ICONICITY

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Showings

Shake & Co Thu, Jul 30 8:30 PM

Description

Artists devoted to radical individualism pit themselves against the elements deep in Southern California deserts. A pervasive mysticism draws to it those desperate to connect- whether it be to themselves, others, or the world around them. Iconicity revels in the sweeping expanses of raw beauty that inspire so many disparate souls to push themselves to the brink of their creativity. Here the spirit of the Wild West lives on, as off-the-gridders and renegade sculptors carve out an existence that challenges what it means to be free.

Fringe communities cling to the inhospitable terrain with heartening tenacity. Slab City, nestled in California's aptly named Badlands, is host to around 150 squatters driven by poverty or the desire for a more authentic way of life to make their home on literal no-man's land. Not far off is East Jesus, converted by range runners into a feral sculpture garden. Then there is Bombay Beach, a living relic from the prosperous 50's. Located on the shore of the Salton Sea, this thriving mecca of artistic expression stands defiantly in the shadow of looming catastrophe. On the verge of drying up, California's largest lake is all that prevents dust storms from rendering the surrounding areas unlivable. Whether politically, economically, or in the face of environmental disaster, each unique community struggles to maintain a way of life no longer recognized by civilization as a whole.

Iconicity's liquid cinematography takes the viewer on a breathtaking journey to explore the true heart of the film: man's impetus to create. We are treated to in-depth looks at work as diverse as Leonard Knight's "Salvation Mountain", Noah Purifoy's political assemblages in Joshua Tree, gripping installations by Desert X in the Coachella Valley, and Ricardo Breceda's metal behemoths in Borrego Springs. The film concludes with the Bombay Beach Biennale, a guerrilla festival of art and music founded in 2015. Set against a decaying shoreline, artists transform abandoned houses and vacant lots into works of surprising scope and magnitude. Featuring Randy Polumbo, Bobby Furst, Tao Ruspoli, Stefan Ashkenazy, Bill Ammon, and many others. A kaleidoscope of history, imagination, and experience, Iconicity is a complex examination of the mark we leave on our environment and the mark it leaves on us.