October 12, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 9, 6-9pm
Performance at 8pm
Gavlak is pleased to present I Am The Door, an exhibition that offers a glimpse into the history of the exuberant, collaborative duo, Los Super Elegantes. This exhibition is a participant of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, led by the Getty.
In 1994, Martiniano Lopez-Crozet (b. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1966) and Milena Muzquiz (b. Tijuana, Mexico, 1972) began practicing experimental entertainment together, performing as “Los Super Elegantes” at small clubs in San Francisco. The artists invented “blind singing,” a musical writing technique; blindfolding each other, they sang over their recorded music, believing that this would make their lyrics the most honest and that the melody and chorus would naturally fall into place. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 1998, the duo began practicing improvised happenings inspired by their personal experiences, Latin American heritage, and a history of modern avant-garde performance in Los Angeles. Los Super Elegantes followed a generation of notables whose visual practice also extended to experimental music, including Mike Kelley and Stephen Prina, both of whom were professors to Milena Muzquiz at Art Center College of Design. In addition, Lopez-Crozet and Muzquiz produced plays and musicals, often lip-synching to their pre-recorded tracks on elaborately designed sets, wearing hand-made costumes.
Los Super Elegantes were signed to the record label BMG Mexico in 2001 with which they recorded three studio albums. Music videos such as “Nothing Really Matters,” “16” and “Fla & Flu” received mainstream attention as their hits reached the top of music charts in Mexico. Their site-specific, often ephemeral musical performances took on the context of the exhibition space – be it a music festival stage or a gallery. Crossing genres between punk, mariachi, theatre, dance, and visual art, Los Super Elegantes embraced that they were indefinable, a group that existed somewhere between pop musicians and formal artists.
In 2011, Los Super Elegantes began pursuing their individual practices through new forms. Martiniano Lopez-Crozet returned to Buenos Aires and launched his women’s handmade shoe line MARTINIANO now sold in over 85 boutiques in more than 20 countries around the world. Milena Muzquiz began working in ceramic as her primary medium, with her sculptures referencing the construction of theatrical environments and performative actions. Contemporary works by both artists will be featured alongside the historical screenings on view in the same gallery.
I Am The Door will feature documentation of their live performance at the gallery, new sculptural collaborations, a hand-sewn costume from a past performance. In the center of the gallery, a stage will be reconstructed from an original design for their performance at the Baltic Museum in Newcastle, UK.
For the first time in years, Lopez-Crozet and Muzquiz will reunite as Los Super Elegantes to present a special medley of their greatest performances on the opening night of the exhibition.
Los Super Elegantes performed and exhibited internationally at institutions such as the Sao Paulo Bienniel, Red Museum, Sao Paulo, BR (2007); Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, FR (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2007); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2004); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2004); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2004); and Deitch Projects, New York, NY (2003). Martiniano Lopez-Crozet currently lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Milan, Italy. His line is represented by Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s showroom, New York, NY and 247 showroom, Milan, Italy. Milena Muzquiz lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and Guadalajara, Mexico. She is represented by Travesia Cuatro, Madrid, Spain.
For more information concerning the exhibition or for press inquiries, please contact Julie Russo at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 467-5700.
A reception will be held for the artists on September 9 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, with a special performance by Los Super Elegantes at 8:00 pm. Mezcal cocktails will be generously provided by Gem & Bolt.
About Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles taking place from September 2017 through January 2018. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a collaboration of arts institutions across Southern California.
Through a series of thematically linked exhibitions and programs, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA highlights different aspects of Latin American and Latino art from the ancient world to the present day. With topics such as luxury arts in the pre-Columbian Americas, 20th century Afro-Brazilian art, alternative spaces in Mexico City, and boundary-crossing practices of Latino artists, exhibitions range from monographic studies of individual artists to broad surveys that cut across numerous countries.