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Los Angeles, 1984
This visit by the group Atelier Pensée Nomade, Chose Imprimée, (École des beaux-art de Bordeaux) to the studio of Jason Rhoades, a Californian artist (1965–2006) begins with a light box and ends with the firing of a gun that turns a potato into French fries.
From box to fries, we see the making—and using—of a piece of art. Rhoades takes us to his favorite DIY store, Homebase in Inglewood, in search of the parts needed to make an “ABS Gun with Pom Fritz Choke.” It is built around a plastic tube and triggered by a can of hairspray, all inspired by the warrior gear of the kids in Rhoades’ neighborhood. A pure gem of LA suburbia.
On the way, Rhoades discusses his childhood in northern California, his recollection of country fairs, Brancusi, and why he opts for yellow.
“Why this special yellow?”
“To match the gallery… just a stupid way of choosing something … just a choice.”
Back in the studio, he hectically saws, assembles, and glues, offering practical tips over the din of the machines. Rhoades gets his hands dirty, showing us how to make art. He thinks with his senses, senses things with his mind.
“We can build a potato gun!”