Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Back from LA

Mostly enjoyable. I was very sick for most of it (perhaps all of it, I can't tell--and my apologies to the security guard I almost threw up on at MOCA Geffen), but it was still fairly decent. I'm not a fan of paragraphs right now, so here, in numbered form, are some highlights, or at least really memorable things from the trip:

1. Saw "Ecstacy: In and About Altered States" at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary Center. Really quite phenomenal, even though, in retrospect, I feel like I missed a few things because I was incredibly ill. It was about the drug E, rather than the ecstacy more commonly associated with my body of work (poo), but I've never done drugs, which some might argue means I may have missed something, or couldn't appreciate all the pieces fully. Screw that, I still really liked it. I have a few favorites. Fred Tomaselli had a few very large collage-type works involving painting, photo montages of flowers and leaves, and pills. Aesthetically beautiful, and relatively simple compared to the other works, but obviously not because of all the detail. I kinda feel like it was a new, modern interpretation of Impressionism; you stand far away and get one impression, one image, then stand up close and see all the details and pills and see a completely different work. Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller included "Muriel Lake Incident", which was a large movie theater-themed diorama that viewers could look into from the side, built to perspective (the movie screen is much smaller because it's supposed to seem far away), inclusing the details of what a darkened movie theater looks like, and the viewer puts on headphones and can hear the ambient sounds of the movie-watching experience, often with humorous results. I'm pretty sure this is just a smaller version of piece that was in the Corcoran Biennial (?) back in 2003, that was built to be large enough so that about 10 people could actually walk into the box and sit down. The smaller one came first, but I like the idea of making it large enough so that it seems like youre in the theater--it's a little more surreal and the audio is a little more believable, and therefore "creepier". There were some other really neat things, like the giant wall that slowly moved back and forth in the room, the faux rain that was captured in a dark room with a strobe light, the MASSIVE, incredibly detailed Bosch-like pencil murals, and the giant mushrooms hanging from the ceiling. I liked it. Now I wish it would come to DC.

2. It was freakishly cold for all but two days of the trip. Not complaining, and it was refreshing at first, but LA is rarely 60 degrees at noon....but I got myself a cool Caltech sweatshirt to make up for it.

3. So being really sick and not being able to breathe means you get to stay in bed a lot, and sleep is very, very good. So is being able to read. I'm about 65% done with my biography of Warhol, even though I don't really like him anymore because of it. I knew he was a bit of a nutcase, but I didn't know how much of a passive-aggressive phony he was. The soup cans weren't even his idea. Bah.

4. Caltech people are very, very cool. 'Nuff said.

5. I had a photo shoot. Eight rolls of color, Nine rolls of BW. I've been working on the color shots today, the best of which have been included below, and I'll work on and post the BW tomorrow. The color shots were taken on the roof of the Physics building, except for one taken in my boyfriend's bathroom. The other bathroom shots were in BW, but I needed to finish the roll of color first. I tend to second-guess my work, and I'm certainly doing it now, so again, suggestions for improvements would be greatly appreciated. Usually, my shoots are indoors, in "softer" settings, but the models get a little hotter and a little rougher. Instead, these were outside in a "harder" setting, and the models were a little "softer". Go figure. So I don't know if these work or not. And no, I didn't photoshop that sky. The weather was incredibly odd. It had rained the night before, was sunny that morning, then got progressively darker and darker, but the sun was still out. You could actually see black clouds progress over the building we were on, which also indicates the order in which I took the pictures. I could also use an opinion on which of the two dark sky/tiny head shots is better. But enough talking. Here are the pictures:








3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow - I really like them, especially the way the colors work in the first one.

---emily

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a couple of really nice ones.

I love the second one up from the bottom for its sheer sexiness. The couple seem so eager and fun.

I love the third one up from the bottom for the dichotomy between the dark brooding portentous clouds and the happy, colourful couple tucked away in one corner.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Samantha Wolov said...

thanks!

2:38 PM  

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