Opening September 16, 2017
Featuring: Mecca Vazie Andrews, Edgar Fabián Frías, Paul Pescador, Jimena Sarno, Jim Skudlt, Sebastian Hernandez
Social Practice projects beginning Spring 2017, details TBD.
Curated by Raquel Gutiérrez and Martabel Wasserman
Coastal/Border is an exhibition of original site-responsive performance and installation work with corresponding public programming. Taking as its starting point the landscape and history of the area surrounding Angels Gate Cultural Center, the participating artists will interrogate how the coast is fortified as border, and how in turn that impacts the Latino/Latina communities of Los Angeles and beyond. In asking artists to develop a performance or public programming component of their work, the curators seek to emphasis the ways in which historical connections between LA/LA are embodied in the present and create meaningful opportunities for community involvement in the exhibition.
Mecca Vazie Andrews will develop of movement-based social practice project entitled Fringes. Andrews will draw on her background as choreographer to understand housing, migration and Latino communities in the Harbor region. Beginning in the Spring of 2016, she will lead workshops with a focus on of body mapping, or the practice of understanding the individual body in collective struggle and pantomime. She will partner with local students, retirement communities and families in section 8 housing to develop performances in partnership that excavate stories of San Pedro’s history with a focus on how the intersections of race and class effect movement broadly defined. Her project will culminiate in public performances and a video installation.
Edgar Fabián Frías will present Give Us Home Spider a series of performances reenacting the Wixarika’s sacred journey to Wirikuta, superimposed on top of channels that distribute goods which arrive in the Port of Los Angeles and move through predominately Latino communities of Los Angeles, the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley. This superimposed journey will seek to bring awareness to the environmental, cultural and spiritual plight being caused by economic forces, both in Southern California and in Mexico. Workshops and community-based events will accompany the project.
Paul Pescador will produce Greetings Friends, titled after one of the films that Disney produced, “Saludos Amigos”. In 1940, the United States government created the Office of Inter-American Affairs out of concern for the potential Nazi infiltration in Latin America. They hired Walt Disney to produce animated cartoons, most of which focused upon Latin America as subject, some of theses videos took on health issues, such as malaria, water treatment and tuberculosis. Walt Disney also produced two full length films at this time, “Saludos Amigos”(1942) and the “Three Caballeros” (1944). In Pescador’s project, he will reconsider these films and their relationship between cultural diplomacy and colonialism. He will examine some of the regions that Walt Disney visited and documented in these films and attempt to understand how Disney iconography is still being culturally appropriated today.
Jimena Sarno will create “from sea to shining sea” (FSTSS) is a site-specific live sound and choir performance with video projections to take place at White Point Military Reservation and Angels Gate Cultural Center. The project responds to San Pedro’s militarization process as a coastal city and the historical significance of the site. With a rich history of immigrant populations, San Pedro’s history also aligns with WWII notions of national security, as they still relate today to patriotism and xenophobia. FSTSS connects the history of this militarized, man-made landscape to the normalization of the U.S.’s exceptionalism to legitimize military interventions worldwide, and its ambivalent relationship to the displacement of immigrants and refugees, often a direct result of such interventions. FSTSS repurposes a site of military destruction into a site of creative production. Engaging with local communities, many of whom walk past this site daily, the performance will allow for an experience of this familiar site in a different way that also brings awareness to the local and global impact of militarization, while reclaiming the space through a collective audio-visual experience. Borrowing its title from the last line of the song “America the Beautiful”, the project utilizes the acoustic qualities of the site, ballistics data and weapon sounds as re-structuring parameters to deconstruct and rearrange the song for a choir performance. The reimagined musical score breaks down the phonemes and syllables of the lyrics in this iconic tune and expands them into 12 minutes of haunting mantra and firings of voices across the sonic field. The audience will surround the C3LA Choir performing the new composition, overlooking the Pacific Ocean at sunset on a central stage within a reinforced concrete casemate that once housed a long-range naval gun.
Jim Skudlt will be continuing is decade-long work on the shipping container. His project will exist in a shipping container that will be on-site for the course of the exhibition with an installation that attempt to build deployable modules to render hostile/urgent/inhabitable spaces habitable
His structures aim to mimic/infiltrate modes of buffering, normalization found in contemporary neoliberal models of standardized shipping and packaging to create nodes of comfort, potential, and possibility within these streamlined architectures. He will be presenting his research on containerization in an artist lecture.
Sebastian Hernandez will be creating FTZ, a long term research and performance based artwork that will take place at Angels Gate Cultural Center in 2017. FTZ will critically engage the history of San Pedro as a main trading port on the west coast, its relationship to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and the widespread ramifications of global capital on the city of Los Angeles. He will ground the work with further material, sourcing from his personal lived experience as a queer brown body contending with notions of space, power, ephemerality and reclamation. Scores and gestural actions will be set based off research findings to influence the materiality, movement, sound and installations.