Made In L.A. is coming to the Hammer, Barnsdall Park, LAXART, and billboards around town on June 2 and will showcase sixty emerging, under-recognized Los Angeles artists–one of which will be voted to win a $100,000 prize. In order to help you make an educated vote this summer, we’re counting down to Made In L.A. by showcasing each artist participating in the biennial.
Karthik Pandian is a multi-media artist who is known for his video installations that play with sculptures made from the Earth.
Pandian’s work seeks to tie past and present together, analyzing the connections between now and then through video. Unlike most video artists, he takes his work and makes it truly experiential and tied into a spatial and physical narrative, often building objects that will be projected on or used to enhance the video. In Darkroom, he transformed the entire space of Richard Telles Fine Art on Beverly into a projection space, a bit of a playground of video and wooden structures built to present and obscure videos. The center piece was New Moon (After Anger, Hope)–seen below–which sees a looping digital video of the moon rising and falling and what appears to be a geyser, projected onto “sandblasted glass buried in one thousand pounds of sand in construction superbag.”
His 2011 piece Unearth seems to have become his masterpiece though, even getting shown at the Whitney last year. The piece features video projected onto a series of glass and earth columns, the columns composed of earth compacted into a form, seashells and twine and man-made objects thrown into the mixture. The piece, like New Moon, tie the past and present, “constructions to examine the relationship between ancient and modern cultures and the ways in which contemporary societies understand and treat the monuments of the past.” Unearth is the result of Pandian researching Cahokia, a Native American city outside of St. Louis that features ceremonial mounds that he references in his columns and video.
Pandian’s work is pretty cool and is super raw and innovative and now and old: it’s a combination of so many things, a way to present video that is so exciting. A lot of artists sharing their work at Made In L.A. in video form are just showing a video: Pandian’s videos are embedded in a history and presentational style that is very non-traditional. We’re sure he’ll be bringing something totally new and exciting, perhaps relating Los Angeles geography and history through video. We can hope!