Issue 36 May 2024

Defying Narrative
Containment, for
E.L. and Others
–Maya Gurantz
Does it Move You? How to Look at Art,
According to
the Late Robert Irwin
–Janelle Zara
From Earthwork
to Test Plot
Transdisciplinary Approaches
to Ecological Reparation
–Emma Kemp
Interview with
Paulina Lara
–Joseph Daniel Valencia
Works in Progress Featuring: Soo Kim
Photos: Leah Rom
Reviews Teddy Sandoval and
the Butch Gardens
School of Art

at the Vincent Price
Art Museum
–Philip Anderson

Lex Brown
at Bel Ami
–Isabella Miller

Hugh Hayden
at Lisson Gallery
–Alexander Schneider

Diana Yesenia Alvarado
at Jeffrey Deitch
–Eva Recinos

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Cauleen Smith
at 52 Walker
–Shameekia Shantel

(L.A. in São Paulo)
Candice Lin
at Almeida & Dale
–Mateus Nunes
Carla en Español

Issue 35 February 2024

Issue 34 November 2023

Issue 33 August 2023

Issue 32 June 2023

Issue 31 February 2023

Issue 30 November 2022

Issue 29 August 2022

Issue 28 May 2022

Issue 27 February 2022

Issue 26 November 2021

Issue 25 August 2021

Issue 24 May 2021

Issue 23 February 2021

Issue 22 November 2020

Issue 21 August 2020

Issue 20 May 2020

Issue 19 February 2020

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
Parasites in Love –Travis Diehl
To Crush Absolute On Patrick Staff and
Destroying the Institution
–Jonathan Griffin
Victoria Fu:
Camera Obscured
–Cat Kron
Resurgence of Resistance How Pattern & Decoration's Popularity
Can Help Reshape the Canon
–Catherine Wagley
Trace, Place, Politics Julie Mehretu's Coded Abstractions
–Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.: Featuring: Friedrich Kunath,
Tristan Unrau, and Nevine Mahmoud
–Claressinka Anderson & Joe Pugliese
Reviews April Street
at Vielmetter Los Angeles
–Aaron Horst

Chiraag Bhakta
at Human Resources
–Julie Weitz

Don’t Think: Tom, Joe
and Rick Potts

–Matt Stromberg

Sarah McMenimen
at Garden
–Michael Wright

The Medea Insurrection
at the Wende Museum
–Jennifer Remenchik

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Mike Kelley
at Hauser & Wirth
–Angella d’Avignon
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Issue 18 November 2019

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
The Briar and the Tar Nayland Blake at the ICA LA
and Matthew Marks Gallery
–Travis Diehl
Putting Aesthetics
to Hope
Tracking Photography’s Role
in Feminist Communities
– Catherine Wagley
Instagram STARtists
and Bad Painting
– Anna Elise Johnson
Interview with Jamillah James – Lindsay Preston Zappas
Working Artists Featuring Catherine Fairbanks,
Paul Pescador, and Rachel Mason
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Children of the Sun
– Jessica Simmons

Derek Paul Jack Boyle
–Aaron Horst

Karl Holmqvist
at House of Gaga, Los Angeles
–Lee Purvey

Katja Seib
at Château Shatto
–Ashton Cooper

Jeanette Mundt
at Overduin & Co.
–Matt Stromberg
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Issue 17 August 2019

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Green Chip David Hammons
at Hauser & Wirth
–Travis Diehl
Whatever Gets You
Through the Night
The Artists of Dilexi
and Wartime Trauma
–Jonathan Griffin
Generous Collectors How the Grinsteins
Supported Artists
–Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Donna Huanca
–Lindsy Preston Zappas
Working Artist Featuring Ragen Moss, Justen LeRoy,
and Bari Ziperstein
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Sarah Lucas
at the Hammer Museum
–Yxta Maya Murray

George Herms and Terence Koh
at Morán Morán
–Matt Stromberg

Hannah Hur
at Bel Ami
–Michael Wright

Sebastian Hernandez
–Julie Weitz

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Alex Israel
at Greene Naftali
–Rosa Tyhurst

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Issue 16 May 2019

Trulee Hall's Untamed Magic Catherine Wagley
Ingredients for a Braver Art Scene Ceci Moss
I Shit on Your Graves Travis Diehl
Interview with Ruby Neri Jonathan Griffin
Carolee Schneemann and the Art of Saying Yes! Chelsea Beck
Exquisite L.A. Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Reviews Ry Rocklen
at Honor Fraser
–Cat Kron

Rob Thom
at M+B
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age
of Black Power, 1963-1983
at The Broad
–Matt Stromberg

Anna Sew Hoy & Diedrick Brackens
at Various Small Fires
–Aaron Horst

Julia Haft-Candell & Suzan Frecon
at Parrasch Heijnen
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Shahryar Nashat
at Swiss Institute
–Christie Hayden
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Issue 15 February 2019

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor
Men on Women
Geena Brown
Eyes Without a Voice
Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto
Christina Catherine Martinez
Seven Minute Dream Machine
Jordan Wolfson's (Female figure)
Travis Diehl
Laughing in Private
Vanessa Place's Rape Jokes
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Rosha Yaghmai
Laura Brown
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Patrick Martinez,
Ramiro Gomez, and John Valadez
Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Reviews Outliers and American
Vanguard Art at LACMA
–Jonathan Griffin

Sperm Cult
–Matt Stromberg

Kahlil Joseph
–Jessica Simmons

Ingrid Luche
at Ghebaly Gallery
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Matt Paweski
at Park View / Paul Soto
–John Zane Zappas

Trenton Doyle Hancock
at Shulamit Nazarian
–Colony Little

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Catherine Opie
at Lehmann Maupin
–Angella d'Avignon
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Issue 14 November 2018

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and Figurative Religion Catherine Wagley
Lynch in Traffic Travis Diehl
The Remixed Symbology of Nina Chanel Abney Lindsay Preston Zappas
Interview with Kulapat Yantrasast Christie Hayden
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Sandra de la Loza, Gloria Galvez, and Steve Wong
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Reviews Raúl de Nieves
at Freedman Fitzpatrick
-Aaron Horst

Gertrud Parker
at Parker Gallery
-Ashton Cooper

Robert Yarber
at Nicodim Gallery
-Jonathan Griffin

Nikita Gale
at Commonwealth & Council
-Simone Krug

Lari Pittman
at Regen Projects
-Matt Stromberg

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Eckhaus Latta
at the Whitney Museum
of American Art
-Angella d'Avignon
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Issue 13 August 2018

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
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
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Issue 12 May 2018

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
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
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Issue 11 February 2018

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
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
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Issue 10 November 2017

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
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
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.)
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Issue 9 August 2017

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
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 to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
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Issue 8 May 2017

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
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 to the Editor
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Issue 7 February 2017

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
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
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Issue 6 November 2016

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
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.)
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Issue 5 August 2016

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
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.)
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Issue 4 May 2016

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
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.)
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Issue 3 February 2016

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
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
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Issue 2 November 2015

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
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
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
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Issue 1 August 2015

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
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.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
1301 PE
Anat Ebgi (La Cienega)
Anat Ebgi (Wilshire)
Arcana Books
Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth
Babst Gallery
Baert Gallery
Bel Ami
Canary Test
Carlye Packer
Charlie James Gallery
Château Shatto
Chris Sharp Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Clay ca
Commonwealth & Council
Craft Contemporary
D2 Art (Inglewood)
D2 Art (Westwood)
David Kordansky Gallery
David Zwirner
Diane Rosenstein
François Ghebaly
Gana Art Los Angeles
George Billis Gallery
Giovanni's Room
Hamzianpour & Kia
Hannah Hoffman Gallery
Harper's Gallery
Hashimoto Contemporary
Heavy Manners Library
Helen J Gallery
Human Resources
Hunter Shaw Fine Art
in lieu
LaPau Gallery
Lisson Gallery
Lowell Ryan Projects
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
MAK Center for Art and Architecture
Make Room Los Angeles
Matter Studio Gallery
Matthew Brown Los Angeles
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Morán Morán
Moskowitz Bayse
Nazarian / Curcio
Night Gallery
Nino Mier Gallery
NOON Projects
O-Town House
One Trick Pony
Paradise Framing
Park View / Paul Soto
Patricia Sweetow Gallery
Regen Projects
Reparations Club
r d f a
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater)
Roberts Projects
Royale Projects
Sean Kelly
Sebastian Gladstone
Shoshana Wayne Gallery
Smart Objects
Steve Turner
Stroll Garden
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
The Box
The Fulcrum
The Hole
The Landing
The Poetic Research Bureau
The Wende Museum
Thinkspace Projects
Tierra del Sol Gallery
Tiger Strikes Astroid
Tomorrow Today
Track 16
Tyler Park Presents
USC Fisher Museum of Art
UTA Artist Space
Various Small Fires
Village Well Books & Coffee
Outside L.A.
Libraries/ Collections
Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD)
Bard College, CCS Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
Charlotte Street Foundation (Kansas City, MO)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore, MD)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA)
NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, NY)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
University of California Irvine, Langston IMCA (Irvine, CA)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art (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:

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.

This feature was originally published in Carla issue 9.

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.

  1. EJ Hill, “A letter from home,” X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, June 17, 2017,
  2. EJ Hill, “A letter from home,” X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, June 17, 2017,
  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,
  5. Arthur Jafa and Tina Campt, “Love Is the Message, the Plan Is Death,” e-flux journal 81 (April 2017),
  6. Nana Adusei-Poku, “On Being Present Where You Wish to Disappear,” e-flux journal 80 (March 2017),
  7. EJ Hill (@iheartbeuys), Instagram post from June 17, 2017. “Last summer…”
  8. EJ Hill (@iheartbeuys), Instagram post from June 17, 2017. “Last summer…”
  9. Adusei-Poku, “On Being Present.”
  10. Adusei-Poku, “On Being Present.
  11. Adusei-Poku, “On Being Present.”
  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. 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), 126.
  15. 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), 155.

Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi is a curator and writer based in Los Angeles. He serves on the editorial board of X-TRA.

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