Image: Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe
Pollinator Series by E.V. Day
The Pale Hotel by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe
Patriotic Practices by John Knuth
Communitarian Impulses by Dmitry “Dima” Strakovsky
Master and Servant by Jason Yates
Also on view: Merchandise and a parlor game by After-Market Value-Appreciation, LLC
Foundation presented by Volume Gallery
On view at Land of Tomorrow, Louisville
April 27, 2012 – July 3, 2012
Opening Reception May 3 @ 6pm
Land of Tomorrow is pleased to present five new exhibitions that will open together at our Louisville location. These exhibitions will include: Pollinator Series by E.V. Day, The Pale Hotel by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, Patriotic Practices by John Knuth, Communitarian Impulses by Dmitry “Dima” Strakovsky, and Master and Servant by Jason Yates. The opening reception will be held on the 3rd of May at 6pm, and the exhibits will run through the 3rd of July.
E.V. Day’s Pollinator Series consists of sculptures that replicate the reproductive organs of flowers from Claude Monet’s garden and lily pond in Giverny, France. In the Summer of 2010, as the Munn Artist-in-Residence of the Versailles Foundation, Day had access to these living treasures, grown from the same seed-strains that Monet propagated when he was living there. Day followed the gardeners at Giverny in their rounds at daybreak, as they clipped the fleurs fanées (fading flowers) and also the blooms that were at their most colorful, vigorous peak but wouldn’t survive the heat of the morning sun. She sifted through the gardeners’ wheelbarrows for these latter blooms and preserved those specimens by means of a microwave flower-press. She scanned the best of each flower variety into a two-dimensional image, creating a memorial of sorts to the flowers’ life-giving role. From these scans, Day then used digital-processing and three-dimensional modeling to reconstitute each flower, reconstructing them into sculptural forms with weight and mass. The ephemeral, fleeting quality of the flowers Monet planted has been transformed into a monumental and rigid tribute. Fixed, everlasting, and transportable, these massive flowers transcend geographical specificity; they’ve flown beyond the garden walls at Giverny, but remain symbols of the powerful environment of fecundity and fertility Monet created more than a hundred years ago. With their polished, metallic surfaces, these sculptures become, both literally and figuratively, places for reflection about reproduction and replication, about endurance and timelessness, and about using technology to give an evanescent life form a futuristic, alternate existence.
For more information on E.V. Day, visit her website at www.evdaystudio.com
In The Pale Hotel, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe present new work from their evolving constellation of narratives surrounding The San San Metroplex and its hypertrophic urban conditions. Cactus/crystal assemblages, mirror paintings of smashed sheetrock walls, custom cactus/crystal wallpaper designs, and collages from the counterculture periodical Artichoke Underground, illustrate a fragmented view of 20th century technocratic civilization. The Pale Hotel will focus on three specific and tangentially connected historical events:
1966: Neuroscientist Louisa Cohen and biochemist Herbert Boyer successfully create the first Plant/Mineral hybrid. In a Southern California laboratory, sodium chloride from a halite crystal and the genome of a night-blooming cereus cactus are spliced together to create a new species know as the Arthrocereus-Halide, or Athuride. This now legendary event yields thousands of genetically engineered biological and non-biological hybrids that are used in lithium batteries, microchips, breakfast cereals, and organic wine to name a few examples. Although heralded as one of the major achievements of modern science, the now widespread practice is not without its detractors. In the late twentieth century, criticisms of genetically modified organisms (GMO), and their potential adverse effects on the naturally occurring ecosystem, lead to intense regulation on the production of plant/mineral hybrids. As a result, an independent black market of genetically engineered hybrids begins to emerge as a veritable shadow economy.
2004: The Pale Hotel takes formation in a warren of derelict Victorian high-rises. It is intended to be another fashionable renovation of urban decay that will attract the youth that is migrating to urban centers to join the burgeoning creative class. The development was to be on the forefront of technology with doors that talk, lights that adjust brightness in relation to noise levels, and an omnipresent concierge service comprised partly of artificial intelligence. In the summer of 2008, as the project is partially through construction, the subprime mortgage crisis hits North America stalling the real estate market. Construction on The Pale Hotel halts, and the building sits empty, waiting for an injection of capital to continue. Within six months, squatters and transients reclaim the building. The would-be luxury dwellings are carved up and reconfigured into mazes of interconnected cells and corridors. The computer system that was to power the “smart structure” is hacked and reworked into an open source network that connects to other abandoned smart structures. Over the next three years, the real estate market remains dormant, and the smart structures of the San San become home to a black market economy that deals in pirated software, designer drugs, genetically modified pets, and organic foods.
1923: The Artichoke Underground forms as a nonsensical periodical aimed at, in the words of co-founders Raoul Arcade and Amanda Winter, “destroying the techno-structure.” The first issues of the magazine are a random selection of images. This is said to be an articulation of the collapse of the narrative universe into an endless, monotonous media stream. Despite a general sense of rebellion, it is unclear as to whether Artichoke Underground is actually being critical or simply representing the stated condition. The organization continues for seven years with sporadic publications, events, and media pranks. The onset of World War 2 dissipates the group and all activities are suspended. AU resurfaces in the mid-1950’s, presumably with the same members but with a different purpose. This time around, the group advocates an odd mix of technologically augmented mind exploration that involves a drug-computer synthesis known as “The Octopus.” This is mostly theoretical, but its pages contain premonitions of the forthcoming computer-dominated consciousness. In the 1960’s, AU becomes the center of the counterculture rebellion on college campuses and urban centers. It hosts a series of, now famous, media pranks during the 1968 democratic convention that are considered the birth of modern political theater. The Artichoke Underground fades into obscurity in late 1970’s.
Patriotic Practices by Los Angeles-based artist John Knuth is an exhibition of two series of paintings. In the first, emergency smoke flares mark a black gesso covered canvas, turning an act of distress into a creative action. The flare reacts with the gesso, creating an opalescent effect that confuses the image. Like Jasper Johns’s paintings in which stenciled numbers are layered one upon the other, Knuth layers patriotic language such as “God Bless America” and “I Pledge Allegiance” to build abstraction into the work.
The second series of paintings in Patriotic Practices was created by thousands of flies regurgitating watercolor paint onto the canvas. Knuth raises and feeds the flies in his studio, using them as his work force. He limits the surface area where the flies can land, causing the build up of hundreds of thousands of small dots of watercolor paint that the flies have deposited onto the canvas. Knuth is drawn to the control and lack of control in this process, a process that mirrors a city structure or contemporary society. He is restricting a non-social insect to a small area, amplifying the effect of the group.
You can learn more about John Knuth’s work at www.johnknuth.com
In Communitarian Impulses, Dmitry “Dima” Strakovsky takes up a pseudo-ecclesiastical angle. The artist recorded himself singing a variety of chant-like vocal parts and invites the audience members to trigger the samples using a Guitar Hero video-game controller in the space of the installation. Sacred and profane is mixed in equal doses and delivered to the fingertips of the visitors for interaction, consumption, and, perhaps, contemplation.
Please visit Strakovsky’s site at www.shiftingplanes.org
Jason Yates completes this grouping of amazing exhibitions with Master and Servant, an exquisite product of obsessive performative actions. For this exhibition, Yates will reveal one of his meticulously worked crosshatched murals in conjunction with a new series of Monk Tables. The tables channel the meditative qualities of Yates’s work, directing them into new the realm of graceful, minimal production.
Also on View:
After-Market Value-Appreciation, LLC will present VICTORY!, a parlor game in honor of the Run for the Roses. VICTORY! is an encounter with chance and changing fortunes; a dice derby where each horse is a vehicle of fate.
Foundation will be brought to LOT by Volume Gallery, an event-based gallery with a specific focus on American design. In the past two years, Volume has released editions, publications, and exhibits that showcase the work of American designers to a larger audience. For this exhibition, Volume is bringing together their released editions alongside new artists to showcase contemporary environments and create discourse on the current state of design and studio practice. The designers and artists will include: Felicia Ferrone, Jonathan Muecke, Jonathan Nesci, Wendy White, Rich Brilliant Willing, and Thaddeus Wolfe. www.wvvolumes.com/