"Library of Black Lies" Press Release

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Installation view: MIT List Visual Arts Center Photo credit: Peter Harris, Boston

Installation view: MIT List Visual Arts Center
Photo credit: Peter Harris, Boston

LOS ANGELES — Beta Main, the test site for The Main Museum of Los Angeles Art, presents the West Coast debut of Edgar Arceneaux’s Library of Black Lies, a timely installation that challenges the narrative of American progress and in particular, African American progress through the selection, placement, and modification of books in a library of the artist’s own invention. Library of Black Lies was first exhibited in Wasteland at the Mona Bismarck American Center in Paris, followed by Arceneaux’s critically acclaimed Written in Smoke and Fire solo installation at MIT List Visual Arts Center in 2016.

The Library of Black Lies reflects on ‘the power of misunderstanding,’ a phrase the artist often uses when describing his work and it is imbued with further meaning in the backdrop of this installation and in this particular moment in the United States, when subterfuge, in the form of hacking, fake news, and false narratives about black culture loom large. Arceneaux presses for a closer look not only at what is patently true or false, but to look at the more complicated stories about the past that lead us to where we are now.

About the Artist
Edgar Arceneaux (b. 1972 in Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. Arceneaux was the director of the Watts House Project from 1999-2012. Solo exhibitions of his work have been mounted at Kunstverein Ulm, Germany; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; and the Project, New York, among others. He has been included in group shows at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac,Paris; Mona Bismarck American Center, Paris; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Orange County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Kunstmuseum Basel; and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and many more.

About The Main Museum The Main Museum of Los Angeles Art is a new institution focused on L.A. art and artists. With a residency program at its center rather than a collection, The Main situates artists prominently and supports their continued engagement within the city's evolving landscape.

When complete, The Main will unfold across three historic buildings in Downtown Los Angeles — the Farmers & Merchants Bank, the Hellman Building, and the Bankhouse Garage. It will include a variety of exhibition galleries, studio spaces for an artists' residency program, a rooftop sculpture garden, amphitheater, a café and a restaurant.

The Main Museum of Los Angeles Art is an exempt, non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3).

Beta Main is a test site for The Main that will run in tandem with the development of the rest of the museum. By way of Beta’s programs, exhibitions, and opportunities to connect with the community, The Main will learn by doing, refining its vision and methods to make the greatest positive impact as a cultural catalyst in Los Angeles.

Visit www.themainmuseum.org for the full schedule of related programs and follow The Main Museum on social media for the most up-to-date information.


Media Contact
Jessica McCormack