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July 30 – November 1, 2020



The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG), and the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation (BAPF) are pleased to announce an open call for artworks for ARCHIVE MACHINES, an online-only juried exhibition that brings together recent works by Southern California artists. Due to the rapidly shifting nature of present events, this exhibition is conceived as a response in both form and concept to the COVID-19 crisis and the uncanny experience of collective life on pause that the Safer-at-Home directive has initiated.


The current crisis upended routine daily life. This sudden interruption brings a rare opportunity for many to pause, and a cultural institution is not different, and can pause as well. At LAMAG, curatorial staff took this period of rumination to archive over sixty years of artistic activity that  impacted Los Angeles. Revisiting the 1979 group exhibition “The Artist as Social Critic” curated by LAMAG’s inaugural trailblazing director, Josine Ianco-Starrels (1926-2019), LAMAG’s current curators found inspiration in a past exhibition supporting practices of social critique and presenting diverse voices challenging issues of their time.


Limiting the selective revisiting of the past, the curatorial team examined the archive as a conceptual vehicle and is inviting today’s Southern California artists to submit works in response to themes of critical histories, peoples’ archives, memory, and institutional critique. Through this new exhibition, LAMAG will engage with various modes of artistic production to explore the ways in which archival structures and materials are interpreted, appropriated, and interrogated.


Artists will be selected from an open call for entries by a jury comprising of Olivian Cha, Curator and Collections Manager, Corita Art Center, Los Angeles; Kerstin Erdmann, Director, Galería OMR, Mexico City; and Rita Gonzalez, Terri and Michael Smooke Curator and Department Head Contemporary Art, LACMA, Los Angeles.