Carmen Argote 
Residency:
January 16 – March 23, 2018

As a multidisciplinary artist working in installation, Carmen Argote explore notions of home and place, interacting with architecture to reflect on personal histories and her own immigrant experience. She works with places and materials that surround her, utilizing local resources as points to expand from. Her practice uses the act of inhabiting as a starting point, allowing the work to take form as she respond to a space, materials and ideas developing from her own experiences and relationships to a site.

She works from an intimate and personal place, using shared experiences to connect the spaces that house us to notions of home and self. Often working with family, she explores the common immigrant experience as a layered, multigenerational, transnational experience that is echoed though shared memories, traumas, and aspirations, extending outward from the intimate space of home.

During her Artist Lab residency, Carmen Argote will be developing a performance titled If only it were that easy… for the Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA. An amateur motorcycle rally organized around an architectural mind map of the artist’s making, the work centers on a social exploration of motorcycle riding as a cognitive dream space akin to the “zone” or “flow” of artistic creation, inviting artists and culture workers who ride motorcycles themselves to collectively teach the artists about riding and about life.

The event at an outdoor public site in the city of Los Angeles, in conjunction with the festival organized by REDCAT, will be followed by a nine-week residency and installation in 18th Street Arts Center’s Main Gallery. The gallery will become a site of process focusing on the tension between the larger goal of bringing the Moto Guzzi back to Los Angeles and the immediate task of learning to ride safely. Riding a motorcycle demands that the rider exist in the immediate present, and in the body. This state of hyper-presence creates a possibility to break out of routine, to interrupt, to be in process. The work in the gallery will be created as visual expressions of these interruptions and new modes of thinking that emerge from leaning into the present moment. The daily ride from Lincoln Heights to Santa Monica and back will be another site of artistic process, during which the work’s development begins. The objects and works created will explore the experience becoming an aficionado, actualizing desire, and existing between a new mode of being-as-riding and the artistic self of process-as-creation as necessary states of being for survival.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Carmen Argote (b. 1981 in Guadalajara, Mexico) is a Los Angeles-based artist focusing on the exploration of personal history through architecture and the spaces that she inhabits. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Commonwealth & Council (2016), MAK Center for Art and Architecture (2015), Adjunct Positions (2015), and Human Resources (2014) in Los Angeles, Shulamit Nazarian Gallery in Venice (2016), and the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College (2013). In 2016, she completed an MTA commission for the Metro Expo Line station at 17th and Colorado in Santa Monica, adjacent to 18SAC and Santa Monica College. Argote received her MFA from UCLA in 2007, and was an artist-in-residence at Skowhegan in 2009.

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