Gerhard Treml is part of a multi-disciplinary team investigating narrative contexts and how they shape the spatial relations we use to interpret the physical world. The team is particularly concerned with vernacular environments where everyday stories and mythologies are enacted. This exhibition features one of Hollywood's most iconic landscapes, the Californian desert. Tightly connected to movies and myths relaying the American meta-narratives of the Wild West, the new frontier, and the land of opportunity, this particular landscape is exemplary of how places can trans-locally frame identities. Treml presents nine short films based on interviews with desert residents, creating a portrait of the area from the life stories of its people. The films are projected onto a sand screen on the floor of the gallery.
David Lamelas and Kaucyila Brooke extend this discourse as they destabilize and reveal politics of identity in their narratives of the American desert. What literary philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin pointed out as the interpretational power of genre is impressively demonstrated in David Lamelas's film, The Desert People (1974), about five people on a road trip in which each interviews members of the Papago tribe, discovering very different "truths." Road movie scenes interact with a straight-tocamera documentary in a semi-fictional storyline reflective of the filmmaker's personal situation. Lamelas produced the film as part of his process of appropriation when he moved to Los Angeles from Buenos Aires.
In This Land is Your Land, Kaucyila Brooke has created a sequence of multiple color photomontage panels set against the backdrop of Monument Valley, John Ford's favorite filming location. There, she staged female characters discussing their relationship to the narrative of the Western landscape. In this piece, the narrative is revealed as tool to reconfigure and reflect on the gendered power relations coded into the Western genre. The work was originally produced in 1987 while Brooke was living in Tucson, Arizona and it shows her early interest in seeking out traces of women's desire long absent in the Western narrative. This Land is Your Land has been restored specifically for Eden's Edge.
At the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles the dialog between art and architecture and the artistic exchange between Vienna and Los Angeles is being fostered with common exhibition projects.
Further exhibitions at the Mackey Garage Top:
Sonia Leimer & Stephanie Taylor with Barbara Hammer. Bend a Bow 188.8.131.52.2012
Hans Schabus & The Center for Land Use Interpretation. Double Crossings 16.11.20122.3.2013
Bernhard Sommer & Neil M. Denari. Smooth Matter 19.04.201310.08.2013
Constanze Ruhm & Christine Lang and First Office 8.11.20131.3.2014
Andreas Fogarasi & Oscar Tuazón 7.11.20147.2.2015
This exhibitions series is made possible through The Austrian Federal Chancellery / Arts Division.