Barely Living with Art:
The Labor of Domestic
Spaces in Los Angeles
Eli Diner
She Wanted Adventure:
Dwan, Butler, Mizuno, Copley
Catherine Wagley
The Languages of
All-Women Exhibitions
Lindsay Preston Zappas
L.A. Povera Travis Diehl
On Eclipses:
When Language
and Photography Fail
Jessica Simmons
Interview with
Hamza Walker
Julie Wietz
Reviews Cheyenne Julien
at Smart Objects

Paul Mpagi Sepuya
at team bungalow

Ravi Jackson
at Richard Telles

Tactility of Line
at Elevator Mondays

Trigger: Gender as a Tool as a Weapon
at the New Museum
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Launch Party November 18, 2017
at the Landing
Object Project
Featuring: Rosha Yaghmai,
Dianna Molzan, and Patrick Jackson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McLane
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Regen Projects
Ibid Gallery
One National Gay & Lesbian Archives and MOCA PDC
The Mistake Room
Luis De Jesus Gallery
the University Art Gallery at CSULB
the Autry Museum
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

Broken Language
at Shulamit Nazarian

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects


Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures:
Alice Könitz and LAMOA
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Penny Slinger
Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Launch Party May 13, 2017
at Commonwealth and Council
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
at Marc Foxx

Jennie Jieun Lee
at The Pit

Trisha Baga
at 356 Mission

Jimmie Durham
at The Hammer

Parallel City
at Ms. Barbers

Jason Rhodes
at Hauser & Wirth
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 February 18, 2017
at Shulamit Nazarian
Exquisite L.A.
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature
at The Broad

Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler
at House of Gaga // Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Karl Haendel
at Susanne Vielmetter

Wolfgang Tillmans
at Regen Projects

at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
at the Landing
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
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Made in L.A. 2016
at The Hammer Museum

Doug Aitken
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

at Tif Sigfrids

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Mark A. Rodruigez
at Park View

The Weeping Line
Organized by Alter Space
at Four Six One Nine
(S.F. in L.A.)
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
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.
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Revolution in the Making
at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

Carl Cheng
at Cherry and Martin

Joan Snyder
at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery

Elanor Antin
at Diane Rosenstein

Performing the Grid
at Ben Maltz Gallery
at Otis College of Art & Design

Laura Owens
at The Wattis Institute
(L.A. in S.F.)
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater:
Diana Thater
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 L.A. Art Fairs

Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room

Evan Holloway
at David Kordansky Gallery

Histories of a Vanishing Present: A Prologue
at The Mistake Room

Carter Mull
at fused space
(L.A. in S.F.)

Awol Erizku
at FLAG Art Foundation
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word:
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota:
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
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 Honeydew
at Michael Thibault

Fred Tomaselli
at California State University, Fullerton

Trisha Donnelly
at Matthew Marks Gallery

Bradford Kessler
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 Mary Ried Kelley
at The Hammer Museum

Tongues Untied
at MOCA Pacific Design Center

No Joke
at Tanya Leighton
(L.A. in Berlin)
Top-Down Bottom-Up Jenny Gagalka
Snap Reviews Martin Basher at Anat Ebgi
Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
Eve Fowler at Mier Gallery
Matt Siegle at Park View
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
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
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
Mateo Tannatt
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
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 Pierre Huyghe

Mernet Larsen
at Various Small Fires

John Currin
at Gagosian, Beverly Hills

Pat O'Niell
at Cherry and Martin

A New Rhythm
at Park View

Unwatchable Scenes and
Other Unreliable Images...
at Public Fiction

Charles Gaines
at The Hammer Museum

Henry Taylor
at Blum & Poe/ Untitled
(L.A. in N.Y.)
We’re in This Together Lauren Cherry & Max Springer
ARTBOOK @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
Club Pro
Dalton Warehouse
Elevator Mondays
The Geffen Contemporary 
Ghebaly Gallery
Mistake Room
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Night Gallery
The Box
Wilding Cran Gallery
Boyle Heights/ Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
Chimento Contemporary
Charlie James
Human Resources
Ibid Gallery
Ooga Booga
Ooga Twooga
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
Nicodim Gallery
Ramiken Crucible

67 Steps
Smart Objects
Skibum MacArthur
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis 
College of Art and Design
Christopher Grimes Gallery
DXIX Projects
Five Car Garage
Team (Bungalow)
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The Pit
Los Angeles Valley College
Odd Ark LA
1301 PE
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California African American Museum
Chainlink Gallery
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Karma International
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ltd Los Angeles
Marc Foxx
Shoot the Lobster
Ochi Projects
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Visitor Welcome Center
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The Torrance Art Museum
Elsewhere in CA
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Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles Library (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Performing the Grid at Ben Maltz Gallery

At Otis College of Art and Design

Performing the Grid (installation view) (2016). Images courtesy of Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design. Photo: Chris Warner.

Performing the Grid (2016) (installation view). Images courtesy of Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design. Photo: Chris Warner.

The grid occupies a seemingly contradictory place in our culture, representing both dystopian rigidity and utopian perfectibility. Take for instance, the architecture of prisons v. that of modernist utopian art movements. As organic bodies, we are caught between the two: simultaneously defined and corralled by the dystopian, and striving toward and illuminated by the utopian. The recent exhibition Performing the Grid at Otis College of Art and Design’s Ben Maltz Gallery, brought this tension to a sustained vibration, bringing the eccentricities of the body into relief. Here, bodies perform the grid, but also confront, are dwarfed by, give rise to, and abide within grids both monolithic and evanescent.

One of the pleasures of the show was its inter-generational roster, as well as the range of media within which the artistic investigations took place. Dance and performance were well represented (on video) with iconic works like Bruce Nauman’s Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square (1967); Dance, Lucinda Childs collaboration with Sol LeWitt and Philip Glass from 1979; and David Haxton’s strangely affecting Cube and Room Drawings (1976-1977). More recent performance and video works included Sense and Sense (2010), Emily Roysen’s video of the artist MPA’s awkward and somehow tender attempt to walk on her side along the grid of a notorious Stockholm public square. Neil Beloufa’s The Analyst, the researcher, the screenwriter, the cgi tech and the lawyer (2011), dislodges any notion of fixed perspective by bringing together divergent narratives around an ambiguously surveilled city block.

The two and three dimensional works in the show also highlighted the unmanageability and temporality of the body, as grids made by hand go happily askew and/or become opportunities for spontaneity. With titles like 1,000,000 Days Away (2009), Xylor Jane’s hand-drawn grids translate the ineffability of time into complex visual systems. Even when the mark of the hand isn’t present, the grid is a structure against which improvisation can occur: the mysterious curve and the shifting green of Kathleen Ryan’s Wave (2015) transforms an imposing chunk of gridded metal fence (rendered innocuous on its back) into something vegetal, aspirational, and airy. Conceptually and formally, these and other works in the show demonstrated both the transcendental and the oppressive qualities of the grid, contrasted with the delightfully unreliable, always shifting human body.

Performing the Grid (installation view) (2016). Images courtesy of Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design. Photo: Chris Warner.

Performing the Grid (2016) (installation view). Images courtesy of Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design. Photo: Chris Warner.

On a Sunday afternoon during the run of the show, MPA held an event called Interrupting the Grid. This included a lecture on her research into the future colonization of Mars and its relationship to current life on Earth. The talk was held simultaneously with an exercise called Walking the Grid, which was performed by former students of the artist. The design of the exercise caused the performers to haphazardly run into each other—and the audience—as they walked imaginary grids. Afterwards, everyone came together to discuss the lecture and how it felt, as actors and spectators, to participate in the performance.

Since the grid is about definition and demarcation, the separation of audience and performer during the event—and the occasional lack thereof—brought to light the kind of psychological structures that function like physical grids, but are invisible. The performance produced an acute awareness of how codes of logic and separation inform our bodies and their movement: classifications that inhibit us, hierarchies that structure our movement, and value systems that delineate our relationships to each other. Ultimately, these psychological grids serve the logic of capitalism, which benefits from defining us and our relationships solely in terms of the roles we play as actors in its system.

MPA’s performance, and the exhibition as a whole, gave form to the ways that our bodies are vulnerable in relation to these physical and imagined grids. However, coming together in a non-hierarchical formation to discuss what it felt like to be bodies relating to each other seemed like a radical departure from the unconscious ways that we usually engage with the various grids in our lives. Changing our relationships with each other changes the structures that limit us.

Performing the Grid was on view from January 23–May 15, 2016 at Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design (9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045).

Performing the Grid (installation view) (2016). Images courtesy of Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design. Photo: Chris Warner.

Performing the Grid (2016) (installation view). Images courtesy of Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design. Photo: Chris Warner.

Performing the Grid (installation view) (2016). Images courtesy of Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design. Photo: Chris Warner.

Performing the Grid (2016) (installation view). Images courtesy of Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design. Photo: Chris Warner.

2016-07-12Originally published in Carla Issue 5.