(Artist) Lunchtime Poll: Glenn Kaino

Shamim M. Momin
Sep 24, 2013 8:16PM

I’ve just returned to LA from a short but sweet visit to Chicago for EXPO Chicago to install IN/SITU, the fair’s curated section which I had the pleasure of organizing this year.  One of the artists who created a site-specific installation for the exhibition – titled “Levity/Gravity” – is the fabulous Los Angeles-based artist Glenn Kaino, with whom I’ve also played burning chess and built sandcastles at the Whitney (2004 and 2007, respectively). Glenn’s Bridge (2013) hung suspended from Festival Hall’s ceiling – from afar reading as a golden-slatted rope footbridge, beginning to cross the space above the viewers’ collective heads. Closer inspection reveals the “slats” are in the form of a familiar arm as they are contemporary casts of athlete Tommie Smith’s limb, made an iconic symbol of Black Power in 1968 when Smith, aged 24, won first place in the 200-meter Olympic Race in Mexico City. During installation I had the opportunity to ask Glenn a few questions for our artist poll…

1.) In honor of our sojourn in the Windy City, which beautiful but disastrous natural force would you prefer to be: windstorm/tornado, hurricane/tropical storm, avalanche, earthquake, or others?

GK: Casualty count aside, I think I'm going with tsunami.  I'm an ocean person and spent years in the water, and though all the other natural forces are pretty bad ass, I'll take the formlessness of the water, the varying speed of the currents, and the fact that you could technically surf me, over the other disasters all day long.

2.) If you had to choose between dying in a fire, drowning, falling off a roof/high location or freezing to death, which would it be, and why? 

GK: I like that this is getting heavy, real quick.  Burning sucks so I'll take freezing.  Falling asleep in the snow vs. screaming while your skin melts off.

3.) If you were to become a country (which you could do, incidentally, as a sovereign state recognized by the UN as I recall...), what would the Flag of Kaino look like? Feel free to send an image or a description.

GK: I'd have to confer with the other Kaino on that one, Jerome Kaino. He's a badass rugby player and should have a say in the matter.  But I'm seeing black and gold in the future for some reason.

Shamim M. Momin