Phantom Galleries opens two new exhibitions

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Phantom Galleries LA, a Los Angeles County based organization that transforms properties in transition into 24/7 public art galleries, presents two new exhibtions in Long Beach properties. Each installation is a unique relationship between the participating Artist, Curator, and Property Owner. Exhibits are curated by local Arts Organizations, Galleries, Independent Curators, and Artists.

Martin Gantman and Helen Lessick will both display their art in Phantom Galleries in downtown Long Beach through October 1.

Martin Gantman: Tracking Identity

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Martin Gantman August 24 – October 1, 2009 with an Artist Reception September 26 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Pedestrian viewing 24/7 at 257 Pine Ave. 102-106 E 3rd Street, Long Beach.

The “Tracking Identity” project investigates the recognition and gathering of trace evidence which is perceived, sometimes even inadvertently and subconsciously, and that exposes the bias and direction of a culture’s migration. This dispassionate accumulation of trace invests a Tracker, as with a guide, in support of their unique temporal voyage that occurs within this mass movement.

The Tracker is not anxious but is aware, not suspect but attentive, is silent yet present. Simultaneously, a Tracker carries the acknowledgement – maybe blasé – of a regard for the inevitability of consciousness, of the impotence of control and of the curiosity toward an objective. Not so much acquiescence, this acknowledgement proposes the acceptance of a question around the relative importance of one’s negotiation toward death. It begs the presence for the super real, extra-durational instant and broaches the internal dispute between one’s appreciation of wonder and the enduring threat of its potential homicide.
The intent of this component of  The Tracking Identity Project is to capture and identify the visual characteristics of the facial profile of everyone in the world. The act of profiling has become ubiquitous in this contemporary  world. And this is just one more attempt to accumulate a record of everyone present.

It is hoped that through this process of accumulating and disseminating a multitude of visual identifiers, it will be recognized that the visual difference between individuals, and hence all other personal characteristics, is seen not only a distinction but is also part of a visual spectrum.

Long Beach Identities: Suja Lowenthal Councilmember Long Beach, Barbi Clark, Carl Morgan, Craig Watson, Evan Kelly, Kamran Assadi, Michael Kwan, Pat West , Rebecca Wood, Sergeant Lee DeBrabander, Steve Sheldon, Tanya Quinn, Thea Robertshaw, Travis Bos, Tyler Barnes and over 600 other identities tracked.

Martin Gantman is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach as well as the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Helen Lessick: Little Dipper

helen-lessickHelen Lessick’s work will be displayed September -October 14,  2009 with a reception September 26 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Phantom Galleries LA at the Pike at Rainbow Harbor, 21 Aquarium Way, Long Beach.

little dipper is a site-related installation using buckets, bead chain and blue paint to create a ground-level constellation for Long Beach.

The artwork consists of commercial pails suspended in the space. The seven largest buckets align to form the constellation Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper). One pail, representing Polaris, situates the North Star of mariners and pilots in the middle of the Aquarium Way space. In the northern hemisphere, all constellations rotate around Polaris, which appears fixed in the night sky.

Exploring astronomical perspective through the appearance of ‘constellation’ patterns of stars as seen from Earth, Lessick asks viewers to reconsider relationship.  The relationship between stars, between sea and sky, the ocean of air and ocean of water, between dippers and buckets. Singluar objects, considered in relation, are lenses and mirrors to grasp the  larger world. Through little dipper Helen Lessick asks us to re-view everyday objects with wonder.

Helen Lessick, a Los Angeles artist, has created site-related installations, public art and exhibitions across the United States and in Europe.  She is based in Echo Park.

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