Unique in both its assertiveness and the breadth of its proliferation, Los Angeles has attracted a genre of scholarship from Reyner Banham to Mike Davis, from ecologies to fortresses, that exists to divine the city’s essential meaning. While this has produced images both laudatory and critical of parking lots, production studios, mid-century property, and more, Not Los Angeles suggests a new way of thinking about the city– ignoring its structures, its boundaries, and collective identities, spurning the meta-narratives, forgetting the things read, and focusing on the individual perspectives and intimate interactions that constitute this inhabited general space. Engaging the exhibition’s participating artists in a reflective activity rather than a traditional display of bodies of work unified by an overarching theme, the goal of Not Los Angeles is to present decentralized vignettes, not a singular argument.
Six Los Angeles-based artists– Lita Albuquerque, Brian Boyer, Alexandra Grant, Todd Gray and Kyungmi Shin, and Joel Kyack (themselves a constellation of artistic production throughout the city)– will populate the FOCA exhibition space with individual “maps” designed to guide visitors around their estimation of a Los Angeles. The artists were asked to select a few locations–parks, stores, restaurants, monuments, museums, malls, whatever else– that they felt defined their lived city and from their selections create some sort of guide. The combined results, rendered through dioramas, photography and photo-collage, projection, text, and drawing, present a varied city dense and disparate, walked, biked and driven, seen and heard, undefinable.
As a key element of the Not Los Angeles, each of the artists has been asked to present, at some point during the exhibition’s run, a unique public project reflective of the images of Los Angeles in their work. The schedule can be found below.
Saturday, October 17
Join Lita Albuquerque in a Sunrise Walk in Malibu State Park. Return that evening for a Sunset Walk to explore the changing light over the course of the day.
Saturday, October 24
Join Alexandra Grant and members of the Watts House Project for a reading by writers Andrew Berardini, Allison Carter, Douglas Kearney, Gabriela Jauregui and Salvador Plascencia as they each explore one of the five senses and their impressions of the Watts neighborhood. The evening event will include a homemade chicken mole dinner created by neighborhood residents.
Thursday, October 29th
Joel Kyack and special guests will present and perform in response to the literal physical shift of landscape in Los Angeles.
Saturday and Sunday, November 14 and 15
Following a map of West Blvd. created by Kyunmgi Shin and Todd Gray participants will explore the Inglewood Open Studios. The map (found here) highlights artist studios, churches, liquor stores and convalescent homes and includes a set of questions that the visitors can use to engage the artists as they visit their studios.
Tuesday, November 17
Join Lita Albuquerque and John Good, astrophysicist from Cal Tech, for a presentation about and viewing of the Leonid Metor Showers.
Tuesday, November 24
Bring your bike (and helmet) and join Brian Boyer for about a 20 mile ride touring some of the favorite routes documented in his piece, A New Atlas (may also be referred to as: A Collection of Bicycle Routes Throughout Southern California, or Los Angeles Reconsidered: By Bicycle).