Perfect Strangers Art & Performance Festival

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Amir H. Fallah
Perfect Strangers Art & Performance Festival | March 21, 1 – 4PM
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica

18th Street Arts Center Artist Lab Resident Amir H. Fallah presents Perfect Strangers Art & Performance Festival, an afternoon-long series of art and music interventions at Bergamot Station on Saturday, March 21 from 1-4 pm, featuring emerging artists and artist-musicians from throughout Los Angeles. Perfect Strangers is an ongoing project that Fallah has used to explore identity, place, and the life of objects in cities around the world. Much like a historian or ethnographer, Fallah works with a diverse mix of local communities and groups to collect material evidence of their private and public lives and transform them into artworks. At Bergamot Station, he has invited a cohort of LA-based emerging and mid-career artists including Brian Cooper, Abdul Mazid, Emily Silver, Carmen Argote, Devon Tsuno, Ben Jackel, Allen Brewer, Pamela Valfer, Easton Miller, Tanya Batura, Doty/Glasco, Tofer Chin, Christopher Pate, and MRK (Madison René Knapp), and a musical lineup led by artist Brian Cooper, featuring Earth Like Planets, After the After, Ohr, and Caspar Sonnet. Each artist and musical guest will respond to Fallah’s own practice with art and performance of their own creation, inviting visitors to explore the secret spaces of the Bergamot campus by discovering artworks and performances situated in unexpected places.

Amir H. Fallah’s Perfect Strangers Art & Performance Festival is the second of a series of artist interventions aimed at calling attention to the community of cultural organizations and commercial galleries at Bergamot Station. With the impending arrival of the EXPO light rail line in Santa Monica and the construction of the Bergamot Station train platform, the City of Santa Monica and Bergamot Station Gallery & Cultural Association (BSGCA) find creative ways to make the public aware that the Arts Center is still open for business and as vibrant as ever. Perfect Strangers Art & Performance Festival and other forthcoming projects are made possible by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts awarded to City of Santa Monica. To implement the grant, the City works in partnership with Bergamot Ltd., 18th Street Arts Center, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and BSGCA.

Amir H. Fallah’s portraits and installations are composed collaboratively, using objects and textiles that participants deem significant, to develop an exploration of the ways that identities are formed out of emotional associations with-and nostalgia for-specific products, objects, and places. Perfect Strangers re-interprets and gives new weight to everyday objects as active participants in the construction of self identification. Fallah’s compositions, both fluid and fragmented, embrace the moments when things do not quite align, and give the work a sense of honesty that reveals the complex factors of identity which cannot be expressed through a simple corporeal rendering. Inviting a community of Santa Monica based youth into the Artist Lab, while simultaneously realizing a body of work based on objects and texts found in an estate sale at Chinatown’s Charlie James Gallery, Fallah has represented a circle of life in his project: portraits of identity constructed forensically on behalf of the deceased, contrasting with his portraits at 18th Street made collaboratively with youth to describe their lives as yet unknown. Through this inclusive practice, Fallah and his collaborators at Bergamot Station will articulate a sense of regional identity that is ambiguous, yet informed by the perspective of international artists who call the Los Angeles metro area home.

Amir H. Fallah’s Artist Lab Residency and Exhibition are made possible through the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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