dayoutlast is a record of my direct engagement with mostly contemporary art, mostly Los Angelean.

As this blog has evolved since its 2010 inception, so has my perspective. What I once perceived as central within the investigation was what was central, literally, within the photographic frame that I shared here. While still an important consideration, such thinking has also given way to more peripheral considerations, ones also accompanied occasionally by text (written manifestation of thought) and the oscillations between them. What's missing here are larger unknowns surrounding issues of presentation and representation; the amount of time and space it actually takes to accomplish such first-hand observations; and the quandaries between documentation and interpretation.

Despite my attempt to communicate here with image and text what is essential in some respect about the artwork, neither representation should ever be considered a substitution for the primary viewing experience. Of course, occasionally there are exceptions.

Most of the time, these posts are merely remnants---residual fragments---from my last day out.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Soft Target" Curated by Phil Chang and Matthew Porter @ M + B

Jason Bailer Losh (sculpture), Sara VanDerBeek (photo left) , and A. Pilgrim Peterman (photo right)

Sara VanDerBeek

Asha Schecter

Tim Hyde

Richard Caldicott

Peter Holzhauer

Justine Kurland

To seek to define photography, so young and rapidly an evolving medium, seems fair enough even if only in linguistic terms (production, circulation, and reception in this instance). Naming does make the conversation a bit more fluid. So, Soft Target, is indeed germaine, especially when we point and shoot gratuitously most days. I just did.  For this show, as an aside but perhaps with more significance than one might think, I appreciated both the space given between works and also the artists who minimized reflection in the work by glass choice in the framing. Such details can not be overlooked, certainly in the reception of the work.  Both gestures (space and minimized reflections) isolated the works in the viewing conditions and allowed for a more careful survey of the photograph.  What was left to ponder was content and how such images reflected the title and objective of the show.

Drawn easily to the sculptural components clustered amongst flat works beyond, one could wonder about photography and depth perception in the curiosity of placement not to mention VanDerBeek’s architectural structured oriented on its side by which the eave seems to point to the corner, the axis of depth concern. Schecters’ site-specific decal installation underlines such a point in the opposing corner as depth can also be thought about more temporally than spatially. Of it’s moment in the context of this exhibition (much like the advertisement on the side of a bus, for example), its ephemeral qualities as a function of the space, on a door slightly ajar, suggests an acceptance of such conditions (now in terms of production and circulation also) but more importantly to my point of depth perception (time of reception, for example).  Schecters’ work seemed to embrace the thesis of the show most directly and to satisfy my own interests where art and architecture intersect.

The more abstract works in the show seemed less about the thesis of the show in any way that I could take easily but did in fact reassert my observation and insistence on depth plays here.  Other subjects, automobiles for example, in various states of change, refers to something particular about the moment, our moment in time (instantaneous with Holzhauer and geologic with Kurland). So, with architecture and automobile as metaphor for product, it mirrors the photographic concern of production (the results of how things are made) and circulation (how we get around).  Ultimately, it’s difficult not to think about this show and its terms more so in relation to market driven questions than ones of idea alone.  Perhaps where these intersect, at the wall, in the photo, is what makes some of these worth considering.