CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/28/2016
Saturday, October 1, 4-6PM, photographer Randi Malkin Steinberger will sign copies of No Circus, new from Damiani, at Arcana: Books on the Arts in Culver City. Signing alongside Ms. Steinberger will be D.J. Waldie, who contributes a text to the book, and the book's designer - and Deadbeat Club head honcho - Clint Woodside. Special musical performance will be by composer Gavin Gamboa. Evoking the language of insects - both real and imagined - as well as the sounds of quarantine, Mr. Gamboa of The Teaching Machine collective will provide a backdrop of chirping, clicking, whirling, buzzing oscillations to the event!
They’re in most neighborhoods in Los Angeles – houses shrouded in brightly colored vinyl tarps being fumigated for termites. Noted photographer Randi Malkin Steinberger first encountered these tented houses when she moved to Southern California in the early 1990s. In No Circus, her new book of photographs, tented houses have become sculptural abstractions and enigmatic monuments inserted into the ordinariness of suburban streets.
“Randomly coming across these tented houses around Los Angeles aroused my sense of wonder,” Steinberger explains. “I started pulling my car off to the side of the road to photograph them, knowing that the tent could be undraped at any given moment.” What began as a roadside curiosity for Steinberger became a meditation on disclosure and concealment, home and antihome. Wrapped in vivid, circus stripes, a tented house is transformed and something new (and possibly ominous) is revealed. Pumped full of poison and posted as dangerous, houses tented for fumigation risk being violated by burglars. The risk tragically includes the burglars themselves, who sometimes die in the tented house they’ve entered. The photographs in No Circus allude to other risks, from the destructive effects of termite infestation to the uncertain permanence of home in a city where a tented house is almost always the sign of an impending sale.
“These cloaked structures are ubiquitous in the Los Angeles landscape yet they are most often seen as a mere flash of color as one drives by,” Steinberger notes. “I’ve tried to refashion what’s easy to ignore about a tented house by spending some time with its strangeness.” “Everyone has looked twice at these big top monoliths,” artist Miranda July points out, “but only Steinberger has looked again and again, transforming termite tents in to public art with her gorgeous and obsessive eye.”
Steinberger’s photographs in No Circus (69, all in color) are accompanied by D. J. Waldie’s essay. It ranges from the mating habits of termites to the chemistry of fumigation to the phenomenology of a shrouded house. “Houses haunt themselves” he writes. “While we’re away, the chair improvises a sitter, the door frame a passing figure, and the bed a sleeper. To be something more than a windbreak or a covering from rain or a frail barrier, a home must have dreamers inside. A house undreamed in is already neglected.”
If you cannot attend but wish to purchase a SIGNED COPY, please place your secure online order with ARCANA or call the store at 310-458-1499.
Arcana: Books on the Arts
Randi Malkin Steinberger signing 'No Circus'
Saturday, October 1: 4-6PM
8675 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232
Hbk, 7 x 9 in. / 128 pgs / 69 color.
$35.00 free shipping