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27 Apr 2010

REDCAT presents 'Never Very Far Apart'

Michelle Dizon and Camilo Ontiveros, Westlake Theatre (2009)
HD video, sound, courtesy the artists.

Never Very Far Apart
Gallery at REDCAT


Exhibition Dates:
Thu, April 29, 2010 - Sun, June 27, 2010 Opening reception:
Wed, April 28, 6-8 pm Artist talk:
Wednesday, April 28, 6 pm

Diana Wyenn
+001 213 237 2800

631 W Second Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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(Los Angeles, CA) The group exhibition Never Very Far Apart brings together six projects that cross the poetic and political ground between the individual and the group; the local and the global; this moment in time and that place in history. Proceeding from the particular conditions in which they live and work, these artists explore distance as both border and bridge--considering how a finite position may also parallel or intersect with seemingly disparate places or distant times. Using performance, moving image, painting and printed matter, the artists examine the parameters by which context is defined and consider how they can be re-imagined to activate social spaces for renewed thought and action. Organized by REDCAT curatorial assistant Ryan Inouye, the exhibition features new and recent works by Terry Chatkupt (Los Angeles), Michelle Dizon and Camilo Ontiveros (Los Angeles), Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida (New York), Adriana Lara (Mexico City), Elana Mann (Los Angeles) and RJ Messineo (St. Louis).

The exhibition includes two collaborative projects, both of which explore possibilities of revisioning the relationship between the present and the past. In the case of Michelle Dizon and Camilo Ontiveros' Westlake Theatre (2009), the video installation mines the layers of Los Angeles history that are held within the city's majestic 1926 cinema house. The proscenium that once presided over images of early Hollywood now arches across a swap meet that occupies the orchestra level below--bridging the various economies of production and presentation housed within the walls of one structure. Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida's 16mm film loop Populus Tremula (2010) channels the life of Ivar Kreuger (1880-1932), the industrialist, financier and founder of the Swedish Matchstick Corporation. While the camera follows the manufacturing process in two factories in operation since the 19th century, a sequence of superimposed textual interventions disrupt the seamless narratives advanced by industrialization and the nation state.

The exhibition moves from spaces of critical conjecture to exchange between individuals. Elana Mann's Can't Afford the Freeway (2008-10) is a performance video that grew out of conversations she shared with novelist and Iraq War veteran Captain Dylan Alex Mack. Oscillating between the experience of driving and being driven, the work pairs footage of the artist maneuvering her body in and around her station wagon with audio of Mack and Mann discussing the perils of vehicular travel in Iraq. The artist reconsiders her relationship to the car as a private space or personal freedom. Adriana Lara's practice examines similar questions of agency by creating conditions for dialogue. Through her involvement with Mexico City-based art office Perros Negros, Lara serves as editor of Pazmaker, a free, self-distributed foldout that gathers authors from various places, periods and disciplines. Conceived as both a meeting point and means of distribution, the publication facilitates ongoing exchange between cultural producers in Mexico and those working abroad.

Shifting from public dialogue to personal narrative, Terry Chatkupt's video trilogy Trail Memories (2008), Field Memories (2009) and Park Memories (2010), navigates visual and psychological passageways through open fields and wooded expanses outside cities the artist has called home. These sparsely populated landscapes provide a quiet backdrop for the artist's voiceover script, which contemplates the internal mechanisms that underlie notions of home and belonging. RJ Messineo's painting practice stems from quiet and continual acknowledgment of her immediate surroundings. The artist's recent works on mirror, window screen, and wooden lattice throw into relief the contingency of the paintings surface and the limits of its frame. Messineo's new works on wooden lattice, Shield Painting (garden) (2010) and Concept of Yearning (2010), continue to build elements of her personal life into a language that has a public presence.

Although conceptually abstract, the exhibition considers what material ground might emerge when circumstances are thought together that usually stand apart. Re-charting the contexts in which they live and work, these artists identify new spaces for reassessment, reinvention and possibility.


The Gallery at REDCAT aims to support, present, commission and nurture new creative insights through dynamic projects and challenging ideas. The Gallery presents five exhibitions every year, often of newly commissioned work that represents the artist's first major presentation in the U.S. or Los Angeles. The Gallery also maintains an active publishing program producing as many as two major monographs per year. Proceeding from the geographic and cultural specificities of Los Angeles, its program emphasizes artistic production of the Pacific Rim--namely Mexico, Central and South America and Asia--as regions that are of vital significance to California. The Gallery aims to facilitate dialogue between local and international artists contributing to a greater understanding of the social, political and cultural contexts that inform contemporary artistic practice.


Opened by CalArts in 2003, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater introduces diverse audiences, students and artists to the most influential developments in the arts from around the world, and gives artists in this region the creative support they need to achieve national and international stature. REDCAT is the newest partner in an international network of adventurous art and performance centers, which together are playing a vital role in the evolution of contemporary culture. REDCAT is a center for experimentation, discovery, and lively civic discourse.

REDCAT is located at the corner of W. 2nd and Hope Streets, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex (631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012).

The Gallery at REDCAT is open Tuesday through Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm or until intermission. It is closed Monday and major holidays. Admission to the Gallery at REDCAT is always free. For information on current exhibitions call 213-237-2800 or visit