Artists Using Their Bodies To Make Actions
Curated by Spotak
May 13, 2005
Featuring works by:
Nitai Cook, Justin Hansch, Elisa Maria Lopez, Noah Peffer, Mat
Shima and Jason Starr
ART2102 is pleased to present Desperate Measures, an exhibition
that features the work of five Los Angeles based artists who are
using their bodies to make actions. Though each artist appears
in their work, self-portrait and identity are not the focal point.
Instead each work in the exhibition presents a sense of urgency
and necessity which is manifested through individual actions the
artists create. These actions and artworks are realized through
rituals, adventures, survival tactics, and sports & games.
In Trying To Reach Heaven, originally drawn on a bathroom wall,
Nitai Cook recreates the scene using a crayon - the material he
began using as a child to draw on walls. The drawing illustrates
a nighttime scene of two figures climbing along the edge of a
freeway interchange, where fear, in the extremely dangerous situation,
is overcome by the desire for adventure.
For Rites of Passage I Made up for Myself 1, Elisa Maria Lopez
describes her work, “I was addressing the void of meaningful,
unifying, and necessary life rituals in American culture. Rituals
or community actions to help individuals through inevitable life
transitions or difficult times are severely lacking or nonexistent,
and I believe this contributes greatly to alienation and depression.
This piece was made from a direct need to physically act out a
particularly difficult transition at a certain point in my life.
I found that creating rituals for myself is a good way of documenting
my own changes and growth, and also taking the d.i.y. mindset
to a different place; to mark the passing of time and significance
in my life (and other lives) through action within an apathetic,
Extreme Pillow Surfing is a sport created by Noah Peffer where
a pillow is strapped to one’s feet and used to slide down
a hill lined with cardboard. In his photograph Peffer uses professional
photography techniques from extreme sports magazines to poke fun
at his not-so-extreme sport.
For this exhibition, Mat Shima made a color copy of a page in
his notebook. The image shows the artist laying in a small crevice
in the side of a cliff. He adds a handwritten, somewhat diaristic
text element describing his relationship with rock and the shelter
In Crosswalk, a short video by Justin Hansch and Jason Starr,
the artists are shown sprinting across an intersection. In a race
against the street signal, Starr and Hansch run as many laps as
they can across the crosswalk before the light turns red. This
simple action is created by slightly altering the everyday to
create new possibilities for living within existing conditions
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