LEAH LAVERGNE, MACHINE MCLAUGHLIN, MICHAEL A. SALTER, CORINNE THIESSEN
The residency of the newest generation had to be interrupted due to the state of emergency that we are going through worldwide. However, we decided to collect the result of the work carried out for a month by the residents, in order to have an exhibition on the virtual walls. We keep the traditional exhibition codes with the projects by Michael A. Salter and Corinne Thiessen, which are installed in the Casa Lü exhibition space, and then transfer to the web. While the work of Machine Mclaughlin and Leah Lavergne, which was pending or in a process state, is exhibited through videos with archival images or documentation, where Leah and Machine answer the question about their process and the doubts that they arose during it throughout their stay in Mexico.
Any Doubts? It is the meeting point for Corinne, Michael, Leah and Machine despite the distance between the conceptual lines of each other's artistic practice. Everyone felt identified in this place that they find strange, complicated and entertaining since questioning is the way they always navigate and confronts them. Sometimes with confidenece, sometimes without it, but they decide to persist in the adventure without letting their guard down.
Michael A. Salter/ Oregon
When I see something, I ask myself, “What does this mean?” and “What am I supposed to think?” or “What is the story?”. My images are the result of an obsessive observation of visual culture. Outdoor street markets, candy, graffiti, signs, and all mass-communication fuel my conceptual motivation. CDMX has provided a deep well of inspiration with a rich and vibrant contemporary visual culture. I have been intoxicated with visual ideas, narratives, brands, and an infinite array of visual stimuli. This new series of drawings is a continuation of my observation and visual thinking. In my work I hope to instigate humor, non-sensical narratives, perversion and query. These drawing of logos, pictograms or icons are part of an on-going project that spans 20 years and half the globe.
Corinne Thiessen/ Winnipeg
“Using existing photographs made to promote corporate culture and the fashion industry, Thiessen obliterates glossy advertisements with strokes of lush paint, creating a space where her rich and honed dark humour can take over. Like a skillfully trained plastic surgeon, she cuts away extraneous detail and leaves only a hint of the original narrative. It is at this point that she introduces her own content, one that reveals her fascination with “human behavior, sex, cults, freaks, saints and clowns”. We cannot look away. Without really understanding why, Thiessen’s collage paintings are familiar to us. The moment our baby eyes are able to focus, our memory banks have been have subliminally bombarded by slick, insistent and ubiquitous advertising; we know these images. But something is wonderfully and terribly off. It is the use of the uncanny at its best.”
Machine Mclaughlin/ Los Angeles
[[[Transcription from audio]]
Hi this is Machine. So, when I came to Casa Lü I definitely intended to just work on paintings. I generally paint on unstretched canvas so I thought it would be great to just do a bunch of paintings and then to be available to roll them up and take them home with me. But instead my mind started exploding with tons of new ideas. I got really inspired by the materials that were available and a material that I was seeing everywhere was concrete.
I worked in sculpture with ceramics and paper clay, like mixed media sculptures before and I have had an idea to make sort of decorative cinder blocks. So I decided to just try out a new material and I originally built some forms and poured some concrete; and had a lot of failures, but also a lot more ideas and I just ended up experimenting a lot with what I would make forms out of, whether it was wood or then I got into styrofoam and... yeah just experimenting with those materials. I made cinder blocks and then I also wanted to try making bricks, like decorative bricks.
So I experimented with that a lot. I didn't finish anything as to what I would normally put in a show but I had so many ideas and I am very sad I couldn't bring any of it home with me but I found it such an amazing use of my time and I am so excited to incorporate concrete more into my practice.
Leah Lavergne/ Toronto
The idea at Casa Lü was to take my experience designing small hand held ceramic items and research how to use the material in larger scale. This process was being explored through the construction of a chair, table and lamp, using found materials, with the intention of each piece being fully functional.
My doubts were directed towards the fragility of ceramic in larger forms and the switch from being hand held to holding weight.
With the continuation of this project, I hope to also incorporate inspiration found and noted throughout Mexico City that includes flora, concrete forms, architecture and the use of light.