From April, 2016

Camilo Ontiveros, “Refugees Welcome. Signs” installed as part of "Customizing Language" at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. photo courtesy of the artist

Ruminations on “Refugees. Welcome Signs”

Last January and February LACE hosted the exhibition Customizing Language as part of the Emerging Curator’s Program. The exhibition included many great pieces by some of the artists I respect the most. Raquel Gutiérrez wrote a beautiful piece on the exhibition on Hyperallergic. Here, though I am going to retrospectively reflect on one particular piece in the…

FEMelanin, Performance Stills from Bedtime Stories of White Supremacy, November 15, 2015 at Mana Contemporary, Chicago

The Freedom to Oppress

“The art world is a place that says it wants people to be free.” —Jerry Saltz   “You know and I know that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too early. We cannot be free until they are free.” — “A Letter to My Nephew” James Baldwin   First, we…

still from #Mood Exercises, #mood 2: instagram, instagram is deep

E-Jane: #cindygate, NOPE (a manifesto), #MoodExercises

We want to obsessively discuss the artists we love, support: who we think should fill up everything and everyone. E. Jane is one such artist for us. E. Jane is a multidisciplinary artist residing in Philadelphia. We first heard about their work because of  #cindygate–a badass, performative twitter teach-in that is now web archived. Did…

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What If We Got Free

What if we got free?   What if we could walk around, holding our heads high, unafraid? I’m sure many of us, trans women of color, do despite being the number one target of murder among LGBTQ people in the US. Despite the fact that many of our murders go unseen, with no investigation and no…

Civil Society, CUE Art Foundation, New York, New York, 2010.  Image by Camilo Ontiveros.

Vision in Ruins: Michelle Dizon’s Civil Society

The onslaught of highly mediatized images and near-forgotten memories of racialized violence compelled Los Angeles based artist Michelle Dizon to make the video installation, Civil Society. In it, she explores seemingly disparate episodes of civil unrest separated by both decades and geographical distance. Her critical examinations of these histories and the medium of video itself…

Politics as Currency and the Souvenirs of War: Reflections on Rijin Sahakian’s Statement on the Closing of Sada for Iraqi Art

Along with each feature, we wish to introduce contemptorary artists, writers, interventions, and interruptions that intrigue and inspire us. For our first feature, we picked Rijin Sahakian’s statement ”On the Closing of Sada for Iraqi Art.” We both thought it was the most urgent piece of writing we had interacted with in the past year. We highly encourage our readers to read her statement in full, as it is going to provide much necessary context for the conversation that follows.   In the statement, Sahakian describes the process of building Sada, and her decision to close the organization in 2015:…

Editorial Note to Feature #1

For our first feature, we are hoping to create conversations around notions of “freedom”–how are notions of constitutional freedom translated into US contemporary art practices and discourses? Freedom is too often a word tellingly linked to US cultural production. The “freedom” many practitioners are referring to is unfortunately, The Freedom To Oppress, the Freedom to Conquer, the Freedom to Purchase and Destroy and Expand into what does not, nor should belong to us. Rather than this notion of “Freedom”–which we hope will be fundamentally critiqued and outstripped of its current allure–we have been thinking about the ways other writers, thinkers…