Ah Voyagers! Scott Reeder and Joel Kyack

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It is probably too late to speculate about which came first, the warehouses or the art. The fact is that these gargantuan square-footages in the most industrial part of southeast L.A. allow, encourage, demand that artists fill them.


Installation vie of Scott Reeder's exhibition at 356 South Mission Road
Photo by Joshua White


On view through March 16 at 356 South Mission Road, Scott Reeder has created something akin to the abandoned set of a film in process, which it may in fact be. According to IMDB, Reeder is in post-production on a film called Moon Dust starring some one named Tyrone Love. This show is comprised of clunky constructions of brightly colored space ship interiors that remind me of Flash Gordon and even its goofy porn film spoof, Flesh Gordon.


Installation vie of Scott Reeder's exhibition at 356 South Mission Road
Photo by Joshua White


If Pee Wee Herman ever devised a space ship to transport him to the outer limits, it might look like this installation. Tangerine snack bar, lemony console, ultraviolet lounge with views of a galaxy far, far away. One wall is covered in large panels painted in atmospheric colors with a roller while other vibrant paintings offer hand drawn lists of names and ideas, many of them quite funny. "Lazy vs. Ugly" as a potential exhibition title? The sets have already been the background for Reeder and his brother Tyson Reeder's performances but they activate the imagination even without the participation of the artist.


Installation vie of Scott Reeder's exhibition at 356 South Mission Road
Photo by Joshua White


While Reeder is thinking about space travel, Joel Kyack is out to sea at the expansive new quarters of François Ghebaly, not far from the Mission Road gallery. On view through March 8, Kyack's show, Old Sailors Never Die, pursues a nautical drama complete with crafted open jaws of a monster shark. There is a video of the artist stranded unconvincingly on a raft with a palm tree that, at one point, he tosses overboard with the anchor. The monitor is housed in a rough shelter constructed from a pair of boat hulls and a pair of two by fours. In the show, however, the most inventive single work is Night-Int. Ship-Dining Table, a film set type of construction of a booth in a ship with a set of automated pulleys moving the view of the ocean up and down as rudimentary special effect.


Joel Kyack, “Night - Int. Ship - Dining Table,” 2014
144" L x 112" D x 103" H
Wood, stain, paint on paper, lamp, motors, wiring, hardware
Courtesy of François Ghebaly Gallery


Bas Jan Ader, the Conceptual artist who famously put out to sea on a boat never to be seen again, brought pathos to his videos and performances, especially the last one. Kyack's approach is tongue in cheek, evidenced by the intentionally unhelpful but irreverent press release offering multiple choice questions: "3. Film sets are, to varying degrees, 'built to camera' – a process where only the elements of the set that will appear in the frame of the camera will be built. For what could this be a metaphor? (a) some of life (b) most of life (c) all of life."

Out to sea or outer space may have signified alienation and solitude in art of the past but with these contemporary artists, not so much. For more information, go to 356Mission.com or ghebaly.com.

Banner image: Installation view of Joal Kyack's Old Sailors Never Die, 2014; 118" L x 400" W x 103"H. Boat, denim, sand, wood, cotton yarn, foam, TV, speakers, hardware. Courtesy of François Ghebaly Gallery