Bruce Yonemoto – The Imaginary Line Around the Earth
It is possibly the singular image of our time: the ‘walking’ glacier – or in this particular instance, the glacier that both ‘walks’ or extends forward towards the edge of a continent, yet has also begun what may eventually be a dramatic recession. It manages to both evoke stillness and a corresponding coolness while indicating energy potential and forward momentum – suggestive of a psychic energy that is itself magnified by the pressure of accumulated (and morphing) memory. The still image conflated with the moving, or more broadly, the fixed memory, notion or idée fixe dispersed or dissolved into quasi-analytic exposition is almost a trademark of Bruce and Norman Yonemoto’s art-making, both as default strategy and quintessential motif; and in his solo productions and collaborations with other artists, before and since Norman’s death, Bruce returns to it more or less constantly. In more recent years, this has come to include the false memory or projection – a natural segue from the critique of the manipulated narratives (and their induced memories) of commercial film and electronic media that has been a through-line of the Yonemotos’ work. Yonemoto (with Juli Carson) appends one such bit of ‘fakery’ or manipulation to that sublime glacier in this most recent production (executed principally in Argentina), The End of the World at the Edge of the Earth (2017), with a recreated ‘fake’ or ‘anti-happening’ from Oscar Masotta’s cool but highly charged subversive critiques of Argentine politics. That ‘walking glacier’ – as well as a number of other arresting images, films and video projections – is on view in a selective mini-retrospective (from 1991) at Cal State L.A.’s Luckman Gallery. One of the most compelling, ironically, emerges from Yonemoto’s fascination with the ancient Incan Quechua language, in which, mimicking the Robert Wise/Ted McCord staging and cinematography of the Wise/20th Century Fox film of The Sound of Music, a perfectly enchanting Peruvian child bounds onto a hilltop to sing the title song in his native language.
The Luckman Gallery/Fine Arts Complex
Cal State L.A. – 5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
Show runs thru May 12, 2017