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Please note that this exhibition is installed around the second story mezzanine and is only accessible via stairs.
Touch of the Other: Performing the Laud Humphreys Papers: Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 7:30pm
One of the most iconic architectures of public sex, the glory hole, is usually equated with its obverse: the phallus. Yet, as the artists gathered in Watchqueen suggest, public forms of queer intimacy, even those bartered through a hole in the wall or the peep-like portholes of the camera and projector, can be tethered loosely to a metaphor outside penetrative pleasure: one of highly proximate and radically limited exchange. When the glory hole’s insistence on the phallus is disrupted, we begin to see an alternate ethics present in a much wider range of anonymous, public sexual encounters that speak to diverse bodies, genders, and identities. Referencing Laud Humphreys’ self-appointed role of the watchqueen while conducting research for Tearoom Trade (1970), the exhibition’s title and the work included do not consider the visual as an ersatz stand-in for real sex. Rather, its ogling is a necessary, ocular platform for staggered multiple fields of pleasure, vulnerability, power, and play.
These fields’ unevenness can be readily experienced in the uncanny, queer gifts given by Eve Fowler and Math Bass’ Gloria Hole, through the open vulnerability of Until the sun rises—nighttime portraits gleaned from Emmanuel Guillaud’s visits to the no-man’s-land of Tokyo’s and Singapore’s cruising spots, or deep within Dino Dinco’s lusciously pastoral Elysian Park, an abrupt Los Angeles landscape littered with the long duration of brief sexual exchanges. Relations of power, formative of media and of contractual exchange, also shape these suddenly shifting topographies. In Numbers, Yi Zhang’s linking of the anonymous, pseudo-digital communication of China’s public men’s rooms to the authority demanded by today’s contemporary art reminds us of the undemocratic, uneven nature of public sex. Likewise, Deanna Erdmann’s short videos, crafted from materials in the collections at ONE Archives, foreground an alterity always resident within sculptural landscapes of passage and communication, a glorious, visual trip back and forth across the time-space hole.
Watchqueen is mounted in conjunction with Touch of the Other: Performing the Laud Humphreys Papers, a site-specific performance at ONE Archives by Takao Kawaguchi and Deanna Erdmann.
Watchqueen is organized by David Evans Frantz, Curator at ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, and Jonathan M. Hall, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Pomona Collage. Support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Math Bass lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from UCLA. Bass’s work was included in the Hammer Museum’s biennial “Made in L.A.” in 2012. Bass’s work has been included in exhibitions at Wallspace in New York, Michael Jon Gallery in Miami, and Human Resources in Los Angeles. Bass’s first solo museum show, Math Bass: Off the Clock, opens at MoMA PS1 in May 2015.
Dino Dinco is a performance and film curator and maker, theater director and multidisciplinary artist. His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions in Paris, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, as well as in shows in London, Paris, East Los Angeles, Santiago de Compostela, Antwerp, Hasselt (Belgium), Guadalajara, Mexicali, Hamburg, New York, and Chihuahua. Dinco’s experimental short play, Real Women Have Periods, was presented at REDCAT (Los Angeles) and his award-winning short film, El Abuelo, premiered at the Tate Modern in London and continues to screen in festivals and online as part of Frameline Voices. In 2011, Dinco completed his first feature length documentary film, Homeboy, exploring gay Latino men who were in gangs. He is currently writing a book on contemporary performance art in the major cities of the West Coast of North America. Dinco is also an adjunct professor of contemporary art at Woodbury University, Los Angeles. More at dinodinco.com.
Deanna Erdmann is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. She received her MFA (2008) from University of California, San Diego, where she was a Russell Grant recipient, and her BA (2002) from UC Irvine. Her work has been included in exhibitions and screenings at the Hammer Museum, Luis De Jesus, Patrick Painter, REDCAT, Orange County Museum of Art, Angels Gate Cultural Center, Torrance Art Museum, Kavi Gupta Berlin and Images Festival among many others and she recently received the California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship. Erdmann’s image based work engages perception and transformation, addressing the politics of place, class and the body. She transforms image, time and sound in order to explore new strategies for viewing that challenge habitual engagement
Eve Fowler lives and works in Los Angeles. A graduate of Temple University (BA, 1986), and Yale University (MFA, 1992), Fowler is cofounder of Artist Curate Projects in Los Angeles. She has had a solo shows at Horton Gallery, New York; Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles; and Julie Saul Gallery, New York. She has participated in group exhibitions at Tulane University Art Gallery, New Orleans; Leo Koenig Inc. Projekte, New York; New Langton Arts, San Francisco; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Her work is in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the New Museum, New York; and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Her work was included in Greater LA and the California Biennial and appears in a billboard project, Manifest Destiny, organized by LAND in 2014. Fowler recently showed collaborative projects with Sam Gordon at Feature and Printed Matter in New York. Her book Anyone Telling Anything Is Telling That Thing was published by Printed Matter in September of 2013. Her second book, Hustlers, was published by Capricious in the Spring of 2014.
Emmanuel Guillaud lives and work in Paris and Tokyo. Working with projected photography, he creates installations made of synchronised slideshows that immerse the visitor in modern, politically-charged phantasmagorias. He embark on long-term projects spanning over years such as until the sun rises, a series of installations based on pictures taken in Tokyo’s and Singapore’s cruising spots. It was exhibited in various forms at the Museum of contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Singapore Art Museum; gp gallery, Tokyo; School Gallery, Paris, Noorderlicht gallery, Holland, among others. More at untilthesunrises.net. He collaborated with book designer Kiyoshi Takami for notes on unfinished projects (2012, 2013) and photographer Takano Ryudai for Black, closer to white at Yumiko Chiba, Tokyo (2012). Guillaud graduated from Sorbonne University (Maitrise d’Arts Plastiques, Theory-led MFA, 2014), he received the Tokyo Wonderwall Award 200x and is nominated for the Pictet Prize 2015. More at emmanuelguillaud.info.
Yi Zhang was born and raised in Yichang, China, a small city famous for its Yangtze River landscapes. Zhang received his bachelor’s degree in architecture (exhibition design) from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. His work critiques China’s ongoing cultural and political transformation at the personal and social level. Zhang’s work relies on technology to duplicate through unique experiences the process of these transformations. He received a MFA in Art and Technology at the California Institute for the Arts in 2014.