At Kayne Griffin Corcoran, artists place the architecture of art in the frame

Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery pairs Jean Pascal Flavien House temporary Pink title
Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery pairs Jean-Pascal Flavien (pictured, statement house (temporary title) Los Angeles, 2016) and Mika Tajima in an art-meets-architecture exhibition. Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran
(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran)

There is an inherent dialogue in the pairing of Jean-Pascal Flavien and Mika Tajima at Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran, one that explores how our physical environments probe our emotional and social states, and vice versa. It is easy to think of architecture as fixed and permanent, but their works prove that the spaces we inhabit can be flexible and can afford their human participants a surprising amount of agency.

Flavien’s Statement House, as erected in the gallery’s courtyard, is a beautiful blush pink, its interior illuminated by a round skylight. But physical attributes do not describe this house, rather, its inherent mutability does. By inviting two screenwriters, David L Brundige and Max Kopelowicz, to man a Twitter feed that serves as an ongoing 'script' for the house, Flavien explores the possibilities of language, humour and spontaneity in conjuring architecture and daily domestic life. A quick look at Flavien’s Instagram feed reveals his own ongoing observations of the house’s contingencies, including the shifting pool of sunlight at different times of day, to various guests that inhabit the house, to plans for the house that sometimes do, and sometimes do not, actually happen.

Flavien And Tajima

Installation view. 

(Image credit: Photography: Robert Wedemeyer. Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran)

Tajima’s works are more specifically concerned with social spaces, particularly as shaped by labour and technology. Hanging on the wall inside the gallery is a work from the 'Epimelesthai Sautou (Take Care)' series, a cast acrylic form comprising a hot tub with four seats, spray-painted in bright red, yellow and purple. Directly in front of it is a sculpture that could be its inverse: a bench designed after Herman Miller’s 2013 Public Office Landscape furniture system, however, its seats are facing away from each other in an apparent conflict of workplace harmony.

The fixed configurations of the two sculptures provoke thinking on what it means to design for optimisation – for example, do we seek efficiency only to sacrifice flexibility? This question, as it pertains to cities, and to our increasingly vast digital spaces, is explored in Tajima’s Meridian, a light installation connected to a program that analyses the Twitter feeds of the citizens of New Songdo City, Korea, a master-planned city emphasising sustainability and hi-tech living. Tweets are analysed for positive and negative feelings, with the colour and intensity of the lights fluctuating in real time according to the aggregate sentiment. The artist notes: 'The installation underlines the entanglement of our embodied senses with a global network system that seeks to maximise "quality of life" through computational means. The pursuit of quality of life is at the expense of different possible ways of life.'

Flavien And Tajima

'Meridian', by Mika Tajima, 2016

(Image credit: Photography: Robert Wedemeyer. Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin)

Perhaps, then, the most possibility arises from thinking abstractly. On the wall amid the Meridian installation is Tajima’s Furniture Series, which is not of furniture at all but rather abstract compositions of spray enamel on flat acrylic panels, as if they were transcendent analogues to a desk or a chair. Her Negative Entropy textiles are more specific: the colorful, abstract weavings are visually based on industrial sounds, and represent individual laborers in different workplaces. Nearby, alternate floor plans for Flavien’s house, in different colours and with slight variations, hang cheerily on the wall, arguing that all you might need to do, if met with a challenging space, is to change the plan.

Flavien And Tajima

A view inside Flavien's statement house (temporary title) Los Angeles, 2016.

(Image credit: Photography: Natalie Czech. Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran)

Epimelesthai Sautou

Epimelesthai Sautou (Take Care), 1, by Mika Tajima, 2014.

(Image credit: Photography: Robert Wedemeyer. Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran)

Flavien And Tajima

Installation view of Furniture Art (Socorro Island), by Mika Tajima, 2016.

(Image credit: Photography: Robert Wedemeyer. Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran)

Social Chair

Social Chair, by Mika Tajima, 2016.

(Image credit: Photography: Robert Wedemeyer. Courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran)

INFORMATION

The exhibition runs until 29 October. For more information, visit the Kayne Griffin Corcoran website (opens in new tab)

ADDRESS

1201 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles
CA 90019

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