Los An­ge­les

Canadian Art - - Legacy -

The City of An­gels heads north, with a se­lec­tion of gal­leries from the city’s var­ied neigh­bour­hoods, and a nod to the ex­per­i­men­tal, mov­ing-im­age prac­tices that have de­vel­oped there.

Los An­ge­les is a city of neigh­bour­hoods, and far from ig­nor­ing this diver­sity, cu­ra­tor Santi Ver­netti will be high­light­ing it with his se­lec­tions for the FO­CUS: Los An­ge­les por­tion of Art Toronto 2017. “The city has a num­ber of dif­fer­ent pock­ets of gallery ac­tiv­ity, with the main ones be­ing the Cul­ver City area, the down­town arts dis­trict and other gal­leries scat­tered across dif­fer­ent ar­eas,” said Ver­netti ear­lier this year from LA. “I’m try­ing to help the fair choose gal­leries from all of those dif­fer­ent lit­tle sec­tors,” he ex­plained, so vis­i­tors can ex­pect a nice overview of the city.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, with a range of neigh­bour­hoods, there’s no short­age of var­ied choice. “Los An­ge­les is of­ten con­sid­ered the seat of art and cul­tural ac­tiv­ity and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, so what we ac­tu­ally do have here in the city is a re­ally wide range of di­verse prac­tices that en­cap­su­late a whole num­ber of dif­fer­ent aes­thetic and philo­soph­i­cal con­cerns,” said Ver­netti. “I think in the pre­sen­ta­tion I’m try­ing to stay true to that, which is some­thing that cu­ra­to­ri­ally has al­ways been one of my work­ing method­olo­gies. You know, try to high­light the diver­sity of prac­tices rather than zone in on a spe­cific reg­is­ter that artists seem to be work­ing in.”

A few things can be guar­an­teed, though. Even though LA artists run the gamut of dis­ci­plines, it’s un­de­ni­able that the city’s mythos is dom­i­nated by the movies. And it’s a ded­i­ca­tion that Ver­netti hopes to tap into, with a homage to LA cinema. Also on the docket are the more avant-garde as­pects of the scene. “An­other dream of mine is to bring some of the more genre-bend­ing and ex­per­i­men­tal new-me­dia artists and tech­nolo­gies that hap­pen here in Los An­ge­les to the fair,” Ver­netti said.

Some of the artists from the se­lected gal­leries will also have work on view in an ex­hi­bi­tion cu­rated by Ver­netti, ti­tled And the sky is grey—a nod to the Ma­mas and the Pa­pas’ 1989 song “Cal­i­for­nia Dreamin’.” But far from of­fer­ing an idyl­lic view of the West Coast, Ver­netti’s show­ing will try to take apart some of the myth of Los An­ge­les as the land of milk and honey, or the place where dreams come true. “And the sky is grey will be do­ing de­mys­ti­fy­ing work,” he said. “Maybe show­ing a lit­tle bit more of the darker, messier side of LA that peo­ple of­ten don’t ex­pe­ri­ence un­til they’re ac­tu­ally here.”

3 1. Kim Schoen 2. Rachelle Sawatsky 3. Chris Coy

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