Hot on the heels of his BK Scum exhibit, our own Dust La Rock brings a brand-new collection of work to the West Coast for “Joking Victim,” a very special gallery show at HVW8 in Los Angeles. RSVP for the opening reception on Thursday, 4/14 from 7-10pm, featuring music by Jokers Of The Scene.
“Joking Victim” is an intimate, stark exploration into the themes of pain versus pleasure, free will versus destiny, fetishism, the occult and mortality. A true mixed media collaboration, it consists of works on paper, photographs, and a short film in which La Rock teamed with a team of innovative artists to help bring his vision to life, including photographers Angela Boatwright, Kareem Black and tattoo artist JK5.
As the “victim” or protagonist in a number of pieces, La Rock utilizes his body as both medium and canvas. In his works on paper, including the central piece “Joking Victim,” the artist uses his own bodily fluids combined with ink and paper for a textured, provocative effect. In the photography series “Skin Canvas,” La Rock becomes the subject as Boatwright documents him receiving a tattoo from JK5. The images capture needle against flesh, as art is turned visceral. Using paper towels to soak up the blood and ink, La Rock displays the resulting patterns in a hanging collage. In the short film “The Ritual,” shot by Black, artist becomes subject once again as La Rock submits himself to a dominatrix.
Other works on display further address the themes of BDSM, death and the religious philosophy of magick. A vessel for experiencing both pain and pleasure, “Joking Victim” is a study in duality, exploring the multitude of ways in which people use and abuse their bodies to satisfy divergent impulses.
The opening reception will feature music by Fools Gold producers and DJs Jokers Of The Scene. Acting as artist and muse, the Toronto duo’s moody, experimental single of the same name inspired the title of La Rock’s exhibit, and their music also serves as a soundtrack to “The Ritual.” An exclusive 7” vinyl single, featuring a new JOTS version of “Joking Victim” along with a remix by Vin Sol, will be available for purchase at the opening.
The “Joking Victim” exhibit will be preceded by the Los Angeles debut of Bruce LaBruce’s queer cinema horror film L.A. Zombie at HVW8 on Wednesday, 4/13. A limited-edition collaborative print by La Rock and LaBruce, featuring L.A. Zombie star Francois Sagat, will also be made available in honor of the film’s screening.
HVW8 Art and Design Gallery
661 N. Spaulding Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036