The Coming Out of Christopher's End / 07/19/2018
The late photograph Frank Hallam carefully documented the west side piers in a collection of thousands of Kodachrome slides he took throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Working with selection of images focused on Pier 46, a popular cruising spot in the 1970s, Virgil B/G Taylor has chosen images that foreground this particular pier’s architecture, as well as its demolition after a major fire in 1980 – a process prefiguring the more recent redevelopment of the piers as spaces for recreation, as opposed to sex, in the late 90s and early 2000s. By focusing on the question of development, culpability for the loss of the piers moves towards the process of gentrification, and away from the fear of a virus, or contempt for unabated sexual activity. The exhibition will take the form of a new installation pairing Hallam’s images with a text written in response to this rich archive.
A small publication with images from Frank Hallam's archive alongside Hallam's writing and will accompany the gallery installation. The publication will also include a series of commissioned responses to Hallam's archive by Justin Allen, Marco DaSilva, Theodore (ted) Kerr, El Roy Red, Ashkan Sepahvand, Nicole Wallace, and Jonathan Weinberg—readings from the zine will take place during the closing event on Sunday, 7/22.
Pedestrian Magazine Release and Reading Room / 03/23/2018
Pedestrian Magazine Release and Reading Room, a bi-monthly newsletter about walking organized and published by Alexander Wolfe. Accompanying the release is a curation of over 100 used books collected by Wolfe in the form of a provisional reading room featuring works produced by Los Angeles based artist Jen Shear amongst many others.
“The social structure of sidewalk life hangs partly on what can be called self-appointed public characters. A public character is anyone who is in frequent contact with a wide circle of people and who is sufficiently interested to make himself a public character. A public character need have no special talents or wisdom to fulfill his function—although he often does. He just needs to be present, and there need to be enough of his counterparts. His main qualification is that he is public, that he talks to lots of different people. In this way, news travels that is of sidewalk interest.”
– Jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Great America Cities
About Pedestrian Magazine
Pedestrian finds value in the accumulation of accounts, routines, and relationships that are formed as a result of traveling throughout one’s everyday surroundings. The first issue features an interview and collages by Jen Shear, photographs by Ektor Garcia, a very special interview with Ridgewood native and bookstore owner, Curtis Merkel, and a selection of music for walking by dee jay Alejandra Sabillón.
Gray Literature / 06/09/2017
Jock Reynolds tells this great story about the painter Wayne Thiebaud. Wayne was Jock’s professor in graduate school, and for the first day of class, as Jock tells it, Wayne told his students to bring a pencil and a sheet of paper, nothing else. Jock thought the materials would be for drawing, but when Wayne arrived, he told his students that there would be no drawing, nor would there be any way for him to teach them anything about art.
Now, both Jock and Wayne love to talk, and Jock really loves diving into this next part of the story. With the responsibility of providing an aesthetic education summarily jettisoned from the seminar table, and the correlating burden apparently lifted from his shoulders, Wayne was now free to talk about what he had come to talk about. And on that morning, according to Jock, his chosen subject was cake. Cakes of all sorts: frosted cakes, cupcakes, chocolate cakes, ice cream cakes, plenty of pies, particularly cherry pies, with warm, gooey interiors and woven crusts made with lard instead of butter, because if you know a thing or two about pies, you know that flaky crust comes from lard, and not butter. With sweets more or less covered, Wayne moved onto meats, and he told his class where to find the best salamis in town, how to locate a can of real sardines, and which butcher had the best steaks for the best price, since, as it soon became clear, Wayne was giving his students a lesson on thrift as he lectured them about food. These were things, Wayne seemed to say, that when found, would deliver happiness to your life, whose pleasures were so foundational to Wayne that he could think of no better way to begin his graduate seminar than by sharing them with his students.
I’m not sure if Wayne was famous at this point, but Jock probably wasn’t familiar with his work when he got to class that morning. And for those who aren’t familiar with Wayne’s work, it will likely come as a surprise to learn that Wayne has spent nearly fifty years painting lusciously thick portraits of cakes, meats, stakes, and pies, which he buys in local eateries around his home in the Bay Area. So when Jock saw Wayne’s work, he realized that despite Wayne’s protestations to the contrary, he had most certainly been given an initial lecture on aesthetics; indeed, Jock sat through a major lesson about the relationship between life and art, delivered in the language of delicious treats, by an artist who turned out to be America’s foremost painter of delicious treats in the twentieth century.