Artists' Television Access

Marya Krogstad’s Figurations at Artists Television Access

Works by Marya Krogstad

Friday July 18, 2014,

7:30PM-Opening for Window Installation (installation viewable July 2- 30, 2014)

8:30PM-Screening (4th in the Systems-Power-Identity series, curated by Claire Bain)

Free. Donations accepted to benefit ATA’s 30th Anniversary celebration, September 2014

Marya Krogstad is a Bay Area artist who has exhibited nationally and internationally. She is currently in residence at the Kala Art Institute, where she printed the image components of the window installation.

Film Program:

Marya Krogstad ATAcollage4108 (2013) (formerly titled, Maya) super 8 film transferred to video, duration-11 mins. 50 secs. A work inspired by Maya Deren’s Meditation on Violence. Filmed primarily in the Marin Headlands military bunkers. Stellar kung fu performances by Justin Charles Hoover. Oud, guitar, by David McFarland. Film, audio, guitar, by Marya Krogstad.

Bonaventure (2010), video, duration- 3 mins. 13 secs. The third part of a trilogy. The work is based upon a performance that Krogstad made expressly for the video camera and is layered with a polyphony of diegetic sound and her songs, i make nice for you (2008), and Bonaventure (2006). The song Bonaventure was inspired by the artist’s stay at the hotel in Los Angeles (prompted by Fredric Jameson’s essay) and seeing the Spanish paintings at the Norton Simon Museum.Guitar by David McFarland. Video, audio, music, vocals, bass, by Marya Krogstad.

 POMONA (2008). color super 8 film/B&W 16mm film transferred to video, duration- 4 mins. 15 secs.  Second part of a trilogy. A short film concerned with the inheritance of past histories and the passing on of memories from the post Great depression era–a hauntology. The promise of youth is darkened by exploitation. cast: Alexandra Heilbron, David McFarland. Film and audio by Marya Krogstad.

Marya Krogstad’s Figurations at Artists Television Access–a Perspective

Marya Krogstad has created material moments from the video, “Bonaventure,” by installing two life-sized transparent video stills and a sculpture in the window of ATA. This sculpture is comprised of a Tai Chi sword suspended above a small rod of bamboo that’s sandwiched between two flat blocks of repurposed black foam rubber, anchored in an inverted, cut-off plastic bottle full of plaster which is mounted in another flat black foam block. This assembled configuration, manifested from one of the video stills, is a completely symmetrical set of objects that “read” the video. Somber and hilarious, this sculpture echoes the forms and shadows in the video, and if you keep your eyes on it as you enter ATA, the sword becomes a thin line, and you can see how the piece indicates the still image hanging on the wall beyond.
Why did she print transparencies? I like that they gain depth with their transmission of light reflected off the wall: they are reflective and reflexive, their matte black emulsion creating absence. We see the white wall texture behind them, anchoring them to the context. When the building was built, this window was designed as a display to indicate what’s inside. This installation is an extension and indicator of the current interior. It is a figural population added to the films screened on July 18. Keep in mind that the images in the stills are of the artist herself, and the sculpture is a transfiguration of that video.

The work feels enigmatic, and yet it seems possible that the window installation – composed of, and derived from, components of the video – can be easily read as a raging black tangle of flying creature resolved into a tiny lady-figure, then manifested as a sword. But in this highbrow cold white light setting in a window on Valencia Street, one might laugh at the plastic bottle of plaster that the sword is aimed to plunge into at any moment. This is, literally, incisive humor. The Tai Chi sword is an honorable metal icon of a distinguished, millennia-old Tradition. It hovers over the symbol of industrialized and consumer society: the ubiquitous plastic bottle. The bottle is inverted, heavy, full, and skewering a facsimile of a shadow. Krogstad knows exactly what she’s doing: the fluorescent light is there, and bare, for a reason; every component of the installation is specifically placed and scaled to the ATA window. It is mysterious, lovely, architectural, and an underlying humor protects it.

Her work settles in deep, unceasingly resonant by making time into a shaped space. This resonance is common to all of her pieces, and somehow manages to create silence from sound, light from darkness, and reflection from opacity.
-Claire Bain



Leave a Reply