Untitled: Video Self Portrait
Democracy When!? Activist Strategizing in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Los Angeles
May 4 – June 15, 2002
About the exhibition
When!? Activist Strategizing in Los Angeles brings together 30
artists, activists, activist groups, community organizations, and theorists
from a number of different communities in greater Los Angeles, and asks
how they approach activism today. In order to provide a platform upon
which this question can be addressed from the perspective of these various
practitioners, Democracy When!? merges the medium of the exhibition,
the round table, and the production site into one. The result is a think
tank in which some of the internal and external problematics facing social,
political, and artistic activism today can be collectively debated and
worked through, on a theoretical as well as a practical level, between
the participants and the audiences. Thus, rather than focusing on activist
responses to one specific social or political problem, Democracy When!?
provides a self-reflexive laboratory situation for the collective exchange,
rethinking, and development of activist strategies per se in light of
this new political geography.
About Kulture Klub LA
Kulture Klub LA adds rings of reflection around the project Democracy
When!?, critically looking at the dynamics of engagement with "democracy".
Artists, invited by Dorit Cypis (who was invited by Tone Nielsen to participate
in Democracy When!?), in turn have invited youth as collaborators
to form individual guest teams. Each guest team has chosen a participating
Democracy When!? host project or concept to reflect on and develop
an expression for presentation at LACE. Kulture Klub LA looks at looking,
provokes an awareness of subjectivity, and suggests being twice fascinated.
About Untitled: Video Self-Portraits
Working in dialogue with Motevalli's Self Portrait Exaggerating Me
as a Terrorist, Ma and students Tom Boyd, Maile Coad, Conan Mastrangelo,
Tammy Park, and Todd Samuelson in his Contemporary
Media Practices class at Pitzer College created video self-portraits
exploring similar issues of safety and civil liberties at the Claremont
Colleges. In comparing two vastly different educational environments —
Locke High School in Watts where Motevalli taught and the Claremont Colleges,
these reflecting projects highlight the larger issues of race, class,
age and geography, bringing out the differences and similarities between
the schools and individuals who attend them.