MAMA Gallery is pleased to present Saffron Crow's Associate, artist Double Diamond Sun Body’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Through video, paintings, and installation, Saffron Crow's Associate creates a new visual and audio language created specifically to address issues within the world’s current political landscape, religion, and the family.
Saffron Crow's Associate, the artist’s latest film, is projected on a large screen in the back gallery. Like his live performances, there is an intoxicating exuberance to the piece. Typical of Double Diamond Sun Body’s work, this film is accompanied by an original score and contains footage both culled from the internet and shot by the artist himself. It is narrated primarily through a character we come to know as Saffron Crow’s Associate, who relays the perspective of the character Saffron Crow on some earthly affairs. Although we come to know little of who or what Saffron Crow is, we do come to know that he (?) is from the planet Boom Boom Rio and is associated with Mohammed Ali. Through his Associate, certain perspectives are shared–most having to do with identity. Like a stranger in a strange land, the viewer can find Saffron Crow’s reporting alarming. Another narrator at one point in the film, in a manner that is at once duplicitous and motherly, asks the viewer, “What’s the matter? Want another bottle?”
For his installations, Double Diamond Sun Body makes use of several found objects that are not immediately identifiable. A range of modified septic tanks serve as the apparatus for viewing and as the location for filming. Confronting the viewer, the Tank installations are seemingly full of life and the characters look real. Videos featuring hired actors mimic movements from the main film and possess the same props, i.e. a young shirtless black man with drum symbols and a young white girl with light-up shoes. This reenactment of characters and, not only resurrection, but refinement of objects, allows heated subjects such as race relations, the current political landscape, the body, religion, and the family to enter a new visual and audio landscape.
Our present-day visual climate consisting of everything from social media feeds to drone footage overloads our visual and auditory receptors. This is the landscape Double Diamond Sun Body navigates for us. The 1:1 filming technique brings the viewer into a mediated encounter during which the line between reality and virtual reality is increasingly blurred. Light fills these vessels in a way that runs counter to their original function; rather than being buried in the ground, these containers have been turned sideways, exposing a circular piece of glass. A portal is created and light’s materiality is rendered present.
Another readymade titled The Reeducation Death Machine was originally built for spa therapy. Viewers will be invited to enter this contraption, retrofitted with lighting and audio-visual systems and sprayed with white paint. Lying down on the white leather and closing the lid, a video work reminiscent of an advertisement for this repurposed tool begins to play.
Monochromatic paintings are installed throughout the galleries with accompanying text from the film. For this reinvestigation of the main film, Double Diamond Sun Body reduces massive amounts of information into colors that he associates with a particular phrase or word. For example, a deep blue is partnered with the phrase, “ICE CREAM HEADACHE.” The arbitrariness of these pairings and the repurposing of materials act as counterpoints to the unlimited and unrestrained visual resources that form the video works’ palette. They hang in the galleries like stills from a film in which the viewer participates. As one navigates the exhibition, what the artist refers to as a “gift” from Saffron Crow, a new language emerges that probes the area between despair and delight.
Double Diamond Sun Body spent his youth riding vert ramps in the Pacific Northwest and playing bass and drums in punk rock bands. He spent over a decade scoring films for several major movie and television studios in Los Angeles and his most recent band, We Are The World, performed at MOCA, LACMA, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. He previously exhibited Tom the Monster in the group exhibition, Cerebral Vortex, at MAMA Gallery last year. Double Diamond Sun Body started performing live in early 2015 and has played in various venues in across the country. This year, he will be performing at ARCOmadrid, Art Basel Miami Beach, and Desert X.