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
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
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Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature by Thomas Duncan
Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler by Stuart Krimko
Karl Haendel by Aaron Horst
Wolfgang Tillmans by Eli Diner
Ma by Claire de Dobay Rifelj
The Rat Bastard Protective Association by Pablo Lopez
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
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Catherine Wagley
The Rise
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Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
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Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
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Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
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Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews:
Made in L.A. 2016
Doug Aitken Electric Earth
Mertzbau

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
Mark A. Rodruigez
The Weeping Line
Molly Larkey, Aaron Horst,
Keith J. Varadi, Katie Bode,
Stuart Krimko, Matt Stromberg
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 Hana Cohn, Eli Diner,
Claire De Dobay Rifelj,
Katie Bode, Molly Larkey,
Keith J. Varadi
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:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj,
Matt Stromberg, Hana Cohn,
Lindsay Preston Zappas,
Simone Krug, Keith Vaughn,
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
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
Reviews Eli Diner, Jonathan Griffin,
Don Edler, Aaron Horst
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 Benjamin Lord, Aaron Horst, Stephen Kent
Top-Down Bottom-Up Jenny Gagalka
Snap Reviews Aaron Horst, Char Jansen, Randy Rice, Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
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
VESSEL // CINS and
VESSEL // PERF
Ben Medansky
I've been a lot of places,
seen so many faces
Nora Slade
Launch Party Carla Issue 1
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, Catherine Wagley, Keith Vaughn, Aaron Horst, Kate Wolf, Mateo Tannatt, Evan Moffitt, Cal Siegel
We’re in This Together Lauren Cherry & Max Springer
Distribution
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ARTBOOK @ Hauser Wirth
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2441 Hunter St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

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412 W. 6th St. #615
Los Angeles, CA 90014

CES Gallery
711 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Cirrus Gallery
2011 S. Santa Fe Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Château Shatto
406 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Club Pro
1525 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Fahrenheit
2245 E. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Ghebaly Gallery
2245 E. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

The Geffen Contemporary
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152 N. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Harmony Murphy
358 E. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

LACA
2245 E. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

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1242 Palmetto St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Mistake Room
1811 E. 20th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90058

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250 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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1206 Maple Avenue, #523
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Night Gallery
2276 E. 16th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

The Box
805 Traction Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Wilding Cran Gallery
939 S. Santa Fe Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
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502 Chung King Ct.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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969 Chung King Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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422 Ord St., Suite G
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Human Resources
410 Cottage Home St.
Los Angeles CA, 90012

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943 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
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1301PE
6150 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Big Pictures Los Angeles
2424 W Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

California African American Museum
600 State Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90037

Chainlink Gallery
1051 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Commonwealth and Council
3006 W. 7th St. #220
Los Angeles CA 90005

David Kordansky Gallery
5130 W. Edgewood Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

HILDE
4727 W. Washington
Los Angeles, CA 90016

JOAN
4300 W. Jefferson Blvd. #1
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Kayne Griffin Corcoran
1201 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

ltd Los Angeles
1119 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Marc Foxx
6150 Wilshire Blvd. #5
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Martos Gallery
3315 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

Ms. Barbers
5370 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Ochi Projects
3301 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

The Landing
5118 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Park View
836 S. Park View St. Unit 8
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Skibum MacArthur
712 S. Grand View St., #204
Los Angeles, CA 90057

SPRÜTH MAGERS
5900 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Underground Museum
3508 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

VACANCY
2524 1/2 James M. Wood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Visitor Welcome Center
3006 W. 7th St., Suite #200A
Los Angeles, CA 90005
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2660 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Arcana Books
8675 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Blum and Poe
2727 S. La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Cherry and Martin
2712 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Honor Fraser
2622 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Klowden Mann
6023 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Luis De Jesus
2685 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

MiM Gallery
2636 La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Roberts and Tilton
5801 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Samuel Freeman
2639 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Susanne Vielmetter
6006 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
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Smart Objects
1828 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Otherwild
1768 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
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Diane Rosenstein
831 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Family Books
436 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

GAVLAK
1034 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Hannah Hoffman
1010 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

LAXART
7000 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90038

M+B
612 N. Almont Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Mier
1107 Greenacre Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Moskowitz Bayse
743 N. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Regen Projects
6750 Santa Monica Blvd.
LLos Angeles, CA 90038

Shulamit Nazarian
616 N. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Various Small Fires
812 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
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1639 18th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis
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9045 Lincoln Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

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916 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

DXIX Projects
519 Santa Clara Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90291

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(Emma Gray HQ)

Team (Bungalow)
306 Windward Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
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67 Steps
2163 Princeton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

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2939 Denby Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

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602 Moulton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

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204 S. Avenue 19
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2315 Jesse St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Chimento Contemporary
622 S. Anderson St., #105
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ibid.
670 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ooga Twooga
356 Mission Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
1326 S. Boyle Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
649 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Nicodim Gallery
571 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Venus Over Los Angeles
601 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Armory Center for the Arts
145 N. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Ave.
Valley Glen, CA 91401

Natural
15168 Raymer St.
Van Nuys, CA 91405

The Pit
918 Ruberta Ave.
Glendale, CA 91201

Escape from Bunker Hill

John Knight at REDCAT

John Knight, A work in situ (Installation view) (2016). Image courtesy of REDCAT, Los Angeles. Photo: Brica Wilcox.

John Knight, A work in situ (Installation view) (2016). Image courtesy of REDCAT, Los Angeles. Photo: Brica Wilcox.

Whoever bends on him/herself the rays of contradiction becomes not a hero but the vanishing point in an old picture.

–Brian O’Doherty, Inside the White Cube

From its institutional charter to its corner space underneath Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, the whole of the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater supposedly meets the scrutiny of John Knight’s A work in situ (2016). The artwork’s threshold is therefore hard to name. Knight’s show could start with the glass doors and undulating, Gehry-esque awning of REDCAT’s 2nd Street entrance. It has certainly begun when, entering the lobby and looking across yards of gray carpet to another set of glass doors and the parking deck beyond, you notice the gallery’s modular wall is drawn shut and labeled LEVEL 3. Inside, the space has been styled in the lavender of the building’s P3 parking level. The gallery’s two prominent structural columns are marked “Row G.” Indeed, if the columns didn’t always give it away, Knight’s dressing-down of the concrete-floored and white-walled box confirms our suspicions: REDCAT and its gallery were once a parking lot.

Is a gallery an architecture? An idea? An afterthought? A caramel-colored baseboard hems the entire REDCAT space from lobby to lounge; Knight has removed it from the exhibition space. Meanwhile he has unfurled the grimy Airwall system that typically only serves after hours or between shows. Knight’s tweaks of the gallery’s awkward details do more than underscore that REDCAT came late in Gehry’s plans; they satirize the space itself.

Across from the gallery entrance, a wall text sites REDCAT within Grand Avenue’s lineup of world-class museums and performance venues—a burgeoning cultural district that, while heralded by Gehry’s Disney Hall in 2003, it took the recent opening of The Broad for Angelinos to notice.[1] Projected above the doors to P3 are slides for REDCAT’s upcoming and past events. For April 9, the day of Knight’s opening, appears only an archival photo of Bunker Hill c. 1970, scraped clean of houses and ready for development. Knight complicates the notion that REDCAT was nothing more than a well-intentioned addition; after all, it’s not philharmonic orchestras that are the vanguard of gentrification, but artists.

It’s artists, too, that remain the petulant critics of their own patrons. A few punny phrases embellishing the gallery point a mild insurgence upstairs to Disney Hall and beyond. Under a fire extinguisher’s obligatory red icon, white vinyl on the white wall reads ADDITIONAL FOUNDATION SUPPORT; the word OCCUPIED, painted on the recessed ceiling’s fascia, recalls Occupy Wall Street and portable toilets in turn. Abutting one of the columns the words CURB APPEAL evoke parked cars and chintzy flips. Across one wall, in the font that would read ELEVATOR, is the phrase TAKE IT FROM THE TOP, as if to rehearse a band courtesy the wealth of the 1% that floats both Disney Hall and REDCAT. The font Knight uses throughout, A Font Called Frank (the proprietary typeface developed for Gehry’s building), is itself telling: REDCAT, the Disney Hall’s scrappier downstairs tenant, normally isn’t allowed to use it.[2] So much for trickle-down philanthropy. Yet wherever you cast around—The Broad is too humorless, MOCA too polite, and Disney Hall too controlling—only REDCAT and its CalArts underwriters would invite Knight’s particular self-reflexion, and thereby volunteer as the institutional conscience of the whole district.

John Knight, A work in situ (Installation view) (2016). Image courtesy of REDCAT, Los Angeles. Photo: Brica Wilcox.

John Knight, A work in situ (installation view) (2016). Image courtesy of REDCAT, Los Angeles. Photo: Brica Wilcox.

REDCAT has been here before. In 2005 the gallery hosted Facing the Music, a show curated by Allan Sekula (then a professor at CalArts); the belated and expanded catalog arrived in 2015, a year before Knight’s show.[3] Through commissions from a cadre of local documentarians, Facing the Music situated Disney Hall within a range of broader contexts—from the long and sunny history of California boosterism to the construction workers who built Gehry’s project to the storm drains that connect REDCAT to the river. Suffice it to say that the questions of gentrification, civic improvement, and historicism (and the erasure thereof) are treated by Facing the Music in much greater depth than Knight’s cursory revelation can manage. Nor is Sekula the only critic of Disney Hall. The back cover of the catalog, for example, bears blurbs from two other prominent Los Angeles intellectuals who have contributed to the discourse around Bunker Hill: filmmaker Thom Andersen (also of CalArts) and historian Mike Davis. Knight will not have had to look far for this precession of institutional criticism delivered, as with A work in situ, from within the institution itself. Yet for a work ostensibly concerned with restating the forgotten past of a manicured civic center, Knight’s exhibition prefers its own cleverness over the discoveries of others.

Given only the superficial intimation of in situ engagement, how are we expected to engage? On the rightmost wall, another ambiguous directive: ANOTHER WAY OUT and an arrow indicate an emergency exit in the gallery’s corner. Like the columns, the door is obvious, and ignored. Perhaps Knight means to highlight another architectural redundancy. Perhaps his joke also suggests a conceptual exit, another way out of the hermeneutics of invitational critique—that is, another way out of John Knight.

Pushing open the door, I find myself staring at a brace of drainage pipes in a bright white hallway. To my left, the hallway splits into a stairwell: downward are a few offices, further halls; upward, another set of stairs, utility access, a slop sink, the improvised paint and equipment storage of an impromptu gallery; a freight elevator, a loading dock, and eventually Lower Grand, lit by shafts of light through Grand Avenue above. I know this not because of John Knight, but because between 2010 and 2011, after graduating with an MFA from CalArts (where I was Sekula’s TA), I worked at REDCAT as a gallery preparator. Now, though, I am a critic reviewing Knight’s show. I walk a bit deeper into the building; the staircase is watched over by the prominent acrylic bubble of a security camera. There are more cameras higher on the wall. I wonder if I could in fact follow these hallways around the back of the REDCAT theater, or perhaps over it, to find the parking deck. Instead, I get nervous and turn around.

John Knight, A work in situ (Installation view) (2016). Image courtesy of REDCAT, Los Angeles. Photo: Brica Wilcox.

John Knight, A work in situ (installation view) (2016). Image courtesy of REDCAT, Los Angeles. Photo: Brica Wilcox.

The door to the gallery is locked from the hallway side. Nearby a second door opens out beside the ashtray near the main REDCAT entrance. I reenter REDCAT, walk through the lobby, down a few stairs, through a set of double doors and into the P3 parking level itself. If REDCAT is an afterthought in Disney Hall’s design, the parking structure is integral. I ride the building’s central escalators up to the Disney Hall, then down to P7. The parking levels roll by through big interior windows. A man jogs past me, up the ramp, perhaps to the parking office. I recall trying to reason through bulletproof glass with a clerk at the parking window who eventually told me, flatly, “There is no such thing as a six-dollar refund.” A second perturbed attendant finally threatened to have “County” tow my car. What does Los Angeles County have to do with it, I asked. It turns out they own the lot. And the Classic Parking Inc. whose bland monogram graced my salmon-pink gate ticket is a contractor. The scales fell from my eyes. The remorseless pillars of Row G that plunge through REDCAT into indifferent depths were revealed as what they have always been—the very Pillars of the Institution!

But where is John Knight? His show perhaps prompts a certain reverie, but the work of restructuring REDCAT’s history has been done ahead of A work in situ. His gesture is simple: to illustrate the congruency of the sacred gallery and the profane garage; to direct the viewer to the margins of his show’s context. Once there, however, A work in situ is only as banal as the world it presumes to reveal. In a city of cars, it should come as no surprise that power takes an interest in parking lots.

Another truism: so long as there are institutions, there will be institutional critique. Still, as the show begins, it must also end—if not in the hidden hallways and colonnaded switchbacks of Disney Hall, if not on June 12, 2016 when the exhibition closes and the gallery is repainted white, then perhaps in the moment its bare minimum of criticality is itself revealed to be as dull as dimly lit concrete. Passing back through the lobby toward 2nd and Hope Street, I step into the gallery one last time. As I examine the width of a purple stripe, painted on the floor like half a parking spot, a woman carrying a lunch bag walks in the Airwall door, between the columns, out the emergency exit and, without pause, hooks left down the hall.

[1] See Travis Diehl, “Veil and Vault,” Frieze 173, September 2015, https://www.frieze.com/article/veil-vault.

[2] See Bruce Mau Design, http://www.brucemaudesign.com/work/walt-disney-concert-hall.

[3] Diehl, “Review: Facing the Music,” Objektiv, May 19, 2015, http://www.objektiv.no/realises/2015/5/19/facing-the-music-allan-sekula.

2016-07-12

Originally published in Carla Issue 5.