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EAST COAST, WEST COAST A performance by Yelena Zhelezov, with Amy Howden-Chapman and Eugene Kotlyarenko


December 7, 2012 8-10pm

Actual Size is pleased to present East Coast, West Coast, a one-night performance in conjunction with the closing weekend of Sculptures from the Pedestrian Memory Bureau. Yelena Zhelezov will use sculptural objects and projection to interpret "East Coast, West Coast," a video that documents a 1969 conversation between artists Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. Amy Howden-Chapman will read the part of Robert Smithson and Eugene Kotlyarenko will read for Nancy Holt. The dialogue parses out bi-coastal approaches to art making and explores the dynamic between structure and intuition in the act of examining one's environment. The exhibition will be open for viewing at 8:00pm and the performance will begin promptly at 9:00pm.


The exhibition, Sculptures from the Pedestrian Memory Bureau, features a collection of Yelena Zhelezov’s recent sculptures and performative objects. The works displayed act as playful ciphers, translating topographic markers into lyric constructions that intimately investigate the biological and social body in space and time.


Yelena Zhelezov’s interdisciplinary practice encompasses performance, installation, film, drawing, and sculpture. Though her approach stems from research and critical engagement, she intuitively constructs and stages her work. Zhelezov often builds structures and modular parts that can be transformed by the individuals that interact with them. This process endows each object with its own layered history and expressive potential.


"The Worlds Most Charming Instrument" is a participatory installation piece that generates a looping soundscape of soft harp tones. This children’s zither was produced in Belarus, the area Yelena Zhelezov was born. One can play specific songs on the instrument by following a visual score that is slid beneath the strings. The song sheets indicate which string needs to be plucked and the order in which each note should be played. The scores of this instrument are black and white photographs of the Los Angeles landscape. In order to perform the songs the viewer must read the fronds of palm trees as musical notation. A projection visually amplifies this tactile exploration and the cycle of recorded sound creates a wistful and eerie baseline for Zhelezov’s constructed environment.


Shelves staggered along the gallery wall elevate diminutive porcelain sculptures of buildings, palm trees, cars, and abstract structures, dramatizing these handmade ceramics with a tongue in cheek gravitas. The figures were originally employed as interpretive tools for a body of work entitled, "PEDXING." For this ongoing project, Zhelezov produces participatory installations that explore traditional Jewish leitmotifs of oral history and migration. Yelena Zhelezov investigates personal and societal relationships to space by staging mobile memory collecting stations in public areas. She uses the sculptures as interpretive markers to record stories from the individuals that she encounters. Removed from their performative context, the porcelain works become independent entities. The figures form a structural typology of Los Angeles. They exist as moveable monuments in absurd, poetic landscapes that could serve as utopian models or memorials for a remembered place.


Yelena Zhelezov is a Belarusian-Israeli artist based in Los Angeles. Yelena holds an MFA in Puppetry and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts. She has shown work at the the Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg, Russia; Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, CA; Museum Gallery/Gallery Museum, Cincinnati, OH; Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia; Materials and Applications, Los Angeles, CA; LACMA, Los Angeles, CA; IkoIko, Los Angeles, CA; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Yekatirenburg, Russia; Elfriede Jelinek International Conference, Berlin, Germany. Yelena hosts a monthly radio show on K-Chung Radio. She has directed music videos for Julia Holter, Craft Spells, Henry Wolfe, and Jena Malone. She also engineered miniature architectural disasters for "How are you Doing?", directed by Michel Gondry for Living Sisters. Zhelezov serves on the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission of West Hollywood, and is a recipient of the 2011-2013 Six Points Fellowship. The Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists is a program of the Foundation for Jewish Culture, originally founded in partnership with Avoda Arts and JDub. The Six PointsFellowship LA Cohort is made possible through major funding from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, and the Righteous Persons Foundation.


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