Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
Reconstituting Group Material
Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Launch Party August 19th at Blum and Poe
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
Linda Stark, Alex Olson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
at the Venice Biennale
by Thomas Duncan

Broken Language
at Shulamiit Nazarian
by Angella d'Avignon

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum
by Matt Stromberg

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects
by Aaron Horst

Home
at LACMA
by Simone Krug

Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
by Hana Cohn
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures: Alice Könitz and LAMOA Catherine Wagley
Interview with Penny Slinger Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Launch Party
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
by Jonathan Griffin

Jennie Jieun Lee
by Stuart Krimko

Trisha Baga
by Lindsay Preston Zappas

Jimmie Durham
by Molly Larkey

Parallel City
by Hana Cohn

Jason Rhodes
by Matt Stromberg
Generous
Structures
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature by Thomas Duncan
Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler by Stuart Krimko
Karl Haendel by Aaron Horst
Wolfgang Tillmans by Eli Diner
Ma by Claire de Dobay Rifelj
The Rat Bastard Protective Association by Pablo Lopez
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews:
Made in L.A. 2016
Doug Aitken Electric Earth
Mertzbau

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
Mark A. Rodruigez
The Weeping Line
Molly Larkey, Aaron Horst,
Keith J. Varadi, Katie Bode,
Stuart Krimko, Matt Stromberg
Non-Fiction
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
at REDCAT
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Launch Party Carla Issue 5
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Hana Cohn, Eli Diner,
Claire De Dobay Rifelj,
Katie Bode, Molly Larkey,
Keith J. Varadi
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Reconsidering
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater
Diana Thater
at LACMA
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Launch Party Carla Issue 4
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj,
Matt Stromberg, Hana Cohn,
Lindsay Preston Zappas,
Simone Krug, Keith Vaughn,
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word
F.B.I.
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
and LOUDHAILER
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Launch Party Carla Issue 3
Share Your Piece of the Puzzle Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
Reviews Eli Diner, Jonathan Griffin,
Don Edler, Aaron Horst
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Reviews Benjamin Lord, Aaron Horst, Stephen Kent
Top-Down Bottom-Up Jenny Gagalka
Snap Reviews Aaron Horst, Char Jansen, Randy Rice, Lindsay Preston Zappas
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee
William Pope.L’s Reenactor
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
MEAT PHYSICS/
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
SOGTFO
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
@barnettcohen
Mateo Tannatt
Photographs
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
VESSEL // CINS and
VESSEL // PERF
Ben Medansky
I've been a lot of places,
seen so many faces
Nora Slade
Launch Party Carla Issue 1
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, Catherine Wagley, Keith Vaughn, Aaron Horst, Kate Wolf, Mateo Tannatt, Evan Moffitt, Cal Siegel
We’re in This Together Lauren Cherry & Max Springer
Distribution
Downtown
ARTBOOK @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
Club Pro
Dalton Warehouse
Elevator Mondays
The Geffen Contemporary 
at MOCA
Ghebaly Gallery
ICA LA
LACA
MAMA
Mistake Room
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Night Gallery
The Box
Wilding Cran Gallery
Boyle Heights/ Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
BBQLA
Chimento Contemporary
Charlie James
Human Resources
Ibid Gallery
Ooga Booga
Ooga Twooga
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
Nicodim Gallery
Venus Over Los Angeles
Eastside
AWHRHWAR
67 Steps
ESXLA
Otherwild
SADE
Smart Objects
Skibum MacArthur
Westside
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis 
College of Art and Design
Christopher Grimes Gallery
DXIX Projects
Five Car Garage
Team (Bungalow)
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Armory Center for the Arts
The Pit
Los Angeles Valley College
Natural
The Art Gallery @ GCC
Mid-City
1301 PE
Big Pictures Los Angeles
California African American Museum
Chainlink Gallery
Commonwealth & Council
David Kordansky Gallery
H I L D E
JOAN
Kayne Griffin Corcoran
LACMA
ltd Los Angeles
Marc Foxx
Shoot the Lobster
Ochi Projects
Park View
Praz-Delavallade
The Landing
SPRÜTH MAGERS
The Underground Museum
USC Fisher Museum of Art
Visitor Welcome Center
Culver City
Anat Ebgi
Arcana Books
Blum & Poe
Cherry and Martin
Honor Fraser
Klowden Mann
Luis De Jesus
Roberts and Tilton
Susanne Vielmetter
Hollywood
Diane Rosenstein
Family Books
GAVLAK
Hannah Hoffman
LACE
LA><ART
M+B
Nino Mier Gallery
Moskowitz Bayse
Noysky Projects
Regen Projects
Shulamit Nazarian
Various Small Fires
South Bay
DMV
Grab Bag Studios
The Torrance Art Museum
Elsewhere in CA
Alter Space (San Francisco)
City Limits (Oakland)
Et al. (San Francisco)
Ever Gold Projects (San Francisco)
fused space (San Francisco)
Gym Standard (San Diego)
Helmuth Projects (San Diego)
Interface Gallery (Oakland)
Jessica Silverman (San Francisco)
Left Field (San Luis Obispo)
San Diego Art Institute (San Diego)
Verve Center for the Arts (Sacramento)
Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco)
Non CA
Artbook @ MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY)
Editions Kavi Gupta (Chicago, IL)
Good Weather (North Little Rock, AK)
Nationale (Portland, OR)
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME)
Small Editions (Brooklyn, NY)
Space 42 (Jacksonville, FL)
Spoonbill & Sugartown (Brooklyn, NY)
Ulises (Philadelphia, PA)
Libraries/ Collections
Bard College, Center for Curatorial Studies Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
CalArts (Valencia, CA)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
El 123 (México City, MX)
John M. Flaxman Library at SAIC (Chicago, IL)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Research Library (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Marpha Foundation (Marpha, Nepal)
Maryland Institute College of Art, The Decker Library (Baltimore, MD)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library (New York, NY)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, John M. Flaxman Library (Chicago, IL)
Scholes Library, NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, NY)
Skowhegan Archives (New York, NY)
Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York, NY)
Telfair Museum (Savannah, GA)
USC Fisher Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles Library (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Generous Structures

5

Tarot Class (2016). Image courtesy of The Golden Dome. Photo: Natalia Molina.

We were sitting in a circle in a window filled living room on a hill in Mt. Washington, holding barely filled cups of mugwort tea. We’d distributed the tea sparingly. It had been made under the assumption that no more than 20 people would attend this workshop, called Tactical Magic. Now 32 of us were squeezed into the room, here six days before the 2017 presidential inauguration. “We’re going to take our power back,” said artist Eliza Swann at the workshop’s start, simply setting the agenda. We would “build up to working on the government,” she said, hopefully by year’s end, using marginalized, spiritual, intuitive skill sets as a means of resisting formalized, mainstream authority. This didn’t seem far-fetched. Isn’t the undetermined anathema to the formal?

Saewon Oh, an herbalist and artist co-running this workshop with Swann, had made the tea and now guided us through our experience of it: we smelled it, introduced ourselves to it, slowly drank it, willed ourselves to be carried away by its qualities and then wrote about where our minds went. Mine went to a spare, sun-lit room. It vaguely resembled a lot of things, including a room I stayed in 100 miles north of Paris last summer, on a different kind of search for collective power.

For those who see art as a tool for living and probing, a commodity only circumstantially, the established art world has become an exhausting place. Galleries, academies, and museums seem in cahoots, together fueling the “hyper-professionalization” that Daniel Palmer decried in ARTNews last year. Success means learning to participate in a system of scarcity, branding yourself to appeal to those with the power to pull you onto a gallery roster or award you in other ways (teaching positions, institutional acquisitions, etc.).
 The obfuscating conditions of elite capitalism seem to have soaked through everything. The fact that Steven Mnuchin, who keeps forgetting to disclose additional assets to the Senate on his way to becoming Trump’s Secretary of Treasury, belonged to MOCA’s board is indicative, not anomalous.

“In a moment of monotony and conformity, artists must reclaim their freedom,” wrote Palmer. (1) Except, what good does it do to “reclaim” from a system indifferent to your unmarketable expressions? Instead, it seems, we need to build platforms for protecting, empowering, and sustaining one another’s non-conformity—not just alt exhibition spaces; something more than that. Even if I don’t know how to build them, exactly, I do know such platforms must have intellectual, emotional, and economic dimensions, and communities behind them ready to do the work. A desire for such communities led me to a conference in that small town in northern France.

4

Tarot Class (2016). Image courtesy of The Golden Dome. Photo: Natalia Molina.

The conference called Elsewhere & Otherwise—held at Paf, a cavernous former convent that, as of last year, is collectively owned by 50 people (artists, philosophers, writers, dancers)—started under dim lighting, with conversation aided by champagne. The more comfortable among us offered ideas for how the week could go; the organizers took notes. A casual misunderstanding shaped the second evening. The artist Eroca Nichols said she would be doing Pussy Readings in the Peacock Room (she meant she’d be giving tarot readings for people’s astral pussies and intimate relational lives). But, artists Corazon del Sol and Milena Bonilla thought she meant it literally—and thought, well wouldn’t that be worth while? To read vaginas as if reading palms or tea leaves? And then, somehow we were doing it, me going first because someone had to and because I trusted del Sol and Bonilla to be gentle as they made their first, semi-public foray into vagina-reading.

We wouldn’t be the first to do this—feminists consciousness-raising groups, among others, experimented similarly in the 1970s—though for us
it felt new and impulsive. The readers had been drinking, which made them less inhibited and maybe better at riffing about empowerment, hegemony, and vulnerability, collapsing space between the theoretical and personally sensual in a generous way. It took about 30 minutes for pussy reading
 to somehow become an electric thing, more women volunteering to sit on the shabby chic sofa with legs spread, more participating as readers.

I remember mixing vodka and lavender syrup in the kitchen with a group of men wondering if pussy reading excluded them—it wasn’t meant to, and there was talk of the ethereal pussy and fluidity of the feminine, but no one with non-female genitals volunteered to be read.

Later, there would be a charged discussion about whether the performance had alienated members of the group, those without conventional anatomical pussies specifically, and this would be uncomfortable but worth navigating. It seemed fitting to start off in something of a tangle, with theory, body, language, and sincerity blurred. None of us were experts in this tangle, and uncertainty helps if you really want to form something else.

“It is time for a more radical approach in which the knowledge that is already there can take enough time and space to be rehearsed, shared, articulated, transformed or even discarded,” wrote co-organizers Valentine Desideri and Daniela Bersham in describing the conference. (2)

6

Performance class. Image courtesy of The Golden Dome. Photo: Angel Lauren.

The word radical can sound clear and directed, but what we were doing was more like informed groping. With no designated moderator, the week, full and amorphous, would end up changing as attendees realized what they wanted to contribute. 
Our knowledge pooling would feel 
like an attempt to have something of a shared foundation. It worked as well as it did because the convent was an affordable space, untethered to anything bigger and more established. But part of why we need a “more radical approach” is so spaces 
like this can spread and persist in many elsewheres.

“I want to create a structure
 for life that is in revolt through its generosity,” Eliza Swann said this past October, in an interview for Vice’s Creator’s Project,(3) reminding me of a passage she introduced me to, from Monique Wittig’s relentless novel about foraging feminists: “Every gesture, act, deed, is overthrow, reversal.” (4) How can we afford to
make that true?

When I first met Swann, during consciousness-raising sessions held in a Silver Lake garage in 2014, she was half a year into running her school, The Golden Dome, and struggling with how to fund it. The school, in its aims, in some ways parallels the launch of Black Mountain College and Feminist Art Program—learning together differently in order to support each other and make art differently. It also exists to be non-hierarchical and thus collaborative. “A spiritual organization with a hierarchical structure can convey only the consciousness of estrangement,” says activist Starhawk, quoted on the school’s website.

The Golden Dome, which functions more like an artist-run residency than an actual school, meets twice annually, each session exploring the relationship between art, metaphysics, and spirituality. Swann plans to make it free, if she can. But building an autonomous, alternative platform has practical costs. Ten-day sessions can cost between $450-650, for room and board (in the Mojave desert, or upstate New York). The Mail Order Mystery School costs $125 for a year, relatively reasonable but still an investment for many artists.

The economic conundrum, present everywhere, has its own textures in the realm of art and artists. The art world is an exaggerated microcosm of the wealth gap, the one percent playing an outsized role in keeping institutions and galleries running. Few artists support themselves on their work; many gig, or adjunct, stretched thin. The fantasy that elusive gallery representation 
can save you from economic precarity is more widespread than makes sense, since many artists with galleries 
rarely sell enough to subsist. In the United States at least, where state support for artists barely exists, this fantasy probably represents just one more version of the capitalist American Dream, ingrained so deeply even if we know better.

9

Grace Kredell as “She Who Must Be Obeyed”, Emperor Artist Intensive, Joshua Tree (2016). Image courtesy of The Golden Dome. Photo: Angel Lauren.

There has been a fixation recently, in communities in which
 I traffic, on Italian-born, New York-based scholar Silvia Federici’s book Caliban and the Witch, originally published in 2004 and based on research Federici began alongside her friend Leopoldina Fortunati in the 1980s. Sarah Williams, co-founder of the Women’s Center for Creative Work (another attempt at a sustainable something else), was reading it; an artist friend texted from a bar in Massachusetts that she’d started a Caliban book club; during Elsewhere & Otherwise, we discussed it; at the start of Tactical Magic, Swann paraphrased it; and more. This surge in interest does not make chronological sense—Federici’s book has not been reprinted, nor is it at all an easy read. But it isn’t accidental. I devoured it for the second time in the days after the November election, as if nothing could be more relevant.

Federici, in exquisitely well-researched detail, depicts the transition to capitalism in Europe,
 the Americas, and the colonies as coinciding with a slaughter of alternative sensibilities, particularly those deemed feminine. Women
 who led food revolts, held procreative knowledge, healed, or encouraged community co-dependence: all threatened reproductive and productive labor, and were particularly vulnerable when witch trials began 
in earnest. Federici aimed in writing Caliban “to revive among younger generations the memory of a long history of resistance that today is in danger of being erased.”(5) Younger generations are listening, wanting communitarian models more desperately as nationalist and autocratic leaders rise in misguided response to the estrangements neoliberalism causes.

A week after Donald Trump became president-elect, I received a chain of emails from the group of artists I had met at Paf. The emails had urgency to them. They discussed war against eroticism, intelligence, or any idea of self that defies capitalist drive, and using emotional resilience and spiritual power against hate. “Please let’s imagine and create all the tools we can in these next days,” wrote my friend, Corazon del Sol. (6)

It’s some sick joke that the new U.S. administration moved so quickly toward cutting NEA and NEH funding, potentially killing the little publicly available to support non-product-oriented thinking, making the arts even more dependent on the market. The reductive language of new regimes, here and in Europe, seems poised against historical memory and disinterested in nuance. Forming and preserving spaces for unmarketable experimentation, uncertainties, and close attention to past and present possibilities falls to those of us who believe that art and life bear on each other. This work is already happening, has been happening. But now, liberated from whatever comfort zones we thought we had left, we should be more primed to lean on and glean from each other—or impel ourselves to be primed.

10

Mollie McKinley leading a “Every Day Rituals” class (2014). Image courtesy of The Golden Dome. Photo: Eliza Swann

 

issue-7-cover-icon-web

Originally published in Carla issue 7

(1) Daniel Palmer, “Go Pro: The Hyper-professionalization of the Emerging Artist,” ARTNews, March 9, 2016, http://www.artnews.com/2016/03/09/go-pro-the- hyper-professionalization-ofthe-emerging-artist/.

(2) E-mail to the author and others, January 19, 2016.

(3) Tjana Laden, “A Modern Mystery School Unites Art and Soul in LA,” Vice Creator’s Project, October 28, 2016, http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/en_au/blog/golden- dawn-mystery-school-los-angeles.

(4) Monique Wittig, Les Guerilleres (Boston: Beacon Press, 1985), 5.

(5) Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (New York: Autonomedia, 2004), 9.

(6) E-mail chain forwarded to the author, November 12, 2016.