Hold Up

January 23 to April 4, 2016
Opening Reception: January 23, 2016 2 – 5 pm

Angels Gate Cultural Center is pleased to present Hold Up, a group exhibition spanning all five of our gallery spaces. Participating artists responded to a prompt: sustainability comes from the Latin sustinere (tenere: to hold, sup: up). The ensuing phrase “hold up” evokes conflicting images: a pillar and a blockage. To change personal and collective patterns to ensure that life on the planet can be sustained will create roadblocks, rerouting us to explore uncharted terrain. The artist responses come together to create a non-linear map. The exhibition traverses land and sea in reimagined vehicles wobbling across scrutinized infrastructure that necessarily transforms itself into perches for utopic possibilities to take flight.

The opening reception will be January 23, 2016 from 2 pm – 5 pm Angels Gate Cultural Center is open to the public seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm and admission is always free. In addition to the opening, there will be a series of performances, workshops and panels through out the Winter/Spring seasons that correspond to the exhibition.

The exhibition takes as one starting point the location of Angels Gate Cultural Center. Overlooking the Port of Los Angeles the gallery faces the dynamic hub of organized labor on one side and the expanse of the Pacific on the other. As the image by Daniel Joseph Martinez eloquently echoes the landscape “Beneath the asphalt / the beach.” Ken Ernlich explores the evolution of the container crane in the Port’s history, while Jose Cordova investigates the bridge as a metaphor for tension between business as usual and ecology. Empire Logistics will join the artists in a panel discussion about these structures as sites of political organizing. The enormity of both these structures and ideas explored become anchored in the work of Slobodan Dimitrov. His documentary photographs depict a coming home party for an Operating Engineer who was diagnosed with cancer after exposure in an enclosed area to creosol treated log that went up in flames.

The relationship of work and the body is also explored through ideas of nourishment. Nespresso pods become W.S Milner‘smedium for mapping her morning, alluding to the co-evolution of caffienne and capitalism. Daniel Rothman uses the chickpea as a way to explore sustenance and cultural specificity in a globalized economy. Beth Elliott‘s installation “String Theory: Time and Tide” explores the difficulty of maintaining bodily balance broadly defined. Pendulums suspended from the ceiling respond to the movement of gallery go-ers, creating an always an in flux ying-yang sand drawing.

Histories of artists working on the subject of the Port are revisited, as Johanna Breiding uses the work of Allan Sekula as a starting point to imagine the ship itself as a body. Ba Na Na, the artist collective of JD Samson and Drew Denny animate another vehicle. At the center of their installation, exploring how the elements are mediated, the car becomes a conduit for contact with the wind. Parked outside the gallery, direct from the Rose Parade is Cat Chui Phillip‘s Plastic Garden Float. Rather than using thirsty flowers in drought stricken California, her contribution to annual event is made entirely from plastic waste.

Poet and artist Marcus Civin has created a new call and response wall text that uses questions to pry open possibilities for impromptu performance and long term action. The Institute for Flying (Samantha Cohen and Samuel Every) challenge ideas about evolution and imagine how and where our bodies (alongside real and imaginary creatures) might move outside the logic of productivity.