Cameron Jamie, “BB”
Cameron Jamie grew up in the ’burbs. Born in Los Angeles in 1969, he was raised in the San Fernando Valley, and deep, dark aspects of his milieu of origin come to bear on his work. Speaking with critic Jens Hoffmann in Flash Art (March/April 2003), Jamie described the Valley of his childhood: “For me growing up there I always felt as if I was living inside a very small and dead world.” But, he continues, “I think the San Fernando Valley is actually very cultured in many ways because most suburban cultures tend to absorb the influence of the outside world to create interesting and odd phenomena which often stay trapped in the sphere of suburbia.”
Focusing his attention (and his camera) on such weird rituals as backyard teenage wrestling and Halloween spook houses, in cross-media collaboration with artists including celebrity impersonators and musicians like the Melvins, Jamie has created a body of film-and performance-based work that trains a flashlight on the violence, escapism, and collective identity found inside our single-family homes and on our mown lawns. “Cameron Jamie,” which opens at the MIT List Visual Arts Center May 5, presents his drawings, sculpture, and films from the past 20 years. Included: his acclaimed film trilogy: “BB,” “Spook House,” and “Kranky Klaus.”
Another view of this country is posed in artist Blinky Palermo’s 40-painting series “To the People of New York City,” which the young German artist completed shortly before his untimely death in 1977. On May 8 at 6 pm, art historian Christine Mehring gives the lecture “To the People of New York City: Palermo in and on America” at the Broad Institute, as part of MIT’s annual Leroy and Dorothy Lavine Lecture Series.
Artist Edward Hopper lived in New York’s Greenwich Village for more than 50 years, and his rich paintings of urban life and the spaces that contain it — from drug stores to Chinese restaurants to offices to bedrooms — often seem to have just a bit too much space, light, and eerie quiet for his figures to seem at ease where they find themselves. Which gives his work that haunting quality we know and love. Hopper also painted landscapes on Cape Cod, houses in Gloucester, and lighthouses in Maine. A wealth of his works, primarily from 1925 to 1950, will be on view in “Edward Hopper,” which opens at the Museum of Fine Arts May 6.
And not to be missed — the “2007 DEcordova Annual Exhibition” opens at the DeCordova Museum May 5, once again promising a fine round-up of New England–based talent. This year’s edition has work by Robert Taplin, Elke Morris, Sandra Allen, Ria Brodell, Samantha Fields, Anne Lilly, Nathalie Miebach, Jeff “Jeffu” Warmouth, Jungil Hong, and Sarah Amos.
“Cameron Jamie” at MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St, Cambridge | May 5–July 8 | 617.253.4400 | Christine Mehring gives “To the People of NYC: Palermo in and on America” at Broad Institute Auditorium, 7 Cambridge Center (415 Main St, Kendall Square), Cambridge | May 8 at 6 pm | 617.253.4400 | “Edward Hopper” at Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston | May 6–August 19 | 617.267.9300 | “2007 DeCordova Annual” at DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln | May 5–August 12 | 781.259.8355
On the Web
MIT List Visual Arts Center: http://web.mit.edu/lvac
Museum of Fine Arts: www.mfa.org
DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park: www.decordova.org