Memory Dump Part III: Creepin'

Another super voyeuristic (and this time at night) sighting: driving around Highland Park with Adam, prior to seeing San Andreas at the Highland. In my defense, la Virgen was illuminated.

Memory Dump Part II: Walking with Aerienne

These are voyeuristic (more so than usual?) shots taken while walking around the block with Aerienne, who kindly showed me her devotional sightings in the yards around Gal Palace. 

Memory Dump Part I: Cha-Cha

For whatever many reasons, there is a whole host of altars and shrines and memorials that were never posted here, most, if not all, from LA days. I'd like to post them, even though they will most likely lack much contextualizing details. 

This first one is outside of Cha-Cha Lounge, next to mine and Lauren's Silverlake apartment. I think, but can't be sure, that this memorial was in honor of one of the guys who worked in Gus's food truck. He died young, and suddenly. 

Radio Bean Ghost Bike

Belated: I almost didn't notice this faded-paint ghost bike in the dreary dull Burlington afternoon light. It's chained to a tree outside of Radio Bean, with a sprig of fake pink flowers stuck in the frame. According to Radio Bean barista, it's not a memorial to anyone in particular, but the leftovers from a past Day of the Dead bike ride. 

Hawai'i from Nate

Two beach-side memorials sent by Nate from his holiday in Hawai'i. 

Toni-Lee Sangastiano

I had the pleasure of meeting Burlington based artist Toni-Lee Sangastiano yesterday, who spoke with me about meeting with Canadian independent curator Ola Wlusek through her participation in Burlington City Art's Visiting Critics program. Toni-Lee's work (what I saw) ranges from pointed social-commentary installation to colorful, large-scale sideshow banners, but what caught particularly caught my eye (surprise) was her use of Italian street shrine niches in Florence. 

Toni-Lee explained to me that she restricted herself to using only items purchased at the European 99-cent store, and made lanterns using Coca-Cola cans and glow sticks. For each altar she installed, she made a corresponding map of its location drawn on marbled paper she made while studying there. 

She writes on her website: Misguided Adorations repurposes vacant Italian street shrine alcoves as slyly subversive altars to consumer culture and maps of their locations with Florentine marbling. Created during her sabbatical in Florence, Italy, this photographic series documents Sangastiano’s luminous art-installations created from low cost consumer goods, including soft drink cans transformed with pin-hole tracings and glow-sticks.

Marc Awodey

Presiding over the front entrance of the Seven Days offices in Burlington is a memorial to a one of the paper's former arts writers, Marc Awodey (pronounced like Audi). Awodey was not just a writer, but a painter, published poet, and, as Seven Days noted in his obituary, a "one-time creator of poetry vending machines that served up tiny verses for quarters" - which the base of this shrine-like construction is modeled after. Awodey wrote about the project in his book 95 Theses: Art and Machine, published in 2004.

The memorial itself was made by Poultney, VT, artist Ruth Hamilton, and is officially titled Marc Awodey Memorial Cabinet. It is at Seven Days by the generosity of collector Mark Waskow, whose "Waskowmium" purports over 12,000 works of contemporary art housed in multiple locations. Hamilton has made two other "cabinets," Peace Cabinet and Day of the Dead Cabinet, as well as the altar-like Goddess Figure - all can be viewed on her website.

In the main compartment of this memorial, Awodey stands reading against a miniature painted backdrop of Church Street, surrounded by his art supplies and easel. There is also an apple tree with an orchard ladder, a cello, and a circus elephant. 

Awodey was born in 1960, and graduated with an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1984. He died of a heart attack in October of 2012, at the age of 51. 

 Detail of a painting by Marc Awodey.

Detail of a painting by Marc Awodey.

Montréal Ghost Bike

Spotted on Av du Parc, in honor of a cyclist killed on July 18th, 2013. Read about the ghost bike project here on Wikipedia - which I'm directing you to because ghostbikes.org is down at the moment, and hopefully, hopefully will resurface. You can also see one of my previous posts about ghost bikes here

So Nice

Seven Days editor and co-founder Pamela Polston sent these photos of public shrines spotted during her flanerie in France.  From left to right: 1) a Mother Theresa niche (creneau? lieu saint? autel?) in Nice 2) little fellow in the "medieval village-turned-mall Saint Paul de Vence" 3) Virgin Mary in unknown location. And 4) in L'Hotel de l'Amphitheatre in Arles, of which she says, "Not exactly a shrine but it might as well be. And that must be the saint of breakfast."

Dispatch from Chaponost

The one and only Nora Parren sent me these images from her travels in the French countryside. She spotted this little niche in Chaponost, an old Roman town with "aqueducts and shit", as well as horses and cows.  She included the "non-altar view" as well. 

An Order

The two-day exhibition An Order included five artists who each made installations responding to the space that used to be Saint Joseph's Providence Orphan Asylum. The show's organizer, Abbey Meaker, has been creating lens-based work that she calls "semi-archaeological" based on her investigations of the former orphanage for approximately three years, which includes an active Facebook group for adults who once lived or worked at St. Joseph's.  The participating artists are Meaker, Wylie Garcia, Sarah O'Connell, Rebecca Weisman, and Mary Zompetti. 

In the short amount of time I've been back in Vermont, this is the second time that a public arts event allowed me to visit the inside of an otherwise off-limits building - the first was the Moran Plant. An Order let visitors explore a portion of the former orphanage, which operated from 1885 to the early 1980s, and then became a part of Burlington College - before its impending transformation into private housing. 

In the giant, high-ceilinged chapel, the five artists created a Last Supper-styled altar tableaux, which to my delight was arranged below a giant rolled screen hung from the ceiling, a presumably coincidental (?) comment on the proximity of different kinds of image-worship. I spoke briefly to Meaker, who said that the entire altar was created using items that the artists had found from around the property. 

Watercolor Ghost Bike

This ghost bike memorial altar comes from frequent contributor Nate Rulf, who spotted it at Hollywood and Harvard a few days ago and reports that his friend "saw a kid get hit on his bike by a car and killed there." I haven't been able to find further details on a Hollywood bicycle death online, so please feel free to share anything you know. For some mysterious reason that Nate couldn't relay, the photos have a watercolor effect to them. You can read more about ghost bikes in this previous post

Materials: White-painted bicycle, votives, flowers, bottle of water

Retail Altar

I am used to seeing altars in small businesses, particularly tucked away in tucked-away restaurants and nail salons. I am much less accustomed to seeing them in retail establishments. Kicking around in Malibu yesterday, this one caught me off guard. It flanked the entrance of CANVAS, an upscale shop at the Malibu Country Mart which describes itself as a boutique and gallery that is "a concept founded on an appreciation of contemporary art and design", which at least in part means Obama as Warholian Elvis (see below). The shopgirl was gracious and let me take a few pictures even though it was clear I wasn't going to buy anything. I'm tickled by how seamlessly the desert boots meld with the altar, and presumably they're the only item for sale - but I didn't check.

Materials: Big white porcelain laughing Buddha statue, tree stump, rock with lasercut "Om", unidentified crystal/stone, candle with text "DREAM - BELIEVE - CREATE", fresh flowers in vase, [desert boots]

Frogtown Bike Path

Yesterday was a two-altar day. Lauren and I took our second Summer of Wheels jaunt down the LA River bike path, stopping at Spoke Bicycle Cafe for the first time - the co-owner was sweeping out in preparation for a by-donation yoga class, there was an impromptu concert, and she let me use the bathroom with my rollerblades on! 

We made it down to where Riverside becomes Figueroa, where the path starts to get choppy. After water and snacks, we turned around to head back before dark. I blew by this memorial altar, but Lauren saw it and screamed, "Altar!"  I haven't learned to turn or stop gracefully, so had to glide to a safe stop before I could turn around.

The altar is to "Wacko", made with two cement blocks and accompanied by an orange traffic cone written on in thick gold marker. With the four candles and vase of flowers (a single gladiolus pluming out above the rest) is a small wooden cube with the image of an anatomical heart printed and pasted on two or three of the cube's sides. 

 

 

Burns + Virgil from Nate

This just in: memorial altar at Burns + Virgil, at the border of the East Hollywood and Silverlake, sent from Nate Rulf. The memorial is most likely honoring Leonardo Gabriel Ramirez, a 17 year old Latino kid shot on May 23rd, six days ago, for unknown reasons. Along with flowers and candles, the altar has a wooden crucifix, blue  bandanas, Modelo cans, and a lone hundred-length cigarette. The sign has green wire shaped to spell "Roller", and what is legible to me says "I love you homie / Rest in paradise / Roller x [name]".