LA Art Documents is exploring the pandemic’s impact on the way artists operate and engage with their practice in a new series of artist profiles we’re aptly calling BREAK OUT! Here’s a sampling of responses for Series 4 – Chaos and Color, featuring works by: Erin Elizabeth Adams, Kio Griffith, Peter Kalisch, Theodosia Marchant, Jon Pannier and more…
Note: due to the limited nature of online media and for the protection of artist’s rights, video quality reduced – contact artist for full resolution video.
Artist Statement: From my immediate observation, our culture engages in a type of decadence, one that implies the impending fall of Western civilization. My work attempts to point light to the condition we are living in, the postmodern condition which has resulted in a particular type of disconnection; from shared values, lived intimacy, from actual human connection, and primarily, from our physical bodies. My relationship to performance as a medium comes from the cathartic nature of reconnecting with my physical vulnerability after a lifetime of upbringing in a first-world capitalist environment. My work is often extremely critical of idealizations, both from past and present, as well as the nepotistic, hypocritical nature of high art institutions. In these institutions, I witness a desire to project a sort of philanthropic public image, without truly engaging in the work necessary to push culture forward. Using common cultural signifiers and art historical samples, I attempt to bring light to these double standards which I commonly witness when engaging in the art world. My work is an attempt at self-awareness and criticality, an encouragement to others to remove themselves from the pattern of self-victimization which is so apparent in our society. I promote authenticity, vulnerability, honestly and freedom, with an often political and philosophical edge.
Peter Kalisch – Edible Regret Ultimate Hypocrisy – Click above to play
Jon Pannier is a New York-based artist whose work examines cultural transformations of the last 50 years – giving his latest works a particular twist to reflect the pandemic situation. Exploring issues based in the 1960’s explosion of advanced psychopharmacology, to the unabashed hedonism of the 1970’s, to the game-changing current political climate, anything that fuels the zeitgeist of a particular era is inspiration for Pannier’s narrative. He creates representational works, overlaid with meaningful symbolism, to reveal facets of our society that have ignited profound and lasting social change.
The exploration started with a video/ performance made just before the close of UCSB March 16th 2020.
Collaboration between Erin Adams & Kio Griffith
Erin Elizabeth Adams & Kio Griffith, The Great Pause 2020
Rumors of a terrible flu had been flying around for a few weeks and it seemed like many of the students in our classes were sicker than usual during an active flu season. Kio Griffith and I (Erin Adams) were at the end of our second quarter at a busy MFA program at The University of California Santa Barbara as the Corona Virus Pandemic (Covid 19) was announced on March 16th. Most of us grads work as teaching assistants in large lecture halls and were already concerned about getting sick so I think it’s safe to say we were worried, but happy to get into a safer situation. Classes were cancelled and all 26,314 students were asked to leave the campus as it would be closed down.
After a couple of restless and fretful weeks of Quarantine and a couple of phone calls talking to each other about our general shock and distain of the Trumpa dministrations handling of this situation plus the rising death tolls and looming uncertainty we agreed to work together to create a video that would reflect our current state of mind. These were the early days of the US death tolls and that day the story broke about the pauper’s graves being dug and coffins being loaded into them. There were images of this on the news. I immediately started sending Kio iphone images. Tons of news footage of mass graves, Trump, Brain Williams, Fauchi and Gulliani as well as distorted self portraits that could possible be used. We chose to narrow down to just news footage and Kio took it from there to create the overall blurred and spinning look of the video.
P.S. Erin Adams and Kio Griffith were undergraduates at Otis Art Institute, Parsons School of Design in 1986 and are now in graduate school at UCSB in 2020, 34 years have passed.
This is a series I started a week into the global COVID-19 lockdown as the outer-world gradually segued into barricading from any unnecessary physical contact. Methods of communication have been filtered down to online devices and here I reside on my iPhone, a 2 ¼ x 4 inch studio space with an image editing app, conducting surgery and grafts on pairings of iconoclasts; rivals, mutual appreciation, buddies, or nemesis, all who had been influential and contributed to our current state of affairs, if not an emergency. “Versus,” are synthesized images, virtual photogrammetries, social eclipses, stereograph feedback, parallaxes and refracting visual dialogues. Either or both a muta- and metagenesis of dogmas, these mutated and loosely interlaced tableaux vivants, become embodiments of the next imperative mind channels for the future.
These two works are part of a wider idea of an upcoming larger in size series called “Cyclone”. The current mood and sequence of events definitely was an influence behind these two.