Los Angeles Is, Once Again
Dani Dodge, Ed Gomez, Sean Noyce, Max Presneill, Ty Pownall, Curtis Stage, Alison Woods, Gul Cagin, Roni Feldman and Joe Davidson
Curated by Camilla Boemio
Opened October 30 at 7:00pm; performance 7:30pm. The show ran through November 22 at Gallery of Art – Temple University Rome
Los Angeles has been a breeding ground for experimentation both in terms of art production and presentation since the 1960s. For years the distinct light of Southern California, more affordable space and a mix between urban city life and serene beach life has attracted visual artists as a place for making their work. In this particular context the art in Los Angeles is about light and space and an Asian influence.
The artistic practice in this unique city uses expanded methodologies and different kinds of participatory practices where activism and art collective action is at its height.
The Los Angeles art scene changes every few years and creates a sort of regeneration and dynamic freedom that are completely different from the rest of the United States.
In this ecosystem of its own, the exhibition – Los Angeles is, Once Again explored themes of “art microclimates” with a focus on the aesthetics of art renovation in the city. The group show gave a polyhedral vision of Los Angeles artistic practices with different art vocabularies.
The works by Dani Dodge, Ed Gomez, Sean Noyce, Max Presneill, Ty Pownall, Curtis Stage, Alison Woods, Gul Cagin, Roni Feldman and Joe Davidson, most of which were realized specifically for this exhibition, composed a kaleidoscope narration of Los Angeles art; with various different styles and mediums from drawings, paintings, to installations.
For the opening reception of Los Angeles Is, Once Again, Sean Noyce exhibited Proserpina, a large format painting that exists at the intersection of technology and witchcraft. The reception also included a performative ritual by Noyce and his artist wife, Katya Usvitsky, who attempted to communicate with the goddess Proserpina.
Noyce’s paintings are based on the likenesses of ancient Roman artifacts acquired by the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles, including some that have been looted, smuggled, or otherwise obtained through illicit means. To their credit, the Getty Foundation has returned some of the artifacts that were obtained this way, including the figure represented in Noyce’s painting.
Although the Getty Museum is the focus of Noyce’s series, the dubious practice of looting for the sake of advancing Western culture has been ongoing for centuries, disregarding the original intent of the mystics, shamans, and artists who created these works. One cannot help but wonder how many other artifacts have been obtained by major institutions around the world in a similar fashion. The ritual performed on October 30, at 7:40 p.m., was an offering of peace in hopes of healing old wounds through mutual respect.
The ritual included the consecration of a magic circle with candles and incense, as well as the use of scrying — the process of reading symbols and patterns in molten wax and water. The artist couple dictated their findings on a sheet of parchment, which was be placed with candles and other remains as evidence of the ritual.
The exhibition was made possible with the collaboration of the non-profit spaces: Durden and Ray of Los Angeles and nomadic AAC Platform of Roma. AAC Platform is a non-profit space repositioned to reflect how we engage with art today. The non-profit acts as a conduit outside of traditional models moving with a hybrid cultural approach in the choice of programs and exhibitions, connecting artists to audiences of curators, writers, institutions, collectors and universities.