Color/d: Vol. I - III
Paul Pescador (MFA 2012)
Opening Reception: November 16, 4-7pm
Exhibition Dates: November 16 - December 21, 2014
Offsite Screening: November 8, 11:55pm
Los Feliz 3, 1822 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles
Park View is pleased to announce Color/d: Vol. I - III, the gallery’s first one-person show with Paul Pescador. It will run from November 16 through December 21 at 836 S. Park View Street, Unit 8, and a reception for the artist will be held on Sunday November 16 from 4 – 7pm.
His new film, also titled Color/d, will screen at the Los Feliz 3, located at 1822 N. Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles, on Saturday November 8 at 11:55pm sharp.
Pescador’s output spans a range of media. His practice relates heavily to conceptual, filmic, and photographic interpretations of the term "action," in particular the possibility of a gestalt, performative, or situational action, the fidelity of its documentation, and as an extension of that, the action of storytelling. Documentary and narrative traditions contaminate one another in his performances, installations, films, and photographs, producing subjects who cannot seem to orient themselves within a sea of throwaway images, stuff, and things.
For this exhibition, Pescador presents a new body of photographs structured into three parts, or volumes, each consisting of imagery rigorously edited and grouped together through a formalist and color-based rubric. Derived from a modernist notion of purity, this strategy in its application both structures and is undermined by the impure forms present in the show, which exist as swiftly executed pictures of himself and his environment within the mass consumer, fast-commercial, spectacle-driven culture that characterizes Southern California suburban life.
The first suite of photographs, Volume I, are printed to the size and scale of images produced by a typical smartphone camera. Functioning like performance documents, each shows Pescador marking his presence in the world with the aid of a kaleidoscope of materials. Within the images, the body, particularly the hand wielding the camera phone as its extension, operates like a locus from which disposable, bargain-basement goods are détourned and aesthetic motifs are cannibalized (images take on looks or styles intended to resemble particular art-historical genres or contemporary art references). They are installed as one 8-by-6 grid of framed photographs in the show. By repurposing and reinvesting these cheap commodity goods and concepts within his own reality, Pescador generates a montage of everyday life from the point-of-view of his specific and marginal cosmology, which is highly constructed, embodied, and speculative, existing in a constant state of rehearsal and revision, yet nevertheless reaching for some tangible identity and grounding meta-narrative.
Compared to this group, the photographs of Volume II are larger in scale, less accidental or candid, and more straightforward in terms of subject matter. Like studied tableaux and still life's arranged based on color likeness or complements, the figures and grounds in these images have harmonious and streamlined relationships, taking on characteristics of the monochrome. Refined, stylized, and calibrated, they function literally and figuratively like "upscaled" versions of the earlier camera phone images, performing the role of fine art photographs, existing within the exhibition somewhere between images and props.
The works in Volume III are created through a multi-part layering process. Pescador first makes chromogenic prints of advertisement and commercial displays captured on his phone, where he keeps an enormous bank of preexisting images from his shopping experiences. He then cuts up and reassembles the prints, and collages and draws in permanent ink marker over his reassembled forms. Subscribing to some version of Surrealist automatic drawing, Pescador's line follows the contour and silhouette of his found imagery within the cut-ups in a promiscuous but also controlled and repetitive manner, producing repressed, overworked positives and negatives of commoditized and fetishized vortexes. They are then re-photographed, printed, and shown as flat works, trapping all of their expressivity and counteracting self-control within the frame.
As a prelude to the exhibition, Pescador will screen his new film, also titled Color/d, on Saturday November 8 at the Los Feliz 3 in Los Angeles. His editing techniques with moving images are always individually linked to the thematic content of each section of a film. Here there are four: injury/trauma; emotional and physical need; solitude; and everyday experiences that account for the past, present, and future. Pescador's compositions become more abstract as the film proceeds. Props hat assume particular moods, characters, or compositional roles later recur as their distinctive other, and his willfully adolescent sets and dioramas, assembled in the studio and captured in stop animation, give way to camera phone videos shot out in the world.
The poetic qualities of Pescador's counter-aesthetic capture both the breezy wit of a Gabriel Orozco work and the translocal angst of Sadie Benning's early videos, with his overall technique likening itself to an updated, real-time version of Situationist pedestrian travel. As in his past films and now also his new film, the vicissitudes of his own personal circumstances appear in these images, too. Minor episodes from his life invade the space of fantasy like viruses, generating tainted skins and textures of reality that graft onto his visual narratives. Laced with the anxiety of the time-constraint, they cancel out the possibility of some pure and spontaneous action executed in the suburban street or commercial space, and reinscribe the subjective deadness that those places produce.
A fully-illustrated publication on the artist will be published this winter, with essays by Ryan Linkof, Assistant Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and Gladys Hernando, Curatorial Assistant, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MoCA LA); and with an interview conducted by John Tain, Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections, Getty Research Institute (GRI).
Paul Pescador (b. 1983, Los Angeles, CA) received his BFA from USC, and his MFA from UC Irvine in 2012. Recent solo projects and screenings include: Anthony Greaney, Boston, MA (2013); the Vista Theater, Los Angeles, CA (2012); and Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA (2011). Recent performances include: Hammer Museum (with KCHUNG TV), Los Angeles, CA (2014); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2014); Sweety's, Boston, MA (2014); Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University, Los Angeles (2012); and ForYourArt, Los Angeles (2012).
For images or more information please contact Paul Soto at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 213 509 3518.
Park View is located at 836 S. Park View Street, Unit 8, Los Angeles CA 90057. Hours are Thursday to Sunday, 1 – 6 PM.
Image: courtesy of the artist.