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Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) entrance within Barnsdall Art Park in Los Angeles, CA.

ARCHIVE MACHINES brings together recent works by Southern California artists that examine the archive as a conceptual vehicle to de-center singular narratives and encourage plural perspectives through the activities of revisioning, resisting, rewiring and relating. This exhibition is curated by Olivian Cha, Curator and Collections Manager, Corita Art Center, Los Angeles; Kerstin Erdmann, Director & Partner, Galería OMR, Mexico City and Director of the MA program Contemporary Art, Markets and Management at Centro in partnership with the Sotheby’s Institute of Art; and Rita Gonzalez, Terri and Michael Smooke Curator and Department Head Contemporary Art, LACMA, Los Angeles.

An archive “machine” connotes a powerful mechanism for telling one’s own story—whether it be through an urgently recorded video of a situation, a collection of public records, an heirloom tale preserved by word of mouth, found ephemera, or cherished memorabilia. It is through such operations that the artists endeavor to examine the archive as a conceptual vehicle to de-center dominant interpretations and encourage plural perspectives. ARCHIVE MACHINES gathers artworks in an arc of four sections that will explicitly explore the activities of: Revisioning, Resisting, Rewiring, and Relating. These sections are a means to critically query the modalities behind the construction and circulation of narratives. In further dialogue with archival discourses and the aim to revisit and rethink contexts, the curatorial framework for the presentation of artworks will follow the structure of “living archives”, with the exhibition taking a cumulative course, growing throughout the duration of the show.

The act of relating produces a space in which distinct experiences can commingle and enrich one another, generating understanding, connection, allyship and, ultimately, care. This final phase brings together artists who employ relational practices to provoke a radical form of empathy. Derived from archives, their work offers opportunities for dialogue about our environments, communities, social exchanges and generational dynamics. 

Carla Jay Harris...use[s] archival materials to examine figures from the past, creating expansive portraits that explore the impact of psychological and emotional environments.

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