Immersive soundscapes and obstacles faced by black students
Jónsi de Sigur Rós creates a multi-sensory soundscape, paintings defy convention, and an exhibition examines the challenges of young black students within the education system.
Jónsi at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
When we think of creative disciplines, we often consider each area separately: we hear music, watch art, or attend a theatrical performance. Yet in Hollywood, Sigur Rós“Jónsi has created a sensory musical experience that fully encompasses the body. The main work, Whiteout, is an empty white space with two large benches you can sit or lie on. Several speakers are hidden in the walls, creating a surround sound chorus of Jónsi’s ethereal voice. Sometimes the chorus swells and the benches (integrated with subwoofers) start to vibrate strongly as the LED lights above the head pulsate to cause thunderclaps. The exhibition includes two more immersive soundscapes, and each includes a signature scent that the artist created to further place the viewer in his hypnotic works. The basic scents of ozone, algae and Cadaverine (a fascinating mixture of decaying flesh and sperm) lends a weird and emotional understanding, which pushes hearing much further to induce emotion, memory, and felt experience.
In recent years, Jónsi has used a perfume organ to experiment with scents that add emotional depth to his sound pieces. In a recent interview with Thread, he said, “I love scents. You can train your nose to be sensitive like singing. It’s a muscle. You slowly learn to smell better… it’s also invisible, and I like that. It’s something that moves you, but you can’t explain why. In his work In bloom, the speakers are fitted with butt plugs and arranged to resemble a foxglove flower, a plant that can be both poisonous and medicinal depending on the dosage. This duality of life and death is reinforced by the scent that accompanies this work of art, which is derived from cadaverine, a scent made of dead animals and semen. As such, this work elicits a type of raw animalistic desire that is cemented with the inclusion of the scent.
On display: from November 16, 2019 to January 9, 2020
April Street in Vielmetter Los Angeles
In Vielmetter in downtown Los Angeles, April Street has created a cohesive body of sculptural paintings that seem to embrace art history while being irreverent towards it. Beginning with dimensional canvases made of pantyhose that swell and pucker to create eerie indentations throughout the image, the paintings simultaneously embody several painting strategies: landscape, still life, abstraction and figuration. In places, Street conscientiously portrays Flemish Renaissance-style landscapes that give way to melting shapes and abstract lines. The main color in many of these works is a peachy skin tone which, paired with long, flowing braids, spreads across the canvas like waterfalls to create a type of female self-portrait that appears to be strong and intricate in the face. over-sexed. women whose art history is full.
On display: from November 16, 2019 to January 11, 2020
EJ Hill at Commonwealth and Council
EJ Hill, an artist who grew up in black communities here in Los Angeles, has become known for his duration performances in which his body is featured in the exhibit. But in the Commonwealth and in the Council, Hill is not present. In its place, the words “Twice as much is good is too much” are repeated throughout the show, eliciting a sort of chorus. The phrase is made in neon and encrusted on a chalkboard, then scribbled on handwriting practice sheets that cover his paintings. This school theme is still present. A painting, Composition # 3 (gold star), is painted black and riddled with spit balls. In the lower right corner is a single gold star: the pin balls here seem to denote the suffering and determination it takes to rise up and achieve excellence as a person of color. The repeated text reminds that black people have to be twice as good to get half as far, but Hill takes this sentence a step further: Sometimes twice as much is just too much. Perhaps in his absence from the gallery, Hill is arguing for the importance of rest and self-care for the black community amid intense pressures to over-perform.
On view: from November 16, 2019 to January 4, 2020