Mandana Moghaddam: Exodus

Mandana Moghaddam
December 1, 2018 through February 17, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1 from 7-10pm

a number of suit cases floating in the ocean

Borrowing the term from ancient history, Exodus tackles the mass flight/move of the people all over the world trying to survive war, poverty and social injustice.

Mandana Moghaddam knows firsthand the refugee’s sense of loss and displacement, hope and renewal. At age 21, she fled Iran after her father was executed in the revolution and she was barred from higher education as a penalty for political activities. After five years in transition in Turkey, she was granted asylum in Sweden, where she lives today. Her video Exodus captures that experience through the motion of suitcases adrift on the ocean, lost in passage — the baggage of our worldly goods that both protect us and expose us, cloak us and mark us as individuals or as members of a certain culture. The uncertainty of their delicate dance on the waves, and the comfort of reaching solid ground, evoke empathy and a desolate sense of loss, amplified by the sheer simplicity and beauty of the images.


Born in Tehran in 1962, Mandana Moghaddam is an Iranian-Swedish contemporary visual artist whose installation and video work was most notably exhibited in the 51st Venice Biennale.  Affected by the Iranian Revolution, Moghaddam was granted asylum in Gothenburg, Sweden where she continues to work to this day.  Her work covers such themes as alienation, communication, and gender.  Working with these themes, Moghaddam creates works that attempt to bridge cultural boundaries, inspire intercultural dialogue, and memorialize oftentimes contentious aspects of Iranian life.

Phase 2 – Lucas Murgida: None of This is Real

keys and a lock on a table

Lucas Murgida
None of This is Real
an evolving project – phase 2

Interaction: Saturday, October 6 from 7-10pm
Bring an unwanted brass key.

For the second phase of Lucas Murgida‘s evolving project, None of this is Realparticipants are asked to bring an unwanted brass key to the opening on Saturday, October 6th. Murgida will then take the unwanted key, melt it in a furnace, pour into a mold of a new key, and then will give that new key back to the owner. The participant can then use that key to open a door to a special room and experience a private installation.

The experience is free and open to participants of all ages.

David Politzer: Text Neck

Text Neck
David Politzer
October 6, 2018 through January 13, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 6th from 7-10pm

individuals in locked arms looking at cell phones

Text Neck, a new project by David Politer created during an artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center, takes a darkly comedic look at how Smartphones are changing our bodies and minds. The project gets its name from a repetitive strain injury caused by dropping your head forward while looking down at a mobile device. The episodic video follows nine individuals as they navigate new ways of interacting, communicating and living in the age of the Smartphone.

Through humor, physical empathy and emotion, Text Neck offers opportunity, through multiple installation components, for the audience to engage directly in the behaviors developing in tandem with Smartphone technology.

Text Neck grew organically out of collaboration and improvisation. By interviewing forty people about their Smartphone habits, collecting ideas, and anecdotes, David Politzer and his community collaborators created scene outlines; some with a developed narrative, others open-ended questions, “What if we did this?” The result is both a cautionary tale and a love letter to the Smartphone.

Video Trailer



David Politzer makes artworks about the awkward relationships we form when we communicate using cameras, phones, computers, etc. Not just between people, also between people and the natural world.

Politzer was born in Washington DC, earned an MFA from Syracuse University and a BS from Skidmore College. His solo exhibitions include those at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Artsoace (NC), Artspace (CT), Real Art Ways (CT), Lawndale Art Center, Houston Center for Photography, Galveston Art Center and Western Georgia University. He is the recipient of the 2011 Carol Crow Fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography. Group show and screening venues include the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the New Mexico Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of Art, the Masur Museum (LA), NUTUREArt (NY) Threewalls (IL) the Soap Factory (MN), Southern Exposure (CA), Vox Populi (PA), the Syracuse International Film Festival, SPACES (OH), video_dumbo (NY) and Gallery Korea (NY). Politzer was artist in residence at Yaddo, the Skowhegan School, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Roswell Artist in Residence, the Museum of Northern Arizona, Lawndale Art Center, Artspace (NC) and Grand Central Art Center. He lives in Houston, TX with his wife and daughter. He is currently Associate Professor of Photography and Digital Media at the University of Houston.

Trafficked: Cecilia Lopez

Cecilia Lopez
October 6 through December 9, 2018

Panel Discussion: Saturday, October 6th from 6-7pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 6th from 7-10pm
tryptich each with a human shadow

There is often a stigma associated with speaking about human trafficking, with many individual leaders and communities failing to acknowledge the levels of trafficking occurring in the United States. The current photography series by Santa Ana-based Cecilia Lopez focuses on the issue as an effort to spark greater dialogue and raise awareness of the voiceless in our society.

For her Grand Central Art Center solo exhibition the artist has created monochromatic images, presented in large format prints and light boxes, with a fascination for shadows and how they are viewed without characterization. Inspired by the work of photographer Diane Arbus, an artist that gave voice to marginalized individuals within society, Lopez generates work that creates a metaphor for those living inside the shadow of human trafficking – the marginalized individuals of today.

In the artist’s own words: “Shadows are seen as the reflection of the subject when in fact they are their entity. They are looked down upon because they are unrecognizable and lack explicit human qualities. Similar to shadows, human trafficking is often misinterpreted, viewed for what it physically involves, which is sex. It is portrayed as an act performed by the actual victim, rather than viewed as the sexual exploitation and criminal act forced upon that individual.”



Saturday, October 6th

To open the exhibition, through the arrangement and moderation of artist Cecilia Lopez, Grand Central Art Center will host a panel discussion focus on the issues of human trafficking in our region.


Jim Carson: An advocate for individuals who have been victims of human trafficking, he has been working in the field for over 25 years. Carson served as Program Manager at the Orangewood Foundation.

Oree Freeman: A sex trafficking survivor who became a victim of human trafficking at the age of 11, sold across the street from Disneyland, “Happiest Place on the Earth.”

Deputy District Attorney Bradley Schoenleben: Schoenleben leads the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, which conducts awareness training on human trafficking through collaboration with other district attorneys’ offices, nonprofits, and law enforcement agencies nationwide.



RELAX BLUE – By Cay Castagnetto, with Alan Poma and David Cavazos

Cay Castagnetto,
with Alan Poma and David Cavazos
September 1, 2018
Arrive by 7.30pm. Doors close promptly at 7.45pm

car facing upward
(Toyota Tercel. Los Angeles, 2018)

A performance in association with the exhibition Kim Zumpfe: outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun

Taking its title from the photographic series by the artist Josephine Pryde, this performance and installation explore the psychological impact of living life and its abstraction.   In an environment where persons appear to be the sums of the images they project, self becomes a sweater that reads; “I think you know who I am “.   The materials collected here are no longer evidence of inventions but rather an ever-changing combination on these uncertain grounds.

Cay Castagnetto presently lives and works in the Los Angeles area.

David Cavazos is an acid casualty at heart who fancies the third person, he believes the autobiography is biodegradable. David is one of the many, faceless, saucy upstarts who have flocked to California to soak up the radiation and cash in on the dying dream.

Alan Poma is a multidisciplinary sound artist, whose work has focused on creating site-specific projects and spectacles.

Thank you to MPA and Corazon del Sol


Enrique Ramírez: Un Hombre Que Camina

Un Hombre Que Camina
Enrique Ramírez
1 septiembre 2018-11 noviembre 2018

man standing in lake wearing black pants, a yellow short and an ornate mask

Enrique Ramírez: Un hombre que camina | 1 septiembre 2018-11 noviembre 2018

“Soy del sur”, como dice una canción escrita allí, así que todo lo veo desde el sur, aunque viva en el norte. Mi trabajo es de crear visiones, mundos que llevan al imaginario poético y político a un lugar común entre ellos. Vengo de un mundo cercado por la cordillera de un lado, y del otro bañado a lo largo por el mar.

Cuando pienso en una obra pienso el tiempo de las migraciones masivas, el colapso aparente de las distancias por la comunicación instantánea y la vorágine de imágenes en la que vivimos.

Es quizá esta paradoja—el hecho de que la ausencia del viajero no borre su presencia— la que explica la importancia de lo sublime en la relación entre el mar, el viaje y las visiones.

Soy un artista que cree que la velocidad de caminar o subir a un barco a vela es la velocidad real en este mundo, soy un artista que quiere que las obras sanen, lloren, que respiren, que hagan pensar. Soy un artista que busca tomar riesgos en su trabajo, como en la vida misma.

Cuando construyo una imagen, pienso lo que no se ve de ella, en el fuera de campo, lo que está detrás del muro, dentro de una máscara. Todo lo que cobra sentido solo si intentas imaginar, ahí donde la poesía se encuentra con una imagen real, ahí donde un océano se encuentra en el precipicio del horizonte real. Ahí donde también, el espectador que se enfrenta a mis imágenes, pueda sentirse dentro de su propia realidad y llevar su propia experiencia a viajar por mis historias. Por eso creo visiones, porque la historia no quiere mar, la historia quiere certidumbres y respuestas. Para las respuestas el arte no existe, sino para hacerse preguntas, para plantear ideas, para ver el mundo desde otro lugar.

Enrique Ramírez

Paris, noviembre 2016


Enrique Ramírez nació en 1979 en Santiago de Chile. Desde 2010, vive y trabaja entre París (Francia) y Santiago (Chile). Estudió la música popular y el cine en Chile antes de unirse al posgrado en arte contemporáneo y nuevos medios de Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains (Tourcoing, Francia). En 2014 ganó el premio Découverte des Amis du Palais de Tokyo, París, Francia. Desde entonces ha expuesto en Le Palais de Tokyo, Centro Pompidou, Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Francia, Le Grand Café, Saint-Nazaire, Francia. En América Latina, Museo Amparo, Puebla, México; Museo de la Memoria, Santiago; Centro Cultural MATTA, Embajada de Chile en Argentina, Buenos Aires, entre otras.

En 2017, la obra de Enrique Ramírez es expuesta en la Biennale di Venezia en la exposición “Arte Viva Arte”, curada por Christine Macel.

Su trabajo combina el vídeo, la fotografía, las instalaciones y las narraciones poéticas. Enrique Ramírez aprecia las historias dentro de historias, las ficciones solapando países y épocas, el espejismo entre el sueño y la realidad. Este artista chileno, que vive y trabaja entre Chile y Francia, a menudo utiliza la imagen y el sonido para construir una profusión de intrigas y ocupar el equilibrio entre lo poético y lo político. Sus mundos imaginarios están unidos a un elemento obsesivo: su pensamiento comienza con el mar, un espacio para la memoria en perpetuo movimiento, un espacio para proyecciones narrativas donde el destino de Chile se cruza con grandes narraciones de viaje, conquista y flujos migratorios. Sus imágenes líquidas hablan del resplandor de una verdad en vuelo permanente, el retroceso de la historia, siempre repitiéndose y nunca el mismo.

Está representado por la galería Michel Rein (París / Bruselas) y Die Ecke (Santiago).

Enrique Ramírez: Un Hombre Que Camina

Un Hombre Que Camina
Enrique Ramírez
September 1 – November 11, 2018

man standing in lake wearing black pants, a yellow short and an ornate mask

Enrique Ramírez: Un hombre Que Camina | September 1 – November 11, 2018

“I’m from the south”, as a song written there says, so I see everything from the south, even if I live in the north. My job is to create visions, worlds that lead the poetic and political imaginary to a common place among them. I come from a world surrounded by the mountain range on one side, and the other bathed along the sea. When I think of a work I think about the time of massive migrations, the apparent collapse of distances by instantaneous communication and the vortex of images in which we live.

It is perhaps this paradox-the fact that the traveler’s absence does not erase his presence-that explains the importance of the sublime in the relationship between the sea, travel and visions. I am an artist who believes that the speed of walking or boarding a sailboat is the real speed in this world. I am an artist who wants works to heal, cry, breathe, makes people think. I am an artist who seeks to take risks in my work, as in life itself.

When I build an image, I think what is not seen of it, in the off-screen, what is behind the wall, inside a mask. Everything that will make sense only if you try to imagine; where poetry meets a real image; where an ocean is on the precipice of the real horizon. There, too, the spectator who faces my images can feel inside their own reality and bring their own experience to travel through my stories. That is why I believe visions, because history does not want sea, history wants certainty and answers. For the answers, art does not exist, but to ask questions, to pose ideas, to see the world from another place.

Enrique Ramírez

Paris, November 2016


Enrique Ramírez was born in 1979 in Santiago de Chile. Since 2010, he lives and works between Paris (France) and Santiago (Chile). He studied popular music and cinema in Chile before joining the postgraduate master in contemporary art and new media of Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains (Tourcoing, France). In 2014 he won the discovery price of Les Amis du Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France. He has since exposed in some major places as Le Palais de Tokyo, Centre Pompidou, Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton or le 104, France (le Grand Café, Saint-Nazaire) and in Central and South America (Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico; Museo de la memoria, Santiago; Centro Cultural MATTA, Embajada de Chile en Argentina, Buenos Aires). In 2017, he was invited to the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia curated by Christine Macel.

Enrique Ramírez’s work combines video, photography, installations and poetic narratives. Ramírez appreciates stories within stories, fictions straddling countries and epochs, the mirages between dream and reality. This Chilean artist, who lives and works between Chile and France, often uses image and sound to construct a profusion of intrigues and to occupy the equilibrium between the poetic and the political. His imaginary worlds are attached to one obsessional element—his thinking starts with the sea, a space for memory in perpetual movement, a space for narrative projections where the fate of Chile intersects with grand narratives of voyage, conquest and migratory flows. His liquid images speak of the sparkle of a truth in permanent flight, the backwash of history, always repeating and never the same.

He is represented by the gallery Michel Rein (Paris/Brussels) and Die Ecke (Santiago).