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, October 18, 2014

Stephen Baldi "Branded Light" @ Thomas Duncan

While I realize that things hanging on walls can often be identified as paintings, I'm not sure if I'm ready to assign everything such a distinction especially as it pertains to anything containing pigment and pigment handling (the act of painting). While there is a recent history that discusses such categories, there is an even more recent one that seems to have forgotten (or perhaps never knew... not to mention the Malevich concern going back a hundred years...)

Given the proximity of the other works in the show (the ones that read as Constructivist photographs), these stretched black fabrics seem more like textiles, backdrops for a conversation about photography (certainly a kind of pursuit of light as the title of this show suggests). While both wanting and not wanting to label them as such, why not just call these wall objects "non photographs" as a counterpoint to the other and as a way to define by negation (which they actually do) what they are, or might be. Whatever the case, certainly, they are not specific enough. At first, I thought they were floor plan diagrams, art related to architecture to be sure, but how I wasn't sure. Given the time of day that I walked in, I was even willing to give credence to a kind of site specificity especially as it pertained to the most dynamic of all the non photographs. See examples where natural light effects the viewing space on the wall. Of course the problem registers with the reflections of the ones framed in glass. With both kinds of light in mind, it was not easy to look at these works without taking such factors into account.

While my response here might sound negative overall,  I'm actually torn between the positives (the conversation between photography and architecture and such possible reflexivity within) and what registered as light distractions, possibly pun intended.  Although, if I were to look beyond such things, I would be trading what's there for what's not there and still wondering what kind of "Branded Light" I should be thinking about.