Not all art is about someone creating an object in passionate solitude, unveiling it at the trendiest gallery and selling it for (what would seem to most) an excessive price. Since 2001, I have been engaged in what I call art activism. Art activism is about pointing out something that is lacking in society in a more amplified way than just one painting or sculpture in a gallery. Perhaps in Picasso’s times his one painting of Guernica created that buzz, but in post modernism, we have to step up our game.
My current project began in the summer of 2009. It is called A Prayer for Juarez. If you feel that you have known and seen works on the murders in Juarez in excess—it has been due to a handful of artists who have vowed not let this art topic disappear until something is resolved for the people of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. It’s not a Mexican-thing, it’s a humanitarian circumstance. When we come together to resist and witness an injustice, we create a dialogue within ourselves to begin to change the world hierarchy on what is valued. We do not have to accept matters, because they are not in our immediate sight. We are the guardians of all that lives on our planet and together have the power to stop any injustices. It begins with being informed.
During the month of March 2010, we will begin this dialogue through new works and voices in this art struggle against injustice. You are invited to attend these powerful exchanges of ideas through art, performance and testimony. Each week (here on LAeastside) look for our posts on A Prayer for Juarez. All events are free, except this Friday’s play (March 5) by Dr. Ana Nogales on human trafficking called “Don’t Call Me Baby”. All events take place in Josefina’s new theater space Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights, 2102 1st Street (corner of St. Louis), except “Don’t Call Me Baby” which is 1 block west at the smaller Casa 0101 Theater. Street parking is free (imagine that, in LA)!
On March 6, come to the opening of a community protest exhibit and performance that I curated, 8pm to 10pm at Casa 0101 Annex (1st & St. Louis). There is a bit of confusion, even for those involved in the event. Or should I say “events”? Due to the activism of artist Pilar Aranda Rodriguez in DF, Josefina Lopez and myself in LA—there are many events occurring throughout Los Angeles and internationally under the A Prayer for Juarez banner. We are lucky to have several happening within our travel zone. Also included in A Prayer for Juarez and opening this week is Corazon del Pueblo, MOCA Los Angeles, Mujeres de Maiz . Join one of these presentations or all of them!
Back to Casa 0101 Annex, where I will be—bring a tee shirt to the opening for a free silk screening by Social Machine Productions (Dewey Tafoya & Becky Cortez) of A Prayer for Juarez image designed by Jenina. Naturally they will be prepared for the dark tees of the eastside.
We are located at 2102 1st Street, Boyle Heights (corner of St. Louis & 1st). We are in walking distance from the other exhibit spaces. Also included that night is the Casa 0101 Theatre (1 block west of the Casa 0101 Annex), where there will be a community protest art exhibit project by Rigo Maldonado & Shakina Nayfack.
The Prayer for Juarez artists & performers for the opening art exhibit at Casa 0101 Annex are: Visual: Rosanna Ahrens, Robyn Alatorre, Lalo Alcaraz, Alex Alverov, Vibiana Aparicio Chamberlin, Gabriel Baltazar, William Borges, Kay Brown, Victoria Delgadillo, Ana de Los Angeles, Ofelia Esparza, Linda Estrada, Consuelo Flores, Emilia Garcia, Raul Gonzalez, Theresa Hernandez, Ernie Herrera, Louis Jacinto, Hailey Livingston, Josefina Lopez, Alma Lopez, Jose Lozano, Rigo Maldonado, Poli Marichal, Liz Mayorga, Kit McConnell, Felicia Montes, Don Newton, Eriberto Oriol, Ritzy Periwinkle, Ada Pullini Brown, Wenceslao Quiroz, Lilia Ramirez, Maria Reyna, Ivy Rivera, Michael Rodriguez, Ginette Rondeau, Victor Rosas, Marianne Sadowski, Kristy Sandoval, Juan Solis, Melly Trochez, Linda Vallejo. Poets: Erick Huerta, Josefina Lopez, Judit Terzi, Poetess of the Water, Iuri Lara