A Universal History of Infamy: Those of this America
LACMA Broad, 2nd Floor (east)
August 20, 2017 - February 19, 2018
and Charles While Elementary School
December 9, 2017 to October 6, 2018
2401 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057
Saturday: 1–4 pm
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art press release states that A Universal History of Infamy features sixteen U.S. Latino and Latin American artists and collaborative teams who work across a range of media—from installation and performance to sculpture and video—and adopt methodologies from diverse disciplines, including anthropology, history, linguistics, and literature. Most of the works on view are new projects that began during two-month residencies at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. The exhibition spans three venues—a school (Charles White Elementary School), an artist residency complex (18th Street Arts Center), and an encyclopedic museum, LACMA—offering different perspectives, approaches, and scales in each location.
As stated in the wall text, Vincent Ramos' BCAM installation RUINS OVER VISIONS OR SEARCHIN' FOR MY LOST SHAKER OF SALT (ANTE DRAWING ROOM) engages with the past and present through various forms of collecting and archiving. The artist gives as much weight to an advertisement from TV Guide as he does to primary documents drawn from historical archives. In this installation, Ramos has created an “anteroom” out of cast-off theatrical backdrops salvaged from local high schools. He populates this mini-museum with images of both Mexican American pop-culture icons, including singers with Anglicized names, and performers like Mary Tyler Moore and Bill Dana, who masqueraded as Latinos in the media.
For his curatorial effort at Charles White Elementary School, Ramos considers the body as a transformative “tool” that both adapts to and resists the political, social, and cultural environments of its time and place in history. Ramos will draw extensively from LACMA’s permanent collection and invite the participation of artists, writers, and social justice activists whose work engages with the overarching themes of presence, absence, memory, loss, resilience, and the potential for poetics during politically uncertain times.