for High Desert Test Sites and Monte Vista Projects Present: Spectacular Subdivision
Curated by: Jay Lizo
For Spectacular Subdivision (see more info below) I screened a single channel non-fiction animated short title The Shack about the history of shacks, shantytowns and housing settlements built throughout New York during historic periods of severe income inequality not unlike our current moment. The animation frames this history by way of The Winter Shack, a temporary exhibition/performance space built from the cast-off remains of found wooden pallets in a backyard in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. Encouraged by the architecture of The Winter Shack and an exceptionally brutal winter, The Winter Shack brought artists and writers together for performative readings, installations, and happenings during the first three months of 2014. The improvised architecture and adaptive reuse of The Shack stands as a optimistic reminder of the possibilities of making something out of nothing.
Stills from The Shack:
KCET Artsbound review by Kim Stringfellow:
High Desert Test Sites and Monte Vista Projects present Spectacular Subdivision, a group project curated by Jay Lizo. This three-day exhibition invites artists to reflect on questions of housing and real estate in the aftermath of the 2008 housing market crisis. What does housing mean to artists in relation to their practice? How has the mortgage meltdown affected artists? How have forms of domesticity and shelter shaped artists’ practices?
Spectacular Subdivision stems from the many conversations Jay had with other artists about purchasing a home. These conversations, ranging from the various types of paints used for interiors, to how to expand a house to incorporate a studio, and how to find balance between a living and working space, were simultaneously banal and fantastical. The project both engages and mimics the logic of real estate development as it has played out in the years since settlement began on the edges of habitable space across the Californian desert, e.g. California City in Kern County and Salton City, the failed resort adjacent to the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley. The call invites participating artists to explore their personal fantasies in tandem with that (il)logic.
The project takes place over one weekend at two sites in Wonder Valley, California, on the fringes of the high desert. Large-scale sculptures are installed in a cul-de-sac formation at the remote, undeveloped Iron Age Road parcel. Additional works are on view at El Paseo Ranch, a rental cabin owned by the Sibley Family.
Participating artists include: Matt Allison, Katie Allison, Yuki Ando, Nicole Antebi, Annette Barz, Lara Bank, Allison Danielle Behrstock, James Cathey, Frank Chang, Chelsea Dean, Michael Dodge, Rebecca Bennett Duke, Ken Ehrlich, Patrick Gilbert, Joe Goode, Jenalee Harmon, Anastasia Hill, Dick Hebdige, Oliver Hess, Oree Holban, Olga Koumoundouros, Norm Laich, Jay Lizo, Candice Lin, Clare Little, Justin Lowman, Ben Lord, Nuttaphol Ma, Patrick Melroy, Anna Mayer, Megan Mueller, Ruchama Noorda, Noah Peffer, Nikki Pressley, Ben Pruskin, Nate Page, Carl Pomposelli, Colin Roberts, Marco Rios, Sam Scharf, Ryan Taber, Emily Thomas, Matthew Usinowicz, Jesse Wilson, and Kim Yasuda.
About Monte Vista Projects:
Monte Vista Projects is an artist-run space in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles. Since July 2007, Monte Vista Projects has hosted exhibitions, lectures, events, and performances. The space is self-determining—there is no “manifesto”—but the general aim is to provide a platform for art and conversation in Los Angeles, emphasizing experimentation and artworks that contribute to non-traditional dialogues.