< back to Events
Edgar Arceneaux
"An Arrangement Without Tormentors" and "I Told Jesus, Cha...
Apr 7, 2013

Film Screening at the Silent Movie Theater: 

Edgar Arcenaux
An Arrangement Without Tormentors
I Told Jesus, Change My Name

April 7 from 1-3 PM 

Post screening conversation with Arceneaux, Martine Syms, and Curator Amanda Hunt

611 North Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Press Release | download PDF




LA><ART Offsite Initiative at The Silent Movie Theatre

A Screening of Two Films by Edgar Arceneaux



611 N. Fairfax Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90036


LA><ART Offsite Initiatives presents a screening of two films by Los Angeles based artist Edgar Arceaneaux. The event will be held at The Silent Movie Theatre in the Fairfax District. Screening followed by a discussion with writer and conceptual entrepreneur Martine Syms and curator Amanda Hunt, LA><ART.


An Arrangement Without Tormentors (2003-06) documents the process of film production, placing the filmic apparatus and its structures before the camera. Shot at a rehearsal, the black-and-white 16mm behind-the-scenes footage features the song “I Want to Dance,” composed and performed by conceptual artist Charles Gaines. Acting as a repetitive soundtrack to the film, Gaines’ ballad details the story of a dreamer who yearns to escape a difficult existence by dancing the night away.


In its Los Angeles debut, I Told Jesus, Change My Name (2012) similarly centers around a performer and a rendition. This time the song is a spiritual dating back to slavery in America. Employing a similar structural rigor and method as his earlier film, this exploration of performance selfhood intersperses candid exchanges between the camera crew and the film’s intriguing subject, female performer Merc Arceneaux Jr.


* Film stills are courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Projects, LA><ART and the artist.




Born in 1972, Los Angeles-based artist Edgar Arceneaux received his BFA from the Art Center College of Design and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Arceneaux’s works also include drawings, installations, and video constellating complex associations that often function as points of contact between implausible social relations.


Solo exhibitions of Arceneaux’s work have been presented at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Kitchen, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem; and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel. Recent group shows include in Marking Time at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney; Mutatis, Mutandis at the Vienna Secession, Austria; and the 2008 Whitney Biennial, New York. He is represented by Susanne Vielmetter in Los Angeles and Praz-Delavallade, Paris.


Arceneaux is currently developing a collaborative project with the US State Department and the country of Sao Tome, Africa, as well as a new web and TV series for the Los Angeles PBS station, KCET.


Martine Syms is a conceptual entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, California. Her work focuses on the relationship between commercialism, identity and experience. Syms has lectured at SXSW, Cabinet, Project Row Houses, the Houston Museum of African American Art, California Institute of the Arts, University of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and MoMA PS1, among other venues. Her work has been exhibited and screened extensively, including presentations at the New Museum, New York; the MCA Chicago; Green Gallery, Milwaukee, WI; Gene Siskel FIlm Center, Chicago; Capricious Space, Brooklyn; Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY; and White Flag Projects, St. Louis. From 2007-2011, Syms was the founder and director of Golden Age, a project space in Chicago focused on exhibitions, performances and printed matter. Syms initiated DOMINICA Publishing in 2012 - DOMINICA is dedicated to exploring blackness as a topic, reference, marker and audience in visual culture.


Syms will contribute to a forthcoming publication on American singer-songwriter and artist Wesley Willis' life and work, published by Rollo Press/D.A.P. Syms will also participate as a presenter for a panel discussion to be held at The John Hopkins University Homewood Campus, entitled New Paradigms of Art in the Digital Age.




Founded in 2005, LA><ART is a leading independent nonprofit contemporary art space in Los Angeles, committed to the production of experimental exhibitions and public art initiatives. Responding to Los Angeles’ cultural climate, LA><ART produces and presents new work for all audiences and offers the public access to the next generation of artists and curators. LA><ART supports challenging work, reflecting the diversity of the city and stimulates conversations on contemporary art in Los Angeles, fostering dynamic relationships between art, artists and their audiences. Since 2005, LA><ART has produced and commissioned over 200 exhibitions, public initiatives, and projects.


In 2014, LA><ART will launch its Vision Campaign including The Occasional, a citywide exhibition and public art initiative. This platform for LA continues an ongoing commitment to supporting artistic and curatorial freedom while focusing on commissioning new work in experimental contexts.