91 92 93

  • Exhibition
  • Performance

835 N Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069

91 92 93 was an exhibition that revisited and reworked aesthetic paradigms created by key projects from the early 1990s. Andrea Fraser, Lincoln Tobier, and Simon Leung presented new installations and performances based on seminal earlier pieces. Not only did the new works reflect contemporary critical positions, they incorporated recent history and the modernist context created by the landmark Schindler House. The exhibition gave the artists and their audiences the opportunity to re-evaluate artistic methodologies and theories first posited two decades ago.

Andrea Fraser’s performance, May I Help You?, was first presented in New York at American Fine Arts, Co. in 1991. Three actors posed as gallery staff and engaged visitors with a monologue that represented six different social positions, from that of an art connoisseur to that of a person who felt excluded by the culture of museums and galleries. Fraser restaged the performance in New York in 2005 at the cooperative art gallery Orchard, where she also created a film collaboration with filmmaker Jeff Preiss entitled ORCHARD Document: May I Help You?. Both the 1991 video and the 2005/6 film were presented for 91 92 93, along with a new video of Fraser performing the script at the Schindler House. With its relocation from an art gallery to the Schindler House, the work’s investigation of class, taste, and cultural consumption shifted from contemporary art and its markets to architecture, design and real estate.

The central idea of Lincoln Tobier’s 1992 Roger Ailes: A Retrospective in Context was that Ailes’s oeuvre–some 25 years as the consummate political media consultant–could be viewed as a political art practice. Known for crafting the campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and scores of other Republicans, Ailes choreographed every aspect of his clients’ public images. Tobier’s 1992 exhibit utilized the form of an art historical retrospective, showing Ailes’s work alongside four other prominent media consultants. Four years later, Rupert Murdoch hired Ailes to create the Fox News Channel, where his influence would have an even greater impact on American culture at large. At the Schindler House, Tobier revisited his previous work on Ailes. In addition to updating the earlier work, Tobier presented an original play on Ailes’s time at Fox News, The Orchestra Pit Theory, by Roger Ailes.

Simon Leung revisited his 1993 installation Warren Piece (in the 70s), created when he was an artist in residence at PS1 in New York two decades ago, and develops a new work for the MAK Center called Artist in Residence. The earlier work, Warren Piece, is simultaneously a collaborative portrait of Warren Niesłuchowski, an employee at P.S. 1; a reflection on P.S. 1 as an art institution; and a meditation on aesthetic and political conjunctions in art practices of the early 1970s and the early 90s. It revisits Niesłuchowski’s desertion from the US Army during the Vietnam War, and his subsequent life in Europe after going AWOL, where he “became Warren,” a multi-lingual intellectual polymath whose many adventures included participating in the demonstrations of May ’68, performing with Bread and Puppet Theater, and studying with Jerzy Grotowski’s Polish Lab Theatre. Spurred on by biographical facts intermingling war, life and art, Leung exploreed how the then-recent Gulf War resonated as a refraction of “the Vietnam Syndrome,” the trauma of defeat that the nation state continues to attempt to, but cannot, overcome. Leung’s new work, Artist in Residence, documented and reflected on a residency he had arranged for Niesłuchowski as part of the residency program the MAK Center runs at the Mackey Apartments – a parallel return to their first collaboration almost twenty years before.

Warren Niesluchowski in residence at the Mackey Apartments Penthouse 
January 5 – February 11, 2011

As a performative aspect of 91 92 93, Warren Niesluchowski took up residence in the Mackey Penthouse. Warren served as a long-time assistant to Alanna Heiss, founder of P.S.1, in the nineties, and was the protagonist in Simon Leung’s installation Warren Piece (in the 1970’s) at P.S.1, completed while Leung was in residence there in 1992-93. The new work continued Leung’s initial examination of Warren’s life story as a deserter from the US Army during the American/Vietnam War, when he went AWOL and lived in Paris from 1968-75. There, as a deserter, he became “Warren,” a multi-lingual intellectual polymath whose many adventures included participating in the demonstrations of May ’68, performing with Bread and Puppet Theater, and studying with Jerzy Grotowski. Though now “back” in Poland, Warren continues to be a quixotic fixture in the international art community. During his residency, Warren was an active participant in MAK Center public events and the Artists and Architects-in-Residence program.