HF3: Xasthur

Del Vaz Projects
1526 Armacost Ave., Apt. #202
Los Angeles, CA 90025

VOLUME is proud to present a performance by Xasthur as the third event in its ongoing residency at Del Vaz Projects.

Reduction is not minimalism, despite the temptation to understand nearly any creative endeavor that embraces limitation and formal restrictions under the latter banner. Minimalism was a specific art movement, advanced by artists like Donald Judd and Robert Morris who were also its theorists. Michael Fried’s 1967 essay “Art and Objecthood” famously called into the question the arguments of those practicioners for their work advancing the goals of Modernism. Rather than producing works that “take place all by themselves,” to use Mallarme’s influential phrase, Fried showed that minimalist works take place only in the presence of a spectator, reducing the art encounter to an essentially theatrical scenario in which a viewer sets him- or herself physically in relation to an object that addresses little other than this anthropocentric notion of scale.

By contrast, Nicole Fein and Dean Smith’s works in Haunted Formalism employ strategies of aesthetic reduction in order to reach beyond the human, something that could also be said of the music of Xasthur. Rising to notoreity as one of the pre-eminent one man black metal bands of the 2000s, through acclaimed releases like 2006’s Subliminal Genocide (Hydra Head) and 2010’s Portal of Sorrow (Disharmonic Variations), the band defied expectations and genre convention by reuniting in 2015 with an all-acoustic lineup. Embracing what for many metal bands would be an unthinkable creative restriction, their most recent release, 2016’s Subject to Change (Disharmonic Variations), retains the dissonant, arpeggiated riffs that characterized much of Xasthur’s previous output while foregrounding the vocals and lyrics, adding elements of gallows humor and psychological realism to a worldview that has grown no more humanistic.

VOLUME is thus delighted to present a live performance by Xasthur as part of its ongoing residency at Del Vaz Projects, offering a unique opportunity to experience this legendary and fearlessly unconventional band in an intimate setting.