Various alumnus participating in FOCA’s Curators Lab, “Are Friends Electric?”

 January 18 – March 21, 2014

*Opening Reception Saturday January 18th from 7-9 pm

Sarah Awad
Daniela Campins
Clifford Eberly
Jay Erker
Helen Rebekah Garber
Rema Ghuloum
Rochele Gomez
Raymie Iadevaia
Bessie Kunath
Nancy Lupo
Danielle McCullough
Stephanie Washburn
Tessie Whitmore

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Are Friends Electric? is a group art exhibition curated by the Manual History Machines  dispersed between two locations as Act I and Act II. Act I is presented as a Curators Lab Exhibition at Fellows of Contemporary Art (FOCA) in Chinatown, Los Angeles from January 18 – March 21, 2014.  Opening just a few days later, Act II will be on view in the Peggy Phelps Gallery and East Gallery at Claremont Graduate University from January 21 – February 6th, 2014. Both exhibitions present works from the same group of artists, pushing our modes of perception and ability to relate to the artists’ works.

The work selected for this exhibition hesitates towards a technology-driven frenetic future, addresses feelings of isolation and makes transparent the nature of shifting meanings through context/positioning. The exhibition title, “Are Friends Electric?” Is taken from Gary Numan’s iconic song, whose lyrics verge on fear of loneliness amid the appearance of friendly entities. In reflection of our truly complicated relationship with what it means to be “social” today, artists continue to forge, perhaps even more fastidiously now, personal identities in their practices despite the reality of shrinking “private” and [truly] “public” spaces. New forms of “social spaces” allow for one kind of collectivity, but marginalize a more analog communion between individuals. Laden with aesthetic self-identifiers, each work serves as a beacon for the thoughts, ideals, and intuitions of the artist. When this work is brought together, what new meanings take place? In collectivity, can anxiety about the future be temporarily subsided, helpfully articulated or possibly – exacerbated? Seen as a synecdoche, Are Friends Electric? focuses both on each individual artist as well as the collective formation of both exhibitions. The exhibitions seek to create a dialogue through a theatrically staged installation of video, photography, painting and sculpture.

“Are Friends Electric, Act I” was organized by LA-based artist collective, Manual History Machines through Fellows of Contemporary Art Curators Lab and will be on view from January 18th – March 21st, 2014 at FOCA’s exhibition space located at 970 N. Broadway, Suite 208 Los Angeles, CA 90012. Hours of operation: 10am-5pm/Tuesday through Friday.

Opening reception is on Saturday, January 18th, 2014 from 7-9pm. Catalog release with text by David Pagel accompanied by Artist Talk- date TBA.

“Are Friends Electric, Act II” will be on view from January 21st – February 6th at the Peggy Phelps and East Gallery, Claremont Graduate University, located at 251 E. Tenth Street, Claremont, CA 91711. Hours of operation: 10am-5pm/ Monday through Friday.

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