LA Municipal Art Gallery:  Offal

LA Municipal Art Gallery:

Offal

Offal, a group exhibition featuring 45 Los Angeles-based contemporary artists at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, works at finding how the metaphor of offal (which usually describes the parts of an animal that are discarded and not eaten) could be turned into a consideration of judgments that go out beyond the realm of the culinary.

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Danial Nord, Sleeper, (2017), 126 x 126 x 48 in., computer, LEDs, mixed electronics, polycarbonates, aluminum, steel, water pump, media footage. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Photo by Jeff McLane.

There are a multitude of works in the exhibition and the discerning viewer needs to wander through, ferreting out how the themes of the wanted/unwanted or good/bad are sectioned into each artwork. Danial Nord’s sculptural media installation SLEEPER, 2017 concocts a verbal dissection of toxicity as is processed through the artist’s body symbolically hung upside down and through which the waste of media is splayed and displaced. The video Bepar (Hop) (2018) by Gazelle Samizay and Labkhand Olfatmanesh explores the way in which value is assigned and thresholds are erected in order to separate that which is acceptable from that which is unacceptable, implying that much exists in a category depending on one’s perspective. Victoria Reynolds’ painting Reindeer in the Snow (2012) literally uses the baroque meanders of an intestine in a quasi decorative array allowing for both the horribleness of innards and the sublime gyrations of pattern to live in the viewer’s eyes without mediation. Carolie Parker’s Untitled duo black green (2018) has a sausage-like balloon element worm-holing its way through a kind of packing crates system and looking very much like a microbe seeking purchase in another organism. A video work by gloria galvez, I Ate The Grapefruit’s Pulp Memory (2016) turns the cutting open of the fruit into a small screen on which events from personal and media history are replayed, in effect syncing up what may have been a gastronomic event with one that is cultural and historic.

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gloria galvez, When Life Gives You Lemons (2018, left) and I Ate The Grapefruit’s Pulp Memory (2016, right),  21 3/5 x 14 in. (left) 21 1/2 x 6 x 6 in. (right), plastic and foam lemons, epoxy glue, plastic base, pen, marker, paper (left), video (right). Courtesy of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Photo by Jeff McLane.

Offal succeeds in creating a provocative platform for a multitude of artworks to co-exist and provides ground for an examination of that which is to be used or discarded as a culturally and aesthetically provocative experience.