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Home Opening Photos Will Oldham @The Headlands

Will Oldham @The Headlands
Written by Caitlin Denny   
Friday, 30 May 2008 04:08
Will Oldham and David Maisel Artist Presentations
"APOCALYPTIC SUBLIME: WILL OLDHAM & DAVID MAISEL"
Thursday, May 22nd, 7:30pm
Headlands Center For The Arts

"Will Oldham (AIR '08) composes songs that are by turns lilting and jarring. His lyrics and melodies capture the conflicted, painful and joyful nature of daily life. In his photography, David Maisel (AIR '08) finds the aesthetic beauty in environmental and social devastation. Join us for an intimate conversation with these two artists."

As I drove up the weird little road that leads to the Headlands Center For the Arts I heard screaming children and saw a row of old military houses- neither of which are ever a good sign. I was just one hour early as I went into the Headlands' main building to pick up a ticket that would let me sit in the actual room of the artists presentation rather than the "overflow" room with a live simulcast. Then, I sat in the grass for an hour taking pictures of my surroundings with my butt firmly planted on the ground.

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Headlands Center For The Arts

I approached the building after an hour only to find it stuffed with fellow art school students, cool old people and the nicely varied people who work at the Headlands.

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We were quickly briefed as to our situation: we were definitely at an artists' presentation and David Maisel (CCA alum) would be speaking first.

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With notes in hand, David Maisel discussed most of his past photo projects as well as a few new ones. Both his series titled "Terminal Mirage" and "The Lake Project" are comprised of many square ratio aerial photographs of landscapes gone awry. We are "surrounded by ghostly objects", as Maisel puts it, and these seemingly abstract (yet all too concrete) landscapes are his proof. In speaking of "The Lake Project" Maisel refers the audience to the film Chinatown, as anyone who has seen the film knows what and where Owen's Lake (the subject of the series) is. Maisel wants to create awareness of what we are doing to our earth, even in places so close to home and infamous as Owen's Lake. Currently Maisel is in the process of constructing an observation tower and pedestrian bridge over the toxic lake. Maisel likes to think of these projects, along with another Los Angeles based aerial series called "Oblivion" as "societal self portraits."

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In Maisel's most well known series to date, "Library of Dust", he explores the useless, infinite and secret through photographing small tins holding the unclaimed remains of patients from an Oregon Insane Asylum. Covered in dust and rust, I can't help but imagine what the remains look like inside.

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After an unbelievably cheesy story of how he got the name for "Library of Dust" (I will spare you), he continued to tell us of his new series he's working on. Titled "Fader", Maisel rephotographs x-rays taken by the Getty Museum of artworks.

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Well, that was fun, but who am I kidding? On to the real reason why I trekked to Marin County on a Thursday night.

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All I can say is it was amazing. Oldham started his presentation with a rather bold statement that he would not be talking about his work. However, I think he just didn't know how to start talking about his work, something he admits he has never done, with a room full of strangers. Oldham played a few new songs he had written while at his residency at the Headlands Center For The Arts, including one written for anonymous couple who asked Will to sing at their wedding. After looking at the couple's myspace pages, Oldham wrote a haunting song about caring. All of his songs were written on colored construction paper in a scribble that fell down page right. Oldham was sincere and unabashed with his comments, yet it wasn't until the music ended did his true artistry come out. In a question from an audience member about his alias ( what's with the alias? why do you need it? you're songs are so personal." to which Oldham replied "Oh, are they?") Oldham discussed his philosophy of the alter-ego and the impossibility of there ever being the real Will Oldham on tour. A great man and great talent!

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Will Oldham is currently working on songs to be sung with is older and younger brothers, one which he played at the show (about prayer). "There is no God, There is no God..."

P.S. Here is Will Oldham playing his first song of the evening!

*Interesting factoid: Will spent his time @ the Headlands because he heard good things about it from friend and artist Thomas Campbell who had done a residency there. {moscomment}

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contact FF

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


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SAN FRANCISCO --- The Headlands Center for the Arts is preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year set to go down on June 4th at SOMArts here in the city. Art auction, food, drinks, live music, etc and all for helping to support a great institution up in the Marin Headlands. ~details

ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

headlands

 

 

 


 

 

 

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The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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