A Painter and a Performance Artist walk into a Bar…
A Collaboration between Virginia Broersma and Natalie Mik
By Amy Kaeser
June 10, 2017
"Starting something new is always exciting and nerve-racking at the same time, especially when you make that experiment public. The exhibition, “A Painter and a Performance Artist walk into a Bar…” contemplate new interdisciplinary modes of communication between Long Beach-based artist and curator Virginia Broersma and performance artist and Grab Bag Studio co-founder, Natalie Mik.
Text by Claire de Dobay Rifelj
January 26, 2017
Taking its title from two stories of profound transformation, The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley fills LACE with a lugubrious installation of works by Los Angeles artists that feels appropriate to the political cataclysms of 2017. Between the religious highs of the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa and the monstrous overtones of Shelley’s Frankenstein, the common ground presented by the objects on view centers firmly around the body, its representation, and its intimation.
THE ECSTASY OF MARY SHELLEY
by Ezrha Jean Black
January 12, 2017
The curators of Ecstasy, Virginia Broersma, Nick Brown and Kio Griffith, characterize their show as an “exhibition and lab” (the latter aspect of which may be more prominent in a couple of the objects by Candice Lin included here); but its installation has the airy feel of a frame or skeleton – an open vessel for the viewer’s imagination. Their stated intention was to conflate the Shelley moment of terror that inspired her classic horror novel, Frankenstein, with the ‘ecstasy’ of Saint Teresa, but the inspiration is really the same: the Promethean fire urging humanity ever more ambitiously forward towards unlocking the secrets of the universe (or the gods), yet simultaneously unleashing the staggering hubris with which we desecrate that same universe. Nathan Danilowicz’s Volans Anguli, with its brutalist black beams fashioned into flying buttresses angled into the wall, or broken and criss-crossing each other, evoke both broken ‘skeleton’ and broken flight or ambition, even the civilization’s self-cannibalization. Annie Lapin’s paintings, hung mid-gallery as if they were doors (which in a sense they are) simultaneously evoke opacity amid transparency, a chthonic universe, and an ethereal bioplasm in constant flux. Naotaka Hiro has compressed what might be characterized as a similar birth process into a ziggurat of sausage (or shit) – rendered here as both video performance and sculpture. Works by Gala Porras-Kim, Valerie Hegarty, and video/performance artist, Cassils, and Candice Lin are no less striking. ‘Science project’ aspects aside, Lin projects in her five works here a ‘creatures of Prometheus’ vision – the notion of a pathway out of the gloom and chill that envelop us in civilization’s twilight.
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
6522 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Show runs thru February 12, 2017
by Grace Linden
Virginia Broersma does not remember when she first became aware of appearance. But feelings about her own body and bodies more generally, have been “locked…into [her] psyche” since she was a teenager. She explains, “My image of my own body has always been linked to what others think of me and their standards.” Broersma’s artistic practice, consequently, has been an effort to resolve these views.
The Lodge / Los Angeles
by Peter Frank
May 3, 2016
Virginia Broersma’s exploitation of wet-on-wet painting is not simply self-indulgent, it is lavish, extravagant, and delirious, amplifying what is already a relatively excessive technique into an over-the-top visual experience, at once ecstatic and excruciating. However much she may delight in the wet-on-wet method or want to show off her chops, Broersma’s principal purpose is clearly to rock the viewer’s world.
April 5, 2016
LACE announces its selection for the second Emerging Curators program, The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley, curated by Virginia Broersma, Nick Brown and Kio Griffith. As Los Angeles’ premier experimental non-profit exhibition space, LACE created this program to discover and promote curatorial talent. The three curators have worked collaboratively since 2014. Their project was selected from a pool of 48 proposals that reflect the diversity of perspectives of the arts community. The jury comprised Helen Molesworth, MOCA chief curator, and artists Ken Gonzales-Day and Simon Leung. The exhibition will take place in January 2017.
This intriguing exhibition will feature work by artists who are inspired by the split second insight when transformation begins. The title alludes to the striking parallel between the moment when an idea hits and the moment life is conducted into Dr. Frankenstein’s monster in Mary Shelley’s tale. Whether employing media in alternative methods or toying with history through proxy languages, each of the artists works in a space of ecstatic conductivity, a state of flux. Their subjects include ecstatic religious experiences, Satori or enlightenment, transmogrification, race, gender and sexual identity.
According to juror Ken Gonzales-Day, “The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley was selected in keeping with LACE’s long history of providing the Los Angeles community with exhibitions that showcase the experimental, the political, and the provocative. Unlike other exhibitions that have considered the issues raised by borders and boundaries in explicitly physical or political terms, this exhibition will expand and complement such inquiries by foregrounding the generative force of transition itself. More poetic than prescriptive, the exhibition suggests that we consider anew those states that might have been historically characterized as “monstrous.” The curators have selected artists who consider mutations, riffs in identity, revolutionary moments, and ecstatic longing as transformed into precious and potentially liberatory moments of change. “
Virginia Broersma is an L.A.-based artist, writer and curator. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at The LODGE and Autonomie in L.A. and at Fermilab, the nation’s premier particle physics laboratory in Illinois.
Nick Brown is an L.A.-based artist and curator who was born in England. His work has been exhibited at galleries and museums nationwide, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and The Drawing Center, N.Y.
Kio Griffith is based in L.A. and Japan. He works as a visual and sound artist, independent curator, writer, and producer. He has exhibited in the U.K., Japan, Germany, Croatia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Turkey, Belgium and the U.S.