palette of salvaged materials (steel rods, telephone

wire, kimonos, etc.), and inspired by the assemblage work and

recycling ethos of George Herms – himself a recent Farmlab

artist-in-residence – Farmlab team members have since mid-July been

working to transform the large, ground-floor lobby area of this former

bank building.


 AMAZE aims to explore the idea of collaborative endeavors as the

result of individual acts. Rather than decide every move together,

Herms and Farmlab build separately, in different sections of the

venue. The end result is a loose framework that likely – or not – will

fit together.


 Members of the public are invited to join in and add to the maze as

they see fit, either by bringing in their own materials or using items

already on-hand.






 Farmlab's short-term multi-disciplinary investigations of land use

issues related to sustainability, livability, and health are conducted

by members of the team behind the recent Not A Cornfield project in

Downtown Los Angeles. NAC project artist Lauren Bon is Farmlab's

founder and Creative Director.




 "Like a lean jazz quartet, Herms sets the mood as much with what is

there as with what is not. In an era where assemblage artists fixate

on the cute essentials of thrift store finds, Herms abstracts the

detritus of society into an improvisational solo encouraging the

things to become something else within his sculptures and collages." –

Mat Gleason, ArtScene, 2005



Maura Bendett at Roberts and Tilton

Art in America,  Dec, 2005  by Constance Mallinson

Maura Bendett's materially seductive sculptures subscribe to what

could be called a "post-nature" attitude of representing nature

through wholly cultural or artificial imagery. Synthetic and

reconstituted, this is nature consumed and commodified for a

contemporary life increasingly devoid of an authentic experience of

the natural world.

Unapologetically decorative and crafty, these seven pieces(all 2005)

suggest wall-hung, bejeweled baroque chandeliers. The curly black

starburst-shaped wire armatures are bedecked with cartoonish

appropriations from nature in a wide vocabulary of fanciful shapes and

surfaces--whimsical mod flowers rimmed in spirals and swirls, colorful

triangular thorns, floppy mushrooms, tiny chromatic clear resin pods

and seeds, shiny glass fruit baubles, pendulous beaded filaments

mimicking rain or dew dripping from branches. The initial effect is

that of Tim Burton gone Goth with a bead kit. Noctilucent White Drops,

the most dense and layered of these mini-landscapes, draws from a

repertoire of atomic age and '60s floral motifs as well as the sort of

underwater coral and ocean life one might find in a souvenir water

globe from Sea World. Luminous metallic enamels, luxurious velvety

textures and glistening wet polymers bathe every facet with an ersatz

luster. Fashionable, sensuous, exotic, this art pleasurably struts its

stuff and charms us with its wiles.


But another possibility lurks beneath these luscious, fanciful forms.

The sculptures, evoking heavily encrusted Victorian funereal objects

with their dark filigree, also serve as melancholic, nostalgic emblems

of the "death" of nature. Saving these artworks from promiscuously

substituting glitz to fill the void of that loss, however, are the

small glass eyeballs embedded in each sculpture. They impart the

uncomfortable effect of being observed--returning our gaze to our

natural bodies, where we might contemplate what we have surrendered so

readily to such exquisite artifice.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Brant Publications, Inc._COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group




 ROLAND REISS is a painter and sculptor from Southern California who

has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad. His work

has been seen at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Documenta in

Kassel, Germany. Exhibitions include museums in Brazil, Mexico, China,

Canada, Italy, Germany, Japan and Taiwan. He is the recipient of four

NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) grants and of more than forty

prizes and awards. His work is located in many public, corporate and

private collections.


 Since 1992, Reiss has concentrated exclusively on abstract painting.

He studied at the American Academy of Art and UCLA, and later taught

painting and drawing at UCLA and at the University of Colorado. He

later joined the faculty at Claremont Graduate College, where he was

Chair of the Art Department for 29 years and Benezet Professor of the

Humanities. He has served as Director of the Center for the Arts, and

is currently the Director of "Paintings Edge," an advanced program in

painting for Idyllwild Arts.


Oral History Interview







 Phantom Galleries LA is a Los Angeles County-based organization that

transforms unoccupied storefronts and spaces into temporary art

galleries. Exhibits are curated by local arts organizations, Los

Angeles-based galleries, independent curators, and Los Angeles-based

artists. The project gives artists an opportunity to exhibit their

work, while promoting the creative community to a broader audience and

keeping the area looking vital and culturally exciting. The spaces are

lit and on view 24 hours a day.


 Phantom Galleries offers a special thank you to the City of Beverly

Hills Economic Development Office for their continued support and

assistance in launching the Beverly Hills Phantom Galleries LA

program. "In Beverly Hills we believe that a vital economy needs an

active art and cultural core." – Alison Maxwell, Director of Economic

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