October 19, 2020 – January 22, 2021
For her solo exhibition at 18th Street, Patty Chang will present video works that highlight several communities that live and work in the large metropolitan areas of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and the Texas/Mexico border. Milk Debt is a multi-part video project consisting of videos of lactating women pumping their breast milk as they recite lists of fears drawn from multiple communities across different geographical regions. Chang’s exhibition in the Airport Gallery will feature new film pieces produced with the participation of Santa Monicans and Angelenos across the region, where the artist explores our debt to those who came before us, what it means to perform empathetic acts, and how we can make visible the hidden fears we share in this dark time. The title Milk Debt comes from the concept in Chinese Buddhism that a child can never repay the mother for raising and feeding it with her breast milk. Therefore, it is necessary to repay the debt through payments towards the afterlife of the mother. Milk debt is an arrangement that binds us to our history and to the earth. Through a process of collecting the fears of these communities to craft each film’s script, Chang exposes the wounds in our collective cultural consciousness so that we may rethink the process of healing.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Patty Chang is a Los Angeles based artist and educator who uses performance, video, installation and narrative forms when considering identity, gender, transnationalism, colonial legacies, the environment, large-scale infrastructural projects and impacted subjectivities. Her work has been exhibited nationwide and internationally at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; New Museum, New York; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; BAK, Basis voor actuele Kunst, Utrecht; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, England; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Times Museum in Guangzhou, China; and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. She has received a United States Artist Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, a Creative Capital Fellowship, short listed for the Hugo Boss Prize, a Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Berlin, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and an Anonymous Was a Woman Grant. She teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.