Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Conceptual Trifecta: Rena Small, Claire Nereim, and Kathrin Bumester at Jancar

JANCAR bird's eyeview
JANCAR Gallery: At First Glance

Photography may be a trend you often meet at many art shows, given the accessible tools of the trade or the joys of the sweet battle for that perfect photograph, but currently at JANCAR Gallery in Chinatown artist Rena Small gives photography a good name.

The show consists of Polaroid’s taken between the years of 1975-1982, both in the format of the most common Polaroid SX-70 and the 20x24 prints that are traced back to the early 1980's. Polaroid was known for reaching out to teachers, and many in the line of photography, but most notably Polaroid made tools accessible to artists, and often collecting several pieces for their collection.

Rena Small, Los Angeles born and based graduates from Cal Arts with an MFA in 1977. Just after graduating Small moved to New York City in 1978, and stays in the east coast for eight years, returning to Los Angeles in 1985.

A conceptual artist most known for her early Polaroid work, works within photography and painting. Small’s other work explores the mysterious language of a persons hands including artists in the likes of Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, and Andy Warhol. Or her conceptual paintings that spark a game with life...

I have looked closely at the mysterious presence of human emotions veiled in the hands, the essential tools of all artists.- Rena Small

Rena Small- Red Chair,1978, Polaroid SX 70

In Red Chair (1978) Small plays with the spectator, creating semi visual illusions by her selection of Polaroid’s. A flying foot, a seated bosom… A puzzle of the artist bare naked body.

Small does not only play with visual puzzles, but with language, as is the case in Four Shots (1979)

four shots
Rena Small- Four Shots, 1979, Polaroid SX-70

There’s more than meets the eye!!!.....

Claire Nereim conceptual pieces in the second room of the gallery... Nereim’s pieces create a glorious stillness just after playing spectator to Rena Small’s often playful and politically inclined body of work. However, I had a difficult time understanding Nereim's work. Traces of Eva Hesse came to mind, and the study of memory. Though, I venture Nereim explores memory, since it ever so often inspires human emotion.

Claire Nereim
Claire Nereim: Gallery View

the underground
The Underground

The conceptual trifecta wouldn't be complete without Kathrin Burmester.

Burmester an Otis alumni and current professor works with film, photography, and video. Her work mainly consists of studies of human behavior in our technology bound culture, but most significantly the role of spectator in an ever so fast driven environment.

In Tour, a fifty three minute video of a tourist boat along the river Spree in Berlin, Germany documents the ephemeral significance of mass tourism to a city like Berlin along with cultural commentary to sites along the tour, which are often witty.

Burmester reaches nostalgia, and leaves the viewer in trance. Repeated sets of words, or more like repeated social commentary glue the viewer with witty comments as : " There's no one in this part of town, if you see someone, I encourage you to take out your cameras" .. or in the likes of that.

We found ourselves watching most of the fifty three minutes, in a sort of dream like state.

Tour- Kathrin Burmester
Kathrin Burmester: Tour, 2008/2010, One-channel video, color, sound, 53 min.

The tryptich of Small, Nereim, and Burmester incorporates the essentials of conceptual art, marrying each other quite nicely.

So if you haven’t seen the show yet, get down to Chinatown!. On your way, why not explore what this neighborhood offers?! .. Trust me, there’s more than meets the eye!.

July 10 - July 31, 2010

Rena Small: Early Polaroid Work 1975-1982
Claire Nereim
Kathrin Burmester

JANCAR Gallery
961 Chung King Road
Los Angeles, CA, 90012
213 625 2522

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