January 16 - February 16, 2014
Known for her own performances in front of the camera, often walking through areas of Los Angeles sharing musings, ramblings, and jokes, Stanya Kahn has begun making videos in which she does not appear. In her most recent works, the artist's critical deployment of dark humor, absurd storytelling, and linguistic play are often mediated through other subjects—whether small monsters created from crumpled notebook paper, a windup robot, or her own mother. Blood, Paper, and Mud (leave your slippers at the door) features Happy Song for You, Kahn's collaborative video with influential painter/musician Llyn Foulkes, for which he wrote and performed an original song. Foulkes appears blindfolded and bloody, calling to mind the "bloody head" series he has been making since the late 1970’s, particularly, Lucky Adam, a mixed media work from 1985. While Happy Song… is driven primarily by music, another video, Arms Are Overrated, is propelled by dialogue…between two self-destructive creatures (made from notebook paper) who suffer various traumas and speculate on desires, fears, and failures. The exhibition also features six ink drawings on paper and Six Animations, a video that evidences Kahn's time-based drawing.
Blood, Paper, and Mud (leave your slippers at the door), Kahn's first solo exhibition in the Midwest, is curated by Kendra Paitz, Curator of Exhibitions. The artist's free public lecture is co-sponsored by the School of Art's Visiting Artist Program.
Kahn's work has been included in solo exhibitions at Pigna Project Space, Rome; New Museum, New York; Cornerhouse, Manchester, U.K.; and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, California. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles; Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Kunsthalle Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Future Gallery, Berlin; and the Hayward Gallery, London. Kahn's monograph, It's Cool, I'm Good, was published by Cornerhouse in 2012. Her work has been featured in exhibition catalogues published by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Orange County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, and the Getty Institute, while her writing has been featured in journals such as LTTR, and books including Nothing Moments and Userlands: New Fiction from the Blogging Underground. Kahn, who was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012, received her M.F.A. from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, Red Hook, New York, and her B.A. from San Francisco State University. She is represented by Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and lives and works in Los Angeles.
Image: Stanya Kahn with Llyn Foulkes, Happy Song for You, HD color video with sound (5:07 minutes), 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects