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
Downtown
ARTBOOK @ Hauser Wirth
    & Schimmel
917 E. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Central Park
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
    & at MOCA
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

MAMA
1242 Palmetto St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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

MOCA Grand Avenue
250 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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
Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
502 Chung King Ct.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

EMBASSY
422 Ord St., Suite G
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Human Resources
410 Cottage Home St.
Los Angeles CA, 90012

Ooga Booga
943 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Mid-City
1301PE
6150 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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

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
Culver City
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
Silverlake/ Echo Park
Smart Objects
1828 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Otherwild
1768 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Hollywood
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
Westside
18th Street Arts
1639 18th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis
    &College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Christopher Grimes Gallery
916 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

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

Five Car Garage
(Emma Gray HQ)

Team (Bungalow)
306 Windward Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
Eastside
ACME
2939 Denby Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

ESXLA
602 Moulton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

SADE
204 S. Avenue 19
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Boyle Heights
BBQLA
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

Interview with Zoe Barcza

Zoe Barcza, Dr. Awkward (2016). Acrylic and vinyl paint on canvas and aluminum artist frame. 43.3 x 63 x 1.75 inches. Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

Zoe Barcza is a positively perplexing freak of an artist. She exudes equipollent amounts of brash confidence and slippery self-awareness. She crushes snus pouches with an Arctic coolness, yet she maintains a generally warm, inspired energy.

The world is fucking dark, and the art world can sometimes feel like a magnified, exacerbated reflecting pool of this darkness, in which we participants are subject to sink. Barcza seems to recognize and process this more astutely than most young artists I’ve gotten to know thus far in life. Her individualized installations often double-down on said darkness, but the inherently gnarly or dystopian tones elucidate her biting sense of humor—a quality that is more than necessary for us all to get by, regardless of time or place.

————

Keith J. Varadi: You were here in
 Los Angeles a few months ago for your solo exhibition, DR AWKWARD, at Ghebaly Gallery. Upon seeing
 the grouping of new paintings,
 I found the title to be strangely fitting. The work is not expressly clinical or surgical, nor is it overly laborious 
or meticulous. By that I mean, the paintings appear to be made with 
a compulsive process, but their slickness in part materializes from the fact that they actually are not fussy in the least bit. Is this an appropriate read?

Zoe Barcza: Well, the medical/hospital vibe sort of coalesced when the mental image I had for these horizontal supine body triptychs intersected 
with the title DR AWKWARD, which was a palindrome I had heard on the radio that got stuck in my ear. I knew 
I wanted the bodies to have cartoony heads and feet with a mixed-up abstract puzzle for the guts. And while I was envisioning this, it coincided with me reading these palindromic sentences; the structure of these palindromes somehow suggested the logic of these painting bodies. There’s sort of an internal charge or closed circuit looping head to toe, or a snake eating its tail. And I also get this nerdy glee from palindromes. The scenarios and stories they arrive at can be so random or rude or surreal, because the subjects are completely tied to the formal structure. That relates to painting for me—that you can end up creating a story that you would never imagine outright to complete and serve the requirements of the picture. Like first you’re painting a gondolier, but then you mess up one of the hands, or the picture doesn’t seem balanced, so you add a chorizo sausage or something.

Here are some examples I like…

A slut nixes sex in Tulsa.

Age, irony, Noriega.

I maim Miami.

Satan oscillate my metallic sonatas.

Trafalgar rag: La Fart.

So it was thinking about the body and its relationship to palindromes that
 I started with, but then having the floating bodies suggested patients on gurneys lined up in a hospital corridor or in a morgue, and that created this narrative of who is the doctor and who is the patient. There was a quote in the MoMA Picabia show—on one of the didactic panels on the wall— where Picabia was like, “Perhaps I made painting sick. But how entertaining to be a doctor.” I tried to Google to find the original source, but the only thing that comes up
 is Jemima Kirke from Girls’ Twitter account, where she posted the quote. Haha.

KJV: The millennial normalization of Francis Picabia—ha!

Another thing about these paintings is that the frames were rather peculiar. From afar, they really just looked like standard aluminum frames. But they were actually strips of aluminum screwed into the sides of the paintings, and none of the strips were quite the same heights or widths of any of the pictures, making it appear as if the depicted imagery was on the brink of an outburst. 
I found this framing design to be such a well-considered decision, and I honestly find that many artists often overlook these details.

ZB: Thanks. Well, sure…all those decisions are super fun, and you are only limited by the physical properties of materials and the amount of money you have to spend. But that was an intuitive choice—it gave the paintings a mechanical and slightly sci-fi impression. I was thinking about Jack Goldstein’s airbrushed paintings of lightning and bomber jets—I had seen some in person and had a vague recollection that the edges were finished in a similar way, giving them a slick commercial light box feeling. And also, there was a whiff of Paul Thek’s Technological Reliquaries, with organic body stuff encased in inorganic shiny vitrines.

Zoe Barcza, Bob, Level Bob (2016) (Installation view). Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

KJV: The figures you had painted for this show seem to be illustrating the manic dichotomy of solemnity and outrage, with the horizontal ones appearing to have more or less resigned themselves to their current state, and the vertical ones looking ready to erupt. There is a lot of optical play, labyrinthine motifs, and a sense of hopelessness gleaned from these exercises. What do you think about this oscillating confined hysteria in the work, and how do you think it might relate to what’s happening in the world right now?

ZB: Yeah, totally. The subject matter—the body, my body—is not something that I can be detached from. Literally! Hehe! Body-horror is the basis of most of my personal anxiety and hysteria. The maze as guts, and a metaphor for all murky interiors, reflects my own fear and confusion with what’s going on inside of me. I’m a mega hypochondriac since as far back as I can remember. Anxieties and thoughts can create physical sensations and acute discomfort that mimic the horrendous imagined ailment. If I think too much that there might be a hole in my heart, my legs can go numb just to cooperate. It’s a stupid loop.

And, of course, there is nothing special about me; this is a symptom of existing in this world, and it comes out in different ways, depending on the person. And North America is a particularly tumorous and crazy-making place to grow up in. Existential dread is a pretty legit feeling all the time, though…of course in light of the world today, but any year since we evolved the capacity to worry would work, too. The paintings are also silly as heck.

KJV: The press release was written by your boyfriend, the Swedish painter, Alfred Boman. In it, he talks about the pointlessness of art, the existential crisis of parenthood, premonitions of violence, and national healthcare, among other topics. He also describes you and your work in an equally sincere and sarcastic manner, which is kind of his way, no? It’s a playfully honest and brutally ominous text…

ZB: Haha! That’s a good synopsis. Umm, yeah. Alfred’s a funny guy who writes in a very particular way. There is no point, really, in trying to direct what he’s going to write, because he only does one thing and it’s a great thing—like how Jack Nicholson only plays Jack Nicholson in movies. He was also spoofing the whole press release thing. The text was super satirical. I wasn’t sure if that was going to come across to someone who wasn’t necessarily familiar with his deadpan tone and might read it straight. But it like oscillates between the two, and that’s a quality that’s interesting to me, and something that comes up in my art, too—when you can be ironic, but also mean it.

KJV: Also, as we both know, it’s pretty common in the art world for two artists to be romantically linked. How would you say being involved with another challenging thinker and maker affects the way in which you participate in these endeavors, yourself?

ZB: Well, it’s impossible to separate the two; like…do I like this person’s art because I’m in love with them,
 or vice versa? I’ve only really ever been involved with people who are arty in one way or another, so I don’t know what it would be like otherwise. There are certain understandings that you don’t have to bridge. And of course, over time, you mutually rub off on each other. I’ve for sure been influenced a lot by Alfred, but that’s a good thing, not something to be guarded against. Like in one of Jonathan Meese’s videos, he’s talking about making art with his mom, and he says something like, “Art should be a family business,” and I agree with that.

Zoe Barcza, Poor Dan Is In A Droop (2016) (Installation view). Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

KJV: I’d like to discuss the press release a bit more. There is one line right at the beginning that goes: “Will there be a total war here or what, like w’zup with the politics now and so on…these people, really?” Your show actually opened on November 12th, the Saturday after the recent election here in the United States. Would you mind talking about what it was like to experience such an epic fail within an unfamiliar government in a foreign land, surrounded primarily by strangers?

ZB: It was harsh, Keith! I guess it made for a memorable opening?
 I mean, what a nightmare! I don’t know what to say, and I don’t want
 to repeat the same anti-Trump things that get said a million times, and contribute to the entropic sprawl of Guardian articles and think pieces spilling out to a state of stupefaction!

KJV: During the days that followed the election, I kept thinking about the especially particular perspective you must have had on our situation, given that you are a millennial woman who was born and raised in Canada and who now currently lives in Sweden. Canada does have a reputation, as so many of you Canadians joke about, of being kinder and more diplomatic than your neighbors to the south. And Sweden, like the other Scandinavian countries, has a reputation of being a wealthy nation that takes care of its less financially fortunate. This approach could not be any more different than the one typically implemented here in this country.

ZB: It feels impossible for me to write anything about Donald Trump right now without feeling trite. It’d all just be stale hindsight blather. And I can’t generalize about Sweden’s opinions without risking being hazed here. But one thing I would say is maybe there’s a vague resentment, like, “Why do I have to pay constant attention to this ONE country, all the time…whose people think that Sweden is the same thing as Switzerland”? And maybe people here were not that surprised about Trump. Like perhaps having a deranged billionaire cowboy at the helm was not a departure from what was expected of the U.S.A., based on their actions as a geopolitical entity. And at the same time, while perhaps it is easier to judge with this critical distance, I don’t feel that people here fully understand what it’s like to live in the U.S. Like they maybe think they do because they grow up with American TV and movies and music, but that is not the same as living there, which at times can be so impossible and hellish for most people I know. So I guess I often feel stretched between different ideologies, but grateful to be somewhat removed.

KJV: Do you think more artists might now be compelled to respond to what’s going on around them? Do you think communities will more actively pursue engaging with art? Can art actually do anything of cultural significance other than “contributing to culture”?

ZB: Yeah, that’s a humdinger. I don’t know. I hope so. I mean, I think often straight-up political art is a bit of a misunderstanding; like…it is often way less subversive than it intends to be. Like, in the UFC reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, there’s a recurring trope of a mom or dad who have quit all their jobs to train MMA full-time, and at some point in the season, he or she says, “I’m doing all this for my family, for my son, for my daughter.” But they are fighting for money in a cage! If they wanted to ensure their family’s security, there could be more direct ways to do so. It feels similar with art…like…it might work, but maybe there would be more efficacious routes than making installations in project spaces? I’m not putting down MMA—I love MMA. And I’m not putting down art—I love it more 
than anything.

I do like to believe that art can do something. When everything is increasingly corny and homogenized, and suggested content from algorithms makes everyone read and think similar things, maybe art has a place to break through all that in little eruptions of non-assimilable weirdness. And then it can make an impact on anyone anywhere, if you’re alienated or isolated. I mean, that happens to me. I just had that experience at a 
Kai Althoff show—it totally fucked me up; it affected me so much. It was like falling through a wormhole to a different world. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it can happen.

Zoe Barcza, So Ida, Adios, 2016. Installation view, Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

Zoe Barcza, Evade Me, Dave, 2016. Acrylic on canvas and aluminum artist frame. 31.5 x 43.3 x 1.75 inches. Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

Zoe Barcza is a Canadian artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. She graduated from Städelschule, Frankfurt in 2013. Her work is currently on view
 in the group exhibition, The Love Object, at Team Gallery in New York. Previous solo exhibitions include DR AWKWARD at Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles; Texas Liquid Smoke at LOYAL, Stockholm; and International Loner, Shoot The Lobster, New York. Other places her work has been seen include 3236RLS, London; Hole Of The Fox, Antwerp; Cooper Cole, Toronto; Sandy Brown, Berlin; Seventeen, London; and Carl Kostyal, Stockholm.

 

Originally published in Carla issue 7