Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Julie Lequin Totally Deserves To Be Your Neighbor Or at Least Cubicle Mate

A while ago I posted a couple of "fake" New Yorker cartoons by Mark A. Rodriguez, which are in fact a conceptual art project*. Those had been forwarded to me by a common friend of Julie Lequin, who advised I asked Julie to see her work.
I diligently complied (I totally trust Da Best Curator In Town's advice) and Julie forwarded me links to two older videos she had made. I clicked on them and truly enjoyed them, first of all because it's refreshing to see video (as opposed to, say, narrative figurative painting), then because they were hilariously funny and did remind me slightly of an artist I adore, Michael Smith.

I love the self-deprecating irony of the artist as procrastinator, and the speech/accent reduction lesson is a) very Hollywood and b)something I totally relate to as a French-speaking expat. I'll be able to pronounce "th" when my US friends will be able to pronounce "r" and "u" correctly (not to mention when they stop pronouncing "t" as a "d").
What I like in Julie's work is how it doesn't take itself too seriously. After seeing her work I can't imagine Julie uttering statements such as " After MY death, I want museums to show MY WORK only the way I WANT" and "The Museum owes ME this because I AM the artist". I've heard this in real life and I really wonder how people can say this without feeling ridiculous and pompous. Seriously folks, being artists doesn't dispense you from being human, even if you are very, very successful, as in *straight-out-of-grad-school-successful*. It's not an excuse for behaving like self-absorbed egomaniacs. Honest.

Julie is also publishing a book that's coming up soon, the one she's speaking about in the second video. You can see some pictures above.
Her work is a first-person narrative of what it's like to be a young artist trying to make work in a new adopted country and having to contend with post-graduate school realities. And visa and job issues.
After seeing the two videos I'm sure you will share my enthusiasm for Julie's work. She so totally deserves to be your neighbor, or even your cubicle mate, and to instill a much-needed dose of pragmatic humor in the overblown LA art egoslandscape.
But there's a catch. Julie is French Canadian and right now, she needs a part-time job so she can stay here in LA and extend her visa. So if you guys can help her by letting her be your office or studio assistant, please drop me a line and I'll forward it to her. It would be a pity if she had to go back to Canada and couldn't share her work with us. Come on you guys, don't let Canada get her back!

* The complete series is intended as a groundbreaking new feature of Artforum, to introduce funny pages in the print edition. The idea would be to curate funny pages with other artists once the initial series had run its course. If someone at Artforum listens, please drop me a line and I'll forward to Mark.

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