On the occasion of their new solo exhibition “Paper-Thin Hotel” that will premiere at downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG), Music On Walls had the chance to discuss with Dosshaus about the music that continuously influences their art.
Dosshaus is the artistic collaboration of Zoey Taylor and David Connelly , whose work blends painting, sculpture, installation, photography, fashion, video, and performance to present fantasy worlds; using recycled cardboard from the alleyways of Los Angeles, paper, and acrylic paint as their primary mediums.
Hi Zoey, David could you tell us the importance of music in your creation process?
We listen to music all the time in the studio while we work. It sets the tone and puts us into a similar rhythm, which is very important in collaboration.
Could you tell us the importance of music in your life?
Music has always been a major part of both of our lives. We’re both record collectors, and early on, one of the reasons we decided we should attempt a collaboration was our varied musical influences. Our first conversation ranged from Serge Gainsbourg to Lightnin Hopkins to George Bizet to Patti Smith and Pharaoh Sanders.
What are the art pieces inspired by music that will be presented at the show?
Steve Jones (of the Sex Pistols) recently gave us the boxes his Taylor guitars came in. From those we sculpted the piece Jukebox (Cosmic American Music). We had been planning to make a jukebox for our Paper-Thin Hotel show, and since his cardboard came with a musical pedigree it seemed fitting that those boxes should go into the piece.
We’ve also sculpted a Gibson ES-335 guitar (the model that Chuck Berry favored). And there’s a portable radio, a turntable, a phonograph, a ten-inch record, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder.
Were there a particular music or music artists that inspired your show?
Too many to mention briefly, but a lot of them are included by name on our Jukebox sculpture. We’ve painted in our own fantasy singles from artists like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Gram Parsons, Ma Rainey, The New York Dolls, Leonard Cohen, and, of course, the Jukebox King Chuck Berry.
What have you been listening to during the preparation of the show?
We’ve been steeped in Americana, and listening to a lot of what Gram Parsons referred to as Cosmic American Music, a mix of rock, blues, R and B, some classic country.
What is on your playlist at the moment?
As we install the show, we’re been listening to things that keep us moving. These five are on heavy rotation:
Holidays in the Sun – Sex Pistols
One Track Mind – Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers
Loose – The Stooges
Pills – Bo Diddley
Rocks Off – Rolling Stones
Are you musicians ?
We are not musicians, but we do have a record. We put out a double 7” single last year with Sympathy for the Record Industry. It was also called Paper-Thin Hotel, and it bears the distinction of being the world’s first record to be released entirely on cardboard.
The limited edition single release examined the role of visual art in music and has the distinction of being the first officially released record to be made entirely of cardboard. (See below the recording process)
How would you see yourselves as musicians?
We have never seen ourselves as musicians, perhaps that's why music continues to inspire us creatively.
CARDBOARD SCULPTURE DUO DOSSHAUS CREATES FULLY IMMERSIVE MULTI-ROOM INSTALLATION IN HOMAGE TO FLOPHOUSE HOTELS
For their debut solo show at the gallery, the duo will transform Gallery 2 into a flophouse hotel featuring a lobby and several rooms depicting different people, lifestyles, themes, and vignettes of American culture. Each room is separated by a thin, cardboard-covered wall. They are the literal representation of a flophouse hotel’s “paper-thin” walls from which the show takes its title. There is no illusion of privacy within this hotel. In that, the hotel can be seen as a metaphor for a modern, social media saturated world.
Additionally, each room features a myriad of cardboard variations on artifacts that once served as the foundation of American culture – one can’t help but wonder if the real things are anything more than a paper-thin illusion.
Ostensibly a voyeuristic peek into the lives of the denizens of a low-rent residential hotel, it is also easy to see the installation as a treatise on the country in which this fictional hotel exists. Just past the lobby, viewers are able to wander through four hotel guest rooms. Each room is a completely different environment, and the sculptures collected within suggest a narrative about its inhabitant.
Dosshaus shares , “This is by no means a dour exhibition. Quite the opposite. The Paper-Thin Hotel is a glorious celebration of stuff. There is joy in every meticulous detail on view, and one is free to lose themselves, albeit momentarily, in a fantasy land devoid of the real-world trappings of politics, judgment, and consequence. We’re clearly enamored with the hotel dwellers we’ve created. This could be because the characters, as signified by the objects that surround them, represent different aspects within ourselves.” As such, Taylor and Connelly will appear at set times within the installation, performing the role of one or more of the characters. This is a departure for the duo, who previously appeared only as versions of themselves within their work. One gets the sense that the Dosshaus universe is ever expanding. And beyond this intersection, there’s an open road ahead.
The opening reception for “Paper-Thin Hotel” will be hosted Saturday, April 7 from 7 11pm in Gallery 2 at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles. The reception is open to the public and the exhibit will be on view through May 5 .
Dosshaus is the creative collaboration of Zoey Taylor and David Connelly, artists whose work blends painting, sculpture, photography, fashion, video, and performance. From the outset, the pair has been interested in the intersection of high and low culture. Responding to a society saturated with social media-generated images in which reality itself seems more and more relative, Dosshaus explores the impact the emerging culture has on the way people view themselves and their place in society. They seek to create something out of that culture – a substitute reality that selectively accepts and rejects the conventions placed upon them individually as people and collectively as artists. They use recycled cardboard, paper, acrylic paint and glue as their primary mediums to fashion their own highly idealized universe. The works themselves invert the very idea of the readymade. These are highly manipulated, sculpted pieces that give the illusion of everyday objects from an alternate, animated dimension.