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Select Curatorial Projects

Coastal/Border, Fall 2017

Group Show

Coastal/Border is an exhibition of original site-responsive performance and installation work with corresponding public programming. Taking as its starting point the landscape and history of the area surrounding Angels Gate Cultural Center, the participating artists will interrogate how the coast is fortified as border, and how in turn that impacts the Latino/Latina communities of Los Angeles and beyond. In asking artists to develop a performance or public programming component of their work, the curators seek to emphasis the ways in which historical connections between LA/LA are embodied in the present and create meaningful opportunities for community involvement in the exhibition. For more information, click HERE.

Broken Ground, April 2017

John Hulsey

In Broken Ground, Hulsey presents four projects that attempt to make visible the conflicted histories of land, property and development in Southern California. As Hulsey writes, “Los Angeles in 2017 is a city dotted with construction zones. Developers’ signs boost future building plans while construction crews break ground on new mixed-use projects, all while the city’s affordability crisis deepens and displacements continue. What is driving this new wave of development, and why is our economy so reliant on this form of growth? How is the current boom an extension of a much longer history, and what are the relationships between development, colonization, and westward expansion in the California landscape?” Each project approaches these questions from a specific place, both personally and politically charged. In Mar Vista, where his grandparents moved in 1945, he replaced developers’ signs with poetic interventions that speak to the layered experiences of place and displacement. Looking to the past, Hulsey and collaborator Matt H. Mayes engaged the failed socialist experiment at Llano del Rio in the Antelope Valley—creating sculpture and text that explore the tension between past and present or “the dream of the commune turned into the dream of the gated community.” In another work, Hulsey and collaborator Alejandro Dobie-Gonzalez engaged with community activism surrounding The Reef, a $1-billion development near Downtown Los Angeles, in order to extend the site’s contestation. Drawing on his work with groups like City Life/Vida Urbana, Hulsey sets up occasions that render the crisis of place audible and visible.

Knockdown Dash, April 2017

Nicole Capps + James McCarthy

Knockdown Dash is named for a type of ubiquitous pink stucco found in Southern California. The show includes Pink Elephant, asculptural representation of a dream had by Capps in which she found herself in a bedroom entirely covered in the material. McCarthy translated aspects of the dream, writing of the process, “Sharing a dream is a revealing of the inner self.  Peeling away the edited façade of the conscious person to reveal the unedited subconscious.”  Drawing on his experience of cutting through layers of stucco as an electrician, he recreated the sub stucco layers he often encounters through soft fabric sculpture, mirroring the revealing process of the subconscious mind. Capp’s created three surreal large-scale drawings that explore the relationship between styles of stucco and neighborhood identity, which often becoming an aesthetic shorthand for socioeconomic status.  The artists used their own experiences with housing combined with sociological inquiry to create a playful yet deeply thought provoking experience. As Capps writes, “I grew up in a stucco house in the valley, and have lived in several stucco apartment buildings in Palms, Echo Park and City of Commerce. Celebration, monotony, joy and exhaustion, loss, love, play and work have happened in and outside of stucco structures.”

Sea/Saw, January 2017

Group Show

Sea/Saw showcases advanced BFA students from California State University Long Beach working in sculpture, broadly defined. The title playfully evokes the image of studying sculpture in a Port City. The work chosen is thematically linked through explorations of how identity informs ideas of work and play. The artists examine gender, race, sexuality and class through topics of ranging from landscaping, Internet culture, and an actual see/saw. The artists include Caryn Aasness, Kacilica Chin, Christine Hudson, Dulce Soledad Ibarra, Juliet Johnson, Vanessa Olivarez, Diego Palacios, Josh Thomen and Josh Vasquez. Exhibition runs through February 27th.

New Monuments, May 2016

Andy J. Brown + Lowell Nickel + Benjy Russell

New Monuments is a series of three solo exhibitions exploring monumental absences in our cultural and built landscapes. Monuments have a long histories of evoking patriarchal power; histories that pose critical questions for the artists participating in the show as how to create sculpture (along with video and installation) that challenges rather than affirm long standing ideas of the monumental. Andy J. Brown, Lowell Nickel and Benjy Russell each incorporate aspects of the area surrounding Angels Gate Cultural Center into their work, anchoring their conceptual inquiry in the specific landscape of San Pedro. 

Hold Up, January 2016

Group Show

Hold Up is a group exhibition spanning all five gallery spaces at Angel's Gate Cultural Center. Participating artists responded to a prompt: sustainability comes from the Latin sustinere (tenere: to hold, sup: up). The ensuing phrase “hold up” evokes conflicting images: a pillar and a blockage. To change personal and collective patterns to ensure that life on the planet can be sustained will create roadblocks, rerouting us to explore uncharted terrain. The artist responses come together to create a non-linear map. Overlooking the Port of Los Angeles, the gallery faces the dynamic hub of organized labor on one side and the expanse of the Pacific on the other.The exhibition traverses land and sea in reimagined vehicles wobbling across scrutinized infrastructure that necessarily transforms itself into perches for utopic possibilities to take flight. 

Fire in Her Belly, 2013

Group Show

An exhibition reconsidering the censorship and gender during the Culture Wars.  Catalog essay available HERE. Artists include Ron Athey, GANG, Lisa Kahane, Robert Mapplethorpe, Paulette Nenner, Pussy Riot, Connie Samaras, Andres Serrano, Clarissa Sligh, Annie Sprinkle + Beth Stephens, Anita Steckel, Julie Tolentino, Ai Weiwei, and David Wonjnarowicz.

Reclaim Pride, 2013

Group Show

Christopher Street West (CSW), the organizers of the Los Angeles Pride parade, invited ONE Archives to participate in their annual festival as part of a special “Arts and Heritage” exhibition space titled Momentum located in a parking garage under a thumping festival stage. ONE’s curator David Frantz hesitantly accepted the offer to participate in the corporate sponsored, ticketed festival and asked RECAPS to come along for the ride. To “reclaim pride” we dug deep into the archives, crowd sourced, and conversed, in hopes of bridging the event’s radical origins with possibilities for queering the present state of LBGTQ politics. We solicited submissions for button designs, posters, artwork, ephemera, and ideas for guerilla performances to present in our booth and now as this virtual archive, the first annual reclaim:pride issue. 500 buttons, three days underground, and one masked intervention later, we sat down to discuss why/how/and what it meant for us to participate in the festivities of Pride 2013.

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