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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

UCSD / University Art Gallery / MFA 2008

I really wanted to go to the opening of MFA 2008 at the Gallery of UCSD, because I wanted to see Iana Quesnell’s work, which fascinates me.

I am surprised because the gallery changed completely since I came to see “In the Beginning”. It starts with a corridor and then one enters a daedal of small rooms.

Owen Mundi: Self portrait/Target (photo lab) & Self portrait/Target (fight deck)

A first, quick tour tells me that there are lots of videos. Going around again, I stop to see Owen Mundy’s self-portraits. They are pencil, acrylic and bullet holes on tar paper. The holes are the only element in contrast with the rest of each picture: through the holes one can see the white of the wall. It is a discreet and violent work.

Iana Quesnell’s video: The Making of “Limites Difusos”

In the next room, I am attracted by Iana Quesnell’s video: The Making of “Limites Difusos”, 2008 (8mn 25sec.).
We see Iana starting covering a white wall with graphite lines. The gesture is extremely fast, the walls are huge. It is hard to understand how much time it took to her and her assistants to completely cover the walls but the task seems gigantic! After using big graphite pens for a while, she switches to normal pens to work more in details. The wall is more and more grey, the graphite makes it shine a little: it has a silvery look. I really like when the video is a close up on her hand working and covered of graphite.

A circle of the wall has been left untouched and now Iana works that white surface inside it very meticulously: it is the earth and she draws the continents, grey on white.

She then covers a long table with a white paper on which she has drawn plates, glasses, and silverware. She wears white gloves. Then it is the opening with people around the table, surrounded by the wall covered with graphite with the earth in the middle. I cannot help thinking of the ending of “2001, Space Odyssey” -- the strange quiet dinner in the large empty white house somewhere in space.

Her work was done in situ in the Centro Cultural de Tijuana. I like the fact that it is temporary. It is something I am really interested in. Something is done, documented, and then it is gone.

Limites Difusos is on exhibit during the month of June at the Centro Cultural de Tijuana (from Monday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m).

Katherine Sweetman: “Video Blogging for video bloggers”

Next to Iana Quesnell’s video are Katherine Sweetman’s video and paintings “Video Blogging for video bloggers”. I sit down and watch entirely the almost 20mn long video. I learn something tonight: people video-blog on YouTube. And some of them are famous in the video blogger community. A world opens up. Katherine Sweetman’s video is divided into two spaces: on the left a blogger she chose on YouTube, on the right the painting she creates as the blogger talks. Six bloggers/six paintings (acrylic on canvas). It is fascinating.

Geriatric1927 already posted 125 videos on YouTube, and he is very popular (some of them have been seen more than 2,000,000 times). Daxflame is a young man, and apparently people are fascinated by him because they wonder if he is a very good actor or if his tantrums are real. In the video she chose he says he wishes to be taxidermied after he dies. He says, “If you think it’s weird, don’t post a comment, I’ll block you!” Daxflame posted 145 videos on YouTube - some of them have been seen more than 200,000 times. TheAmazingAtheist talks about the death of his father (he makes the video as he just came back from the hospital). He gives details, he cries, he claims he will not post for a while. The commentary of Sweetman says he posted a video less than 24 hours after.

“Video Blogging for video bloggers”: Lemonette

Then there is Lemonette, the woman who blogs in her car, looking at the road and at the camera above the dashboard! She is a famous video blogger, and she makes almost all her videos while driving. The video we are watching is a response to another video posted by Doug, who she knows: “I love you Doug, but don’t mess with the Southerners!” I cannot believe what I see and hear.
Katherine Sweetman posted her video back on you tube.

I cannot watch all the videos in the exhibition, I may come back. It is already a lot of information!

MFA 2008
University Art Gallery / UCSD
Mandeville Center
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0327
(858) 534 - 2107

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