Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Museum as Selfie Station Matt Stromberg
Accessible as Humanly as Possible Catherine Wagley
On Laura Owens on Laura Owens Travis Diehl
Interview with Puppies Puppies Jonathan Griffin
Object Project Lindsay Preston Zappas, Jeff McLane
Launch Party
Reviews Dulce Dientes
at Rainbow in Spanish
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Adrián Villas Rojas
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
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Nevine Mahmoud
at M+B
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Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985
at the Hammer Museum
- Thomas Duncan

Hannah Greely and William T. Wiley
at Parker Gallery
- Keith J. Varadi

David Hockney
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (L.A. in N.Y.)
- Ashton Cooper

Edgar Arceneaux
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Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Barely Living with Art:
The Labor of Domestic
Spaces in Los Angeles
Eli Diner
She Wanted Adventure:
Dwan, Butler, Mizuno, Copley
Catherine Wagley
The Languages of
All-Women Exhibitions
Lindsay Preston Zappas
L.A. Povera Travis Diehl
On Eclipses:
When Language
and Photography Fail
Jessica Simmons
Interview with
Hamza Walker
Julie Wietz
Reviews Cheyenne Julien
at Smart Objects

Paul Mpagi Sepuya
at team bungalow

Ravi Jackson
at Richard Telles

Tactility of Line
at Elevator Mondays

Trigger: Gender as a Tool as a Weapon
at the New Museum
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Launch Party November 18, 2017
at the Landing
Object Project
Featuring: Rosha Yaghmai,
Dianna Molzan, and Patrick Jackson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McLane
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
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Regen Projects
Ibid Gallery
One National Gay & Lesbian Archives and MOCA PDC
The Mistake Room
Luis De Jesus Gallery
the University Art Gallery at CSULB
the Autry Museum
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
Reconstituting Group Material
Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Launch Party August 19th at Blum and Poe
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
Linda Stark, Alex Olson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
at the Venice Biennale

Broken Language
at Shulamit Nazarian

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects

Home
at LACMA

Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures:
Alice Könitz and LAMOA
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
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Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
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at Commonwealth and Council
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at Marc Foxx

Jennie Jieun Lee
at The Pit

Trisha Baga
at 356 Mission

Jimmie Durham
at The Hammer

Parallel City
at Ms. Barbers

Jason Rhodes
at Hauser & Wirth
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Generous
Structures
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party February 18, 2017
at Shulamit Nazarian
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature
at The Broad

Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler
at House of Gaga // Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Karl Haendel
at Susanne Vielmetter

Wolfgang Tillmans
at Regen Projects

Ma
at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
at the Landing
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews
Made in L.A. 2016
at The Hammer Museum

Doug Aitken
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Mertzbau
at Tif Sigfrids

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Mark A. Rodruigez
at Park View

The Weeping Line
Organized by Alter Space
at Four Six One Nine
(S.F. in L.A.)
Letter form the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Non-Fiction
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
at REDCAT
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Launch Party Carla Issue 5
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Revolution in the Making
at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

Carl Cheng
at Cherry and Martin

Joan Snyder
at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery

Elanor Antin
at Diane Rosenstein

Performing the Grid
at Ben Maltz Gallery
at Otis College of Art & Design

Laura Owens
at The Wattis Institute
(L.A. in S.F.)
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Reconsidering
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater:
Diana Thater
at LACMA
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Launch Party Carla Issue 4
Interiors and Interiority:
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Char Jansen
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Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room
at LACMA

Evan Holloway
at David Kordansky Gallery

Histories of a Vanishing Present: A Prologue
at The Mistake Room

Carter Mull
at fused space
(L.A. in S.F.)

Awol Erizku
at FLAG Art Foundation
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word:
F.B.I.
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota:
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
and LOUDHAILER
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Launch Party Carla Issue 3
Share Your Piece
of the Puzzle
Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
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at Michael Thibault

Fred Tomaselli
at California State University, Fullerton

Trisha Donnelly
at Matthew Marks Gallery

Bradford Kessler
at ASHES/ASHES
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings:
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food:
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Reviews Mary Ried Kelley
at The Hammer Museum

Tongues Untied
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No Joke
at Tanya Leighton
(L.A. in Berlin)
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Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
Eve Fowler at Mier Gallery
Matt Siegle at Park View
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee:
William Pope.L’s "Reenactor"
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
MEAT PHYSICS/
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
SOGTFO
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
@barnettcohen
Mateo Tannatt
Photographs
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Launch Party Carla Issue 1
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Pierre Huyghe
at LACMA

Mernet Larsen
at Various Small Fires

John Currin
at Gagosian, Beverly Hills

Pat O'Niell
at Cherry and Martin

A New Rhythm
at Park View

Unwatchable Scenes and
Other Unreliable Images...
at Public Fiction

Charles Gaines
at The Hammer Museum

Henry Taylor
at Blum & Poe/ Untitled
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Distribution
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Elsewhere in CA
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Non CA
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USC Fisher Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles Library (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Chris Kraus
at Château Shatto

Chris Kraus, How to Shoot A Crime (3) (2018). Digital print on 100 lb. uncoated paper. Image courtesy of the artist and Chateau Shatto. Photo: Elon Schoenholz.

“The detective novel is the only novel truly invented in the 20th century. In the detective novel, the hero is dead at the very beginning, so you don’t have to deal with human nature at all, only the slow accumulation of facts…”1

Laurie Anderson

Maybe it’s the fact that Chris Kraus’ videos so effectively mirror and index their New York City location during the city’s grittiest and most annoyingly hyped period (mid-’80s to early ’90s)—this, in turn, a fond and early touchstone for my own aesthetic fascination. Or maybe it’s the New Yorkiness of voice in Kraus’ works, seeming always grimly determined, always moving despite their operative, plaguing demystification of structure, of narrative, of the image. Dave Hickey, in a different context, says “Think of it this way: Up in the front of the boat the guys in power are tossing bales of ‘inessentials’ overboard—content, rhetoric, image, narrative, genre, contingency, complexity, and desire all go over the side—while, back in the stern, as the boat chugs along, a bunch of women and queers are frantically hauling those bales out of the water and back into the boat.”2

Kraus’ videos at Château Shatto, comprising the entirety of her work in the medium, have the air of a reworked bale, marked as they are by uncertainty and anxiety, particularly towards narrative. Most of the narrative outlines conjured in her videos are rudely and routinely interrupted, often mid-sentence, by shifts in tone and voice. These moves align Kraus with the structuralist strategy—better on paper—of pointing at the mechanics of film itself by, I suppose, making it difficult to watch, understand, or care about.

Kraus’ video works were made in the decades immediately following minimalism and conceptualism, spanning 1982–1995, in which each were in their “post-” phases—the chronically neurotic condition so many movements find themselves in in academically-minded contemporary art in which the “questioning” of every structure became as essential to art as form, color, or medium once were.

But whatever the reason, I find Kraus’ work both endlessly watchable and tedious, kinetic and oddly cold. Kraus, in a manner that feels very French, regularly presents the warmth of sexuality, desire, passion, and storytelling through the lenses of conflict, sadomasochism, murder, and madness.

To put it more succinctly, Kraus’ films are not fun, but nor are they merely, drably, good for you. Kraus makes heavy use of voice over, undercutting its associative omniscience with readings, diaristic passages, and text out of context, routinely interrupted by a shift or cut in the video stream. Several works reference the structure of crime or procedural television shows—gritty, mournful saxophone and hard-to-decipher police chatter thrown into the mix. There are characters, such as the dominatrix in How to Shoot a Crime (1987), or the kidnappers in Sadness at Leaving (1992).

Mainly, there is philosophizing, of both the pontificatory and diaristic sort so particular to Kraus’ written work, in voice over form. Terrorists in Love (1983) features a narrative read over scenes of a small party of individuals in an imaginary boat on a hillside. The spoken text is funny and squirrelly, not so much moving the narrative along as ping-ponging away from and around whatever Kraus’ central conceits are. It’s an evasive filmmaking, making its way periodically into abject and sadomasochistic territory. In a long work, Foolproof Illusion (1986), which fixates on French dramatist Antonin Artaud and his “theatre of cruelty,” the abjectness is literalized in scenes of Kraus and others declaiming some poor out-of-frame sod as “filthy,” “disgusting,” “fecal.”

Perhaps the most “New York” aspect of Kraus’ films are the lingering shots of the city’s crappy back ends—a visual implication of NYC’s toughness so commonly dramatized as to soften its authentic contemporary misery. Scrolling text in In Order to Pass (1982) obsesses over the act of remembering as partial and incomplete, and thus a plaguing disappointment. History of course coaxes us to regard remembrance as particular and essential to culture and its continuing survival, and it is here that Kraus begins to find the contours of a widely relatable tension that moves beyond the structuralist anxiety of medium.

One set of prints mounted to a gallery wall, also titled In Order to Pass (2018), show four different gloved hands and forearms, with text painted onto the gloves. This text forms something of an aesthetic manifesto for Kraus’ film work: “Fantastic Imagery,” “Disconnectedness,” “Juxtaposition,” and “Sitting.” That Kraus’ work may be described as idle, disjointed, discordant, and surprisingly compelling, mirrors these four tenets. Gravity and Grace (1995), Kraus’ feature-length final film, features a hilarious scene at the end where Gravity, our heroine throughout, meets with a curator at the New Museum who describes her work as “neither abject nor sublime,” pontificating at screamingly funny length on Gravity’s media and work as “not shitty enough” for the contemporary moment. A befuddled Gravity exclaims, “My work is made out of garbage!”

Kraus’ film work would seem to reach back beyond the structuralist work of the ’60s and ’70s to an earlier realm, of montage and vignettes—the parlance of Sergei Eisenstein with the tone of Chantal Ackerman. Kraus’ film aesthetic limits the viewer to a fits-and-starts narrative, and one continually bungled by its own mechanics: the fact of being a film or an image, the desire to seduce and move one emotionally through the movement of a picture, the distillation of a narrative into a cultural form never matched in real, lived life. Pleasure suitably demystified, Kraus’ protagonists throughout struggle instead with the basic duality of logic and emotion, perhaps best captured by the dominatrix in How to Shoot a Crime: “You have to be sensitive to people in order to be shitty to them.”

Chris Kraus, In Order to Pass: Films from 1982-1995 (2018) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Chateau Shatto. Photo: Elon Schoenholz.

Chris Kraus, Gravity and Grace (1995). 16mm film transferred to video. Image courtesy of the artist and Chateau Shatto. Photo: Elon Schoenholz.

Chris Kraus, Traveling at Night (1) (2018). Digital print on 100 lb. uncoated paper. Image courtesy of the artist and Chateau Shatto. Photo: Elon Schoenholz.

 

  1.  Laurie Anderson, “Three Songs for Paper, Film and Video,” 1984, United States Live, Warner Brothers, LP.
  2.  Dave Hickey, 25 Women: Essays on Their Art (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016), 62.