When Star Montana was a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she longed for California sunshine and dreamed of the light and the people of Los Angeles. A Boyle Heights native, she returned home periodically, trips during which she took a number of the photos on view in Beta Main. When Montana moved back to Los Angeles after graduation, the reality—the nightmare—of traumatic events with family and friends awaited her. Despite the circumstances, her dream of Los Angeles continues through her photography practice and is captured in the images in this exhibition.
Many of the subjects in Montana’s photography are strangers she got to know when she approached them in East L.A. or South L.A., engaged them in conversation, and then asked to take their pictures. Some are friends and others she met via an open-call process to add to this body of work as part of her residency at The Main that preceded this exhibition. With honesty and sensitivity in equal measure, Montana endeavors to give visibility to those who are not often represented in art or art institutions.
Star Montana (b. 1987) is a photo-based artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. She was born and raised in Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles, a predominantly Mexican American neighborhood that serves as the backdrop to much of her work. Montana’s imagery deals with class, social environment, and identity within the personal and her family. Three dots and Tear drops—a long-term project with her family that has dealt with fragmented histories, loss, and the hope of the next generation—was recently on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. Recently, Montana has begun work on her themes within a larger scope of Los Angeles residents via portraiture and video. Montana received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2013.
Sculptor Alice Könitz was commissioned to develop ideas for new types of museum seating that Beta Main—and soon, The Main—can use permanently in its galleries. Two prototypes were selected for production: Circle Chairs (2017) for the intimate environments they create both for looking and conversation, as well as their sculptural beauty, and Triangle Chairs (2017) for their many possible configurations and ease of use in the space. Könitz’s work, which is oriented in the physical object as well as the social space it creates, values model-making. In siting prototypes within the prototype of Beta Main, the museum has a unique opportunity to learn directly from visitors what may or may not be working in the process of making a museum and, more specifically, to better understand the experience of interacting with the seating in a gallery setting. We invite you to share your feedback by completing a brief survey available at the front desk in Beta Main.
Alice Könitz (b.1970 in Essen, Germany) lives and works in Los Angeles. She is the founder of the Los Angeles Museum of Art (LAMOA), an experimental exhibition space that she describes as a “platform for an organic institution that lives through participation.” In 2014, LAMOA was included in the Hammer Museum's biennial Made in L.A. 2014, winning the Mohn Award. Könitz had solo exhibitions at Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles; Galerie Nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna; Wall House, Groningen; LAXART, Los Angeles; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Hudson/Franklin, New York; University Art Museum Long Beach; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; boom-editions/Shane Campbell, Chicago; and Luis Campaña, Cologne; among others. Her work has been included in group shows at the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg; mumok, Vienna; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; Villa Arson, Nice; Kunsthaus Dresden; London Institute; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; Tirana Biennial, Albania; and others.
Saturday, February 4 - Sunday, March 26, 2017
Wednesday - Sunday
11am - 7pm
In Library of Black Lies, shown for the first time on the West Coast at Beta Main, Edgar Arceneaux challenges the narrative of American progress, and in particular, African American progress through the selection, placement, and modification of books in a library of his own invention. Via this timely work, made last year, when fake news became “real” news and the content of real news was interrogated, the artist presses for a closer look not only at what is patently true or false, but at the more complicated stories about our past that lead us to where we are now.
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.
Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
In collaboration with John K Chan of Formation Association.
Originally co-commissioned by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
2:00 - 4:30 PM
We are waking up post election, some scared, some angry, some moved towards change. Artist Dorit Cypis will guide participants through activities to help us confront discord together. We are undefeated if we are willing to move beyond fixed positions, explore skills to deeply recognize our differences, assess our bias, ask questions of one another and dialogue towards embodied change.
This workshop will explore:
- Somatic reflection to ground
- Movement through space to locate
- Dynamic listening to hear difference
- Bias awareness to recognize resistance
- Dialogue to explore possibility
Dorit Cypis's work explores history, identity, and social relations through performance, photography, text, and social sculpture at diverse cultural contexts internationally. Her conflict engagement services and programs are offered for civic, cultural, and education groups.
Current projects include: The Sighted See the Surface, an artwork honoring artist Michael Asher; North East Youth Council, guiding local youth as leaders of community enhancement projects and expansion of police relations; The Future of Policing, dialogues between communities and police across Los Angeles; Race Talk, facilitated dialogues on race identity. Dorit is a Founding Member of Mediators Beyond Borders, and past Chair, Middle East Initiative. She founded Kulture Klub Collaborative partnering artists and homeless youth to build expressions bridging survival and inspiration, and directed FAR, Foundation for Art Resources, partnering with private and public organizations to support cultural production in urban settings across LA.
Her essays have been published in art and mediation publications including most recently The Space of Conflict, Routledge Press. Dorit was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rauschenberg Foundation Residency in 2014 as well as many previous awards. She earned a Masters of Fine Art, California Institute for the Arts, and Masters of Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University.
Office Hours Meetings
Tuesday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Office Hours on View
Friday, December 9 - Sunday, December 18, 2016
Wednesday - Saturday from 12 - 8 PM;
Sunday from 12 - 5 PM;
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Free and open to the public
Let’s get to know each other.
Neighbors, introduce yourself and your art practice to The Main and learn more about the museum’s future plans. From Tuesday, November 29 to Thursday, December 8, The Main’s director, Allison Agsten, will meet one-on-one with fifty Downtown L.A. artists on a first come, first served basis in Beta Main, the test site for the museum.
At the end of each visit, artists may hang one original work or documentation of their work in Beta Main. This culmination of Office Hours will be on view Thursday, December 8 through Sunday, December 18.
Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art
Sunday, October 30 - Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Every day from 12 - 8 PM
Related Drawing on View
Wednesday, November 9 - Sunday, December 18, 2016
Wednesday - Saturday from 12 - 8 PM;
Sunday from 12 - 5 PM;
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Beta Main’s first commissioned project, Performance Lessons: Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art, centers on the profoundly influential trajectory of performance art in California between 1968-1980, reanimating and contextualizing this rich artistic history through durational performance, conversations with practitioners and theorists and inquiry on politics and pedagogy.
Performance Lessons follows the artists’ durational installation at The Drawing Center in New York in 2014, where Andrea Bowers taught Suzanne Lacy how to draw. Using the practice Lacy was foundational in forming, roles are reversed this time and Lacy teaches Bowers how to do performance art. For ten days, the pair will live in Beta Main while Bowers is assigned lessons, develops performances, and undergoes the formal critique process art students endure as part of their education. The lessons, taught by Lacy and other renowned artists, will be free and open to the public.
Through documentation of contemporary activists focused on women’s rights, migrant justice, workers’ rights, and climate justice, Andrea Bowers commits to an intersectional feminism that dismantles gender privilege and builds community that collectively cares for one another. Her multivalent art practice documents and honors the activists whose everyday actions forge meaningful change.Bowers has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Vienna Secession, Vienna, Austria; The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; the Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs; REDCAT, Los Angeles; the Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany; and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece.
Bowers received her MFA from CalArts, and currently lives, works and teaches in Los Angeles. She is a proud member of the SEIU local 721 and currently a member of the Bargaining Committee for the Otis College of Art and Design Part-time Faculty Union. She has been teaching in the Otis Graduate Public Practice Program since 2007.
Suzanne Lacy is an internationally exhibited visual artist, social activist, educator, writer and feminist whose body of work includes performances, video and photographic installation, critical writing and public art with a focus on social and urban issues.She lectures widely, has published over 70 texts of critical commentary, and has exhibited at the Tate Modern, London, England; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the New Museum, New York; and MoMA PS1, New York. Her scores of fellowships include the Guggenheim Foundation, The Henry Moore Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Her book, Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art (1995), now in its third printing, was responsible for coining the term and articulating the practice.
Lacy is currently a professor of art at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. Prior, she served as the founding chair of the MFA in Public Practice at the Otis College of Art and Design. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Gray's School of Art at Robert Gordon University in Scotland.