Escobar-Morales at the Bruno David Gallery

December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

ESCOBAR-MORALES: Resurrection of Hun-Nal-Ye at the Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis, MO. Opening on Friday, February 1, 2013, from 5 to 9 pm.  Show runs until February 23rd, 2013.

The Resurrection of Hun-Nal-Ye_3

In the New Media Room, the Bruno David Gallery presents a single-channel video work titled “Resurrection of Hun-Nal-Ye” by Escobar-Morales. The 21-minutes video originated from a performance at the closing for RICH-OO-UH’L, RICH-OO-UH’L at Jolie Laide Gallery in Philadelphia, with sound by Armando Morales.

In the Resurrection of Hun-Nal-Ye (2011), Escobar-Morales perform a funerary ritual, referencing the mythical Mayan tale of the Hero Twins reviving their dead father, the Maize God. In their contemporary interpretation of this ancient story, Escobar-Morales simultaneously represent the body and the soul; the God/ Goddess and twin offspring, in both physical and technological forms using live performance and web based video projection.

ESCOBAR-MORALES is a team comprised of Maya Escobar and Andria Morales. The two artists, based in Chicago and New York respectively, have been working together over the Internet since 2010. They produce digital media and performance art that explores the role of self-representation in visual culture and its ability to deconstruct ingrained ideological conventions. By locating their performances online where they are free from restrictions of time and place, Escobar-Morales is able to concurrently enact multiple personas while simultaneously creating a unified hybrid self.

Maya Escobar was born in Chicago, IL in 1984. Andria Morales was born in 1982 in New York, NY. Escobar received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007) and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis (2009); Morales received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania (2004) and an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University (2008).

Photo by Armando Morales

Do black leather pants qualify as a tax deduction for rock stars?

December 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Loren’s long awaited legal music database has finally arrived!

here is the official video:

and here is the official press release:

From writing-off leather pants to copyright disputes: New database chronicles legal side of music industry

School of Law’s Center for Empirical Research in the Law and a recent law alum launch thediscography.org

By Jessica Martin

Do black leather pants qualify as a tax deduction for rock stars?

Fans, musicians, journalists, researchers and anyone else interested in music can see how the courts dealt with this question and nearly any other legal issue involving the music industry at The Discography: Legal Encyclopedia of Popular Music accessible through thediscography.org.

The site was created by Loren Wells, JD, musician and recent graduate of the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and is supported by the Center for Empirical Research in the Law (CERL) at the School of Law.

The site’s database — the most elaborate of its kind — covers 2,400 court opinions spanning nearly 200 years of the music industry.

The opinions, ranging from copyrights and contracts to taxes, torts and more, are fully summarized and searchable by a number of variables such as artist, location, timeframe issue and more.

“You can see nearly all of U.S. law through the cases and while the cases are educational, they’re also immensely entertaining,” Wells says.

“The Discography is for anyone who legitimately wants a balanced perspective of the music industry and an appreciation for the people who make it happen.”

Wells started in the music industry with small rock shows and then moved onto playing the House of Blues and record label showcases. He strayed from the stage briefly to attend law school.

Thediscography.org also features a blog that highlights interesting cases, artwork by Wells and a news section on current legal events in the music industry.

CERL provides the technical platform to deliver Wells’ database to anyone who would like to access it.

“We took an uncut gem and presented it in a defined form,” says Andrew D. Martin, PhD, CERL director and professor of law.

“The Discography is exciting because it’s an extraordinary collection of information that did not previously exist.

Martin says the project is being driven by a “very passionate student” and is a departure from the staid, faculty projects that CERL normally supports.

“The value of the database is immense,” says Martin, who is also professor and chair of the Department of Political Science in Arts & Sciences. “Through the lens of music cases we’re able to understand a great deal of American law.”

CERL’s research technologist Troy DeArmitt says “Wells put a lot of energy and knowledge into constructing this body of information.

“It would be criminal if this information was not accessible to the world,” DeArmitt says.

Editor’s Note: Loren Wells, Andrew Martin and Troy DeArmitt are available for live or taped interviews using Washington University’s free VYVX or ISDN lines. Please contact Jessica Martin at (314) 935-5251 or jessica_martin@wustl.edu for assistance.

deal with it.

November 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am Midwestern girl, born and bred.
#Midwestern Maya
Yes, I know there is a New York Art World.
And yes, I am aware that people make cultural identity work on the West Coast.
But I am rooted here.
With the world at my fingertips.

Solberg/Cruzen at the Craig Elmer Modern

February 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

Jacob Cruzen and Dan Solberg

The Boys at Mi Ranchito, 2010

Jacob Cruzen and Dan Solberg are taking Saint Louis by storm with their exhibition Solberg/Cruzen, opening tomorrow night at the Craig Elmer Modern. Solberg/Cruzen promises to be filled with positivity, mysticism, and finely crafted objects.

Solberg/Cruzen Exhibition of New Work
February 20th – March 20th
Craig Elmer Modern
3194 South Grand
St Louis, MO 63116

el es frida kahlo at the gallery

February 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

el es frida kahlo is currently on view in the New Media Room at the Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis, MO.

el es frida kahlo

el es frida kahlo, 2007-present

Frida Kahlo played with the identity that she wanted to project and the identity that was placed on her by others. Kahlo used her clothing, political affiliations, sexual escapades, and personal traumas, to create a character that informed her body of work. She inscribed her identity, painting her image over and over, constructing a mythology around her persona.

In el es frida kahlo I confront the ambivalence I experience as a result of my simultaneous obsession with Frida Kahlo and weariness towards her commodification. Viewed from a tiny pinhole, dressed as Kahlo, I stand before a reproduction of one of her self portraits. With a mixture of rage, anxiety, and complete fear, I chant “el es Frida Kahlo, ella es Frida Kahlo, el es Frida Kahlo, yo soy, yo soy, yo soy Frida Kahlo,” he is Frida Kahlo, she is Frida Kahlo, I am, I am, I am Frida Kahlo. As I yell, the painting behind me begins to fall. I violently tear down my braids and smudge off my makeup while continuing to scream “I am Frida Kahlo, I am Frida Kahlo, yo soy Frida Kahlo!”

el es frida kahlo at the Bruno David Gallery (video filmed and edited by Felicia Chen)

el es frida kahlo YouTube video

FREE el es frida kahlo animated gif avaliable on MayaEscobar.com

link to translation of recent review by David Sperber in Ma’arav Israeli Arts and Culture Magazine:

Frida Kahlo at the synagogue: Maya Escobar and the young Jewish-American Creation

free el es frida kahlo animated gif

January 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

el es frida kahlo will be on view at the Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis, MO from 1/22-3/6. In conjunction with the exhibition, I am offering a FREE embeddable animated el es frida kahlo gif on mayaescobar.com.

el es frida digital giveaway

a guest post by seenoga

November 26, 2009 § 1 Comment

a guest post by seeNoga.

maya escobar and carianne noga

NOESCO* in a wustlworkshop, photo by stan strembicki

As you doggedly pursue, chase, and snap at the heels of your Self, you do so knowing there is no chance you will ever catch up. For each of us, throughout our individual lives, we will be ever distant from knowing our own selves. When a person pursues his or her Self in an aggressive, determined way, the resulting hyperactive sensibility allows for a greater adaptability and sensitivity. This flexibility can be useful in contemporary human life, but only to a certain extent.  It is also due to the fast-paced nature of today’s engineered environments, that there is a strong tendency (especially among young people) to go to extreme lengths in order to sustain within their own lives the hyperactivity and intensity they witness in popular culture and media. Consider the called-for constant reachability via cell-phones and laptops, as well as many other forms of expedition in our ‘lived-in’ world. These accommodations range from aerodynamics to ATMs. As many workers in today’s professional world simultaneously lament and extol their parasitic relationships with a Blackberry or other such Pocket God, I, too, have at many times felt chained to my laptop (i.e. the Internet), fearing I would miss something absolutely critical. Unfortunately, the fact that missing anything important has not happened for the most part, hardly affects the worry and anxiety that it might happen.

Yet still, it seems, this once motivating anxiety is becoming a repressed urge, one which is less and less a bother, the more my environment becomes one seamless, semi-omniscient “news” feed. On the evening of President Barack Obama’s Address to the Nation, Maya Escobar recorded “Obama Tweet: How a New Generation Gets Their Information.” In this video Escobar documented a particular event, an important cultural event, one which incidentally brought the use of Twitter to the fore in popular culture.

Obama Tweet: How a New Generation Gets Their Information, 2008

I was with Escobar on this evening and was struck by the depth of her interaction with the digital realm. She was sitting in front of a T.V. broadcast of the speech, while she was also further mediating that media via her computer, on which she was following Twitter and CNN.com’s coverage of the event. Beyond all that, Escobar was creating her own real-time, indexical document of the event on television along with CNN and Twitter as instantaneous forms of annotations to the President’s speech. Escobar was watching, sitting one more stage removed, behind the lens of a video camera. Because of the way in which she layered the television screen the computer screen and then the interface of any viewer’s monitor, Escobar has effortlessly choreographed a multi-layered, engagement with the very most current of events. However, though I may have somewhat qualified and rationalized instant-communication tools, I still believe there must be a deliberate effort to complement those socially-prescribed media with other, independent forms of digital exchanges. While I do believe in the great social potential of our rapidly advancing communications media, my work seeks to push and pull on parts of these evolving global ‘informachines,’ in an effort to challenge the omnipresence of commercial media.

Look Out, 2008

That sort of layering of non-dimensional spaces is unique to the contemporary world, with the inception of digital technologies, and this collage-like aesthetic is of great interest to the work of Maya Escobar, as much as it is to my own. Although, unlike the deceptively referential works of my counter-part, in many of my works, I use and refer to popular media sources and specific Internet sites indirectly and rarely with any superficial visibility. It is with great deliberation and much hypothesizing that I curate my works in the manner in which I do. I intend my works to avoid specificity and leave wide-open their readings to a much more self-guided analysis by viewers. In the piece “Look Out,” the projected video came directly from YouTube. I simply cut off the last second of the original video, thus shortening it to 17 seconds. I then prepared it as a video-loop for its installation underneath a staircase at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. Because of its placement, where it fills a theretofore, unaddressed space, it is as though the rolling image is part of the museum structure itself. The particular clip, which I chose after viewing dozens of similarly tagged videos (‘storm,’ ‘tree,’ ‘willow,’ and ‘weeping’), was selected for very specific compositional reasons; reasons which are the very same principles of design taught to anyone working in commercial design or the visual arts: complimentary colors, rule of thirds, dynamic composition and varied textures, to name a few. Because of my focused selection process, this video, although created for very different (and unknown) reasons, still fits very well into the installation space as a deliberately designed, and potentially permanent use of what is otherwise a neglected space. The video became part of the stairwell. By existing within a predetermined, architectural frame, it became part of the space, as opposed to sitting on the surface as a painting does.  This projection did not exist in the way that many (most) installations do: as obvious alterations or obtrusive interjections into a space. This work asserts itself as a physical part of the space, as the projector beams through from behind the scrim in the stairwell. It also assumes a living presence, as it reiterates itself, by many reflections and refractions, split and scattered, bouncing around the main hall of the museum. The video functioned as a decorative element but also an illusory window to an outside world, whereas, the space without that piece is simply a pane of glass that looks into the shadowy crotch of a stairwell.  I do not mean every square inch should be taken up for some sort of visual activity or illusionary window. Simply, this work proposes how our constructed spaces, in this case a venue for art viewing, might be reinterpreted. Insofar as, a corner can conceivably become a window, as illusory and impermanent as my particular interpretation may be.

*NOESCO is seeNoga and maya escobar

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