Kade Twist: To Keep a Fire

Kade Twist: To Keep a Fire

February 4 through April 16, 2023

Opening Reception

Saturday, February 4 from 7-10pm

To Keep a Fire presents five new works that poke a stick at the unresolved tensions between market-driven systems, consumerism, and American Indian cultural self-determination.

The exhibition is a fragmented ceremonial ground, of sorts, comprised of sculpture, video, sound, smell, and text that present unexpected histories, desires, experiences, sequences, and artifacts of contemporary colonization and neoliberal violence.   

Atliloidohi / ᎠᏟᎶᎢᏙᎯ  (translation: civil engineer) is a mixed-media sculpture that functions as an improvised engine hoist (constructed with propane tanks, cinderblocks, ladders, a single wood beam, come along and tow strap) suspends a car engine four feet above the gallery floor. The work — which is based on a DIY mechanic’s creation captured by a grainy photo that has been circulating around various Facebook groups for the past year — is a monument to human ingenuity, pragmatism, muscle, and speed; and a precarious, aspirational vision of survivance and human will in the face of globalism, speed and violence. 

Atsilv / ᎠᏥᎸ (translation: fire) is a multichannel video sculpture with sound that embodies the Cherokee cultural and spiritual values associated with keeping a fire. However, in this instance, these values are complicated by histories of colonial violence, land squatting, political subjugation, and resentment. The land once held in common, is now held in private, with individually owned homes standing on each plot. The fire here is an emotionally troubled vision of reclamation. Clearly, burning down colonizer homes is not an appropriate endeavor of decolonization, and it does not reflect Cherokee cultural values. Instead, it is intended to interrogate the complexities, and often contradictory aspirations, inherent within contemporary indigenous decolonization strategies and practices.

Your Scent Is Still Here is a sculptural smell work comprised of a trough (6’ x 2’ x 1’) filled with 40 gallons of Fabuloso. The household cleaner, which originated in 1980 Venezuela, has become the most popular household cleaning product in the Western Hemisphere. Its unmistakable and ubiquitous scent is evidence of our Hemispherical interconnectedness and shared perception of how a clean surface should smell in the Americas. It is interesting to note that this particular scent also functions as a signifier of racial, cultural, political and economic chauvinisms, particularly in the USA and Canada, where Fabuloso is often mocked and dismissed as the cleaning product of black, brown and indigenous lower classes.

Load-Bearing Prayers is a sculptural text work that exists inside of a load-bearing gallery wall. For this work, a seven-sided polygon, or heptagon, is sanded 1/8 inch into the drywall’s gypsum. The work is approximately seven feet tall, rising one foot above the gallery floor with lines approximately four inches wide, the width of a belt sander. The form of the work, the heptagon, is significant in that it symbolizes and communicates how Cherokee people configure worldviews within public and private spaces. Each of the seven sides of the heptagon represents one of our seven clans, seven fires, seven directions, and seven peoples of the earth. 

The artist sees this work as a graphic score, or conceptual map, for a future socially engaged piece that will develop at Grand Central Art Center over the course of 2023 and 2024. The work involves organizing a BIPOC recovery group for people of diverse backgrounds to share knowledge and emotional, spiritual, and experiential support for each other as racialized peoples in a Nation defined by neoliberal, Judeo-Christian Western scientific worldviews. The group collaboration will result in an 8-hour durational performance of being a racialized human in dialogue with other racialized humans who have shared and divergent interests, goals, identities, and histories of continuity, change, and survival.

Parachutes Are Not Sovereigns is a single channel video with sound.  The work juxtaposes video of parachute failure with prayers in indigenous languages.  It is a common practice for tribal people to pray not just for the best interests of family and friends, but also for the best interests of all interconnected beings (humans, animals, insects, flora, fauna, air, land, water, celestial bodies, etc., even inanimate objects).  We even pray for our colonizers! Speaking of which, skydiving is a widely held “bucket-list” endeavor of affluent colonizers in the USA and Canada. In many ways it’s a neoliberal pastime to embrace the promises of freedom while demonstrating status, and courage and the capacity to overcome the laws of physics. Every time a White person jumps from a plane, that person also jumps, inadvertently, into the prayers of thousands of indigenous people. However, parachutes and prayers do seem to fail us all from time to time.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Kade L. Twist is an interdisciplinary artist working with video, sound, interactive media, text and installation environments. Twist’s work combines re-imagined tribal stories with geopolitical narratives to examine the unresolved tensions between market-driven systems, consumerism, and American Indian cultural self-determination. Mr. Twist is a co-founder of Postcommodity, an interdisciplinary artist collective. With his individual work and the collective Postcommodity, Twist has exhibited work nationally and internationally. In 2017 Postcommodity was included in both the 2017 Whitney Biennial and documenta 14. Mr. Twist is a US Artist Klein Fellow for Visual Arts, and Postcommodity have been the recipients of grants from the Harpo Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Art Matters, Creative Capital and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Postcommodity are 2017/2018 Ford Foundation Art and Social Change Fellows.

The artist has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including: Contour the 5th Biennial of the Moving Image in Mechelen, BE; Nuit Blanche, Toronto, CA; 18th Biennale of Sydney in Sydney, AUS; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Scottsdale, AZ; 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York, NY; Art in General, New York, NY; documenta14, Athens, GR and Kassel, DE; Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, AZ; and through Postcommodity’s historic land art installation Repellent Fence at the U.S./Mexico border near Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, SON.

Lexa Walsh: Sisters InfoShop

Lexa Walsh: Sisters InfoShop

in collaboration with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange,

February 4 through May 14, 2023

Opening Reception with Sisters Engaged Activities

Saturday, February 4 from 7-10pm

Sisters InfoShop, an exhibition and socially engaged project, is a platform for the legacy of progressive women religious in California and beyond. With a special focus on the work and lives of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, the project is presented at Grand Central Art Center both as an installation in the gallery as well as a mobile kiosk in the public square in front of the art center, activated with programming by the Sisters.

The installation includes a timeline and materials from the Sisters’ activism situated within the context of pivotal moments in recent history of the Catholic Church and general societal issues. Additionally, Walsh has made and reconfigured seating from vintage school desks and prayer kneelers that become conversational sculptures. Throughout the exhibition is the motif of Walsh’s childhood Catholic school blue, green and gold tartan plaid.

The public will actively engage with the Sisters inside and around the kiosk on the first Saturdays of each month, through a Human Library, Sister Ellen O’Leary’s miming, a Social Justice Fair, and multiple other socially engaged activations throughout the duration of the show. Walsh has donned the kiosk with a neon sign, murals, hand crafted flags representing the Sisters’ congregational stances, and papered inside with Sister Madeleva’s graphic artworks, which are reminiscent of the late Sister Corita Kent’s artworks. A zine is available to share the Sisters’ “100 Days of Prayer”, their timely response to the 2017 presidential inauguration. 

Co-designed with Walsh and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, this collaborative project is a place for the public to learn about and engage with the Sisters and their work. The overarching theme of their work is Justice, within the framework of “Our Dear Neighbor”, creating welcoming places for belonging, alongside activism, solidarity and policy for disenfranchised communities. 

Walsh is interested in what can be learned by creating temporary social justice institutions in a public square, and revealing the long activist legacy of these Sisters through a feminist lens. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Lexa Walsh is an artist and cultural worker based in Oakland. Walsh makes projects, exhibitions, publications and objects, employing social engagement, institutional critique, and radical hospitality. She creates platforms for interaction across hierarchies, representing multiple voices and inventing new ways of belonging. 

Walsh is a graduate of Portland State University’s Art & Social Practice MFA program and holds a BFA in Ceramics from California College of Arts and Crafts. She was Social Practice Artist in Residence in Portland Art Museum’s Education department, received Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Award, the CEC Artslink Award, the Gunk Grant, the de Young Artist Fellowship, and Kala’s Print Public Residency Award. Walsh has participated in projects, exhibitions and performances at Apexart, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Cité de la Musique, the de Young Museum, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Exploratorium, Federal Hall, Kala Art Institute, Mills College Art Museum, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Oakland Museum of California, NIAD, Portland Art Museum, SFMOMA, Smack Mellon, Taipei Artist Village, Walker Art Center, Williams College Museum of Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has done several international artist residencies, tours and projects.

Her upbringing as the youngest child of fifteen in a Catholic family, in a house full of trophies (that were not hers) informs her work, as does practicing collectivity while coming of age in the Bay Area post punk cultural scene of the 1990’s. Walsh founded the experimental music and performance venue the Heinz Afterworld Lounge, worked for many years as a curator and administrator at CESTA, an international art center in Czech republic, whose team created radical curatorial projects to foster cross-cultural understanding. Walsh co-founded and conceived of the all women, all toy instrument ensemble Toychestra. She founded and organized Oakland Stock, the Oakland branch of the Sunday Soup network micro-granting dinner series that supports artists’ projects. She recently launched the Bay Area Contemporary Arts Archive (BACAA), and created Consolidated Mess, a large scale project with Veterans at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato, CA.

ABOUT THE SISTERS

The history of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange spans more than 350 years. They listen to and articulate the social justice concerns of the “dear neighbor” to energize and empower people to be agents of change through advocacy, consciousness raising, prayer, action, and direct services. Additionally they serve through programs such as the St. Joseph Worker Program, Educational Initiative, Center for Spiritual Development, Healthcare Foundation, Center for Reconciliation and Justice, and Shelter for Refugee Families. https://www.csjorange.org/

SUPPORT

Lexa’s Grand Central Art Center Artist-in-Residence is supported in part by a grant to our institution provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Latent Community: NEROMANNA

LATENT COMMUNITY

NEROMANNA

December 3, 2022 through February 12, 2023

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 3 from 7-10PM

Latent Community’s video work NEROMANNA (2017) focuses on the story of Kallio, a village in Fokida, Greece, whose inhabitants were evicted in 1969 and later flooded in 1981, being left submerged in an artificial lake. The flooding occurred as a result of the construction of the Mornos dam, to be used as a water reservoir for the city of Athens, Greece.

The aim of the project is to present the story of Kallio and to briefly reconstitute its lost community, through underwater footage of the sunken village combined with the voices of its former inhabitants, who speak of their eviction and relocation.

The whole video work is an attempt to bring to the fore the latent conflicts between the natural and the artificial, between the metropolis and the periphery, and between dominant narratives and counter-stories. In NEROMANNA, the ruins of Kallio emerge with the lowering of water levels every once in a while during times of drought, a reminder of the power of water and its politics, as well as the consequences of its control through large-scale engineering projects on human life.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Latent Community is the interdisciplinary artist duo by Sotiris Tsiganos (1992) and Ionian Bisai (1992) working in research-based projects. Their practice intertwines fieldwork and moving image focusing on social and ecological injustice. Laboring in the age of augmented realities, the artist duo weaves social engagement and critique through participatory strategies and performative sequences, resulting in hybrid film productions – remixing documentary, fiction and archive.

Their work has been presented internationally in exhibitions and festivals (Athens Biennale, Documenta14 – Public Programs, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, School of Waters – Mediterranea 19 Young Artists Biennale, Athens International Film Festival, Recontemporary – Turin), they’ve been awarded by LOOP Barcelona, Sharjah Art Foundation, SNF ARTWORKS and they were residents at ONASSIS AiR – The School of Infinite Rehearsals. They are participants of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022) – rīvus and are just concluding their time as artists-in-residence at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Christopher Wormald: YOU + A.I. = A.I.M.

CHRISTOPHER WORMALD

YOU + A.I. = A.I.M.

November 5, 2022 through May 14, 2023

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 5 from 7-10PM

YOU + A.I. = A.I.M. delves into humanity’s relationship to technology and its revolutionary, mundane, or destructive impact on the world.  This project is an ever-expanding series depicting past, present, and future imagined scenarios through the lens of A.I.-generated images.  Portrayed are visions of utopia and dystopia: a future in which humans no longer struggle or are replaced and made irrelevant.  For this installation, artist Christopher Wormald uses A.I.-generated images created by feeding descriptive text prompts into a computer program – a new medium that can create original images as quickly as ideas are conceived.  The resulting images range from the uncanny to the hyper-realistic or even comically absurd.

Wormald’s initial concept is inspired by artist Jason Allen, who won the blue-ribbon prize in the digital arts category at the 2022 Colorado State Fair with his A.I. generated artwork, Théâtre D’opéra Spatial.  The news around Jason Allen’s winning artwork has sparked debate and controversy on whether the use of A.I. in art is a hack or a shortcut – bringing into question A.I.’s impact on the future careers of graphic designers and others in the creative industry.  The Arts have seen the implications of technologies in the past, from the printing press, camera, synthesizer, and more, with mixed results of success and failure.  In YOU + A.I. = A.I.M., Christopher questions how individuals can use technologies responsibly and considers his role as an artist moving forward. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Christopher Wormald is a LA-based multidisciplinary artist.  He studied photography at OCC and earned a BFA in sculpture at Cal State Long Beach.  His practice is often centered around the process and technological limitations of digital mediums, working through analog and digital photographic processes, mold-making, installation, video, and sound.  From 2013-2017, Christopher wrote and performed as one-half of the electronic music duo, Intimatchine.  Their live musical performances incorporated Christopher’s experimental visual aesthetic and technological knowledge.  Intimatchine performed a live ASMR version of their set inside Cocky Eek’s inflatable pavilion, Sphaerae, at the Pasadena AXS Festival in 2014.  In 2018, Christopher was artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center, where he experimented with live musical improvisations on a modular synthesizer within a multimedia sculptural installation and wrote his first solo EP under the moniker Stud Drift.  He lived in Nashville from 2019 – 2022, experiencing the tragic March 3, 2020, tornado and creating the installation, A Year After the Storm, at the Bordeaux Branch Library that artistically documented the tornado’s path precisely one year later.  In the summer of 2022, Christopher returned to Southern California, where he resides today.

Ceramics and Glass: Show and Sale

A long-standing tradition at Grand Central Art Center, the annual ceramics and glass show and sale provides an opportunity to see and purchase quality works by regional artists. 

Artists included in this year’s show include Emily Brasch, Jose Flores Nava, David Gutierrez, Philip Kupferschmidt, Destiny Martindill, Nathan Olvera, Michael Penilla, Karen Thayer, Deshon Tyau, and Jordan Young.

Joshua Michele Ross; Seance to Summon a Garden

Artist Joshua Michele Ross in foreground facing camera, behind him a desk with computer and sound equipment.

JOSHUA MICHELE ROSS

Seance to Summon a Garden

Artist-in-Residence

Research and development of a new, site-specific participatory event

Sound Artist Joshua Michele Ross continues to advance concepts begun in his GCAC artist-in-residence pandemic period project, The Adjacent Possible

In his new work, Seance to Summon a Garden, Ross has gathered extensive field recordings from Descanso Gardens in Southern California. These sounds, the pulse of a hummingbird’s wing, the calls of a yellow-headed blackbird, woodpeckers nesting, a plane flying overhead, and sprinklers at dawn, have been assembled into a series of independent, musical clips that participants can play in magical, unique combinations.  

Using wireless headphones for an immersive experience, Ross plays the role of a medium, guiding participants to channel their garden “instrument.” Together, they enter “the realm of sonorous being,” where participants rehearse and perform a piece of garden music. Each performance will be recorded and published, creating a collaged, sonic portrait of Southern California ecology. 

Seance to Summon a Garden explores the reparative power of sound, memory, and ecology. The experience is one part old-time radio drama,65e one part guided meditation, and one part high-tech improvisatory orchestra.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Joshua-Michele Ross is a performance and sound artist whose work centers on time, memory, and the restorative power of listening. He splits his time between Oakland, California and New York City. 

Mariangeles Soto-Diaz: Gentle Prowess Deliberations

LED light string hanging in fluid like motion on a black wall, with black, red, blue and gray matts on floor
MARIANGELES SOTO-DIAZ
GENTLE PROWESS DELIBERATIONS
September 3, 2022 – January 15, 2023
a socially engaged artist-in-residence project

Performance: 7:30pm, Saturday, December 10th, 2022

Part of Mariangeles Soto-Diaz’s ongoing artist residency at Grand Central Arts Center (GCAC) in Santa Ana, CA, Gentle Prowess Deliberations is the third project in a series in which the artist incorporate judo principles and elements into art objects, installations, performances and social practice with her judo community. This project focuses on ju, or gentle, one of the core concepts of judo.  The work also grapples with the ongoing reality of violence, including the violence that has led to over six million people leaving the artists native country of Venezuela in recent years. How does one practice ju in a world shaped by oppressive violence?

While growing up in Venezuela, Soto-Dia’s judo teachers were intent on transmitting judo’s international sensibility as intertwined with its pacifist ethos, a key principle articulated by judo founder Jigoro Kano. Through these early experiences, Mariangeles was able to begin the philosophical and rhetorical quest into what this might mean as one confronts a powerful opponent, institution, or system.
 
For this project,the artist approaches ju in several ways. She asked judo colleagues and teachers from two different dojos, Bunasawakai and Sawtelle, to characterize ju in their own words, and then incorporated their answers into aspects of the performance and installation. She weaves into the performance movements from a choreographed judo form that centers around ju, called ju-no-kata, performed here by US National champions Lee Pasteris and Frederick Dagdagan. Soto-Diaz incorporates judo movements performed by two of her sensei, grand master Sensei Nori Bunasawa and Sensei Goya. In addition to these four highly ranked master judokas, the artist is collaborating in the performance with dancer, choreographer and UCI professor Charlotte Griffin and art performer Christina Segovia. The evening will include field recordings from judo competitions at the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo as well as the US, with live and processed sound in collaboration with musician Michael Dessen.
 
Performance will take place within the installation of art objects that has created in the Project Gallery of GCAC, 
 
 
ABOUT THE ARTIST

Mariangeles Soto-Diaz [US/VE] began her art and judo studies in her native Venezuela, the once-promising oil-and-abstraction-producing nation that has become one of the most unstable and violent countries in the world. In her recent work, Soto-Diaz has merged her judo and creative practices to explore the dynamics of power and vulnerability. Moving across traditional art categories, she creates multilayered projects that are at once political and personal, with a nomadic conceptual practice based on relational self-determination.

Soto-Diaz’s work has been exhibited at the Orange County Museum of Art, the SUR:Biennial, the Everywoman’s Biennial (London/NY), 18th Street Art Center, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, MASS MoCA, El Museo del Barrio in NYC, the Stanley Museum, the Fullerton Museum of Art, and the Wignall Museum, among other venues. She began her art studies at the Federico Brandt School of Art in Caracas, and holds a BA in Psychology and Art from Hampshire College, an MA from the California Institute of the Arts and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University. When not in lockdown, she trains at Bunasawa’s Dojo in Costa Mesa and at the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo.