Archive for January, 2010


Monday, January 11th, 2010


— Harrell Lee Litrrell, a.k.a. Vanjohnson Vonjones, is an African American artist living and working in Sylmar, California. Litrrell is a writer of prose and poetry, produces audio recordings, drawings, collages, and photographs. He carries his camera wherever he travels and takes photographs of commonplace subjects and surroundings. Littrell often appears in his photographs, spontaneously handing his camera over to strangers to take his picture. Around music circles, Harell is also known as “Jarell” when he performs as the singer of his rock ‘n’ roll band, “Spacecraft Shuttle Star” who have been active since 1966.

Mr. Vanjohnson Vonjones
13864 Foothill Blvd.
Sylmar, CA 91342 U.S.A.

Cameron Jamie (born in Los Angeles,1969) is an American artist. His work has explored and analyzed how the structures of mythology in popular and vernacular cultures are shaped and shared, and the extent to which they participate in the creation of individuals’ fictional worlds and fictional selves. His work has been shown widely and internationally. Jamie was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2006 which traveled to MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2007. He lives and works in Paris, France.


Monday, January 11th, 2010

— In 1980 when I made The Decline of Western Civilization, it was impossible to get distribution. The theater owners said no one cared about punk rock, no one would come to theaters to see a documentary. I finally convinced one unsuspecting Hollywood Boulevard theater owner to give us a single midnight showing. So many punks showed up that the LAPD sent out what appeared to be the entire force. Edward Colver, a brilliant photographer that had himself documented the scene in still frames, captured the moment as proof. Had he not no one would have believed it — hundreds of cops… astounded and bewildered by the sea of Mohawks, leathers and studs. I soon received a letter from Police Chief, Daryl Gates, requesting that I not show the film ever again in Los Angeles.

Realizing the difficulties with distribution of a non-narrative film, I wrote Suburbia. I was fascinated with the movement, especially the squatter aspect. Suburbia only made it into a limited theatrical run, but somehow survived as a cult classic. In 1997, while totally disenchanted with making ‘Hollywood movies’, I saw a resurgence of punk rock and shot The Decline of Western Civilization: Part III. The new punks were virtual replicas of the originals in many ways — music, attitude, style and principals, except now so many more were living on the streets or in squats. If there was anything redeeming about their circumstances, it was the fact that they banded together and formed new families. Most of the kids came from broken homes with abusive parents. I had set out to make a feature documentary about the new music, but as documentaries often do, I was led down a different path. Decline III turned out to be about gutterpunks… squatters, just like in Suburbia.

The Decline of Western Civilization: Part III never got distribution, because the only way for me to get it was if I gave up my rights to the first two films, which I would not do. It’s hard to believe that I made the first Decline thirty years ago. In retrospect, I wonder: does history impact art or does art impact history? As I was making Decline III, I began to notice that so much of the scripted, imagined story of Suburbia which I had written in 1982 had become reality. Maybe I saw it coming or maybe Suburbia paved the path.



Photo by John Joleaud

Penelope Spheeris is often referred to as a Rock ‘n Roll anthropologist. Spheeris currently lives in Los Angeles with her six cats and four dogs.


Monday, January 11th, 2010


— When I prepare exhibitions, it is hard for me to calculate in advance how that will
work technologically. Every new work is born from an incident connected with the
previous one. Sometimes, an incorrect calculation of pressure leads to a tear in the
oil aorta. As a result, on several occasions, oil has spilled in the gallery, splattering
the walls. Once (in Chelsea) it seeped into the galleries below, where the works
of other artists and several installations were located. It’s a good thing they were
insured. The curious thing is that the spattered wall is a ready-made work of Art.
Thus the accident created a new series of works co-authored by oil.

Andrei Molodkin
December, 2009

Andrei Molodkin is a Russian artist who shares his time between Moscow, New York, and Paris. In 2009 he represented Russia at the 53rd Venice Biennale and has previously been featured in a variety of publications, such as Art Forum, C Magazine, Art Press, Third Text, Kh/Zh, The New York Times, The Village Voice. He is best known for his 3-dimentional pieces consisting of oil barrels and pipes connected to transparent acrylic boxes, each with a hollow sculpture or phrase inside — half-filled with Chechen or Iraqi oil.


Monday, January 11th, 2010


— A bit of a departure for me but I have been working on this for the last couple of years believe it or not. The new series of work is called God & Man (after Leopold Godowsky & Leopold Mannes who invented Kodachrome in 1935). The original source material is taken off the internet as extremely low resolution digital files, printed at a high street lab then re-photographed / double exposed onto Kodachrome and then printed again on Cibachrome.

Primarily it’s meant to be a bookending of colour photography through maybe the most cliched (and unifying?) photographic image of all time, the sunset / sunrise. I think I mentioned to you before that these last years I have been struggling more and more with adding to that slag heap of photographs we all moan about and are implicated in and that I had been touched by Joachim Schmidt when he said something like ‘no more photographs till all the old ones have been used up’.

The idea first came to me when I woke from a sleep on a long haul flight and looked out the window onto a crazy beautiful sunset (or a sunrise I can’t remember and it doesn’t matter really, though they are quite different visually… something to do with the particles in the evening air refracting light I think) but you know it was one of those times on a plane when all is still and dark, everyone asleep and then you open the shutter a touch and BOOM straight to the brain. That line from Bladerunner came to mind… you know when Rutger Hauer says ‘I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark…‘. It took me back to a rave south of England early nineties (Is this the way they say the futures meant to feel or just 20,000 people standing in a field. JC) when I took three purple microdots and amongst other things over the course of a long night, hid from the Viet Cong up trees in deep jungle and watched monolithic skyscrapers grow up to the stars before collapsing in on themselves turning the world inside out in a psychedelic demolition day bathed in (what I remember as… don’t you hate it when people bang on about their trips?) red and orange apocalyptic twilight. Life changer. Deep breath.

Well back to the plane window and it got me thinking how much I would like to make a fuck off 35mm film of this endorphin triggering, awe inspiring, (forgive me brother) spiritual / I am but a speck in the Universe experience… but lacking the conviction to fill out an Arts Council application for the hire of a Boeing 747 and a film crew I thought I would take the punk / DIY cheapo approach and make one myself from images I found on Flickr and Google (there about 20 million plus easy). So I scoured the internet and found / stole / appropriated the tiny little files I liked the look of (people put them on very low resolution so they can’t be reused ha ha) printed them and loved them for the way they broke down and then re-photographed them on a rostrum camera onto slide (liked the mix up of analogue and digital, pixel & grain) and tried to figure out a slide dissolve… which after much dicking about didn’t really work. From this I got into the idea of double exposure (the original amateur photographer trick no photoshop… back to basics and also quite filmic). Then I started printing them and realised that this absolutely needed to be analogue so it had to be Cibachrome (which is a dye destruction process with high archival quality and coincidently far more environmentally friendly than other colour processes… also more or less extinct).

The final and most important decision was that I needed to use Kodachrome as it had just been announced that Kodak was ceasing production of what was the first mass marketed colour film. So back to the computer and to Ebay where I bought the film, which once exposed was sent off to the last lab on earth processing it, Dwaynes Photos in Kansas, USA. From these I have the prints made (72 x 48 inch)… and add to the slag heap after all.

In the bohemian tradition Gareth McConnell is attempting to cast off the fetters of bourgeois ideology. He has no home, no studio, no agent, no gallery and is currently with his family on an island in South East Asia en route to Australia.


Gareth McConnell, from the series
GOD & MAN 2009


Monday, January 11th, 2010


My experience of life is like looking through glasses that deconstruct.
Looking for a point of distortion: when a car is not a car; when a tree should be there.
Our connections to an object or event – our reactions.


Inside you it travels
Meandering stream

Outside you it devours
The ocean

Touching the screams
No more humanity
All below, sweet beds of boils


Can you become darker in the flames?
Licking your skin


Inside… licking your wounds


Above the shadow
Peering the corner
Allowing the substance

Seeping alone

Wobbling confusion – jumping.
Tedious I know – special effects.

Culpable driving


Beware the ventriloquist


Out in the type

Sunk in the type

Between the type

Antelope the type


Forgive the threat
For it is only in your enemies mind

Brook Andrew is an Australian artist working with installation, mixed-media, neon and video. He challenges cultural conventions surrounding issues of identity, consumerism and history. These themes inspire Andrew to travel locally and internationally, visiting museum collections and local communities to research and make new work.