Entertainment & Arts

Last glance: A juicy show by Michael Parker at HRLA

Michael Parker installation at HRLA
L.A. artist Michael Parker created an installation at Human Resources L.A. that featured dozens of his handmade ceramics, as well as lots of citrus and water. It felt fertile, sexy and violent. It also smelled really good.
(Carolina A. Miranda / Los Angeles Times)

The news release for “Juicework,” the most recent exhibition at Human Resources gallery in L.A.'s Chinatown, said to “come thirsty.” Well, they weren’t kidding.

Michael Parker‘s sprawling installation consisted of a series of stations where visitors could have a seat at a shrine-like split-board table and make themselves a cup of citrus juice out of one of dozens of handmade ceramic implements. With its low lighting (made possible by a series of bulbous ceramic lamps) and multi-hued implements (which were equal parts sexy and terrifying), the room felt as though it could be an undersea wonderland or the site of some awesome pagan ritual tied to fertility.

It also smelled really good.

Parker is best known for the obelisk land art he created on the banks of the Los Angeles River; in “Juicework,” he’s transformed a routine SoCal activity -- juicing piles of oranges -- into a practically sacred, sculptural event. And it wasn’t annoyingly self-serious. In fact, the installation felt joyous, almost naughty, and featured some ingenious touches: one of the citrus extractors doubled as flute.


Unfortunately, I caught the show on the last day, which means “Juicework” is no longer possible to see in person. But I managed to take several photos that are worth checking out in the slide show above for a virtual tour of Parker’s intriguing installation.

Find me on Twitter @cmonstah

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