If you have not checked out the Hammer Museum “Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only,” do it NOW! The third iteration of the Hammer’s biennial exhibition highlights the practices of artists working throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Organized by Hammer curator Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, Director of Education and Associate Curator at the Renaissance Society in Chicago, Made in L.A. 2016 is on view June 12 – August 28, 2016 at the Hammer Museum. Subtitled by the minimalist poet and writer Aram Saroyan as his contribution to the exhibition, Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only includes 26 contributing artists and participants.
See image: Rafa Esparza
“Each Made in L.A. sheds a new light on the work being made by Los Angeles artists, expanding on previous versions of the exhibition,” said Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin. “Made in L.A. 2016 investigates what is vital and distinctive about this city as an international destination and cutting edge art center, and how its artists—from vastly different backgrounds and disciplines—resist and defy categorization.”
Made in L.A. 2016 features in-depth presentations of individual bodies of work—from condensed monographic surveys by artists Kenzi Shiokava and Huguette Caland to comprehensive displays of multiyear projects. This exhibition includes newly commissioned works from emerging artists, extending into such disciplines as dance, fashion, literature, music, and film. New projects by a selection of younger artists consider the roles of other visual and literary forms within their practices.
As part of their research, Moshayedi and Walker visited studios across Southern California, spanning Chinatown, Compton, Downtown, East Los Angeles, Echo Park, Highland Park, Inglewood, Joshua Tree, Ladera Heights, Leimert Park, San Diego, Santa Monica, Venice, and Ventura.
The exhibition addresses Los Angeles as a nexus of activity inseparable from the global network of art production, revealing how artists move fluidly between contexts and respond to their local conditions. The participating artists come from countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Germany, Lebanon, Spain, and Switzerland, and disregard any pretense of a unifying regional aesthetic, sensibility, or identity that has tended to be historically associated with Los Angeles.
Made in L.A. 2016 focuses on a selection of artists from different disciplinary backgrounds, allowing the individual projects to guide the shape and parameters of the overall exhibition. For their contribution, fashion designers Eckhaus Latta create merchandise and marketing campaigns specifically for the Hammer that are inherently tied to the objectives of their clothing label; and the work of artist Guthrie Lonergan inhabits the museum’s expansive digital spaces, including the website, that are normally reserved for external communications.
See image: Martine Syms
Aram Saroyan’s subtitle—a new poem commissioned specifically for Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only—functions in a similar manner, occupying the space of the exhibition’s marketing and communications while lacking any physical presence in the galleries. The tendencies of ephemerality and physicality are further underscored by such artists as Todd Gray, who goes about the routines of his daily life independently of the exhibition at the Hammer while wearing the clothing of his late friend and collaborator Ray Manzarek—co-founder and keyboardist of The Doors—until Made in L.A. 2016 closes on August 28.
Performances and public programs also play a central role, accompanying the exhibition and taking place within the context of site-specific installations by artists Rafa Esparza, Lauren Davis Fisher, and choreographer Adam Linder. Additionally, artists such as Martine Syms, Shahryar Nashat, and Kenneth Tam debut film/video works that were produced as part of Made in L.A.’s emphasis on new commissions.
For a full list of participants or to read more about Made in LA on the Hammer’s website – Click HERE.