REDCAT: Opening Reception: Sat. January 14 6-9 pm
The cross-disciplinary work of Los Angeles-based, Philippine artist Miljohn Ruperto includes photography, cinema, performance and digital animation. His work refers to historical and anecdotal occurrences, and speculates on the nature of assumed facts and construction of truth. He creates illusory images and disconcerting effects that challenge the viewer’s perception.
Geomancies consists of a film, a series of photographic and video works, as well as a new performance piece. Ruperto works with the concepts of possession, opposition and metamorphosis as common themes and as a background for the exhibition´s narrative. The work investigates the constant battle waged by humans to control nature. Modifications of the landscape and the economic exploitation of nature are counteracted by its unexpected force and how it affects the course of history.
The centerpiece of the exhibition, Ordinal (SW/NE), 2017, is an experimental documentary created with filmmaker Rini Yun Keagy. The film traces the cultural and environmental influences of a soil-dwelling, pathogenic fungus, Coccidioides immitis, and its associated disease, valley fever, in California's Central Valley. Interweaving past, present and mythological time, the film draws upon historical and cultural references, including the plight of migrants during the Depression, the spread of the disease in recent years, contemporary theories of climate change, and the significance of the desert wind in ancient Assyria. In Ruperto and Keagy’s film, natural phenomena remain neutral, fleeing from any kind of judgment and avoiding binary oppositions of positive and negative, destruction and regeneration, life and death.
Driving South at Sunset. The Camera Faces East (2007) is a short video of a woman driving south on Interstate Highway 5 toward San Diego. She stares into the distance, intermittently singing a country song about heartache. The camera faces east, blocking the sunset. The rigid axis of the camera and the horizon with the North to South direction of the vehicle's movement is broken up by the woman's oblique focus, weaving in and out of song.
The exhibition also features Re-animating "Valley Turbulence" by Sam Chase (2016). For this piece, Ruperto animated the photograph taken by Chase, who was then an employee of Chevron, to create a loop. The video illustrates the massive dust storm that buried the south of the San Joaquin Valley and caused severe damage to the area. Meteorological phenomena, the video suggests, cannot be managed, controlled or captured by human technology.
In line with these film and photographic works, Ruperto presents a new performance, in which the empty space itself is an essential part of the atmospheric construction of the exhibition. Possession (2017) makes direct reference to the cult film Possession (1981) by Andrzej Żuławski, and the memorable scene of actress Isabel Adjani suffering a convulsive seizure in the subway station. In Ruperto’s piece, two actors re-enact Adjani’s performance in synchronous mirror symmetry. The actress’ hysterical scene is meticulously mapped out in an attempt to outline the perimeter of her subjectivity.
This exhibition is accompanied by a public program and regular performances in the gallery.
About the artist:
Miljohn Ruperto (b. 1971 Manila, the Philippines) received his M.F.A. from Yale University in 2002 and his B.A., Studio Art from University of California, Berkeley in 1999. Recent exhibitions featuring his work include: Nervous Systems, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Afterwork, Para-Site, Hong Kong; The As-if Principle., Magazin4 Bregenzer Kunstverein, Austria; 2014 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Janus, Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina Public Library, Saskatchewan, Canada; Ulrik Heltoft and Miljohn Ruperto, Voynich Botanical Studies, Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Made in L.A., The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; and Picture Industry (Goodbye to All That), organized by Walead Beshty, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA. Ruperto lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
D300 Gallery: Nae Howard MFA 1 ART
D301 Gallery: Jinal Sangoi MFA 1 ART
L-Shape Gallery: CLOSED
Main Gallery: Vickie Aravindhan MFA 1 ART
A402 Gallery: Alexandra Leon MFA 1 ART
Lime Gallery: Bridget Driessen MFA 1 ART
Mint Gallery: Hannah Varamini MFA 1 ART
ART: Poised between Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the presidential inauguration, #J18 is an opportunity to affirm the role of critical thinking and academic knowledge in challenging Trumpism. Educators and students across the United States and around the world—at universities, colleges, high schools, and research organizations—are organizing a day-long program of workshops and demonstrations that speaks to the many issues and themes related to this national and indeed global moment. Alumni, students and faculty of the Art School at CalArts have come forward with a rich array of events. The majority of these will take place in F200, from 10 am until evening. A separate program will occur in the IM classroom, C108, beginning at 9 am.
Events in F200
Yair Agmon: A Skype conversation with the Palestinian collective, Active Stills
“I am coming back from a research and filming trip in Palestine/Israel where I investigated the role of the photographic archive in establishing national myths and narratives. ActiveStills, one of the subjects of the film, is a collective of photographers who employ their cameras to promote political and social agendas by sharing both their position and their archives with the communities they work with. Thus combining a form of social activism with a form of social documentary. I would like to present both their approach to working with a community as well as their work as resistance to dominant or prevailing narratives of oppression.”
Dorit Cypis: a workshop on identity, difference and leadership
We know that conflict is human and necessary for democracy and change, but how do we engage with conflict other than avoidance, denial, accommodation or attack? Fascinated with human difference I aim to turn notions of identity inside out, question who is the individual, what is the collective, and how can conflict be generative? We will look at Occupy as a platform of resistance and explore tools of conflict engagement I have developed between my roles as artist and mediator.
Ashley Hunt, Kean O’Brien, Dont Rhine
A three hour workshop and conversation that introduces the work of the Tenants Union through Dont Rhine (has been visiting faculty in P&M and founding member of Ultra-red, the sound art group you might know), a rapid response network that Kean is building with some East LA organizations to respond to ICE/immigration raids, and a civil disobedience training with an NLG lawyer they’ve done an amazing recent training with, who can cover histories, meanings, tactics, rights and precautions of CD right now, which includes rights to people’s own footage, cameras, etc. The amazing part would be how organically this all can be articulated *in relation to* the students’ practices as artists (the cameras and image rights, renters’ rights as artists, understanding how many artists are understanding organizing as a facet of their practice, etc), so that while it helps connect them to and protect them within the work they want to take on outside their school and artwork, it will also address in very practical ways their current questions about what it means to make art and what’s urgent about art in these kinds of times. I think it would be a hybrid sort of presentation and workshop that we can structure very dynamically, our students would be very responsive to them.
Scott Benzel: Inaugural Rupture; Knot of Mirrors; and Atavistic Liaison
Three short presentations with discussions
Inaugural Rupture explores the dérive, Breton's Arcanum 17, The Yippies' Levitation of the Pentagon and Wall Street Action, the actions of the Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell (WITCH), and other works of 'late Romantic Anticapitalism' as models of resistance; Knot of Mirrors looks at disinformation, mirror, and gold and their positions within the Trump signifying regime; Atavistic Liaison examines DJT and his cohort in the context of Noys' Malign Velocities and Williams' and Srnicek's Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics.
Bridget Rosalia Driessen and Beth Fiedorek: Painting in Resistance
We propose a focus group geared at how painting operates in a world that needs intervention. Students are invited to collect and submit examples of painters that shape how they understand painting in a violently fraught political climate. We will then meet as a group to think together about how we can forge visual languages that resist white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, militarism, and oligarchic rule. All insights are welcome!
Interested students are encouraged to submit up to three images of paintings/artists to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by Jan 18 for inclusion in our discussion.
Audrey Chan and Clara Lopez Menendez: CalArts Resistance Reader
This semester we will begin as an artistic community to build an online reader comprised of texts and media rooted in multi-front political resistance and advocacy to serve as a resource during the Trump administration and beyond. We'll need your help to solicit contributions, update and maintain the website, develop curricula, and more.
Jack Taylor: Cryptoparty
With the impending administration looming in sight, effective modes of private and protected communication will be of paramount importance in terms of resistant activity. No form of civil disobedience or reformative rhetoric is functional in the event of communicative breakdown. We will be going over various encrypting technologies, as well as the philosophical and poetic underpinnings to digital privacy, as an introduction to precautions and techniques of digital security. Bring thoughts, devices, and friends.
Events in C108
The Center for Integrated Media presents a series of screenings and a micro-salon for Teach! Organize! Resist!
Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace
Director: Adam Curtis, Runtime: 180 minutes
Micro-salon/Potluck Lunch 'Eat Trump'
“a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork” - William Burroughs
A student-led open discussion. Topics may include: the 2016 campaign and election, immigration/migration, student debt, health care, race relations, fake news, politics in the age of social media, reactionary politics, dissent, resistance, community building and any other topic the group is interested in pursuing.
Students can bring orange food to share…
Director: John Frankenheimer, Runtime: 126 minutes
Director: D.A. Pennebacker, Runtime: 60 minutes
Point of Order!
Director: Emile de Antonio, Runtime: 97 minutes
CAREER SERVICES: Matthew Manos is the founder of Very Nice, a global design strategy consultancy. Matthew is also the creator of Models of Impact, a stretegic business design tool kit.