3 Tage Wach – 3 Days Awake Presents: Impure Lux Imprimatur

Exhibition opening Friday, December 19, 7pm-12am

December 19-21, 2014

The sound of a narrator’s voice, a cast of characters speaking on the topic of purity. P – U – R – I – T –Y. The writer of these words has decided to step away. This is the mediation of what was once a series of live performances, buried in the sands of Egypt, the sands of Guadalupe, California. Performances excavated, several times over, for a second, after life. Excavation II: a sequel to Cecil B. Demille’s The Ten Commandments (1956), a sequel to the Luxor Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Somewhere, within these historical reconstructions, there is an adopted Egyptian prince in the coastal deserts of Santa Barbara County. The voice of Yul Brynner echoes from the grave—they were rendered in his likeness, askew. Purity is a word that makes the writer feel uncomfortable; he knows it’s something dangerous. But there is no danger of purity in Vegas. There, the carnal and commercial reign supreme, and history is a bastard, for sale from birth. The Egyptian government wanted a cut of the casino's profits, reasoning its ancient cultural inheritance was being exploited. Everything lux that was fabricated, all the faux pharaoh fantasies were easily discarded and unloaded like so many hot potatoes—that was back in 2007—to be reframed as local anthropological, natural history episode, the stuff of museums. But, by the sound of it, this could be a didactic, a language lesson—or a recitation and transmission of the dubiously known, of artifacts gathered to approximate some very mannered image of Egypt that is actually more an image of something else.

Hassan Khan (b.1975) lives and works in Cairo, Egypt.

Daniel R. Small (b.1984) lives and works in Los Angeles.

Curated by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer and Aram Moshayedi



Daniel Small

Excavation II (Nefertari, the Beautiful One has Come)

acrylic on deaccessioned excised canvas

Luxor Las Vegas 1997

Las Vegas Natural History Museum 2007

Daniel Small

Excavation II (House of Millions of Years of Usermaatra Setepenra that Unites)

acrylic on deaccessioned excised canvas

Luxor Las Vegas 1997

Las Vegas Natural History Museum 2007

Hassan Khan

Purity

2013

Sound installation

15 min. 18 sec.

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris