Friday, September 17, 2004


Somethin' for our friends in L.A.! (We love it!)


I'd like to submit information that might appeal to pirates in Los Angeles. We have an exhibition on view that features in a video installation of a beautifulisland with a lost gentleman in a flowy white shirt with his parrot.Here is some related info.

A Little Thought
July 25 through November 29, 2004
MOCA The Geffen Contemporary

A major mid-career survey featuring 30 multi-media works by the acclaimed Vancouver-based artist is open 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday; 11am to 5pm on Monday and Friday; and 11am to 8pm on Thursday; and closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. General admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students with I.D. and seniors (65+), andfree for MOCA Members and children under 12. Wells Fargo Free Thursdays provide free general admission every Thursday.
INFO 213-626-6222

The specific pirate-related work is Vexation Island, 199

This is what the LA Times said about it:

Graham often embeds pop culture references in his work - especially the Hollywoodvernacular of costume dramas. "Vexation Island," which made the artist's reputationwhen it was shown in the Canadian Pavilion at the 1997 Venice Biennale, is as glossyas a 1950s epic filmed in CinemaScope. The theme of a desert island castaway is suggestive of Daniel Dafoe's "RobinsonCrusoe," which has been filmed more than a dozen times, starting with Georges Mélièsin 1902. Even Surrealist Luis Buñuel filmed the story, featuring a famous dreamsequence.

Graham's nine-minute film was made the same year as the most recent version, which notably starred Pierce Brosnan - today's James Bond. Nothing much happens in "Vexation Island." Graham's narrative is not located in thescript as much as in the self-consciously artful composition of the images, the carefully contrived editing and the intentionally hackneyed sequence of lush visual clichés. Movie memory is a subject. A man (the artist) in 17th century dress lies spread out on the sand, a bloody woundon his forehead and a parrot perched on a wooden barrel washed up at his feet.

Most of the film is a sequence of images setting the scene and isolating details: the unconscious gentleman, a looming palm tree, fronds swaying in the breeze, poundingsurf, the brightly colored bird, sun beating down between fluffy white clouds, etc. It's a virtual index of Dream Factory establishing shots. Suddenly the parrot squawks. The man awakes and, sluggishly spying coconuts up inthe palm, staggers toward the tree. He grabs the phallic trunk and shakes it, dislodging a fruit.The coconut falls and - yes - beans the hapless castaway, laying him flat-out in the sand. The bloody wound on his forehead and his prior state of unconsciousness are at once explained and renewed. The film loop repeats the shaggy dog story inperpetuity.

The film is a Buster Keaton-style short subject, worthy of Sigmund Freud. In "The Interpretation of Dreams" the Viennese psychiatrist gave an example of dreamanalysis in which a letter - a message - is a puzzling symbol for vexation. Graham'slooping "Vexation Island" is a wry tale of the repetitive daily cycle of enigmatic sleep followed by waking troubles - Bill Murray's "Groundhog Day" for an analysand. It deftly pulls the plug on Dafoe's book, which chronicled the fantasy reunionbetween a civilized man and raw nature. Graham, as both the artist and the actor, is the eye of the camera and the "I" of the film. Significantly, our hero is unconscious during most of the movie, which repeats its gorgeous and elaborate array of vivid Hollywood clichés over and over ,ad infinitum. One dubious implication is that consumers of popular culture are unwittingly narcotized by it, while consumers of Conceptual art are happily enlightened.

Katherine W. Lee
Director of Public Relations and Marketing

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