CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE GENERAL IDEAS BEHIND THE CURATION OF THE 2020 MADE IN L.A. SHOW?
LM: “Made in L.A., as a project, has this mandate of being a survey of art happening in Los Angeles now. But very early on in our process Myriam and I connected in being interested in making an exhibition in addition to a survey--by which we meant certainly identifying artists that live and work in Los Angeles now, but also selecting artists we could present together that would make these connections in a gallery—that would allow for underlying currents or threads and conceptual through lines to be excavated out of the work placed together in the galleries...to propose a larger idea.”
MBS: “Once we went through the process of studio visits, visiting about 300 artists in the city, we got a better picture of the general threads and things started to emerge. One of these threads that helped us build the exhibition was entertainment. Not only as an industry, but also as a set of tools or tactics that artists can use in their work, or to broadcast their work, or to hijack in order to reach a broader audience, which definitely has something to do with what we’re talking about here with The Billboard Creative.
One other thread was the aesthetic of horror and how it was being reconfigured by artists. The more traditional tropes of horror were kind of transforming and were having to do more with the invisible, or things that weren’t necessarily visual. It’s a thread that has shifted throughout our process, because we found ourselves in the pandemic, which is a pretty intense form of horror.
The final thread is this idea of the fourth wall, which is a tool in theater to build fiction and suspend the disbelief of viewers. We were interested in considering the fourth wall in the context of an exhibition...how to upend the museum apparatus and make the position of the viewer in the space of the artwork shift. We wanted to make the fiction visible, both inside and outside the exhibition, and again, this has a lot to do with the project that we initiated with The Billboard Creative and Larry Johnson.”
LM: “When we were given the opportunity to work with two institutions, we started thinking about having a mirror exhibition, so a show that would have all 30 artists at the Hammer and the Huntington—stressing the exercise of exhibition making and the permutations and connections that can be made between the artists, but also, the various lights in which an artwork can be viewed, depending on the context. These two far-reaching poles of the Hammer and the Huntington, all the way in Pasadena, allowed us to really consider the physical and conceptual space in between, which is where the billboards lie. So in addition to the undercurrents that Myriam was just referring to, we had this kind of conceptual approach to thinking about populating the space in between the two venues.”