IAMKIAM.COM - brand new site for the brand new year, updated with current works.
Check it out, y’all!
I’ve been working on this for the past couple days, and it’s finally ready. My old homepage was beginning to feel too cluttered and unorganized. So, ready for the new year, here is a brand-spaniking new IAMKIAM.com.
Enjoy, and comments are always appreciated.
<3 U ALL. Happy New Year!
Most time I photograph people in their own environments because it is personal, familiar, and comfortable for them. For me as a photographer, the situation becomes rather peculiar, intimate, and doubtful. Once I achieve the trust of the model, I can feel their energy and their desire to be seen and be explored but at the same time still reserve some for themselves. It is in those Almost Naked moments that my subjects are the most exquisite, when things occur, and what generally is not displayed initially in public is exposed. - SHEN WEI in conversation withJOERG COLBERG
SHEN WEI is a Chinese photographer who explores the intimate life of his subject through portraiture, landscape and still life. By intertwining the three genresWEI produces a unique and sensitive perspective of his homeland.
Save the date: his new solo exhibition will be on view at Light Work, an artist-run, non-profit photography and digital media center in Syracuse, NY from November 05 to December 14, 2012 (opening: Thursday, November 8, 5-7pm).
via We Find Wildness
Gestures of demarcation (2001) are a set of 6 large scale color photographs, that use performative strategies to playfully explore physical limits and boundaries. While not a performance itself this series refers to 60’s/70’s performance works and particularly those of feminist artists from that period. The images describe an act, in which various anonymous protagonists are asked to violate the borderline between people that is demarcated on the body by the skin. Instructed to extend the skin of the artist’s upper body as far as possible, it is left to each participant in this experimental set up to choose how and where to do so. The gesture hovers between aggression, power yet also a certain sense of trust and complicity. The contrast between the clothed participants and the naked artist further complicates the play of active and passive.
A Kid Again
Public Installation, Chicago Suburbs, IL,
A Kid Again started as a means to contest how public space is deemed heterosexual space by default; by adding my queer narrative to the public sphere, I wanted take up those physical spaces where I felt my identity was either a burden or simply erased. Using the past, I developed a sort of queer map of moments in the suburbs where I grew up.
When I distilled the 11 moments to their circumstances, I realized how misinformed and harmful my perceptions of acceptance, free will, and reality were as a child and adolescent. I had internalized homophobia to the point where I viewed my existence as an “other-sexual” as an inconvenience to “normal” people. This project attempts to start, in public, those dialogues that I never could.
So I printed the moments on signs, put them in the locations where they occurred, and expressed those things that I felt I was never supposed to.
After 5 hours (from 5 AM to 10 AM), there were 3 signs left standing. Many were taken within 2 hours of their installation.
Chicago, July 3rd, 2012
Click on over to iamKiam.com to see what I’ve been working on all year. This is a new body of work (still in development) I call At Your Service. It deals with my military background and Filipino-American identity, among many other themes.
Hennessy Youngman in Chicago
at the MCA, 21 FEB, 6 pm
Whattup Internet? Your boy Hennessy Youngman is coming to Chicago’s MCA to deconstruct your bourgeois predilections of modern and contemporary art.
I’m making a day of it. Who’s with me?
I’m sure many of you have seen my “I AM” project (If not, it’s here). Well I have some good news! The project has been selected to be a part of an upcoming art event called 2nd Floor Rear, put together by It’s a Pony Projects here in Chicago. It’s going to be a wonderful art event with works installed and exhibited in nontraditional spaces for 24 hours (February 4-5, beginning at noon). There will also be activities, dances, drinks, etc. and everyone is welcome to attend.
It’s a Pony Projects is raising funds (up till February 1) to help cover the costs of the festival. If you can find it in your hearts, pockets, purses, Paypals, and wallets, please donate at least $1 (just $1! Only 4 quarters! You can find that in your sofa!), it would really help to bring this event to fruition.
Here’s more info on the festival:
2nd Floor Rear is a 24-hour festival of alternative spaces, apartment galleries, and ephemeral and migrant projects celebrating Chicago’s vibrant community of alternative and DIY art spaces.
In 1980, the Neoists, a little-known avant-garde subculture descended from Fluxus, held their first annual “International Neoist Apartment Festival” or APT, a four-day long event complete with concerts, performances, film screenings, and installations, in the apartment of one of the members of the Neoist group. Poorly documented and marginally historicized, it is thought that APT carried on annually, in various iterations, until 1988.
Drawing on the 24-hour block party model (think Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Mainx24 festival), 2ndFloor Rear adapts the spirit of APT to a condensed, 24-hour timeline. From noon on February 4th to noon on February 5th, festival participants such as Pop-up Art Loop, Carousel Space Projects, Milk Gallery, the Happy Collaborationists, and individual artists such as Chiara Galimberti and Karen Faith will host pop-up exhibitions, dream yoga sleepovers, site-specific installations, and New Wave synth-pop art extravaganzas.
Here, also, is the official site, where you can see my name in the Collaborators list! :D
Thank you all, and I hope you can help pitch a buck or two!
A short essay I wrote for my Art History class. I could keep going on this work alone, but there was a 2-page limit.
On Felix Gonzales-Torres’ “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross, L.A.)
Perhaps one of the more curious works of art on display at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing is a small mountain of multicolored candy piled up in a corner. To the uninitiated, it serves a curious purpose, to highlight how strange and fun contemporary art can be, to remind us of its reach past the frame and into the viewer’s experience of an art work. According to the display placard, “adult visitors are invited to take a piece of candy,” (but “only one piece, please,” as a security guard alerted me). The viewer can interact with the art work in a multi-sensory form. Besides seeing it, they can feel it, consume it, taste it, enjoy it in multiple ways.
Upon encountering “Untitled”, the pile of candy gleams under the bright museum lights. The individual pieces of candy - in colors of green, red, blue, yellow, and metallic silver shine with opulence. They almost seem like precious stones: topaz, rubies, sapphires, bits of gold and silver. Piled into a corner, the mound can shift, and there is a mild sense of tension, as if the pile of candy will avalanche down and spread all over the ground. Ironically, this sense of impermanence, along with its location on the floor, and in the corner, where things are often haphazardly thrown, seem to suggest a throwaway quality - the opposite of preciousness. There is dynamic power in this tension, its ambiguity or paradox.
Their materiality - they are sweets, after all - can give a sense of joy to any viewer. Most museum visitors probably do not expect to receive free candy when going to the Art Institute. When tasted, each color corresponds to a predicated flavor (blue seems to suggest blueberry, while the orange orange, and yellow lemon), but all are typical, and are un-named, non-branded. These are nondescript candies, they could have been from any store in the world, or even made in someone’s kitchen. In their lack of embellishment, they become ubiquitous, and therefore, relatable.
We can look at “Untitled” on multiple sensory levels, its visual and sensory experience, but more importantly, we must look at its latent effect, which, like the aftertaste of sugar, an undertone, its meaning, is what truly stays. The title suggests a dedication - it is a “Portrait” of Ross Laycock, Gonzales-Torres’ partner who died of AIDS in 1991. The pile of candy, weighed each day to equal 175 pounds - “corresponding to Ross’ ideal body weight” (Art Institute of Chicago). It is replenished daily, as if to be born again. It is evident that the work is one of deep intimacy and devotion. In various interviews and reviews, Gonzales-Torres is quoted that “his primary audience was his lover, Ross” (Storr, Queer Cultural Center). Effectively, then, in our experience of the shining pile of candy, of its beauty, impermanence, and its lingering taste, we question our own experience beyond the sensory. Gonzales-Torres’ work “was always motivated by his fervent desire for dialogue and community” (Carnegie International). The work raises many questions, which often contradict one another. If this is a portrait, which we then consume, do we not, in essence contribute to the ultimate end? Or does the artist simply seek to share his love with the rest of the world? What does it mean to take in another person, a stranger, into your self? Who is your own Ross?
“Untitled” is a work of art that can be analyzed on its own accord, but is much more powerful, in the larger context of Gonzales-Torres’ ouvre. His works “combine the impulses of Conceptual art, minimalism, political activism and a chance to produce a number of ‘democratic artworks’” (Queer Cultural Center). He has also exhibited other piles of replenishable items including candy such as in “Untitled (Placebo)” as a more direct commentary on the AIDS epidemic that claimed his lover, as well as his own life in 1996.
The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections. About this Artwork.
Carnegie International. “Artists: Felix Gonzales-Torres.”
Queer Cultural Center. Felix Gonzales-Torres.
Storr, Robert. Interview with Felix Gonzales-Torres.
Malia Jensen, Salty (2011)
From The Porland Mercury:
Elizabeth Leach’s 30th anniversary continues with a continuation of their group show The Shape of the Problem, and sculptor Malia Jensen presents a new video work, Salty, in which she gave a herd of cows a salt lick in the shape of a human breast, and documented the results.
I saw this exhibit at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Porland, OR this weekend. It was part of a larger group show called “The Shape of the Problem II.” Salty was separated in its own space.
Salty is set up to include a photo series, a video, and the actual breast sculptures made of salt. I chose to go around and see the photos first, then the sculptures, and finally watch the video.
The photographs were divided in a series with the following titles: “Once Upon a Time in the West,” “Western Scene,” and “High Noon.” Jensen aims to evoke images of Western films and the pioneering imagery of the “Manifest Destiny” era of American history.
The photos depict pastoral scenes that showed the cows grazing. Much like paintings of wild horses, or a herd of buffalo in the Wild West era, the cows had a beauty in their group formations, and in their natural setting. However, this was upset by the appearance of tags on their ears, an obvious imagery of our human dominion.
As found on Wikipedia, salt licks (or mineral licks) are natural formations or deposits of salt and other minerals, which animals consume (or lick) to obtain minerals they need, but may otherwise not have access to with their normal diet.
The sculptures themselves were made of salt, but appeared much more durable, almost marble-like in their smoothness. The sculptures presented were the actual salt licks used in the video, and it is evident by the appearance of dirt on the sides. Some of the breasts were more worn than the others, less defined in the nipple area.
The sculptures seem to refer to Classical Greek sculptures of goddesses, though severed from the rest of the body. Perhaps this is a commentary on the cows themselves, and their common fate of being chopped into a hundred pieces for human consumption. In the video, rather, it is the chopped-off human form which the cows consume.
This commentary via role-reversal is made more evident when one watches the video projection. Unlike the photo series, which bring a sense of pastoral pleasure, the video is disconcerting. It begins with the artist driving up to the herd and placing one of the salt licks on the ground. At first, the cows pay it no mind, but soon become curious. After a few minutes, one of the cows begins to lick the breast, and joined by another cow.
Watching the video gives one an eerie sense of sensuality and disgust. As humans (and more specifically, Americans), we think of the human breasts as serving two purposes: the production of milk for infants, and as a symbol of sexuality. When observing the cows lick the human breasts, both of these purposes are muddled, and what follows is the uncomfortable sense of observing something that one is perhaps not supposed to be seeing. The sound of the cows moaning the the background add to this sense of displacement.
The lopped-off human form used for cow consumption of minerals reverses the current system of human hegemony. We are accustomed to our role as the consumer. Cows serve our purposes. In Jensen’s Salty, we see the opposite: the cows consume us, or a representation of us. A human breast in the wild, repeatedly licked by cows’ tongues.
AH, Art. Look how far you’ve come from bowls of fruit and portraits of Jesus. Well done!
passive/aggressivness at it’s best
Insert a coin. Your selected piece of china will fall to the bottom of the vending machine. It will shatter. This project by artist Yarisa and Kublitz. If you feel better when you do it, because the designers contends that this machine will make you feel better.
This guy’s work is amazing. For a contemporary artist, he is still able to evoke the classical forms and make fans of those who may not “understand modern [contemporary] art.” It’s quite genius the simplicity of his installations as well, and how they evoke the personal out of the infinite.