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About Place

March 15-May 12, 2022

Ashley Hagen, "Home" (2019)
Ashley Hagen, “Home,” 2019, wood, mirror, house paint & mixed media, 64 x 58 x 28 inches

Originally slated for April 2020, About Place is a group exhibition featuring works by Heini Aho, Tanya Aguñiga, Tanya Brodsky, Sandra Calvo, T.J. Dedeaux-Norris, Ashley Hagen, Reneé Lotenero, Sandra Mann, and Kyoco Taniyama. Working in sculpture, photography, video and installation, these artists explore ideas of “place” as geography, architecture, the environment, migration, and home. This exhibition will include artists from disparate parts of the world: Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and different regions within the United States.

About Place presents contrasting cultural and geographic backgrounds as artists address the idea of “place” with transformative works that showcase their unique aesthetic visions, languages, and processes. Rapid global transformations and unprecedented movements of people caused by poverty, economic opportunity, gentrification, leisure, conflict and climate change continuously shifts the way we as humans perceive, relate to, and signify the idea of “place”. As displaced populations and migrant communities adapt to new cultures and environments, integration is both welcomed by humanitarian ideals and resisted by fearful intolerance. The aim of this exhibition is to serve not merely as a reflection or simulacra of a place, but an attempt to see how artists create objects and/or experiences that become their own destinations while simultaneously exploring complex ideas and issues.

With March 11 marking precisely two years since the declaration of the global pandemic, it is difficult not to acknowledge the effect Covid-19 has had on all of us, and its relation to the exhibition concept. Lockdowns have left many of the earth’s citizens confined for large portions of the past 2 years within their homes, and travel bans and mandatory quarantines have stifled people’s ability and desire to visit other countries or return home. Some of the artists in the exhibition have responded by making brand new works that directly address this reality. For works made pre-pandemic, our collective shift in perspective will perhaps alter, even if subtly, how we interpret the works on display.

Some of the pieces deal with local and personal histories, such as Taniyama’s sound sculpture dealing with the city of La Verne’s own history as a once thriving agricultural orange-growing industry, or Aguñiga’s woven earth sculpture containing soil from her places of origin. Other artists approach their works from a much more global or philosophical vantage point such as Mann’s sculptural photo installation chronicling her travels around the world or Aho’s kinetic sculptures and video that seem to playfully beckon viewers to contemplate time and nature.

“About Place” has been made possible through grants from Pasadena Art Alliance, Nomura Art Foundation, and Frame Contemporary Art Finland. A special thanks to Max Presneill and Torrance Art Museum for their kind support.

Ichiro Irie

Born in Tokyo, Ichiro Irie is an artist and curator living and working in Los Angeles, CA. As a curator, Irie has organized dozens of exhibitions spanning two decades at galleries and museums in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Mexico City, Turku, Frankfurt am Main, London, New York City and London. Highlights include “Generation W” at Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA, “Shangri L.A.” at 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, “Ladicado” at MUCA Roma, Mexico City, and ” “Lazy Susan” at Titanik Galleria, Finland. Irie was Founder and Editor of the contemporary art magazine RiM and owner and director of the artist-run space JAUS. He is a founding member of the curatorial collective QiPO and Creative Director for QiPO Fair. Projects he has curated or helped organize have received grants from Frame (Finland), Cultural Contact (Mexico), PAC (Mexico) and FACE (France). Exhibitions he has organized have been published in Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Art Forum, Artillery, and Hyperallergic.

Laura Reséndiz

Born and raised in Mexico City, Laura Reséndiz received her BA in Art History at Universidad Iberoamericana. Reséndiz views Art as an educational and social tool that has the potential to activate positive urban-emotional transformations. With the organization she founded, CICLO, Reséndiz generates alternative platforms and opportunities for artists and creative professionals to collaborate with people from diverse communities, integrating local history and interests in public spaces. Her multidisciplinary practices include the founding of Anonymous Gallery in Mexico City which she co-directed until 2016; and her work with Omnibus, a cultural television program, as producer and interviewer, RiM Magazine as Editor, and ARCO DATA España as writer, among others. She has taught at Casa del lago, Royal Academy of San Carlos, UNAM National University (CdMx) and UDLA University (Pue).

She received the CONACULTA Annual Cultural Project Program Grant in 2015.

More recently Reséndiz has worked as script writer for art programs for the Subsecretary of Upper-Middle Education (2022) and the national television station Canal Once (2021). She has collaborated with Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum as Coordinator of Public Programming for their Mobile Museum Studio. She is a member of the curatorial collective QiPO and Executive Director of QiPO Art Fair, Mexico City.