PST Review: Screen Grab at LACE


Show: Screen Grab
Location: Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
What to expect: Upon entry, I notice an installation of red stilettos in various sizes commanding an entire wall. I’m invited to try on a pair and walk the gallery. A few patrons take the challenge. My t-shirt clashes so I don’t. I’m here to view three video performances as part of Pacific Standard Time. I take great pleasure in badly deconstructing art with friends. Alas, I was alone. The presentation began with the black theatre troupe Bodacious Buggerilla’s parody of a game show. There’s contestant “Eddie,” who looks straight out of Shaft’s Central Casting, some self-righteous church lady, a life-size puppet of a postal worker, an oh-my-God Valley girl, and “Gary White,” who’s an Amos ‘n’ Andy in reverse. “The makeup on Gary is so bad,” I say as my elbow jabs the empty chair beside me. No friend. They show mock footage of a Klansman clumsily trying to blow up a black man’s home before players are quizzed about what they witnessed. The political commentary is too overt. I go into a self-induced coma for ten minutes. Nina Sobell is next. She likes to present objects in a new light. In Baby, Chick, Sobell is as naked as the uncooked chicken that she licks, sucks, massages, and dances with to a soundtrack that includes Wilson Pickett’s “Midnight Hour.” Apparently, she’s never heard of salmonella. She rocks it like a newborn and spreads its wings. I’m certain her statement had something to do with Colonel Sanders’ dry-rub recipe. Or not. The next clip is a perfect segue to a sketch by her former husband who forms half of the duo Kipper Kids, who are actually two people acting as one. Dressed in Boy Scout uniforms, Harry and Harry Kipper engage in dopey, incomprehensible banter incorporating gratuitous raspberries. “Ha! I’d swear those are my kids if they were only a few decades younger,” I tell no one in particular. Of course, one of the Harrys would need gender reassignment. The Harrys drink from suspended cups, sing a mangled version of happy birthday, and carefully position various knick-knacks on a table as if their placement has significance. “Yup, those my rugrats,” I tell my other self, who only understands Spanish. “Sí, estos son mis mocosos.” The Harrys smear each other’s thumbs with some kind of lubricant and form interlocked fists into a phallus to simulate masturbation while turning pages on what must be the Yellow Pages, reaching a climax by smashing eggs on each other’s foreheads. “Estos cabrones no tienen remedio.” Spanish-only Eric argues whether this is art or an immature bastardization of life. Perhaps they’re emphasizing the absurdity of the mundane, but what’s so mundane about perversely impersonating my young’uns?
And while you’re there… : For a fresh take on Mexican standards, try Lotería Grill a few block west. Go ahead and step on Bob Hope and Buster Keaton’s stars along the way.