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On view November 7, 2019-March 1, 2020, In Production: Art and Studio System emphasizes the overlapping histories of visual art film, with a particular focus on how the site of the studio, both in visual arts and in cinematic production, has radically shifted in the last 20 years. Featuring 24 contemporary artists whose works critique, appropriate, and engage with Hollywood and the film studio system, the exhibition highlights the exceptional gifts and acquisitions related to film and video that have entered LACAM's permanent collection in recent years.
Many artists have considered the proximity to movie studio facilities and the other sites of production and post-production, as one of the essential lures of making art in Southern California. Since the dawn of cinema, movie studios have been sites where crews of hundreds of even thousands manufacture a temporary fiction that will hopefully become a lasting image. While the work of movie production is a collaborative effort involving a vast network of people, the labor of the visual artist has long been understood as a solitary endeavor in the studio. While artists have indeed depended on the centralized sphere of the studio to create their works, the late 20th century ushered in new forms of dematerialized and decentralized artist practices, Shanghai is an especially fitting location to explore these crucial developments.
Featured objects include Martine Syms's mixed-media installation that incorporates objects often used within commercial film and photography shoots-such as backdrops, c-stands, and sandbags. Cayetano Ferrer is an artist who is interested in the history of how architectural and design components have been blended into a built environment. In Endless columns (2014), Ferrer creates an immersive environment that, upon entrance, seems composed of elaborate architectural components and lighting design. In reality, this installation relies on mirrors and dual video projections on a CNC routed column to produce a form of neon Baroque familiar from Las Vegas showrooms. The centerpiece for the column design appears to be an exemplar of art deco design, but it is actually based on a salvaged trash can from the MGM Grand Las Vegas and Casino.
Imitation of Life (2013) by Mathias Poledna explores the artist's interest in outdated and obsolete forms of film production. The artist employed a team of veteran animators from Walt Disney Studios to create a film that emulates the style and manner of 1930s and 1940s animation. Referencing the iconic style of Disney films like Pinocchio (1940) and Dumbo (1941), Poledna champions unknown and underappreciated artists and makers, such as the Disney sculptor and animator Blaine Gibson, whose sculpture to Mickey Mouse is presented here as well. Calling to mind the set design of superhero films, Mike Kelley's Kandor 1 (2007) is formal study of the lost city of Kandor in Superman's world and features elements of his findings such as the bell jar, the air tank (which sustained the miniature, encapsulated residents of Kandor), and a model of the city.
Notes on Gesture (still)
Hollywood & Vine
Made in Hollywood
The Great Train Robbery (Scene 3)
Android Sisters Having Lunch, Universal Studios
Baretta Series Make-Up Table - Stage #42, April 18, 1977
Imitation of Life
In Production Artists
- Kathryn Andrews, United States, b.1973
- Brian Bress, United States, b.1975
- Robert Cumming, United States, b.1943
- Cayetano Ferrer, United States, b.1981
- Anthony Friedkin, United States, b.1949
- Blaine Gibson, United States, 1918-2015
- Piero Golia, Italy, b.1974
- Sayre Gomez, United States, b.1982
- Douglas Gordon, United States, b.1966
- Alex Israel, United States, b.1982
- Mike Kelley, United States, 1954-2012
- William Leavitt, United States, b.1941
- Dashiell Manley, United States, b.1983
- Nicole Miller, United States, b.1982
- Julie Orser, United States, b.1974