An exhibition by the MAK Center Artists and Architects-in-Residence.
Åse Frid and Johan Frid created an installation of paintings and sculptural works in their apartment. Influenced by the stories of Swedish children’s books by Astrid Lindgren, the artists were intrigued with the author’s focus on issues in which the “real imagination” and the saga get stuck in a “point of no return” within a fast-paced urban life. During their stay in Los Angeles, however, the constant feeling of “luxury, anxiety, and sexual nervousness,” as they lived together in a Schindler-designed house, altered their views. They based their installation on a “fine, old-fashioned motto” hidden in obscurity as a result of “shrinkage of the room.” But traces of the motto showed in their work in both their efforts to “integrate everything” under “forms of organized freedom” and in how they dealt internally with the problems or questions brought forth by this motto.
Raw ‘n Cookedexplored the subject of density and its consequences for urbanity. They noted that parking lots could be seen as symbolic of Los Angeles’ economic and urban densities, occupying vast horizontal spaces in the suburbs and tight, multi-story structures in Downtown. Cemeteries, too, embody much of L.A.’s civic structures, organized into grids demarcating different “neighborhoods” and densities. Their concrete sculpture Virtual Cemetery in the Mackey Apartments garden reflected the language of a city, with its vertical layers, transportation system, and inhabitants.
Gelatinpresented The Human Elevator. In this work, Gelatin actively pursued environments conducive to “response and activation within a given space by turning it over to sensual experience, intensity, surprise, and delight.” Exploiting L.A.’s beach and body culture, Gelatin’s human elevator utilized the physical strength of body builders who, positioned on scaffolding, hoisted participants to the roof of the Mackey Apartments.
Anna Meyer considered Los Angeles as a 1:1 model, a city both real and simulated. She interpreted her observations and experiences through models and large scale paintings. Meyer’s realistic paintings used photography as a reference point. The subject matter of the photos—the city, people, bars, sexuality, homelessness, social structures, etc.—provided a context that was interpreted through painting. Meyer considered her models, made from everyday materials and painted, as “3-D pictures.” She saw Los Angeles, with its many billboards, painted facades, wall murals, and bus-stop placards, as a “big picture carrier” and the experience of traveling through the city by car as similar to being in a movie. Meyer performed 1:1 model L.A., in which she dressed in a hand-painted uniform, alternately displaying and removing her paintings from a model of the city of Los Angeles.