Events | Welcoming Reception

Los Angeles | August 6, 2013 | 8:00 PM

Meet our fellows and check out what is new at Villa Aurora!


Serge Baghdassarians & Boris Baltschun: "Bodybuildung"

How long is a meter? That was the question to be answered by a French scientific expedition that set out for South America in 1735. There, the scientists intended to measure the distance between the equator and the first parallel. The absolute length of the meter would be established on the basis of their findings. Their party included the mathematician and astronomer Charles-Marie de La Condamine. He chose to return via an uncharted route through Amazonia and spent nearly 10 years wandering through the jungle as a result. Among the discoveries he made along the way was caoutchouc, which would later become the raw material of the Brazilian rubber industry.

In their own way, Berlin-based sound artists Serge Baghdassarians and Boris Baltschun have retraced Condamine’s journey, though instead of the tropical wilderness, they’ve measured the urban jungle of Rio de Janeiro. Instead of compass and quadrant, their tools are microphone and recorder. What remains unchanged is the physical effort of exploring foreign terrain—hence the title, “Bodybuilding.” On foot, and with an assortment of quasi-ritual exercises, Baghdassarians and Baltschun move from their residence in Rio to the triangular plaza Largo do Guimarães. At the end of their aural training session stands the ideal form of a place, an artificial sounding-body that seems strangely familiar in the way it further alienates the alien.


Leif Randt
During his stay at Villa Aurora, Randt will be writing a quintessentially Californian novel about two successful German artists coming to Los Angeles to experience and record the birth of their daughter, a moment that is supposed to mark their transition to a more adult bourgeois existence. Their lives, as well as those of their two assistants in their company, will indeed change, but in a different way than they had imagined. In Randt's own words, it is "a story about grand-standing, young Germans' perceptions of America, art marketing and aspirations that cannot be fulfilled: my first real Califonia novel".
Leif Randt studied Comparative Literature, Film, English Philology, Creative Writing and Journalism and earned a degree in Cultural Studies. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the KulturSpiegel Award for Best Young Writer (2009), the Ernst-Willner-Prize at the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize (2011) and the Literary Award of the City of Düsseldorf (2012). In addition to Randt's journalistic work, contributions to anthologies and screenplays, his publications include the novels Leuchtspielhaus (2009) und Schimmernder Dunst über Coby County (The Haze over Coby County, 2011).


RP Kahl: "The Presence of Marta"
RP Kahl presents first fragments from the filmic work he is producing during his stay at Villa Aurora. In this work he refers to the aura of the Villa, finding inspiration from its former inhabitants, first of all Marta Feuchtwanger. The first film fragments focus on "sculpture on film". Therefore Kahl collaborates with artist Stephanie Keitz. The notion of "the absent" builds the thematic framing of this cooperation. The work will be presented as a video as well as an installation.
Admission Free
You will receive an email confirmation
Location: 520 Paseo Miramar, Los Angeles, CA 90272
Street parking is available on Los Liones Drive. Shuttle service begins at 7 pm and will start from Los Liones Drive, off Sunset Boulevard two blocks North-East of Pacific Coast Highway.
Please do not park on the Topanga State Park Lot!

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