TIF SIGFRIDS is happy to present New Color Photographs, a solo exhibition of photography by Marten Elder. A few years ago, Elder arrived in Los Angeles and commenced to digitally capture the peculiar landscape of concrete steps and plant life that blanket the geography. Like a Mars Rover expedition documenting and accumulating raw information under the blazing light of the sun, Elder has begun to reveal a dizzying array of detail that most inhabitants of the city may not have realized they are surrounded by.
Pictured here are a set of concrete steps, a patch of grass, a single cloud, and a cactus plant.
Very much like documentary photographers of the past, Elder creates striking, sharply focused compositions of imagery we are familiar with and presents them in a manner that is straight forward and factual. That they are, in a sense, documents of this existing world - a truth presented through the mechanical means we are technologically equipped with in this age of cameras– is what should cause us to jump out of our skins. Is Elder suggesting we live in the same place he frames and re-presents to us? Is this the air we breathe in? By ripping the sepia-toned past from the clutches of our swiping thumbs, by scouring the tints and shades of nostalgia from our blinking eyeballs, and by shocking us with a radical spectrum of real color, Elder is revealing some kind of science fiction future that we’ll have to begin to understand as our present time.
These seemingly unbelievable images of fantastic hue and clarity are documents of the vivid world, here and now! The future, while often layered with distant whispers of anxiety and fear or outlandish possibility, is in some kind of Nietzschean logic already here, it is the present, and it is ours to look at now. And if skeptics of the day might find it easy to point to the myriad applications of magic and trickery programmed into virtually every knick-knack and device available to us, rest assured dear reader, for Elder approaches these chronicles of light and shadow with the rigor of scientific exploration.
These photographs are purely the product of ambient light being received by his camera. No filters and no exotic effects are applied to the images in the studio, as one might guess. Rather, Elder uses the various subject matters depicted as ideal settings for the vast swaths of visual information to be gathered and transmitted, the platform from where his camera might best possibly capture the range of data he seeks to study. The intensity of the information, you might say, overwhelms the subject, perhaps even rendering it irrelevant, or incidental. As he himself says, “I am photographing Los Angeles, so it makes sense that the photographs will look like Los Angeles, and the pictures probably benefit from that fact.”
Indeed, focusing on subjects that we might previously have considered mundane and monochromatic, through Marten’s fastidiousness and diligence, become something at once true to their hardboiled source and then so much more. A lawn, looked at with the aperture of the camera left agape, looked at so intensely that its green bursts into a sparkle of bright pinks and blues, is no trick. It is there and Marten and his camera are showing us a way to see it.
Marten Elder received his BA from Bard College in 2008 and recently completed an MFA at UCLA in 2013. This is the artists first solo exhibition. His work was recently included in The Poetics of Space (Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada) and will be presented in a solo exhibition at Equinox Gallery (Vancouver, Canada). His work will also be featured in Charlotte Cotton’s upcoming book Photography is Magic (Aperture, 2015).
Curated by Alexandra Gaty
January 10 – February 21, 2015
Reception: Saturday, January 10, 5pm-8pm
When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck.
— Paul Virilio, Politics of the Very Worst
8.8 billion habitable Earth-size planets exist in Milky Way alone / No Apple a day for Steve Jobs’ children - who were not even allowed iPads / Digital mapping uncovers ‘super henge’ that dwarfed Stonehenge / US Navy predicts summer ice-free Arctic by 2016 /
Teenage girl's skeleton found deep in underwater Mexican cave is oldest ever found in the Americas / 18th-Century Ship Found Under 9/11 Site / Politician's fingerprint 'cloned from photos' by hacker / Ancient Egyptians used wet sand to drag massive pyramid stones, say scientists / Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes / 'Mirror universe' suggests Big Bang created place where time goes backwards / Homo erectus shell markings are the oldest abstract signs ever discovered / NASA designs ape-like robot for disasters / New laws in 2015 ban Drone paparazzi, tiger selfies
An artist comes to LA from Cologne. The initial intention was to make a film about Lydia van Vogt, widow of the famous science fiction writer A.E. van Vogt. The intention for the film changes, but fiction remains a foundational context. The artist, following the complex of chance occurrences that is her reality, veers off and becomes entangled in another investigation: a movie about an artist: Amboy.
Amboy is a name shared by a lot of things and an expanding territory of ideas. Amboy is an artist. You haven’t heard of him before. He was born in 1965, thirty miles outside Sacramento. He first showed his art in 1992. Lacking a single unified aesthetic or even conceptual identity, he wears multiple, disparate stylistic ‘hats’ which he has called his “centers of information processing.” If this is an artistic strategy, I call it free-market pastiche. There is a terrible, frenetic, multi-tasking, anxious energy coursing through the manic, scattershot, careless range of Amboy’s art practice, making him a symptomatic, if not anticipatory, figure exposing the deep psychological undercurrents of this bleak neoliberal, venture capital moment in history. As an actual and allegorical figure, he is scared of silence: music frantically fills the sedatephobic breech. He makes one wonder how cynicism can be redeployed for a critical function. Fiction is the sign under which his art is born. Amboy is freshly formed and new on the radar; his history is extra-digital and stubbornly unverifiable.
Amboy is also a place—that much is verifiable. You can look it up on Google maps and drive, or fly, there yourself, but bring your own water. Amboy is a ghost town in the Mojave desert. As such, Amboy represents the mutual imbrication of person and place (ghost and ghost town) in a manner that ultimately reflects on ecologies and the inextricability of a human from his or her environment. Amboy is abandoned and broken but still a sight to see, a beauty to behold. The experience and image of Amboy asks, Is the world over? Is this not what the future already looks like? Time is on Amboy’s side.
But, for our immediate purposes here in the gallery, Amboy is a horror movie. And before that, it is a trailer, a teaser for a horror movie about Amboy. Yes, not-knowing can be very frightening: What is real and what is made up? Is documentation and fiction a false opposition, and if so, what are facts? If the made-up becomes real, or the real turns out to be fictional, is that a sign of successful agency, superpower, or insanity? Scary shit. It has been said, to look is to doubt. It has also been said, by the man himself, “I Amboy or I Amgirl, I destroy the self.” True to the horror genre, death is a theme throughout. Many die and they are female artists; we wonder why and what this portends, or exposes. A range of explanations surely contains science fictional possibilities and conspiracy theories. If, beyond narrative concerns of plot and character, filmic death is always metaphoric, then what really is ending—and what new beginnings (because a living consciousness knows no absolute endings) would we hope for?
- Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer
Frances Scholz (b 1962) lives and works in Cologne, Germany. She is represented by Sprüth Magers gallery.
PEOPLE IN NATURE
I wanted to make a group of sculptures that would have a mass and weight that was real. Not the shell of a sculpture but instead something that was solid from the inside out. I began thinking about “sculpture in the round” in a very literal way and the forms became decidedly totemic.
Tree-hugging size, the proportions relate to myself, to other people, and to architecture.
I appreciate the engineering term “piling”: a group of wood, steel or concrete columns that support a larger structure. When taken out of its original context, the word calls to mind something much more tangential and internal.
Piling it on: piling on meaning, piling on paint, piling personality onto a material.
In the context of this exhibition, these pilings are self-contained supports for their own wooden bodies. Consolidated and encased, the sculptures reinforce something heady and human. It’s in this space where things reshape and shape up.
A painted forest of objects where colors animate and rest against one another, melon-balled pools submerge, vertical stacks glow, segments stand trim, and the muscular flex of material resonates. Head-size holes and arm-width seams clear things out. There is a weird potential or momentum in being able to reach your arm through an otherwise solid object.
Lisa Williamson, September 2014
The Mountain Bar, originally founded by Jorge Pardo and gallery owner Steve Hanson in 2003 was situated in Chinatown, a center for art activity in Los Angeles at the time. With numerous galleries and artist’s studios in close proximity, the intention was to create a meeting place that might foster meaningful exchange and as an artwork take into consideration relational concerns.
In 2009, Pardo created the upstairs bar (Untitled 2009), that would become home to The Mountain School of Arts (a free school initiated by artists Eric Wesley and Piero Golia). Constructed on the site that was once Pardo’s studio, the piece was treated as a VIP lounge, not open to the public and functioning as a mixed purpose space. In addition to The Mountain School of Arts, various lectures, performances, and film screenings took place over the course of the next three years.
Originally intended as a ten-year project, the Mountain Bar officially closed in 2012. Throughout it’s lifetime, the upstairs bar (Untitled 2009) housed lectures and presentations from artists and curators including Dan Graham, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and many others. As the activity that happens within each piece is important to all of Pardo’s work, Untitled 2009, tells a very lively past.
From July 16 - August 10th, The Mountain Bar will be installed at TIF SIGFRIDS and open during special evening hours for a variety of events including film screenings, DJ nights, variety shows, and then some. Please follow us on Facebook or check the website for an updated schedule. Hope to see you!
Thursday- August 7 Grace Devito Performs
Please join us for a special performance beginning at 8 PM and featuring:
Shagha Ariannia, Colin Blodorn, Damien Bray, Jake DeVito, Zander Eckhouse,
Joe Fidler, Jessie Franks, Julia Leonard, Heidi Perlman, Rhea Perlman, Tif Sigfrids, Sam Sugarman
Saturday- August 9 Variety Show: A variety show hosted by Denver Smith
Please join us for a variety show featuring comedy, magic, music and a cirque du soleil style act performed by:
(Raul Morales, Tom Watson, Mike Watt)
Begins at 4PM
Sand in my shoes
I am cruising through the desert
The wind is banging on my ear
10 000 miles away from home
objects in mirror are closer than they appear
There are blue flowers on the sidewalk
I´m too fast to watch them grow
Buy some frosted flakes and hot dogs
while the sun is trying to go
How am I driving? How do you do?
How can I leave the past behind?
Unfinished future, sad and true
a bunch of questions on my mind
I´m so lucky, I´ve got air conditioner, that´s great!
The heat is just illusion
Right in the middle of this state
the system´s the solution
I stop at nine at motel six
The only place where i can go
Take a shower, swing my hips
in a room with HBO
Here I am, all dreams fullfilled
I am your governor´s lost son
There are so many words, I can build
using the letters in „Fun in the Sun“.
It´s an empty time in an empty town
With Ice-cream, orange-juice and white bread
I met twentyeight girls in twentynine palms
„Hi! My name is Manfred!“
Thomas Winkler, Twentynine Palms, Oktober 2003
© Verlag Heckler und Koch, Berlin
Sand in meinen Schuhen
Ich fahre in der Wüste umher
Der Wind klopft gegen meine Ohren
5 674 Kilometer weg von Daheim
sind die Dinge näher als sie im Spiegel erscheinen
Es gibt hier blaue Blumen auf dem Gehweg
Ich bin zu schnell, sie wachsen zu sehen
Kaufe mir ein paar geröstete Flocken und heiße Hunde
während die Sonne versucht, zu gehen
Wie finden Sie meinen Fahrstil? Wie geht es Ihnen?
Wie kann ich die Vergangenheit hinter mir lassen?
Unvollendete Zukunft, traurig und wahr
Ein Haufen Fragen gehen mir durch den Kopf
Ich habe Glück, ich habe Klimaanlage, wie schön!
Die Hitze ist nur Illusion
Hier, in der Mitte dieses Staates
ist das System die Lösung
Ich halte um Neun am Hotel Sechs
Der einzige Ort, an den ich gehen kann
Nehme eine Dusche, schwinge meine Hüften
in einem Zimmer mit Spielfilmprogramm
Da bin ich nun! Alle Träume erfüllt
Ich bin der verlorene Sohn Eures Gouverneurs
So viele Worte, die ich schon bilden kann
aus den Buchstaben in »Spaß in der Sonne«
Es ist eine leere Zeit in einer leeren Stadt
Mit Eis, Orangensaft und Weißbrot
Ich habe 28 Mädchen in 29 Palmen getroffen
»Hallo! Mein Name ist Manfred!«
Thomas Winkler, Budapest, März 2004
The group is alive with influences
renewing itself again and again with necklaces
of disease and inscription
auras inside of auras
of flies leave neon sheets
of xeroxed information on the skin
new edits unlocking
the sleepless texts bending
bodies to the alphabet
as they strut
and slap hands together
In the marketplace of white chalk
there is flooding
and reeds are growing
hollowed out books float on the water
candles and blades
across the border
handfuls of punctuation in our hair
TIF SIGFRIDS is very happy to be presenting the first exhibition of Albert Mertz’s work in Los Angeles, “Albert Mertz: Watch Red-Blue T.V.” Albert was a Danish artist who lived from 1920 until 1990 and spent the last twenty-two years of his life working with what he called The Red-Blue Proposition. Every day he painted things red and blue. Paper, cardboard, canvases, and the chair he sat on, the wrapping of cigarette packages he smoked, the envelopes of letters he received. Half red. Half blue. Once you know Albert, you’ll begin to notice what a popular color combination this is. For several years now, we’ve been thinking of Albert Mertz and nearly everywhere we go, something reminds us of him.
You might ask yourself, why red, why blue? To this we say, why not? Contrary to much speculation (and affirmed through insider sources) we’ve discovered that the red had nothing to do with the Danish flag and the blue bore no relationship to water, sky, man, or woman. It certainly wasn’t a question of beauty. Albert, in fact, once claimed that the combination excelled because of its obvious ugliness.
The title of this exhibition is taken from a note we discovered in a journal dated March 10, 1987. When taking stock of the myriad of notebooks he kept throughout his life, we noticed that Albert gave a lot of thought to television as an object, but also as an omniscient presence in the world. Similar to his thinking about art, he observed that television isn’t interesting because it describes the world, but because it is a product of the world functioning within it. The object was important to Mertz, but not only as a container of ideas or concepts. For him, the meaning was in the use. As he also once said, "The artist does not work for eternity (which the atomic bomb has put an end to), but for the here and now, for this day, today."
Also, we are told, Albert just liked T.V. Prior to his death, he was chosen to represent Denmark in the Sao Paolo Biennale. In a sketch for this exhibition, Albert proposed including 24 red/blue T.V. paintings, but due to his untimely passing these works were never realized. With much excitement, we welcome Albert to Hollywood with this exhibition dedicated to a theme that seems fitting for the neighborhood.
We’d like to acknowledge Lone Mertz’s (a.k.a. Mertz Mertz) insurmountable contribution to it’s organization.
TIF SIGFRIDS is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Ulrich Wulff. Wulff's Artistic Training Facility, Chambless, CA- the artist's first solo exhibition in the United States- will be on view from November 16 to December 22.
In the summer of 2013, WUlff arrived in America from his native Germany intent on realizing a series of large-format oil paintings at a remote desert studio in Chambless, California- a ghost town of less then 10 residents along a strip of the well known, but seldom traveled Route 66 highway. Working in an abandoned gas station, Wulff completed a number of watercolor studies in Chambless before retreating to a more conventional painter's studio in Los Angeles after encountering numerous conflicts with his materials due to arid, high desert winds. Although finally completed off-site from the artist's rural training facility, the oil-based works that eventuated in LA were nonetheless informed by Wulff's hermetic sojourn to Chambless, where he cultivated an interest in exploring the quintessence of desert qualities like passivity, silence, recalcitrance, egolessness, vacuity, tranquility and even boredom.
Wulff's Artistic Training Facility, Chambless, CA comprises work of this recent Chambless/LA residency, and features Wulff's grandest painting to date in terms of scale. Executed in what Wulff calls a "poetic" mode, the images display an uncomplicated concentration on line, color, clinamen, and contrast, and stand as evocative paeans to a deserted or reduced mental scape; what might be called the special Chambless state of mind. Viewers are invited to dwell in and draw their own conclusions about this lyrical series that sings to simplicity, expanse, and the romantic indeterminacy of the empty American West.
An opening reception will be held on November 16, from 4-6 PM.
TIF SIGFRIDS is happy to announce the opening of her new gallery on October 12th with an exhibition by Joe Sola entitled Portraits: An Exhibition in Tif Sigfrids' Ear. For this inaugural show, Joe Sola has created a series of six portraits ranging from 4/64 x 5/64 inches to 11/128 x 5/64 inches in size. The paintings, all oil on styrene, are hung in an exhibition space that will be situated in the gallerist's ear during gallery hours for the length of the exhibition. Sola's diverse practice includes video work, painting, and performance.
In his video work Sola has jumped out of windows (Studio Visit, 2005), been run over by a team of high school football players from Ohio (Saint Henry Composition, 2001), and rode roller coasters with male porn stars (Riding with adult video performers, 2002). In performances he has had male fashion models make art (Male Fashion Models Make Conceptual Art, 2005-9) and talked about his drawings with female escorts, (Talking About My Drawings with Female Escorts, 2010) This will be his first exhibition comprised entirely of oil paintings.
Joe Sola was born in Chicago in 1966 and received his MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California. His work will be included in the upcoming exhibition: Damage Control: Art and Destruction since 1950 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. The exhibition is curated by Russell Ferguson and will travel to the Musee'd'Art Modern Grand-Duc Jean Luxembourg and Kunsthaus Graz, Austria in 2014. His work has been included in public exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Wexner Center for the Arts, The Orange County Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, and most recently at 365 S. Mission Rd. He is represented by Blackston in New York.
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 10-5