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, January 16, 2016

Martin Kersels "Seen and Heard" @ Redling Fine Art

Droner, 2015
wood, steel, bearings, cello strings, victrola motor
70 x 48 x 30 inches

Fire Box, 2015
wood, steel, aluminum, paper, cloth, victrola motor, teflon, plastic
31 x 20 x 18 inches, detail

Snorer, 2015
wood, plastic, aluminum, air pump
59.5 x 32 x 34 inches

The Beatles: A Hard Day's Night, 2015
Mixed Media, 
12.5 x 12.5 inches

Untitled (Portraiture Series) 2, 2015
Mixed media
12 x 9 inches

The cymbal and wall mural are Dawn Kasper and Jason Kraus respectively. Both are somehow relevant despite potential confusion within the context of Kersel's exhibition.  It was sort of "back room" and sort of not (knot).

The three photos shown directly above, seem out of time with the current works formally because of their 90s dates, but they are significant as I mentioned before as they pertain to a body falling in space.  Though it's difficult to replicate in a vertically scrolling blog roll here, these three images were displayed side to side in reverse sequence. So, the subject (the artist himself) was falling upward.

Back in the olden days, children were to be "seen and not heard." For Martin Kersel's exhibition of works at Redling Fine Art, most of the works, especially the interactive sound sculptures with retro stylings, are to be seen AND heard, AND to make a scene, I think. On the other hand, they could just as easily be read as oversized wind-up toys, the ones an infant would set down between the legs and explore.

Whatever the metaphor, how things fall, especially those with top-heavy balance seems to be an ongoing theme for Kernels work as evidenced by the inclusion in this exhibition of some of his falling photos from the 90's.  Kouros and me (2000) from the the Getty's Departures exhibition also comes to mind as does the disorienting, rotational space of Pink Constellation (2001), the first work by Kersels that I had encountered and one with which I connected instantly.  When I was a child myself, I used to hang my head off the couch upside down and imagine the floor to be the ceiling and vice versa and Pink Constellation recalled that for me instantly. So, not only does there seem to be a kind of child-like playfulness and curiosity solicited and represented by Kersel's work but also representations of such matters pervade his work, if you consider the pictorial elements in the photo/phono wall works for Seen and Heard.  So, I view Kersel's work from a sort of naive point of view, an investigation of density and material surface area flatly and center of gravity sculpturally or of the body. If you consider the works in this show through the lens of density (mass/volume),  rotation (records/record players), and oscillation between hiding behind a mask or peeking (peeping?) through a fence, one arrives at not only at an experience of the literal but also the poetic especially as it reflects on the passage of time as indicated in so many ways.

(The sound of) a turkey call, two the layers of wood rubbing together squeakily. 
Photographs. Albums.  Phonographs. Records. Artifacts. 
Discarded technologies of a certain kind (mechanical as opposed to digital. Machine. Wood housing). The resonance of wood. It's transparency. How it looks and sounds. A record of time, as rings of a tree. 
The analog crackles so familiar. Contours of dust. 
Starting Droner like starting a car or motorcycle. Certainly, not like pushing a button. 
Both wood and paper can be worn thin (two of a similar kind)
Peeking. Peeping. 
Nothing sparks memory more than music of a time and it's visual references. 
Shyness behind a "mask." Knot eyes. 
Delicate, ephemeral, tenuous, fleeting (all soft senses in time). 
Time the meter and the rhythm of song. 
"Firebox" was a bit "cranky."

Aside from the works in this show, an image that crept into my mind was the album cover for the Rolling Stones' 1978 record, Some Girls. As a child, I remember seeing this being around the house. It was both intriguing and creepy, kind of like looking through a fence and discovering something unexpected on the other side, something life-shifting. This is the sort of feeling and image with which I left Seen and Heard.