Judy Fiskin – All Six Films
September 10th – October 29th, 2011
“Angles Gallery is pleased to present Judy Fiskin: All Six Films, a retrospective of films (1997-2010) by renowned, Los Angeles-based artist Judy Fiskin, alongside a selection of her photographs from the series Dingbat (1982-83). The exhibition is presented in partnership with Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.
Judy Fiskin’s film titles include Diary of a Midlife Crisis (1997), My Getty Center (1999), What We Think About When We Think About Ships (2001), 50 Ways to Set the Table (2003), The End of Photography (2007), and Guided Tour (2010). Assembled for the first time in one venue, these works represent nearly two decades of the artist’s attention to her own imagination. Rather than “looking” at things, as she has done so methodically since the early 1970s, in her film and video works, Fiskin takes time to consider what can be described as our perceptions of things. Beginning in the mid-Nineties, the artist turned to the moving image to explore her own “creative process at a standstill” in Diary of a Midlife Crisis. As the Getty Center was opening in Los Angeles, the infamous El Nino also hit our droughty shores, both generating an avalanche of media hype, captured in My Getty Center. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art commissioned What We think About When We Think About Ships for a special exhibition at LACMA Lab. In the new millennium, she turned her attention to cultural ritual, examining a table setting competition at the Los Angeles County Fair in 50 Ways to Set the Table. By the end of the aught decade, Fiskin began to consider The End of Photography in an examination of the demise of film, paralleled by the disappearance of the vernacular landscape of Los Angeles. Lastly, in Guided Tour, the artist critiques the guided viewing of art. Fiskin uses super-8 film, as well as video and digital-video, with sound.
In Judy Fiskin’s photographs, each series by the artist assembles a formal analysis of its subject, organizing elements of pattern and form into a taxonomical study. Fiskin characterizes her photographs by the use of small-scale (each image is approximately 2-3/4 inches square), and bright white paper to emphasize the dark border of the exposed negative. The resulting prints present an ephemeral moment in the mind of the artist: not as a representation of time and place, but as a gem to be consumed like the image of a memory. The series Dingbat examines the architectural vernacular of small apartment houses unique to Southern California, presenting the viewer with a dizzying array of pattern and geometry. At once distinct and generic, the images create an uncanny sense time and place, deeply rooted in the Los Angeles landscape.
Judy Fiskin’s work is included in four Pacific Standard Time exhibitions: “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-81,” at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; “In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945-1980,” at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; “It Happened at Pomona: Art at the Edge of Los Angeles 1969-1973,” at Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont; and “Civic Virtue: The Impact of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the Watts Towers Arts Center” at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles. Her video and photographic works have been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Dia Foundation, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Friends of Photography Ansel Adams Center, San Francisco; Castelli Photographs, New York; San Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco; Kassel Film and Video Festival, Germany; Impakt New Media Festival, Utrecht, Holland; and The International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam. Fiskin has been awarded the “Best of Festival” award at the Berkley Film and Video Festival (1999), “The Silver Spire Award,” San Francisco International Film Festival (1998), the “Silver” award at Worldfest, Houston, TX (2000), and the “Bronze” award at Worldfest, Houston (1998). Fiskin earned her BA degree at Pomona College, Claremont, California and her MA degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. She teaches photography and video at the California Institute of the Arts. Fiskin lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Pacific Standard Time is an unprecedented collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Initiated through grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time will take place for six months beginning October 2011.
Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.”
1998. Diary of a Midlife Crisis (still from a digital video with sound), running time 16 minutes