Writing

detail #3 "Psychological State : Healing State (Unknown & Shells)"

“A few years ago, an artist named Paula took over an old church hall in downtown Cornwallville, a tiny town that calls itself a hamlet, in a valley below Windham right in Greene County. Downtown Cornwallville has two public sites: an old cemetery, not beautiful but old, and a post office that’s got an apartment surrounding its official function.

Paula, whose last name we don’t really know (she calls herself LaLaLa) changed the town itself in amazing ways when she created her museum, a hauntingly beautiful space full of her own evocative cinematic art. She made a room, The Guest Room, for all other artists in the area to exhibit, and from the hills all around, artists appeared.

Paula held an opening in her museum, for the town and for anyone who wanted to come. Farmers, beekeepers, New York City police, a few hipsters (not too many) and some weekenders all happily enjoyed the miracle Paula’d created: a gallery, for every single one of us, on a country road that is, more or less, in the middle of nowhere.

We thronged Paula’s opening, and afterwards, instead of a few crackers, a few pieces of thinly sliced mediocre cheese, we brought forth – every one of us- casseroles and cakes and bottles of wine, and we celebrated creativity together, and the art that Paula made, and the art that she encouraged all of us to make in our very small town.”

—- Esther Cohen, NYC & Cornwallville, NY

 

detail " Psychological State : Healing State (Unknown & Shells)"

 ”I have seen the work of the guests but not the guests proper. Is it significant that in Latin the word for guest was, sometimes, umbra, meaning that they were not really there after all? Only their artifacts, which were for the most part quite interesting.”

 — Alarik Skarstrom, Cornwallville, NY

detail #2 " Psychological State : Healing State (Unknown & Shells)"

“Couldn’t resist letting all know what a thought provoking experience it was to visit the Paula Lalala MVSEVM in upstate Cornwallville, New York.  Of all places far removed from everyday clutter, this very sensitive setting moves one from the bizarre to the very soft touch of a hand reaching through flames fluttering like wings flapping in the wind.

Upon entering the gallery, the ambiance created within the walls of this once old country house of worship opens itself to unlimited varieties of artistic expression.  The mind becomes apprehensive, alert, challenged and braced for feelings not often explored.  Emotional and stimulating sensuality reaches deep within the body’s mind and heart while the fantasies of a sweet tender heart explore the depths of human genius and frailty.

The journey flirts with good and bad realities, our ability to love or to hate.  You get to feel it all through sight, touch, and sound as Paula Lalala searches for truth and what we all have in common.

The Guest Room has displayed works of other artists as well and exemplifies the kindness and generosity of the hostess.  Paula is a very adventurous work of art herself and worth the trip.”

— JohnLee Johann, Tryon, NC

Another Detail of" Basin Smashed, Broken, And Repaired Formerly Self Destroying Penis Fountain With Basin " shot by Masha Avina

“Paula la la la Mvsevm a true wunderkammer; it is a long poem on identity; it is both elegiac and a rapturous embodiment of childlike imaginative discovery. It holds the memento mori of past performances and tools for spontaneous new play. Its physical elements, all found, created or fabricated by Paula la la la, have accumulated over decades and occupied a variety of spaces, from a claustrophobic black-curtained maze to its present bright and spacious home; but the living Mvsevm also extends itself to multiple communities, housing a Guest Room exhibition space and hosting conversations, meals and music. The Mvsevm is an infinitely open-hearted idea.”

— Fran Willing, NYC

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“It was only a year after she moved to Cornwallville, just above the Catskill Mountains, that Paula opened her museum, showing her life’s work and that of many colleagues, both local and from the New York City area. The reaction was extraordinary: a long line of people—fellow artists, neighbors, curious locals—streamed into her new home/studio, looking at the art, chatting with the artists, with each other.

Even more extraordinary, her museum has drawn the same response every year since then. It is remarkable to make such an immediate impression. Paula’s personality has much to do with it: although her manner is gentle and unassuming, her warmth and fierce interest in art as well as the lives of those around her comes through strongly. She has a talent for bringing people together.

That alone would not account for the interest she has aroused. There is, of course, the art, an autobiography in a highly diverse range of media, approaches, and materials, to which the guest-room artists add their own point of view. To me, the importance of Paula’s art lies in its capacity for empathy. It invites the viewer into another world, in a way that is not threatening but appealing. It is up to the viewer to decide how deeply to penetrate that world. Even if the audience doesn’t go far below the surface, I think the art succeeds in bringing the observer to an understanding and appreciation for that other world. If art can do that, it’s a treasure.”

— Lory Frankel, Cornwallville, NY

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“The Guest Room: Paula’s guest room exemplifies the conceptual creativity that underlies her Mvsevm project. Artists are invited to submit work to the annual exhibitions. Their work is hung in the “guest room” which suggests in size, and proximity to the living quarters of the mvsevm, that it is indeed a place where guests can stay. Suddenly, the artwork is “visiting” and “being housed by” the museum, while the artist is Paula’s guest.  As an artist, it is exciting to become one with one’s work in this way.

Testimonial re the Mvsevm’s Outreach program: The Mvsevm is not only a repository for interesting musty artifacts, but an agent for the creation of new art and educational experiences for people of all ages. Paula invited my 12 year old daughter and her 13 year old friend to spend the night at the mvsevm. Paula wanted to photograph the girls as part of an ongoing project. The girls got the opportunity to spend a wonderful evening with Paula, discussing concerns about growing older, about the nature of friendship, etc. Then, the next morning, Paula invited them to work with her on the styling of themselves and the scene for the photographs. I wish more young women could have this opportunity. Paula’s calm confidence and her strength as a thoughtful and creative woman is exactly what young girls need to experience. Now, my daughter and I can look forward to seeing the project in its completed form.”

Tasha Depp, Catskill, NY

"Photo of Kenny and Paula, by Neil Dennerstein" shot by Mary Black

“I was introduced to Ms. Lalala’s art in the mid-90′s, starting with a deconstructed lamp, and have greatly valued its many manifestations since then. Her accumulated works as presented in the MVSEVM reveal a consistency from which I intuit a vision of art both as place for the manifestation of her own enigmatic rituals and as a means of self-confrontation and questioning. Although her creations come from a deeply personal space, they are rendered with an such intensity and vividness (and on occasion, humor) as to bring about a deepened experience of one’s own self. ”

— Stephen Immerwahr, NYC

detail " Good Health For The Mind : Medicine Cabinet Containing Some Parts Of An Earlier Work : Objects Collected From My Body"

Artist Statement – My Name

Artist Statement – I Am A Sculptor

Artist Statement – Model-Dependent Reality

Artist Statement – Sex, Violence, Death, and Self-Destruction

Detail of " Basin Smashed, Broken, And Repaired Formerly Self Destroying Penis Fountain With Basin" shot by Masha Avina  Detail Of "The Goddess of Love : Pussy on Pedestal" shot by Masha Avina

Artist Statement – Speaking Subjectively About Selves

Artist Statement – The Best Thing About Being An American, For Me

Artist Statement – Layers Of The Self

Artist Statement – Death Is My Lover

Artist Statement – People In My Work

Artist Statement – Psychology

Artist Statement – Soulfulness

Artist Statement – The Line Between Art and Life

Artist Statement – Taking Care Of Things

Artist Statement – Why and How

Artist Statement / Manifesto

The Paula Lalala MVSEVM (more info).

About Paula Lalala (more info).

The Sea of Stuff.

On Art and Power.

My Artistic Practice.

Paula Lalala MVSEVM version 5.

 

 

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