Multimedia & video artist Jason Trucco gave The Untitled Magazine a tour of his latest exhibit while we were in LA during Contemporary Art week in January. The exhibit features some brilliant interactive video pieces.  One of my favorites featured a video of a 1950’s pinup girl who wakes up screaming when you turn on the light, as well as a video installation of a wall street banker who’s expression changes according to the actual stock market.

Jason Trucco 

Annie Wharton Gallery Los Angeles

January 26 – March 9, 2012

Jason Trucco is usually in the right place at the right time. Having lived his childhood in Toronto’s downtown immigrant storefront neighborhood, he experienced the area being transformed by artists such as General Idea and local students from nearby Ontario College of Art & Design, as well as The Queen West Scene, and Moses Znaimer’s landmark media center. From an early age, Jason assimilated classic 20th century cinema, TV, books, and magazines, where he experienced art from the perspective of its relevance to punk and new wave music, artistic appropriation, and pop culture movements. But it was his arrival and subsequent exposure to the many facets of his adopted home, Los Angeles, that shaped an outsider-looking-in perspective of his environs. This show introduces Jason Trucco’s new work in developing an oeuvre that responds to Hollywood both as a state of mind and as a real place.

Trucco is recognized internationally for his creative use of interactive media and storytelling in music videos, installations, and performance. A conceptual artist who utilizes narrative, performance, sound, photography, drawing, architecture, film, data, and interactivity, he explores a range of modalities to form “Exhibit A,” a thought-provoking and at times haunting exhibition. Be they Mulholland Drive desert-scapes or interior views, the elaborately technical interactive video projects he’s created for the exhibition each evoke eerie and anachronistic cinematic and hyper-real qualities. He has also collaborated with other contemporary artists to create several works for the show. He’s working with two LA-based artists to create pieces based on the late writer Donald Rawley’s works. Rachel Kessler is facilitating a scroll of drawings based on a short story by the about a four foot tall Liz Taylor impersonator, and Anna Bruinsma has helped him to realize a series of works on paper based on a poem about Mulholland Drive. Monterrey City-based photographer Ere Lozano collaborated with him on a series of “shower scene” photographs using 25 friends of Lozano’s to reconfigure the iconic moment in Hitchcock’s “Psycho”; and LA-based choreographer/artist Stephan Koplowitz worked with Trucco and 3 dancers to create a series of still photographs and videos that designate the inimitable Cesar Pelli-designed Pacific Design Center as a backdrop for an amalgamation of architecture and endurance-based performance. Trucco and cinematographer Guy Livneh, producer David Iscove, and director of technology Daniel Lehrich used vintage and contemporary tools and techniques, such as movie lights from the 1950s and the latest computerized light sensors to make a number of unique interactive digital works for the show that feature DJ/musician Jessica Gonyea as their subject. LA artist Oliver Hess collaborated on an interactive light work and on the exhibition design. Many of the works in the exhibition employ West Hollywood’s landmark Pacific Design Center as a backdrop, and most of them were actually created within the complex.

“Jason Trucco uses the vocabulary of classic cinema, especially the fine tuned and disquieting sensibility of Hitchcock, to examine the ongoing narrative of California and its Hollywood history. Dredging up tropes from classic media he manages to evoke the dream of America while laying bare the obsessive and alienating dimensions that surround it. Trucco gives us a stark view of the American spectacle that still can’t help but be partially seduced by its glamour and dark romanticism. ” – David Jager, Art Critic, NOW Magazine, Toronto

Jason Trucco is a director, artist, and multi-disciplinary designer who began working with new technology approaches in 2006 and has since pioneered new interactive storytelling devices. He conceived and directed the first 360-degree interactive music video featuring Macy Gray and The Deron Johnson Ensemble and is regarded as the leading director in the medium. As half of the directing duo Instant, with rock artist Kii Arens, Trucco recently directed music videos for Devo, Glen Campbell, and others. This is his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

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