Slanguage co-founders Mario Ybarra, Jr. and Karla Diaz left Los Angeles in February for ARCOmadrid_2010 for an installation and performance called Police and Thieves as part of Invisible Cities, curated by Kris Kuramitsu and Christopher Miles, at the Instituto Cervantes. This installation, named after Junior Murvin’s song “Police and Thieves,” (*hear the song in the video below) features the struggle between cops and robbers from both sides of Los Angeles’ mean streets and displays all sorts of LAPD and bad guy sundries — from LAPD complaint forms to prison ink drawings to beloved shanks. Ybarra and Diaz’s performance will follow the panel discussion on February 19, 2010.
ARCO2010 and Los Angeles, 21st century metropolis
Feria de Madrid is holding the 29th International Contemporary Art Fair, ARCOmadrid_2010, from February 17th to 21st, making it once again the opening event in the international art fair calendar. This year the fair is hosting a total of 221 galleries from 25 countries and around three thousand artists with work covering all the current trends visible in the art world today. This year ARCOmadrid throws a special spotlight on its invitational programme, featuring a city for the very first time instead of a country. The focus this year is on Los Angeles, chosen because of its vitality and multiculturalism and its specific weight as one of the world’s art capitals.
ARCOmadrid is an excellent opportunity to rev up the engines of the art market, especially at a moment when we are seeing the first signs of recovery. According to latest reports from the Art Market Confidence Index (AMCI) drawn up by Artprice, prices have risen by 1.2% and the all- important confidence index among professionals is up by between 20% and 40% since last March. Working alongside a team of curators who are responsible for giving the fair its special character, the art fair’s planning committee has been working with the goal of driving the art market forward. It wishes to underscore its reputation as a high-quality event with a complete cross-section of art to excite the interest of collectors and buyers. In this regard, the fair has prepared a Guest Collectors programme in which it invites many major collectors from around the world to visit the fair and see what it has on offer.
One of the most noteworthy new introductions at the upcoming edition of ARCOmadrid_2010 is the focus on Los Angeles as the fair’s special invited guest. This is a new twist to its Panorama section, shifting from its usual focus on a country to a single city. The idea is present a more homogeneous portrait of what’s happening in a specific urban area that is, in itself, one of the major art capitals of the USA. It is L.A.’s dynamism energy and creative diversity that has situated it at the forefront of the world’s art market.
With a selection of 17 galleries, curated by Kris Kuramitsu and Christopher Miles, the difference in Panorama: Los Angeles lies in the selection of artists coming from different generations, backgrounds and degrees of fame, and a huge variety of works in terms of technique, genre and leaning. Above all else, the selection wished to faithfully reflect the vitality and diversity of the art scene in this great city. According to the curators, -this 21st century metropolis has an artistic culture with a huge cross-generational wealth, largely thanks to its influential position over the last few decades, its network of private art school and academies, as well as the art departments in public and private universities.
Founded in 2002 by Karla Diaz and Mario Ybarra, Jr., Slanguage is an artist group headquartered in Wilmington, California, a harbor area of Los Angeles. Currently, members make artwork, curate exhibitions, coordinate events, and lead art-education workshops. A diverse group at various points in their careers, Slanguage includes teenagers, street artists, and established mid – to late career artists, the majority of whom live and work in the greater Los Angeles area, especially Wilmington.
Slanguage bases their practice on a three-pronged approach to art-making to include education, community-building, and interactive exhibitions. Focusing on art education, the collective has organized numerous artist residencies in museums across the United States and abroad. Fostering dialog about the meaning and value of contemporary art, Slanguage has used their studio space and resources to cultivate relationships between diverse artists, students, communities, and organizations. And, creating artworks that have ranged from multimedia installations to performances, public events, and workshops, the collective has enriched, inspired, and provoked viewers’ imaginations through local, national, and international exhibitions.
Slanguage’s recent projects include Engagement Party, a three-month residency with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009); Sweeney Tate (2007) for the Tate Modern, London; and The Peacock Doesn’t See Its Own Ass/Let’s Twitch Again: Operation Bird Watching in London (2006) for the Serpentine Gallery, London. In 2009, the collective hosted workshops at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, as part of the Slanguage Teen Art Council.