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 11, 2018

Jack Goldstein "Under Water Sea Fantasy" @ 1301PE

still from Under Water Sea Fantasy, 1983/2003
16mm color film, with sound
6 min, 30 sec

It was a unique and rare opportunity to be able to see this film Under Water Sea Fantasy.  I only took one photo, but many could have been taken as there are numerous frames, obviously, I guess.  It was enough for me to capture this one in particular, one that seemed to also resonate visually for me with Goldstein's paintings, the immaculate and exquisitely rendered "pictures" from the 80s as well as the later, bulkier works, also carefully finished.  In both works, one can appreciate relationships between what lies beneath the surface and the event that emerges; how the cumulative, phenomenal effect becomes tangible whether it be spilled milk dogs barking, luminous explosions, and beyond or conversely what lies just on the surface of things.

untitled, 1988
Acrylic on canvas
84 x 72 inches

untitled, 1981
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
82 3/4 x 130" 

still from A Glass of Milk, 1972
16mm black and white film, mono sound
TRT: 4 minutes

 still from Shane, 1975
16mm color film and sound
TRT: 3 minutes

Being submerged under water can be quite pleasant, as a kind of removal, especially if one is quite sensitive.  Sound is deadened, surface tension within the body is equalized. Sensitivities are diminished while a sense of timelessness, which is to suggest also a release and freedom in such experience, persists. To revel in such via film also works similarly, to a point.  So, it makes sense in one way that this film, Under Water Sea Fantasy,  culminates Goldstein's art practice, an inquiry that started with exploring how things would accumulate (literally stack up) to occupy space, to appreciate static tension through friction and also the possibility of possibility, of what happens next.

untitled, 1971, wood

Liquidity absolves, as the film, as the great, fantastic, beyond.  Thus, Under Water Sea Fantasy transcends the sublime, something Goldstein seemed so preoccupied with that he couldn't help but rush to its conclusion, by taking his own life in 2003, a cumulative act of subtraction, presumably.  Not quite an aside, it illustrates the double-edged, existential sword of waiting (and any tensions lying therein), while the ultimate assumption seems nil at best.  All Goldstein's strongest works embrace for me such waiting in whatever intensified repetition yet his own impatience with such matters quickened. Apparently the tensions and occasional releases through works that expressed as much were not enough relief or perhaps, rather, a certain lack of fulfillment may be too much to bear, even for those who appreciate a non sense, which is to say the absurdity of life and the desensitizing qualities found within levels of immersion whether they be actualized or imagined.

Wishing there were some tidy finish here to my thoughts, and perhaps yet another dilemma not unlike the ones Goldstein acknowledged so deeply himself (his explorations of the insufferably of langue are well-known and documented), seeing while sea-ing, the record ends, a dimming glow, when and where fantasy becomes real. Still, and yet...

previous two images, details by James Welling
Jack Goldstein's Studio, 1977/2004
(7) Digital chromogenic prints
15 x 9 inches

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