NEWPORT BEACH, CA.-
The 2008 California Biennial continues the Orange County Museum of Arts four-decade long history of presenting new developments in contemporary art. This years biennial is guest-curated by Lauri Firstenberg, founder and director/curator of LA>
Firstenberg has identified key established artists who have had a profound impact on the development of contemporary art and who represent divergent histories, trajectories, languages, and tactics. These artists include Andrea Bowers, Bruce Conner, Sam Durant, Morgan Fisher, Mary Kelly, Tony Labat, William Leavitt, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Ruben OrtizTorres, Raymond Pettibon, Yvonne Rainier, Marcos Ramirez ERRE, and Andrea Zittel. Firstenberg places these established artists in dialogue with approximately 30 emerging artists, many of whom have been influenced by their work.
The 2008 California Biennial addresses a number of questions in an era of proliferating Biennials: How does one approach a regional biennial? In a climate of globalism and transnationalism, how does a regional biennial serve artists and audiences? What is distinctive and different about cultural production at this point in time, in this context? How does one approach contemporary artistic practices based on locational parameters?
Inter-generationalism serves as a platform for this incarnation of the 2008 California Biennial. For instance, Daniel Joseph Martinezs Call Me Ishmael or The Fully Enlightened Earth Radiates Disaster Triumphant (2006/2008), an animatronic auto-portrait, questions the representation of the body in 21st-century sculpture. This work is in dialogue with that of two of Martinezs former students at the University of California, Irvine. Kara Tanakas kinetic sculpture Crushed by the Hammer of the Sun (2008) is inspired by her study of Sufi whirling dervish images, while Marco Rioss Vanishing Intent (2008) is a minimalist room with a drop ceiling at the artists height that creates an awkward space of
discomfort and paranoia.
The exhibition features new works such as An Act of Radical Hospitality, a video by Andrea Bowers based on interviews with immigrant activist Elvira Arrelano, who sought sanctuary at the Adalbert United Methodist Church in Chicago to avoid deportation. This engages with Tony Labats video Day Labor: Mapping the Outside (Fat Chance, Bruce Nauman) (2006), which uses a surveillance camera to focus on a group of day laborers on the street outside the artists studio in San Francisco, and Julio Cesar Moraless video Interrupted Passage, which restages the last hours of Mexican general Marian Guadalupe Vallejos transfer of Alta California from Mexico to the United States in the mid-1800s.
The expansion and dislocation of this Biennial is at the core of Firstenbergs curatorial strategy. Outdoor site-specific interventions at the Museum include projects by Sam Durant, Patrick Pato Hebert, Ruben Ortiz-Torres, Lauren Woods, and Felipe Dulzaides at the entrance, patio, and courtyard of OCMA.
The 2008 California Biennial also stages off-site projects at venues such as Estación Tijuana, Marcos Ramirez ERREs independent exhibition space in Tijuana, Mexico, and Queens Nails Annex in San Francisco. The spontaneity and flexibility of these independent organizations collaborating in the Biennial complement the work at the Museum and represent a model for exhibiting art based on risk and experimentation. Other off-site installations include projects by Karl Haendel, Raymond Pettibon, and High Desert Test Sites at locations in Los Angeles, Culver City, Hollywood, and Joshua Tree. Public projects by Walead Beshty, Jedediah Caesar, and Piero Golia also take place in Los Angeles during the run of the exhibition.
2008 California Biennial Artist Roster:
Micheal Arcega, Edgar Arceneaux, The Backroom, Kelly Barrie, Justin Beal, Walead Beshty, Andrea Bowers, Jedediah Caesar, Sarah Cain, Bruce Conner, Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Felipe Dulzaides, Sam Durant, ESL (Esthetics as a Second Language), Morgan Fisher, Piero Golia, Gronk, Karl Haendel, Mark Hagen, Skylar Haskard, Patrick Pato Hebert, High Desert Test Sites, Evan Holloway, Margaret Honda, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Jordan Kantor, Mary Kelly, Tony Labat, D'nell Larson, Elad Lassry, William Leavitt, Matt Lucero, Shana Lutker, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Rodney McMillian, Julio Cesar Morales, My Barbarian, Eamon Ore-Giron, Raymond Pettibon, Yvonne Rainer, Marcos Ramirez ERRE, Marco Rios, Amanda Ross-Ho, Aaron Sandnes, Anna Sew Hoy, Jim Skuldt, Kara Tanaka, Joel Tauber, Ruben Ortiz-Torres, Erika Vogt, Mary Weatherford, Lauren Woods, Brenna Youngblood