New Art From Los Angeles Coming to Paris with Thaddaeus Ropac and Mona Bismarck American Center
After an edition of Los Angeles Paris Photo was cancelled, it seemed like the connections between two cities were on shaky ground. However, this next exhibition proves the spiteful talks wrong. In two venues in Paris, new art from Los Angeles will take place and present 14 artists, who are all based in, or greatly influenced by this city. The name of the exhibition stems from a modernist poem, written by T.S. Elliot – The Waste Land. The poem serves to explain the connection between works of these artists, and to help clarify the tone of the show, curated by Shamim M. Momin, the Director and Curator of LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division).
The Beauty of Wasteland
The poem refers to the thematic thread of the exhibition, and it addresses despair, the search for true relationships, the uncertainty of the unstoppable future and the burden of mortality. Having the temporal and cultural context of the poem in mind (year 1922, after the First World War was over), it becomes clear how the state of the world made an impact on the writer, and the collective mind. Wasteland can also be set into a more abstract context, and render the old chestnut of Los Angeles today as a cultural wasteland, or perhaps it could be used to describe the geography of the city and the authentic, dry landscape of Southern California. Wasteland also refers to the post-human, the post-apocalyptic and the alternate versions of our possible future. In the air of the exhibition is also the mirage-like unreality of Hollywood, which is inseparable from Los Angeles.
Artists Diverse in Nature and Practice
All of the participating artists are somehow related to Los Angeles, and they work in different media, using various possibilities and techniques when it comes to presentation. Every aspect and individual approach is considered equally important, as the exhibition aims to truthfully represent all the possible answers to the questions of Wasteland, as a term, a place, a verbal incarnation of Los Angeles. It also has Paris, as the city and a site, in mind, considering both venues particularly and in depth. For that reason, the artists create new works, or reconstruct them in order to adjust them to the image and the energy of Paris, keeping the spirit of Los Angeles still in mind.
Art from Los Angeles, in Paris
Two exhibitions will be on view simultaneously, at Mona Bismarck American Center and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris, which is already familiar with hosting shows that support the American art scene. It will be on view from March 12th to July 17th, 2016. As outlined above, each of the artists will showcase newly commissioned works, and reflect on the possible dialogue between two exhibition venues alone, and with reference to Los Angeles. In addition to the exhibition, a catalogue will be published. There is a list of LA-based writers, historians, curators and editors who have been selected to write an essay specifically to accompany the work of each of the artists.
Featured images: Shannon Ebner Yes Tomorrow, No Tomorrow, 2006 C-PRINT 81,44 x 103,19 cm (32,06 x 40,63 in) Ed. 4 of 4. Courtesy of the Artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco; Amanda Ross-Ho World Map Dropcloth, 2016. Inkjet print on canvas, acrylic paint, mixed media 393,7 x 259,1 cm (155 x 102 in), courtesy of the Artist and Praz-Delavallade, Paris/Brussels.