Parker Ito

An aqnb guide to ‘Untitled, Art’ in San Francisco

11 January 2017

Untitled, Art is presenting its San Francisco edition at venues across the Californian city, opening January 13 and running to January 15.

Founded in 2012, the contemporary international art fair brings together a selection of galleries, artist-run spaces, organizations and non-profit institutions. This is the first edition in San Francisco, with curators Christophe Boutin, Omar López-Chahoud, and Melanie Scarciglia bringing together a diverse series of partnerships, working closely with Bay Area institutions like Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art and 500 Capp Street, among others.

Independent art fair Mind Control will also be running alongside Untitled at San Francisco’s Alter Space, with participating galleries SPF15,  Y2K Gallery, and bug among others.  The weekend event will host exhibitions, outdoor and site-specific installations, workshops, radio shows and more.

Mind Control (2017) @ Alter Space, San Francisco.


Original posters designed especially for the fair will feature editions by Ida Ekblad, Simon Fujiwara, Nic Guagnini, Alex Israel, Elizabeth Jaeger and Mika Tajima and others.

There will also be Tote bags for sale designed by Rirkrit Tiravanija and Ebecho Muslimova.


Untitled, Monuments is the section of the fair that features large-scale work and site-specific installation.


Launched in 2010, artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari are collaborating again to create an immersive and communal space that brings together a “twisted narrative tableaux and surrealist imagery.”

Parker Ito, Parker Cheeto’s Infinite Haunted Hobo Playlist (A Dream for Some, a Nightmare for others) (2014). Exhibition view. Courtesy Smart Objects, Los Angeles.


Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art’s temporary on-site bar designed by artist Oscar Tuazon will host the program of discussions and talks which will also be aired on

  • On Writing: novelist, poet, essayist and author of When the Sick Rule the World, published by semiotext(e) in 2015, Dodie Bellamy will discuss the intersection of visual art and writing, Jan 14
  • The Gratitude Project : Danica Phelps will begin the talk with an auction of her own works, and with proceeds going to the Fire Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency Fund for the recent Oakland Fire, Jan 15


  • Common Thread : a virtual collaboration between artists at Creative Growth Art Center and Untitled fair-goers
  • A Dumbball making workshop : taking place at artists’ David Ireland’s home 500 Capp Street and led by artist Rebecca Goldfarb and Andrew Sheets



  • Brent Green will present Study For Lesser Satellites + Strange Fates 
  • ATTENTION! We’ve Moved: a floating performance series and exhibition with Oakland-based artist Constance Hockaday.
Maggie Lee, ‘Mommy’ (2015). Install view. Courtesy Real Fine Arts, New York.


The radio station will be streaming on and will feature a huge range of conversations, interviews, sound art, performances, playlists and readings. 

 See the Untitled, Art San Francisco webpage for a full program and more details.**

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Aram Bartholl’s LA Speed Show, Feb 18

17 February 2016

Artist Aram Bartholl will present a Speed Show in Los Angeles, the first of the series to be held in the City on the evening of February 18.

In 2010 Bartholl initiated the series of Speed Shows in Berlin. Its set up is an exhibition that can take place anywhere in an internet cafe displaying for a moment (or evening) works that already exist online, leaving the job of the curator simply to find a good harmony of things to channel into the cafe space.

“A lot has happened since 2010”, as Bartholl, who aqnb interviewed in 2013, states in the press release. He talks about how manifestos work and interestingly seems to be writing one as a press release that undoes a worded relationship between screens, the internet and artists.

This group Speed Show, at iPC Bang Internet Cafe includes work old (‘classic’) and new by the likes of JODI, Ann Hirsch, Parker Ito, Kate Durbin, Daniel Keller, Yung Jake, Petra Cortright and Nadja Buttendorf and many more.

Despite the dated format, the show’s premise is a moment pulled together in a room, and it kind of works to see and feel what it all looks like now, in one place -especially in a city like LA.

See the FB event page for details.**

Petra Cortright, Petwelt (2014) @ Société installation view. Courtesy the gallery.
Petra Cortright, Petwelt (2014) @ Société installation view. Courtesy the gallery.

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Grand Orpheus Highway @ La Plage, Dec 4 – Jan 11

4 December 2015

The Grand Orpheus Highway group exhibition is on at Paris’s La Plage, opening December 4 and running to January 11, 2016.

Following its inaugural show with Berlin-based artist Ilja Karilampi’s Truss Mi Daddy, the new space will feature work by London-based artists Iain Ball and Yuri Pattison, along with LA’s Parker Ito.

There is little information on the theme of the exhibition save for a short bit of poetry referencing Greek mythology’s tragic god-couple Orpheus and Eurydice, physical highways and information networks as a space of transition and a potential analogy for lost hope:

“It is night. Orpheus glances back and crosses Eurydice’s gaze
Intersecting between Grand and Orpheus, the highway
a place of transition
where some things change
others remain the same
at this speed, systems of information and structures of power are unveiled
Who is looking?
I don’t know
I don’t care

Looking back
The highway’s in ruins”

See the La Plage website for (limited) details.**

Parker Ito, Parker Cheeto’s Infinite Haunted Hobo Playlist (A Dream for Some, a Nightmare for others) exhibition view. Courtesy Smart Objects.
Parker Ito, Parker Cheeto’s Infinite Haunted Hobo Playlist (A Dream for Some, a Nightmare for others). Exhibition view. Courtesy Smart Objects, Los Angeles.

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Co-Workers – Network as Artist @ MAM reviewed

30 October 2015

Co-Workers – Network as Artist, running from October 9 till January 31 at Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, presents the work of artists emerged in the 2000s and whose practices deal mainly with networking and systems of exchange that displace the anthropocentric position of the subject, outweighing its human scale. It comes as one of two exhibitions, the other being Co-Workers: Beyond Disaster at Bétonsalon, Centre for Art and Research, focussing more on the way people interact with their environment and how disasters impact and transform us collectively.

Three curators were brought in for  the exhibition at Musee d’Art Moderne alone, along with curatorial participation from 89plus, and artists such as Ryan Trecartin, Trisha Baga, Aude Pariset & Juliette Bonneviot, Rachel Rose, and Timur Si-Qin, it is a colossal institutional project.

Co-Workers – Network as Artist (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Co-Workers – Network as Artist (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

In Co-Workers one can discern echoes from the 1985 Les Immatériaux at Centre Georges Pompidou. Organised by Jean-Francois Lyotard and Thierry Chaput, director at the Centre de Création Industrielle, it questioned mainly how our relationship to the world had changed. Stating how materiality had lost its criteria of identification and that dematerialisation was but a word that constitutes the materiality of material, Lyotard foresaw the scenario that we are presented with today.

The notion of co-working is illustrated, perhaps too cohesively by the scenography, designed by New York art collective DIS. Approaching the exhibition with their signature fluidity whereby they manage to subdue most divergences, they create a space in flux, the transitions between the individual works are generally smooth, resembling a working area with no clear delineation between private and public space. This dimension is particularly present in DIS’s installation, ‘The Island (KEN)’ (2015), a composite kitchen bench and shower in the room that’s host to talks and performances. The installation becomes a kind of mainframe to the exhibition, providing a reading or a point of entry to the other works.

Parker Ito’s 24 image series are the first works you encounter in the space. The images are made up of a material that responds to light. This, coupled with the superimposed images, gives the impression that they are constantly changing and re-materialising. Ito’s work thus introduces the first topic of the exhibition: ‘Circulation and Rematerialisation of Images’.

Co-Workers – Network as Artist (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Co-Workers – Network as Artist (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Further on, Cecile B. Evans ‘Working on What the Heart Wants’ (2015) is a prototype for a work that will be presented at the 2016 Berlin Biennale, also curated by DIS.  It’s an installation made up of a three channel work, where Evans presents a 3D environment on the left side, a video showing a character with wavering emotions in the centre, and a chat with freelancers that were asked to work on the production on the right.

The notion of mutability and consciousness especially during times of emotional agitation and change –is further developed in Ian Cheng’s ‘Emissary in the Squat of Gods’ (2015). It’s the first episode in a new series of works made up of two parts. The first shows a preconscious primitive community faced with a geological catastrophe. The second shows a character coming out of a volcano, as his consciousness starts to grow.

Similarly Hito Steyerl’s ‘Liquidity, Inc.’ (2014), presents an installation that represents a time of crisis and impending catastrophe, while questioning our response to this situation. It’s an installation piece made up of a screen that divides the room in two. On the entrance side, vertically positioned blue foam benches direct you to the other side of the screen where one finds a tsunami-like cushioned area made of the same material.

Co-Workers – Network as Artist (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Co-Workers – Network as Artist (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Placed at the exit is Ed Atkins’ darkly humorous video ‘Even Pricks’ (2015). The work deals with depression and the inability to express a deeper connection than is afforded through emoticons. Following that one finds the self-proclaimed “exhibition within an exhibition”, a curatorial contribution from by a long-term research and multi-platform project 89plus, founded by Simon Castets and Hans-Ulrich Obrist. Their project, presenting work by a younger generation of artists born in or after 1989 –a year marked by the fall of the Berlin wall and the introduction of the World Wide Web –is cut-off from the rest of the exhibition, contained in a glass booth right next to the exit.

Certain aspects of Lyotard and Chaput’s 1985 exhibition remain central and recurrent in 2015’s  Co-Workers. It presents as an exhibition dramaturgy of the complex relationship between objects and subjects and new materialism. On an aesthetic level this is vastly explored here, there could be more engagement with an ethical discourse concerned with its themes that goes beyond an aestheticization of the subject. Thirty years on, it’s a problem that’s not yet been resolved. **

The Co-Workers – Network as Artist group exhibition is on at Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, running October 9 to January 31, 2016. 

Header image: Nøne Futbol Club, ‘Work nº2B : La tonsure (after Marcel Duchamp)’ (2015). Installation view. Courtesy Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

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Parker Ito @ Smart Objects reviewed

11 June 2014

For someone that never lived there, the US can be a very strange place. As an ostensibly secular country built around the supposedly rational ideology of democratic capitalism, a drive across its vast and varying landscape reveals a space steeped in its own mysticism, manifest in any form from the omnipresent evangelism of the bible belt to the rootless, new aged occultism of California. Somewhere between those two theologically and geographically oppositional, though equally extreme, poles lies Denver, Colorado. It’s a city that boasts the largest airport in the States and the focus of ‘post-internet’ superstar Parker Ito’s latest solo exhibition Part 1: Parker Cheeto’s Infinite Haunted Hobo Playlist (A Dream for Some, a Nightmare for others) at LA’s Smart Objects.

Parker Ito2
The thing about Denver International Airport is that it’s the subject of widespread criticism and conspiracy theories for its bewildering public art collection. There’s a bright blue 32-foot tall sculpture called ‘Mustang’ –glowing red-eyed and nicknamed ‘Blucifer’ –that killed its creator Luis Jiménez in 2006, a bunch of Masonic symbolism and a series of terrifying murals essentially depicting the Apocalypse. One of these very images features on the Smart Objects rooftop; a painted reproduction of a mysterious gas-masked fascist figure, impaling a white dove and leaving a trail of dead babies behind it, spanning the length and width of a wall. It’s the last thing you’ll see in the exhibition extending across the gallery’s two storey building –from the shower and toilet on the ground floor, to a couple of the private bedrooms upstairs, the laundry, and finally the roof.

On entering Smart Objects –with viewings by appointment and its window shutter rolled down –there’s a gaping, potentially landlord-enraging hole in the wall between the exhibition space and a disused elevator shaft. From there trail some intertwined LED light strips to be pinned to the ceiling and suspending a neon sign saying what looks like “yodirodiray”, a couple of bouquets of Ito’s familiar multi-coloured flowers from 2012’s The Agony and the Ecstasy and all four bathroom walls plastered with print collages of an online aesthetic that includes crude manga-like imagery, an illustrated hand holding an illustrated iPhone and spiky-fonted text reading fragments like “french blowjob” and “Nicolas Cage at the after party”. Across the living space above –also leased by the gallery but rarely, if ever, open to the public –hangs a sort of triptych split across rooms of Emmanuel Frémiet’s ‘Jeanne d’Arc’. The French hero and British foe clings to her sword above the washing machine, is obscured by chains (or is it links?) in one of the bedrooms, and then finally replaced by a stylised ‘self-portrait’ of Ito himself looking like the Angel of Death in another.

Parker Ito1
None of this seems to make logical sense, but on reflection, it kind of does. The ambiguous persona of Parker Ito –otherwise known as Parker Cheeto or “Parker Speedo, Parker Frito, Parker Dorito, Parker Ego and Parker Burrito” –trades on eschewing any kind of solid concept to his work, while shrouding the image of the artist behind it. The abstracted figure of ‘Parker Cheeto: the Net Artist‘ mimics the nonsensical nature of the global internet viewed through the lens of stoner conspiracy theorists reading meaning into the meaningless and constructing their own doom-y realities blurred across online and offline space.

While I’m sure I’m missing something when witnessing the high top hat of a dark green human-like sculpture hanged by fairy lights in the elevator shaft and resurfacing as a cartoon silhouette in the bathroom, the depiction of this particular apocalypse that, as its title suggests, serves some and scares others, is a fairly revealing one. Because, New World Order or not, all you can really do in the face of uncertainty is make sense of it how you can. **

Exhibition photos, top-right.

Parker Ito’s exhibition Parker Cheeto’s Infinite Haunted Hobo Playlist (A Dream for Some, a Nightmare for others) is on at LA’s Smart Objects, running May 30 to July 27, 2014.

All images: Parker Ito, Parker Cheeto’s Infinite Haunted Hobo Playlist (A Dream for Some, a Nightmare for others) exhibition view. Courtesy Smart Objects.


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