Pablo Bronstein, Primitive facade variations (2014), ink and watercolour on paper 6 parts, each part: 115 x 200 cm / 45.2 x 78.7 in approx (unframed). | Courtesy of Herald St, London and Franco Noero, Turin
REDCAT: Opening reception: Friday, January 24, 6–9pm
Daily performances: 3–6pm, or through intermission
Exhibition hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–6pm
The work of London-based artist Pablo Bronstein (Buenos Aires, 1977) is distinguished by a series of projects and public interventions in which he assumes the roles of art historian, architect and choreographer as he reconstructs historical moments and mimics them in tableaux vivants. Camouflaged within the guise of history and imitating architectural forms or urban lifestyles from a certain era, Bronstein reinvents the past with great subtlety and perception.
The newly commissioned project that Pablo Bronstein creates at REDCAT functions as a "staged essay" where the artist articulates, by means of a series of drawings and furniture, the origins of architecture from the naturalistic perspective of the Enlightenment. In a certain way, Bronstein satirizes the insistence with which the architectural culture of the Enlightenment sought to guarantee a "nature" uncontaminated by historical events.
In the gallery, a series of drawings and furniture/buildings appear and together create a traditional 18th-century room. Each unit changes shape and location by means of a set choreography, transforming the suite into an urban plaza reminiscent of the idealized view of a city in traditional Renaissance painting. The intricate setting is activated by a performer who opens, closes and rearranges the objects in the exhibition, and then returns them to their initial state. In their open position, these objects create a complex pattern, imitating the possible uses of a bourgeois city. In their closed position, they return to the rigid and symmetrical grid of the room, an abstract representation of State power and order. Each of these pieces also functions as a sign that refers indirectly to the search for the first building or an architectural model of universal validity. By exaggerating their decorative and constructive morphology, these pieces seem to have an essential and practical function of creating a "real architecture" that emphasizes not the mythological or religious perspectives that dominated in the past, but the archeological interests of Enlightenment thinkers and the historical research into the era.
However, the inherent contradictions that Pablo Bronstein establishes between the drawings and furniture/buildings—the shapes they refer to, their irreducibility to pure theory or mere physicality, functionality or artifice—are also ironic comments about the role of art historians, highlighting the pleasure but also the danger of historical discourse. Pablo Bronstein establishes processes that enable fissures between the past and present, the human and inanimate and, above all, between the practice of history and lived experience. He also questions the common ground between the construction of discourse and the subject of study, as well as our own body and the way we look through objects, involuntarily searching for their capacity to reveal a history to us. As in any historical discourse, Pablo Bronstein creates a temporary, incomplete setting, one that can always change shape, demonstrating to us that there is no single origin, and that the original always seems to be preceded by its copy.
Pablo Bronstein (b. 1977, Buenos Aires) lives and works in London. Solo shows include Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (2013); Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2011); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2011); Sculpture Court, Tate Britain, London (2010); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009); and Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich (2007).
Pablo Bronstein has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including Tate Live: Performance Room at Tate Modern, London (2012); MOVE: Choreographing You at Hayward Gallery, London, Haus der Kunst, Munich, and K20, Dusseldorf (2010–2011); and The Garden of Forking Paths at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich. Pablo Bronstein has participated in Manifesta 8 (2010–2011); Performa 07; The Second Biennial of Visual Arts, New York (2007); and at the Tate Triennale, Tate Britain, London (2006).
His books Postmodern Architecture in London (2007), Ornamental Designs (2008), and Gilded Keyholes (2013) have been published by König Books.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a small publication with an essay from Ellis Woodman (architecture critic and executive editor of BD, London, UK.)
CalArts, Coffeehouse Theater
THEATER: An improvisational dancetastic electronic/DJ audiovisual extravaganza.
REDCAT: "American theater’s most inspired company." —The New York Times
The Wooster Group’s newest production, Cry, Trojans!, tackles the Trojan side of Shakespeare’s dark and scabrous Trojan War play about sincere love corrupted and the downfall of a noble hero. The piece originated as a co-production between The Wooster Group and the Royal Shakespeare Company for the World Shakespeare Festival, presented in conjunction with the 2012 London Olympics. In that version, the RSC played the Greeks and the Group played the Trojans. Director Elizabeth LeCompte and the Wooster Group have converted the collaboration into an independent piece, reimagining the Trojans as a pastiche fictional tribe of early Americans struggling to assert its dignity in the face of doom.
D300 Gallery: Andres Payan MFA 2 ART
D301 Gallery: Yi Zhang MFA 2 ART & TECH
L-Shape Gallery: BFA 4 Photo/Media Group Exhibition
Main Gallery: Taralyn Thomas BFA 4 ART
A402 Gallery: Meghan Gordon MFA 2 ART
Lime Gallery: Marie Fuchs BFA 4 ART
Mint Gallery: Anya Levy BFA 4 ART
CalArts, Bijou Theater
FILM/VIDEO: Billy Woodberry is one of the leading directors of the L.A. Rebellion. His recently restored 1984 feature, Bless Their Little Hearts, chronicles the devastating effects of underemployment on a family in South Central Los Angeles. The film was recently elected into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.
"Bless Their Little Hearts represents the closure and pinnacle of a neorealist strand within what’s now described as the L.A. Rebellion, which dates to Charles Burnett’s Several Friends (1969). Billy Woodberry’s film chronicles the devastating effects of underemployment on a family in the same Los Angeles community depicted in Killer of Sheep (1977), and it pays witness to the ravages of time in the short years since its predecessor. Nate Hardman and Kaycee Moore deliver gut-wrenching performances as the couple whose family is torn apart by events beyond their control. If salvation remains, it’s in the sensitive depiction of everyday life, which persists throughout..." - Ross Lipman
Born in Dallas, Texas, Billy Woodberry is an independent filmmaker who has taught at the School of Film/Video and the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts since 1989. His feature film Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) is an essential work of Los Angeles cinema, informed by Woodberry’s familiarity with Italian neo-realism and the work of filmmakers in Cuba, Brazil, India and Africa. It won the Interfilm ecumenical jury award at the Berlin Film festival. Woodberry has appeared in Charles Burnett’s When It Rains (1995) and provided narration for Thom Andersen’s Red Hollywood (1996) and James Benning’s Four Corners (1998). Woodberry’s two-hour video, The Architect, the Ants, and the Bees, was part of “Facing the Music,” a 2004 group exhibition, video and multimedia installation at the REDCAT gallery documenting the building of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the transformation of downtown Los Angeles. His work has screened at the Camera Austria Symposium, Harvard Film Archive, Human Rights Watch Film Festival and Museum of Modern Art. Woodberry also works at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
CalArts, Butler Building #4
CRITICAL STUDIES: giovanni singleton is a poet, teacher, and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to the work of artists and writers of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. A recipient of a New Langton Bay Area Award Show for Literature, she frequently presents on writing, editing, and graphic design at schools and conferences, including the American Literature Association and Spelman College. She has been a fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Cave Canem, and the Napa Valley Writers Conference. Her work has appeared on the building of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and in Zen Monster, VOLT, Callaloo, Poet Lore, Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology, What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America, Kindergarde: Avant-Garde Poems, Plays, & Stories for Children, and I’ll Drown My Book: A Collection of Conceptual Writing. singleton has taught at Saint Mary’s College, Naropa University, and in museums and schools throughout the San Francisco Bay area.
CalArts, The Wild Beast
MUSIC: Graduation recital of Kevin Taylor featuring works by Thomas Zugger, Howard Buss, Anne LeBaron and Giacinta Scelsi.