Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kamikaze Night

This weekend I'll be participating in July 2012 Kamikaze, a series of one-night shows by thirty-one artists at PØST space in downtown Los Angeles.  I'm completely looking forward to it and have been determined to leave myself open to whatever might happen when I actually see the work up on the walls. I'll admit, it's been a bit of a bumpy process (see last week's post) but I think I've rediscovered something that's been missing in my art-making experience for quite a while.

One of the reasons people tend to wax lyrically over their art school days...or grad school days, is having that experience of creation for its own sake, followed by the ability to discuss it in a public environment. Currently, when I have an exhibition scheduled, it's on an established body of work that we've already decided is worthy of viewing by the public. Since it's photography,  I would have already sent it off to the framers ages ago...waiting until the absolute deadline and having my framer (thanks Alex!) look at me with a slightly exasperated air. But the bottom line is, in many gallery settings, it can become about marketing and not about making art.

This experience has been refreshing in so many ways because it's the antithesis of that. The exhibition is one it's up and then down in the same afternoon/evening. And while I'm having  a bit of the "everyone will think this is stupid" butterflies...the truth is the only folks willing to come down to East LA on a Saturday evening are friends and I doubt anyone will slice and dice me. 

What I've realized is that this has been an enormously rewarding experience because it has given me a chance to put my focus back into the art (plus it helps that I really work well with a deadline). These days being able to have the experience of trying something new and getting to explore it in a public setting just doesn't happen that much. We're all so concerned about marketing, social media, name it...the art-making tends to get a bit lost in the mix at times. 

Yup - I had a ton of ideas for the show, everything from turning it into a big darkroom and having people process their images to just hanging my ideas on the wall...who knows, I could still do that...but, the main benefit was being thrown back into an environment that allowed me to move forward as I focused my energies on just making something. How to apply this to everyday life? I think there's many ways this can be replicated - a big one that I'd like to explore is the idea of a co-operative that was dedicated to the creative jump - where a group of individuals found ways to push each other to go beyond what they might have done on their own...we'll see...

In terms of Saturday's show...I'm still working on it, so please show up and see what happened.

Saturday, July 21st, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
PØST, 1904 East Seventh Place, Los Angeles (quick note, it's a smaller street off of 7th Street, east of Alameda)

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