Uncommon Practice postcard

Uncommon Practice: Faculty Show

05-16-08 thru 08-08-08
Nichols Gallery & Lenzner Family Art Gallery

Featuring: Steve Cahill, Eddie Gonzalez, Alexandra Juhasz, Gina Lamb, Jesse Lerner, Jessica Lawless, Ming-Yuen S. Ma, Jessica McCoy, Kathryn Miller and Kelly Sears

Steven Cahill

Steve Cahill’s 360° digital images are the contemporary descendents of the panoramas of Eadweard Muybridge and other nineteenth-century photographic pioneers. Cahill creates impossible illusions by stitching together multiple exposures of a landscape or an interior. The resulting scenes are eerily familiar, yet uncanny pictures of places we may think we recognize but appear warped and distorted by the camera’s lens and the compression of long exposures (ranging from ten to thirty minutes) into a single scene. Cahill’s images remind us that the artist and the camera do not merely record the objective world, but create new perceptions.

Dublin Castle, Ireland (2007), Epson archival Inkjet Print, 16 x 40 inches, Courtesy of the artist

Steven J. Cahill received his MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 1979. Cahill has participated in numerous exhibitions including: Extreme Places, California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA (2007); A Gathering of Photographers, Back to the Grind Gallery, Riverside, CA (2004); The Vertical View, Salathe Gallery, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA (1995); Pasadena Only, Pasadena City College Art Gallery, Pasadena, CA (1989); Maine Photographic Workshops Annual Show, Nikon House, Rockefeller Center, NY (1986); Light Sensitive VI, Gainesville, FL (1984). Steven Cahill is visiting assistant professor of art at Pitzer College.

Volver (2008), Digital print, 24 x 36 inches, Courtesy of the artist

Eddie Gonzalez

Eddie Gonzalez’s series of posters may appear to announce a Hollywood premiere, but they are actually fictional advertisements for the end-date of the ancient Maya calendar. Prophesized as the transition from the present world into the next, December 21, 2012, has been imagined by many as a “doomsday.” Others look forward to the date for the return of Quetzalcoatl, the great, feathered serpent revered by the Pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica. Indeed, one might ponder whether 12-21-12 portends catastrophe, or the beginning of a new age. Gonzalez views the date as a last opportunity to reverse our current destructive course and heal the earth.
Eddie Gonzalez is a Pomona, California, based artist whose work includes graphic design, video, sculpture and silk screening. He received his BA in Media Studies and art from Pitzer College in 2004. He currently works as the assistant director of production for the Intercollegiate Media Studies Program at Pitzer College. [clear]

Naming Prairie (2002), Looped DVD projection, 6 minutes, Courtesy of the artist

Alexandra Juhasz

Alexandra Juhasz’s work as a director, producer, scholar and activist embodies her commitment to feminist theory and practice. As a videomaker living in New York in the ’80s and ’90s, Juhasz produced activist videos that documented a city ravaged by AIDS. Working with newly available, inexpensive camcorders, Juhasz and her collaborators reframed mainstream media representations of AIDS and disseminated much-needed information on the unfolding crisis. Her more recent short video, Naming Prairie, examines a Jewish naming ceremony for the daughter of a lesbian couple, offering an intimate view of how rituals and traditions are transformed to accommodate contemporary lives and families.

Alexandra Jeanne Juhasz received her PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University in 1992. Juhasz has participated in numerous exhibitions and screenings of her work including: the Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, Hong Kong, Creteil, Seoul, and Flaherty International Film Festivals; the New York, L.A., San Francisco, Toronto, Torino, and London Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals; the Whitney Biennial, Guggenheim, New Museum, Museo del Bario, LACE, London ICA, Wexner Center for the Arts. Juhasz’ feature film The Watermelon Woman (1995) earned “Teddy Bear” award at the Berlin Film Festival, the Audience Awards at Creteil Women’s Festival, Torino, Toronto and Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Festivals, Taipei Golden Horse Festival, and was featured at the New York and San Francisco Gay Festivals and Toronto Film Festival (1996). Juhasz’s short film Bad Bosses Go To Hell (1997) was screened at the Palm Springs International Short Fest, East Hamptons Short Film Festival, IFFM, airs on IFC, HBO Latin America, PBS, British Airways and atomfilm.com. Juhasz has received numerous artist grants and fellowships for her work including: the Wexner Center for the Arts: Editing Fellowship (2007); C-100, Inc., production support for Released (2000); Astraea Fund for Women: post-production grant for Women of Vision (1998); and California Council on the Humanities: Research Award for Women of Vision (1994). Alexandra Juhasz is professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College. [clear]

Still Here: Becoming Legendary (2007), Looped DVD projection, 31 minutes, Courtesy of the artist

Gina Lamb

Gina Lamb is a media activist whose work has dealt with race, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and immigrant issues. A collective portrait of the young gay black men in the House and Ball community of Los Angeles, Still Here: Becoming Legendary is the product of many collaborators within a community that has been defined by its status as a “triple minority—young, poor and gay.” Lamb’s raw and honest, yet artfully edited video eschews the omniscient voice-over of traditional documentaries. The young men in the video are not merely characters in a film. They are co-authors who narrate their own lives and worlds.
Gina Lamb received her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1987. Lamb has participated in numerous exhibitions and screenings of her work including: Queer Youth Nation, OUTFEST, Los Angeles (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004); London Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, NewFest – New York, Mix-Mexico City (2005); Wipe Your Feet & The Chorizo Show, Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica (2003); Queer Youth Nation, LAG&LC and LA Freewaves New Media Festival (2002); REACH OUT: LA and Beyond, LA Freewaves Video Festival (2000); and Mixed Memories, The Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA (1999).

Lamb has received many honors and awards including: Audience Award Best Documentary Short, FUSION Los Angeles LGBT People of Color Film Festival (2006); Audience Award Best Documentary Short, OUTFEST (2005); California Arts Council, Media Arts A.I.R. Grant (2002-03); City of Inglewood, Resolution of Appreciation in the Arts (2001); City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Grant – Media Arts (1998-2001); LACE/California Arts Council, Media Arts A.I.R. Grant (1996-98); and Anonymous Was A Woman Award (1996). Gina Lamb is visiting assistant professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College. [clear]

Ruins (2000), Looped DVD projection, 78 minutes, Courtesy of the artist

Jesse Lerner

Jesse Lerner’s Ruins is a clever collage of found and fabricated footage that skewers the museumification of Mesoamerican artifacts and their conscription in the nationalist politics of the twentieth century. Lerner’s pelicula documental falsificada or “fake documentary” is a border-crosser of sorts, troubling the distinctions between the documentary and art, high and low, engagé critique and avant-garde experimentation, fiction and reality. Focusing on the story of a Mexican counterfeiter of antiquities whose work has been exhibited in major U.S. and European museums, Ruins is a meditation on notions of truth and colonialist biases of archaeology, ethnography, film and history.

Jesse Lerner received his PhD in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University in 2006 and his MA in visual anthropology from the University of Southern California in 1991. Lerner has participated in many screenings and exhibitions of his work including: Galeria de Arte Contemporaneo, Xalapa, Veracruz (2008); Filmoteca de la UNAM, Mexico City (2007); Cinemateca Uruguaya, Montevideo (2007); Viva Mexico! Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2007); The Free Screen, Cinematheque Ontario, Toronto (2007); The Backroom, New Langton Arts and San Francisco Camerawork, Celda Contemporanea/Claustro de Sor Juana, Mexico City, and Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, (2007, 2006); J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2006); New York Underground Film Festival (2005, 2001); The Road to Aztlan: Art from a Mythic Homeland, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, Albuquerque Museum, NM, Austin Museum of Art and Texas Fine Art Association, Austin, TX (2001-2002). Among Lerner’s many awards are: the Everett Helm Fellowship, Indiana University (2007); Director’s Citation, Black Maria Film Festival (for Magnavoz); Fulbright Fellow, Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (2006); Director’s Choice, Black Maria Film Festival (for T.S.H.); Honorable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival (for T.S.H.); Project Pericles Grant, Pitzer College; U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture (for The Shock of Modernity); Getty/California Community Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship (2002); Mellon Foundation Grant, Pitzer College (2000). Jesse Lerner is associate professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College. [clear]

Past Present Future (2006), Looped DVD projection, 5 minutes, Courtesy of the artist
Past Present Future (2006), Looped DVD projection, 5 minutes, Courtesy of the artist

Jessica Lawless

Jessica Lawless’s Past Present Future explores the ongoing relationship between violence and gender in a series of outdoor self-defense classes that provoke a re-thinking of our persistently rigid definitions of femininity. Filmed over a month, the work traces the development of the participants’ skills from awkward self-awareness to skillful coordination. After a successful choreographed demonstration in a parking lot, the group takes their act to the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles. Dressed in drag—to demonstrate the range and fluidity of interpretations of femininity—the group performs their self-defense strategies along the median and at the Freeway’s exits.

Jessica Lawless received her MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 2006. Lawless has participated in numerous exhibitions including: Two Weeks Awareness Examining Violence Against Women, The Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA (2008); Digital Artifacts, Artists Television Access, San Francisco, CA (2008); Visualized Film Festival, Denver, CO (2007); End of Gays, Outfest Platinum Program REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA (2006); Pilot, Chicago, IL (2005); Lesbian Arts Festival, Dublin, Ireland (2005); Homo A Gogo Arts Festival, Olympia, Washington (2004). Lawless has also participated in numerous film festivals and screenings of her work including: Unhung Heroes (Dir. Lazlo Ilya Pearlman), (2002), distributed by Frameline, San Francisco, CA; Paint it Black (2002) distributed by AK Press, Oakland, CA. Her published writings and presentations include: “Moving Image Review” Solicited article on The Gendercator and queer arts censorship GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (2008); “Past Present Future: The Multiple Starting Points of a Video Project,” Digital Artifact Magazine: An On-line Journal, (2007); Black Masks Black Skin: “Anarchists in LA,” KCOP’s “Exclusive Investigative Report” To the Quick: The Journal Magazine of Media and Cultural Studies at Binghamton University (2001); The Queer Love Boat: The Politics of Inclusion in Visual Culture, Panelist for 2008 CAA Annual Conference, Dallas, TX. Jessica Lawless is visiting professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College. [clear]

RECUT Project (2006), Looped DVD projection, 43 minutes, Courtesy of the artist

Ming-Yuen S. Ma

Ming-Yuen S. Ma’s reinterpretation of Yoko Ono’s seminal Cut Piece (1964) places it firmly in the present tense. In Ono’s original work audience members were invited to cut as little or as much of her clothes off while she sat motionless. In keeping with the Fluxus spirit and Ono’s instructions for the performance—Ono agreed that others could perform Cut Piece regardless of their sex—Ma invited a diverse group of writers as well as visual and performance artists to reinterpret the work. Informed by varied social, racial and cultural contexts, the performances were profoundly innovative in their scope, taking forms that extended and reinvented Ono’s original action both formally and conceptually.

Ming-Yuen S. Ma received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1994. His experimental videos and installations including: Movements East and West (2003); Mother/Land (2000); Myth(s) of Creation (1997); Sniff (1997); Slanted Vision (1995); Toc Storee (1992); and Between The Lines: Who Speaks? (1994-96), have been exhibited nationally and internationally in a wide range of venues. As a curator and media activist, Ma has been affiliated with L.A. Freewaves, Visual Communications, The Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Work Fund, American Film Institute, The Los Angeles Festival, FAR (Foundation for Art Resources), MIX/NYC, and other media organizations at different points in his career. He has received grants and awards from Art Matters, Inc., the Brody Arts Fund, the Durfee Foundation, Long Beach Museum of Art, ESTAF/NEA, and other institutions. Ming-Yuen S. Ma is a Los Angeles-based media artist and assistant professor of Media Studies Program at Pitzer College. [clear]

386 Jackson Street (2005), Oil on canvas, 8 x 10 feet, Courtesy of the artist and Fanny Garver Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin
386 Jackson Street (2005), Oil on canvas, 8 x 10 feet, Courtesy of the artist and Fanny Garver Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin

Jessica McCoy

Jessica McCoy’s immense oil paintings of fragmented interiors are reminiscent of David Hockney’s elaborate Polaroid collages. Using her own photographs as source material, McCoy cleverly constructs labyrinthine compositions that weave multiple interior views into intricate narratives that intrigue and entice. McCoy’s kaleidoscopic scenes present keyhole views into deeply private moments that frequently involve lone female figures. Reclining partially clad on beds, the women are fully confident in their own seclusion and act accordingly. Thrust into the role of shameless voyeur—a position we may or may not enjoy—we are free to indulge in the heady sensuous drama played out in the work.
Jessica McCoy received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2001. McCoy has participated in numerous exhibitions including: Dreams, Fanny Garver Gallery, Madison, WI (2007); Ontario Juried Exhibition, Ontario Museum of Art, (2007); Jessica McCoy “Recent Works,” Fanny Garver Gallery, Madison, WI (2005); Women Painters, Fanny Garver Gallery, Madison, WI (2001); 33rd Annual Juried Show, Porter Butts Gallery, UW-Madison, (2001). She has received many grants and fellowships including: Vilas Fellowship University of Wisconsin Madison (2001); Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant (2003-04); and the Los Angeles County Metro Expo Line Contract 2008-current. Jessica McCoy is assistant professor of art at Pitzer College. [clear]

Rock Raft (2008), Drift wood, black agate stones, 8 x 18 x 48 inches, Courtesy of the artist
Rock Raft (2008), Drift wood, black agate stones, 8 x 18 x 48 inches, Courtesy of the artist

Kathryn Miller

Informed by her studies in biology, botany and ecology, Kathryn Miller’s eclectic practice is deeply concerned with social, political and environmental issues and often takes the form of joint works with individuals. This collaborative impulse and blurring of practice drives Miller’s projects, making them accessible to a much wider public. Like that of British artist Andy Goldsworthy, Miller’s work, frequently site-specific, comprises natural and found objects—driftwood, pebbles, shells, earth—that she transforms into elaborate sculptures and installations. Miller treats her materials with obsessive care and attention imbuing the works with talismanic qualities despite their often ephemeral nature.
Kathryn Miller received her MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1992. Miller has participated in numerous exhibits including: Desert Photography: The Other Side of Paradise, Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA (2005); Arroyo Pescadero Interpretive Arena, Puente Hills, CA (2004); Mostra Asfalto, Palazzo della Tiennale, Milan, Italy (2003); Ecoart=radical approaches to restoring the earth, Ecoartspace, Beacon, NY (2003); Creative Interventions, Ecological Design Center, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon, Eugene (2003); Art and Community Landscapes/Area 52, water clean-up project for the Arroyo Seco, Sycamore Grove Park, Los Angeles (2003); Ecovention, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2002); The Function of Art / The Art of Function, Kellogg Gallery, California State Polytechnic, Pomona, CA (2002); Water Works, BC Space Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA (2001); Snapshots, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, Baltimore, MD (2000). Kathryn Miller lectures widely on art and the environment and has published many artist’s books. Some of these titles include: Seduction and Discord in the Frozen Dinner (2005); Nature Vs Pavement (2003); Seed Bombs: A Short History (2002); and Lawns in the Desert by Kathryn Miller and Michael Honer (2001). Kathryn Miller is professor of art with an interdisciplinary emphasis in environmental studies at Pitzer College.

The Drift (2007), Looped DVD projection, 8 minutes and 20 seconds, Courtesy of the artist
The Drift (2007), Looped DVD projection, 8 minutes and 20 seconds, Courtesy of the artist

Kelly Sears

Comprised of hundreds of found images culled from National Geographic-type publications from the ’50s and ’60s, Kelly Sears’ archly suspenseful film The Drift creates a collage of compelling animation. Reminiscent of Cold War-inspired sci-fi movies from the ’50s such as The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and It Came from Outer Space (1953), The Drift dramatically narrates the fate of a doomed space voyage that returns with only a few on board. Unable to resist a mysterious and beguiling sound, the astronauts were lured from their ship, destined to remain “drifting” through outer space for eternity. Combining Soviet era paranoia with the romance of a Greek tragedy, The Drift presents a rich and compelling narrative.
Kelly Sears received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 2005. Sears has participated in many group exhibitions including: Against the Grain, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA (2008); Compound Objects from the Spy Who Loves You, Circus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2007); Underground Cinemachine, Machine Project, Los Angeles, CA (2007); The Latest Fiction, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2006); Fine Line, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2005); Fresh, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (2005); Domesticity, Herbert Marcuse Gallery, UCSD La Jolla, CA (2003); and Video Scoring, Machine Project, Los Angeles, CA (2003). Among Sears’ many awards are the Director’s Choice – Black Maria Film Festival, Jersey City, NJ (2008); Best Animated Film – Northampton Independent Film Festival (2007); Spirit Award for Best International Short (2007); Honorable Mention – Ann Arbor Film Festival (2006); Russel Grant, UCSD (2003); Waggerman Grant (2003). Kelly Sears is director of production for the Intercollegiate Media Studies Program at Pitzer College.