Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Joshua Tree Interventions

William Lamson arrived at BoxoHOUSE in late January, hot on the heels of having installed exhibitions at MOCA and Robishon Gallery in Denver, and at Whittier College outside of Los Angeles. Despite the pace, he jumped into a set of experiments using simple materials both acquired from supply stores as well as borrowed from nature.

Will's intent was to make simple gestures in the landscape using a set of materials (mylar sheeting, mylar strips, silver tape and lengths of 2x1 lumber), shoot images and be guided by what he found. Given that desert light is harsh for most of the day, he was intent on shooting at dawn and dusk. As some of the setups required two sets of hands to hold steady during the shoots, I was called to assist - a fun role from which I learned a lot. I also witnessed some amazing boulder climbing and contortions as Will moved around finding the best framing for his shots.

As it ended up, the first few days of his time here were unusually cloudy, so there were many more hours of workable light. Will was able to experiment and adjust quite a bit during that time. He started working with mylar and wood in the boulder piles behind BoxoHOUSE and moved on to land adjacent to A-Z West to play with balancing rocks. We eventually ventured to a place known as Heaven on earth - 600 acres near Pioneertown stewarded by the legendary Garth. The day was spent there using all the materials at hand including a length of curled metal sheeting that allowed for some very strong images. 

William Lamson, untitled, 2013
Between setups, Will worked hard devising new concepts and framing up various props to support the materials in new ways. The final setup was involved 100 ft roll of mylar set on a frame and held taught with an improvised winching mechanism. The material was set on Coyote (Dry) Lake one afternoon in order to catch the dusk light. The results were so compelling that the whole setup was left overnight and we returned for a pre-dawn shoot that yielded yet more strong results.

Despite the continuing pace of work, Will also found time to meet up with Aurora Tang  from CLUI / HDTS (with whom he had worked on a previous residency), tour A-Z West, take in open mic at the Saloon, attend a screening at the wonderful bi-weekly Cosmic Monday film nights, view the Noah Purifoy Foundation site and have a sound bath at the Integratron on his way out. Phew.

Many thanks to Will for an action packed week and a day, and for the intriguing works which will be exhibited at BoxoOFFICE later this year.

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