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
Democracy 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.