Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor Julie Weitz with Angella d'Avignon
Don't Make
Everything Boring
Catherine Wagley
The Collaborative Art
World of Norm Laich
Matt Stromberg
Oddly Satisfying Art Travis Diehl
Made in L.A. 2018 Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj
Jennifer Remenchik
Aaron Horst
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Anna Sew Hoy, Guadalupe Rosales, and Shizu Saldamando
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Launch Party August 18, 2018
At Praz-Delavallade
Reviews It's Snowing in LA
at AA|LA
–Matthew Lax

Fiona Conner
at the MAK Center
–Thomas Duncan

Show 2
at The Gallery @ Michael's
–Simone Krug

Deborah Roberts
at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
–Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi

Mimi Lauter
at Blum & Poe
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Math Bass
at Mary Boone
–Ashton Cooper

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Condo New York
–Laura Brown
Poetic Energies and
Radical Celebrations:
Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger
Simone Krug
Interior States of the Art Travis Diehl
Perennial Bloom:
Florals in Feminism
and Across L.A.
Angella d'Avignon
The Mess We're In Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Christina Quarles
Ashton Cooper
Object Project
Featuring Suné Woods, Michelle Dizon,
and Yong Soon Min
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Launch Party May 19, 2018
at Karma International
Reviews Meleko Mokgosi
at The Fowler Museum at UCLA
-Jessica Simmons

Chris Kraus
at Chateau Shatto
- Aaron Horst

Ben Sanders
at Ochi Projects
- Matt Stromberg

iris yirei hsu
at the Women's Center
for Creative Work
- Hana Cohn

Harald Szeemann
at the Getty Research Institute
- Olivian Cha

Ali Prosch
at Bed and Breakfast
- Jennifer Remenchik

Reena Spaulings
at Matthew Marks
- Thomas Duncan
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Museum as Selfie Station Matt Stromberg
Accessible as Humanly as Possible Catherine Wagley
On Laura Owens on Laura Owens Travis Diehl
Interview with Puppies Puppies Jonathan Griffin
Object Project Lindsay Preston Zappas, Jeff McLane
Launch Party
Reviews Dulce Dientes
at Rainbow in Spanish
- Aaron Horst

Adrián Villas Rojas
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
- Lindsay Preston Zappas

Nevine Mahmoud
at M+B
- Angella D'Avignon

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985
at the Hammer Museum
- Thomas Duncan

Hannah Greely and William T. Wiley
at Parker Gallery
- Keith J. Varadi

David Hockney
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (L.A. in N.Y.)
- Ashton Cooper

Edgar Arceneaux
at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (L.A. in S.F.)
- Hana Cohn
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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.)
Letter form the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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.)
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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.)
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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)
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
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
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.)
ARTBOOK @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
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
Charlie James
Good Luck Gallery
Human Resources
Ibid Gallery
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
Nicodim Gallery

Odd Ark LA
Oof Books
Smart Objects
Women's Center for Creative Work
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis 
College of Art and Design
DXIX Projects
Christopher Grimes Gallery
DXIX Projects
Five Car Garage
Laband Art Gallery at LMU
team (bungalow)
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Armory Center for the Arts
The Pit
Los Angeles Valley College
1301 PE
Big Pictures Los Angeles
California African American Museum
E.C. Liná
Commonwealth & Council
David Kordansky Gallery
Hunter Shaw Fine Art
Kayne Griffin Corcoran
Lowell Ryan Projects
ltd Los Angeles
Shoot the Lobster
Ochi Projects
the Landing
The Underground Museum
USC Fisher Museum of Art
Visitor Welcome Center
Culver City
Anat Ebgi
Arcana Books
Blum & Poe
Honor Fraser
Klowden Mann
Luis De Jesus
Philip Martin Gallery
Roberts Projects
Susanne Vielmetter
Diane Rosenstein
Family Books
Nino Mier Gallery
Moskowitz Bayse
Noysky Projects
Regen Projects
Shulamit Nazarian
Steve Turner
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
Various Small Fires
Gas Gallery

Hand and Rose
Elsewhere in CA
CLOACA (San Fransisco)
Curatorial Research Bureau @ the YBCA (San Fransisco)
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)
Minnesota Street Projects (San Fransisco)
San Diego Art Institute (San Diego)
Verge Center for the Arts (Sacramento)
Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco)
Wolfman Books (Oakland)
Non CA
Artbook @ MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY)
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)
Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
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)
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Emerging Leaders of Arts (Santa Barbara, CA)
Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa, ID)
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)

Interview with Zoe Barcza

Zoe Barcza, Dr. Awkward (2016). Acrylic and vinyl paint on canvas and aluminum artist frame. 43.3 x 63 x 1.75 inches. Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

Zoe Barcza is a positively perplexing freak of an artist. She exudes equipollent amounts of brash confidence and slippery self-awareness. She crushes snus pouches with an Arctic coolness, yet she maintains a generally warm, inspired energy.

The world is fucking dark, and the art world can sometimes feel like a magnified, exacerbated reflecting pool of this darkness, in which we participants are subject to sink. Barcza seems to recognize and process this more astutely than most young artists I’ve gotten to know thus far in life. Her individualized installations often double-down on said darkness, but the inherently gnarly or dystopian tones elucidate her biting sense of humor—a quality that is more than necessary for us all to get by, regardless of time or place.


Keith J. Varadi: You were here in
 Los Angeles a few months ago for your solo exhibition, DR AWKWARD, at Ghebaly Gallery. Upon seeing
 the grouping of new paintings,
 I found the title to be strangely fitting. The work is not expressly clinical or surgical, nor is it overly laborious 
or meticulous. By that I mean, the paintings appear to be made with 
a compulsive process, but their slickness in part materializes from the fact that they actually are not fussy in the least bit. Is this an appropriate read?

Zoe Barcza: Well, the medical/hospital vibe sort of coalesced when the mental image I had for these horizontal supine body triptychs intersected 
with the title DR AWKWARD, which was a palindrome I had heard on the radio that got stuck in my ear. I knew 
I wanted the bodies to have cartoony heads and feet with a mixed-up abstract puzzle for the guts. And while I was envisioning this, it coincided with me reading these palindromic sentences; the structure of these palindromes somehow suggested the logic of these painting bodies. There’s sort of an internal charge or closed circuit looping head to toe, or a snake eating its tail. And I also get this nerdy glee from palindromes. The scenarios and stories they arrive at can be so random or rude or surreal, because the subjects are completely tied to the formal structure. That relates to painting for me—that you can end up creating a story that you would never imagine outright to complete and serve the requirements of the picture. Like first you’re painting a gondolier, but then you mess up one of the hands, or the picture doesn’t seem balanced, so you add a chorizo sausage or something.

Here are some examples I like…

A slut nixes sex in Tulsa.

Age, irony, Noriega.

I maim Miami.

Satan oscillate my metallic sonatas.

Trafalgar rag: La Fart.

So it was thinking about the body and its relationship to palindromes that
 I started with, but then having the floating bodies suggested patients on gurneys lined up in a hospital corridor or in a morgue, and that created this narrative of who is the doctor and who is the patient. There was a quote in the MoMA Picabia show—on one of the didactic panels on the wall— where Picabia was like, “Perhaps I made painting sick. But how entertaining to be a doctor.” I tried to Google to find the original source, but the only thing that comes up
 is Jemima Kirke from Girls’ Twitter account, where she posted the quote. Haha.

KJV: The millennial normalization of Francis Picabia—ha!

Another thing about these paintings is that the frames were rather peculiar. From afar, they really just looked like standard aluminum frames. But they were actually strips of aluminum screwed into the sides of the paintings, and none of the strips were quite the same heights or widths of any of the pictures, making it appear as if the depicted imagery was on the brink of an outburst. 
I found this framing design to be such a well-considered decision, and I honestly find that many artists often overlook these details.

ZB: Thanks. Well, sure…all those decisions are super fun, and you are only limited by the physical properties of materials and the amount of money you have to spend. But that was an intuitive choice—it gave the paintings a mechanical and slightly sci-fi impression. I was thinking about Jack Goldstein’s airbrushed paintings of lightning and bomber jets—I had seen some in person and had a vague recollection that the edges were finished in a similar way, giving them a slick commercial light box feeling. And also, there was a whiff of Paul Thek’s Technological Reliquaries, with organic body stuff encased in inorganic shiny vitrines.

Zoe Barcza, Bob, Level Bob (2016) (Installation view). Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

KJV: The figures you had painted for this show seem to be illustrating the manic dichotomy of solemnity and outrage, with the horizontal ones appearing to have more or less resigned themselves to their current state, and the vertical ones looking ready to erupt. There is a lot of optical play, labyrinthine motifs, and a sense of hopelessness gleaned from these exercises. What do you think about this oscillating confined hysteria in the work, and how do you think it might relate to what’s happening in the world right now?

ZB: Yeah, totally. The subject matter—the body, my body—is not something that I can be detached from. Literally! Hehe! Body-horror is the basis of most of my personal anxiety and hysteria. The maze as guts, and a metaphor for all murky interiors, reflects my own fear and confusion with what’s going on inside of me. I’m a mega hypochondriac since as far back as I can remember. Anxieties and thoughts can create physical sensations and acute discomfort that mimic the horrendous imagined ailment. If I think too much that there might be a hole in my heart, my legs can go numb just to cooperate. It’s a stupid loop.

And, of course, there is nothing special about me; this is a symptom of existing in this world, and it comes out in different ways, depending on the person. And North America is a particularly tumorous and crazy-making place to grow up in. Existential dread is a pretty legit feeling all the time, though…of course in light of the world today, but any year since we evolved the capacity to worry would work, too. The paintings are also silly as heck.

KJV: The press release was written by your boyfriend, the Swedish painter, Alfred Boman. In it, he talks about the pointlessness of art, the existential crisis of parenthood, premonitions of violence, and national healthcare, among other topics. He also describes you and your work in an equally sincere and sarcastic manner, which is kind of his way, no? It’s a playfully honest and brutally ominous text…

ZB: Haha! That’s a good synopsis. Umm, yeah. Alfred’s a funny guy who writes in a very particular way. There is no point, really, in trying to direct what he’s going to write, because he only does one thing and it’s a great thing—like how Jack Nicholson only plays Jack Nicholson in movies. He was also spoofing the whole press release thing. The text was super satirical. I wasn’t sure if that was going to come across to someone who wasn’t necessarily familiar with his deadpan tone and might read it straight. But it like oscillates between the two, and that’s a quality that’s interesting to me, and something that comes up in my art, too—when you can be ironic, but also mean it.

KJV: Also, as we both know, it’s pretty common in the art world for two artists to be romantically linked. How would you say being involved with another challenging thinker and maker affects the way in which you participate in these endeavors, yourself?

ZB: Well, it’s impossible to separate the two; like…do I like this person’s art because I’m in love with them,
 or vice versa? I’ve only really ever been involved with people who are arty in one way or another, so I don’t know what it would be like otherwise. There are certain understandings that you don’t have to bridge. And of course, over time, you mutually rub off on each other. I’ve for sure been influenced a lot by Alfred, but that’s a good thing, not something to be guarded against. Like in one of Jonathan Meese’s videos, he’s talking about making art with his mom, and he says something like, “Art should be a family business,” and I agree with that.

Zoe Barcza, Poor Dan Is In A Droop (2016) (Installation view). Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

KJV: I’d like to discuss the press release a bit more. There is one line right at the beginning that goes: “Will there be a total war here or what, like w’zup with the politics now and so on…these people, really?” Your show actually opened on November 12th, the Saturday after the recent election here in the United States. Would you mind talking about what it was like to experience such an epic fail within an unfamiliar government in a foreign land, surrounded primarily by strangers?

ZB: It was harsh, Keith! I guess it made for a memorable opening?
 I mean, what a nightmare! I don’t know what to say, and I don’t want
 to repeat the same anti-Trump things that get said a million times, and contribute to the entropic sprawl of Guardian articles and think pieces spilling out to a state of stupefaction!

KJV: During the days that followed the election, I kept thinking about the especially particular perspective you must have had on our situation, given that you are a millennial woman who was born and raised in Canada and who now currently lives in Sweden. Canada does have a reputation, as so many of you Canadians joke about, of being kinder and more diplomatic than your neighbors to the south. And Sweden, like the other Scandinavian countries, has a reputation of being a wealthy nation that takes care of its less financially fortunate. This approach could not be any more different than the one typically implemented here in this country.

ZB: It feels impossible for me to write anything about Donald Trump right now without feeling trite. It’d all just be stale hindsight blather. And I can’t generalize about Sweden’s opinions without risking being hazed here. But one thing I would say is maybe there’s a vague resentment, like, “Why do I have to pay constant attention to this ONE country, all the time…whose people think that Sweden is the same thing as Switzerland”? And maybe people here were not that surprised about Trump. Like perhaps having a deranged billionaire cowboy at the helm was not a departure from what was expected of the U.S.A., based on their actions as a geopolitical entity. And at the same time, while perhaps it is easier to judge with this critical distance, I don’t feel that people here fully understand what it’s like to live in the U.S. Like they maybe think they do because they grow up with American TV and movies and music, but that is not the same as living there, which at times can be so impossible and hellish for most people I know. So I guess I often feel stretched between different ideologies, but grateful to be somewhat removed.

KJV: Do you think more artists might now be compelled to respond to what’s going on around them? Do you think communities will more actively pursue engaging with art? Can art actually do anything of cultural significance other than “contributing to culture”?

ZB: Yeah, that’s a humdinger. I don’t know. I hope so. I mean, I think often straight-up political art is a bit of a misunderstanding; like…it is often way less subversive than it intends to be. Like, in the UFC reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, there’s a recurring trope of a mom or dad who have quit all their jobs to train MMA full-time, and at some point in the season, he or she says, “I’m doing all this for my family, for my son, for my daughter.” But they are fighting for money in a cage! If they wanted to ensure their family’s security, there could be more direct ways to do so. It feels similar with art…like…it might work, but maybe there would be more efficacious routes than making installations in project spaces? I’m not putting down MMA—I love MMA. And I’m not putting down art—I love it more 
than anything.

I do like to believe that art can do something. When everything is increasingly corny and homogenized, and suggested content from algorithms makes everyone read and think similar things, maybe art has a place to break through all that in little eruptions of non-assimilable weirdness. And then it can make an impact on anyone anywhere, if you’re alienated or isolated. I mean, that happens to me. I just had that experience at a 
Kai Althoff show—it totally fucked me up; it affected me so much. It was like falling through a wormhole to a different world. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it can happen.

Zoe Barcza, So Ida, Adios, 2016. Installation view, Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

Zoe Barcza, Evade Me, Dave, 2016. Acrylic on canvas and aluminum artist frame. 31.5 x 43.3 x 1.75 inches. Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane

Zoe Barcza is a Canadian artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. She graduated from Städelschule, Frankfurt in 2013. Her work is currently on view
 in the group exhibition, The Love Object, at Team Gallery in New York. Previous solo exhibitions include DR AWKWARD at Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles; Texas Liquid Smoke at LOYAL, Stockholm; and International Loner, Shoot The Lobster, New York. Other places her work has been seen include 3236RLS, London; Hole Of The Fox, Antwerp; Cooper Cole, Toronto; Sandy Brown, Berlin; Seventeen, London; and Carl Kostyal, Stockholm.


Originally published in Carla issue 7