July 30, 2018 - Materials & Applications - Privacies Infrastructure
e-flux Architecture
July 30, 2018
July 30, 2018

Materials & Applications

Besler and Sons.

Privacies Infrastructure
A new public program in Los Angeles

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Why do our neighborhoods look the way they do? Through temporary installations, workshops, performances and public programming, Privacies Infrastructure investigates the physical culture of privacy and privatization through the language of fences, hedges, window gratings and security gates.

Privacies Infrastructure is a new public program by Materials & Applications that explores the notions of privacy and privatization in the residential landscape of Los Angeles. A walk through our neighborhoods reveals a visual catalogue of wood planks, chain link fencing, steel bars, aluminum screens, and green hedges. These fences, window gratings, and security gates are common fixtures of many residential Los Angeles neighborhoods. They are so ubiquitous in the city’s urban fabric that they often go unnoticed, yet they are integral to the ways we define individual and collective access to land, housing, and property.

Typically sited on the actual property line that separates private space from public space, gates and grates define the line we draw between ourselves and others, separating us from neighbors and strangers. These security fixtures also become the material manifestation of the invisible systems that govern our neighborhoods, such as the city’s building codes, zoning policies, or property laws delegating ownership and access. These seemingly unnamed, un-authored objects of the built environment are the instruments by which Los Angeles residents negotiate their own privacy and private space, while demonstrating the charged notion privatization can take within the city. What is the visual culture of privacy and private acts? What are the architectural and spatial devices by which we privatize space? How do we draw and materialize the boundary between others and ourselves in ways that are both discreet and ubiquitous?

Privacies Infrastructure asks artists and architects to interrogate the physical structures of privacy and privatization in Los Angeles through temporary projects in Council District 13. After a year of negotiations between M&A and multiple property owners and public entities for access to project sites, the resulting program demonstrates the difficulties of both gaining access to land and blurring the boundary between private space and public use. The multifaceted program unfolds over the summer with outdoor installations, performance, and public programming, including four new commissions by Besler & Sons, Tanya Brodsky, Fiona Connor, Gwyneth Shanks and Sarah Lewis-Cappellari, amongst others. Privacies Infrastructure is organized by guest curator Aurora Tang with Materials & Applications director Jia Gu.

Privacies Infrastructure is supported in part by Materials & Applications Members, Pasadena Art Alliance, Graham Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Selected Calendar of Events

1601 Park by Tanya Brodsky
Tanya Brodsky presents a temporary outdoor work that considers how architectural structures can contribute to our ideas of home. As a portable structure that joins disparate architectural elements without adding up to a functional whole, the work draws on each viewer’s memories and associations to fill in a mental construction of home.

On view: July 21–September 30 @ 1601 W. Park Ave.

Storage Ensemble by Besler & Sons
Besler & Sons facilitate an ongoing series of workshops to reconsider the borrowed vernacular of storage sheds. Join them to build a collection of architectural objects that creatively rethinks storage culture. Participants will design, layout, and build a collaborative installation of on-site temporary storage structures.  

Drop in 10am–5pm on July 21–22 and August 4-5 @ 2115 Elsinore St. No advance registration required

Here, take it now, Monochromes cast in situ by Fiona Connor
Fiona Connor conducts a series of public castings, in which she casts neighborhood bulletin boards surfaces in situ, recording traces of a specific community’s network of exchange.

Live Cast 1: July 26, 6am–12pm @ 983 N. Hill St. Additional dates forthcoming

Epicurus’ Conundrum by Rachel Yezbick
M&A presents a screening of Epicurus’ Conundrum, a video work by Rachel Yezbick that follows the artist on a neighborhood surveillance ride-along with a private security firm that uses paramilitary aesthetics to patrol residential communities, including Yezbick’s parents’ neighborhood in Detroit.

August 19, 7–9pm @ private residence. RSVP required: info [​at​] materialsandapplications.org

Untitled: a procession on the borders of something that has already shifted by Gwyneth Shanks and Sarah Lewis-Cappellari with special guests Dorit Cypis, Loren Fenton, 826LA Youth Advisory Council, Dana Cuff, David Godshall, and Manuel Lopez, amongst others.

Gwyneth Shanks and Sarah Lewis-Cappellari choreograph and present a performative walking procession through private and public spaces, featuring presentations from special guests along the way. The performance culminates in an audience “talk-back,” where visitors and performers alike are invited to discuss their observations and experiences.  

September 29, 5–7pm. Procession Locations TBA

passing through the bars and over by Gwyneth Shanks
A new dance film devised and directed by Gwyneth Shanks, with collaborators including: Mobolaji Olaoniye, Loren Fenton, Ali Kheradyar, Zena Bibler, and devika v. wickremesinghe.

Online & Screening: September 29, 7pm

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