Artist: Jennifer West
Venue: JOAN, Los Angeles
Exhibit Title: Future Forgetting
Date: February 28– April 26, 2020
Organized By: David Matorin
Complete gallery of images, news release and link readily available after the dive.
Images thanks to JOAN, Los Angeles
Conversation with artist Jennifer West and unique guest, writer Norman Klein moderated by curator and writer Lauren Mackler.
JOAN Los Angeles is pleased to present Future Forgetting, a solo exhibit of brand-new movie and sculptural works by Jennifer West. In this homecoming exhibition– the artist’s very first solo program for more than 8 years in her native L.A.– West turns her lens on the city itself, bringing her continuous expedition of the materiality of film to bear on matters of memory, place, and conservation. The exhibition is consisted of 2 significant “analogital” works (West’s term for her hybrid video-films), and a secondary Zine of the type West has created for all her solo exhibitions, recording the ideas and procedure surrounding the work. Future Forgetting’s zine is not restricted to the printed page however takes form as a sculptural display screen of text, images and objects.
Each piece of Future Forgetting draws inspiration and metaphorical or actual product from the Los Angeles River– the often dry, concrete-encased waterway that curls through the infamously heterogeneous quarters of the city in a circuitous comma, connecting the diverse parts of L.A. like independent clauses of a sentence. The program’s title is influenced by the epilogue of author and metropolitan historian Norman Klein’s prominent text “The History of Forgetting” (1997), in which he describes the “erasure of memory” that duplicates itself in the constructed mythology and physical facilities of Los Angeles, along with the misleading veneer of downtown L.A.’s metropolitan renewal. Future Forgetting uses the physical texture of film to describe Los Angeles as both a location and an image simultaneously– an unstable building and construction that deteriorates and replenishes with time’s ebb and circulation.
The large video projection, 6th Street Bridge Movie(2020) is a transfer of intentionally harmed, blemished, tinted, colored, and etched 16 mm movie. The footage records the last days of the sixth Street Viaduct– the renowned L.A. river-spanning bridge that consisted of an access tunnel which permitted drivers and movie crews (permitted or otherwise) to drive from the street onto the river’s concrete embankments. Its downtown location is well-known for its long list of cameos in Hollywood films such as “Point Blank” (1967), “Grease” (1978), “Repo Guy” (1984) and “Terminator 2” (1991). The viaduct was destroyed in 2016 for concerns over its structural stability despite acquiring an L.A. Historic-Cultural Monolith designation. The city is replacing the bridge with a new style set to open in2022 In West’s film, a cross-section of Angelenos assembles to commemorate the bridge’s death. Movie and automobile lovers, graffiti authors, photographers, and city explorers drive, walk, and linger upon the bridge’s area and the river below for the last time. In 2019, West returned to the riverbed listed below the viaduct’s previous location with the movie she ‘d shot three years prior. Unspooling the established rolls, she submerged her reels into the river’s water, dragging them through the algae, sediment and sediment picked up on the river’s journey through the city. The treatment destroyed her original movie prints however she preserved them, together with the river’s imprint on their surface, on 16 mm negative stock. The surface staining and decay seen in the film’s 4K video transfer are the results of this process– utilizing the river as a treatment for its own image.
The second major work stems further upriver at the Arroyo Seco Confluence in South Pasadena. For years during walks near her home, West had observed a prevalence of shattered TVs in Arroyo Seco’s seasonally dry riverbed. Obviously tossed from surrounding bridges to the cement below, the bewildering gesture seemed born partly of negligent neglect and partially of devastating malice, but she envisioned how it could be a type of quiet protest versus consumer society, planned obsolescence or the tyranny of images. The cinematic, apocalyptic picture of L.A.’s barren river littered with cast-off electronics inspired her to preserve the evidence of these useless acts of violence versus disposable innovation. She started collecting the splintered fragments of circuit board or mirrored and translucent screen intermingled with other flotsam and jetsam that had actually cleaned downriver– old CDs and stereo pieces; electrical organ keys and torn audio speakers; broken golf clubs from the Arroyo Seco Golf Course, and roaming arrows from Pasadena Roving Archers. West set up the random tasting of scavenged debris by type and recorded it in 16 mm on green screen backgrounds. The filming’s profane style echoes the miscellany of the dredged collection. The artist’s feline is glimpsed strolling in and out of frame, occasionally settling in the center, indifferent to the film production in process. Throughout the movie’s telecine transfer, a loose electrical cable television caused the background screen to flash from green to magenta. West includes this glitching video in a further welcome of indeterminacy and mishap. The resulting work, Archaeology of Smashed Flatscreen Televisions Thrown off Bridges(2020), is a setup of flatscreen displays dealing with upward from the flooring, each revealing a various area of her collected things. West shows her collection on top of each monitor’s screen, doubling the fragmented things with their immaterial similarity in 16 mm listed below. The taxonomic display screen resembles an archeological case research study of L.A.’s physical proof– artifacts of our minute seen from some future time when our ecologically unavoidable fate has actually already taken place.
Jennifer West is an artist who has actually checked out materialism in film for over 10 years. Born in Topanga, California, West lives and works in Los Angeles. She got an MFA from Art Center College of Style in Pasadena, California, and a BA with film and video focus from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She has actually lectured widely on her concepts of the “Analogital” and is an Associate Teacher of the Practice of Fine Arts at USC’s Roski School of Art and Style. Her writing has actually appeared in Artforum, Frieze and Mousse Publication. West has produced eleven Zine artist books which were just recently acquired by the Getty Museum. Her work remains in museum and public collections such as and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kadist Structure (San Francisco/Paris), Zabludowicz Collection (London); Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Depart Structure (Rome); Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania; Henry Art Gallery (Seattle); Rubell Collection (Florida); Saatchi Collection (London), to name a few. Substantial commissions include Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 2016-2017; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Art Night, London, 2016; High Line Art, New York, 2012; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, 2010; and Turbine Hall at TATE Modern, London,2009 Her solo exhibitions consist of: Emoji Piss Film, Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, 2018;” Is Movie Over?, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China (2017); Film is Dead …, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 2017; Action Movies, Painted Movies and History Collage, Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro, Nuoro, 2017; Flashlights Filmstrips Projections, Tramway, Glasgow, 2016; Aloe Vera and Butter, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, UK (2012); Paintballs and Pickle Juice, Kunstverein Nürnberg, Nuremberg, (2010); Perspectives 171: Jennifer West, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, (2010); Lemon Juice and Lithium, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2008); White Space: Jennifer West, White Columns, New York City, (2007).