(Le Corbusier Entering Hadrian’s Mausoleum,1965)
January 26 - February 23rd, 2019
Opening and performance: January 26, 7-10pm
Re-performance: February 10th, 7:30 pm
Closing and performance with sound piece by Andy Fonda: February 23, 7-10pm
Installation will be on view from the street between 5- 9pm nightly
Gallery Hours: Sundays 5- 9pm
Actual Size is pleased to present L.E.H.M. (Le Corbusier Entering Hadrian’s Mausoleum,1965), a performative and interactive installation by Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai. The three part exhibition constructs a fictional historical narrative in the form of an academic slide presentation. In each iteration of the exhibition fact and fiction collide and academic devices of reflection and projection break apart into a kaleidoscopic speculation on the mythic postcolonial heritage of the West.
In part one of the exhibition a narrator with an ambiguous accent and gender identity weaves together disparate facts in a performative lecture. The narrator uses three overhead projectors and collages of various architectural elements on transparency to illustrate the story. Central subjects of the presentation are two cylindrical structures built two thousand years and six hundred miles apart; Emperor Hadrian’s Mausoleum in Rome (135 AD) and Le Corbusier’s Obus Plans for Algiers (1933-1942). Jorge Luis Borges states in “The Circular Ruins” that the circle is a site for a man to procreate another man. Through the cipher of architecture the narrator draws a through-line between classical and modernist thought as material evidence of westward expansion and colonial conquest. The narrative is framed by the death and internment of the father of modernism as well as the plans for his final project, which was designed for Algeria, the final resting point of Hadrian’s conquest of the East.
Mirrors, which typically produce a crisp static image for the overhead projectors are used to duplicate and distort the projections. The narrator introduces hand-held external mirrors to embody a reversal of the reflected images. Projected light moves across walls, ceiling, and floor and occasionally breaks out of the bounds of the architecture to the street level. The narrator holds the act of reflection in their hands, both in the physical use of mirrors and in the allegorical conveyance of ideas. This challenges the legacy of the West seeing itself through “the other” and questions who can claim ownership and inheritance of classical and modernist thought
The second iteration of the exhibition is a night-time installation. Two overhead projectors face each window, towards the street. One projector holds a transparency photograph of the Cape Martin, on the French Riviera and the other holds an image of the Bay of Algiers in Algeria. These Mediterranean coasts mark two opposing sides of the French colonial project. Viewers on the street level are invited to take small mirrors, provided by the gallery, to bring certain fragments of the projections into focus as well as join the coasts to form a circle. The gesture is a reminder that history is maintained through an active communal effort of deconstruction and reconstruction.
A sound collaboration with Los-Angeles-based musician, Andy Fonda bookends the exhibition. Fragments of the performative lecture are transformed into a sound piece and the coherency of the lecture is broken down into an auditory exploration of space. Through the aural sources of information are returned to the body and the senses, elucidating Western rationality to form a new body of knowledge.
A publication, produced in collaboration with LACA (Los Angeles Contemporary Archive), also accompanies the exhibition.
Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai (b.1989, Bangkok) is a trans-disciplinary artist, currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Their artistic practice ranges from sculpture, installation, collaboration, video and performance. Jalichandra- Sakuntabhai examines how Western ideology pervades structures of knowledge and spatial organizations. They use academic language and logic systems to push Western rationality to its own absurd ends, in order to create interstices where new identities can begin. The artist earned their Visual Arts Degree (Diplome National des Arts Plastiques) from the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Nantes Metropole, in 2010 before pursuing a License in Film Studies (License en Cinema et Audiovisuelle) at the Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, in 2011. They completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, in 2013 and their Master of Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts, in San Francisco, in 2017.
Prima Jalichandra- Sakuntabhai’s works have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson; the 2015 Arizona Biennial at the Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson; Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia; Root Division, San Francisco; the Main Museum, Los Angeles. They were recipient of the 2016 SOMA Summer award and attended the SOMA Summer program in Mexico City. They have performed at Artists Television Access, San Francisco; the Asian Art Museum,San Francisco; the Meyer Library, Oakland; the Prelinger Library, San Francisco; Elevator Mondays, Los Angeles; and Weekend At Berenice, Los Angeles. This is their second solo exhibition.
The installation will be on view from the street between 5pm-9pm daily. The artist will be present during gallery hours on Sundays from 5-9pm