March 18 - April 20, 2012
Opening Reception: Sunday, March 18, 2012, 1 - 4pm
Gabie Strong, Untitled (BCN-127, White Point, CA, 1942), 2007.
MY WAR is a transdisciplinary research project investigating the influence of the Cold War on the built environment and social culture of Southern California, with outcomes rendered in photography, drawing and sound. Presented as a site-based installation to form a spatial dialectic of Pure War in the Southland, MY WAR diagrams the contemporary So Cal uncanny vis-à-vis a systematic portrayal of imperialist affect on the increasingly abject condition of the everyday.
MY WAR gives supporting evidence to Paul Virilio's theory of Pure War, or the continuous and systematic act of war that is at both an engagement in actual combat as well as the organized effort to control economies, architecture, cities, and technology. The American military-industrial complex in Southern California has a phantom-like presence: It is the thing that is there that is not there. The latency of Cold War culture continues to influence the collective psyche of Southern California, such that the feeling of impending doom is continuously reinforced through physical occupation of public space in the post-9/11 landscape. Outmoded defense structures and sites like large gun batteries, abandoned air force bases and rocket engine testing facilities are folded into the public sphere through seemingly benign nature preserves and state parks, while the remains of the "Rings of Supersonic Steel" missile defense system and General Patton's WWII Desert Training Center provide local youths with illicit spaces ripe for debauchery.
The title of this project is an appropriation of the 1983 record album by the Los Angeles post-punk hardcore band Black Flag. The copping of Black Flag's woeful lyricism works as an operational metaphor meant to signify the cognition of American imperialism implied by artist Martha Rosler's work Bringing the War Home (1967-1972). The act of appropriating paranoid Manson-like conjecture further implies evidence of "end times" psychogeography as evident in the underground music scene of 80s suburban youth culture. Entropy takes many forms in Southern California.
Show announcement in the LA Times
Gabie Strong is an artist with a multidisciplinary approach to creating
work about nature, technology, power and social resistance. She has
exhibited internationally and performed at venues including Human
Resources, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Las Cienegas Projects, the
MAK Center for Art and Architecture,and with artist Dawn Kasper and
experimental music group Lady Noise at the Whitney Biennial 2012 opening
events. Strong is a lecturer in the Cultural Studies department at SCI-Arc
and in the Art History and Urbanism departments at Woodbury University.
This exhibition is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, and the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council.