KAF X MOCA: Transpacific Stream

The all-digital collaboration pairs four video works by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) collection artists with four works on loan to KAF. Videos and films by Judy Fiskin, Erin Cosgrove, Mark Leckey, and Damián Ortega are paired with those by Chinese artists Liu Chuang, Guan Xiao, Li Ming, and Cheng Ran. Each pairing has showcased the similarities and differences in both the physical and cultural landscape of each institution’s location, as well as the unique experience of viewing these works during a global pandemic.

KAF x MOCA: Transpacific Stream is organised by Bryan Barcena, Assistant Curator of Programs and Manager of Publications, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Pair 1: Judy Fiskin – Liu Chuang
Automotive Landscapes

Judy Fiskin’s The End of Photography, 2007, captures the vantage from which most Angelenos encounter their city. Los Angeles is a profoundly twentieth-century city, insofar that its character was born from its inextricable relationship to the automobile. The film documents the vernacular architecture endemic to Los Angeles with a series of statements that list the elements that will no longer exist as we approach the end of film-based photography. Liu Chuang’s Untitled (The Dancing Partner), 2010, showcases a similar experience relating to the world as seen from the automobile. However, in Liu Chuang’s case, the artist suggests a relationship between automobile, passenger, and dense urban landscape that is both banal and tender at once.

Judy Fiskin

The End of Photography, 2007

Judy Fiskin
The End of Photography
2007
Super 8 film transferred to DVD
2min. 30sec.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles,
Purchase with funds provided by the Curatorial Discretionary Fund

Liu Chuang

Untitled (The Dancing Partner), 2010

Liu Chuang
Untitled (The Dancing Partner)
2010
Video
5 min. 15 sec.
Edition 3 of 3 + 2 AP
Courtesy of the Artist and Magician Space

Pair 2:  Erin Cosgrove  –  Guan Xiao
Humour

Part of the counter-culture that has defined the Californian lifestyle has been its proclivity for humour, self-deprecation, and a laissez-faire attitude. Humour, and humorous takes on the existential have long been themes that run throughout the video art that emerged from the American west coast - from Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, to Andrea Fraser; irony and pastiche are defining characteristics of artistic practice in California. Erin Cosgrove’s How Happy am I, 2009, is an animated condensation of human evolution, sang by a cast of dancing animated cartoons. Guan Xiao’s David, 2013, similarly uses song to create a humorous lens to make light of the ways that Michelangelo’s iconic David is exulted by its viewers.

 


Erin Cosgrove

Happy Am I, 2009

Erin Cosgrove
Happy Am I
2009
Animated digital video
1080 HD
2min. 35sec.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Purchase with funds provided by the Curatorial Discretionary Fund

Guan Xiao

David, 2013

Guan Xiao
David
2013
Single HD video with colour and sound
5 min. 30 sec.
Edition 5 of 5
Courtesy of the Artist and Antenna Space

Pair 3: Mark Leckey – Li Ming
Movement

Over the last year, we have dealt with the ramifications of social distancing and health policies that ask us to remain within tight social circles. As we dream of the times when we might interact with strangers once again, benefit from chance encounters, and share our bodies with those around us, this video pairing bring us fond reminders of the ways that we move through space. Mark Leckey’s Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, 1999, pays tribute to the dance-club culture that we hope to return to. Li Ming’s Movement, 2014, shows the artist using his body to propel himself and move freely from vehicle to vehicle, in a seemingly endless stream of encounters with freeway inhabitants.


Mark Leckey

Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, 1999

Mark Leckey
Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore
1999
Video
Color and sound
14min. 48sec.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Gift of Beth Swofford

Li Ming

Movement, 2014

Li Ming
Movement
2014
8-channel video with colour and sound
Edition 5 of 5
Courtesy of the Artist and Antenna Space

Pair 4: Damián Ortega – Cheng Ran
Man versus Machine

Now more than ever, we are struggling to understand the ways that technology, and the world we build within them, mediate our experience with our world. The relationship can be fraught, as we struggle to decide how a world transcribed through machines can be both a blessing and a curse. In Damián Ortega’s Moby Dick, 2004, a team of men struggle to contain a Volkswagen Beetle that writhes and pulls as its wheels slip on the greased asphalt. Set to a raucous soundtrack the iconic automobile, one that holds a nostalgic relationship to Mexican culture, seems transformed into a living creature. In Cheng Ran’s Always I Distrust, 2020, the artist approaches a quixotic relationship with technology from a totally different angle, one that embraces the miscommunications and mistranslations that come with our digital interactions. The simulated conversation between the artist and a spammer’s hacked email list leads us to think that, although the relationship might be predicated on falsities, there are still emotional connections to be made.

Damián Ortega

Moby Dick, 2004

Damián Ortega
Moby Dick
2004
Video transferred to DVD
9min. 42sec.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Purchase with funds provided by the Jumex Fund for Contemporary Latin American Art

Cheng Ran

Always I Distrust, 2020

Cheng Ran
Always I Distrust
2020
Single channel video with sound
9 min. 7 sec.
Edition 1/6
Courtesy of the Artist, K11 Art Foundation, and Martin Goya Business

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