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Artists Fellows Activate 18th Street’s Galleries
Santa Monica, CA—18th Street’s 2010 Visual Art Fellowship Winners, Martin Durazo and Ana Guajardo debut their projects Pain Management 100 and Tianguis in the main gallery and project room, beginning July 6, 2010 and running through September 24, 2010.
These projects actively explore 18th Street’s 2010 theme, Status Report: The Creative Economy, by transforming the galleries into hubs of experimentation, controversial public discussions and places of dialogue for marginalized communities within our society.
Durazo’s project, Pain Management 100, debuts in the 18th Street Gallery. Pain Management 100 is a 3-month investigative “hands on” laboratory that explores and exposes the connection between the illegal drug trade economy and the “legal” pharmaceutical drug business. Durazo’sinstallation consists of audio clips, video projections, posters, collage, music and other works meant to arouse the sensation of the underground drug culture. His installation is designed to challenge society’s desensitized attitude towards the legal and illegal drug trades by inspiring dialogue on a local, national and global level. The public’s responses to Durazo’s installations will become a part of the project, as interviews are recorded and edited into a documentary, which will later be incorporated into the exhibit. Ultimately, the project aims to create community conversations around the legal and illegal drug economy and investigate its effects on society.
Guajardo’s project Tianguis (the Nahuatl word for open air markets dating from the Mesoamerican period) will transform 18th Street’s Project Room into a 3-month exploration, integrating an exhibition, a live tianguis, community dialogues and workshops. Tianguis is a project examining a contemporary community of vendor-artists in Los Angeles that participate in and innovate the urban, public market culture. This is a collaborative project utilizing the participation of a specific community of artists and entrepreneurs that are relationally connected through Latino cultural events and venues in East Los Angeles. While this neighborhood has served as a hub to unite them annually at specific events, their work and residencies are by no means confined here. Tianguis aims to illuminate the complex networks of art, commodity, politics and culture that are activated in the temporal and spatial constructs of these markets. Artists participating in this project include: Araceli Silva, Becky Cortez, Botan, Daisy Tonantzin, Dewey Tafoya, Elisa Garcia, Elena Esparza, Felicia Montes, Lili Flor, Lisa Rocha, Monica Hernandez, Nena Soulfly, Orchidia and Reyes Rodriguez.
About 18th Street’s 2010 Artistic Theme
Martin Durazo and Ana Guajardo are two of the eight Artist Fellowship Winners for 18th Street’s 2010 theme, Status Report: the Creative Economy. The Artist Fellowship Winners were chosen to create projects that explore and promote ideas through works in progress. The artists’ projects are structured to stress processes that stimulate a maximum amount of public engagement and shared critical inquiry that are manifested in the 18th Street galleries. According to 18th Street’s Artistic Director, Clayton Campbell, “The economy was selected as a theme prior to the worldwide banking contraction, and therefore becomes even more relevant as artists proactively develop new strategies to address a host of issues. In the past decade theorists such as Richard Florida have championed the rise of a creative class and as a result have had a major impact on some sectors of the arts and culture field. In his view, a creative economy is characterized by the key economic factors of talent, innovation and creativity. As the notion of a creative class is widely discussed, promoted and debated, it is apparent that recent research demonstrates these factors are not distributed evenly across the economy. Instead, they seem concentrated in specific locations characterized by environment, class and ethnicity.
Our artist fellows will be examining this dislocation of resources and entitlement, and responding to a market system that privileges some while discarding many others. The residencies are designed to be a platform for ideas and exchange. Los Angeles is often described as having a dynamic creative economy. Yet after a turbulent economic year in which markets for consumption of art have radically changed, they are asking key questions such as; where do we stand? Are we on the way up, on the way down, or stuck in neutral? Who are the players and mediators in a creative economy, and how is it changing? Who is included and who is excluded? How are artists responding to seismic changes in the arts and culture market, and what are the new models they are developing to support the production of their work, and the dissemination of their ideas? How should our cultural institutions, both non-profit and for profit, be responsive to the overall health of the Los Angeles creative economy?”
For more information on Status Report: Creative Economy and the artists involved, visit: www.18thstreet.org
Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 11am-5pm. 18th Street Arts Center is located at 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica.
18th Street Arts Center programs are generously funded by the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Arts Commission, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, California Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Irvine Foundation, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Public Allies and the Getty Foundation.