Emily Mast’s Messages in a Bottle – 艾米莉·马斯特的信息装在瓶子里

What do we gain from straining to decipher a language at the edge of our understanding? In struggling to find the right word to say? Continuous Wave (2019), Emily Mast’s project for the RU.in.ART lounge at Frieze Los Angeles — floats these questions like bubbles, offering brief moments of reflection and connection.

Like those in Mast’s other projects (and those by some of her forebears), Continuous Wave produces missed and mixed messages, offer tantalizing mysteries, hovering just beyond what can be immediately grasped. Visitors to the work at the lounge are invited to submit five-word responses to the poetic prompt: ‘what message would you leave the world if you were out at sea?‘ A translator then converts each linguistic phrase to Morse code – a string of dots and dashes - that three professional singers turn into short songs on the spot.

Emily Mast’s Messages in a Bottle - 艾米莉·马斯特的信息装在瓶子里

Emily Mast, Continuous Wave (2019), performance documentation at Frieze Los Angeles 2019. © the artist/Frieze

Sung together from a small platform, the singers’ extemporaneous compositions variously evoke doo-wop, the sounds of a children’s choir, a jazz combo, a barbershop quartet, a college acapella group. Layering the linear language in this way gives it expressive potential and complexity that is quite different from, yet still related to, the images and emotions evoked by the economical messages-in-a-bottle provided by the audience. In a recent rehearsal, Mast said she was hoping visitors would register both sets of associations, even seek to uncover them using “decoder” napkins, provided on the lounge’s tables. Gone fishin’Feed the catsThe reception sucks out hereTake care of my baby.

Spatial elements — light-projections cover the performers in Morse code, and the lounge’s windows are papered over, with outside light entering through punched out dots and dashes — also contain hidden messages. The different representational systems in Continuous Wave — language written, coded, and sung, live performance, graphic abstraction — all inject mystery, desire, and levity into the communicative act. As with much of Mast’s practice, the work proposes language as an inherently collaborative project that distributes and defers meaning as much as it conveys it. In Continuous Wave the living moment provides information that symbols and sounds alone cannot.

Emily Mast’s Messages in a Bottle - 艾米莉·马斯特的信息装在瓶子里

Performer in Emily Mast’s Continuous Wave (2019) at Frieze Los Angeles 2019. Photo courtesy: Frieze

Such meta-theatrical and meta-linguistic queries have arguably been more often the domain of theater and literature than visual art performance, yet Mast’s multimedia, performance-based pieces bring this history and perspective into dialogue with works of performance art, video art, installation, and even painting and sculpture. In Offending the Audience (2011), the artist staged a notoriously difficult play by avant-garde playwright Peter Handke with child actors in an idiosyncratic LA venue that features a 360-degree 19th-century style panorama. For The Least Important Things (2014), Mast transformed writings by Catalan poet and playwright Joan Brossa into visual vignettes that erupted across LACMA’s sprawling campus. These were as minimal as a Zen koan: a game of checkers with white and brown eggs, a deadpan striptease, children playing with an oversized beach ball. The work combined the lightness of Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton with the singular, visually arresting gestures of performance artists such as Yoko Ono, James Lee Byars, or Guy de Cointet.

Emily Mast’s Messages in a Bottle - 艾米莉·马斯特的信息装在瓶子里

Emily Mast, Continuous Wave (2019). Performance documentation at Frieze Los Angeles 2019. © the artist/Frieze

The influence of the late de Cointet on Mast’s practice is explicit: she has described her lauded B!RDBRA!N, which has had various iterations on stages and in galleries from 2012-2017, as a response to de Cointet’s legacy. De Cointet, a French artist who settled in Los Angeles in 1967, made works ranging from newspapers written in code to paintings with hidden messages to performances with simple, graphic props. The set for Mast’s B!RDBRA!N featured colored shapes evoking these props along with Minimalist sculpture and the wooden blocks played with by children. In keeping with the rest of Mast’s oeuvre, the work used pre-existing visual and verbal languages to create its own semiotic system—and then introduced elements that disrupted or broke it down, in this case characters such as a sign-language interpreter, a stutterer, and an auctioneer.

De Cointet ripples through Mast’s Continuous Wave as well: in January 1975, de Cointet presented Lost at Sea, one half of a pair of performances in which an interpreter interacted with messages encrypted in letters and numbers in puzzle-piece-shaped paintings before an audience in a gallery. (In comparison with its companion Going to the Market, Lost at Sea has been lost itself: it has not been performed since.) A few months later, Bas Jan Ader, another European performance artist who landed in Los Angeles in the 1960s, arranged for his students from UC Irvine to perform sea shanties at the opening of his solo show at Claire Copley Gallery in 1975. The singing was part of his last group of works, ‘In Search of the Miraculous’, in which the artist sent himself off on a sea voyage, from which he never returned. Both de Cointet and Ader have lived on in the work and imaginations of many artists in Los Angeles and beyond, including Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy, who are more commonly identified as major sources for contemporary performance art in the city.

Emily Mast’s Messages in a Bottle - 艾米莉·马斯特的信息装在瓶子里

Emily Mast rehearses with performers in Mast's Continuous Wave (2019), at Frieze Los Angeles 2019. Photo courtesy: Frieze

The subtle, salty strains of these earlier works run through Mast’s current presentation, which reveals lost histories and languages lingering still, despite the years and the seemingly fragile medium of performance. Yet as we record, recode, and decode the singers’ mysterious missives,  Continuous Wave also provides a pleasant pull towards toward the present, making sure we’re alive to each new moment.

‘Continuous Wave’, Emily Mast’s RU.in.ART commission, is on view in the Ruinart Lounge, Paramount Backlot during Frieze Los Angeles 2019

Megan Metcalf

Megan Metcalf is an art historian and writer based in Los Angeles, USA

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Frieze Los Angeles
Emily Mast
Bas Jan Ader
Guy de Cointet

在我们理解的边缘,通过努力去破译一种语言,我们能得到什么?在努力寻找合适的词语时?连续波(2019年),艾米丽·马斯特为洛杉矶中楣的Ru.in.Art酒廊设计的项目——像气泡一样漂浮着这些问题,提供短暂的思考和联系时刻。和马斯特其他项目中的项目(以及她的一些祖先的项目)一样,连续波会产生错失和混杂的信息,提供诱人的神秘感,盘旋在可以立即掌握的信息之外。在休息室工作的参观者被邀请提交五个字的诗意提示:“如果你在海上,你会给世界留下什么信息?”然后,翻译人员将每一个语言短语转换成莫尔斯电码——一串圆点和破折号——三名专业歌手当场将其转换成短歌。 Emily桅杆,连续波(2019),洛杉矶Frieze 2019的性能文件。礼貌:艺术家/饰带在一个小平台上一起演唱,歌手即兴创作的作品各种各样地唤起杜沃普、儿童合唱团的声音、爵士乐组合、理发店四重奏、大学阿卡佩拉合唱团的声音。以这种方式对线性语言进行分层,使其具有表达潜力和复杂性,这与观众提供的一瓶一瓶的经济信息所引发的图像和情感截然不同,但仍然相关。在最近的一次彩排中,马斯特说她希望参观者登记这两套协会,甚至用休息室桌子上的“解码器”餐巾纸来发现它们。钓鱼去了。喂猫。招待会在这里很糟糕。照顾我的孩子。

空间元素-光线投射以莫尔斯电码覆盖表演者,休息室的窗户被纸覆盖,外部光线通过穿孔的点和破折号进入-也包含隐藏信息。连续波语言中不同的代表系统——书写、编码和歌唱、现场表演、图形抽象——都给交际行为注入了神秘、欲望和轻浮。与马斯特的许多实践一样,这项工作将语言作为一个固有的协作项目来提出,该项目在传达意义的同时,也分配和推迟意义。在连续波中,生命时刻提供了符号和声音本身无法提供的信息。表演者,艾米丽·马斯特(Emily Mast)于2019年在洛杉矶弗里泽(Frieze Los Angeles)创作的《连续波》(Continuous Wave,2019年)。摄影礼仪:这种元戏剧和元语言的疑问,可以说是比视觉艺术表演更经常出现在戏剧和文学领域,但马斯特的多媒体、基于表演的作品将这一历史和观点与表演艺术、视频艺术、装置甚至绘画和雕塑。为了冒犯观众(2011年),这位艺术家在洛杉矶一个具有360度19世纪风格全景的特殊场所上演了一出由前卫剧作家彼得·汉德克(Peter Handke)与儿童演员共同上演的臭名昭著的困难剧目。最不重要的是(2014年),马斯特将加泰罗尼亚诗人和剧作家琼·布罗萨的作品转化为贯穿拉克玛广阔校园的视觉小插曲。这些都像禅宗一样简单:一场白色和棕色鸡蛋的跳棋游戏,一场无边脱衣舞,孩子们玩着一个超大的沙滩球。这部作品结合了查理卓别林或巴斯特基顿的轻盈,以及小野洋子、詹姆斯李拜尔斯或盖德柯因特等表演艺术家独特的、视觉上引人入胜的姿态。 Emily桅杆,连续波(2019)。2019年洛杉矶Frieze演出文件。礼貌:艺术家/饰带,已故的德·柯尼特对马斯特实践的影响是明确的:她描述了她赞美的B!RDbra!作为对de Coinette遗产的回应,n在2012-2017年间在舞台和画廊中进行了多次迭代。1967年定居洛杉矶的法国艺术家德柯因特创作了各种各样的作品,从用密码写的报纸到带隐藏信息的绘画,再到用简单的图形道具表演。桅杆B的装置!RDbra!n特色的彩色形状使人联想到这些道具,以及极简主义雕塑和儿童玩的木块。为了与马斯特作品的其他部分保持一致,这部作品使用了预先存在的视觉和语言来创建自己的符号系统,然后引入了破坏或破坏符号系统的元素,在这种情况下,角色包括手语翻译、口吃者和拍卖师。德·科尼特也在桅杆的连续波浪中荡漾:1975年1月,德·科尼特在海上表演《迷失》,这是一对表演的一半,其中一名口译员在画廊的观众面前用字母和数字加密的信息进行互动。(与进入市场的同伴相比,《迷失在海上》已经失去了自我:从那以后就再也没有演出过了。)几个月后,另一位20世纪60年代登陆洛杉矶的欧洲表演艺术家bas jan ader安排加州大学欧文分校(UC Irvine)的学生在克莱尔•科普利(Claire Copley GA)的独奏展开幕式上表演海景棚屋。莱利在1975年。这首歌是他最后一组作品《寻找奇迹》的一部分,在这组作品中,这位艺术家出海旅行,从此再也没有回来过。德科尼特和阿德都生活在洛杉矶及其他地方许多艺术家的作品和想象中,包括迈克凯利和保罗麦卡锡,他们通常被认为是该市当代表演艺术的主要来源。 Emily Mast与表演者在Mast's Continuous Wave(2019年)于2019年在洛杉矶的弗里泽排练。照片礼貌:这些早期作品的微妙的,咸的曲调贯穿了马斯特目前的表现,这揭示了丢失的历史和语言仍然挥之不去,尽管多年和看似脆弱的表现媒介。然而,当我们记录、重新编码和解码歌手的神秘传教士时,连续波也为现在提供了一个愉快的牵引力,确保我们活在每一个新的时刻。“连续波”,Emily Mast的Ru.in.Art Commission,于2019年在洛杉矶Frieze期间派拉蒙外景地Ruinart Lounge展出,Megan Metcalf Megan Metcalf是一名艺术历史学家和作家,总部位于美国洛杉矶。赞助内容/ru.in.art frieze los angeles emily mast performance bas jan ader guy de coinette California


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