The Little Girl’s Room (1980) was my first attempt to present an ‘installational’ version of a performance script. The project grew out of a dream within a dream in which a ‘little girl’ envisioned the face of a pimp-like man whose smile revealed an infinity of sharp teeth.

"After she awoke from her dream she immediately changed the décor of her bedroom from flowery and girlish to geometric (with ‘minimalist’ grid-like artworks created by her own hand) and illuminated with black light. This stylistic transformation symbolized her entrance into puberty."

Mike Kelley

ELAD LASSRY
BOOK SIGNING
THURSDAY, JULY 24, 6 PM
MOCA GRAND AVENUE

At the center of the work of Elad Lassry is an anthropological interest in the image. In his films and photographs, he examines visual codes and stereotypes, often staging still lives in his studio which refer back to product photographs and the imaging of the entertainment industry. In Untitled (2008), one thinks that what one is seeing is four figures, sitting on a rooftop; in truth, the four models are posing against an enlarged picture from a ’70s science textbook. It’s an approach influenced by artists such as Barbara Kruger, Jack Goldstein and Christopher Williams.

Join us on Thursday at the MOCA Store as Lassry signs copies of his new book, which documents his 2012 solo exhibition at Padiglione d’Art Contemporanea in Milan, Italy, published by Mousse Publishing. 

Jim Shaw Dream Object (I was looking through dream drawings to find fodder and in more than one found comic book covers of Hawkman in a sky of green snakes and a golden rip in the sky.), 2004Ink and gouache on board21 1/8 x 15 1/8 inchesPurchased with funds provided by the Buddy Taub Foundation, Jill and Dennis Roach, DirectorsThe Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
"Some artists work by filtering everything. I think I’ve got a strong enough inner critic, and enough self-hatred, that I’m filtering, but I just ignore the fact that I’m supposed to only do a set number of things."—Jim Shaw on Dream Object, one of his assorted works now on view at MOCA Grand Avenue.  High-res

Jim Shaw 
Dream Object (I was looking through dream drawings to find fodder and in more than one found comic book covers of Hawkman in a sky of green snakes and a golden rip in the sky.), 2004
Ink and gouache on board
21 1/8 x 15 1/8 inches
Purchased with funds provided by the Buddy Taub Foundation, Jill and Dennis Roach, Directors
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

"Some artists work by filtering everything. I think I’ve got a strong enough inner critic, and enough self-hatred, that I’m filtering, but I just ignore the fact that I’m supposed to only do a set number of things."—Jim Shaw on Dream Object, one of his assorted works now on view at MOCA Grand Avenue. 

Mike Kelley:

I think all art has humor in it. Because all art is about surprise. And so humor is a kind of more socially accepted version of surprise, in which there is a kind of cultural bracket in which you can be surprised…

It’s only because of the pomposity of art that the so-called “normal folk” don’t like art, because they accept shysters, and they accept comedy, but they can’t accept it when it has intellectual pretension. That’s the only difference…

Art is to me is a kind of humor which is just unacceptable because it’s threatening.

—That’s from an incredible, undated interview, probably during the 2000s. Kelley talks about art and comedy at 3:40, after angrily challenging a “New York-centric” view of art history, one that discredits Salvador Dalí’s body of work after surrealism.

Jim Shaw
Color Xerox, 1976
color Xerox
8 1/2 x 11 in 
Courtesy of the artist

Jim Shaw
Destroy All Monsters Flyers, 1975
black and white Xerox
8 1/2 x 14 in 
Courtesy of the artist

Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley started the noise-garage band Destroy All Monsters after graduating from art school in Michigan. In addition to playing guitar, Shaw became primarily responsible for the band’s visual identity. These flyers, made through a Xerox collage technique, use commercial images of children, families, human bodies, and sci-fi monsters to “promote the band, without the band actually quite existing.” 

Mike Kelley - Jim Shaw - MOCA U - MOCAtv

Nine years ago, Tracy Fullerton of USC Interactive Media & Games challenged her students to “design games from the heart.” Independent game designers Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany (“Cloud,” “Flower,” “Journey”) accepted her challenge, and in the process, found themselves embraced by indie videogame superstardom.

That Game Company - Art In Video Games - MOCAtv

EXTENDED ORGAN
SATURDAY, JULY 19
THE GEFFEN CONTEMPORARY AT MOCA

The roots of the Los Angeles Free Music Society trace back to 1972, when disparate groups of improvising sound experimenters in eastern Los Angeles banded together to design modes of self-production and distribution that propelled what would become the do-it-yourself, or DIY movement.

Three of those founding members—Tom Recchion, Joe Potts and Fredrik Nilsen—would later form Extended Organ, an experimental, textural noise band, with Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy and Alex Stevens. The band plays this Saturday, July 26, at the Mike Kelley closing party, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

[Images of Recchion and Nilsen in Doo-Dooettes, “Live Outside,” 1996, courtesy of LAFMS.]