“Every Angeleno finds themselves driving down a dim lit street with empty parked cars on either side of the road, forming a kind of aisle for the procession of thoughts and contemplation. There is a moment, however, when the conversation with oneself ends, and the radio station becomes the driver’s passenger. With the help of a surreal instrumental song or some absurd narrative from the disk jockey, the commuter becomes entranced, occasionally, subconsciously, making a left at that silhouette of a palm tree or stopping for the deserted pedestrian under than offensively-bright street light. But before we know it, we’ve reached home, without even noticing how we got there.”
Jay Ezra Nayssan- Co-curator of the 440 HOPE
It is this same “moodscape” that is illustrated in EVENT PARKING – the final show for 5 French artists who participated in a 3-month residency in Los Angeles. Visitors found themselves in their cars, alone or accompanied, in a vacant parking lot in downtown Los Angeles, tuned into 87.9 FM.
As the sun set, the street lights turned on, and the projects of each artist began to unveil themselves not only though a series of interviews but also physically, in 5 moving trucks lined up against each other on one side of the parking lot.
The theme of the commute, or voyage rather, is emphasized with the presence of the moving trucks. Each artist, similar to someone moving cities, piled in their inspirations and visions from the residency into their own moving trucks.
One by one, each artist lifted the door the truck to unveil their LA projects before they were shipped off, back home, to Paris. The veiled woman, sounds and voices of musicians, the blind man, the holographic spirit from some parallel universe, all came to life, before the spectators not only in the trucks, but as a passenger beside the driver in the car, accompanying them to some (in)definite, (un)reached, (in)conclusive destination.
Nina Lili J‘s video projects- Chapelle and Living Paintings set the tone for her upcoming short, Hologram, which will be previewed at the Paris exhibition in April.
Chapelle, an intimate piece derived from Nina’s childhood home movies set to a dark soundtrack composed by the artist was exhibited in a small trailer truck, reminiscent of a sacred meditation altar. The Living Paintings, a series of tableaux vivants filmed in iconic locations in Los Angeles features Nina as an evanescent and mysterious figure.
During the radio show, Paul Armand-Delille previewed the first five tracks of his upcoming American Dream EP, all recorded in Los Angeles with local musicians and artists, featuring Queen Michael, Daniel Khalili, Vera Domini, Andrey Zouari and Nina Lili J amongst others.
The record explores themes centered around a certain feeling of Americana that was Paul’s starting point in producing this record which already features an incredible range of instruments such as the ocarina, violin, cytar, melodica, harmonica, guitar & bass guitar, full drumkit & percussions, peruvian and moroccan flutes, analog synthesisers… The mastered record will be released on the opening night of the Parisian show.
Boris Levy presented the trailer of the Blind Camera, an application under development for smartphones and tablets. This camera translates light and filmed colours into music following a palette of sounds carefully chosen to be related to different ranges of colour and light. It is a cross between a musical instrument and a video device. An invitation to a synesthesic sound experience of colours.
During EVENT PARKING, Boris also played The Colour of Sound, a sound document of 17 minutes mixing interviews with blind people, poems around colours set to a background of experimental sounds and music.
Chi Chi Menendez unveiled the first of her two part photo project, Take a Look At Your Selfie, live from the radio truck. The audience was invited to follow the virtual project on instagram using their smartphones to view the work. The photos will continue to be updated over the next 2 months. Follow on instagram @takealookatyourselfie.
A preview of Chi Chi’s second project, Have You Seen This Woman was unveiled by the artist herself from the back of a 14ft truck, where a life-size print was hung and lit by two huge neon floodlights. The “Miss USA” photo is a reflection on opposing cultural notions of identity and is one of a series of 5 icons, the complete series will be shown in Paris at the 440 HOPE final exhibition in late April.
Margo Street & W12th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Sunday, January 26th, 4pm – 6pm
The exhibition will be presented in Paris in late April by MAD Agency.
MAD Agency wishes to thank the following people for their continued support:
Daniel Khalili, Alia Raza, Lillian Shalom, Maurice Harris, Jos McKain, Nathan Makolandra, Raphael Chatelain, Darius Sabaghzadeh, Erik Anaya, Tom Newth, Christopher Kreiling, Adelaide Barbier, Francois Ghebaly, Chris Cruise, Karina Fontes, Derek Kinzel, Tiffany Afshani, Natasha Noorvash, Alex Miller, Max Gray Wilbur, Dwyer Kilcollin, Jamie Freeman Turner, Ian Starnes, Ami Sioux, Jenny Mc Ateer, Dory Atlantis, Tamara Tashjian, Vera dominati, Ellen fukuhara, Lawrence Lancaster, Ward, Queen Michael, the Braille Institute, Monique and Manuel Mariani, Ward Whitney, Keith Johnson, Zach Migdal, Julie Lily Bloom, Nicolette Mishkan and all the patrons of the 440 HOPE.
Photos by Jennifer Medina for MAD Agency, 2013