Molybdomancy exhibition + holiday party
This Friday, December 18th, Los Angeles Contemporary Archive invites you to a seasonal event in two parts:
Molybdomancy in LACA gallery, 6-8pm
Exhibition with work by Sonja Gerdes, Patrick Jackson, and Natalie Labriola
Followed by Holiday Party in The Lodge (behind LACA) and Night Gallery, 8pm-Late
Presented with Ghebaly Gallery, Fahrenheit, and Night Gallery, featuring contributions from Sam Davis and Orion Martin, Dent Dog, Marcello Dolce, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Golden Spike Press, Lindsay August Salazar, Aaron Wrinkle, and more!
Organized by Lee Foley and Hailey Loman
Molybdomancy (or bleigiessen) is a New Year’s tradition practiced in Germany and Austria, in which small lead alloy shapes are melted down over a flame and then dropped into cold water. Once the lead solidifies in water, one is invited to interpret the amorphous forms, divining futures and fortunes for friends and family.
At this time of year, people are seeking light from darkness, or gold from cold lead. The exhibition, Molybdomancy, explores the search for meaning through the experimental transformation of materials. Responding to the seasonal hype and ritualistic consumerism surrounding the winter holidays, artists engage in the build-up while downplaying the pay-off, homilies and miracles. They are like the kid who tosses away the toy to play with the box.
In Patrick Jackson’s outdoor fire pit sculpture, the flame
is an age-old symbol of the search for a glimmer in the dark night. However, as we stare into the fire, meaning is left undetermined. We are reminded that fire is also just a chemical process creating residues.
Inside the gallery, a cold blue, almost clinical aesthetic pervades. Sonja Gerdes and Natalie Labriola both utilize fictive commercial products to activate the desire to give form to the formless. On collaged yoga mats, Gerdes taps into the practice of molybdomancy to engage viewers in group fortune-telling. Similarly, Labriola combines visuals from professional psychic practices and data storage centers to create a humorous video promoting her elusive product, “Sterilespells.com.” Taken together, these works invoke our desire for holiday magic ensuring that this year will be better than the last, even though we're pretty sure that magic doesn’t work.
In slightly more festive experiments with wrappings and accoutrements, works presented in the Lodge continue the exploration of winter rituals. Marcello Dolce comments on the room’s uniquely cozy architecture with an animated wallpaper entitled, “The Lamb of God.” Lindsay August Salazar develops an aromatic beverage featuring notes of water, wine and pine. Adding to the atmosphere, Sam Davis and Orion Martin enact a spoken word poem (8pm). At Night Gallery one will encounter xxx-mas ornaments by Sojourner Truth Parsons, a Snow Storm performance by Dent Dog (9pm), and Hot Apple Cider served in Aaron Wrinkle's Mausoleum.