Critics’ Picks

boychild, instagram.com/p/QATD02PD2o/, 2012.

Los Angeles

“Stand Close”

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives
909 West Adams Boulevard
April 20 - July 28

Perched on the second-floor balcony overlooking the large square expanse that houses ONE’s library, “Stand Close, It’s Shorter Than You Think: A show on feminist rage,” presented by Artist Curated Projects, places works by artists boychild, RJ Messineo, MPA, and Guadalupe Rosales along the building’s interior perimeter. Together, in this setting, they stress that feminist rage is in fact a collective feeling and one not without its own history.

MPA’s performance documentation fluently demonstrates the many ways an event can be framed and reframed. In “Polaroid Series,” 2010, Schneemann-esque polaroids taken by Katherine Hubbard capture MPA posed in collage-like contraptions with pieces of plywood bending in tension with the artist’s body parts. The images exude an intense intimacy that pierces through the past time of the photo shoot into a voyeur’s condensed and electric present. In another example, nine black-and-white ink-jet prints from a video by Sadie Benning of MPA’s performance Directing Light onto Fist of Father, Part I: Initiation and Part II: The Act, 2011, lyrically depict the artist self-possessed and holding a plaster fist. Included with the prints are several loose sheets of paper on which the audience typed descriptions of MPA’s more turbulent Part III: Revolution, Two Marks in Rotation, 2011. Details of material and bodily injury—broken glass, the clamor of a metal pole, a bite of flesh—infuse the dreamy video stills with an eerie calm.

Guadalupe Rosales’s abstract works freeze the archive’s ephemeral offerings in an elegant geometry. A steel restraint from ONE’s collection hovers above Equilibrium, 2012, a colored pencil on Mylar drawing. Echoing the curved and hard-edged contours of the stiff neck and wrist collar, the drawing’s clear lines and light color blocks render both objects with a shared and quiet formalism. It is in these ways that “Stand Close” becomes a tactile and sensuous exploration of the urge to document. It points to the many ways emotion is manifested in objects, even if in the process of making those objects they no longer express their primal representative form.