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    The catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement, the Till case remains a potent gage for our progress as a society.  Images were key to the event’s ability to go from being a case to being a cause.  As an affront to the imagination, the iconic image of Till’s mutilated body poses questions deeply critical of art.  Please join LAXART’s Director, Hamza Walker and University of Chicago art historian Darby English for an informal discussion surveying visual representations of the Till case.  

    Darby English is the Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History  at the University of Chicago and a consulting curator at MoMA.  He has written numerous essays and is the author of two books, How to See a Work of Art In Total Darkness (MIT Press) and 1971; A Year in the Life of Color (University of Chicago Press). 

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    Join us for a discussion with four of the original core members of Environmental Communications (Roger Mona Webster, David Greenberg, Ted Tokio Tanaka FAIA, Bernard Perloff). Billed as a talk/listen, the discussion will be in two parts. The first will focus on the counter cultural impulse behind the founding of EC, the means and ends of the project, and the area of expertise (architecture, photography psychology) each member brought to the collective. For the second part of the discussion EC would like to hear from the audience, particularly millennials, about their relationship to the material and what if any relevance it has for today.

    The exhibition was first produced by GSAPP Exhibitions for the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia University&rsquot;s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation.

    This expanded version of the exhibition appears with the assistance of the University of Southern California School of Architecture.

    Generous support for research on Environmental Communications was provided by the Graham Foundation.

    Curated and designed by Mark Wasiuta, Marcos Sánchez and Adam Bandler

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    LAXART is pleased to present a dialogue between filmmaker Cauleen Smith and art historian and curator Rhea Anastas. How—right now, today—can we care for everyday social life in the U.S.? In taking up this question in terms of the here and now of practice, Smith and Anastas will discuss two areas of recent work by the filmmaker. A film drawn from Smith’s research on the influence of the music and life of Alice Coltrane (1937-2007) will be discussed alongside Smith’s activist works, presenting a multiplicity of work rooted in Chicago, where Smith has lived since 2011. These works differ in their effects, taking on the locations (public sites, the street, the worldwide web) and functions of activism (being loud, using your body, making informal networks for self-education, and information dissemination). The films include LESSONS IN SEMAPHORE (2013), a digitized 16mm film and HUMAN_3.0 READING LIST (2016), an iphone film of Smith’s essential readings as drawings. Smith’s GWENDOLYN BROOKS BANNERS for The Black Love Procession: Conduct Your Blooming (2016) takes a passage from the eponymous poet’s The Second Sermon on the Warpland and mobilizes it as a renegade procession through Bronzeville, a historically black Chicago neighborhood. Simultaneously a work of performance and activism, Smith’s renegade procession responded to a controversial exhibition presented at a gallery in Bronzeville that staged a scene of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Smith and Anastas will focus on these projects of Smith’s as a way of talking to and along with other modes of praxis, including the Black Lives Matter movement and other efforts to recognize the systemic violence against black lives in the U.S. context; and/or broader initiatives to advance a national discourse and set of policy proposals against race and class oppression.   Smith was awarded the 2016 Alpert Award in visual art and was the first recipient of The Ellsworth Kelly Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, given to the artist for Give It Or Leave It, a solo exhibition linked to The Warplands by research and a book. Give It Or Leave It is forthcoming at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania in 2018.

    About the Artist:

     Smith is known for a group of influential films and videos, moving image installations and objects with connections to experimental film and third world cinema; structuralism and science fiction. A California native, Smith was born in Riverside, grew up in Sacramento and was educated at San Francisco State University (BA) and the University of California, Los Angeles (MFA, Film). Recent films, such as Crow Requiem and The Way Out Is the Way To, move between Smith’s active study of multiple histories and archives (avant-garde, African-American histories and improvisational music), and Smith’s response to recent and ongoing violence against people of color at the hands of the state.

    This program is co-presented with the University Art Galleries, University of California, Irvine, where Cauleen Smith’s exhibition, The Warplands, opens January 14, 2017, curated by Rhea Anastas.