In the Spirit of Summer Memories / Hyperallergic

Mungo Thomson, “Inclusion (The Cosmos)” (2014), Lucite embedment (all images courtesy Aran Cravey Gallery, Los Angeles)

Mungo Thomson, “Inclusion (The Cosmos)” (2014), Lucite embedment (all images courtesy Aran Cravey Gallery, Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES — The summer months are a time of slowing down, going out, hitting the beach, and drinking far too many iced coffee beverages. And yes, I even remember you., a five-person group show at Aran Cravey Gallery curated by Eric Kim, wraps up the summer season nicely, reminding visitors of the slippery line between personal stories and broader histories. Are there dominant cultural narratives today, or do we each create and reinforce our own through personal experiences and filter bubbles?

Scott Benzel’s large-scale sculpture dominates the front of the gallery, greeting viewers upon entrance like a beefy bouncer at a club. In “Magnified/Erased” (2014), Benzel revisits American musician Neil Young’s nostril as seen in The Last Waltz (1978), a documentary made by Martin Scorsese about The Band’s last concert. It’s now a well-documented fact that when Young came onstage to sing “Helpless,” he forgot to clean up the traces of his pre-performance coke habits. Later, Scorsese had to pay big bucks to clean up the screen version of Young’s nose, joking that it was “the most expensive cocaine I’ve ever bought.” In Benzel’s piece, he slows down and zooms in on Young’s nose in the film; behind the video loop hangs a blown-up photograph of a flake of cocaine. Two American legends up-close and personal — drugs and rock stars — reveal that living on stardust isn’t sustainable or pretty. Here we see the cloak of fame overturned; no one can maintain appearances forever — not even pop itself.

Read the full review on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/145106/in-the-spirit-of-summer-memory/

And yes, I even remember you. continues at Aran Cravey Gallery (6918 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles) through August 30.