Final Projects: Group XLIV

  • Residency Show

1137 S Cochran Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

An exhibition by two members of the 44th group of MAK Center Residents.

Berlin-based artist Alina Schmuch explores the culture of wholeness and the self in the workplace as related to its counter-culture origins. In her film project in the Mackey Garage Top, Schmuch observed the shift from excluding the body and emotions from working environments to more inclusive approaches. This reformulation of businesses’ social structures creates organizations with a self-perceived sense for community and resonates in the design of contemporary office space.

For the first episode of a documentary with footage shot in Berlin and California, the artist filmed different seminars addressing topics like purpose-driven work, the inner story of businesses, and the repair/healing of a dysfunctional team to create more inclusive environments.

Vienna-based artist Anna Jermolaewa presented a number of works made in L.A., extending from her larger practice wherein projects enfold the individual and society, freedom and restriction, and the powerful and powerless. In her mixed-media installation in the Mackey Garage Top, The Disney Look, Jermolaewa dealt with a curious aspect of the idyllic world of Walt Disney: the micromanaging entertainment pioneer, known for his rigorously trimmed mustache, forbade his amusement park employees to wear facial hair. Jermolaewa spoke with Disneyland’s “cast members” about the legacy and recent relaxations of the company’s strict grooming standards.

From 1964 through 1973, the U.S. dropped over two million tons of bombs on Laos, many of which still exist unexploded in the soil. In a small village near Phonsavan, locals have developed a productive reuse: after detonation, the villagers smelt the remaining aluminum to make cutlery. Jermolaewa witnessed the process and the resulting video was shown in Dining Room, an installation in the artist’s apartment that used some of these spoons, forks, and knives brought back to the U.S. to construct a middle American family dinner scene.

While in residence, Jermolaewa also followed the traces of revolutionary Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, who was invited to Hollywood by Paramount Studios in 1930. Instead of finding the American dream, the studio system and America’s worldview offered nothing but artistic, political, and financial defeat. In A Noble Experiment, Jermolaewa approached these traces from the perspective of failure, following Eisenstein’s personal notes about his doomed endeavor in the city of angels.

This exhibition was made possible by the Austrian Federal Chancellery.