Los Angeles

Charles LaBelle

Robert Berman Gallery

Part guinea pig and pack rat, private eye, and military strategist, Charles LaBelle is an oddball cartographer whose projects map the mismatches and overlaps of various approaches to factual documentation. His latest installation broke down into three groups of work that added up to a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Collectively titled Colonies II, 1993, his constellation of fabricated and found objects consisted of discarded mattresses, abandoned sofa cushions, innumerable pushpins, documentary photographs, and a silent video. The young, L.A.–based artist’s installation brought acupuncture, a traditional Christmas ritual, homelessness, and military campaigns into an uneasy, troubling, conjunction.

Under LaBelle’s influence, each of these seemingly autonomous spheres of activity collapsed onto an alien terrain, one governed neither by the rigor of logic nor the unpredictability of

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