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While LAMAG’s physical gallery remained closed due to COVID-19, we amplified our commitment to our mission to respond to the diversity of human experiences that shape Los Angeles. Though meeting the moment online, LAMAG maintained its essential functions established by its 60 years precedent of fostering a space for local artists to address social critique and discourse with contemporary matters. With this in mind, LAMAG shifted 2020’s juried exhibition, ARCHIVE MACHINES, to an interactive web format which invited Los Angeles artists and visitors to engage with the activities of archives. ARCHIVE MACHINES brought together jury selected artists whose works explored the ways in which archival structures and materials are interpreted, appropriated, and interrogated.
The juried exhibition brought together 44 artists selected by a jury comprised of Olivian Cha, Curator and Collections Manager, Corita Art Center, Los Angeles; Kerstin Erdmann, Director & Partner, Galería OMR, Mexico City and Director of the MA program Contemporary Art, Markets and Management at Centro in partnership with the Sotheby’s Institute of Art; and Rita Gonzalez, Terri and Michael Smooke Curator and Department Head Contemporary Art, LACMA, Los Angeles.
An archive “machine” connotes a powerful mechanism for telling one’s own story—whether it be through an urgently recorded video of a situation, a collection of public records, an heirloom tale preserved by word of mouth, found ephemera, or cherished memorabilia. It is through such operations that the artists endeavor to examine the archive as a conceptual vehicle to de-center dominant interpretations and encourage plural perspectives. ARCHIVE MACHINES gathered artworks in an arc of four sections that explicitly explored the activities of: Revisioning, Resisting, Rewiring, and Relating. These sections were a means to critically query the modalities behind the construction and circulation of narratives.
In further dialogue with archival discourses and the aim to revisit and rethink contexts, the curatorial framework for the presentation of artworks followed the structure of “living archives”, with the exhibition taking a cumulative course, growing throughout the duration of the show. The developing nature of the exhibition also introduced opportunities for visitor participation through the launch of a new salon-style series of topical response prompts as a source for community interaction and virtual convening. Visitors were encouraged to revisit and join in the conversation.
ARCHIVE MACHINES Release Schedule
July 30, 2020, launches ARCHIVE MACHINES’ first section, REVISIONING featuring artists: Jamie Adams, Caroline Clerc, Natalie Delgadillo, Danny Jauregui, Dina Kelberman, Audrey Leshay, Maura Murnane, Lenard Smith, Allison Stewart and Rachel Zaretsky.
August 13, 2020, RESISTING features: Johanna Breiding, Woohee Cho, Boz Garden, Malisa Humphrey, Nova Jiang, Farrah Karapetian, Keaton Macon, Silvi Naçi, Amir Saadiq and Keith Walsh.
September 10, 2020, REWIRING features: Sasha Bergstrom-Katz, Arezoo Bharthania, Tom Comitta, stephanie mei huang, David Kelley, Ahree Lee, Julie Orser, Lena Pozdnyakova and Eldar Tagi, Tianyi Sun, Kyle Tata and Camille Wong.
October 1, 2020, will conclude with RELATING featuring artists: William Camargo, Helen Chung, Nick Flessa, Carla Jay Harris, Wesley Larios, Helena Min, Tyler Matthew Oyer, Felix Quintana, Leticia Velasquez, Evelyn Hang Yin, Sarita Zaleha and Jody Zellen.
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William Camargo, All That I Can Carry, 2020. courtesy of the artist.
Lena Pozdnyakova and Eldar Tagi, Attention Environment 1, 2019. courtesy of the artists.
Boz Garden, Riotous Arrangement 1, 2020. courtesy of the artist.
Allison Stewart, Removed Jefferson Davis monument, New Orleans, Louisiana Donated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy Installed 1911 Removed 2017, 2019. courtesy of the artist.