4 Jan
Brooklyn is Burning finishes their installation run in the City of Angels

Skip ArnoldB

Brooklyn is Burning closed out their year in Los Angeles this week with an archival screening at Imprenta. Having pedaled their rare brand of sexually charged video installation and performance in Brooklyn since March of 2008, the duo — Sarvia Jasso and Andres Bedoya — finally decided to share with their depraved and quivering West Coast factions.  The installation was not their usual full-blown accompaniment of performance and music, but rather a recession-appropriate taste of what we are soon to see from them in the coming year. The screening included an excellent selection of archived BIB work from past exhibitions from both known and up-and-coming artists such as Matt Greene, Desiree Hollman, Kathryn Garcia and BIB’s beloved Andres Bedoya.

Though all of the work was evocative and challenging  there were a few pieces in particular that captured the tone and mission of the event. Andres Bedoya’s Erotic Study featured several subjects masked in abstract faceless latex and paper mache heads posed in sparse and unlocalized bedrooms, gyrating and sometimes masturbating with the protrusions of their head gear. If you can imagine Eyes Wide Shut directed by Anton LaVey, you are approaching the spirit of the work. Bedoya’s exploration of the uncanny and grotesque is accessed through the female figure, not coincidentally the most idealized and sexualized body in a hetero-normative culture.

The artfully derelict Skip Arnold contributed Girls in Bikinis, a delightfully hysterical video centered around the artist incessantly chanting the titled mantra, “girls in bikinis”. The piece then ups the ante when the video sharply cuts to another scene, very similar to the first, except for the addition of Arnold’s barely out-of-scene flailing genitals. The crass and frenetic energy of the piece is itself a subject and actor in the work — Arnold’s repetition of sexual expletives is closely akin to the most charming of absurdist dramas.

All in all Brooklyn Is Burning has already proven to be a treat for Angelenos, as they had two packed screenings and the promise of more to come. Garnering interest in video art and installation is no easy feat — as clearly demonstrated by the art form’s waning patronage — but BIB has certainly succeeded in attracting attention for the practice and keeping the young enthusiast curiously… aroused.

Reviewed by Sophia DeArborne

Natalie RodgersB

No Responses to “Burning Down LA”

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