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
by Thomas Duncan

Broken Language
at Shulamiit Nazarian
by Angella d'Avignon

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum
by Matt Stromberg

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects
by Aaron Horst

Home
at LACMA
by Simone Krug

Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
by Hana Cohn
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures: Alice Könitz and LAMOA Catherine Wagley
Interview with Penny Slinger Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Launch Party
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
by Jonathan Griffin

Jennie Jieun Lee
by Stuart Krimko

Trisha Baga
by Lindsay Preston Zappas

Jimmie Durham
by Molly Larkey

Parallel City
by Hana Cohn

Jason Rhodes
by Matt Stromberg
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:
Brenna Youngblood
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
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
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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Nicodim Gallery
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Eastside
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67 Steps
ESXLA
Otherwild
SADE
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Skibum MacArthur
Westside
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis 
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Christopher Grimes Gallery
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Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
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Various Small Fires
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Elsewhere in CA
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Non CA
Artbook @ MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY)
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Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Marpha Foundation (Marpha, Nepal)
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Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library (New York, NY)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, John M. Flaxman Library (Chicago, IL)
Scholes Library, NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, NY)
Skowhegan Archives (New York, NY)
Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York, NY)
Telfair Museum (Savannah, GA)
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)

Honeydew
at Michael Thibault

Bill Jenkins and Chadwick Rantanen, Honeydew (installation view) (2015). Image courtesy of the artists and Michael Thibault Gallery.

Honeydew (installation view) (2015). Image courtesy of the artists and Michael Thibault Gallery.

Intervention is a term we hear a lot, one that often doesn’t mean much. We’re asked to look upon a work of art and see it as somehow disruptive to a narrative or a market that are, in fact, rather acquiescent. Still, I’m tempted to use the term here, to describe the work on view at Honeydew, Bill Jenkins and Chadwick Rantanen’s two-man show at Michael Thibault, if only because of how absurd it sounds. (An urgent intervention into the distribution of light at a particular address in West Adams and the electrical currents in a collection of off-brand consumer commodities.) While the modifications that comprised the artists’ respective contributions perhaps suggest something a bit closer to a hack (as in a life hack or an Ikea hack)—refashioning the crap of contemporary material culture—they did so with a definite sense of the absurd, staging a pageant of shoddiness that seemed to deride the artistically precious and the discursively pompous.

The sleekest thing in the show—a long wooden construction like a sharp-angled trough—stood in the center of the front room. The interior walls sloped down to a plane, along the middle of which ran a slender gap designed to swallow dead AAA batteries, produced by a collection of chintzy electronic goods procured by Rantanen. Motion-activated chirping birds, spinning globes, and a filigreed LED sconce, were haphazardly displayed in the trough, their packaging strewn about, like a rejoinder to fastidious modes of display.

And all those tchotchkes, as it happens, take AA batteries. Rantanen cast plastic casings that give AAAs a little extra length and girth, allowing them to fit AA holders. The casings are strangely emphatic objects, an impression no doubt heightened by the discarded bubble wrap, cardboard, and whining electronics. Though it probably has more to do with a curious, extraneous feature: each casing possesses a couple of flat, round protuberances, like a pair of wings that—whatever their ornamental function—prevent the battery compartment from closing. In fact, those wings made it hard for these items to even sit up straight or assume whatever their proper deportment. The birds were forced to lie on their sides. The globes were disassembled, their Southern Hemispheres steadily whirling, top halves inert. It turns out that doing the work of their big brothers puts quite a strain on the little AAAs. They were expiring at an alarming rate, plunking down into the belly of the trough.

Honeydew (installation view) (2015). Image courtesy of the artists and Michael Thibault Gallery.

Honeydew (installation view) (2015). Image courtesy of the artists and Michael Thibault Gallery.

Descent was the defining movement of the installation: the sloping walls of the trough, the abyss of spent batteries, and—from above—Jenkins’s elaborately ramshackle ductwork of plastic sheeting, Mylar, and wood, completely covering the gallery’s skylight and fixtures, slouching down from the ceiling and funneling illumination toward the buffet of whining birds. As objects, the ducts are both imposing and flimsy, their effect theatrical and sardonic. While disorienting the visitor and reorienting the space, Jenkins’s redirections of light—that element essential for (among so many other things) photographing art—seemed concerned as much with the would-be online viewer as the gallery visitor. Reallocating light into dim puddles, Jenkins manufactured a kind of resource scarcity—not so much an imagining of the possibility of the unphotographable, as a prickly concession to the inevitability of install shots: might as well make it tricky.

In the second room, light again filtered through a plastic tarp, and again consumer crap ran on AAAs in AA drag (with protruding wings). Only here the light source was an eye-level window and the gizmos consisted of motion-sensitive outdoor cameras, a row of sconces, and a couple of inflatable fat suits. The latter hung from the wall, while down on the floor, the cameras and lights sat atop the boxes they’d been sold in, like pedestals.

Rantanen and Jenkins’s projects work rather well together—perhaps an odd choice of words for a show built on things not working well. The press release consisted of a list of instructions for dealing with inevitable problems: replacing batteries, taping up light leaks in the ducting. Still, Jenkins’s conduits of light and Rantanen’s readymades and winged casings each enlivened the other, teasing out drama from works that on their own might skew deadpan. The artists also, of course, share a sense of materiality, an engagement with the physical dregs and artifacts of our historical moment, both the ubiquitous and the overlooked. These are the surpluses of an advanced capitalist society, glossed for us always in a technophiliac hymn. But if the future is here, why is it so shitty?

Honeydew was on view from September 26–November 8, 2015 at Michael Thibault (3311 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90018).

Honeydew (installation view) (2015). Image courtesy of the artists and Michael Thibault Gallery.

Honeydew (installation view) (2015). Image courtesy of the artists and Michael Thibault Gallery.

2016-07-12 (1)

Originally published in Carla Issue 3.