birgitte moos chalcraft

'FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT’ - Autumn Lights LA exhibition at Pershing Square, Downtown Los Angeles 2011

In the spirit of Los Angeles’ Sister City Berlin and its annual ´Festival of Lights,` AUTUMN LIGHTS showcases cutting edge Los Angeles artists.

In partnership with the City of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation and Art2, AUTUMN LIGHTS LA debuts at Pershing Square Park as an annual event in Downtown Los Angeles. 


Fake it Till You Make It is a visual commentary on contemporary visual art practice and spectator attendance. Produced by using threads to art history and current ‘art trends’. It is a site-specific and politically anarchistic work created for the Autumn Lights exhibition in Los Angeles, specifically intended to be positioned above the escalator to the parking lot under Pershing Square. The placement of the work is a commentary on the spirit of the place: Los Angeles, the multicultural Metropol and melting pot frequented by people of all ages and social ties.

The dominating blue metal color in Fake it Till You Make It is a metaphor for the 20th century. As Autumn Lights in Latin means melancholy, I interpret this metaphoric as transformational, leading to new beginnings. The blue geometric traces indicates here a melancholic trip inspired from sources for civilizations development; the production of infrastructure in ancient Greek city-state, nomadic native Indians mythologies - as Downtown L.A. is originally established by native Indians - to cities encapsulated by Freeways, precisely as Downtown L.A., to technological virtual highway Internet traffic. Traces of human history relevant to the inhabitors of DTLA.

Fake it Till You Make It has a three-dimensional character. The different visual fields are placed on different levels on top of, and in the foundation. The foundation consists of four large rectangular surfaces. The surfaces have cut out ‘windows’, with inserted images, of prints on varied transparent materials. Windows and images provide glimpses of some of the historic trails, which provides a foundation for the work, while sculptural elements, placed on top of the four foundations, refer forward in time.

The work also examines the impossible question of whether all art is already done or if it is still possible to generate new innovative ideas. Can an artist's understanding of art history serve to generate new groundbreaking work?

Fake it Till You Make It plays with the notion that in the present consumer-related part of the art communication, it often seems to be about that the artist executes a new idea. The title Fake it Till You Make It may for example refer to that phenomenon one finds when similar ideas occur simultaneously elsewhere in the world. And the results can seem as if some of the artists apparently, deliberate or not, are copying other artists' works and ideas. Or ideas simultaneously echoing each other, with reference to the 'String Theory' in quantum physics. Reversely, the title also indicates that exercises in copying masterpieces generate a mastery of techniques, that can lead to mastery of new and precisely executed artworks.

To illustrate the influence of previous works, or indicating this could be a comment on CON-ART, even con-art in itself, new paintings have been added on top of the foundation. These heavily influenced by original works by artists, such as Rothko. In addition, there are ‘imitations’ of trends in current artworks seen dealing with reflections and mirror images, like in Rorschach Tests. The choice of motifs that plays on mirroring effects in relation to the ideas of echoes and reflections in Fake it Till You Make It. Recent artworks have also been produced, where they contain textile design or paper clips integrated on canvases. Therefore a field has in Fake it Till You Make has been added, where the surface consists of braided strips.

The text is inverted and written from right to left. This as a result of that my thoughts are projected onto the canvas. The canvas, which later placed opposite a spectator, sends its manifested message back to this new receiver who receives a reflection of a mirror. In other words; a double projection. Throughout this new meeting, the word order again turns into both a visually and linguistically recognizable structure.

If the artist's function is to hold up a mirror to society, we may have to accept the fact that in our time, the mirrors are hazy. The problem is that we are blinded by our own projections. An image of that we in the West reflect each other, unlike for example in Buddhist philosophy, where it is about stopping projections in order to see clearly.

Thus the work is quite complex, multi-referring, and immediately incomprehensible. Just like life.