Autonomie is proud to be hosting "Blanket Solidarity", a FAR (Foundation for Art Resources) sponsored event put on by Christy Roberts this coming Sunday the 4th, from 5-8pm. Come discuss the current state of OWS, Occupy Museums, the Art Workers Union and the general state of art and politics while making blankets to support the Occupy movement this winter. Bring blankets, food and drinks for this evening Blanket "make-in" and potluck.
Blanket Solidarity is an “open and collaborative project” initiated by Los Angeles-based artist Christy Roberts that “encourages artists and art enthusiasts to make and donate blankets to your local occupiers”. The project seeks to address an important and pressing problem, the need to keep warm during the winter protest season. While there is no obligation to participate Roberts has asked everyone who sees this post to spread the news and “encourage others to donate” — and even to add your own embellishments to the blankets to “encourage the occupiers in addition to keeping them warm.”
The focus in this project is the one thing that the Arab Spring and the American Autumn have missed, the harsh reality of the Occupation Winter. Please take a moment out of your busy December schedule to donate blankets, make blankets and distribute blankets as part of “Blanket Solidarity”, not only here in Los Angeles, but across the nation.
Share this link with friends and family, and especially with parties you know want to show support for this international movement during the holiday season: http://www.facebook.com/groups/BlanketSolidarity/
Hill / Hughes: Hypersurregionalism
Hill’s art practice is an exercise in cartographic thinking and process based painting. Playing through the pictorial history of abstract means and representational meme’s, Hill’s particular brand of imagery is reminiscent of Turner’s turbulent seascapes but with a postmodern twist. In Hill’s work the hand of the artist is almost altogether missing, allowing weathered surfaces to congeal into inerrant forms of naturalism. This particular methodology departs from the environment itself — urban or natural — by literally capturing some of the textures, colors and various modes of inscription that issue from Hill’s open air studio. Even when she chooses to introduce a recognizable pictorial motif, like a palm tree or a city skyline, it almost always suggests a kind of visual slippage between the real and the artificial, the natural and the inorganic, a fullness of form and a flattened out silhouette.
Bio: Elana Melissa Hill holds an M.F.A. from Claremont (2011) and a B.A. from the University of Irvine (2007). She has recently shown in the "Emergent 12" at Object Gallery and "La Cosa Nostra" at Galerie Rheeway. Hill was the co-founder and director of Catalyst Gallery at UCI from 2005-2007 and is currently the program director of ReVISIONS of LA, the monthly drawing program at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions). She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Through a subtle vocabulary of implacable aesthetic effects Simon Hughes has been examining Canadian themes, political myths and the natural phenomenology of his birthplace for more than a decade. While his production has often consisted of large scale watercolors, the practice of drawing and painting have also figured prominently in his approach to diagramming the social landscape of the great white north. Icy expanses, color streaked skys, native inhabitants and architectural models are all passed through a series of visual ciphers in Hughes work that are as charming as they are irreverent. Whether working to disarm our relation to indigenous politics or the presuppositions of modernism, Hughes's imagery suggests other possibilities than the traditional narratives proposed by the canon of American art history.
In fact, one could say that Hughes artistic practice is something like an imaginative psychogeography of urban tales, non-standard histories and alternative myths. Recently, his work has focused on rethinking the themes and discourses that adhere to American and Canadian modernism, although Hughes's treatment of these varied stratagems is subtly subversive, and sometimes, outright heretical. Hughes often restages the motifs of action painting in the slow and methodical medium of watercolor — reducing the iconic gestures of 'high art' to a pleasant, if not, diminutive size. If this weren’t already paradoxical enough, Hughes even invites the occasional naïve collaboration, further undermining any sense of the grandiose or the heroic. In so doing Hughes's pictures ask us not only to rethink the dominant dialogues of North American art, but they also serve as an example of dia-log-ic pictorialism that takes logs and lodges as key motifs in a new form of regionalism.
Yet what is often missed in these mixed cartographies is Hughes’s focus on the productive use of kitsch. His work unhinges the central themes of modernism not so much by their treatment or thematic double coatings as by the transmutation of pictorial motifs into another world — and even into the order of the commodity divine. Modernist cubicals for indigenous people, popular stickers placed inside works about medium specificity, and collaged psychoanalytic imperatives are all imposed on the frozen symbolism of the Canadian landscape. This enigmatic and minimal series of references often seems to congeal into a form of cartoonified colonialism — providing us with images about social appropriation and geopolitical expropriation that are still very accessible. Perhaps one could even see Hughes’s images of ‘the great white north’ as something of a metaphor for the great white washing of Northern American history — its peoples, its myths and even its varied modes of existence. In this regard, Hughes work carries a sympathetic tone toward the politics of indigenous peoples by making modernism into a children’s book of sorts, or a fairly tale gone awry. Undoubtedly, Hughes's oeuvre could even be seen as a running commentary of sorts on the conflicted status of intercultural aesthetics: European and American, American and Canadian, Canadian and indigenous, indigenous and commercial. Such a heady mix of themes requires some reflection, but in Hughes's work the hyperbolic mix of characters, motifs, and cultural thematics always proves to be as pleasurable as it is rewarding. That is perhaps the joy we find in entering a topsy-turvy of hypersurregionalism.
Bio: Simon Hughes lives and works in Winnipeg, Canada. He holds an MFA from the University of California, Irvine and a BFA from the University of Manitoba. He has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as the Manitoba and Winnipeg Arts Councils. His art practice encompasses painting, drawing, film and video. Recent group exhibitions include the Canadian Biennial: It Is What It Is at the National Gallery of Canada and RE:Cycle at the Sweeney Art Gallery , University of California – Riverside. Simon's work is currently on view in Sète, France as part of My Winnipeg, a touring exhibition organized by La Maison Rouge in Paris.