< back to Exhibitions
Aaron Sandnes
Desire Armed
Nov 10 - Dec 22, 2012


The new series of drawings entitled Desire Armed is based on portraits of the fin-de-siècle anarchist group La Bande a Bonnot. 

Aaron Sandnes earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine in 2003, and a Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007. Growing up in Los Angeles, Sandnes was deeply affected by the transforming political climate of Southern California, especially during the 1990's. This experience shaped his focus on the crises of culture and sensations of alienation. Sandnes lives and works in Los Angeles.

Press Release | download PDF

Santiago Borja, Edgar Orlaineta, Tilman Wendland:Exhibitions
LA><ART Gallery One
November 10 – December 22, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 10th from 6-8pm
LA><ART is pleased to present a collaborative project by Mexico City-based artists Santiago Borja and Edgar Orlaineta, and Berlin-based artist Tilman Wendland entitled Exhibitions. As a point of departure for the exhibition design in the main gallery at LA><ART, the artists will use the cover of the 1961 publication Exhibitions by Klaus Franck, extruding the flat design into a multi-dimensional installation that includes an adobe brick wall, a large paper sculpture, recreations of traditional Hopi costume and bas wood relief sculptures, among other elements. With the book as a guide, the installation will examine the nature of exhibiting objects in relation to architecture. The work suggests a historical genealogy of materials (mortar, paper, wood and fabric) together with ideas of space that can be applied to any creative endeavor: architecture, book building, design, and sculpture.
Borja, Wendland and Orlaineta each use modern books and culled imagery as a point of reference, creating artwork that moves through the literature influencing design. Examples include Wendland’s highly editorialized historical references in publications of old and new photography, Borja’s cultural cross-overs that bring Hiuchol Indian building materials in contact to Richard Neutra’s architecture or Orlaineta’s reconstruction of Charles Eames designs that use only photos as guides.
Aaron Sandnes: Desire Armed
LA><ART Entryway
LA><ART Gallery Two
November 10 – December 22, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 10th from 6-8pm
 “ From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out. This is not the least of its virtues. From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground. Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately. Everyone agrees that things can only get worse. ‘The Future has no future’ is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks.”
-The Invisible Committee, from The Coming Insurrection
LA><ART is pleased to present a new series of drawings entitled Desire Armed by artist Aaron Sandnes. Based on the history of French anarchist group La Bande a Bonnot, Desire Armed encompasses a suite of fragile portraits of the main members of a group that actively lashed out against alienation and social silencing in France at the turn of the 20th century. Technologically sophisticated, La Bande a Bonnotdeliberately embraced advancements in science in their quest of reconciling their disenfranchisement. The gang was the first to use an automobile to flee the scene of a crime, the first to shoot a gun from a moving vehicle, and one of the first to understand the significance of fingerprinting. Octave Garnier, co-founder of the group, once sent a mocking letter covered with his fingerprints to the French Central Police Sûreté Nationale, knowing that French police did not have the ability to remove and identify his fingerprints from the parchment of paper.
Using this overt gesture as a starting point, Desire Armed mobilizes materials and traditions of portraiture to create both memorials and mug shots of those often living at the periphery of society. Rendering the images literally with his own hand, Sandnes fingerprints with the same graphite employed by forensics officers to dust for fingerprints at a crime scene. Desire Armed commemorates an almost forgotten group of subversives operating on the fringes of lawfulness when justice was being altered by the increasing speed of industrial society. Each anarchist here stares back at the future as an individual whose identity was based on the attempt to resist the weight of conditions that still suppress today.
Sandnes is based in Los Angeles and received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2007.
Exhbitions selected by Cesar Garcia.
LA><ART EDITIONS: Jedediah Caesar, Kelly Poe, Phil Chang, Daniel Joseph Martinez, John Outterbridge, Melanie Nakaue, Guy de Cointet, Shannon Ebner, Kate Costello, Nick Herman, Justin Beal, Scoli Acosta, Doug Aitken and Tyler Warren, Edgar Arceneaux, Kelly Barrie, Zoe Crosher, Sherin Guirgis, Karl Haendel, Skyler Haskard, Gregory Michael Hernandez, Vincent Johnson, Adria Julia, Glenn Kaino, Joel Kyack, William Leavitt, Michelle Lopez, Shana Lutker, Yunhee Min, Kori Newkirk, Michael Rashkow, Marco Rios, Aaron Sandnes, Ruben Ochoa, Anna Sew Hoy, Joel Tauber, and Amir Zaki.
PUBLICATIONS: Bakersfield Paintings, Made in L.A. 2012 exhibition catalog; Lovett/Codagnone: Lovett/Codagnone; Blood and Guts in Hollywood: Two Screenplays by Laura Parnes; Kelly Poe: For the Wild; Phil Chang: Four Over One; Ruben Ochoa: EXTRACTED; Amir Zaki: Eleven Minus One; John Divola: Three Acts; Quadruple-Consciousness; and LA><ART>5.
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 LA platform continues the organization’s ongoing commitment to supporting artistic and curatorial freedom while focusing on commissioning new work in experimental contexts.
LA><ART’s programs are made possible with the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, David Gleason, The Graham Foundation, The Neutra VDL House, The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and The City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs.
LA><ART Façade:
Sanya Kantarovsky
LA><ART Entryway:
Aaron Sandnes

LA><ART Window:
Katie Grinnan
Forthcoming Exhibitions:
Lisa Sigal
LA><ART Gallery One
January 12 – February 23, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 12, 2013, from 6-8pm
Steffani Jemison
LA><ART Gallery Two
January 12 – February 23, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 12, 2013, from 6-8pm