ConSortiUm: Virtual Event Series for 2020–2021

A black announcement flier designed to announce the event series.  Includes three images at the top of the flier, one to the left is Beatriz Cortez, Tzolk'in I, 2018. Photo Credit: Scott Lynch, middle image is Forensic Architecture, Sea Watch_2, 2017. Photo Credit: Forensic Oceanography and Forensic Architecture, 2018, and image to the right is PostCommodity, Some Reach While Others Clap, 2020. Photo Credit: LAXART

The newly formed ConSortiUm, a collaborative project of art museums and galleries from the California State University (CSU) system, is pleased to announce a virtual event series that actively engages students, faculty, staff, and communities through visual arts-based dialogue. The inaugural program, PLATFORM, will launch in September 2020 and include six live virtual conversations with contemporary artists, collectives, and curators whose work is critical to current re-imaginings of the art world and the world at large.

All events will be presented live via Zoom with access for all CSU campuses. Recordings of the events will be available for post live-stream viewing and archived by the sponsoring institutions. These events are free and open to the public.

The first event will take place Thursday, September 24 at 5:30 p.m. and brings together artist Beatriz Cortez in conversation with curator Erin Christovale. Cortez is a multidisciplinary artist originally from El Salvador and currently based in Los Angeles. Her work explores life in different temporalities and versions of modernity through memory, loss, experiences of migration, and the aftermath of war. In 2019, she was awarded the inaugural Frieze Arto LIFEWTR® Sculpture Prize to create a sculpture for Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, where the commissioned sculpture was inaugurated on September 1, 2020. Cortez teaches in the Department of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge. 

Erin Christovale is associate curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and co-founder of the experimental film and video program, Black Radical Imagination, with Amir George. Christovale is best known for her work on identity, race, and historical legacy. She was co-curator of the 2018 Made In LA exhibition at the Hammer Museum, which featured a multi-site sculptural installation by Beatriz Cortez.

An event on October 22 at 5:30 p.m. will feature Postcommodity, a collaboration between Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist, both of whom are currently based in California. Creating interdisciplinary work that spans a variety of formats from video installation to land intervention, Postcommodity forges new metaphors through an Indigenous lens capable of rationalizing shared experiences within an increasingly challenging contemporary environment. The collective has exhibited nationally and internationally, and was represented in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. In 2015, Postcommodity’s historic land art installation Repellent Fence was completed at the U.S.-Mexico border near Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.

The final event for 2020 will occur on Thursday, November 12 at noon and include a presentation by Forensic Architecture founder Eyal Weizman. A London-based artists’ collective, Forensic Architecture undertakes advanced spatial and media investigations into cases of human rights violations, with and on behalf of communities affected by political violence, human rights organizations, international prosecutors, environmental justice groups, and media organizations. The collective’s work often involves open-source investigation, the construction of digital and physical models, 3D animations, virtual reality environments, and cartographic platforms.

Spring 2021 virtual events will include the Oakland-based People’s Kitchen Collective, Valerie Cassel Oliver, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and other participants to be announced.

ConSortiUm recognizes that CSU students are integral to creating a new future, and is therefore committed to providing access to a multiplicity of voices and inspiration as students discover and nurture their own agency. This ground-breaking collaborative will include students, faculty, staff, and other allies from across the CSU campuses. The CSU system represents the largest public four-year college system in the country, with more than 480,000 students enrolled at twenty-three campuses. ConSortiUm formed when CSU announced remote teaching would continue through the end of 2020. ConSortiUm members are dedicated to supporting students, artists, and their campuses’ surrounding communities during the pandemic, while also responding to the pressing demand for an end to systemic and overt racism in California and beyond.

ConSortiUm’s participating CSU art museums and galleries include venues at campuses in Bakersfield, Todd Madigan Gallery; Chico, Janet Turner Print Museum; Dominguez Hills, University Art Gallery; East Bay, University Art Gallery; Fresno, Center for Creativity and the Arts; Fullerton, Nicholas & Lee Begovich Gallery and Grand Central Art Center; Humboldt, Reese Bullen Gallery and Goudi’ni Native American Arts Gallery; Long Beach, School of Art and Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum; Los Angeles, Luckman Gallery, Luckman Fine Arts Complex and Ronald H. Silverman Gallery; Northridge, Art Galleries; Pomona, W. Keith & Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery and Don B. Huntley Gallery; Sacramento,University Galleries; San Bernardino, Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art; San Diego, University Art Galleries; San Francisco,Fine Arts Gallery; San Jose, Natalie and James Thompson Gallery; San Luis Obispo, University Art Gallery; Sonoma, University Art Gallery; and Stanislaus, University Art Gallery and Stan State Art Space.

EVENT INFORMATION

Artist Beatriz Cortez in conversation with Erin Christovale, Associate Curator, Hammer Museum               

Thursday, September 24, 5:30 p.m.

Hosted by Cal Poly Pomona, CSU Long Beach, and CSU Northridge

To register for the Zoom webinar visit: https://www.cpp.edu/platform-csu-art-speaker-series/.

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Postcommodity : A conversation with artists Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist

Thursday, October 22, 5:30 p.m.

Hosted by CSU Humboldt, CSU Long Beach, and Fresno State

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Forensic Architecture: A conversation with founder Eyal Weizman          

Thursday, November 12, noon

Hosted by CSU Bakersfield and Sacramento State

*All times are Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Nina Katchadourian: Monument to the Unelected

a suburban front yard with colorful elections signs that list the names of all those who ran for US president and lost

Nina Katchadourian: Monument to the Unelected (2008 and ongoing)

October 6 through November 17, 2020

LOCATION: Monument to the Unelected is viewable on the lawn at 896 S. Oakwood St. Orange, CA 92869

PLEASE NOTE: Our advance thanks to visiting patrons for their respect to the property, neighbors and surrounding neighborhood, and works included in the installation.

Grand Central Art Center is pleased to present Nina Katchadourian’s Monument to the Unelected, exhibiting in Orange County, CA, from October 6 through November 17, 2020 on the lawn at 896 S. Oakwood St. Orange, CA 92869. This temporary installation, consisting of 58 signs bearing the names of losing candidates from every presidential election in American history, coincides with this year’s presidential election. Once results are official, a new 59th sign with the name of the losing candidate of the 2020 Presidential Election will be added.

Katchadourian was initially commissioned by the Scottsdale Museum of Art and curator Cassandra Coblentz to create a new work around the time of the 2008 presidential election.  The artist became interested in the plastic election signs sprouting up on front lawns, vacant lots, and at busy intersections around Scottsdale, Arizona. She states, “These markers tend to crop up in the weeks leading up to an election, after which they disappear, with some of the names going on to take office and others being largely forgotten.” The signs also struck her as an American tradition of sorts and with an aesthetic all their own.

Working with designer Evan Gaffney, Katchadourian created a series of signs bearing the names of individuals who ran for president and lost. Each sign was made in a contemporary design vernacular, even if it advertised a candidate from previous centuries. None of the signs are designs used in the candidates’ actual election campaigns. Many of the signs borrow directly from the designs of signs that she documented in Scottsdale; others are modeled on signs seen in other parts of the country. All the signs are printed on corrugated plastic using similar commercial production methods as typical election lawn signs.

At this moment, when the country is deeply preoccupied with a major national election, Monument to the Unelected serves as a reminder of the country’s collective political road not taken. It does not reflect any particular political viewpoint or endorse any specific party, but does highlight the US history for peaceful transition of power. Monument to the Unelected has been exhibited nationally during the past three presidential election cycles, usually spanning a period before and after the election that allows for the addition the losing candidate’s name.

This election cycle the work will be shown in seven locations nationwide simultaneously – PACE, New York; Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco; MOCA Cleveland and Transformer Station, OH; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), AZ; Abrahamson Family Trust of Madison, WI; Roots Community Health Center, Oakland; and Grand Central Art Center. In the last three instances, “Monument” will be installed in the front yards of residential homes.

GCAC expresses our sincere gratitude to Deb and Jon Webb for providing their front lawn as installation site for the 2020 showing of Monument to the Unelected. We thank visiting patrons for your respect to the Webb’s property, their neighbors and surrounding neighborhood, and the work included in the installation.

image credit: Nina Katchadourian, Monument to the Unelected (2020 installation), Organized by Grand Central Art center on the lawn at 896 S. Oakwood St. Orange, CA 92869

William Camargo: Origins & Displacements, Vols. 1 & 2

Artist stands on sidewalk in front of a material covered chain link fence holding a sign in front of his body that read "THIS AREA WILL GENTRIFY SOON"

William Camargo: Origins & Displacements, Vols. 1 & 2

October 3 – December 31, 2020

LOCATIONS: This two-part exhibition, organized by the CSUF Begovich Gallery, is on view from the storefront windows at CSUF Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) in Santa Ana & MUZEO Museum & Cultural Center in Anaheim.

NOTE: William Camargo’s exhibition is a storefront installation that can be viewed anytime from GCAC’s 2nd Street promenade. The Begovich Gallery and CSUF campus is closed to the public and is following COVID University, state, and city health and safety protocols.

Origins and Displacements, Vols. 1 & 2 is an on-going body of work examining Orange County’s history through contemporary photographs, videos, and performance produced by artist William Camargo. This two-part exhibition features Camargo’s artistic investigation that challenges the social depiction and erasure of Chicanx/Latinx people in historical documents, photographs, and news archives while recounting issues related to gentrification, systematic racism, and police brutality.

Essay accompanying the exhibition written by Joseph Daniel Valencia, Independent Curator, Exhibitions and Programs Manager, Vincent Price Museum (VPAM).

William Camargo: Origins & Displacements, Vols. 1 & 2  is organized by CSUF Begovich Gallery and it is presented in partnership with CSUF Grand Central Art Center and MUZEO Museum & Cultural Center. Support for the exhibition and its programming is made possible through the Art Alliance, Associated Students, Inc. Instructional Related Activities, the College of the Arts, and Department of Visual Arts.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

William Camargo is a photo-based artist, educator and arts advocate. He received his MFA at Claremont Graduate University and his BFA at the California State University, Fullerton. His work has been featured in exhibitions at venues such as Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL), Loisaida Center (New York, NY), University of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN), Mexican Cultural Center and Cinematic Arts (Los Angeles, CA), and The Ethelber Cooper Gallery of African and African American Arts at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA). His work has been published in The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, The New York Times, OC Weekly, TIME, and others. He was awarded residencies at the Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions (ACRE), the Chicago Artist Coalition, the Project Art, and at Otis School of Art and Design’s LA Summer. He is the recipient of the 2020 Lenscratch Student Prize, and the Leo Freedman Foundation Grant. He is currently serving as Commissioner of Heritage and Culture for the City of Anaheim. He is the founder/curator of Latinx Diaspora Archives. He works and lives in Anaheim, CA.

William Camargo: Origins & Displacements, Vols. 1 & 2  is organized by CSUF Begovich Gallery and it is presented in partnership with CSUF Grand Central Art Center and MUZEO Museum & Cultural Center. Support for the exhibition and its programming is made possible through the Art Alliance, Associated Students, Inc. Instructional Related Activities, the College of the Arts, and Department of Visual Arts.

Artist’s website: www.williamcamargo.com

Instagram: @billythecamera

CSUF Nicholas & Lee Begovich Gallery | http://arts.fullerton.edu/begovichgallery

CSUF Grand Central Art Center | grandcentralartcenter.com

125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701

MUZEO Museum & Cultural Center | muzeo.org

241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805

RELATED PROGRAMMING

William Camargo: Artist Lecture (in partnership with Creative Photography)

Tuesday, October 13, 1:00-3:00 PM

Virtual webinar: https://fullerton.zoom.us/j/97263133777

William Camargo: Performance at GCAC

Saturday, November 7, 4:00-4:30 PM

Live and accessible virtually. Virtual link forthcoming- Check Begovich website or follow @begovichgallery on IG for updates

In Conversation: William Camargo (and guest TBA)

Saturday, December 5, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Open to the Public – Virtual webinar: https://fullerton.zoom.us/j/96139398142

Image: William Camargo, “We Gunna Have To Move Out Soon Fam,” 2020, Digital inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist.

Alfadir Luna: Señor de Maíz / Corn Man

A figure made of corn a seated on a chair in front of twelve colorful banners that hang on walls behind him.  A series of gold poles leans on the wall to his right.

Procession to Unite a Man of Corn / Procession of the Corn Man

NOTE: Alfadir Luna’s exhibition is a storefront installation that can be viewed anytime from GCAC’s 2nd Street promenade.

Text by Xochi Maberry-Gaulke

Alfadir Luna is a social practice artist based in Mexico City who takes a cosmological and philosophical approach to knowledge- sharing and community engagement. His work primarily takes the form of drawing and performative actions; it begins as reflections revolving around knowledge processes, which usually culminate in site-specific interventions. For Luna, art is understood as a form of knowledge, a kind of relationship between ideas and objects that create models of thinking that intimately relate to the bodily experience.

For instance, this was expressed most poetically in a five-year performance project called La Piedra, in which Luna took the site of a single object—a specific rock found in a dry riverbed—as a point of departure to understand site, creation, and the internal versus external bodily experience. He developed an obsessive relationship with the rock through daily observation; hundreds of drawings and writings about the rock slowly revealed knowledge that had been previously locked inside. As the secrets became released and shared with Luna, they evaporate into layers of knowledge around the object, which can be seen as a metaphorical unlocking of ancient sacred knowledge. Developing this unique process of learning has been an instrumental tool for Luna to project the self outwards through a new kind of mirror.

Since 2006 Luna has developed his work within the framework of the social structures that constitute public markets in Spanish-speaking contexts. Committing to a ten-year engagement working with merchants at the Mercados Públicos [Public Market] in the historic La Merced market in Mexico City, he realized this community had a very different understanding of identity and knowledge than he had developed during La Piedra. La Merced itself is divided into sections according to the type of goods sold (produce, auto parts, gifts, etc.) and is guided by five principles: money, commercial exchange, religion, magic, and love/affection. These guiding principles are never separated and are inherently interlocked; they connect each section of the market with a kind of mythic energy current. Organizing the community of merchants to collaborate with one another was an important focal point in Luna’s commitment to the merchants in La Merced. Another manifestation that connects the markets is a monthly saint procession throughout La Merced that combines performance with politics and religion.

Luna wondered what would happen if he removed the saint from the procession and replaced it with an open signifier, a metaphorical seed to spark conversation and sprout a new way of thinking about the mythic and political energy of La Merced. This metaphorical seed is the Señor de Maíz, or Corn Man. With each part of its body made by a different market within La Merced, the Señor de Maíz has replaced the saint in the monthly processions. To determine the impact of the new embodiment of the mythic signifier, Luna conversed with the merchants and porters on the procession’s new addition: some people continued to treat him as a saint, while others feared him.

Why corn? The corn references indigenous communities in Central Mexico and various situations of impoverished farmers or their declarations against local government. The name also refers to a traditional farming technique in which farmed goods are piled up as a method of protecting it from animal predators. In this sense, the corn is both protector and that which is protected. While the merchants and porters aim to protect indigenous corn, the government protects large farming companies like Monsanto. Because the Señor de Maíz embodies such significance and magic for La Merced it must be made with all local ingredients and cannot travel. Therefore, this Señor de Maíz is not the original; it was made buy the artist in collaboration with local merchants and Cal State Fullerton student Alejandro Olivares in Downtown Santa Ana, California – an historically important destination for Mexican migrants – while in residency at Grand Central Art Center. Corn Man was made in collaboration with the Ben Maltz Gallery at OTIS College of Art and Design for the 2017 Pacific Standard Time exhibition Talking to Action. The art work figure is made with locally US-sourced corn kernels that are not genetically modified Monsanto seeds. Since the power and energy of the Señor de Maíz is always tied to the power and energy of site, with this difference in corn, community and location, this iteration tells a different story than the one in La Merced.

Given this relationship, the Señor de Maíz will return to the merchants of Santa Ana as the exhibition national tour of Talking to Action has completed. In addition to OTIS, the exhibition traveled to the Art Institute of Chicago, Pratt Manhattan, and Arizona State University Art Museum. Corn Man‘s return to the community ceremony was originally planned to take place in late Spring of 2020 as the artist was scheduled to once again be in residence, but has been paused due to the COVID-19 crisis. A visit by the artist will be reschedule when such travel is safe for the artist and our community.

Pablo Helguera: The Grand Central Singing Telegram Co.

The Grand Central Signing Telegram Co. announcement certificate.  Light tan in color, provides details for the project include artist Pablo Helguera's name, the dates April 13 through May 28, 2020 and the times of Monday through Thursday from 8pm eastern time / 5pm pacific time.  Includes the email address for ordering a singing telegram grandcentral@fullerton.edu

Artist Pablo Helguera and California State University, Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center are excited to present the current project through GCAC’s artist-in-residence program

PABLO HELGUERA: THE GRAND CENTRAL SINGING TELEGRAM CO.

Individuals can order singing telegrams to send to special someone, then Chief Telegraphist Pablo Helguera delivers the message and selected song to them in the comfort of their own home through Zoom video conferencing. Over 30 songs to select from, so order your FREE singing telegram today! 

THEY LOVE US!

Los Angeles Times review of our service by Jessica Gelt.

Orange County Register review of our service by Susan Gil Vardon

CODIGO review of our service by Nadia Benavides Mendez

Legal Disclaimer: Pablo Helguera, Grand Central Art Center, nor California State University Fullerton are affiliated with The Western Union Company.

GCAC’S CURRENT STATE

Dear Grand Central Art Center Community,

After attending a meeting this (Friday) afternoon on CSUF’s main campus, new protocols put in place require Grand Central Art Center to close to the public through at least April 1st.  We will keep you posted with updates as information becomes available.

In the meantime, GCAC’s team is working hard toward the development of new strategies to engage outward during this time.  Be on the lookout for an announcement soon from GCAC!

Stay safe, healthy and strong,

John D. Spiak

Director / Chief Curator