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Ore-Giron, Open Tuning: E-D-G-B-D-G

Open Tuning: E-D-G-B-D-G
Sept 24 – Dec 14
Artist Lab residency Sept 24 – Oct 26
Opening Reception Oct 27
7-9 pm
Main Gallery

The artist in conversation with 18th Street Director of Residency Programs Pilar Tompkins Rivas and Curator in Residence Bill Kelley Jr. 
Oct 27, 6-7 pm
Project Room

As part of 18th Street Arts Center’s Artist Labs program, and developed on-site in our Main Gallery, Los Angeles-based artist, musician and DJ Eamon Ore-Giron presents a dynamic installation of new work incorporating sculpture, video, painting, music and live performances from September 24 until December 14, 2012. Referencing the alternate guitar tuning scale E-D-G-B-D-G unique to the Central Andes, Ore-Giron likens this hybrid indigenous and Spanish musical scale with the merger of folk, pop, historical and conceptual references throughout his interdisciplinary artworks. A complex interplay between themes of tourism, revolution, design, and public sculpture reverberate within the works, while formal questions regarding the relationship between functional sculpture and introspective form are explored.

Ore-Giron began developing this body of work after learning that China recently purchased the mining town of Morococha, Peru with plans to relocate the entire municipality in order to extract the copper reserves underneath it. Having traveled numerous times in his life through this town to visit family in Peru, the artist recalled his own experiences there through found-images of the city in an online travel blog and began to marry these candid photographs with his interest in Latin American modernist and public sculpture.  Ore-Giron says, “These photos were very interesting because they portrayed a person that was anonymously concealed in an astronaut-like motorcycle outfit posing in front of various public sculptures representing the local struggle for justice and celebrations of their labor and mining history.” The resulting artworks are linked to personal memories as well as ideas of labor and resistance, and represent an investigation into sculptural and musical forms inspired by Classical, Modernist and Folk Art genres.  The image of the guitar plays a central role in the exhibition, drawing upon art historical and cultural references in the works of Picasso, Braque, Gris and the Spanish poet Garcia Lorca, all of whom elevated folk forms of music and art such as Flamenco into a Classical status through abstraction.

For this exhibition, Ore-Giron presents a series of music-based performances that activate and interact with his sculptures, furthering the artist’s continued interest in mash-ups of music and contemporary art. Performing with collaborators Chris Avitabile and Joshua Aster as the newly formed guitar trio Voluminous Sparks, Ore-Giron employs the Andean guitar tuning scale E-B-G-D-B-G as a basis for his musical arrangements and as a metaphor for cultural and historical overlaps. These musical interventions will happen in the gallery throughout the three-month run of the exhibition.

Ore-Giron’s work investigates the possibilities of cultural hybridity and how sub-cultural phenomena morph and adapt as they move between languages, cultures, and political systems. He was one of the original colleagues of the so-called Mission School in San Francisco during the mid-1990′s and is also the founding member of the experimental audio-performance group OJO.  His music under the moniker DJ Lengua has gained global praise and success fusing obscure Latin American subgenres with electronic and abstract beats.  He has two vinyl LP’s released on Unicornio Records and numerous online mixes.

Ore-Giron’s artwork, music, and performances have been shown at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Deitch Projects, New York; MUCA ROMA, Mexico City; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museo Tamayo Museum, Mexico City; Peres Projects, Los Angeles; Lonarte, Portugal; Consonni, Bilbao, Spain; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia; Queens Nails Annex, San Francisco; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; SFMOMA, San Francisco; and Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, San Francisco.

Interview with Eamon Ore-Giron and Pilar Tompkins Rivas for KPFK’s Global Village

Samples of Ore-Giron’s DJs mixes are available at Super Sonido and Echo Park Records.

During the reception:

  • ARTIST TALK:  Eamon Ore-Giron in conversation with Pilar Tompkins Rivas and Bill Kelley, Jr., 6 – 7


From September 24 to October  23 Ore-Giron will be in residence, transforming the main gallery space into his studio in order to develop this site-specific project. The Artists Lab residency is open to the public.

Additional Performances:

  • New guitar trio Voluminous Sparks, with Eamon Ore-Giron, Josh Aster and Chris Avitabile (all three of performance group OJO), debuts in conjunction with the exhibition November 10th at 8pm.
  • Ore-Giron will host regular live broadcasts, featuring DJ sets, performances, and artist-to-artist interviews held in the gallery on Ustream [dates and times TBD].

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