Fwd: Panel Discussion at G727 Thursday June 21st for LA Botanical project by Joyce Campbell

Posted by ryan griffis | Mon Jun 11th 2007 2:09 p.m.

Begin forwarded message:

> Joyce Campbell's LA Botanical project will be on exhibition until
> July 14th.
> Please join us for a panel discussion with
> James Rojas, Moderator for the evening
> Joyce Campbell, Artist
> Mia Lehrer, Landscape Architect working on the Los Angeles River
> Project
> Rufina Juarez, South Central Farmers Representative
> Jay Babcock, Editor of Arthur Magazine
> Daisy Tonantzin, Project Coordinator Projecto Jardin
> On Thursday, June 21st at 7.00 pm.
> G727 would like to share with you this Los Angeles Times review
> from June 1,
> written by Leah Ollman.
> Unlikely Survivors in the Mean City
> By Leah Ollman, Special to The Times
> The ambrotype, a photographic process invented in the 1850s, took
> its name
> from the Greek for "immortal" or "imperishable." An underdeveloped
> positive
> on coated glass, the ambrotype image assumed full visibility when
> backed by
> a dark surface. Cheaper to produce and easier to view than the
> daguerreotype, it supplanted the earlier method in popularity,
> especially
> for making portraits. Ambrotypes were widely made in the camps of
> Civil War
> soldiers and sent home as mementos.
> "LA Botanical," Joyce Campbell's elegant, deeply thoughtful project
> at G727,
> shares something fundamental with those Civil War portraits, which
> long
> outlasted their subjects. Campbell's images are also made using the
> ambrotype process, and they directly engage with concepts of
> survival and
> living memory.
> The 39 pictures in the artist's ongoing project represent plant
> species that
> grow in the city today, in spite of the myriad forces (development,
> climatic
> change, general disregard) that threaten their endurance.
> Each species that Campbell shoots has a documented use: as food,
> poison or
> pleasure inducer, for medicinal or cosmetic purposes. The names of the
> plants and their functions are detailed in a small, graceful catalog
> accompanying the show; but in the gallery installation the images
> appear
> without any identification or verbal support. Humble icons, they
> stand for
> themselves with great dignity, a row of thin, clear glass plates
> propped,
> viewing room style, on a shelf that runs chest-high along the
> gallery walls.
> The shelf and the space directly behind it are painted black to
> maximize the
> pictures' legibility.
> Campbell, originally from New Zealand and now living in L.A.,
> shoots each
> specimen close-up, in isolation: sprigs of sage (anti-fungal and a
> stimulant
> to hair growth), sprays of pine (solvent and treatment for lice and
> tapeworm), stalks of barley (nutritious, cholesterol-lowering
> grain), stems
> of devil's weed (hallucinogenic, an antidote to nerve gas and cure for
> bed-wetting). Milky, silvery tones give way to shadowed areas that
> recede
> into darkness and lend the plants a sculptural presence.
> The ambrotype process yields a high level of clarity, but Campbell
> invites
> blur in places, sacrificing detail for a stronger sense of the
> animate. This
> is taxonomy practiced with soul
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