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)

The Offerings of EJ Hill

EJ Hill, A Monumental Offering of Potential Energy (2016). Image courtesy of the artist and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Photo: Adam Reich.

Home is where the heart is. There is a physicality to this turn of phrase—the sinewy organ circulating blood about the body, bleeding into the material, the built-space of an abode. At once, this imagery of a home translocating vis-à-vis the beatings of the heart complicates Cartesian dichotomies of mind/body, physical/material. By respecting the ability of idioms to flux between word and image, we begin to listen differently to bodies and buildings, attuning to their syncretic meanings, and recognizing the home and the heart are as structural as they are sentimental.

Such meditations are top-of-mind for EJ Hill, the Los Angeles artist who’s back home, for now. (1) In a nostalgic missive, we learn that for Hill, the shifting realities of home—dependent on the ebbs and flows of the heart toward trauma or kinship—shape blood memories, which he attaches to streets, intersections, and built structures. In his words: “Manchester Ave. is my main vein; Vermont Ave. is my main artery. 76th and Western is my heart.” (2) Now working out of his mother’s garage in South (formerly South-Central) Los Angeles, Hill shows upon his return an acute sensitivity to the spaces that subtend bodies and time. How these infrastructures, at varying scales, nourish Hill—both his body and practice—speaks to the multiplicity of home, itself a forum for imaging alternative relations between people and things.

But before all this, Hill spent considerable time in Boston and Chicago; returned to Los Angeles for his MFA; and then headed out of town again. (3) A residency at The Studio Museum in Harlem and an installation at 57th Venice Biennale are his most recent pit stops. Some moves were premeditated, orchestrated for artistic ends; others seemed propelled by the itch to live life and locate love. Hill’s return home was commemorated with A Subsequent Offering, a recent two-week show at L.A.’s Human Resources.

Fuck U Pay Us performing on A Subsequent Offering (2017). Image courtesy of Human Resources. Photo: Arlene Mejorado.

Although Hill has also shown elsewhere in L.A. since returning home, A Subsequent Offering admittedly took on a different cadence. On view was what some may call a shell of A Monumental Offering of Potential Energy (2016), the winding, 41-foot long wooden rollercoaster that premiered at The Studio Museum. In that iteration, Hill’s body lay prostrate on a platform coupled to one end of the rollercoaster. The lurching tracks were replaced with neon, the vivid orchid glow giving Hill’s inert figure a questionably ruddy cast. Lying somewhere between death and deliverance, Hill spent four months (from July 14 to October 20, 2016) flush to that 4 x 7 platform for up to nine hours a day. Hill’s queer, black body became a site of performance, taking up a posture perpendicular to the lynched strange fruit of old or, sadly, resembling the gunned down black bodies strewn across asphalt roads.

Notably missing in A Subsequent Offering was Hill, i.e., his prone body was nowhere near the rollercoaster platform that formerly held him for days on end. Not that I was expecting Hill to be there, again, for this shorter installation of the work, but having experienced the Harlem performance, there was a palpable emptiness to the rollercoaster as it hugged the back wall of Human Resources’ sprawling space. An additional dais protruded out from the rollercoaster—a stage, as Hill put it, “for new performances and actions.” (4) In a way, this bodily abyss orchestrated by Hill’s evacuation of himself, magnified the rollercoaster’s pared-down, neon aesthetics and the potential for other future bodies to inhabit, hold court, and re-embody A Monumental Offering.

Empty as it was, the installation—and Hill’s human body—exuded what Arthur Jafa might consider a radical opening for cultures to “flow through figures,” with the human body “setting up…and then breaking down” the fixity of time and space. (5) Across multiple nights, performers—comedians, poets, musicians, writers—did just that as they took center stage, upright, rising, and brimming with movement and motion. That isn’t to say Hill didn’t rise up and head home after performing day in, day out at The Studio Museum. But this felt different. In L.A., the acts—akin to Hill’s in Harlem—were all still sensitive to the precarity of black life. Yet the lived-in platform and installation—bearing traces of Hill’s body impressions—lifted some of the burden to represent pain in recumbent ways.

Fuck U Pay Us performing on A Subsequent Offering (2017). Image courtesy of Human Resources. Photo: Arlene Mejorado.

Hill often sat in the audience, gazing out at the panoply of performances. He clapped movingly after poet Sarah Gail gave a heart-stopping rendition of DeLois Barrett Campbell and The Barrett Sisters’ gospel tune, “I Wanna Walk and Talk with Jesus” (1995). He excitedly snapped pictures of the black, mostly queer female punk band, Fuck U Pay Us, as they thrashed and screamed about the stage. And he laughed and shared an aside with two childhood friends as Micah James’ camp comedy routine poked at anti-black racism and his father’s baffling gun-toting antics at a middle school basketball game. So while Hill was present, it was in a particular way that welcomed home the installation through a “multiplicity of articulations.” (6) These voices came together on the blood, sweat, and tears of Hill’s enduring body as it/he “silently sobbed” back in Harlem. (7) There, Hill dealt with the radical act of being “a strong and consistent visible presence” while lying—or appearing—abject. (8)

On this subject of asserting a presence despite the unending disappearance of blackness, cultural theorist Nana Adusei-Poku invokes Frantz Fanon’s tears following stagnancy, which reminds us that Hill is not alone as he sobs. In Black Skin, White Masks Fanon wept at his nothingness, his inability to “get up” as he lay there, this black colonial object, riddled with stasis. (9) Yet Fanon was equally aware of the possibilities of his body or, more pointedly, how his “chest has the power to expand to infinity.” (10) This corporeal crossroads between nothingness and infinity that Fanon speaks of is where we can situate Hill’s offerings, from A Monumental to A Subsequent. For the latter, though, by receding into the crowd and somewhat emptying the installation of his body, Hill embraced a “nothingness [that] is not absence but foundation,” becoming this tireless “void that sustains.” (11) It is this radical type of offering from Hill that gave the poetry reading of Brandon Drew Holmes impetus, such that pieces like “Dead Body,” from Holmes’ chapbook NEXTDOOREBONY (2016), queered notions of loss as this striking underlife, boundless, without limits:

Sunrise
Sunset
Amazing grace, that sound
Ascend. (12)

When all’s said and done, A Subsequent Offering played out like a nod to the collaborative, interdisciplinary ethos that have dominated L.A. performance from the late 1960s onward. The hybrid work of Asco, the Chicano activist art group out of East L.A. comes to mind, as does the short-lived collective “Premature Ejaculation,” and the feminist performance art group The Waitresses (who came out of the Feminist Studio Workshop or the Woman’s Building). This lineage of performance imbued A Subsequent Offering. Even the installation itself—bare, empty of performers—equally evokes the California Minimalism of 1960s and ’70s, where performance has resonance within immersive installations that experimented in the interplay of light and space.

A more telling parallel, however, is how the articulations on view at A Subsequent Offering joined with the agitations and aspirations of the black arts community in L.A. during the ’70s and ’80s. The focus then, as it is now for Hill and his colleagues, was on theatrical forms of activism and coalition building to radicalize space, all the while operating just outside the stability and structures of place. (13) This unease toward place—which can be read as home—was there for black feminist artist Senga Nengudi who reminisces on how Los Angeles “never felt quite like home in the early days,” even with many feminist art movements and centers. (14) The import of Nengudi’s words aren’t an indictment of the home, but a call to fashion a mutable space for home that welcomes diverse ways of becoming and place-making. Nengudi eventually found home in Studio Z, a performance collective whose collaborative acts in non-places (e.g., freeway underpasses) took up “strategies of naming” elaborated upon through performance and installation. (15)

Hill and colleagues took up a similar approach in A Subsequent Offering: relocating the sculpture to a different space; changing the name of the installation; and embracing a repertoire of performance for other bodies—black, brown, beige, and white—to lament or let loose. Such gestures find Hill capturing the malleable marriage black collectivities evidence between space and naming. More importantly, though, from A Monumental Offering to A Subsequent Offering, Hill provides a glimpse into his heartfelt notions of home, and of identity as a kind of nomadic and often contextual life force, fluctuating with every heartbeat, circulating memories anew.

  1. EJ Hill, “A letter from home,” X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, June 17, 2017, http://x-traonline.org/events/aletter-from-home.
  2. Ibid.
  3. From 2001 to 2009, Hill spent every summer in Stoneham, Maine, a town just outside of Boston, working with economically disadvantaged youth at Camp Susan Curtis. At the camp, Hill’s bond with artist and educator Margaret Nomentana planted the seeds that set Chicago within his sights for art school. EJ Hill, email message to author, July 7, 2017.
  4. EJ Hill (iheartbeauys), “Last summer…”, Instagram, June 17, 2017, https://www.instagram.com/p/BVeKRoylTN7.
  5. Arthur Jafa and Tina Campt, “Love Is the Message, the Plan Is Death,” e-flux journal 81 (April 2017), http://www.e-flux.com/journal/81/126451/love-is-themessage-the-plan-is-death.
  6. Nana Adusei-Poku, “On Being Present Where You Wish to Disappear,” e-flux journal 80 (March 2017), http://www.e-flux.com/journal/80/101727/on-beingpresent-where-you-wish-to-disappear.
  7. EJ Hill (@iheartbeuys), Instagram post from June 17, 2017. “Last summer…”
  8. Ibid.
  9. Adusei-Poku, “On Being Present.”
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Brandon Drew Holmes, “Dead Body,” in NEXTDOOREBONY (Los Angeles: n0 eg0 p0ems, 2016).
  13. Amelia Jones, “Lost Bodies: Early 1970s Los Angeles performance art in art history,” in Live Art in LA: Performance in Southern California, 1970-1983, ed. Peggy Phelan (New York: Routledge, 2012), 156-158.
  14. Ibid., 126.
  15. Ibid., 155.

EJ Hill, A Monumental Offering of Potential Energy (2016). Image courtesy of the artist and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Photo: Adam Reich.

EJ Hill, A Subsequent Offering (2017). Image courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth & Council. Photo: Michael Piña.

Originally published in Carla Issue 9