- Ashley Hunt: Degrees of Visibility
September 14 – December 6, 2019
Opening Reception: September 14 from 2–4 p.m.
Ashley Hunt’s current project, Degrees of Visibility, is a large body of landscape photographs made in locations throughout the fifty U.S. states and territories, which documents the spaces in which prisons are embedded. Observed from publicly accessible points of view, Hunt’s photographs look at how prisons are presented and camouflaged within our everyday perception and how they contribute to an aesthetics of mass incarceration.
This body of work is part of Hunt’s ongoing examination of how images, objects, maps, writing and performance can engage social ideas and actions, including those of social movements, daily life, the exercise of political power, and the disciplinary boundaries that separate our art worlds from the larger worlds in which they sit. His work looks to structures that allow people to accumulate power, and those which keep others from getting it, while learning from the ways people come to know, contribute to or resist these structures. Rather than seeing art and activism as two exclusive spheres of practice, he approaches them as mutual and complementary—drawing upon the ideas and aesthetics of social movements, cultural theory and art alike, the theorizing and practices of each informing the other.
Recent exhibitions and performances include the performance and book, Notes on the Emptying of a City, a dismantled film that recounts his time in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; Communograph, a multi-platform project with Project Row Houses in Houston; the ongoing collaboration with taisha paggett, On Movement, Thought and Politics; the collaborative 9 Scripts from a Nation at War, produced for documenta 12 with Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Katya Sander and David Thorne; and the Corrections Documentary Project, the ongoing body of work addressing the aesthetics and politics of prison expansion and mass incarceration in the U.S., including ten video works, photographic works and mappings that span sixteen years of research, production and organizing.
Additionally, Hunt has exhibited at the Cue Art Foundation, Threewalls Gallery in Chicago, The Kitchen in New York, the 2012 Made in L.A. Biennial of the Hammer Museum, Sinopale 4 biennale in Sinop, Turkey, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, Woodbourne State Correctional Institute in upstate New York, Putnamville Correctional Institution in Indiana, and numerous grassroots and community venues throughout the U.S. Recent writing has appeared in X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly (2014), Native Strategies issue 4 (2014), Shifter Magazine #20 (2013).
Hunt is on the faculty of California Institute of the Arts and was on the faculty of the Visual Arts MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts 2008–2016.
Conversation Series and Related Events
Critical Resistance presents Los Angeles for Abolition: Dismantling Jails and Building Liberation with Ruth Wilson Gilmore, with Robin D.G. Kelley, Sarah Haley, Michael Saavedra, Azadeh Zohrabi
Saturday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m., Watts Labor Community Action Center, 10950 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, www.criticalresistance.org/sept14
On Art and Organizing, a conversation with Ashley Hunt and Jess Heaney of Critical Resistance
Thursday, September 19 at 8:00 p.m., Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Pitzer College, 1050 N Mills Avenue, Claremont.
Jess Heaney (Scripps College ’08 and 2018 Scripps College Outstanding Recent Alumna) and Ashley Hunt will discuss Degrees of Visibility and Hunt’s work with Critical Resistance against the current landscape of abolition in Southern California.
Critical Resistance and The Claremont Colleges Prison Abolition Club present a two part symposium: Intro to Prison-Industrial Complex Abolition
Friday, September 20, 3:00-6:00 p.m., and Abolition of Policing, Saturday, September 21, 1:00-4:00 p.m., The Hive, Studio 2, 130 E 7th Street, Claremont. RSVP: email@example.com
California Coalition of Women Prisoners presents Gender Violence Behind Bars: Tactics of Resistance
Thursday, October 10 at 7:00 p.m., Women’s Center for Creative Work, 2425 Glover Place, Los Angeles.
Taylor Lytle, Michaé Pulido, Fatima Malika Shabazz and Rojas, moderated by Alisa Bierria, will speak about their experiences of gendered violence while incarcerated, followed by a discussion with organizers from CCWP and audience members on how to fight for women and gender-non-conforming individuals behind bars.
Taylor Lytle is an organizer with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) and a national Peer 2 Peer Fellow. Taylor is a former foster care youth and formerly incarcerated, having been caged as a youth and later at the California Institution for Women (CIW), one of California’s state prisons. Upon her release from prison, Taylor has dedicated herself to ending the prison industrial complex. She’s a talented poet and uses her craft to advocate for women still behind bars.
Stacy Rojas is an organizer with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the Young Women’s Freedom Center. Rojas was incarcerated for 15 years at the Central California Women’s Facility.
Michaé is a queer, trans, Latinx community connector, artist, and skill sharer born and raised in Los Angeles. She currently works as the policy coordinator at the TransLatin@ Coalition, where she is working to change the landscape for trans-inclusive legislation statewide and nationally. Navigating this world post-gender, Michaé sees the direct impact of a corrupt social, economic, and political system that hurts those that choose to not live abiding by the norm. They believe it is their responsibility to uplift the real experiences of the trans community, not just what is glamorized. In becoming more fluent in the policy process, she brings information about the system back to her community and works to improve conditions for future generations of Black, Brown, indigenous, queer, and trans people.
Fatima Malika Shabazz is a 55 year-old formerly incarcerated Transwoman, LGBTQ Social Activist and criminal justice reform and restorative justice advocate belonging to several different organizations: All of us or none; Time done; Advisory Board member for Prison health news; Black and pink LA; Ceo/President of Fatima Speaks LLC. She seeks to create safer and more inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ men and woman, as well as to create policies that ensure the enforcement of laws that should protect the trans population.
Alisa Bierria is a co-founder of Survived and Punished, a member of INCITE!, and an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside.
Practicing Abolition 1: Thoughts = Conversations = Knowledge
Sunday, October 13, 2:00-4:00 p.m., NAVEL, 1611 S Hope Street, Los Angeles.
Practicing Abolition will explore how research, education, conversations, organizing, collaboration, ethics and boundaries can contribute to a complementary practices of abolition and creativity.
Panel and discussion organized by gloria galvez, with Micah Bournes, Jasmine Nyende, Shabina Toorawa, Ellie Virrueta, and performances by Ra Avis and Cole M James.
Critical Resistance LA presents Abolition is Ongoing: Reportback from the campaign to stop Los Angeles jail construction
Saturday, October 19, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Southern California Library, 6120 S Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles.
CRLA and partners defeated two huge plans for a $3 billion in jail construction this year! How to ensure that LA County follows through. Learn about what is next and how to get involved.
Related Event: Dancing Through Prison Walls
Friday, November 8, 8:00-9:30 p.m., Garrison Theater at Scripps College, 231 E 10th Street, Claremont.
Scripps College Department of Dance Faculty Suchi Branfman explores the prison industrial complex through several pieces inspired by her five-year choreographic residency at California Rehabilitation Center, a medium-security men’s state prison in Norco, California.
This Scripps College program is presented in partnership with the Holmes Performing Arts Fund, Justice Education at the Claremont Colleges, and Scripps Presents.
Practicing Abolition 2: Knowledge = Skill Shares = Practices
Saturday, November 9, 1:30 p.m., Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Pitzer College, 1050 N Mills Avenue, Claremont.
Join us for an opportunity to see Degrees of Visibility and participate in a workshop that builds on ideas presented in Practicing Abolition 1 (October 13). From Los Angeles, meet at Chuco’s Justice Center at 11:00 a.m., where there will be a brief tour, and carpool to Pitzer College for the exhibition and workshop in the Lenzner Family Art Gallery at 1:30 p.m. RSVP required: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carceral Geographies of Southern California
Thursday, December 5, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Pitzer College, 1050 N Mills Avenue, Claremont.
A roundtable with Vonya Quarles (Starting Over Inc & All of Us or None), Amber-Rose Howard (Californians United for a Responsible Budget), Hilda Cruz from (Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity), and Dylan Rodriguez (UC Riverside), and moderation by Ashley Hunt.
Critical Resistance LA presents: Annual Prisoner Solidarity Postcard Event and Holiday Book Sale
Saturday, December 7, 12:00-5:00 p.m., Southern California Library, 6120 S Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles.
Each year during the holidays, CR sends over 7,000 postcards to imprisoned supporters and readers of The Abolitionist newspaper. A family-friendly event with food, desserts, kids activities, live music and DJs.
Tags: Ashley Hunt, Current Exhibitions, Degrees of Visibility, Lenzner Gallery
- MANIFESTO: A Moderate Proposal
Curated by Ciara Ennis and Jennifer Vanderpool
Pitzer College Art Galleries
January 20–March 29, 2018
January 20, 3-5 p.m.
Nichols Gallery, Broad Center
Symposium: MANIFESTO: A Moderate Proposal
March 23, 2018
The people have spoken. They have put it in writing. They have created manifestos.
Pitzer College Art Galleries has collected these works and put them on display in MANIFESTO: A Moderate Proposal, an exhibition of the ideas, wishes and demands of scores of citizens with something to say and a need to be heard. It is our current climate of discord that created MANIFESTO: A Moderate Proposal. It was conceived to give these citizens a soapbox and to amplify their voices.
These voices are many. These voices belong to inmates at sun-baked correctional facilities in Southern California and to cloistered scholars at elite colleges. These voices express the ideas of professional writers, self-taught artists and developmentally disabled students. Their broad variety of concerns were harvested by a team of varied volunteers—Andrea Bowers, Olga Koumoundouros, Việt Lê, Ultra Red, Carlin Wing and Jenny Yurshansky—who collected manifestos that are printed on paper, painted on canvas, formed in neon, shot on video and carved in wood. MANIFESTO: A Moderate Proposal is a multitude of opinions hung densely, floor-to-ceiling, in sections that reflect the numerous themes that include immigration, ableism, race, resistance, religion and gentrification.
MANIFESTO: A Moderate Proposal opens on January 20, 2018, and runs through March 29, 2018, at the Pitzer College Art Galleries in Claremont, CA. Pitzer College is one of the highly ranked and nationally admired Claremont Colleges that share contiguous campuses in eastern Los Angeles County. A symposium discussing many of the issues raised by the exhibition will take place on March 23, 2018.
Funded by a National Endowment for the Arts grant, MANIFESTO: A Moderate Proposal was conceived as an outlet for ideas and proposals for the healing of discord in our society and improvement of conditions for all citizens. With the public sphere embroiled in a seemingly intractable contest of us-versus-them so virulent that it has filtered down to a neighbor-vs-neighbor antagonism, it is essential that we reexamine just who we are and what we stand for. MANIFESTO: A Moderate Proposal has joined the conversation.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional support is provided by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe; Swedish Arts Grants Committee; the Arts-In-Corrections program, William James Association; Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges Library; and Pitzer College’s Teaching and Learning Committee and Frederick J. Salathé Fund for Music and the Cultural Arts/Campus Life Committee.
Tags: Lenzner Gallery, Past Exhibition, Spring 2017
- Emerging Artist Series #12: Distance In/Formation: Johanna Breiding, Rebecca Bruno, Yann Novak, and Willy Souly
Co-curated by Robert Crouch and Ciara Ennis
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
January 26 – March 30, 2017
Opening Reception: January 26, 5-7 pm
Distance In/Formation is a collaborative work by Los Angeles-based artists Johanna Breiding, Rebecca Bruno, Yann Novak, and Willy Souly that draws on landscapes in the distance between Los Angeles and Claremont. Featuring two media artists and two dancers, the project focuses on the intersection of dance, video, sound, and aesthetics as a means to explore the extension of body in space. Inhabiting queer identities, the project creates a space in which different architectures, geographies, and subjectivities are manifested and extend beyond the physical constraints of site and the body itself.
Tags: Emerging Artist Series, Lenzner Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Spring 2017
- Cannon Bernáldez
Guest curated by Jesse Lerner, Pitzer College professor of media studies
September 10–December 9, 2016
Thursday, September 8, 5-7 p.m.
Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Atherton Hall
Exhibition walk-through with curator Jesse Lerner
Wednesday, November 16 at 11 a.m.
The Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Atherton Hall
In this exhibition, Mexico City-based artist Cannon Bernáldez brings together selections from three series of works in her first mid-career survey. Although trained in photojournalism and documentary practices, Bernáldez’s work over the past decade has moved towards the production of constructed images staged for the camera. These three bodies of work—Miedos (Fears, 2004-08), El Diablo anda Suelta (The Devil on the Loose, 2007) and Hermanas (Sisters, 2011-14)—comprise a series of visual essays that poetically reflect upon the physical and psychological effects of a violent culture. In the series Miedos, Bernáldez stages her own death; in El Diablo anda Suelta, faux blood splatter and forensic equipment evoke the aftermath of violent crimes; and in Hermanas, Bernáldez references the nineteenth-century tradition of photographing dead babies as if they were alive.
Much of Bernáldez’s recent work reflects the climate of violence that has taken over Mexico, the country in which she was born and works. The pervasive brutality and culture of fear, amplified by the federal government’s attempts to eliminate the criminal organizations involved in the cultivation and export of illegal drugs (as well as kidnapping, murder and extortion), is one of Bernáldez’s enduring themes. She also incorporates elements of autobiography and reflects upon the fragility of the human body, the role of re-creations within the documentary tradition, and the medium and history of photography.
About the Artist
Cannon Bernáldez is a photographer based in Mexico City, where she runs the Literna Mágica studio. She has exhibited at galleries and cultural centers in Latin America, the United States, Russia and France. Her solo exhibitions include shows at the Nacho López Gallery of Mexico’s National Photography Archive (2005); the Images du Pole in Orléans, France (2004); and the Alliance Française Gallery in Mexico City (2003). Her work is included in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University; and, in Mexico City, at the Centro de la Imagen, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, the Museo Universitario del Chopo and Fundación Cultural Televisa. Winner of the 12th Mexican Biennial of Photography in 2006, Bernáldez has received two Young Creators scholarships from Mexico’s National Arts and Culture Endowment. Her other awards include honorable mention at the Visual Arts National Biennial, Merida (2002), the Omnilife Cultural Foundation Award (honorable mention, 2001), the Fernando Benítez National Award of Journalism and Culture (2001) and the Body and Fruit Photographic Contest (2000).
About the Curator
Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker, curator and scholar based in Los Angeles. His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999), The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan, and have screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery in Washington DC, and the Sundance, Rotterdam and Los Angeles film festivals. His films were featured in mid-career surveys at New York’s Anthology Film Archives and Mexico’s Cineteca Nacional. He has curated projects and exhibitions for Mexico’s Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Robert Flaherty Seminar. His books include The Shock of Modernity, F is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing (with Alexandra Juhasz), and The Maya of Modernism. Jesse Lerner is a professor of media studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA.
Tags: Cannon Bernaldez, Fall 2016, Jesse Lerner, Lenzner Gallery
- Juan Downey: Radiant Nature
Curated by Robert Crouch and Ciara Ennis
Pitzer College Art Galleries and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
Pitzer: September 9–December 8, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 9, 3-5 p.m.
LACE: September 13–December 3, 2017
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 13, 7-10 p.m.
Juan Downey: Radiant Nature is a two-part exhibition on the early works of Chilean-born artist Juan Downey as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative exploring the vast subject of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.
From the late 1960s until the mid-1970s, Juan Downey (b. Chile, 1940; d. New York, 1993) pioneered interactive, participatory artworks that helped shape his better-known multichannel video installations such as Video Trans Americas (1973–76) and The Thinking Eye (1974–89). The works that make up Downey’s Electronic Sculptures (1967–71); Happenings and Performances (1968–75); and Life Cycle Installations (1970–73) take radically different forms, but they share similar strategies; conceived as vehicles for interactivity, they are intended to be played with or participated in rather than passively observed.
Downey was especially interested in the potential of technology to facilitate viewer participation, transform social relations, and forge new modes of communication between organic elements or environments and machines or machinic systems. Borrowing ideas from second-order cybernetics, he conceived the organic and technological aspects of his work as relational, operating in tandem and alterable by feedback. Viewer-participants interfacing with the Electronic Sculptures, for example, may trigger an array of outcomes—sounds, colored lights, projections—depending on their actions. Similarly, Downey imagined participants in his Happenings and Performances as part of an unpredictable, amorphous system in which performers, video cameras, closed-circuit televisions, laser beams, and viewer-participants are working together. The Life Cycle Installations create an interdependence between organic and machinic elements—plants, soil, and insects and electronic sensors, cameras, and television monitors—demonstrating Downey’s belief in the potential of cybernetics to solve large-scale environmental issues by rebalancing relationships between humans, technologies, and ecologies.
Symposium on Cybernetics
Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Benson Auditorium, Pitzer College
Exhibition Publication Launch
Sunday, December 3, 1–4 p.m.
Doing Things Together: Presentation by Grant Wahlquist 2–3 p.m.
6522 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
Juan Downey: Radiant Nature
Curaduría Robert Crouch y Ciara Ennis
Pitzer College Art Galleries
9 de septiembre – 8 de diciembre, 2017
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
13 de septiembre – 3 de diciembre, 2017
Juan Downey: Radiant Nature es una exposición en dos sedes enfocada en la obra temprana del artista nacido en Chile Juan Downey que forma parte de Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, una iniciativa de la Getty dedicada a explorar la amplía temática del diálogo entre el arte latinoamericano y latino y la ciudad de Los Ángeles.
Desde finales de la década de 1960 y hasta mediados de la siguiente, Juan Downey (Chile, 1940 – Nueva York, 1993) concibió obras de arte interactivas y participativas que antecedieron y dieron forma a sus instalaciones más conocidas de video multicanal como Video Trans Americas (1973–76) y The Thinking Eye (1974–89). Las obras que conforman las Esculturas Electrónicas de Downey (1967–71); sus Happenings y Performances (1968–75); y las instalaciones de Life Cycle (1970–73) se manifiestan de manera radicalmente distinta pero comparten estrategias similares; planteadas como vehículos de interacción, su intención es propiciar el juego y la participación en vez de la observación pasiva.
Downey estaba particularmente interesado en la capacidad de la tecnología para facilitar la participación del espectador, transformar las relaciones sociales y forjar nuevos modelos de comunicación entre elementos y ambientes orgánicos y sistemas mecanizados. A partir de teorías de la cibernética de segundo orden, planteó los aspectos orgánicos y tecnológicos de su trabajo como simbióticos, operando en conjunto y capaces de alterarse mutuamente a través de retroalimentación. Por ejemplo, dependiendo de la acción que lleven a cabo los espectadores-participantes al interactuar con las Esculturas Electrónicas pueden activar cualquiera de una serie de respuestas: sonidos, luces de colores o proyecciones. De una manera parecida, Downey imaginaba a los integrantes de sus Happenings y Performances como parte de un sistema amorfo e impredecible en el que colaboraban participantes, videocámaras, televisores en circuito cerrado, rayos láser y espectadores activos. Las instalaciones de Life Cycle articulan una simbiosis entre elementos tecnológicos y orgánicos—plantas, tierra, insectos, sensores electrónicos, cámaras y monitores televisivos—que demuestra la creencia de Downey en el potencial de la cibernética para resolver problemas ecológicos masivos al alterar el equilibrio de la relación entre humanos, tecnologías y ecologías.
Recepción de apertura
Pitzer College Art Galleries: Sábado, 9 de septiembre, 3-5 p.m.
LACE: Miércoles, 13 de septiembre, 7-10 p.m.
Simposio sobre cibernética
Sábado, 18 de noviembre 10 am-3 pm
Auditorio George Benson, Pitzer College
Lanzamiento de publicación de la muestra
Domingo, 3 de diciembre, 1-4 p.m.
6522 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
Traducción: Javier Rivero
- HipLatina highlights Juan Downey: Radiant Nature
October 14, 2017
- Pitzer College Art Galleries’s upcoming Juan Downey: Radiant Nature, a 2017 Getty Pacific Standard Time LA/LA exhibition, highlighted in The Huffington Post
November 18. 2016
- artnet news highlights Pitzer Art Galleries’ upcoming exhibition, part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative.
March 31, 2016
- The New York Times highlights the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time grant for Pitzer Art Galleries’ upcoming Juan Downey: Radiant Nature exhibition
March 15, 2016
Juan Downey: Radiant Nature is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin America and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California.
Major support for Juan Downey: Radiant Nature provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.
Additional support is generously provided by Dirección de Asuntos Culturales, DIRAC, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Embassy of Chile; Pasadena Art Alliance; Estrellita B. Brodsky; and Consulate of Chile in Los Angeles.
In-kind support is provided by Human Resources Los Angeles.
This exhibition is organized by Pitzer College Art Galleries and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE).
Energy Fields (1972); Photographic documentation from video-performance, 112 Greene Street, New York, February 1972; Dimensions: 6.30 x 9.45 inches (16 x 24 cm); Courtesy of the Estate of Juan Downey; Photo: Peter Moore © Estate of Peter Moore/VAGA, New York
Energy Fields (1972); Documentación fotográfica de un video-performance realizado en 112 Greene Street, Nueva York, febrero de 1972; dimensiones: 6.30 x 9.45 pulgadas (16 x 24 cm); cortesía del Estate of Juan Downey; Fotografía: Peter Moore © Estate of Peter Moore/VAGA, Nueva York.
More Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibitions at the Claremont Colleges:
Pomona College Museum of Art presents Prometheus 2017: Four Artists from Mexico Revisit Orozco from August 29 to December 16, 2017.
Events on Saturday, September 9:
Opening reception: 5-7 p.m.
Gallery Talk with artist Rita Ponce de León and scholar and catalog essayist Daniel Garza Usabiaga: 4-5 p.m.
Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery presents Revolution and Ritual: The Photographs of Sara Castrejón, Graciela Iturbide and Tatiana Parcero from August 26, 2017 to January 7, 2018.
Events on Saturday, September 9:
Opening reception: 7-9 p.m.
Panel Discussion with the Writers: 1-2 p.m.
Tea: 2-3 p.m.
Panel Discussion with the Artists: 3-4 p.m.
Tags: Fall 2017, LACE, Lenzner Gallery, Nichols Gallery, Pacific Standard Time, Past Exhibitions
- HipLatina highlights Juan Downey: Radiant Nature
- Kang Seung Lee: Untitled (Artspeak?)
September 12-December 11, 2015
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
Saturday, September 12, 3-5 p.m.
Nichols Gallery, Pitzer College Art Galleries
Kang Seung Lee in conversation with Leslie Dick, artist, writer and faculty at California Institute of the Arts
Wednesday, October 28, 4:15 p.m.
Room Q116, West Hall, Pitzer College
Kang Seung Lee’s installation Untitled (Artspeak?) takes as its starting point ARTSPEAK (1st edition, 1990), the mainstream compendium of “contemporary ideas, movements and buzzwords” from 1945 to 1989. Situating art movements and genres within the context of cultural and historical events, ARTSPEAK provides an overarching view of artistic practice from a Western European perspective that privileges a first-world patriarchal view of art history. In contrast, Lee challenges this narrow interpretation by re-writing the timeline from a critical queer perspective that includes women and artists of color previously erased from the narrative.
In keeping with the page layout and format of the book, artists, Lee invited writers and critics to contribute images and other textural references from the year of their birth that resonate with particular artistic, cultural and political moments. The resulting large-scale works, which are produced by Lee, are populated with his collaborators’ individualized responses that re-imagine history from the perspective of previously marginalized cultures and identities. Functioning as alternative historical narratives, they also operate as portraits of the participants, who include Leslie Dick, Millie Wilson, Gina Osterloh, Yong Soon Min and Jennifer Moon.
In a related project, Covers (2015), Lee excavates the gender and racial demographics of catalogues collected by CalArts Library since it opened in 1971. Comprising five bound books, each representing a decade, Covers documents the number of monographs on women and artists of color. By creating this counter-archive, Covers highlights forms of discrimination implicit in conventional systems that construct and disseminate knowledge.
About the Artist
Kang Seung Lee is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in South Korea and now lives and works in Los Angeles. He has had solo and group exhibitions at Centro Cultural Border, Mexico City, Mexico; the Weatherspoon Art Museum at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC; Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky, Mexico City; SOMArts, San Francisco, CA; Center for Art and Thought, Los Angeles, CA. Lee received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2015.
Tags: Artspeak, Fall 2015, Kang Seung Lee, Lenzner Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Untitled
- NINE: Senior Art Exhibition 2015
Hall of Fame is meant to provoke thought on how marginalized lives are valued in today’s society, and to begin a dialogue about how entertainment affects society’s perception of young people of color. By using trading cards and posters, my work shows how our society glorifies the lives of professional athletes, yet disregards the lives of the minorities who are not entertaining the country with lightning quick crossovers, back-breaking tackles and effortless home runs.
My current focus is dedicated to putting emphasis on race and its social ramifications. I’m interested in shining light on the effect race has on the public in regards to people consciously or unconsciously perpetuating the system of oppression. In my recent video works, I’ve made spatially palpable the issues of being a black body within a post-slavery and post-largely oppressive environment of racial abuse, as well as the tensions formed through the process of racism being reconfigured and changing throughout the timeline of modern day. I’m committed to making predominantly white societies, schools, communities, cultures, work forces and institutions aware of these dislocations, highlighting issues that all too often remain unconscious.
I focused on the intersection between form and function in the automotive, motorcycle and aircraft industries. I strive to define an adrenaline-filled and athletically stimulating lifestyle through my strategic use of stills and motion pictures. By playing with the language of mainstream advertising, I’ve created a body of work composed of stories that range from motor vehicle advertisements to character-driven documentaries. My final project looks at the militarization of our nation’s airports and urges viewers to question, “What are we protecting?”
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. While I have experimented with political subjects, I always seem to draw on personal experience. My intimate experiences are more compelling when expressed through the markings of my hands and body. My subjects are personal, reflecting childhood and loss. Being an only child, I became accustomed to solitude and temporary periods of abandonment, which carried on to my adulthood through my romantic relationships.
Connecting my artistic practice to my career goals as a veterinarian I bring my love of animals and biology into my drawings and paintings. My current work depicts animals typically perceived as inferior beings. Through illustrating “undesirable” animals at human scale and in vibrant color, I am trying to dismantle the anthropocentrism of the average viewer and have them understand these animals in a new way.
When creating an artwork, the concept and message always come first, long before I know what physical form it will take; while I’ve spent most of my time at Pitzer making drawings and videos, my final piece is an interactive performance piece. Inspired by innovative artists like Tino Sehgal, Marina Abramovic and Janet Cardiff, my work explores communication by engaging the audience, challenging our tendency to avoid vulnerability by hiding behind digital walls.
I use sound, film and performance as a means of exploring somatic representation of human relationships. My movement is deeply influenced by my study of the Alexander Technique and inspired by the dynamic, confrontational choreography of Pina Bausch. Bell hooks has grounded the theory of relationship intentionality and loving in my work. My fluid sense of home began in Boston and has continued through Pittsburgh, Germany, central Illinois.
I use studio portrait photography, combined with cyanotype or “sun” printing to create photographs that are about the attitudes college students have toward their surrounding material world. By involving peers in the sun printing process, my hope is that they will feel empowered to question and strengthen their own philosophy of objects and, in doing so, become better users and makers rather than buyers and consumers.
#takecareofyourself is an audience-driven installation that shows how different levels of balance and self control create an exploration of what is considered to be “healthy.” This installation is also a reflection for the audience to not forget to treat yourself. Treating yourself is the first step in taking care of yourself. So indulge to satisfy that sweet-tooth craving with the treats provided, and enjoy.
Tags: Adrian Brandon, Alyssa Woodward, Ari Saperstein, Cameron Carr, Dan Stranahan, Leah Pomerantz, Lenzner Gallery, Leonard Schlör, Nichols Gallery, NINE, Past Exhibitions, Pitzer Art Galleries, Raz Krog, Rocío Medina, Senior Art Show, Spring 2015
- Blacklisted: A Planted Allegory
Emerging Artist Series #9: Jenny Yurshansky
January 24 – March 26, 2015
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
Blacklisted: A Planted Allegory investigates the distinction between native versus invasive species as determined by the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee, a scientific organization charged with creating a statewide “living list” of invasive species since late 2009. The discourse surrounding a list of “invasive” or “alien” flora and fauna species has interesting and fruitful correlations to policies regarding immigration, multiculturalism and evolving ideas about national identities that are inherently tied to the identity of border cultures. The project allows viewers to engage in a meaningful and nuanced way with how these issues are thought of in direct and applicable terms.
Blacklisted: A Planted Allegory takes a number of forms, including a comprehensive index of the invasive species found on-site; a large-scale projection—a portrait of all the plants collected and a record of their growth during June 2014; and a light-box image of their incubated sequestration. The exhibition also features two sculptural works, one of which is an index of the more than 100 plants collected, in the style of a classic botanical herbaria rendered in detailed handmade paper silhouettes. The second sculpture refers to the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s Ware Collection of Glass Models of Plants, which is a window into the common presence in 1892 of what are now rare California native plants. This piece, which features a seemingly empty vitrine, is a nod to the fears of the ultimate disappearance of natives in the wake of the encroachment by alien species that fuels the discourse around this issue.
The Botany Seminar Series at Ranch Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Friday, March 6
Dr. Peter Del Tredici, Senior Research Scientist, Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University
and Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Blacklisted: A Planted Allegory has been produced with support by Konstnärsnämnden / Swedish Arts Grant Committee.
The exhibition is also generously supported by the GuestHaus Residency, Kungliga Konsthögskolan / Stockholm Royal Institute of Art, and art+environment – an interdisciplinary program at Pitzer College funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
With very special thanks to:
- Joe Clements, Arboretum and Grounds Manager, Pitzer College
- Ciara Ennis, Director/Curator, Pitzer College Art Galleries
- Dr. Paul Faulstich, Professor of Environmental Analysis, Pitzer College
- Nicolas Galindo, Lead Groundskeeper, Pitzer College
- Cheukwa Jones, Curatorial/PR Coordinator, Pitzer College Art Galleries
- Rachel Kessler ’14, Assistant to the artist, Pitzer College
- Dr. Muriel Poston, Vice President/Dean of Faculty, Pitzer College
- Lance Neckar, MLA, MALA, Director, Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern
California Sustainability and Professor of Environmental Analysis, Pitzer College
- Angelica Perez, Preparator, Pitzer College Art Galleries
Pomona / BFS
- Dr. Wallace M. Meyer III, Assistant Professor of Biology, Pomona College and Director of the Bernard Field Station, Claremont, CA
- Ronald Nemo, Lead Groundskeeper, Pomona College
Harvey Mudd / BFS
- Dr. Nancy V. Hamlett, Visiting Professor of Biology, Harvey Mudd College; Volunteer Researcher and Habitat Coordinator at the Bernard Field Station, Claremont, CA
Keck Science Department, Claremont Colleges
- Dr. Susan M. Schenk, Biology Laboratory Instructor/Coordinator and Lab Lecturer of Biology, W.M. Keck Science Department, Claremont Colleges
- Fred Carlson, Lead Groundskeeper, Scripps College
- Lola Trafecanty, Director of Grounds, Scripps College
- Liv Townsend ’14, Documentation Photographer, Scripps College
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
- Dr. J. Travis Columbus II, Research Scientist; Professor of Botany, Claremont Graduate University
- Nick Jensen, Master’s Student, Claremont Graduate University Botany Department
- Evan P. Meyer, Seed Conservation Program Manager, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
- Dr. Jeffery Morawetz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
- Dr. Mare Nazaire, Herbarium Collections Manager, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
- Irene Holiman, Library Specialist, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
- Jenny Brown, Collection Manager, Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, Harvard University Herbaria
- Dr. Peter Del Tredici, Senior Research Scientist, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard; University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design
- Lisa DeCesare, Head of Archives and Public Services, Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria
- Mary Anne Hamblen, Special Collections & Archives Librarian, Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Research Library, The Corning Museum of Glass
- Dr. Chris MacDonald, Desert Natural Resources Advisor of Cooperative Extension San Bernardino County, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Robert Perry, FASLA, USC School of Artchitecture Adjunct Professor, Professor Emeritus at California State Polytechnic University
- Nisreen Azar, Habitat Restoration Specialist at Glenn Lukos Associates, Inc.
- Noreen Murano, President of Wildscape Restoration, Inc. and the CEO of Resource Conservation Partners, Inc.
- Bill Neill, Desert Protective Council
- Drew Ready, Sustainable Landscape Program Manager at the Council for Watershed Health
Tags: Emerging Artist Series, Jenny Yurshansky, Lenzner Gallery, Past Exhibitions, Spring 2015
- American Sitcom
A *candy factory project
September 20 – December 5, 2014
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
American Sitcom is a new site-specific work by Takuji Kogo and Mike Bode of Candy Factory made for Pitzer College Art Galleries. A multi-channel video installation, American Sitcom uses text animations of transcriptions of monologues taken from online V-loggers’ videos that have been uploaded to YouTube. The artists’ subjects cover such disparate ground as divorce experiences, porn addiction and commentaries from people wanting to join the Air Force. These text animations have been overlaid onto animated backgrounds which have been adapted from online sources such as GIF animations, desktop designs, forum avatars, furry toys and cartoons, many of which carry references to pop art, wallpaper designs, and various forms of popular culture. The resulting work is both visually stunning and at the same time disarmingly familiar. American Sitcom asks the audience to consider how we engage with cyber culture, specifically, what kinds of online environments do we inhabit? Who are we talking to when we upload a testimonial and, what kind of visual languages do we use?
Mining the Internet for visual and domestic content, Kogo and Bode have meticulously animated transcriptions of voices—word for word—using flash-based software. Although American Sitcom employs “real” peoples’ monologues it is not a documentary work, instead it uses and re-uses everyday online media as material. American Sitcom is presented as a multi-channel installation in the gallery space and uploaded to YouTube and distributed online.
About the Artists
Japan-based artist Takuji Kogo is the organizer of Candy Factory Projects. He has produced a large body of work both as a solo artist and in various collaborations. His ongoing solo project NON_SITES is a series of photo-sculptures, digital kaleidoscopes made by looped and mirrored sequence shots taken from moments of standardized everyday life environments. He has presented his work at MediaScope-MOMA/The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Media City Seoul, South Korea; Singapore Art Museum; MAAP Multimedia Art Asian Pacific, Beijing; Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis; Yokohama Triennale, Japan; Nam June Paik Art Centre, Seoul, South Korea; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Takuji Kogo is the director of the Art Institute Kitakyushu, which organizes the Kitakyushu Biennial, and lives in Fukuoka, Japan.
Mike Bode is a visual artist and researcher based in Sweden. He is presently working on a research project Re-configuring actuality, which is an enquiry into the construction and configuration of material taken from online media. He is also developing a discursive platform in Stockholm with the publisher Max Valentin called PLASMODIA, which organizes talks, discussions, presentations and exhibitions with the aim of critically exploring new media and the use of new technologies and their contextualization in documentary art practice. He received a PhD at the University of Gothenburg in 2008 and has presented and exhibited work at Kunst Werke in Berlin; The Rooseum in Malmö; The Center of Contemporary Art in Vilnius, Lithuania; The Nobel Museum in Stockholm; Secession in Vienna and the Kitakyushu Biennial in Japan. He has been a member of *candy factory projects since 2001. Mike Bode is based in Stockholm.
Saturday, September 20, 2-4 p.m.
Artist lecture in conjunction with the exhibition and Pitzer College’s Munroe Center for Social Inquiry (MCSI) event:
Tuesday, September 16, 4 p.m.
Kallick Gallery, West Hall
Artists Takuji Kogo and Mike Bode will discuss their works on this year’s MCSI lecture series, themed: “Virus: Mindless, Efficient and without Morals.”
All events are free and open to the public.
Tags: Candy Factory, Fall 2014, Lenzner Gallery, Mike Bode, Past Exhibitions, Takuji Kogo, video
- Sleep to Dream
Site-specific installation by Martin Durazo ’90
January 21-May 17, 2014
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
The idea of housing a large population of strangers from varied backgrounds is a time-honored tradition among institutions of higher education. However, as a result of this abrupt integration, the student is torn between desiring social acceptance and the need for solitude and existentialist reverie. The physical remnants of this dynamic are embodied in the customization of the individual’s dorm room with personal effects and use of limited furnishings. This aesthetic formula privileges the visual over the verbal, creating an environment for the softening of differences and a condition for personal freedom.
Martin Durazo’s installation explores dorm-room aesthetics using a combination of his own personal objects merged with found and collected artifacts from Pitzer’s archive. Included are large mirrored components offering occasions for self-reflection and relational participation with others in the environment. Referencing iconic socio-political and historically-specific moments, several objects, such as a replica of Huey P. Newton’s peacock wicker chair, will be re-examined through the lens of rave culture using a fluorescent painterly approach. The same painting treatment will be applied to hanging macramé and disparate artifacts.
As a gesture to Pitzer College’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, additional elements will be woven into the fabric of the installation that reference Durazo’s own experiences as a student and dormitory dweller. These individualized memories will be combined with oral narratives from several Pitzer alumni and mementoes sourced from Pitzer’s archives that reveal a complex and hidden world of varying social interrelations.
Opening reception: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 5 p.m.
Closing reception and catalogue launch of Martin Durazo’s Sleep to Dream exhibition:
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 2–4 p.m.
Lenzner Family Art Gallery,
Pitzer College Art Galleries
*The artist will be present for a book signing
Tags: alumni, Lenzner Gallery, Martin Durazo, Past Exhibitions, Sleep to Dream, Spring 2014