Monday, July 1, 2019

Jordan Loeppky-Kolesnik with SoftCells presents - "3 domestic alterations"

~Two years ago when Agnes Bolt started her conceptual/curatorial program ‘SoftCells’, there was a lot of upheaval in her life. Some of it was self imposed; bold conclusive decisions made by intuitively listening to what her body was telling her, trying to figure out how to make things more no her own terms. But she couldn’t let these conflicts distance her from a practice she wanted to explore with other people, to keep it accessible, to feel more grounded.

She committed herself, and her body, to being ‘presented on or in relation to’ artwork as a curatorial model with some radically open stakes. In her words, specifically: “Where space and body intersect.”

So far, SoftCells has given Jules Gimbrone, David Horvitz, Danish collective ‘Age of Aquarius’ and more, the ability to bring the social contract, her public persona and her private biological traces to a public extreme. And as an affront to the well-cultivated Instagram image, she’s kindof saying ‘This here is a process and vulnerability is just the beginning. There’s a lovely space between really investing in ourselves and not taking ourselves too seriously.’ (My words, not necessarily hers)

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Open on a sunny Saturday, June 15th, Jordan Loeppky-Kolesnik (JLK) created ‘3 domestic alterations’ in Bolt’s home saying to me that “he’s always wanted to make sculptures for a house”. Although not uncommon in L.A. as many homes double as studios as well as exhibition spaces, it graciously accepts the vulnerable conceit of SoftCells, playfully flipping the inside and outsides, making us aware of the body that protects, cleans and provides stasis to itself. The interventions make the house like a body, with a stylized hand-made eyelid facing the highway, a water capture contraption in the shower (requiring Bolt to bring grey water out front to the shrubs), and one of the shrubs has a microphone, like the ear, capturing the sounds of the ocean-like cars passing en masse.

The experience of the exhibition is comfortably associative in its use of live streamed video of Manhattan Beach visitors, waves and digital graininess, which seems to match up with the flowing outdoor audio. The speakers have prickly bits on them, which I found out came from JLK dragging them in the dirt until they were covered in black seeds which blend in an uncanny way.

And like all of my favorite exhibitions do, there are no labels to frame the artworks’ boundaries so my attention is heightened, poring over a rock collection, the shape of empty book shelves, the finger grease on a touchscreen device, books and even remnants of other artists artwork that were too inconspicuous to be needed to be moved… In these informal setups, either the artist or the curator, usually both, acknowledge each visitor and conversations meander between asking you how you’re doing, describing what experiments are still ongoing, and excusing oneself to greet another friend. I’ve been informed that there are still more experiments to come. The exhibition is open for viewing/a shower by appointment until July 14th.

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(other things I liked looking at, but are not actually part of JLK's installation)