© Charles Gaines and Edgar Arceneaux

Snake River, 2006
video still, two-channel video
Courtesy of the artists and Suzanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

Charles Gaines and Edgar Arceneaux
Snake River

REDCAT opens its fourth season with new works by artists Charles Gaines and Edgar Arceneaux. Expanding upon film montage and installation, "Snake River" connects two distinctive performing arts venues - The Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles and the Brucknerhaus in Linz, Austria - with the 700-mile-long Snake River. The river, which runs from Oregon to Idaho, feeds more than twenty tributary basins, and in this project serves as a literal and metaphoric analogy between geographic or geologic sites and architectural or performative spaces, an interaction of nature and its representation.

For their first collaboration, Gaines and Arceneaux have also enlisted Sean Griffin whose original composition is featured in the installation. From the Snake River to Linz and back home to Los Angeles, the artists traverse the sensorial and intellectual space that links the physical path of a primordial formation with the sentient abstractions of music. The music becomes a tributary of the architecture and, at the same time, the architecture becomes the instrument of the musical ensemble.

"Our separate practices needed to be resolved in the collaboration," said Charles Gaines. "I was interested in investigating narratives of history and geography on a trip down an American river. Edgar had a plan to film the rehearsal of a major orchestra with a moving camera. In the process of the collaboration, we collapsed the two sources into a split-screen (two-channel) projection. An analogy is formed when two or more discrete subjects are seen to resemble each other. In this film, our practices came together to form an analogy between two types of movement: the movement through the Snake River and its surrounding landscape and the movement through the architectural spaces."

Gaines is based in Los Angeles and has taught at CalArts for over fifteen years. Arceneaux (MFA 2001), who was born and raised in Los Angeles, was mentored by Gaines at CalArts. The exhibition is REDCAT's effort to foster the evolution of their ongoing dialogue from student-teacher to that of colleagues.

Originally commissioned by REDCAT, "Snake River" is also a unique institutional collaboration with The Lentos Museum and the Brucknerhause in Linz, Austria. Lentos Director Stella Rollig organized the Brucknerhaus production and Lentos presentation in Austria. REDCAT assistant curator Clara Kim organized the Orpheum production, exhibition, and catalogue here in Los Angeles.

In conjunction with the exhibition, REDCAT will publish a two-volume, bilingual (English and German) catalogue with an interview with the artists by Lentos Kunstmuseum director Stella Rollig, and texts by Charles Gaines, Edgar Arceneaux, and REDCAT assistant curator Clara Kim. The catalogue will include installation shots from both installations and will be available in late October.

Charles Gaines received a bachelor's degree from Jersey City State College and a MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Gaines has exhibited widely including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Kunsthalle Basel; Stadtgalerie, Stuttgart; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Edgar Arceneaux received his MFA from CalArts and his BFA from Art Center, Pasadena. Arceneaux has exhibited at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Gallery 400, Chicago; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Kunst Werke, Berlin.

"Snake River" is a collaboration with the Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz and is made possible by the Nimoy Foundation; Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation; V. Joy Simmons; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; and Adamski/Gallery for Contemporary Art. Additional support provided by Campari.

Exhibition: September 16 - November 19, 2006
Gallery hours: 12-6 pm or curtain, closed Mondays
(always free)

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