Opening and art talk on January 20, at 6:30 pm, just prior to the premiere performance of JWT’s new salon show, The Accidental Activist. Additional art talks are Monday, January 29 and Tuesday, January 30 at 6:30 pm
Recalling tree rings, a thumbprint, or ripples in a pool, these drawings use the language of topographic mapping to portray my relatives. The images are sourced from photographs that were collected by my aunt Barbara Siegel Lang. Over the years she has devoted herself to researching and chronicling the lives of our distant relatives. Many of these women I could never meet, most of them led lives shaped by Russian Cossack oppression and then Nazi occupation. Many lost their lives in the Holocaust. As my hand draws contours around these line drawings I see bits of my father, aunt, grandmother, and myself. Every little mark and imperfection of my hand creates waves through the image, like each moment of history affects the next. The actions we take today have irrevocable impacts that shape the future. We must remember that legacies of discrimination, hate, and exclusion are imbedded in our culture and it is our duty to look closely and reshape these patterns.
Corrie Siegel is a Los Angeles based multimedia artist who has exhibited nationally and internationally. Mining individual and collective histories, she uses highly involved processes to occupy a position between objectivity and interpretation. Her projects have been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, Mousse Magazine, Droste Effect, and Flash Art International. She received her BFA from Bard College and is currently pursuing a MFA with a concentration in Curatorial and Critical Studies from University of California, Irvine. She is currently an Armory Fellow. She was also a Word grantee, Dream Lab fellow, Culture Lab fellow and Six Points Fellow. She is the director of Actual Size Los Angeles. Actual Size collaborates with established and emerging artists to allow for situations that activate the exhibition and engage the public.
The Braid Gallery, Jewish Women’s Theatre, 2912 Colorado Ave., Suite#102, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Art talks, featuring the artists and curator are free. Tickets must be purchased for performances.
For tickets: www.jewishwomenstheatre.org
Please join us for THIS IS A DEMO, an exhibition by the UCI MFA in conjunction with FAR Bazaar 2017 located at Cerritos College in Cerritos. The exhibition will be held the weekend of Jan 28 & 29 from 10 AM-10 PM.
“Sometimes it is necessary to make holes, to introduce voids and white spaces to rareify the image, by suppressing many things that have been added to make us believe that we were seeing everything. It is necessary to make emptiness in order to find the whole again.”
– Gilles Deleuze
The MFA candidates at the University of California, Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts are pleased to present, “This is a Demo”, a group exhibition featuring new site-specific works intended to remain through the demolition process of Cerritos College’s Old Fine Arts building. The site-specific works will interpolate the site’s many functions as a space for exhibition, instruction, obsolescence, and possibility. The works and installation explore occupation versus void, content versus erasure, annihilation versus creation.
Brianna Bakke, Sasha Bergstrom-Katz, Rachel Borenstein, Brandon Davis, Yubo Dong, Kim Garcia, Anna Ialeggio, Max Karnig, Kristy Lovich, Ariel McCleese, Joshua Ross, Renée Reizman, Reinhart Selvik, Corrie Siegel, Michael Thurin, Christina Tsui, Kyle Welker, Andrea Welton, and Charisse Pearlina Weston
FAR Bazaar at Cerritos College
(in the Old Fine Arts Building)
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA 90650
Jan 28-29, 2017 (10AM-10PM, both days)
This coming year, 2017, marks the fortieth anniversary of the Foundation for Art Resources (FAR – http://www.far-la.org/), one of the oldest non-profit arts advocacy groups in Southern California. In recent years, as numerous other artist-run spaces and alternative art collectives have sprung up within the region, FAR’s output has somewhat diminished from its incredibly active heyday. But, there is no doubt that throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century, FAR helped to produce some of the most significant alternative art events in Los Angeles. From the monthly Art Talk Art lecture series of the 1980s (http://www.far-la.org/
To honor this major milestone of 40 years, FAR is collaborating with Cerritos College to host its biggest FAR Bazaar event ever. In February of 2017, after over 55+ years of use, Cerritos College will be retiring and demolishing its existing Fine Arts complex. This mid-century modernist structure, now sits side-by-side with its replacement, a massive new Fine Arts building to be completed in December 2016. Before the old building is torn down, however, Cerritos College, with the help of FAR, will transform every abandoned classroom, faculty office, and administrative space into temporary exhibition spaces, each to be guest-curated by local art collectives and alternative art spaces, as well as the graduate programs from regional universities and art schools. Because the building is slated for destruction immediately after the end of the event, there is ample opportunity for these various groups to explore alternative methods of installation and even transform the individual spaces into walk-in tableaus that directly engage with the pedagogical nature of the environment.
January is the month for the region’s major commercial art (af)fairs, in particular the Los Angeles Art Show and Art Los Angeles Contemporary. The FAR BAZAAR, as non-commercial alternative art fair, highlights the significant contribution that art collectives, artist-run spaces, and local art schools have on the regional art scene overall. Much like the art fairs provide access to disparate commercial galleries from across the globe, the FAR BAZAAR will allow the various art communities that are physically spread far and wide across the megalopolis of Southern California to come together temporarily in one place for easy access and for productive exchange.
At the same time, in the new Fine Arts building, there will be a series of scholarly panel discussions covering issues such as the history of artist collectives and artist-run spaces in Southern California and the growing plight of aging mid-century modernist architecture. In the newly-relocated Cerritos College Art Gallery, there will be two exhibitions debuting the same weekend as the FAR BAZAAR, one featuring the work of this year’s Cerritos College Art+Tech Artist-in-Residence (Stephanie Deumer), and the other highlighting work by former FAR board members, amongst them current professors and administrators from Otis, Occidental, UC Berkeley, Scripps, and Art Center.
The event will also include food trucks, ongoing musical performances, video screenings, and an art book/print fair.
Participating collectives include: Adjunct Positions, Association of Hysteric Curators, Ave 50 Studio, Biomythography, Boys of Summer, Concrete Walls Projects, D-Block Projects, DH Arts Collective, Disposable Collective, Durden & Ray, Earth Like Planets, Elephant, FA4 Collective, Finishing School, Hinterculture, Improvised Alchemy, JAUS Gallery, KCHUNG, LA Freewaves, Machine Project, Monte Vista Projects, Motherboy, Rough Play, SASSAS, Shed Research, Sixpack Projects, Slanguage Studios, South Bay Contemporary, Summercamp’s ProjectProject, and Tilt-Export
Participating MFA programs include: Art Center, CalArts, Claremont Graduate University, Otis (Public Practice and Fine Arts), UC Irvine (Fine Arts and Critical/Curatorial Studies) UC Los Angeles (Design Media Arts and Fine Arts), UC Riverside, and University of Southern California
Curated by Nicolas G. Miller, Danielle Nieves, Renée Reizman, and Corrie Siegel
Jan 14, 2017 to Feb 11, 2017
Saturday, January 14, 2017 –
2:00pm to 5:00pm
We can learn from each other. Kindness is radical. Introspection is social and gathering together encourages deep thought and connection. From January 14 – February 11, Room Gallery will be a welcoming space for the UCI Community and public to reflect upon our current moment through four distinct curatorial projects. These projects range from an archive of garments, sound works addressing public legislation, the writings of an Amazon.com reviewer, and an invitation to contribute to an ongoing collective art project about relationships to home. Though each project functions as a distinct unit, they are united by their interest in what remains in our cultural memory and what is forgotten. Throughout the run of the exhibition each curator will host a weekly conversation thematically connected to the idea of presence in absence. Each curatorial project presented, and the accompanying conversation circles, ask what can be gained from what is present and what can be learned from that which is missing.
Wednesday, January 18: Hosted by Danielle Nieves
Wednesday, January 25: Hosted by Renée Reizman
Monday, January 30: Hosted by Corrie Siegel
Monday, February 6: Hosted by Nicolas G. Miller
All discussions from 12:00PM – 1:00PM in Room Gallery
Light refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public.
Join us for an emergency benefit to help civilians in Syria. An evening to include a live art auction and the screening of Turtles Can Fly. We are asking for a $15 donation at the door & there will be a small cash donation bar – 100% of donations will be donated to The White Helmets.
The event will be held from 7pm – 11pm at 900 East 1st Street, Unit 111, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Please enter on Vignes and 1st.
Chanel Von Habsburg Lothringen
Contact Hilde Helphenstein for questions.
Please join me and many more artists who have donated works to raise funds for The Los Angeles Contemporary Archive. The benefit auction and opening party are in celebration of LACA’s move to a new space and accreditation as a non-profit organization. Works can be pre-bid on at http://www.lacarchive.com/auction/index.html
LACA’s mission to provide a unique experimental environment for critical inquiry, artistic research, and public dialogue continues to develop along with its growing archival collections.
Luca Nino Antonucci
Dana Berman Duff
Yaron Michael Hakim
Keith Rocka Knittel
Kang Seung Lee
Jason Bailer Losh
Adam D. Miller
Ignacio Perez Meruane
Jennifer Moon & Laub
Andrew Norman Wilson
Alexandra Noel and Naoki Sutter-Shudo
Nora Shields Corrie Siegel
Keith J. Varadi
Erlea Maneros Zabala
Golden Spike Press
More artists TBA…
Thursday, December 1, 2016,
709 N Hill Street
Suite 108-104 (upstairs)
Los Angeles, CA
Entrance on Ord St
October 29 1-4pm
1110 Bates Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Exodus On Sunset: A collaborative, community driven artwork about collective histories
Join artist, Corrie Siegel to explore the overlapping history of people and places who lived between the 3900 and 4400 blocks of Sunset Boulevard. Enjoy food, art, and conversation, and contribute your own story to an ongoing art project that celebrates the hidden histories of Los Angeles.
This project is made possible through the support of The SIJCC, and WORD. WORD is a program of the American Jewish University’s Institute for Jewish Creativity, a program supported through a generous Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. WORD’s Artist Grants, Bruce Geller Memorial Prizes, are made possible by the late Jeanette Geller in memory of her husband Bruce
Irresistible Forces at Chin’s Push, Highland Park, Los Angeles, California
Opens February 11, 2016
Organized by Seán Boylan
Coming to a neighborhood near you in January 2014: Star Tours, an exhibition located within 16 foot truck by artist Corrie Siegel. This nomadic initiative intends to draw connections between local communities, Los Angeles history, and cross-cultural narratives of diaspora. Over the month of January Star Tours will function as a vehicle for collaboration and exploration at sites throughout Los Angeles.
Tourist van, moving truck, and migratory gallery, Star Tours will map the Los Angeles landscape with visits to sites throughout LA County. Visitors are invited to view the changing exhibition within the vehicle, contribute stories to form a collaborative map, and participate in distinct programs at each site. Programs include workshops, dining experiences, tours, presentations by artists and academics, oral history recording sessions, and informal games of beach volleyball.
Star Tours is a part of Cadastral Masorah, a multidisciplinary constellation of works created over the past 3 years. The drawings, papercuts, photographs, videos and performances presented are influenced by the history of map making from antiquity to the present. Siegel references cartography, graffiti, Los Angeles iconography, and traditional art forms that traveled along with the Jewish Diaspora to explore identity and place within the multicultural city of Los Angeles. Star Tours visitors are asked to work as collaborators to create and interpret abstracted maps in order to visualize paths within history and space.
Side Street Projects:
January 11, 11:00 -2:00 pm
730 North Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena, CA 91103
Visitors invited to learn micrography- an art form developed by 8th century Hebrew scribes that sculpts small text to form an image.
January 18, 11:00-3:00pm
1727 East 107th St. Los Angeles, CA 9002
Tours offered of Watts Towers for $7 on the half hour starting at 10:30 and ending at 3:00.
January 19, 10:30-3:00pm
5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036
Visitors are invited to explore historic maps and draw a map of their own. LACMA is open 10:00-7:00pm.
Hiatus Series, Raid Projects:
January 19, 6:30-8:30pm
602 Moulton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90031
Diaspora Dinner, a narrative that unfolds with each thematic course, Contributing Artists Xia Magnus and Alyssa Polk sculpt a dinner party that tells the story of Lincoln Heights ethnic groups as seen by the concrete lions that resided on the Selig zoo gate from 1915-to 2000. RSVP requested.
The Workmen’s Circle/ Arbeter Ring:
January 20, 12:00-3:00pm
1525 S Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035
Bagels and Yiddish conversation group at 2:00-3:30
January 21, 6:30-9:30pm
410 Cottage Home St. Los Angeles, CA, 90012
Public Memory, Google Maps & Personal Narrative- Presentations by Jordan Bielsky, Brigitte Nicole Grice, Kate Wolf and Yelena Zhelezov. An evening of short talks and performances by artists, writers and scholars who will employ Google maps as a tool to navigate place, history, and our relationship to it. Complementary food that explores Los Angeles and world geography provided by artists Xia Magnus and Alyssa Polk.
January 24, 8:30-9:30pm
Alvarado and Montana, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Taco Zone Dance Party. Taco Zone is mobile kitchen that functions roughly between 8:00 pm and 3:00 am and locates itself on Alvarado Street at the intersection with Montana Street. A place maker, Taco Zone is not a space, it is a state of mind, an action, an experience. From 8:30-9:30 Star Tours will host a dance party within a 16 foot truck in the supermarket parking lot adjacent to Taco Zone.
Featuring Taco Zone Go-Go Dancers: Parisa Rezvani, Olivia Fales and Danika Kasky
Tacos approx $1.25 each
Comfortable shoes suggested.
Annenberg Community Beach House:
January 25, 11:00-3:00pm
415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Informal beach volleyball.
This project is made possible with support from The Six Points Fellowship. The Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists is a program of the Foundation for Jewish Culture, originally founded in partnership with Avoda Arts, and JDub, with significant funding from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, and the Righteous Persons Foundation.
Star Tours at Side Street Projects
Side Street Projects is pleased to announce a visit from Star Tours, an exhibition located within a moving truck by artist Corrie Siegel. This nomadic initiative intends to draw connections between local communities, Los Angeles history, and cross-cultural narratives of diaspora. Over the month of January the mobile gallery and associated programming will function as a vehicle for collaboration and exploration at sites throughout Los Angeles. On January 11 from 11 am to 2 pm Side Street Project visitors are invited to view the exhibition, learn micrography- an art form developed by 8th century Hebrew scribes that sculpts small text to form an image, and contribute to an artwork through sharing their stories.
This project is made possible with support from The Six Points Fellowship. The Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists is a program of the Foundation for Jewish Culture, originally founded in partnership with Avoda Arts, and JDub, with significant funding from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, and the Righteous Persons Foundation.
LACMA Staff Art Show
December 10- January 8
LACMA Art Rental and Sales Gallery
Phantom Geographies: Superimpositions of Memory and Place
7 – 9 pm
West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room
625 N. San Vicente Boulevard
Corrie Siegel will be speaking about her work in a round-table discussion with scholars and artists about parallel worlds and the immigrant experience following a screening of Yelena Zhelezov’s essay film, “Signs of Arrival”.
Cheh Khabar // What’s New?
November 12th, 2013, 7-9 PM
Inspired by Pecha Kucha Nights and Ted Talks, this series of presentations, during Gary Baseman’s exhibition, must answer the questions: What’s New? The evening will include videos, performances and live talks by Gary Baseman, Eyal Resh, Corrie Siegel, and Larry Tuch.
Hubs & Hybrids is an ongoing series of interviews with those at the helm of some of L.A.’s most compelling artist-run and experimental visual and perfuming arts spaces.
By Sue Bell Yank and Emily Anne Kuriyama
Angelenos love to reinvent the city’s history — we often find value (or necessity) in reproducing movements with variation. Nowhere is this more evident than in the sphere of fine visual and performing arts, especially in a city that churns out MFAs like a factory for chronically underemployed creatives. In a field where supply (artists and their work) vastly outpaces demand (venues, exhibition spaces, and any kind of real compensation), artists and creative professionals quickly realize that they must create their own opportunities for exposure. School friends and recent grads band together, start their own spaces, make work, and thus enter a community of art makers, venues, ideas, conversations, and scenes. Although the term “alternative art space” recalls a particular time and space, specifically New York City in the 1980s, the rise of artist-run, not very commercial, experimental art spaces can be linked to several urban conditions, which art historian Julie Ault identifies in her seminal text Alternative Art New York, 1965 – 1985.Though she writes specifically about the New York movement of alternative art spaces, locating that phenomenon in a particular time and place, the catalytic factors resonate deeply with present-day Los Angeles. These factors include a young, resilient, diverse, and creative population (check, there are at least five world-class graduate art programs in the immediate area); affordable former industrial or rehabbed space (still available in many areas of the city); overarching economic hardship (i.e. lack of other job opportunities–check–see California unemployment numbers); and the opportunity for global art world exposure (perhaps not always true, but certainly Los Angeles’s current status as an art center is undisputable). This combination of urban conditions is not new; in fact, many art spaces have arisen, lived, and gone defunct in this city over the years, from purposefully ephemeral venues like Deep River (founded by Glenn Kaino, Daniel Joseph Martinez, and Tracy Schiffman) and in existence from 1997-2002, overseeing the millennial turn), to the rise of several experimental non-profits in the mid 2000s (LA>, Machine Project, Workspace, Les Figues Press, Mountain School of Arts). What began to interest my collaborator Emily Anne Kuriyama and I when conceptualizing this interview series was the rise of what we are terming “hybrid” art spaces. Unlike the defined non-profits, commercial galleries, and artist-run spaces of the past, this new crop is difficult to categorize. Sometimes run by artists, sometimes by creative collectives, sometimes by rotating groups, these spaces not only host more traditional exhibitions and performances, but also function as community centers, studios or living spaces for emerging artists, traveling educational initiatives, shops, event venues, publication houses, incubators, and artist service centers. Many have no defined tax status–they might have a fiscal receivership set up, or an LLC, but very few function as either purely commercial enterprises or as non-profits. Most are very small and nimble in their experimental programming and overhead, and many started in 2010. We selected just a few of these spaces to profile in depth for this series, probing why the spaces were started, what their programming ethos is, what the space’s lineage might be, and what the organizers consider success.
Actual Size is a small storefront gallery in L.A.’s Chinatown, just off the main drag of Broadway. Only 250 square feet, the tiny white cube used to be a convenience store called the New High Mart, and is surrounded by hair salons and souvenir shops. Chinatown itself is a bit of a cipher — though home to a Chinese community of business owners and residents, it has a long history of being a location on the cutting-edge of culture; once the center of L.A.’s punk scene and now a hub for small, experimental artist-run spaces.
On our way to visit Actual Size, Emi and I ran into each other wandering around a dark Chinatown block. We moved towards our obvious destination, illuminated by a beacon of light on the sidewalk, a tiny storefront door thrown open, and Corrie Siegel, in a stylish skirt, heels, and long braids, moving chairs and a sound piece in a white pedestal out front. Inside was a pristine white cube that was adorably small, maybe 8’x10′(I think they said it’s 250sq, but it felt a lot smaller), with a concrete floor and the skeletal outline of a drop ceiling overhead. Despite its dazzling white interior and sparse installation of films, drawings, and a sound piece (part of the show Borderlands), the gallery’s diminutive size and storefront location made it feel immediately intimate, cozy, and accessible. The place itself felt like a border, a porous membrane between the street and a community of contemporary artists and cultural producers, and embracing that precarity is reflective in its name. As we sat around a bucket of water and beer on mismatched chairs, at least three random people shouted in as they walked by. “Actual Size” began to feel like the perfect name, as comments ranged from “Is this an actual business?” to “What do you actually do here?” Corrie and Justin John Greene (two of the three directors of the space, sans Lee Foley) had clearly fielded such questions many, many times before.
What is your role in Actual Size? What other things beside this space are you engaged in?
Actual Size’s Co-Directors and Founders are: Lee Foley, Justin John Greene and Corrie Siegel. We work collaboratively on all of the exhibitions and events we organize and sometimes shift roles based on the requirements of each project. Lee Foley is currently a Masters candidate at Bard Center for Curatorial Studies. Justin John Greene is a painter. Corrie Siegel is an artist, and Education Manager at the Fowler Museum at UCLA.
What was the impetus for starting this space? (when, where, how was it incorporated, who is involved?)
We started the space in April 2010 as group of friends and artists. We are still at our original location, a small storefront in Chinatown. In addition to projects at the 741 New High St. location, Actual Size serves as a collaborative creative platform for curatorial interventions and artistic projects that take place across the world and in digital space.
When we began Actual Size we had recently completed undergraduate degrees from the School of the Chicago Art Institute and Bard College. At the time there were just a handful of artist-run spaces in Los Angeles that were operating. We missed the intimate interactions that college art studios, classrooms and darkrooms provided. We witnessed a flourishing apartment gallery scene in Chicago that inspired us to build a space that adapted to the needs of artists in Los Angeles.
One of the cornerstones of the project was an interest in showcasing innovative work in an accessible and conceptually rigorous manner. Our goal was to bridge the gap between the studio and institution in order to engage the community in the culture of the artist’s work. To do this, we aimed to maintain a formal but accessible environment so that our programming could be thoughtfully considered at the same time as it could excite or surprise our visitors. We also liked the opportunity to operate as a storefront in a primarily commercial street with its own rich cultural presence. The small space creates an outpost and intersection of sorts. It enables artists to present investigative and focused projects that may be too ambitious or costly at a larger scale. Actual Size aimed to work with the community through layered projects that can be understood or interacted with on many levels, as practical services, intriguing presentations, or conceptual actions. We like the idea of creating events that provide services to the community and can also be read in a formal or conceptual way by an audience who considers the actions as an art-related construction.
Actual Size registered as a business initially, however the intent from the beginning was always to funnel all profits into the programming for the gallery. We thought operating as a business would allow us full autonomy to structure the space and organization with creative freedom, however non-profit organizations served as our model from the start. Since August 2013 we have operated as a fiscally sponsored organization as a project of the Pasadena Arts Council.
What are the different types of things that happen and why?
Events range from formal exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists to more performative curatorial interventions. Our 250 sq. ft space provides a framework for our programming. Since the physical space is so easy to transform Actual Size can highlight a small body of work and encourage viewers to spend time with only 1-4 pieces in a single visit, or it can be the site for an immersive environment, performance or installation. Our programing varies from events that draw hundreds of people at a time, to intimate gatherings meant for no more than 20 people. Within a year, a visitor could encounter an exhibit of black and white photographs, a large scale installation, an arm wrestling competition, a salon, a continuous song performed by over 50 artists that lasts for 12 consecutive hours, a seating area, a lecture or panel discussion, a class critique, a curated party, the opportunity to read to dogs, experimental food, or a performative garage sale.
Who are the people involved?
We work closely with artists, curators, community members, colleagues, and friends to craft our exhibitions and events.
In general our projects demand a dedicated investment on the part of artists and collaborators. So, in a sense everyone we have worked with in the past is an honorary member of Actual Size.
Who are the programs for? And who shows up?
We have a core group of people that follow our programming, but with each exhibition and event we attempt to target an added audience. Many of the guests are creative producers engaged in the Los Angeles art scene, however some of our most dedicated visitors that attend all of our events are local community members that happened upon an exhibition or event one day and keep coming back to see what is next.
How is the location of the space and its surrounding context pertinent to its program/existence/operations?
Who we are as a gallery and how we conceive of our projects are closely tied to our location. In our weekly meetings, we consider how to build shows that are demanding an arts educated audience but also engaging and valuable to the foot traffic. This is a challenge because we want to allow the artist or the exhibition to exist in its pure form, and we also don’t want to assault the neighborhood with aggressive performative situations all the time. We often place artworks and hold performances outside the gallery so that viewers passing by can take part in the experience. This can help to break the seal between the street and the exhibition space.
We like to think about the neighborhood, our dedicated audience, and the way we can facilitate critical interaction. An example of a recent event was Garage Sale. This exhibition was presented in conjunction with Perform Chinatown. For Garage Sale we set out objects ranging from art, furniture, electronics and knickknacks on the street and inside the gallery. These objects were contributed by artists and supporters. Many objects were presented with a tag that shared their stories. We also invited two bands whose music we felt had a lo-fi, garage band-esque sound, to play music in the driveway space towards the end of the evening. By considering the sale as a performance we wanted to explore the potential of the objects as facilitators of action, and equalize the objects in some way. What we found was that offering things for sale and using the language of a yard sale display greatly engaged the local community. Even though Chinatown is a place in LA where you can buy most everything very inexpensively we found that there was a real interest in the items that we presented. This curiosity about furniture, clothing, toys, etc. also carried over to the art objects. Visitors asked very pointed questions about the work, and demonstrated an active level of investment as a buyer rather than a passive observer. Since that exhibition we have found that the local shop owners seem more interested and confident in visiting the exhibitions and asking questions about the work.
What do you consider success? Or is that not a consideration?
We measure success in many ways.
Our projects teach us. Our goal is to challenge ourselves with each exhibition and event. We grow as artists and curators with each new initiative.
We want to showcase artists work in a clear way. We hope that our relationship with the creator and their work as well as our investment in it results in an exhibition that shows the core of what the artist practice is about. We want them to be proud of their exhibition, and it’s especially rewarding when artists thank us for clarifying certain themes or pushing their practice in certain ways.
We want to provide artists with resources that help their project come to full fruition, whether that means writing a grant, applying for a visa, connecting them with companies that may offer them a discount with fabrication costs, chipping in to help install, writing a press release, curating, helping with certain supply costs, brainstorming and letting them stay at our houses.
We want the public to gain exposure to artists and ideas. It’s great to hear feedback from our visitors and read articles that are written about the exhibition. We have been delighted to see exhibitions at Actual Size result in press, awards, other exhibitions, residencies and collaborations.
We like to use the space as an access point to the culture around an artist’s practice, which can be just as vibrant as the final product and enrich the viewing experience. We hope to gain insight about an artist’s interests, and working style through collaborating with them to develop new points of entry for the public and their preexisting followers. We hope people who are unacquainted and familiar with an artists work are surprised by the new connections they make on a visit.
Actual Size hopes to connect different circles of artists, and people. We like when we see new faces at our openings and enjoy watching kinships develop between artists in group shows. We also like to see passers by getting haircuts from artists and stylists or sitting next to a curator or gallerist to enjoy a lecture or performance.
We want to create a welcoming space that fosters exploration and fun. It’s great when people show up enthusiastically, and when locals pass by and strike up a conversation.
Although commercial profit does not drive any of our choices we welcome it when someone purchases a piece to support the exhibiting artist as well as future experimental projects.
What do you consider failure?
Things don’t always go according to plan, but sometimes that’s for the best. Experimentation and allowing for different results is part of our mission as an organization. So, we try to leave wiggle room along an agreed trajectory. In the process of mounting an exhibition, we aim to be as clear as possible with each other and with artists about the few rules and standards we have as an organization. We consider certain situations less successful when miscommunications occur. We have learned that almost all miscommunications can be avoided by talking frequently, in person.
Do you feel this space is fulfilling a need or contributing to a lack? Why and how (or not)?
Like a little venue where a comedian can test out new material, Actual Size presents opportunities outside of more established institutions and schools for emerging and established artists to get feedback on the work that they want to make. Actual Size is a testing ground for exhibitions that a museum or a commercial gallery might not have bandwidth to support. The size and location of the gallery allows for us to take on challenging projects. We hope that the consideration that goes into presentation and planning elevates the work, so that it can be appreciated in the best possible light. The range of exhibiting artists and audiences produces critical conversation that celebrates creative ventures and diversity on both a micro and macro level.
Most of our programming accesses several aspects of the artist’s practice. For each exhibition, we ask the exhibiting artists to help plan a supplemental event that occurs in addition to the opening reception. The artist can use the event to elaborate on any of his/ her interests that inform the exhibition. The event further investigates the work on view and welcomes those who might not regularly attend our gallery openings- from religious groups, to students, to families who may have never been to an art gallery before. Past supplemental events have ranged from screening series, to lectures, an image swap, a robotic poetry reading with fresh flowers, a brunch, to a therapeutic session where families could read aloud to dogs.
As a curatorial collective, the directors of Actual Size also generate interactive events that engage the local community and present conceptual questions. For instance, last summer we were thinking about how the competitive spirit varies between gender groups, artists and non-artists. We decided to hold an arm wrestling competition in the gallery. Anyone was welcome to sign up. There was a real diversity of competitors. It was funny to watch art critics arm wrestle with artists, and to see local muscle men and women show up for the competition. It was amusing and illuminating to witness certain artists act so outwardly competitive.
The location’s facade as well as our approach to programming gives the Actual Size the posturing of a white-walled gallery, however our small size and out of context placement makes it an idiosyncratic space that can interest all kinds of curious people to experience art in a discrete and considered way if they choose to take a few minutes to do so.
How would you locate this space in the midst of all the other spaces in LA? What are you most like and what are you farthest from?
Actual Size could be classified as an artist-run space, in that exhibitions and events are produced primarily by artists. However, the directors also have experience as curators, museum professionals, community builders, and educators and we carry these ways of working into Actual Size. We try to look and operate like a commercial gallery or museum. We are interested in providing a modest but formal space that participates in the same dialogue as these institutions. In the past 3 years we have collaborated with local universities and other galleries in the area to build a supportive network of organizations in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
Sacred Words, Sacred Texts
American Jewish University
in collaboration with Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/ LA and USC Hillel
Majorie & Herman Platt Gallery
September 29-December 15, 2013
Reception: Sunday, October 6, 11am-1pm
Featuring works by Joshua Abarbanel, Jean Edelstein, Pechy Levy, Sue Ann Robinson, Corrie Siegel, and Doni Silver Simons
Reception at HUC an USC Hillel:
Sunday, October 13,2-5pm
The FIne Arts Council of The American Jewish University
Borderlands- Work by Daniel Kiczales, Tanja Schlander, Corrie Siegel and Rona Yefman
Actual Size Los Angeles
August 17 – September 21, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 17, 7:00-11:00
Actual Size Los Angeles is pleased to present Borderlands, a group exhibition that features work by Rona Yefman, Daniel Kiczales, Tanja Schlander and Corrie Siegel. The works on view explore the interaction between multiculturalism, nationality, politics, and how they affect the individual. Each artist navigates barriers between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and the surrounding region. Displaced many miles from its geographic subject, the exhibition situates Middle Eastern border issues spatially within Los Angeles. Sound, video and drawings shape an intimate space for dialogue about the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict as well as our relationship to place and the borders we create.
Jerusalem and Los Angeles are landscapes sculpted by boundaries, points of cultural diffusion and outsider interpretations. The exhibition and its supplemental events aim to voice the intercultural dialogues that are occurring in Israel today, as well as link Los Angeles viewers directly to these concerns. Borderlands explores the often polarizing topic of Israel’s boundaries through work that considers the complexity of this conflict.
In Rona Yefman and Tanja Shlander’s video, “Pippi Longstocking at Abu Dis” a Pippi Longstocking character in the Palestinian neighborhood Abu Dis struggles to pull down the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank. An adult Pippi approaches borders with a comic absurdity. The archetypal strong girl charismatically asks us to suspend disbelief. Earnest and playful, she prompts both passersby and the viewer of the work to bridge walls while working to tear them down.
“The Messenger” also shows an individual attempting to physically unite a divided terrain, this time through the creation and interpretation of sound. Daniel Kiczales stands upon Mount Scopus with guitar, his back facing the viewer. We look alongside him toward the Isswiya village, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The musician is shown five times, in what seems to be the same day. At the beginning of each clip we hear the call to worship. As the muezzin’s voice rises the artist strums passionately, in a gesture that could be seen as offensive or reverent. The structured video conveys a poetic sense of longing through a piece of music that is harmonically resolved.
Tanja Schlander’s recordings screech and moan. Like fingernails on a chalkboard the isolated sounds elicit a physiological response. Schlandler drags contact microphones, ordinarily used to amplify acoustic instruments, along either side of the wall that separates Abu Dis and Jerusalem. The audio creates a challenging portrait of the border and highlights how difficult it is to listen through the walls we build.
Corrie Siegel’s meticulously drawn maps of Israel trace and overlay boundaries to the point of abstraction. The hand drafted works receive their form from strict adherence to source material. However, the lines also record the wavering hand, which subtly shapes and defines new borders with each pass. A record of flawed or subjective mechanics; the images take the form of Rorschach diagrams and tree rings. The principal shape becomes lost within outlines. As viewers’ eyes search to find the original map they may find their conclusions reflect their own existing perceptions.
Daniel Kiczales is a Jerusalem-based artist and musician. Kiczales received his BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Israel in 2011. Exhibitions include; Art Basel Miami, Miami; Re:visiting Rockefeller, Rockefeller Museum, Jerusalem; Haifa, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa Museum; Ambiguous Being, Tamtam Art gallery, Berlin, Germany; Kav 16, Tel – Aviv, Israel, Houg-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan; Culture.Climate, Yaffo 23, Jerusalem; and Time / Resistance, Israeli Center for Digital Art, Jerusalem.
Tanja Schlander creates visual and sound art. She lives and works in Copenhagen. Schlander received her MFA from the Jutland Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark in 2007. In 2006 she studied at Bezalel Academy in Tel Aviv. Group exhibitions include Post Hiphop,MOHS exhibit, Copenhagen, Denmark; The Girl Effect, Lombard Freid Gallery, New York, NY; She Devil on Tour, The National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest, Romania; and Asking We Walk, Voices Of Resistance, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Corrie Siegel lives and works in Los Angeles. Siegel received her BFA from Bard College, New York in 2007. Selected exhibitions include; The Subterraneans, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Blank Land, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; IJAYA, Ben Uri Gallery, London, UK; Re: present LA, Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, CA;Chainletter, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; GIBSMIR- Family;Tree Structure, Collective Show LA, Los Angeles, CA; EPCAP, Negative Space, Los Angeles, CA;E’clepsydre, .HBC, Berlin, Germany; Family Stories, Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena, CA; Photography At High Speed, Millard Sheets Center For The Arts, Los Angeles CA; The Picture Reason, Photographs by Corrie Siegel, Woods Gallery, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Couperin, Joanie for Jackie Film Festival, New York; Games,Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Smoking Mirrors, UCLA Kerchoff Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Siegel is a founder and Co-Director of Actual Size Los Angeles. She is a current Six Points Fellow.
Rona Yefman lives and works in New York City. She received her MFA from Columbia University and BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Israel. Solo exhibitions include: Tuff Enuf, Somer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; Marth A Bouke, project #4, Derek Eller Gallery, NY; Time Kills, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY; Let It Bleed,Participant Inc., NY; 2 Flags, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel-Aviv; Bebe- A Family Album,Shapiro Galley, Jerusalem; Bunny on the Roof, Borochove Gallery, Tel Aviv. Group exhibitions include: The Kids Are All Right, The Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC, John Michael Kohler Center, Sheboygan, WI; Composed: Identity, Politics, The Jewish Museum, NY; Prolonged Exposure, CCA, Tel Aviv, Israel; Minor Crops May Occur, Lombard Freid Project, NY; Win Last Don’t Care, Ramiken Gallery, NY, Night Gallery, CA; Living Room, Helena Rubinstein Pavilion, The Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; In-Difensa, International Biennial, Torino, Italy;Hugging and Wrestling, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH; The Girl Effect,Lombard Fried Projects, NY; TLV Time 2009, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel.
This exhibition is made possible with support from The Six Points Fellowship. The Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists is a program of the Foundation for Jewish Culture, originally founded in partnership with Avoda Arts, and JDub, with significant funding from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, and the Righteous Persons Foundation.
Artist In Residence
March 17 – March 19, 2013