Exhibition & Residency:
January 1 – December 2015
EB: In the first Project X paper, we wrote this mission statement: “Once again it has become apparent that artists need to take control of the processes by which their work is seen and understood.” It is still and again true.
-Ellen Birrell, from From X to XV: Conversation with X-TRA Founders Ellen Birrell and Stephen Berens in X-TRA 15.4
Project X came together in the early nineties as an artist-directed organization spearheaded by Stephen Berens and Ellen Birrell with the aim of creating platforms for artists’ work and writing. It began with a series of exhibitions and publications assembled by a rotating group of artists. Project X was not a curating venture, but a shape-shifting expression of art and writing by artists that aimed to carve out a space for practices that did not easily fit within the predominant critical art discourse in Los Angeles at that time. After five years of presenting exhibitions with accompanying newsprint publications, the focus of the Project X group coalesced into the quarterly X-TRA in 1997. Project X incorporated as a non-profit under the full name Project X Foundation for Art & Criticism in 2002. Sixteen years later, X-TRA continues, and Project X is again expanding its umbrella to produce books, events, and exhibitions that complement and grow out of X-TRA and the art community’s needs at this moment.
Keeping true to the motives behind it’s founding, Project X Projects foreground the crucial role of the artist’s voice in shaping and sustaining the Los Angeles art community.
At 18th Street Arts Center, Project X Executive Director and artist Shana Lutker spearheads the team’s research and study of key artist-driven exhibitions of the 1990s with the aim of articulating the particular characteristics of “LA artists” in the 90s and now.
The Curator in Residence program at 18th Street Arts Center is generously supported by the the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.