performance by Mark Verabioff
July 10th, 9pm
* children under 18 not admitted
Artforum scene & heard, July 18th 2009
â€œLIKE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC IN A GAY SEX CLUB,â€ observed MC Galleryâ€™s Renaud Proch last Friday night as we watched Mark Verabioff and Flora Wiegmannâ€™s performance at the Eighth Veil. Hollywoodâ€™s latest gallery takes its name from the Seventh Veil, an adjacent strip club on Sunset Boulevard. That clubâ€™s neon arabesque sign flickered over the crowd waiting outside, which included artists Jedidiah Caesar, Mary Weatherford, and Eli Langer, as well Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery director Enkhe Dashdavaa, and recent LA transplant Shamim Momin.
When the door finally swung open, a disembodied, but not unappealing high-heeled leg appeared, hanging down from the balcony office. â€œGo ahead and touch it,â€ suggested Eighth Veil co-owner Kane Austin. â€œI think itâ€™s a part of the piece.â€
Verabioff (much taller than Toulouse-Lautrec) squatted in the center of the gallery wearing nothing but black hot pants, a coat, and flip-flops; his face was tied up with white rope. The scene recalled something from a West Hollywood S&M dungeon. Wiegmann, clad only in black denim boyshorts and a black boa, looked right at home on the Strip, her thickly kohled eyes, lugubrious moves, and deadened stare redolent of a failed starlet. Through a thick fog pouring out from under Verabioff, a video projection flashed his trademark texts, a seemingly nonsensical mixture of pop and art-world celebrity. UC FATHER FIGURE CHARLES RAY DISPATCHED PREHAB WITH FALL â€™91 MAYDAY OVERAWE. As Verabioff described it to me after the performance, the piece brings together uncut cocks, Matthew Marks, and James Bond with the venerable LA â€œfather figure.â€
â€” Andrew Berardini
The work of Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based artist Mark Verabioff is deeply rooted in a firm understanding of art history and cultural theory. His practice has been in a highly committed relationship with the critical interrogation of form and its social-political capabilities since the mid 80s. Moving in and out of logic, absurdity, provocation and seduction, Verabioffâ€™s abject radical formalism undermines linguistically constructed notions of sexual difference, ethnicity, and gender in both high and low cultural spheres - fusing text, works on paper, sound, video, installations, and actions that examine the rhetoric of celebrity, politics, and contemporary art. Outward Model will employ text-based artworks that the artist re-circulates in video, sound, action, along with site-specific movement constructions by guest artist Flora Wiegmann.
Mark Verabioff was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 1963. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He studied at The Banff Centre for the Arts in 1984 and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, graduating in 1985. Recent solo exhibitions & performances include, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, (2009); Angstrom Gallery, Los Angeles, (2008); Mandrake, Los Angeles, (2007). Upcoming and previous group exhibitions include, Potluck, Country Club, Los Angeles (summer 2009); Fall Collection â€“ Hosted by Aram Moshayedi, Kreiling &, Los Angeles, (2008); and Notes on Cultural Preservation, Nicholas Robinson Gallery, New York, (2008). The artist can be found in private collections in Los Angeles and New York.
Flora Wiegmann was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1976. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her MFA at UCLA in 2007. Her movement constructions are deployed using visual art tactics that attempt to broaden the platform of dance by making films, site-specific and endurance works, as well as her collaborations with visual artists like Drew Heitzler, Anna Sew Hoy, Alix Lambert, Fritz Haeg, Mark Verabioff, Silke Otto-Knapp and Andrea Zittel in exhibitions that have included The California Biennial (2008); The Whitney Biennial (2008); A Reinterpretation of Alan Kaprowâ€™s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, LACE, Los Angeles (2008); and Champion Zero, Rental Gallery, New York (2008). Wiegmann will head to the Banff Centre for the Arts this summer to make a new work.