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My Barbarian

Maskworkers

May 13June 24, 2023

Gallery III

This image illustrates a link to the exhibition titled My Barbarian: Maskworkers

Press Release

Installation photo credit: Jeff McLane

Opening reception: Saturday, May 13, 4 – 6PM

Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to announce our second solo exhibition with the artist collective, My Barbarian. Working together across live performance, performance for the camera, and object making, Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade have been working collaboratively for more than twenty years. Using strategies pulled from global and historical avant-garde theater as well as institutional critique and conceptual art, the trio makes work that explores the affective realities, ingrained mythologies, and imagined pasts and futures of capitalism.

In an era of face filters on social media and “personal protective equipment,” who among us is not, at this time, a maskworker? Drawing from radical, queer, feminist and of-color performance lineages, critically adapting classical forms such as Commedia Dell’Arte and Noh, and playfully mixing in references to Sci-Fi and Horror movies, My Barbarian has worked with masks throughout their long collaboration. In Maskworkers, My Barbarian presents new porcelain masks, cut paper collages, and body-scale standelabra sculptures and video projections. These performing objects are inspired by alter egos drawn from the fictive worlds in My Barbarian’s performance repertoire.

Masks become uncanny synecdoches when removed from their context on the body and mounted to the wall of the gallery. The body that should animate the mask is absent while the character that the mask creates is clearly present. Relics that connect theater and ritual, masks transform the wearer into a character, spirit, personification, revealing this imagined other as they obscure the face, identity, self. Maskwork refers to the techniques of the body that animate the mask through performance.

The presence and absence of the performing body is toyed with throughout the exhibition from the porcelain masks, to the sculptural standelabras that stand in for entire previous performance works as well as the bodies of the performers, to a large-scale projection of the trio demonstrating movements related to masked performance and documentation of Broke People’s Baroque Peoples’ Theater. Elegant, colorful cut paper collages depict the fables, mythologies, and rituals related to the other objects in the exhibition. Inspired in part by surrealist drawing games, and artists such as Leonora Carrington, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Nicolas Moufarrege, these collaborative artworks are made by Jade Gordon, who creates free-form abstract watercolors, and Alexandro Segade, whose drawings provide templates for the watercolors to be cut into and painstakingly re-assembled, resulting in a collaborative collage.

Founded in 2000, My Barbarian is an artist collective whose practice brings social issues and their representations in mass media and historical texts into theatrical interpretation via performance, video, music, and interdisciplinary venues. Most recently, a twenty-year survey of their collaborative work was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the ICALA. They have been included in Performance Biennials such as the Whitney Biennial, two California Biennials, the Montreal Biennial, and the Baltic Triennial. Their work has been presented at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; ICA Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Kitchen, New York; The New Museum, New York, internationally at Museo El Eco, Mexico City; De Appel, Amsterdam; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; The Power Plant, Toronto; El Matadero, Madrid, and many more. Their work is in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Princeton University Art Museum. Following their exhibition at Vielmetter, My Barbarian will present new work at the Nottingham Contemporary and the Whitney Museum in 2023 and 2024 respectively.

My Barbarian
“Gemini & I,” 2023
Aquaresin and mixed media
Inventory #MBB295
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mybarbarian_295_gemini&i_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Alien Familiar,” 2023
Aquaresin and mixed media
Inventory #MBB296
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mybarbarian_296_alienfamiliar_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Maskworkers,” 2023
Digital video and stereo sound
TRT: 15:00 mins
Edition 1 of 3, 3 AP
Inventory #MBB293.01
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
mybarbarian_2023_maskworkers_install02_hires-1684349285.jpg
My Barbarian
“(I Killed the) Golden Goat I,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB284
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb284_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Minotaur Orgy Urn II,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB285
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb285_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Standalabra V (Gamorrah Mega-Bod),” 2023
Metal, textiles, plastic, gold leaf, wigs, tambourine
72" x 48" x 24" [HxWxD] (182.88 x 121.92 x 60.96 cm)
Inventory #MBB289
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mybarbarian_289_standalabrav(gamorrahmega-bod)_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Animex,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB262
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb262_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Minero,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB261
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb261_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Watery Princess,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB260
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb260_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Discoverer,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 1" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 2.54 cm)
Inventory #MBB269
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb269_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Futurian,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 1" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 2.54 cm)
Inventory #MBB265
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb265_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Melting Man (Hiker II),” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB268
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb268_hires-1684260555.jpg
My Barbarian
“Hiker,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB259
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb259_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Old Man,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB258
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb258_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Watery King,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB266
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb266_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Vegeta,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB263
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb263_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Conservationist,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB267
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb267_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Demon,” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB257
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mbb257_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“The First Pine (Narrator),” 2022
Glazed ceramic, resin, silk ribbon
9" x 7" x 2" [HxWxD] (22.86 x 17.78 x 5.08 cm)
Inventory #MBB264
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb264_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Placenta of Time,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB276
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb276_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“(I Killed the) Golden Goat II,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB286
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb286_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Fossilization of the Hiker,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB281
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb281_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Minotaur Orgy Urn I,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB283
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb283_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“The Watery, Watery Lake (That Used to Be Right Where We Are Standing) II,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
19 ³⁄₄" x 15 ¹⁄₂" [HxW] (50.17 x 39.37 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB280
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb280_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Classical Wrestle Vessels I,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 15 ³⁄₄" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.01 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB282
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb282_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Narrator (First Pine) IV,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB287
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb287_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Triple Chthonic Triad I,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB279
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb279_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Conservationist Saves the Mountaintop,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB275
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb275_hires-(1).jpg
My Barbarian
“Tourists from the Future III,” 2023
Watercolor collage on paper
20" x 16" [HxW] (50.8 x 40.64 cm); 22 ³⁄₄" x 19" x 1 ¹⁄₂" [HxWxD] (57.78 x 48.26 x 3.81 cm) Framed
Inventory #MBB288
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mbb288_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Standalabra VI (Maskworker),” 2023
Aquaresin and mixed media
72" x 48" x 24" [HxWxD] (182.88 x 121.92 x 60.96 cm)
Inventory #MBB292
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mybarbarian_292_standalabravi(maskworker)_install_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Broke People’s Baroque Peoples’ Theater: A Festival,” 2023
Single channel HD video and stereo sound with textile curtain
TRT: 35:00 mins
Edition 1 of 3, 3 AP
Inventory #MBB298.01
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
mybarbarian_2023_maskworkers_install15_hires-1684349997.jpg
My Barbarian
“Classical Music Dance Party,” 2023
Neon
Inventory #MBB297
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
mybarbarian_297_classicalmusicdanceparty_install_hires.jpg
My Barbarian
“Standelabra IV (Broke Baroque: Cassandra as Salomé),” 2022
Mixed media
70" x 43" x 23" [HxWxD] (177.8 x 109.22 x 58.42 cm)
Inventory #MBB256
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brica Wilcox
mybarbarian_256_standelabra_install01_hires-(5).jpg