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HRLA Symposium I: Think Local

October 5, 2019 10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Join us for a day-long symposium featuring emerging critical voices in our community. This event features responses to work encountered at HRLA, in spaces like HRLA or in museums in the region. We hope to give attendees a sense of the impact of local performances, exhibitions and events on discourse about contemporary art; our aim is to create an engaging day of conversation about the practice of art criticism and art writing — one that is inclusive of artists, students, critics and scholars.

We welcome people coming and going during the day, but do consider making time to be present for the whole event — our goal is to create a vibe in which the audience contributes as much to the day as the speakers. We have programmed lots of time for discussion — and hope that each session informs what follows it.

We are going to do more of these. Our second event will feature hybrid and experimental forms of criticism. Our third event will center writing about organizational dynamics and institutional politics (a topic that will appear in our first session). Please keep your eyes open for our calls for proposals. We want these events to feature people at different points in their work — we welcome proposals from students, from independent writers, journalists, aspiring curators, artists who want to write more than they do now, wizened writers who want to support all of the above.

10:00am: Coffee, Welcome, Introductions

10:30-noon: A Sense of Place (90 minutes)

Nestor Guerrero, Cesar Ruiz, Robby Herbst

Three presentations exploring the practice of signaling, making and holding space. Topics include Latinx DJ collectives, intentional music and experimental performance scenes.

3 15-minute presentations, followed by 45 minutes discussion

12:10-1:30 Seminar I (80 minutes, BYO lunch)

Jekara Govan and Rosalia Lerner are both writing articles about performances that have been staged at HRLA. If you would like to read this work in advance, please fill out this form and we’ll send you a PDF.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Those of us who have read these works in advance will lead discussion, give feedback and advice. This format may be particularly productive for people who are in or are thinking about going to graduate school: both writers are PhD students, and are sharing work that will be a part of their academic portfolio. That said, the day’s entire program is geared less towards academics than towards the greater arts community. Meaning, the conversation should be accessible to artists — and if the writing isn’t, this is something we’ll talk about!

1:45-3:15pm: Material Conditions (90 minutes)

Ana Iwataki, Andy Campbell, Georgia Lassner

3 15-minute presentations, followed by 30-40 minutes of discussion

These three writers are writing the material conditions of art-making and the material conditions of artists’ lives.

3:30-5:00pm: Performance Tactics (75 minutes)

Joshua Guzmán, Evan Duncan

2 20-minute presentations, followed by 30-40 minutes of discussion

We will conclude the day with two slightly longer presentations — here, we will be opening up our optic as both speakers explore tactics in works they’ve encountered in Los Angeles – our last speaker is working on Adrian Piper; their work was inspired by the Piper exhibition at the Hammer Museum.

This program may be adjusted.


October 5, 2019
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Human Resources LA
410 Cottage Home
Los Angeles, CA 90012