Like a Woman or, Live From Athens: a series of prologues (to an exhibition)

Pedro Barateiro, Dancing in the Studio (Protest), 2016.
Pedro Barateiro and Quinn Latimer
Live from the West

July 9–September 18, 2016
Reading: May 1, 5pm, Quinn Latimer, “Like a Woman or, Live From Athens: a series of prologues (to an exhibition)”
Opening: July 9, 6–9pm
Reading: September 18, 7–8pm, “How to make a mask” (2011)
631 West 2nd Street
90012 Los Angeles, CA
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–6pm

Live from the West emerges from a set of common interests shared by Portuguese artist Pedro Barateiro and Los Angeles–born writer Quinn Latimer, including a mutual engagement with literature and publishing as an aesthetic practice; an interest in readings of the West in the neocolonial present; and counter-hegemonic epistemologies, images, and narratives of resistance. The relationships and movement between politics and fiction, and the body and the body politic, as manifested in operations of the voice and language—concerns of orality, authority, literature, and the cinematic soundtrack—inform both Barateiro’s and Latimer’s individual work, as well as their collaborative exhibition at REDCAT.

The title Live from the West addresses a history of similar readings and disparate geographic positions. The setting is Los Angeles but also Lisbon and Athens. The address is “live” and is “from the West,” wherever that may be. The exhibition is an inquiry into what it means to live in the so-called West of the world under fabricated, fictional, and sometimes very real crises—economic, ecological, sociopolitical. Live from the West broadcasts from the normalized state of exception that exemplifies our neocolonial period; it narrates and explores the body and the voice in acts of complicity and protest, private and public space, center and periphery.

For the exhibition, a series of poems by Latimer are broadcast within a setting of Barateiro’s photographs and sculptures. The poetry situates the speaker as both implicated in and resistant to a sequence of geopolitical crises and landscapes that define the Western imaginary and the real—issues of austerity, militarism, and terrorism; sexual, racial, and ecological violence; and the projected and actual sites of Greece, Switzerland, and California.

Barateiro’s series of photographs Dancing in the Studio (Protest) (2016) are presented on freestanding screens; among them are placed a group of sculptures used as benches. The artist created the images in his Lisbon studio by applying white paint to a black linoleum floor, as a loud anti-austerity protest was being held outside. Since 2011, such protests have filled Lisbon’s streets, becoming a steady soundtrack, and a reaction to measures instituted by the European Union in its smaller, southern economies. The traces left on Barateiro’s painted floor—both painterly gestural marks and prints from the tread of the artist’s sneakers—are unchoreographed movements of a dance, an action, a protest in and of the interior.

What does it mean to be live? What is the current situation? The voice emerges from some Western city, disembodied; it is speaking to you, a kind of public. The body in the studio, its privacy. Events and their effect; black-and-white images that project their narrative upon us; poems that call (like song or propaganda) to us. The normalization of violence and its languages. The geopolitical: Western expansion, Southern Europe, the Americas, some West. A complex spectacle that is being broadcast and narrated and fictionalized constantly. What does it signify to act and speak if we see no possible transformation, no possible transmission? The studio, that fiction, of the West. We are: Live from the West.

Exhibition organized by Ruth Estévez, Gallery Director and Curator.

The book Live from the West accompanies the exhibition, featuring texts and images by Pedro Barateiro and Quinn Latimer. It is Co-published by Mousse Publishing, Milan.

The Gallery at REDCAT focuses on experimentation through new commissions that often represents the artist’s first major presentation in the US or Los Angeles. The exhibition program ventures to cross-pollinate shared concepts and critical discourses that connect art to other fields in service of an interdisciplinary program. Using different scales and temporary structures, the exhibition formats are flexible and constantly reformulated.

Gallery at REDCAT is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6pm or until intermission. It is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the Gallery at REDCAT is always free.

REDCAT is located at the corner of W. 2nd and Hope Streets, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles.
Pedro Barateiro and Quinn Latimer at REDCAT


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