Lita Albu querq ue
20/20 : Accelerando
L ita Albuq uer q ue
20/20 : Accelerando
Curator Grant Johnson USC FISHER MUSEUM OF ART January 26 - April 10, 2016
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SE L MA H O L O
Opening Performance Photographs
GRANT JOH N SO N
20/20: Accelerando Film Stills
GenIus Remembered (Excerpts)
L ITA AL B UQUE R QUE
ROBBIE C . W IL L IA MSO N
In 1983, fully thir ty-three years ago, the USC Fisher Museum of Ar t launched Abhasa: Image-Bearing Light, a groundbreaking multi-media, ephemeral and immersive environmental installation by Lita Albuquerque. In collaboration with architect Robert Kramer and composer Harold Budd, Albuquerque filled Fisher’s largest spaces with a myriad of floating projections. Budd’s haunting music and Kramer’s visionary constructions provided a kind of mobilier for Lita’s surreal and singular universe. Abhasa’s technology, advanced for its time, permitted the realization of a complex, somewhat delirious experience, an entry point into an otherworldly dimension. And, Lita’s imagery, at the hear t of the installation, opened up new avenues for her work, the long-term results of which we celebrate in 20/20: Accelerando. I followed Lita Albuquerque’s journey closely as she traveled along those and other avenues, not just to the expected institutions on the international ar t circuit that regularly welcome accomplished ar tists (such as New York, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, and Paris), but also to New Delhi, Naples, and Cairo (where she represented the United States at the Sixth International Cairo Biennale and was given its top prize). Along the way, Albuquerque was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Ar ts, was recognized by MOCA LA with its Distinguished Women in the Arts award, and was the recipient of innumerable public ar t commissions over the last three decades. Perhaps most adventurously, Lita Albuquerque developed Stellar Axis: Antarctica where, with the suppor t of the National Science Foundation, she developed an artwork that also had long-term implications for Lita’s career. A recent exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art where she has placed her archives, documented the course of Stellar Axis: Antarctica; and the museum produced an impor tant book on it in her honor that was published by the Rizzoli Press. All along her multi-pronged journey, Lita has ventured, increasingly boldly, into interdisciplinarity, successfully engaging with the realms of science and technology, and ever more integrally, into theater and spectacle, dance and song. Now, in 2016, Lita Albuquerque returned to Fisher and once again, we saw her expanding her own boundaries. She even more ambitiously merged film, sound and performance to create 20/20: Accelerando. And, she has written a new narrative for this, one born of her long-incubating mythologistic writings—some pieces of which are memorialized in this catalogue. Still engaged in collaboration, Lita invited composer, artist, and musician Robbie C. Williamson to be a participant in the creation of this new work, along with her daughter Jasmine Albuquerque. I know Lita also counts Marc Breslin, her studio manager, as a close collaborator in the realization of 20/20: Accelerando. On its inaugural evening, January 24, 2016, Albuquerque premiered 20/20: Accelerando as part of USC’s Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. The performance that accompanied the film and music began in total silence and darkness—singers were arranged on pedestals according to Orion, the winter constellation over the
Los Angeles sky. They began slowly making strange quiet sounds, a kind of humming/clicking—creating a vibratory language that echoed throughout all three of the large, high-ceilinged galleries. Seven tons of salt illumined the floor, suggesting a celestial deser t. The performers moved to the choreography of Jasmine Albuquerque, while simultaneously ar ticulating the star language invented by Cassandra Bickman. And so it was that Albuquerque imagined a multi-media performance that would fur ther advance her myth-making ar t practice. Visitors were totally still through it all, allowing themselves to be immersed (seemingly submerged) in questions of time and meaning, within an environment that effectively blurred past, present, and future, offering spiritual alternatives to the here and now. It is no accident that Lita named this piece 20/20: Accelerando as it moves quickly from a time of no definition into one of a mysterious and unnamed future—the future of a twenty-fifth century female astronaut. It is here we encounter the narrative that Lita has been imagining, developing, and describing in her journals since 2003. As Lita has written about her heroine in “GenIus Remembered:” “She needed to explore the sensation of tones in the interval between stars, and in so doing form a language, a vibratory language that would begin to not only revive her but would also resonate interstellarly and interplanetarily, until a tonal language formed that resounded in the depths of all sentient beings, down to the level of their DNA.” In 20/20: Accelerando, Lita Albuquerque once again merges film, sound, and performance to tell the story of this astronaut who lands on Earth in the year 6,000 BCE with a mission to seed “interstellar consciousness.” Upon entering Earth’s atmosphere, Albuquerque’s character forgets her mission: “Where was I? And why was I awakening at this moment, on this planet?” And hence, Albuquerque establishes that she is focusing on, proposing the accelerating of consciousness. For this proposal, she employs advanced technologies, and has invited new collaborators. For me though, watching her work all these years, 20/20: Accelerando also refers to the stunningly rapid rate of acceleration at which Lita Albuquerque’s creative process continues to evolve. The inauguration and opening of 20/20: Accelerando was sponsored by USC’s own Visions and Voices performance series. Because it was supported enthusiastically and generously by our Provost, Michael Quick, we have been allowed a degree of experimentation that neither Lita nor Fisher could have otherwise taken on. Throughout the whole of the project, in this, Lita Albuquerque’s most recent endeavor—taking into account her ongoing, imaginative and open involvement with collaborators—we are reminded that she is an artist who has never stopped marrying beauty with longing, the conceptual with the concrete, and the ephemeral with the enduring. Lita is a Los Angeles treasure, valued more and more over time, throughout the world.
I am also pleased to introduce Grant Johnson, guest curator of 20/20: Accelerando. His quick grasp of what Lita Albuquerque was striving to achieve made him the perfect interpreter of this exhibition for Fisher. His essay in this catalogue is elegant and enlightening, contextualizing Lita’s work as it should be contextualized. The Fisher staff, as always, has been indispensable: Kay Allen, Ariadni Liokatis, Stephanie Kowalick, Ralph Gatchalian, Juan Rojas, Selin Camli and Ani Mnatsakanyan, along with Heather Zeiden have all made their individual contributions. Without any one of them our work as “Team Lita” would not have been possible. I also want to acknowledge Haven Lin-Kirk and her involvement with Fisher on the designs of many of its projects. It should be noted that Haven especially requested to be the designer of the catalogue for Lita Albuquerque’s show. As she explained it, she has been an admirer of Lita’s art for a long time, and designing this catalogue has been her own best way of demonstrating that admiration. And finally, personally, I want to thank Lita herself. She has been a constant inspiration to me as we have built our careers on parallel tracks: she, as an artist, and I, as a museum director. I am honored, in that capacity, to host Lita Albuquerque, for the second time in thirty-three years, at the USC Fisher Museum of Art. As always, Lita is “forever piping songs forever new.”
We were called the Star Keepers, as in Guardians of the Stars ...
“I’m not a prophet or a stone age man, just a mortal with the potential of a superman.” David Bowie
I. space odyssey A kind of postmodern adage (which has been uncertainly attributed to figures including Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and John Gardner) suggests that when stripped down to brass tacks, there are only two plots at the heart of all of the world’s narratives: a man goes on a journey, or, a stranger comes to town. Homer’s Odyssey as well as James Joyce’s adaptation of it in Ulysses would seem like variations on the first. Far from his home, Odysseus travels through a variety of thwarting scenarios in order to return home to his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus, both beleaguered by suitors in Ithaca. Likewise, in Ulysses, Leopold Bloom’s movements through only one day in modern Dublin present an equally trying, epic journey for Bloom, as well as (and possibly more so) for the intrepid reader. But what about our strangers? In 1987, New York Times columnist Mary Morris suggested that the ‘stranger’ plot was often the only one left for women writers like Jane Austen, whose narratives are often seemingly initiated by the arrival of a curious or infuriating gentleman (“My dear Mr. Bennet,’ said his lady to him one day, ‘have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?”). Morris claimed that “since women, for so many years, were denied the journey, we were left with only one plot to our lives—to await the stranger.” We might readily note that the critical de1
marcation between stranger and journeyman can be a rather blurry one. If considered from the perspective of Calypso, Odysseus is just as much the unexpected and precipitous (if not disruptive and unwelcome) stranger as the journeying hero. As such, these plot types may come together or collapse into one another, especially when we recognize that our traveler and our stranger are often one in the same, depending on who tells the story. With Lita Albuquerque’s text “GenIus Remembered” and 20/20: Accelerando, its adaptation as an exhibition and performance, we find ourselves presented with a similar dramatic situation: our female protagonist is crucially both traveler and stranger. Blonde-haired and blue-eyed, a 25th century female astronaut crash-lands on earth in the year 6000 BCE. Initially plagued by a “deep amnesia,” she slowly remembers her mission as she experiences the earth’s very materiality and texture: Her role was to go from star to star, to collect the nectar from each star and seed planetary bodies with starlight, she needed to explore the sensation of tones in the interval between stars and in so doing form a language, a vibratory language that would begin to not only revive her but would also resonate interstellarly and interplanetarily until a tonal language formed that resounded in the depths of all sentient beings, down to the level of their DNA.
Mary Morris, “HER,” The New York Times, 30 April 1987.
Her salvation is also the world’s saving grace. She swims in Earth’s oceans and pushes through its dirt. Through visceral bodily experience, memory (and with it, narrative) emerges. An act of myth making for the 21st century, “GenIus Remembered” echoes Joseph Campbell’s suggestion “that the logic, the heroes, and the deeds of myth survive into modern times.” Campbell, of course, goes one further than the two plot conceit, suggesting that one master narrative appears prominently across time and cultures. Calling it the “monomyth,” he saw a hero’s journey recur in stories of the life of Christ, the Buddha, as well as the mythic Greeks, from Jason to Prometheus. In Campbell’s description, a movement between worlds occasions a cultural gain carried between the worlds by the hero, “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
Even though his study draws on largely ancient or pre-modern narratives, when read alongside 20/20: Accelerando, Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces not only describes an international but arguably also a timetraveling, interplanetary world order. In 20/20: Accelerando, Albuquerque’s heroine transcends the local and finds an alchemical way to translate it into the eternal and timeless, Albuquerque’s “vibratory,” “tonal language.” As Campbell elaborates: The hero, therefore, is the man or woman who has been able to battle past his personal and local historical limitations to the generally valid, normally human forms. Such a one’s visions, ideas, inspirations come pristine from the primary springs of human life and thought. Hence they are eloquent, not of the present, disintegrating society and psyche, but of the unquenched source through which society is reborn. The hero has died as a modern man; but as eternal man— perfected unspecific, universal man—he has been reborn. His second solemn task and deed therefore … is to return then to us, transfigured, and teach the lesson he has learned of life renewed.3 From the “local historical to the generally valid, normally human forms. ” This is a universalizing dream for a global culture. This is the task of 20/20: Accelerando, Albuquerque’s blonde protagonist, Elyseria, must work to recall her trans-temporal mission. By offering up this myth as the centerpiece for this exhibition, Albuquerque also casts herself, as author and artist, as a similarly “transfigured” heroine. In Campbell’s words, she has used the exhibition to “teach the lesson” (one of her favorites) “of life renewed.” With this allegory of transfiguration, into the “perfected unspecific, universal,” embedded at its core, the exhibition in turn challenges the viewer to locate themselves too here: in this room and on this planet as they float through space. Paradoxically, as a para-spectacular film installation, the space of 20/20: Accelerando allows for both the sensation of disembodiment and embodiment. We are offered transporting visions of lush forests and mountain ranges that when projected to the height of the gallery envelop the eye, allowing the viewer to feel swallowed up or settled just inside these virtual worlds. At times, it is as if we are soaring over these fantastic vistas or flying through outer space. Gazing across Albuquerque’s plane of salt toward the moving image of the projection, it is as if the irreconcilable distance and difference between the physical fact of the gallery space and the virtual landscapes of the video have been counted out and lamented, crystal by crystal, mediated and sublimated by the horizontal plane like esoteric spaces on a perceptual chessboard. 2 3
Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), p. 271. Ibid., p. 18.
One’s own self-consciousness, our sense of embodiment is also heightened by these spaces. A wall cuts awkwardly through a room as if the museum were built around it, rather than the other way round. It is not centered or perpendicular to the room but rather slices across it. One end appears to almost kiss (or smash) into one of the gallery’s far walls, while the other end floats in a gulf of empty space near the gallery’s entryway. With its irregular placement, the wall announces itself as a sculptural intervention and a phenomenological point of contention. As a towering projection surface reveals its massive proportions, we feel tiny beside it, as if we might be crushed. Thick and ponderous, it towers over us like some Goliath Minimalist object, interrupting and regulating the space of the museum. As the light of the film reaches the edges of the projection surface, its glow seems to melt and continue on into the glassy blackness of the floor. Unable to pass through the proverbial looking glass, we feel the fact of the floor even more so as it indifferently meets the soles of our shoes, denying us dissolution. In 20/20: Accelerando, surfaces both swallow and demarcate us, revealing how we might feel both inside and outside ourselves, psychologically projecting into the space of the film not unlike the digital machines overhead that seduce us with their splendid lights. As the experience of the gallery space plays with our senses of physical embodiment and psychological extension, the narrative of 20/20: Accelerando and “GenIus Remembered” also asks us to consider ourselves as part of a human history and cosmic order too, contemplating the deep past as well as the ecologically uncertain future as they spin out from the now. All are equally mysterious and unknowable. In Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative, literary theorist Peter Brooks suggests that our experience of narrative blurs the line between story and self, inside and out, between art object and perceiving subject: Our lives are ceaselessly inter twined with narrative, with the stories that we tell and hear told, those we dream or imagine or would like to tell, all of which are reworked in that story of our own lives that we narrate to ourselves in an episodic, sometimes semi-conscious, but vir tually uninterrupted monologue. We live immersed in narrative, recounting and reassessing the emanating of our past actions, anticipating the outcome of our future projects, situating ourselves at the intersection of several stories not yet complete.
Noting that “Each of us has his private, unrecognized, rudimentary, yet secretly potent pantheon of dream,” Campbell 5
seems to concur. From its first moments as a written text in 2003, “GenIus Remembered” mixed the voice of memoir with that of fiction or history. Sequences told from Albuquerque’s perspective and time, in the first decade of the 21st century, brushed against those that recount (in both first and third person narrations) the story of a 25th century woman, an astronaut who crash lands not only in another place but a vastly distinct time, the year 6,000 BCE. With this mixing, Albuquerque committed Brook’s suggestion to text, implicating herself and the local politics of her ‘real’ time into the body of the trans-historic fiction. Such a move echoes the postmodern gestures enacted in novels like Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, 1979, Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire, 1962 and the stories of Jorge Luis Borges, as collected in Ficciones, 1944. Although, unlike these narratives and authors, each of which is largely male in its constellations of narrative voices,
Peter Brooks, Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative (New York: Knopf, 1984), p. 1. “The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change,” in Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), p. 23.
female characters carry the weight of Albuquerque’s text and the film it has produced. Most obvious here of course is Elyseria, the 25th century traveler pictured prominently in the film, but also crucially Albuquerque herself, who we hear as an omniscient narrator. A third female voice, that of Cassandra Bickman, speaks the subtitled dialogue in a language she created especially for this project. We read Albuquerque’s words as subtitles, and hear her singular voice as a disembodied force. This is a story, and Albuquerque is telling it. By performing, reimagining and fracturing the heroic journey throughout the various spaces of the art museum, the poly-vocal personae of 20/20: Accelerando offer a metonym for the artist and art object as divided or intersubjective protagonists. It is the exhibition space that offers a journey for the viewer, and the subsequent boon of revelation, one that reworks the gendered master narratives of exploration and discovery that tend to dominate cultural history’s great tales. In fact, the blonde, blue-eyed woman we see featured prominently in 20/20: Accelerando is Albuquerque’s reallife daughter Jasmine Albuquerque. Such a casting decision suggests a level of intimacy and personality for the project distinct from other moments in contemporary art films. This is importantly different from when we see Chloe Sevigny appear in Doug Aitken’s Black Mirror or feel the odd frisson of watching the familiar faces of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti or Debbie Harry as they appear in Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament. So familiar, these star faces read as conventional images, the traces of entertainers, of ‘actors’ and ‘acting.’ Whereas, while entertaining these modes, 20/20: Accelerando also suggests the possibility of the private documentary, the intimacy or secrecy of the home movie or amateur melodrama. Memoir and autobiography here become sculptural and museological. Both inside and outside the space of the film, Albuquerque’s work as an artist is inherited and dramatized by her daughter Jasmine, active as a dancer and choreographer. One generation removed, the absent body of the artist is indexed in 20/20: Accelerando by the omnipresent image of her child. The inclusion of Jasmine as the leading lady of 20/20: Accelerando also structurally ties this exhibition to Albuquerque’s other appearance at the USC Fisher Museum. In Abhasa: Image-Bearing Light, 1983 Albuquerque projected images of herself, then pregnant with Jasmine, onto the gallery’s walls, mixing them with images of the night sky and aerial views of Los Angeles at night. When we began discussing this exhibition, Albuquerque discouraged anything that would resemble a retrospective. She had little interest in re-presenting existing work. This is not to say that the exhibition has lost sight of her long and significant career but rather that it became an opportunity to mobilize the past, present and future as malleable themes by stretching both for a far-flung future and an imagined pre-historic. Recalling Abhasa, the exhibition becomes a palimpsest of museum memory, where the ghosts of the aesthetic past are honored by the activity of the present, which moves into the future. These filial ties and the personal and temporal differences they measure remind me of Sherrie Levine’s Untitled (After Edward Weston ca. 1925), 1981. In Levine’s image, and the Weston photograph it appropriates so many years later, we see the body of a young boy aestheticized into a kind of classical torso. Weston made the image photographically but also biologically, as father of the pictured boy, his son Neil. Levine’s deployment of the image tests our appreciation of authorial shifts and stereotypes, here especially the gendered dimension of origin stories, such as the potency of the male genius as compared to the motherhood of the woman artist. Playing into such conventions, it may in fact be easier to read Neil as Levine’s ‘natural’ artistic and biological heir than as Weston’s. For 20/20: Accelerando, the interplay of mother and daughter casts the exhibition space as a kind of theater of familial drama and imaginative autobiography, querying what is passed on or lost in the shift between generations. It literally builds Campbell’s “private,” “potent pantheon of dream” and opens it up for the public’s contemplation. As such, the space becomes an odd kind of retrospective. Rather than accounting for Albuquerque’s oeuvre, the exhibition offers a mythology for glancing both
diachronically and laterally at the expanded field of her ‘practice,’ for thinking about both her artwork and her motherhood, as relatedly dissolving one into another. II. “a socializing medium” Even before she started making a movie, the story of Lita Albuqueque’s life struck me as the stuff of cinema. One might argue that no matter how involved one actually becomes in ‘the industry,’ the shadow or specter of film and television is largely unavoidable in Los Angeles. Indeed, even the role of the curator has recently been compared to that of a film’s producer. Nowhere is this more believable than in Los Angeles. The cinematic becomes a compelling all-purpose metaphor for understanding daily life’s many events and performances, its elaborate mechanics and surprising effects. Born in Santa Monica, California in 1946, Albuquerque had lived in Tunisia, Switzerland, France and Arizona all before she reached her teenage years, when she returned with her mother to California in 1958. The sheer dates and geographies of Albuquerque’s life argue for her as a quintessentially transnational artist, moving through the dynamic cultural geographies of the postwar world. Her family’s movement, like so many others in the postwar period, can be described within the terms of both exciting cosmopolitanism and traumatic diaspora, depending on one’s narrative mood. In the years following the Second World War, air travel and other forms of international transit became increasingly feasible for many. Increasingly sophisticated telecommunication, capitalism’s global, sophisticated sprawl and an uneasy tête-à-tête between old world powers as well as the rise of post-colonial and other new nations engendered a dynamic world that likely felt both infinitely larger and immensely close-at-hand. For her part, it seems Albuquerque has always thought of herself in terms of the whole world, and made work to visualize and research such universalizing unity. Though Albuquerque has lived and worked in Southern California since the late 1960s, it would be imperfect, I would argue, to call her an American artist. Her work, like her early biography, models a peripatetic identity, one predicated on travel and mobility as opposed to locatedness. Rather than a parade of discrete objects, Albuquerque has cultivated a decisive vocabulary of forms and actions that may go, or be enacted almost anywhere. This is not to say site or place is incidental to her work’s significance. It is an essential part of the equation, honored for its diversity and contingency. Even before contemporary art was so recognizably globalist in its frame of reference and ambitions, Albuquerque addressed space and time not through the lens of any particular place but as an artist of no nation. She was and is a ‘world’ artist. Maybe this is what we meant by ‘Earth’ art? Essentially diasporic and adored the world over, “film creates a kind of connective tissue, socially and culturally, much more than anything else,” claims curator Chrissie Iles. Calling it “a socializing medium,” Iles suggests that artists that turn to film are in part expressing a desire “to engage with, and perhaps influence, the connective tissue that film creates, and participate in a common language of communication.” Artists who turn to film expand the field of their practice to 6
include not just the discourse of the fine arts (historically grounded in painting and sculpture) but also to the community of filmmakers and viewers, here understood as a more common, mass cultural community than that created around, say, a minimalist sculpture.“Blue is the universal love in which man bathes. It is the terrestrial paradise, blue,” says Tilda Swinton in some of the first moments of Derek Jarman’s mysterious and elegiac film Blue, 1993. By moving into film, 20/20: Accelerando complicates and expands its field of significance into more than one kind of ecology, one where 6
Chrissie Illes et. al., in “The Projected Image in Contemporaray Art,” October 104 (Spring 2003): p. 73.
Jarman’s Blue is as close at hand as the Pacific ocean, one where we think of Superman as quickly as Smithson’s Jetty or Klein’s similarly blue monochromes. The sky draws itself against the sea, and the sea evaporates into the air. From her first works, which drew strongly from the established language of Land art, Albuquerque’s work has foregrounded its relationship to an aesthetic community as much as if not more than insisted on its distinct singularities. This desire for community has also repeatedly manifested for Albuquerque in her recurring dedication to collaborative projects across her career. As I have worked with her over the course of so many months, my art historical models, or even those of film, theater or choreography’s directors and producers have come up short as I watch her continuously assemble a kind of aesthetic agora around herself, where she becomes one of many voices, discussing, considering and creating as a collaborative being. Albuquerque is interested in more voices, in listening rather than dictating or commanding. Her vision is vivid but also always evolving in concert with that of others. Turning to film for the first time with 20/20: Accelerando, Albuquerque continues to defy the model of artist as lonely figure. This happens both by virtue of film and theater’s essentially collaborative and multimedia nature as well as Albuquerque’s own longstanding inclination to work in this way. Efforts range from elaborate multimedia works such as the gorgeous One Small Section of the Sky, 2012, in which the LA Master Chorale sung a libretto scored by composer Kristen Toedman accompanied by a projection by Mattia Casalegno, to more low-fi orchestrations such as Spine of the Earth, 2012, where 300 performers dressed all in red translated and re-performed the red pigment line Albuquerque had drawn in the Mojave Desert for Spine of the Earth, 1980. Indeed, Albuquerque’s first show at the USC Fisher Museum, Abhasa: Image Bearing Light, 1983, featured the efforts of composer Harold Budd, choreographer Leslie Linka Glatter and architect Bob Kramer. Now, 20/20: Accelerando draws on the interlocutions of composer Robbie C. Williamson, studio manager Marc Breslin, performer Cassandra Bickman and dancer Jasmine Albuquerque. With 20/20: Accelerando, Albuquerque has taken another unprecedented step in her career, not to another continent but rather into another medium and modality of production. 20/20: Accelerando articulates an affiliation with video artists such as Joan Jonas as well as Isaac Julien and Matthew Barney, auteurs of what film scholar Alexandra Keller and art historian Frazer Ward have provocatively deemed “the neo-avant-garde blockbuster.” As Keller and Ward identify, 7
such projects demonstrate “a double genealogy: performance art of the 1970s and its documentation and the Hollywood blockbuster.” Such a cocktail is arguably a natural one for Albuquerque, who came of age as an artist in 1970s Los Angeles, a decade whose cultural history might arguably begin with Chris Burden’s Shoot, 1971 and end with the debut of George Lucas’s Star Wars, 1977. For Matthew Barney, no matter the apparent multimedia nature of his work, his labor remains legible as that of a sculptor. He suggests the creation of a “family of objects” as the great success of his cinematic projects. Artist filmmaker Anthony McCall echoes this interpretation, suggesting an auto-didactic approach for the artist filmmaker that apprehends “film as material, much like one would approach the use of any sculptural material.” In such a telling, such cinema logically 8
inherits the lineage of postwar sculpture. It underscores the performative gestures of sculptors like Richard Serra or Chris Burden, who turned filmic or photographic documentation on their actions and the sculptural objects they rendered. Even Land art’s abandonment of the white cube depended on the photographic document in order to signify, to be historically recorded and socially recognized. If Barney’s films have sculpted a “family of objects,” I have come to appreciate Albuquerque’s practice as interested less in fathering objects but rather in fostering a family 7 8
Alexandra Keller and Frazer Ward. “Matthew Barney and the Paradox of the Neo-Avant-Garde Blockbuster,” Cinema Journal 45, no. 2 (Winter 2006): p. 3. Anthony McCall, “The Projected Image in Contemporary Art,” October 104 (Spring 2003): p. 75.
of animate agents, of empathetic people who are not simply cogs or means to an end but extensions of the aesthetic self into a community of productive energies. In the making of both the film and the performance that inaugurated its exhibition as 20/20: Accelerando, Albuquerque never took on the hieratic mantle of director one might assume for the artist-filmmaker or even the artist as studio head. Every decision and action was discussed and considered between people. Ideas were free from the echo chamber of one mind and bounced from person to person. I watched and learned to honor the moments when Albuquerque relinquished or dispersed her agency across her creative team, which grew organically like conversation at a cocktail party, diversifying in size and skills. The production of the video depended on the labor, conversation and fellowship shared by Albuquerque, Williamson, Breslin, Bickman and Jasmine. As this production dovetailed with the exhibition’s installation and inaugural performance, performers Mecca Vazie Andrews, Vittoria Colonna, Cathy Cooper, Elise Crombez, Joseph Harper, Ionna, Tristan Scott Thomas and Jessica Tonder extended the creative community. Again, I watched as initiatives, from choreography to staging, costumes and make-up, were discussed and decided by all through experimental trial and revision until a mutually satisfying solution was identified. As curator, I both accepted and questioned the invitation to likewise contribute to the collective momentum. With a kind of anthropological superstition, wary of courting an ‘observer effect,’ I worried that getting too ‘involved’ would compromise or improperly influence the phenomena at hand. It seems silly now to admit this in words, but I feared something outside language (the purity? autonomy? integrity? of the project) might be tainted. As impossible as of course this impulse was to maintain, it seemed crucial to find a way to be both inside and out, both participating and looking in. But by the eve of the exhibition’s debut, as nine charming performers sang along to Bickman’s vocalization of Williamson’s melody, activating the museum and humanizing the projections with which I had become so familiar, all hope for maintaining Pater’s disinterest revealed itself to be lost. I found myself consumed and enamored, completely inside the universe of sound, imagery and feeling that Albuquerque had conjured around us. As I watched three women sing the names of the stars above a field of salt, it was something like realizing you have fallen in love with a friend, unable to pinpoint when life became a cyclorama of affirmative emotions.
III. “I am saying this as if in a dream” At a moment when the environments of James Turrell have become logical settings for music videos by musicians like Drake, 20/20: Accelerando poses a quasi-documentary space awash in fantasy and dream, a space that troubles the ontology of the photographic document itself, and its status in historical interpretations of art, from Minimalism and Light and Space to performance. 20/20: Accelerando is a pastiche of both original and appropriated, found segments of video. Employed repeatedly as a productive strategy in Williamson’s own body of work, this compositional mechanism again underscores what new voices have brought to the project. The film mixes visual rhetorics as various as the iPhone video and the lushly funded nature documentary captured by the surveillance view of a soaring helicopter that evokes a contemporary update on the troubling specter of manifest destiny. Remixing such mass cultural spectacles with the popular tropes of science fiction, 20/20: Accelerando is a détournement of the sublime vistas of programs like Planet Earth, 2006, and movies like Jurassic Park, 1993. The empirical possibility of the natural world itself falls into doubt here. As such, 20/20: Accelerando offers a filmic interpretation of the phenomenological and ecological concerns that have driven Albuquerque’s work from its earliest days. Instead of the particularity of a rural or desert site where her
practice began, the filmic installation creates another kind of site-specificity, grounded by its dependency on a perfectly calibrated space of sophisticated digital technology. This apparatus produces a virtual landscape, nature digitized for the present and anticipating the future. These images somehow replace or stand in for the real lava fields or oceans we see described by the video’s imagery, both engaging and troubling the epistemologies of contemporary life and its withdrawal from the natural world. By recognizing the museum as a discursive space equally apt for fiction as for fact (whatever those may be said to be), 20/20: Accelerando puts Albuquerque in the company of others, from artists to politicians and television hosts, who encourage what art historian Carrie Lambert Beatty has deemed a “parafictive” understanding of the contemporary world. Isolating artists such as Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno as exemplary, art historian George Baker 9
contends that artists “thinking of fictionalized scenarios, or virtualized scenarios,” offer a “reengagement with utopia— with reconstructing social relations, imagining difference, constructing impossible scenarios.” Such a reengagement 10
returns to the futurist, Utopian dreams of modernists such as Le Corbusier (a figure Huyghe has rendered as a puppet in his film, This is not a time for dreaming, 2004) or even the spiritual mysticism of Malevich or Agnes Martin, but for a distinctly conditioned and configured cultural horizon. Artist Matthew Buckingham suggests that “Utopian projects … ask you to consider why they are impossible—why, even if they are partially realized, they will never be completed.” In 11
light of the cataclysmic havoc wrought by global climate change, the far future and stunning natural world proposed by 20/20: Accelerando begs the viewer to ask how likely it is that human culture will survive to such a far-flung date, or whether instead these visualized memories are crucial now simply because there will be no humans of the future to have them when the ‘real’ time comes. In fact, it is crucial that 20/20: Accelerando mimics but does not whole-heartedly depend on the elaborate mechanisms of the film industry, such as the most sophisticated computer generated imagery and landscapes that seduce us so thoroughly and read so successfully as ‘pure’ fiction that we forget our bodies, and the ‘real’ world we will return to after the white cube. These landscapes of the culture industry help to suspend our disbelief. They serve to take us, at least in our minds, to a “galaxy far far away.” In 20/20: Accelerando, we hear of a dramatic crash but are denied the fiery explosion that would be the centerpiece of the first 30 minutes of a multiplex rendering of this story. The film withholds and overwhelms, brimming with more imagery and mythological narrative than can be immediately processed, refusing and confusing our expectations. It is playful and opportunistic with its devices. It calls to mind something of Sontag’s Camp, the ‘as-if ’ of dress-up with its shameless economy and invention. The ambition for myth and taste 12
for fantasy that the project exposes swings the viewer between the paradoxical dual consciousness Sontag proposes, always “either completely naive or else wholly conscious” of what it does. The film almost seems to lay bare its contest with these suspensions of disbelief, as it confesses, “I am saying this as if in a dream.” Although Albuquerque’s film trades in the language and elements of science fiction (space ships and time travel), note that it is not another, but our world that we recognize in this video. We see vast waterways, luscious waterfalls, blue oceans, cloud cluttered skies and humid jungles. In our troubled cultural moment, when devastating climate change has become common knowledge, these vistas become elegiac, as if they are already gone, or at least certainly compromised. Of course, even in the case of cultural texts that we generally 9 Carrie Lambert-Beatty, “Make-Believe: Parafiction and Plausibility,” October 129 (Summer 2009): pp. 51-84. 10 George Baker, “The Projected Image in Contemporary Art,” October 104 (Spring 2003): p. 77. 11 Matthew Buckingham, “The Projected Image in Contemporary Art,” October 104 (Spring 2003): p. 79. 12 “To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater,” in Susan Sontag, “Notes on ‘Camp,’” 1964, accessed 18 March 2016, http://faculty.georgetown.edu/irvinem/theory/Sontag-NotesOnCamp-1964.html.
regard as fiction, such as George Lucas’s Star Wars series, we of course never truly leave the visual facts of what is and can be done in this world behind. When Luke Skywalker steps out onto a desert plane, it is a desert plane that we too can visit and know first hand, if only we trouble ourselves to go and find it. IV. In the Land of Salt and Honey I am curious how long it will be before I work again (if ever) on an exhibition that calls for seven tons of salt. Of all the things that have adapted across the course of conceptualizing and planning this ambitious project, this massive quantity of salt has never strayed from the official checklist. And so, I have spent months wondering what I will say about it when it finally comes time to translate its significance into the terms of a curatorial essay. Salt is undoubtedly rich with symbolic associations, but more so it strikes me as extremely familiar, so much so as to risk banality. One would be hard pressed to find a kitchen without some on hand, admittedly usually in smaller supply. Partially then, it is the quantity, the sheer amassing of material in the exhibition space that transforms salt into something more remarkable than a table scrap. As suggested by Bill Brown’s “Thing Theory,” it is also its failure, when exhibited, to function according to social convention. Salt is laid out before us like sand on a beach until it exists outside its usual context. As Brown suggests: We begin to confront the thingness of objects when they stop working for us: when the drill breaks, when the car stalls, when the windows get filthy, when their flow within the circuits of production and distribution, consumption and exhibition, has been arrested, however momentarily. The story of objects asserting themselves as things, then, is the story of a changed relation to the human subject and thus the story of how the thing really names less an object than a particular subject-object relation.
The salt loses its usual function and social role, and becomes something else when amassed in the museum. As it measures “a changed relation to the human subject” within the space of the museum, it also points to how that human subject might regard other objects differently and alter his or her relationship to them. Salt is intoxicatingly elemental and this certainly is central to Albuquerque’s attraction to it. It is a primal element as old as the oceans. It is necessary for the function of most cellular beings, mediating the flow of water in and out of our bodies. Crystalline in its solid form, a field of salt also conjures the potential energy associated with other minerals and crystals, such as quartz or diamonds (imagine a field of diamonds!). In our kitchens, salt turns the bland into powerfully palatable manna. Arguably grounded in our sense of taste more powerfully than our sense of sight, it conjures affective associations, and possibly becomes a kind of synesthetic site when visualized to such effect in the museum. It is uncanny or surreal to experience it there. My mind moves to literary associations, beginning with Pliny’s advice to “take it with a grain of salt.” Noting the hourglasses and orbs filled with honey that punctuate Albuquerque’s salt field, I think of the time signatures of modernist poetry. Sylvia Plath’s “The Beekeeper’s Daughter” works in “A garden of mouthings,” where “The Golden Rain Tree drips its powders down;” or Gwendolyn Brooks’s “my dreams, my works, must wait till after hell,” where the speaker begins, “I hold my honey and I store my bread / In little jars and cabinets of my will.” In the Illiad, Homer likens a pressing crowd of humans to a burgeoning swarm: “They swarmed like bees that sally from some hollow cave and flit in countless throng among the spring flowers, bunched in knots and clusters; even so did the mighty multitude pour from ships and tents to the assembly, and range themselves upon the wide-watered shore.” 13 14
Bill Brown, “Thing Theory,” Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28 (Autumn 2001): p. 4. Homer, The Iliad, Samuel Butler (trans.), accessed 9 December 2015, http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.2.ii.html.
In the dialogue of 20/20: Accelerando, the very palpable organization of the hive or honeycomb becomes an analogue for a similar structure hoped for in the much larger universe. It becomes an efficient way to navigate between and liken the very small to the very big, “as if each black hole in the universe was the depth of a chamber in a honeycomb. “The metaphor of the beehive helps describe the logos of the moment when amnesia lifts, as the heroine realizes,” I was to plant within the structure of the earth, a reflection of the stars above within the hexagonal pattern of a beehive, as if the sky had fallen to earth, reflecting the hidden geometry of the structure of the universe.” Earth matches sky as beehive traces stars, macro must mirror micro, “the stars looked embedded in a hexagonal pattern in the form of a beehive as if the stars were bees in a honeycomb.” Like bees in a honeycomb, the stars are animate but also play across a highly ordered field, a beautiful and legible architecture filled with quivering beings. Salt too conjures a strong sense of order, as it crystallizes when left behind by evaporating ocean water. The salt and honey materialized into visceral haptic quantities in the gallery space may stand in for the virtual world we witness but cannot touch in the video’s projection. Instead of the ocean, we get masses of salt. In lieu of the stars we get honey, what Albuquerque calls “the nectar of the stars.” As evidenced by Mark Kurlansky’s bestselling Salt: A World History, salt has become one of several poster children in the ‘material turn,’ the excitement of (or for) things advocated by Brown, Arjun Appadurai and others. This inquiry has been extended and most recently inherited by those who take an interest in “object oriented ontology,” or 15
“new materialisms.” One such investigator is the curator and art historian Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who titled her 16
2015 Istanbul Biennial, Saltwater: A Theory of Thought Forms. Elsewhere, Christov-Bakargiev has argued for a radical 17
reconceptualization of the ‘art world.’ She argues for what she describes as: a broader vision of the situation, and for alliances between art and organic life, new materialisms, and scientific studies, so that forms of art and forms of life can be combined, sharing architectural and creative knowledge with bees and butterflies and beavers, with bacteria and microbes, with eukaryotic cells as well as with software; cobbling together desires, sensibilities and abilities on a par with the microcosmic world within our bodies and the macrocosmic “music of the spheres” in a multi-species dimension, extending the “we” to all living sentient beings.18 20/20: Accelerando shares this vision, this “sharing [of] architectural and creative knowledge with bees” and so many other matters and beings. Like so many bees working at the hive, it cobbles digital technology together with ancient elemental forms through the matrix of a collaborative humanistic effort. One of the most beautiful moments in the film comes when Albuquerque’s protagonist descends into the vast blue jewel of the ocean as well as a meditative despair. The soundtrack pointedly hovers, so that the sound of a splash we anticipate comes slightly late, a palpable moment after we have seen her body become submerged. Drifting in the salt water of the ocean while we ourselves float amid the powerful score, she begins to understand that water is not known on earth as she knew it at home. Where she comes from, another water planet, “the conductivity of thought that occurs in water is understood.” Heartbreakingly, she confesses a strange and stirring myth that also reads like an elegiac warning: “I was told that the water on planet earth is made of tears, of tears from those beings who died trying to remember. It was there in the water, surrounded by the ocean that I began to recall what I knew.” 15 See Graham Harman, Tool Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects (Open Court, 2002). 16 See Diana Coole and Samantha Frost (edit.), New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics (Duke University Press, 2010). 17 “Istanbul Biennial,” e-flux, accessed 1 December 2015, http://www.e-flux.com/announcements/saltwater-a-theory-of-thought-forms-the-14th-istanbul biennial/. 18 Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, “Worldly Worlding: The Imaginal Fields of Science/Art and Making Patterns Together,” Mousse Magazine, accessed 1 December 2015, http://moussemagazine.it/articolo.mm?id=1095.
The sky reminded me of where I came from ...
GenIus Remembered (Excerpts)
It was there in the water surrounded by the ocean that I began to recall what I knew ...
L ITA A L B UQU E RQU E
I want first of all to thank Director Selma Holo for inviting me to exhibit at the USC Fisher Museum of Art for the second time with a collaborative multi-media work incorporating music, visuals, installation and narrative. Originally planned as a Stellar Axis: Antarctica exhibition initiated at the Nevada Museum of Art in the Fall of 2014, she understood that I was interested in extending that work into a performance piece and more specifically into a symphonic work of the naming of the ninety-nine brightest stars in the sky. Starting with her invitation and the support of USC’s Visions and Voices, the exhibit organically grew into 20/20: Accelerando, a narrative film with music by Robbie C. Williamson. 20/20: Accelerando (the film) is the result of team effort and talent. I consider our core creative team as a Pentagram—consisting of Robbie C. Williamson, Marc Breslin, my daughter Jasmine Albuquerque and Cassandra Bickman. The origin of this work came about when Marc became my studio manager in 2013, asked what creative work I wanted to do next. I showed him “GenIus Remembered,” a text I had written in 2003 that I wanted to bring to life. “GenIus Remembered” is a narrative that embodies my life, my practice, perhaps my mission. It is personal and universal at its essence. Marc and I discussed ways of presenting it—the result being a film installation accompanied by Robbie’s incredible video and musical talent, Jasmine’s force of character, Cassandra’s language and beautiful singing and Marc’s eye, passion and guidance. I first encountered Robbie’s music through his band We Are The World, and more recently have seen him perform as Double Diamond Sunbody, where his use of video, text, powerful sound and his presence allow him to create a diverse range of characters and voices that highlights as well as questions the normative, the societal, the peculiar. Robbie is a genius with sound and visuals. I could not have found a better collaborator. Through his unique video and sound skills, the time he took understanding “GenIus Remembered,” being together shooting in Hawaii and countless early and late night studio sessions, he brought a dream to life. I am extremely indebted to Robbie and grateful for his contribution to 20/20: Accelerando and directing the opening night’s singing. I look forward to Double Diamond Sunbody’s future installations and performances … Marc Breslin is an artist, writer and performer who has been working in my studio since 2013 and has been of great influence to me by reminding me and guiding me to always look at the big picture. Thank you for that Marc. He has been an integral part of the creative process in all the projects that have been produced since, and the collaborative nature of our relationship has been fluid and seamless. His talent and efforts in 20/20: Accelerando are innumerable: from the initial push and edits of the text, to suggesting the Big Island as location, to figuring out the technical aspects of the installation, to contributing to every single aspect of the film, and help keeping the whole project flowing naturally, thank you. And thank you for your exquisite photographic talent (alongside Robbie) in the shooting of the film. I have collaborated with my daughter Jasmine many times. She embodies a presence that is breathtaking. Her training as a dancer is reflected in everything she does. A tremendous force. A powerful presence. Movement. Elegance. Courage. When we first landed in Hawaii to shoot, instead of going to rest she agreed to go directly to a waterfall where she swam upstream in multiple pools, climbed rocks and hopped into a waterfall … the next day she jumped off a 50 foot cliff after getting naked, rubbing mud all over her body and dancing. She was in a volcano … she is a volcano. She provided the movement for the opening night performance. She executed perfectly. I am so proud of her and
grateful for who she is as a daughter, a dancer and a being. I am lucky to have her in my life and for her contributions in countless projects. Her role as Elyseria in this film is continuing as she moves on to other sites to create star maps onto the earth’s surface. I met Cassandra Bickman through Robbie and as our friendship developed, and as Robbie, Marc and I were looking for voice/narration/subtitle options, she offered to speak the voice of the main character, Elyseria. The language she offers us is a crucial and beautiful part of the film. And as we continued working on the project and Robbie on the songs, Cassandra lent us her beautiful singing voice. I thank Cassandra for her openness and through her voice shaping Elyseria into who she becomes … We found a tremendous team for the opening performance. Briana Gonzales organized the night and I thank her for being such a great support and kind presence. I could write a decent sized book on the skills of each performer so I suggest just looking them up and discovering a new talent, if you don’t know them already, you will: Mecca Vazie Andrews, Cassandra Bickman, Vittoria Colonna, Cathy Cooper, Elise Crombez, Joseph Harper, Ionna Echo, Tristan Scott Thomas and Jessica Tonder. Thank you all for being such perfect Star Keepers! Thanks go to Salvador Alvarenga Ochoa for immediately entering the Medicine Man’s character and to Rio Jacobi for her role as the Child. I can only wonder at her future. Rio’s mother, Sara Sachs, helped us by supplying the film’s Hawaiian portion costumes. Jillian Oliver, Irene Urias and Jason Chansez provided the costume, hair and make up for the opening night—thanks to them. Thank you to Emily Snyder for helping out with the shoot in California. Thanks to Dashiel Reed for transposing Robbie’s music. Special thanks to V.K. my early morning angel, for teaching me the power of going from the I to the We. And thank you to Kyomi Matsuura, my studio assistant, for her friendship and ever-helpful hand and eye. 20/20: Accelerando (the exhibition) is also the result of team effort and talent. I want to thank Selma Holo for being such a dear friend and supporter. She has given me the opportunity to present a work I consider seminal in my career and has been there throughout the birthing pain of the creative process. Selma, I am very grateful. I also want to thank Grant Johnson for his role and presence as curator during this process and for his beautiful, rich and complex essay. I am curious and excited for the future projects Grant develops and to read more of his writing. The staff at Fisher Museum was extraordinary in their help and making sure every part of the exhibition ran smoothly. Thank You Ariadni Liokatis, for keeping us all informed, Selin Camli, for the great marketing and PR job you did letting people know about the exhibit, Juan Rojas, for the building of the walls and all of the technical installations, thank you! Kay Allen, for your support and giving us a budget to do this work! Heather Zeidin, thank you for your presence, Ani Mnatsakanyan, thank you for coordinating the lecture and for translating the work to the public with such knowledge and grace and to Stephanie Kowalick and Raphael Gatchalian for their support. The exhibition could not have been done without all of you. I also want to thank Ignacio Genzon for the filming of the opening night performance and for the documentation video. And thank you to Haven Lin-Kirk for your talent and fluidity and your time devoted towards the beautiful design of this catalog. My husband, Carey, and my children, Isabelle, Jasmine, Marisa and Chris, supported me throughout the creation of this complex and exciting project. Thank you! Lita
Lita Albuquerque (born 1946, Santa Monica) started making works in dialogue with the sun, moon, horizon and landscape in the late 1970s. With the works, Blue Rock, Moon Shadow, Malibu Line and Rock and Pigment Installation (all executed in 1978), Albuquerque arguably also initiated her collaborative and performative practice. These installations, all executed on a piece of property in Malibu where other artists, musicians and writers lived and worked, relied on an exchange between Albuquerque and natural phenomena that set a precedent for Albuquerque’s artwork functioning as a trafficker of encounters—encounters that would increasingly demand the participation of others. After executing Rock and Pigment Installation (1978) in the Mojave Desert, Albuquerque foreshadowed later performance works with Man and the Mountain I (1978) and Man and the Mountain II (1979)—images of figures delineated by pigment spread on the desert might be read as Albuquerque’s first attempt to place the body in space. The performance, Inconceivable Mansions (1982), where Albuquerque poured pigment on the desert floor and students who had joined for the artwork traced geometric shapes of the large sand drawing with their feet dancing a spiral, walking, at times running in a single line—indicates the leap taken shortly after her first Malibu and desert works were executed from working individually in the landscape to enlisting the help of others to create artworks. The Man and the Mountain artworks viewed in tandem with Inconceivable Mansions also indicates a mirroring in Albuquerque’s work. A literal representation, the 1980 artwork, Spine of the Earth, another desert pigment piece, found its echo in the 2012 itineration, Spine of the Earth 2012, commissioned as part of The Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival. A body in red descended from the sky (professional accuracy skydiver New-Zealander Annie Helliwell), landing where hundreds of participants dressed in red were gathered to commence a performance that would trace Albuquerque’s poured pigment, similar to the 1980 artwork, and descend in a single file line down Culver City’s Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. This reflection also presents itself in the installation Stellar Axis: Antarctica (2006), where Albuquerque, awarded with a National Science Foundation Grant, worked in collaboration with NSF astronomer Simon Balm to install 99 sculptures that replicated the stars above for a particular moment in time. Shortly after the ephemeral installation’s momentary alignment passed, 51 people engaged in the project or doing research on the Ross Ice Shelf participated in a performance where, in a single file, they outlined the spiral Albuquerque’s installation had invisibly created by way of the earth’s rotation and the artwork’s, now warping, relationship with the stars. The Stellar Axis projects also point to a development in the artist’s career where conversations and collaborations with scientists, technicians and those willing to participate took on more and more significance. It is this willingness and desire to collaborate that helps define Albuquerque’s performative practice, from more intimate projects (such as the 1983 installation at USC, Abhasa: Image-Bearing Light, working in collaboration with architect and close friend, Robert Kramer, and composer, Harold Budd—projects in the 80s with choreographer, Lesli Linka Glatter, and singer, Joan La Barbara—in the 2000s with composer and vocalist Sussan Deyhim in Stellar Axis: Antarctica and Particle Horizon—working with composer, Kristen Toedman, members of the LA Master Chorale and artist, Mattia Casalegno, on the 2012 One Small Section of the Sky) to those involving hundreds of participants (most recently with An Elongated Now (2014) commissioned for the Laguna Art Museum’s Art and Nature Festival). 20/20: Accelerando exemplifies Albuquerque’s collaborative endeavors and the various outlets they manifest.
University of Southern California Fisher Museum of Art Staff SELMA HOLO Director KAY ALLEN
ARIADNI LIOKATIS Curator STEPHANIE KOWALICK
Education and Programs Coordinator
Administrative Coordinator and Business Specialist
Catalogue Design HAVEN LIN-KIRK
Printer TYPECRAFT, PASADENA
Installation photographs IGNACIO GENZON Performance photographs Installation photographs and film stills copyright of the artist and reproduced with the permission of the artist. MARC BRESLIN
© 2016 USC Fisher Museum of Art
University of Southern California
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0292
ISBN: 978-0-945192-45-9 All rights reserved. No part of this catalogue may be reproduced in any form by electronic means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from USC Fisher Museum of Art except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in review.