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Mungo Thomson
LA><ART Billboard
Oct 28 - Dec 28, 2009

LA><ART Billboard: Mungo Thomson

La Cienega Boulevard between Venice and Washington Boulevards, Los Angeles
October 28, 2009 - December 28, 2009

Part of LA><ART Public Art Initiatives with ForYourArt
(L.A.P.D. – LA Public Domain)
Artistic and Curatorial Interventions and Collaborations in Experimental Contexts

Presented with generous support from

Press Release | download PDF



310-559-0166, FAYRAY@LAXART.ORG








Alice Könitz and Arthur Ou, Resort, A Station for Display (production image), 2009, courtesy of the artists and LA><ART, Los Angeles; and Samon Takahashi, Polar Praxis, 2009, wood and steel, 33.5 x 1.25 x 16 inches, courtesy of the artist and LA><ART, Los Angeles


Alice Könitz and Arthur Ou: Resort, A Station for Display


November 21, 2009 – January 16, 2010


LA><ART is pleased to present Resort, A Station for Display, the first collaborative installation by Arthur Ou and Alice Könitz. Bringing together two distinct, interrelated bodies of work, the project was developed in response to the artistsʼ travels to Beijing and rural villages in China, where they observed the countryʼs rapidly changing landscape. Resort, A Station for Display is centered around a pavilion-like structure that frames and organizes the space for a new film by Könitz. Structurally based on the viewing pavilions in traditional Chinese gardens, Ouʼs sculptural intervention stands apart from the filmʼs projected images and provides a platform from which viewers can relate to the overall installation. In the same way that a pavilion set inside a Chinese garden renders the landscape into a dimensional picture, the pavilion structure at LA><ART will utilize open windowed forms to frame the image and conflate notions of the natural picturesque with the cinematic. While the structureʼs form bears resemblance to a Minimalist cube, ornamental circular armatures covered with a latticed caning pattern reinforce the pavilionʼs decorative architectural quality.


The film and sculptural components that make up Resort, A Station for Display represent the varied perspectives from which one visually and physically apprehends a landscape. In the context of the installation, the pavilion provides a physical frame for its spatial surroundings, whereas Könitzʼs projected images offer an imaginary rendering of an exterior physical environment. Set along lush and idyllic banks of the Los Angeles River, Könitzʼs video runs counter to the dystopic scenes in Hollywood cinema that focus on the riverʼs emblematic concrete embankments. The video positions costumed actors in a scenario that is loosely based on Gaspar de Portolàʼs expedition along the Los Angeles River in 1769, as well as the artistʼs own encounters with weekend vacationers and communities that form themselves around rivers more broadly.


Arthur Ou currently lives and works in Los Angeles and New York. He received his BFA from Parsons School of Design, New York in 1997 and his MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT in 2000. Recent solo exhibitions include To Preserve, To Elevate, To Cancel, Hudson Franklin, New York (2007) and On Every New Thing There Lies Already the Shadow of Annihilation (2005), IT Park Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan. He was included in the 2006 Taipei Biennial, Dirty Yoga, curated by Dan Cameron.


Alice Könitz currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BFA from Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf in 1994 and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California in 1999. Recent solo exhibitions include Two Society Spouses Are Reclining on Contemporary Furniture as a Golden-Eyed Lady Looks Over The Coffee Tables, Hudson Franklin (2006) and Public Sculpture, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects (2006). She was recently included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.Resort, A Station for Display is made possible with the generous support of the Council for Cultural Affairs, Taipei, Taiwan, Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York; Foundation for Contemporary Arts; Susanne Vielmetter; Christopher Yin and John Yoon; Specialized Construction; Industrial Metal Supply Co.; Accurate Manufactured Products Group; and Sandy Yang.




Samon Takahashi: Atmospheric Distortions


LA><ART is also pleased to present the first solo exhibition in the United States by French multi-media artist Samon Takahashi. Atmospheric Distortions is an installation comprised of three disparate sculptural works that explore the relationship between architecture, mathematics, geometry, and organic form. Consisting of three distinct interventions within the gallery space, Atmospheric Distortions alters the existing architecture through minimal means to create an experiential stage-like setting. The interrelationship between objects is suggestive of a non-narrative dream scenario in which enhanced readymade materials circulate around mythological themes.


An additional sound component accompanies the exhibition, positioned at the galleryʼs entryway. Scored for solo guitar, the musical syllables do re mi fa sol la si are extracted from “Canto XXIII” of Danteʼs Paradiso. Kept in their original order, the notes are played in a loose mode, while the rest of the text is performed as silence between notes. As if encoding an encrypted message from Danteʼs text, the performer attempts to depict a sonic portrait of the paradise originally described by the author. The musical score addresses the impossibility of describing the unknown and attempts to map a conceptual territory that uses music as allegory.


Samon Takahashi is a visual and sound artist based in Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include “Suite N” at CNEAI in Chatou, France (2009), “Only Night Knows,” at La Blanchisserie galerie in Paris (2008), and “Etude aux allures” at De Vleeshal, Middleburg, Netherlands (2009).

Samon Takahashi: Atmospheric Distortions is made possible with the generous support of LA><ARTʼs Producers Council member Sue Hancock; Étant donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art; Benchmark Scenery Incorporated; and the Consulat général de France à Los Angeles.




Mungo Thomson: Negative Space


Mungo Thomson, Negative Space (STScI-PRC2007-08), 2009, stretched vinyl on billboard, 12.3 x 24.6 feet, courtesy of the artist and LA><ART, Los Angeles

Mounted concurrently throughout the month of October will be a billboard project by Mungo Thomson, facing north on La Cienega Boulevard between Venice and Washington Boulevards. Thomson's practice juxtaposes conceptual sensibility with meditations in cosmology mysticism, and reception. Through sculpture, photography, film, and sound, Thomson's practice brings together processes of inversion and transformation with an expansive sense of space and context. The images on the billboards are from Thomson's ongoing Negative Space project, which uses the online photographic archive of the Hubble Space Telescope as its raw material. Thomson downloads and inverts (makes negative) these photographs and uses them in a variety of contexts. A book of the images, Negative Space, designed by Thomson with Conny Purtill, was published by JRP|Ringier and Christoph Keller Editions in 2006.


Thomson received his MFA from UCLA in 2000. Solo exhibitions of his work have taken place at Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles; John Connelly Presents, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; and GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy. Recent group exhibitions include those at the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany; S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium; the Fundacion/Collection Jumes, Ecatepec, Mexico; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Vancouver Art Gallery; the Museum of


Contemporary Art, Chicago; North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art; Royal Academy of Art, London; and The Kitchen, New York. Thomsonʼs work has also been included in several biennial exhibitions, including the 2008 Whitney Biennial in New York; the 2008 Bienal de Panama; the 2008 Le Havre Biennale in Le Havre, France; and the 2004 California Biennial at the Orange Country Museum of Art, Newport Beach.




Karl Haendel: Public Scribble #2


Karl Haendel, Public Scribble #2, 2009, painted façade, 18 x 64 feet, courtesy of the artist and LA><ART, Los Angeles


LA><ART is also pleased to announce the completion of a new mural on the buildingʼs façade by Los Angeles- based artist Karl Haendel. Haendel received his MFA from UCLA in 2003 and has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Harris Lieberman, New York; Anna Helwing Gallery, Los Angeles; Millekin Gallery, Stockholm; the Suburban, Chicago; and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. His work has also been included in such notable exhibitions as the 2004 and 2008 California Biennials and Uncertain States of America, a touring exhibition that originated at the Astrup Fearnley Museum for Modern Art, Oslo, and traveled to Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, among other venues.


About LA><ART


Responding to Los Angelesʼ cultural climate, LA><ART questions given contexts for the exhibition of contemporary art, architecture and design. With a renewed vision for the potential of independent art spaces, LA><ART provides a center for interdisciplinary discussion and interaction and for the production and exhibition of new exploratory work. LA><ART offers a space for provocation, dialogue and confrontation by practices on the ground in LA and abroad. LA><ART is a hub for artists based on flexibility, transition, spontaneity and change. The space responds to an urgency and obligation to provide an accessible exhibition space for contemporary artists, architects and designers.

LAPD – LA Public Domain features artistic and curatorial collaborations and interventions in experimental contexts.


LA><ARTʼs programs are made possible with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Peter Norton Family Foundation; the James Irvine Foundation; Danielson Foundation; the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation; Foundation for Contemporary Arts; Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP.; Campari; the Standard Downtown LA; Eve Steele and Peter Gelles; Eileen Harris Norton; Bill and Ruth True; the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; ForYourArt; and the LA><ART Board of Directors, Producers Council, Curators Council, founding members, and patrons. This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.


Upcoming: January 30 – March 13, 2010: Kamrooz Aram: Generation after Generation, Revolution after Revelation and Artemio: Revelations and Revolutions


LA><ART is located at 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034 T.310.559.0166 F.310.559.0167 office@laxart.org www.laxart.org


LA><ART is open Tuesday through Saturday 11am – 6pm.