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Untreated Strangeness: George Porcari, Jorge Pardo, Naomi Fisher organized by Chris Kraus

Momenta Art
359 Bedford Avenue, between S. 4th and S. 5th, 718-218-8058
October 30 - December 7, 2009
Reception: Friday, October 30, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

Momenta Art is pleased to announce the opening of Untreated Strangeness offering an experience that is diffuse, disassociated but held together by a singular view of the present.

In conjunction with this show, Momenta will be publishing a catalog with essays by Chris Kraus, Veronica Gonzalez, Mark von Schlegell, and an interview with Sylvere Lotringer. The catalog will be published in full color as a printable PDF and as a limited edition paperback; it will also be published as a black and white zine available at the gallery. The full text of the catalog is included below. PDF and print versions will be available on October 30 through Momenta.

The exhibition will feature the work of Los Angeles-based photographer and critic George Porcari, augmented by three new Jorge Pardo sculptures and a video loop by Naomi Fisher.

Porcari’s remarkable body of work spans almost four decades. Born in Lima, Peru in the 1950s, he emigrated to Los Angeles at age 11 and began taking photographs ten years later to record his own sense of dislocation. In subsequent years, Porcari went on to document his observations of cities (New York, Chicago, Europe, Latin America) through occasional series of photographs, which have also included cinematically-inspired collages, portraits of Los Angeles/international artist friends, the US-Mexican border, and still-lives of an intensely-curated assortment of books. Porcari attended art school in New York and Los Angeles, but rather than pursue a gallery career he became a professional librarian: a vocation that has allowed him to pursue his wide range of idiosyncratic interests. Describing himself as a ‘photo-journalist,’ Porcari’s visual vocabulary is equally informed by Bresson, Robert Frank, and Vladmir Nabokov. His images are bracingly realistic and incidentally lyrical.

Writing about Porcari’s work, the novelist Veronica Gonzalez has noted “a sense of possibility mixed in with regret … for all these images exist in the present, the present of the work, a desire for cohesion, perhaps enacted here.”

The installation will be anchored by a dense assortment of images of varying sizes hung on the gallery walls. But this fixed installation will be augmented by video-loop transmission and loose prints, to be handled by viewers. This display will be facilitated by three Jorge Pardo sculptures created specifically for this exhibition: Partition (2009), a curved screen onto which Naomi Fisher’s violently tropical video-loop will be projected, and Tables 1 and 2 (2009), where viewers may sit and examine loose prints from Porcari’s vast bank of images.

One ought to remember that all cultures impose corrections upon raw reality, changing it from free-floating objects into units of knowledge. The problem is not that conversion takes place. It is perfectly natural for the human mind to resist the assault on it of untreated strangeness; therefore cultures have always been inclined to impose complete transformations on other cultures receiving these other cultures not as they are, but as for the benefit of the receiver, they ought to be. – Edward Said, Orientalism

Chris Kraus is a writer and filmmaker. Her books include I Love Dick, Aliens & Anorexia, and Torpor. Video Green, Kraus’ first non-fiction book, examines the explosion of late 1990s art by high-profile graduate programs that catapulted Los Angeles into the epicenter of the international art world. Her films include Gravity & Grace, How To Shoot A Crime, and The Golden Bowl, or, Repression. She also founded the Native Agents imprint to publish fiction, mostly by women, as an analogue to French theories of subjectivity.
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