Final Projects: Group XXV - Ah CA va bien

  • Residency Show

835 N Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069

An exhibition by the MAK Center Artists and Architects-in-Residence.

Architecture duo SMAQ (Sabine Müller and Andreas Quednau) investigated a Los Angeles dichotomy: how so dry a place has come to be known for a “wet” lifestyle of green lawns and swimming pools. Building on an interest in exposing infrastructure as integral to urban life, they explored Los Angeles’ complex system of water supply and usage. For their final exhibition at the Schindler House, SMAQ confronted the engineering masterpieces of aqueducts and reservoirs that bring water to Los Angeles. They presented imagined tales of usage and functionality evoked by the systems’ overall invisibility, access restrictions, and technical facts. Taking these narratives further into the local scale, SMAQ constructed a water machine based on the functionality of siphons. Questioning water supply as abstractly reliant and always available, this machine explored water related infrastructure as an event and a social act.

Artist Hank Schmidt in der Beek presented a series of large-scale paintings produced using a system of automated painting. To execute the paintings, in der Beek projected a movie or television show onto a blank canvas and captured as much as possible with his paintbrush as the projection ran. The resulting abstract paintings were exhibited along with films made to document the process. In der Beek also used this method to present “re-colorations” of black-and-white movies. These films (classics from the silent-movie period, as well as color-movies that he himself transformed into black-and-white movies by simply switching the colours out of them) were colorized and afterwards projected onto the same (now painted) canvas, so that the film – with some liberal imagination – could be seen in it’s colorized version. The final exhibition showed the colorations which could be regarded as autonomous abstract pictures, or as tools to see a certain movie in it’s colorized version, strictly bonded to that movie.

Interested in metropolitan transportation and its role in the production of public space, architects Theresa Krenn and Bernhard Eder investigated the underrepresented bus-system in Los Angeles. For their final project they presented narrative bus maps that told the social and spatial history of the city and its bus system. Krenn and Eder created alternative route-maps of existing bus lines. Each map contained a narrative which was characterized by its location in the city and which mixed historical contents, contemporary reality and fictional narratives. By these means, the architects questioned ordinary perceptions of public transportation issues and their relationship to the present layout of Los Angeles. The project invited the audience to experience a narrated tour through the city searching for public space in Los Angeles. It left the possibility to the voyager to verify existing images of the city in order to re-evaluate urban space. For the exhibition, Krenn and Eder presented a map of their tour as well as the narrative bus-maps. Copies of these maps were available to exhibition visitors and the experience of riding the bus was conveyed by sound mappings the architects made on their own journey through Los Angeles. Krenn and Eder also installed a line of tape that lead from the Schindler House to the bus stop on the north side of Santa Monica Boulevard.

Artist Johann Neumeister presented sculpture and an installation based on a feature length video he made which told the fictional story of Dr. Herbert Drehtvoll, a.k.a. Dr. Herbert Dreadful, an Austrian psychoanalyst working in Los Angeles. After a traumatic visit to the dentist, the doctor’s life takes a turn into the realm of schizophrenic paranoia. Begun as a straight-forward narrative film, the movie slowly transformed into a psychedelic collage deconstructing the idea of filmmaking itself. The works in the exhibition were props and artifacts from the life of the psychoanalyst.