Seven Los Angeles-based artists explore the idea of a queer landscape in this group exhibition organized by artist and curator Nicholas Grider. Artists Kaucyila Brooke, Michael Buitrón, Eric Lindley, Joanne Mitchell, Lee Perillo, Matthew Siegle and Grider himself use a variety of media, ranging from text to performance to photography and video, to sketch out what a queer landscape might look like or how the landscape might be viewed as or rendered queer.
Sometimes the landscape is the body itself, as in the case of Buitrón's flatbed scans of his own body or Siegle's crocheted blanket, a reconstruction of a childhood keepsake, some are more literal, as with Kaucyila Brooke's continuing project The Boy Mechanic in which she visits a large city and photographs all of its former or extant lesbian bars and interviews their patrons or Eric Lindley's photoshopped scenes of intimacy in which he plays the role of both partners. Other work is more conceptual, as with Joanne Mitchell's installation and performance that explores historical revisions to Our Bodies, Our Selves or Grider's project of wrapping the text of softcore gay bondage porn around mass-market paperbacks and Perillo's dirt-covered photograph pinned to the floor with a plank. What all of the disparate work shares is a close examination or new presentation of common things (the body, a text, a neighborhood bar) in the light that these things exist as in some way specifically queer—which is to say that they exist at an odd angle to "normal" heterosexual relations or interrupt those relations in some way.
On Saturday, April 10th from 10am to 10pm, Joanne Mitchell will also present a performance piece entitled Dear Lesbian. The structure of the piece is concerned with the "In Amerika, They Call Us Dykes" chapter in Our Bodies, Our Selves authored by Boston collective Lesbian Liberation and the responses in writing to the collective concerning the chapter. Mitchell will read from the letters sent to Lesbian Liberation throughout the day and invites visitors to join her in reading from the letters, whether as couples of two or three or alone. Anyone visiting the gallery is invited to participate regardless of sexual orientation or gender. The importance of couples or groups reading is that Mitchell wants to foreground different voices reading the same text aloud together, in unison.
Kaucyila Brooke is an artist based in Los Angeles and Vienna. Her solo exhibitions include Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna, Austria; Andersen-s Contemporary, Copenhagen, Denmark (2006), NAK, Aachen, Germany; Kunstvereiin Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, Germany (2005) platform, Berlin(2004), Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles (2001, 2005, 2007); Art Resources Transfer, New York (2001, 1999); and the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, Los Angeles (1997). Her ongoing project Tit for Twat was shown at the Munich Kunstverein (2007) Art Resources Transfer, New York; Shedhalle, Zurich, Switzerland (2001) and at Next Sex: Ars Electronica 2000 as the featured installation at the O.K. Centrum, Linz, Austria. Selections from the photographic series "Kathy Acker's Clothes" (1998-2004) were included in the Berlin Biennale 3 (2004) and have also been seen in a solo exhibition at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Germany (2005). She co-produced the videotape Dry Kisses Only (1990) which has been screened internationally. From 1998 to 2002 she was the co-editor of the web magazine Site Street. She is the former Director of the Program in Photography and Media at CalArts in Los Angeles where she has been a regular member of the faculty since 1992. Kaucyila Brooke is represented by Andersen's Contemporary Art, Copenhagen (http://www.andersen-s.dk); Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna (http://www.galerieandreashuber.at/) and the Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles (http://www.dawsonbooks.com/index.php).
Michael Buitrón was born in Los Angeles where he attended the Clarence W. Pierce School of Agriculture before he was accepted at California Institute of the Arts. After graduation, Buitrón spent fifteen years working in research psychology at Cal State Long Beach’s Center for Behavioral Research and Services, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. During this time, Michael’s work incorporated various components from psychological testing instruments. Buitrón is also a regular contributor to ArtScene Monthly. Since graduating from CalArts with his MFA, Buitrón's work has been exhibited in queer shows at Second City Gallery in Long Beach, CA; the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, CA; and the Conrad Wilde Gallery in Tuscon, AZ.
Nicholas Grider is an artist, writer and musician currently living in Milwaukee. His most recent long-term work has been a four-year documentary project on the US Military's large "fake Iraq" Mideast simulations, where he has roleplayed an embedded journalist. He plans to embed with a Marines unit in southern Afghanistan later this year. Grider's work has been shown in Los Angeles and New York and forthcoming projects include a full-length album, a series of artist's books, and solo shows at Angels Gate Cultural Center in Los Angeles and Anthony Greaney in Boston.
Eric Lindley works in New York and Los Angeles on music, text and gallery pieces, which have been shown or performed internationally, including at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Telic Arts Exchange, the Knitting Factory and REDCAT. Recent and forthcoming projects include a participatory event utilizing biofeedback to structure musical sounds for a group of participants, developed in part through a residency at STEIM (Amsterdam, NE), a full-length album of songs, and a poetic novella.
Joanne Mitchell is an artist who uses charting, performance, video and photography to engage with the strategies, histories, and trajectories of feminism and radical lesbianism. Recent works seek to map out when and how these movements impact, interrupt, or get recuperated by the culture industry. Mitchell works primarily with linguistic representations and constructions because it is through language that she was first introduced to feminism and to the notion of resistance almost 40 years ago. [She was fortunate to have a 6th grade teacher who insisted on being called “Ms. Hardy” and proudly and defiantly announced this at the beginning of the school year.] A recent MFA graduate of the Photo/Media program at California Institute of the Arts, Mitchell also holds degrees in management, economics and politics from Yale University and Wesleyan University. Her work was featured at both the 2008 and 2009 Greater Los Angeles MFA exhibitions. She has been commissioned by the Boston Women’s Health Collective to recreate her thesis work in conjunction with their 40th anniversary celebration in 2011 at MIT’s Stata Center.
Lee Perillo is an artist and current CalArts student who has shown in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. His most current work attempts to deal with the linguistic, political and assumed aesthetic notions behind mythologized “male” minimalist sculpture. By means of working with light, wood, text and glass his work engages with the relational identities of the body as well as exploring masculine fantasies of the male minimalist artist that have glorified them, and finally analyzing what it means to work with in this mode in 2010. Ultimately the goal of his work is to negotiate what it means for a man to make so-called "autonomous" art in an age where, Perillo believes, autonomy of the art and the artist cannot exist.
Matthew Siegle was born in New York, 1980, but primarily grew up in the San Jose, CA. He is a mixed media artist, working in drawing, digital media, performance, and installation. He hopes to continue and problematize the tradition of historical painting, discussing yet questioning social and political postures through visual representation. He draws influence from many recent social-practice artists, as well as from André Cadere and Manet. Siegle received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2009, and his BA from Dartmouth College in 2002. He has shown in New York, Los Angeles, Germany and France. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.