WOMEN IN THE CITY
Featuring works by Jenny Holzer, Louise Lawler, Barbara Kruger, and Cindy Sherman
Organized by Emi Fontana, Curator and Founder,
West of Rome
Opening throughout Los Angeles
February 9, 2008
Curator and gallerist Emi Fontana launches the new public art non-profit organization West of Rome and its first public art initiative, Women in the City, a viral art exhibition featuring works by renowned female artists Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, and Cindy Sherman. On view throughout Los Angeles beginning February 9, 2008, Women in the City appropriates traditional methods of advertising and promotion as well as places works in unique settings to create a public exhibition of works by four international leaders of the feminist movement in contemporary art. Timed to coincide with the opening of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, a major moment in L.A.’s cultural history, Women in the City is on view at over 50 locations from Venice Beach to Pasadena and activates the relationship between art and the urban experience while investigating trends in consumerism and the language of popular culture.
Holzer, Kruger, Lawler, and Sherman belong to the first generation of female artists that were embraced by the international art system; in the early 1980s, this was a historical breakthrough never seen before in the history of art. In the same time period, theories about gender, cultural identities, and the gaze were further defining the idea of post-feminism, differentiating it from the historical feminism of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Once women in the western world achieved fundamental rights and deconstructed patriarchal cultural discourses, they were finally able to construct themselves as icons and to exercise the power of their
Appealing to a contemporary “flaneur,” the person who contemplates the city while casually exploring urban modernity, Women in the City showcases works at highly visible sites typically used for advertising — billboards, LED screens, marquees, promotional stickers, and wild postings — that cater to the unique landscape of Los Angeles’ vehicle and pedestrian traffic. At these chosen media sites, which include The Standard, Downtown, L.A., Hollywood & Highland Center, billboards on Sunset Boulevard, and wild postings from Venice Beach to Pasadena, among other locations, the works of art are camouflaged in L.A.’s landscape, which creates a deliberate interaction between art and urban life, and, more conceptually, between authenticity and commodification. True to the nature of West of Rome, Women in the City activates this important relationship between art and the city.
Women in the City is made possible by generous support provided by François Pinault Foundation, The Broad Art Foundation, and the Pasadena Arts Council.
Women in the City is produced with the help of partners including American Cinematheque, Background Images, the City of Pasadena Art and Culture Commission, the City of West Hollywood’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, ForYourArt, Hollywood & Highland Center, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Internationalist Marketing/TheBooth.net, LA Weekly, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum/ of/ Traffic, National Promotions & Advertising, Primary Color, the Roosevelt Hotel, The Standard Hotel, Downtown, L.A.
ABOUT WEST OF ROME
West of Rome, initiated in 2005, is an ongoing project throughout Los Angeles conceived and organized by Emi Fontana. It consists of a series of contemporary art exhibitions, public installations and events that activate the relationship between the audience and the city. The dynamic nature of the various sites, which exist according to conditions specified by invited artists, reinforces the collective experience often lost in traditional gallery or museum exhibitions.
For information on specific locations, dates, and hours, and updates on upcoming events, visit www.womeninthecity.org