Mar 8, 2011 1
March 22, 2011 – May 6, 2011
opening reception March 22 5:00pm- 8:30pm
Ivory Lee Carlson
Megan May Daalder
Steven Andrew Garcia
James Merson, Kevin Blechdom & William Hutson
“Call and response,” or antiphony, is a musical technique employed by various cultures, in which one partner offers a phrase, and, in turn, a second partner generates a phrase which connects in some way to the first.
Two of the most ancient traditions of call and response are found in African and Indian cultures:
Sub-Saharan Africa: this tradition has many echoes in contemporary American culture. It is part of what anthropologists regard as a “pervasive pattern of democratic participation” in the civic affairs and religions of the region.
Characteristically, a leader makes a statement, and the responder affirms it.
Those who are witnessing, speaking, or singing are encouraged by the responses and those who are about to experience issues are empowered to be victorious. — Brother Dennis L. Slaughter, History of Gospel Music
Sawaal-Javaab: “question and answer” is a tradition of North Indian classical music, in which one player issues a challenge to the other, who either replicates it identically, or embellishes it.
It is both competitive and collaborative. The two participants are friendly rivals. — Sound of India
Part of the fascination of this concept for Mastodon Mesa is the role this very same technique plays in the lives of…parrots.
Parrots are a prey animal, and therefore form flocks for safety in numbers. As they spend their days ranging over miles of thick forest seeking food, they have developed “contact calls,” in which one bird will make a characteristic sound, such as a complex whistle, which is given a particular response by either all who can hear it, or a specific addressee.
These sophisticated, proto-linguistic behaviors are complete with regional dialects and variations between individuals – all for reassurance that even when other parrots are out of eyesight, the bird is not alone, he or she is still a part of a warm, close flock.
Underneath the exponential increase in complexity, how much of human communication – the production of art included – is exactly the same?
The Calls: Leonard Nimoy
The calls have been selected from among the body of work of Leonard Nimoy as a photographer. Though many of the show’s participants, and likely, audience, are very familiar with Nimoy as an actor, he has maintained a less widely known lifelong artistic practice.
In the context of this show, it is particularly intriguing to perceptually liberate the voice of Nimoy from the familiarity of performances embedded in the assembly-line process of popular culture, and to instead have the chance to examine these photos as wordless “calls” of unadulterated communication from the individual artist.
The responses will be drawn from emerging young artists local to Los Angeles.
Curated by: Mya Stark & Suki-Rose Otter