PRESS RELEASE

 

PERFORMANCE AT AUTOMATA
Saturday, January 20th from 7-10pm
Sunday, January 21st from 6-8pm
504 Chung King Court
RSVP at Facebook Event Page

EXHIBITION AT TRACK 16
February 10 to March 31
RECEPTION: Saturday, February 10th from 7-10pm
1206 Maple Ave, #1005

Contact: Sean Meredith at seanm@track16.com or (310) 815-8080

LOS ANGELES –– The Argentine art collective Mondongo, just coming off considerable exposure during the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time LA-LA series, are back in Los Angeles in 2018 with a performance/installation at Automata in Chinatown on January 20th and 21st, followed by an exhibition of new works opening at Track 16 on February 10th.  Also on January 22nd, Mondongo will present an artist talk at CalArts, as a presentation of the CalArts Center for New Performance.

Juliana Laffitte and Manuel Mendanha are the duo that make up Mondongo, which blends ephemeral performances with intricate, sculptural paintings. The Buenos-Aires-based collective formed in 1999 and continues to explode with punk creativity.

Mondongo’s work translates the dark side of fairy tales and the subconscious, whether through a chilling Pinocchio mask made of geometrically shaped mirrors, or work featuring Little Red Riding Hood with lurking Big Bad Wolf close behind. Writer, artist, and early documenter of Mondongo’s work, Cecilia Pavón wrote a statement for “What are we gonna say after HELLO?” In it she relates, “one way of the other, every piece created by Mondongo is about mourning, an inexhaustible feeling anchored in childhood and playing.” This play is executed with technical virtuosity, frequently using a variety of unusual materials, such as thread, toast, meat, or nails. One favorite material for the collective is plasticine. When the pieces are viewed at a distance, the images are rendered exquisitely, yet on closer examination the illusion breaks up into thousands of built out plasticine bits, layered, artists’ hands visible.

Lafitte’s parents were evangelists and “during her childhood, she had witnessed several exorcisms and seen many unbelievable things that she could never forget.  Early life experience seems to inform the dark spectacle that permeates the mood of the work. The performance pieces bleed into the public space, luring the passerby to witness a display of the unconscious, drawing on surrealism and ritual. Mondongo’s performances are reminiscent of a masque, the European courtly entertainment of the 16th century, which includes mute performers in carefully constructed, architecturally ornate spaces. Figures inhabit spaces manipulated by light and sound. In one performance, many undulating arms and hands thrust into the cramped space, making silent demands of the masked performer—begging for a piece of cake or shredding the gossamer dress with scissors. The performance evokes a frequent theme in the work of the collective: desire and consumption.

There is redemption in this process. Pavón describes the exchange between viewer and work as healing and shamanistic. She explains that the art is “understood as a ceremony, where information is transformed into an unknown energy capable of making people connect with their pain, even if they don’t realize it.”

 

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Track 16
1206 Maple Ave, #1005
Los Angeles, CA 90015
http://www.track16.com

Track 16 has been exhibiting art, publishing books, and hosting performances for over 23 years since it leapt into existence with the founding of Bergamot Station. Whether exploring Los Angeles, Latin America, or disparate segments of 20th Century America, Track 16 has often played at the cultural crossroads of history and art. In 2017 they relocated to downtown Los Angeles.

 

Automata
504 Chung King Court
Los Angeles, CA 90012
http://www.automata-la.org

Automata is a Los Angeles nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and presentation of cutting-edge performance and media/art practices, and in deep conversation with our contemporary culture of simulation and mimicry (digital, robotic and otherwise), while still embracing the aura of the handmade and hand-operated.  

 

CalArts Center for New Performance
24700 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355
https://centerfornewperformance.org/

The CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) is the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, established to provide a unique artist- and project-driven framework for the development and realization of original theater, music, dance and interdisciplinary projects. Extending the progressive work carried out at CalArts into a direct dialogue with professional communities at the local, national and international levels, CNP offers an alternative model to support emerging directions in the performing arts.