Cole Lu: Pacific Rose

“O’er the sea that have no beaches
To end their waves upon,
I floated with twelve peaches,
A sofa and a swan.”

– Mervyn Peake, A Book of Nonsense

It’s late already, five or five-thirty. She is sitting at her laptop but not typing. She picks up her cup of tea
and takes two small sips because it’s still hot. She puts it down. She’s supposed to make a video today.
She woke up late this morning and has been futzing around ever since. She had some coffee. She read
the newsletter in her inbox. She dipped into a couple books: Derrida’s Postcard that she bought two years
ago and never finished reading, a new novel by Ingo Niermann that she ordered from Amazon because
no bookstores in town carry it – she’s not a systematic reader. She flipped on the smart TV and watched
half of something dumb. She didn’t feel up to leaving the apartment – it was muggy out even for St. Louis
in the spring. She was aware of a low-level but continuous feeling of anxiety attached with the fact that
she hadn’t started making yet and didn’t have ideas. Her mind flitted about. She thought about an Amy
Yao painting that she’d seen last summer in a show. She considered whether she should order a dinner
from a Asian restaurant that resides in a repurposed Taco Bell. (She can’t go out, she was in severe close
watch of her health condition. She doesn’t often go out these days either way.) On a trip to the bathroom
she noticed she needed a trim of her undercut– it has grown out to a state that it no longer looks queer.
She talked on the phone with an artist friend who had just moved to the countryside. By five o’clock,
though, there was no avoiding the fact that she had only an hour or so left before the working day would
be over, so she played her studio playlist titled Pacific Rose on her Spotify and sit down at her working
station made by a hollow core door and two trestles. She sees that there’s tiny spot on the wall that she’s
never noticed before. It’s only going to take her half an hour or forty minutes to whip out something short
once she gets going, but getting going– that’s the hard part.

– Cole Lu, Daily Activity Diary (on going)

The Millitzer gallery presents Pacific Rose, an exhibition of new works by Cole Lu on view April 22
through May 28, 2017.

The story has two interpretations of its beginnings, one is the story culled from personal memory, and the
other is a fictional landscape. Both contain the dual functionality as queer evidence and gesture. Drawing
on Gertrude Stein’s imperative to “act so that there is no use in a centre”; the sculptural works
determinedly avoid conventional narrative, and de-center the art in the contemporary age of display.
Pacific Rose act as nonsense literature, which creates meaning out of form with an anarchic potential by
making fun of language, presents a challenge to the power visual language has to name, know, and own
the world. It is a parody of sense, and that is the sense of it. The installation presents a space that does
not distinguish between an ocean, a shore, a pool, or a gallery. Rather, it is a borderland that is outside or
beyond language and definition–a space of creative potential. The sculptural works detail an alien’s
identity–as both queer and migrant–with a significant geographical feature: water in the dryland. The
objects we identify within the sculptures: an old book, snow skis, plants, a neon light, concrete, metal,
plastic, faux suede and a rock do not directly reference the ocean or a pool. They speak to loss and
belonging, and they abstractly elaborate on water’s wetness and the vastness of the sea.

~~

Cole Lu is an artist and curator. Her work has been featured in solo and group including Contemporary
Art Museum St. Louis, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), Pulitzer Arts Foundation (St.
Louis, MO), Art Basel Miami Satellite Art Show (Miami Beach, FL), Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
(Grand Rapids, MI), The Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), The Luminary (St. Louis, MO), Los Angeles
Contemporary Exhibitions (Los Angeles, CA), AHHA Tulsa (Tulsa, OK), Roman Susan (Chicago, IL),
CENTRAL BOOKING ARTSPACE (New York, NY), fort gondo compound for the arts (St. Louis, MO),
K-Gold Temporary Gallery (Lesvois Island, Greece) and Invisible Space (Taipei, Taiwan). She has been
awarded residencies at The Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), Endless Editions (New York, NY), Vermont
Studio Center Fellowship (Johnson,VT) (forthcoming) and LPP+ Residency at Minnesota Street Project
(San Francisco, CA)(forthcoming). Her Risograph publication, “SMELLS LIKE CONTENT” is in the Artist
book collection of the MoMA Museum of Modern Art Library (New York, NY).

This is a Soft Place for my Hard Black Body

Where do you place me when I cause distress to your symmetry?
Either in the middle or not at all.

This is an intimate and personal exhibition, showing my Body that I grow in and out of comfort with daily. Maneuvering between grounds of offering and receiving. I realized I was too busy with output that I could not offer anything to my Body. I couldn’t offer time, space, or care; because there was none. I didn’t think my body was deserving, since it was so hard to place in space for others. My body was only as good as it’s output, and was not capable of finding a soft place.

Adorning myself in red flowers, for passion, love, beauty, and war. With a blue crown for confidence and loyalty.

Knowing that my Body can be loved while full of hurt. I can offer it healing.

An Elegy for Marco: Catalina Ouyang

The Millitzer Studio & Gallery presents an elegy for Marco, an exhibition of new works by Catalina Ouyang. Through the lens of a second-generation Chinese-American woman, Ouyang navigates identity, desire and the legacy of imperialism. The notion of fetish is central as both spiritual object (talisman, amulet, relic) and sexual proclivity, evoking questions of representation, sanctity, artificiality and objectification. Loaded positionalities interrogate the duality of resistance and self-subjugation: the dilemma of trying to contradict power dynamics in white heteropatriarchy without reinforcing those very tenets. Whiteness is aspiration, fetish, hand of oppression, tool of erasure; an elegy for Marco contends with this violent history by underscoring empathy, consent and the necessity of vulnerability.

 

TheBirdsAtThisHour Pt. 2

Inspired by police in helicopters, speeding sirens, alley cat fights, romantic transitions, brick crumbs, dawn, disgust, the illusion of love, the actual marriage of delicate and rugged, hermits, smoke and mold.

The intimate Millitzer Gallery is a homecoming of sorts. It will be Chisholm’s first solo art show on the South Side since 2013.

Free to the public – showing til Nov 27
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He’s a pillar.
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Stemming from late night improv sessions and sonic experiments, TheBirdsAtThisHour is a brooding, paranoia induced, sultry, culmination of tracks collaged from collaborative and isolated recordings at Chisholm’s home studio. Built from the mutated moments of analog gear, acoustic instruments, drum machines, electronic tinged vocals, guest players and ghosts in the air.

Driven by session with Sarah Vie, Patrick Boland, Barret Crosby, Dolor, Biggie Stardust, Mike Herr, Kullus, Loose Screwz, Brennan England, Blk Bdy Heat and Ice

Not an album, just a chunk 2016’s activity and experiments.

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Pt.1 / Live Premiere / The Luminary / Oct 8th
Pt.2 / Illustration Exhibit / The Millitzer / Nov 4th
Pt. 3 / Release Party / Screwed Studio / Dec 9th

Their Way: Group photography exhibition curated by Kahlil Irving

Exhibition Statement by Kahlil Irving:

“Their way“ elaborates on the creation of the photograph and how the artists challenge how we see vulnerability, strength, and the figure. Using the click of a button to capture a second in time is difficult; the exhibition brings together artworks that use illusion to tell an emotional narratives.

We all have bodies, which lens do we see them through? What is available or unattainable? How do we view the body in and out of our control? Celebrating life, looking inward, outward gestures of seeing, protests — are all themes that are being employed in these works. What is the difference between the public self and the private self? Some people guard themselves with power suits. Other people reflect and capture portraits to tell narratives of our realities in 2016.

The selected works on view range from portraits, body shots, and full figure images. Within the Millitzer Gallery, which is a South Side Saint Louis domestic space, the viewer will look into the private space of ones used to be home. They will see a place within a place that is present or past. From a sitter in the photograph, to the photographer using themselves as the sitter, even an image of an object that represents a challenge or over coming.

“Their Way“ is an exhibition comprised of artists from many backgrounds, ages, and places in their practice. Artists – Jen Everett, Chloe West, Ariadne Fish, Sheena Rose, and Kat Reynolds are powerful!”

Lauren Marx: Totem

Juxtapoz Magazine on the work of Lauren Marx:

“Lauren Marx exhibits remarkable talent and clarity of vision. Lauren connects the animal world to the cosmos: ‘I want the viewer to see the mammals as god-like representations of galaxies, nebulae, super massive black holes, flux ropes, and the like. The birds represent stars and space debris formed by the Universe.’ This strange universe made of decaying animals is in a constant state of flux, where degeneration gives way to a grotesque kind of growth. Marx cites Walton Ford, Caitlin Hackett, Mike Shinoda, and Edward Gorey amongst her artistic influences.”

Peter Pranschke: Homemade Twinkies and Other Recipes from the Midwestern Region

Perhaps the most celebrated snack cake of all time, the Twinkie, has become an instantly recognizable cultural icon synonymous with pleasure, excess and unsophisticated amusement. Hostess Brands, the maker of the commercially processed cream filled sponge cake, suspended its production on November 21, 2012 during bankruptcy proceedings. For several weeks Twinkies disappeared from store shelves in the United States and did not become available again until July 15, 2013.

Peter Pranschke holds a BFA in painting from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He has exhibited extensively at artist-run and alternative art spaces through out St. Louis, including solo shows at Maps Contemporary Art Space, PSTL and Museum Blue as well as group shows at Boots Contemporary Art Space, Snowflake and Los Caminos. A book of his drawings titled “Watch Out: This Might Hurt!!!” was published by Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts earlier this year.

There will be an opening reception for “Homemade Twinkies and Other Recipes from the Midwestern Region” on Saturday April 30th from 7-10pm, and the exhibition will be on view by appointment through May.

Telegraph: Steph Zimmerman and Tuan Nguyen

The Millitzer welcomes a conversation between the work of two artists that address questions of material expectation. Tuan Nguyen (b. 1972, Vietnam) and Steph Zimmerman (b. 1990, US) perform similar tasks of masking to different ends. Nguyen’s use of pigment, wood and gesso disguise any straightforward notion of process or product in the contexts of painting or sculpture. Zimmerman’s objects bear the mark of household fixtures, having apparent functionality, though their use remains quite unclear. With both practices, the presence of shelves, pedestals, walls and mark making provide all the ingredients for conventional understanding, but recognition has been upended by a process of othering materials and their formal applications.

Tuan Nguyen is a painter, sculptor and Director of Education at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. His artwork has been exhibited nationally in venues in Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Seattle, WA and St. Louis. Nguyen received his MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Born in Vietnam and raised in Rockledge, FL, Nguyen currently lives and works in St. Louis.

Steph Zimmerman is an artist living and working in St. Louis. She has a BFA in Digital Media and Photography from Washington University in St. Louis. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has attended residencies at The Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont, and Arteles Creative Center, Haukijärvi, Finland.