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

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.
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
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.
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
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Made in L.A. 2016
Doug Aitken Electric Earth

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
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
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.
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
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater
Diana Thater
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
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
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
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
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
Mateo Tannatt
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
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
ARTBOOK @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
Club Pro
Dalton Warehouse
Elevator Mondays
The Geffen Contemporary 
Ghebaly Gallery
Mistake Room
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Night Gallery
The Box
Wilding Cran Gallery
Boyle Heights/ Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
Chimento Contemporary
Charlie James
Human Resources
Ibid Gallery
Ooga Booga
Ooga Twooga
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
Nicodim Gallery
Venus Over Los Angeles
67 Steps
Smart Objects
Skibum MacArthur
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis 
College of Art and Design
Christopher Grimes Gallery
DXIX Projects
Five Car Garage
Team (Bungalow)
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The Armory Center for the Arts
The Pit
Los Angeles Valley College
The Art Gallery @ GCC
1301 PE
Big Pictures Los Angeles
California African American Museum
Chainlink Gallery
Commonwealth & Council
David Kordansky Gallery
Kayne Griffin Corcoran
ltd Los Angeles
Marc Foxx
Shoot the Lobster
Ochi Projects
Park View
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USC Fisher Museum of Art
Visitor Welcome Center
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Arcana Books
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Family Books
Hannah Hoffman
Nino Mier Gallery
Moskowitz Bayse
Noysky Projects
Regen Projects
Shulamit Nazarian
Various Small Fires
South Bay
Grab Bag Studios
The Torrance Art Museum
Elsewhere in CA
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Libraries/ Collections
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CalArts (Valencia, CA)
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John M. Flaxman Library at SAIC (Chicago, IL)
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Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library (New York, NY)
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Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
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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)

Mark A. Rodriguez
at Park View

Mark A. Rodriguez, Earth Day af (2016) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Park View, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Mark A. Rodriguez, Earth Day af (2016) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Park View, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Owning things comes with complications. A certain amount of stuff is required to sustain life, but there’s a point when too much is too much; even necessary things spurn attachment as they break down, go out of style, or decompose. Mark A. Rodriguez’s recent exhibition at Park View embodied the passions and problems of obsolescence, provoking barbed questions about what it means to hold onto things, including art.

Two works containing a few-thousand cassette tapes each addressed these themes most clearly. 1st Gen (2010-2016) and 2nd Gen (2010-ongoing) are sculptures whose primary building blocks are exhaustive collections of Grateful Dead concert recordings. 1st Gen also includes a cleanly designed mahogany shelving unit that holds the tapes, neatly ordering the spine of each tape’s cardstock insert, and shed- ding light on the archival preferences, penmanship, and stylistic tics of the individual collector who catalogued it.

Occupying a middle ground between homespun minimalism, home décor, and luxurious audiophile altarpiece, the piece occupied an entire wall of Park View’s modest apartment setting. The most visually dominant works, meanwhile, were a series of cartoonish, larger-than-life wooden cutouts of flowers painted with menacingly gleeful facial expressions (2015 and 2016) inspired by street-level advertising Rodriguez encountered outside a local garden store. The flowers loomed everywhere, yet 1st Gen was the exhibition’s center of gravity.

On the surface, the piece is a study in the variety of fandom that reveals the fastidious side of a fan base best known for its Dionysian tendencies. As a Deadhead (full disclosure), however, I found myself drawn beyond this sociological facade into thornier territory with concerns about property—intellectual and otherwise.


Mark A. Rodriguez, Earth Day af (2016) (detail). Image courtesy of the artist and Park View, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane.

The Grateful Dead allowed its fans to record concerts with the proviso that the tapes were not to be commercially distributed. By incorporating them in artworks that bear his name rather than the Dead’s—Rodriguez affixed a carved plaque with his signature and the image
of a rose to the lower right side of 1st Gen’s shelving unit—and by exhibiting it in a gallery where it might be sold, he was calling upon art’s ability to act as a super-efficient conductor of authorship. As in any act of post-Duchampian appropriation, the tapes become, at least temporarily, his own intellectual property. And like the slippery copyright issues that are re-shaping the music business today, their use by Rodriguez provokes questions about how and when artists can ethically absorb each other’s work.

The extremity of Rodriguez’s commitment
 to the project, however, suggested that he is interested in something that goes beyond putting his stamp on the Dead’s legacy. What he has appropriated, finally, are the tapes as containers of music rather than the music itself. Given the warmth of its physical presence, 1st Gen becomes a paean to the importance of real things that can be touched. But considering the time he spent traveling and meeting with tape collectors, as well as the care taken in the construction
 of the shelving, the work’s impact is as a performative and durational—or even devotional—gesture rather than a purely sculptural statement.

This paradox was only emphasized by the subtle presence of 2nd Gen, a work in progress for which Rodriguez is attempting to obtain a recording of every documented show the Dead played during their 30-year career. It includes the many duplicates he amassed while sourcing tapes for 1st Gen—those for which he had no duplicates he spent years dubbing himself—and was installed in several dozen cardboard boxes stacked underneath a table lodged against the gallery’s rear wall. Rodriguez demoted the gallery from fine art space to storage facility. As a result, I felt like I was being asked to exchange the experience of aesthetic pleasure for a sadder meditation on the way possessions pile up as mute witnesses to the passage of time.

Until I consulted the checklist, it hadn’t occurred to me that the table sheltering 2nd Gen, about as featureless an object as one could imagine, was 
an artwork too. On top of Table (2015-2016)—and the related but more diminutive Night Stand (2016), located elsewhere in the gallery— Rodriguez placed several examples of his functional Common Lamp (2015) sculptures, in which brass and copper elements echo the colors and textures of the pennies filling the aluminum pans serving as bases. As inflation takes its course, pennies are increasingly on the verge of uselessness, so that the lamps provide storage for objects whose utility is on the wane.

Seen together these works bring to mind Dieter Roth and his tables and desks, which started out as sites for art making and ended up as art objects. Depending on one’s perspective, this either dilutes value—because anything the artist touches has the potential to become art—or allows it to become a free-flowing force with the potential to imbue common things with something akin to religious energy. In either case, what ends up being shown as art in spaces designated for the purpose are relic- or corpse-like objects that point outward from themselves, toward life and the inevitable processes of decay that delimit it. The quietly radical conclusion here is that art, like life, can never really be contained. What fills our galleries and museums are mere by-products of otherwise ephemeral processes.

Mark A. Rodriguez, Earth Day af, (2016) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Park View, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Mark A. Rodriguez, Earth Day af (2016) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Park View, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane.


Mark A. Rodriguez, Earth Day af (2016) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Park View, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane.


Mark A. Rodriguez, Earth Day af (2016) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Park View, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane.


Originally published in Carla issue 6