Tipping Cars, Climbing Ropes at GCC Art Gallery

Luis Rodriguez

A man tipped over a working car with an engine using air mattresses. No this was not a taping of “Jackass”; it was the art gallery opening at GCC on Sept. 25.

The college’s art gallery hosted the opening of a show of modern art curated by Jan Tumlir. Called Jerry/Jury rigged,”. It featured exhibits from local artists including Jennifer Moon, Jeff Ostergren, Chris Burden, Erick Pereira and Amanda Ross-Ho.

There was a turnout of about 250 people, including the artists and their friends. Roger Dickes, the art gallery coordinator said “This is the biggest exhibit I’ve ever coordinated in terms of the artists involved and the turnout.

“The major exhibit on display was called Red Storm Rising, a video of a car being tipped over by inflating several air mattresses underneath it. Jesse Sugarman, the artist, tried to recreate his work in front of the people visiting the opening. Unfortunately campus police wouldn’t let him do it at first.

“Sugarmann had practiced this stunt for months. Eventually, the inspectors and campus police gave into Sugarmann’s demands. Jan Tumlir, the curator, helped me get clearance for the car with an engine.”

The campus police wouldn’t let Sugarmann tip over the car because it had an engine. Sugarmann usually uses a car without an engine. He was supposed to bring a car without an engine using a truck, but he couldn’t afford one so he used the same car that he drove to L.A. in. Sugarmann said: “It usually takes me hours to set up Red Storm Rising, but with the help of my wife it takes 15 minutes or less.”

Many spectators in the crowd yelled out for the car to be tipped over, and then muttered “It would be cool if the car blew up”. Eight mattresses were inflated under Sugarman’s car and it tipped over. An officer prompted him to move the car off the campus.

One of the other pieces on display was “The Facility” by Jennifer Moon. It is a contraption made from rock climbing gear, and a climbing rope. It displays a workout regimen. There are vintage comic books and cd’s stacked on top of The Facility.

A video exhibit on display was “Boot and Reboot” by Joe Dutch, which entailed a cop getting his car booted. This was one of the most popular exhibits on display, and seemed to get many laughs out of the crowd.

Another video exhibit on display was “Pharmakondriac” by Jeff Ostergren, which was accompanied by a doctor’s smock. The video shows a group of doctors drinking wine while taking pills with various commercials of popular medicines such as Lunesta and Viagra running in the background. The video footage of the doctors plays in fast motion after the doctors take pills.

“Frankly, I’m honored to be in this art gallery with heavy hitters like Chris Burden and the rest,” Sugarmann said.