A grammar built with rocks

October 13, 2018 to December 21, 2018

A grammar built with rocks

ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Opening Saturday, October 13, 5-8pm
October 13 – December 21, 2018

ONE Archives will be closed December 22, 2018 – January 1, 2019 for Winter Recess.

Marwa Arsanios, Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz,  Shannon Ebner, and Park McArthur

Public program
October 13, 7:30pm
Performance, Dorian Wood: Eucalipto

Curated by Shoghig Halajian and Suzy Halajian

A grammar built with rocks presents artistic practices that trace the racialized and gendered relationship between bodies and land, and question narratives of socioecological crisis that contribute to the displacement and erasure of people and collective formations. Through a two-part group exhibition, public programing, and publication, the project aims to think with the land—materially and relationally—in order to unpack and historicize notions of waste and contamination as they relate to the politics of access, property, and the violence of land allotment. Together, the featured works explore how the materiality of land permeates our identities and representational structures, and simultaneously molds the body.

The project appropriates its title from Édouard Glissant’s writings, as it looks to the ways in which the landscape contains, unfolds, and narrates its own history. It searches for traceable fissures within contested sites, as an aftermath of violence and altering states of upheaval. The exhibition at Human Resources considers the material, psychic, and social relations that constitute place as asite of knowledge production, and the “below”(below-ground, below-surface) as emblematic of both resistance and retreat. Together, the works and programs expose the violence inherent in geographic processes (of territorialization, privatization, and urban renewal) and offer artistic methodologies (of documentation, performance, and embodied archival practices) that surface buried histories and reorient perspectives to understand land as a bearer of relationships, resilience, and memory. The exhibition at ONE Archives at the USC Libraries extends this inquiry to center on the interrelation between the body and place, exploring how discourses of value and waste (through motifs of the toxic, the disposable, the contaminant) influence individual and collective spatial agency within the landscape, the institution,the state).

A grammar built with rocks began with research into the 1950s history of the Chavez Ravine evictions, and expanded with the following questions: How does unearthing soil, sediments, remnants, and buried life-forms open up space for concealed voices and histories, and reveal interconnected systems of power and violence on people and place? What does thinking geography relationally rather than territorially look like? How do meta-narratives of development, modernization, and crisis contribute to practices of dispossession?

Please note that part of this exhibition is installed around the second story mezzanine and is only accessible via stairs. 

A grammar built with rocks is guest curated by Shoghig Halajian and Suzy Halajian. The project is supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Goethe-Institut, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, and Pasadena Art Alliance.

Related Exhibition:

A grammar built with rocks
Human Resources LA
410 Cottage Home Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 29, 7–10pm
On view September 29 – November 4, 2018

Carmen Argote, Julien Creuzet, DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency), Sandra de la Loza,Regina JoséGalindo, Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil and Jackson Polys, Zara Kuredjian, Uriel Orlow, Gala Porras-Kim, Susan Silton, and Cauleen Smith

Related Programs:

Opening Reception and Performance by Dorian Wood: Eucalipto
ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
October 13, 7:30pm

Screening, Basma Alsharif: Ouroboros (on loop during gallery hours)
Human Resources LA
October 20 & 21, 12am-6pm

Screening and performance, Adam Khalil, Jackson Polys, and KITE: The Informants
Human Resources LA
October 26, 7pm
Followed by a conversation with Adam Khalil, Jackson Polys, KITE, K. Wayne Yang, and Oscar Gutiérrez

Conversation between Cauleen Smith and Raquel Gutiérrez
Human Resources LA
October 28, 2pm

Screening and Q&A, Jumana Manna: Wild Relatives
December 10, 8:30pm

A grammar built with rocks is accompanied by a publication featuring newly commissioned and existing texts by contributors including Antke Engel and Renate Lorenz, DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency), Sandra de la Loza, Raquel Gutiérrez, Shoghig Halajian, Suzy Halajian, Candice Lin, and Carl A. Zimring.

Image: (top) Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Toxic, 2012. Installation with Super 16mm film / HD, 13 minutes and archive. Courtesy of the artists
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