For “Exhibition 2.10242009,” directors Daniel Baird, Jamie Keesling and Bret Schneider called upon eight artists to prepare site-specific interventions into the live/work space. This past August, the partners resurrected the apartment gallery formerly known as COMA, or California Occidental Museum of Art. Truly an artist-run space, Mvsevm also holds a concert series, titled Home Listening, and plan to launch a publication for print and web called How Moving.
Joe Cruz’s installation demands the most real estate at Mvsevm. Ravenous taxidermal squirrels pounce onto a burlap sack of ill-gotten fruit cinched by a bird in ten milliseconds; the time it takes for a synapse to fire. Cruz describes the piece as an allegory on the immediate failure of utopia; the polyphony of enterprising wildlife. The fruit mountain bears signage referencing the United Fruit Company, a neo-colonialist empire importing fruit from third-world countries throughout the twentieth-century, eventually becoming the Chiquita Brands International.
A pair of conjoined ceiling fans, titled “Foreclosure,” meets the goals of the exhibition most precisely, as prepared by North Room, a moniker for collaborations between Szu Han Ho and Jesse Vogler. The piece is part of an ongoing series, Home Improvements, a series of domestic sculptures made from household appliances.
Other works fall short of curatorial mandates. Yang’s reworking of J.Z. Young’s “The Life of Invertebrates” adds little to the conversation, although the text’s eccentric descriptions of the variable colors of frogs seems relevant to “usually cryptic or concealing in their efforts.” Harley Young, who runs Knock Knock Gallery, presents “Tropical Hot Dog Night,” which also reads as a red herring. Seashells and other found materials entombed in muddy enamel, formally indebted to former Chicagoan Sterling Ruby. While “Exhibition 2.10242009” seems a bit disjointed, the 1626 N California apartment continues to provide a viable venue for critical art practices in an intimate setting. (Joe Jeffers)
By appointment at 1626 N. California, floor 2.