Performing Economies

May 14, 2009 - Jul 26, 2009

Fellows of Contemporary Art

970 North Broadway
Suite 208
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Time: W-F 10am-6pm; Sat 12-4pm and by appointment
Phone Number: (213) 808-1008
Contact: --

Performing Economies curated by Elana Mann. In Performing Economies each artist and collective involved engages in practices that embody collaborative strategies and systems of exchanges. The exhibition presents visual artwork by Los Angeles based artists and collaborations, including CamLab (Anna Mayer and Jemima Wyman), Liz Glynn, Marc Herbst, Ahsley Hunt and Taisha Paggett, Elana Mann, and Vincent Ramos. Accompanying the exhibit will be a series of weekly programs led by Los Angeles-based artists and art collectives that relate to the gallery exhibition. These will include events by ArtSpa, Artists for Social Justice, John Burtle and John Barlog, Dorit Cypis and Foreign Exchanges and the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. Further information about these events will be posted at

Performing Economies will bring together a group of Los Angeles based artists and collaborations whose artwork seeks to concretize possible futures in a time of economic ruin and never-ending war. All of these artists involved in “Performing Economies” explore various strategies of participation, collaboration and community engagement in order to create alternative economies of activism and intimacy.

The gallery space will highlight artwork from six artists and collaboratives. Each showcases strategies of political and social action that produce innovative systems of exchange and dialog. CamLab (Ana Mayer and Jemima Wyman) will ceate architectures for multiple bodies by creating a two-part costume to be occupied by a series of performers. With this creation, they will literalize their collaborative process and disrupt conventional ideas about autonomous bodies. Liz Glynn deals with the ancient Greek artifacts that were illegally acquired by the Getty Museum by hosting workshops where participants recreate the artifacts with trash from the streets of Los Angeles. Marc Herbst will present a comic book that anticipates the environmental and economic certitudes of the near future and outlines the next five years of fashion, including re-interpretations of the notion of success and re-branding the practice of sharing. Taisha Paggett and Ashley Hunt will draw from their work with the Los Angeles based Garment Workers’ Center, to conduct movement and discussion workshops that form a basis for video, photographic or performance based works. Elana Mann will explore the underground economies of Echo Park, including “Select Patrol,” a private peace keeping company, and “The Echo Park Time Bank,” an alternative structure treating time as currency. Vincent Ramos will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chubby Checker’s version of “The Twist” by creating a series of drawings that function as “contractual” invitations to his artist peers, individuals whom he want to “twist” with.

In addition, weekly programming will feature performances, workshops, film screenings and discussions. ArtSpa, created and facilitated by Adam Overton, will present a series of workshops and events geared toward expanding and enhancing local artists’ visionary and healing abilities. Artists for Social Justice will be creating a day-long event entitled the Free Free Market, a forum for sharing and gifting designed to validate giving and exchange models. John Burtle and John Barlog plan to interact with the structure of the Fellows of Contemporary Art and inserting performative gestures within the gallery space. Dorit Cypis, an artist and mediator, will offer a workshop on tools for collaborative strategies that explores methods and techniques of working within a community. The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest will organize a “group think” involving art collectives and collaborative groups across the United States. In each intervention into the gallery space, these entities will share thoughts, strategies, and ideas about new, experimental modes of operation at a time of economic woe, when arts funding and support is dramatically decreasing.

The live programs as well as the objects in the gallery space collectively perform, propose and reveal potential in spite of turbulent times.

About the curator

Elana Mann is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Mann creates artwork through systems of exchange and conversation, revealing the struggle between communication and control. Her artwork probes the theatrics of everyday life and investigates the collapse of social/political spaces through a variety of mediums including performance, sound, video, installation and curatorial projects. In 2007 Mann graduated with an MFA from CalArts and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Mann recently organized Exchange Rate: 2008 an international performance project in response to the US presidential elections. Mann’s projects have been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Artweek, O Globo, O Jornal do Brasil, La Republicca and El Pais. For more information please visit

About the Kitty T. Chester Series of Curator’s Laboratory Projects

The Fellows of Contemporary Art (FOCA) is pleased to present the exhibition Performing Economies as the second show in our recently rededicated Kitty Chester Series of Curator’s Laboratory Projects. Catherine (Kitty) Chester bequeathed FOCA $10,000, and the Board of Directors is inspired by her lifetime commitment to philanthropy in support of artists and curators. Kitty was a long time member of FOCA and past Chair. Kitty offered generous support to a number of arts organizations in Southern California.

About the Fellows of Contemporary Art

FOCA has played a unique and significant role in the development of art in California by sponsoring major exhibitions of contemporary California art, awarding FOCAFellowships to mid-career California artists and most recently with the Curator’s Laboratory based in our office/exhibition space in Chinatown. We are a nonprofit corporation that was formed in 1975 in Los Angeles with a commitment to and passion for contemporary art. Supported by an active and enthusiastic membership drawn primarily, but not exclusively, from Southern California, it includes collectors and individuals knowledgeable about art, as well as those who feel the passion and want to learn more about the art of today.




Schedule of Events

Schedule subject to change please check back here on our website for the most current information.
* events will occur at the FOCA space unless otherwise indicated.

Thursday, May 14, 7-9pm Opening of exhibition and performances by Karla Diaz as well as Brian Getnick and Leopold Nunan. Exploring multiple narrative strategies between sound and text, Karla Diaz will be reading a series of poems and stories based on the experience of growing up in Los Angeles. In particular, Diaz will explore the neighborhood of Boyle Heights and parts of it that were destroyed to build a bigger Police Station. Brian Getnick and Leopold Nunan will be performing in a garment made by CamLab for thier piece Clongloberation. This performance is the first in a “chain” of engagements and propositions that attempts to create a collective body regardless of distance.

Saturday, May 16, 4-8pm A Free Free Market with the Artists for Social Justice. Participating artists include: Yanira Cartagena, Carmina Escobar, Carribean Fragoza, Anne Hars, Matt Lucero, Gil Omry, Astra Price, Evelyn Serrano, and Elizabeth Wild. Free Free Market is a forum for sharing and gifting and its intention is to validate giving and exchange models. FFM is a market of free resources, and a space for non-transactional experiences. Everything in the market is free and bartering does not enter the market dynamics. The Artists for Social Justice Collective invite you to share in a wide range of aesthetic gestures, tangible and intangible learning, performative actions and playful exchange.

Sunday, May 17, 12pm * Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Editorial Collective (Marc Herbst, Robby Herbst and Christina Ulke) will be facilitating a panel around the emotionality of collectivities and social change in collaboration with The Public School at Telic Arts Exchange in Chinatown (972B Chung King Road). Confirmed participants include Fallen Fruit (Matias Viegener), The Echo Park Time Bank (Autumn, Rooney and Manny), Jessica Fleischmann (Journal of Aesth. and Pro. designer), Michael Wilson (artist researching alt Economies) and The Public School.

Saturday, May 30, 11am-1pm: Healer Heal Thyself with Dorit Cypis. Healer, Heal Thyself is a performative presentation weaving aesthetics, conflict resolution and somatic reflection to engage us in exchanges of another kind.

Saturday, June 6, 2-3pm: Fashion 2012, A one hour performance and workshop related to Marc Herbst’s comic book included in the Performing Economies exhibition. The comic book, Fashion 2012, a relational style guide for the next decade begins to define the emotional needs and social possibility that opens up in this gap of global warming and a new round of intense economic turmoil. Come on down, we will be acting out the future.

Saturday, June 13, 7-9pm artSpa presents: an experimental meditation group open-mic event. Is just-sitting-there not working for you anymore? Are you tired of dead legs and mystical hyperventilation? Within the experimental meditation group we believe that the notion of "experimental meditation" is in fact redundant, that meditation is fundamentally an experimentation with reality, belief, and with its very definition and form(s). So, rather than invite you out to just another night of chanting the night away in yogic tongues (which is totally alright), we instead invite you to join us for an experimental meditation open-mic, to propose and lead your own 1-second-to-10-minute homemade meditations. All meditations will be added to the experimental meditation database, an online resource for all experimental seekers.

Sunday June 14, 2-4pm A round table discussion with Performing Economy’s artists and curator. Participants include John Barlog and John Burtle, Dorit Cypis, Liz Glynn, Ashley Hunt and Taisha Paggett, Anna Mayer and Jemima Wyman (CamLab), Elana Mann, Adam Overton, Evelyn Serrano (Artists for Social Justice).

Wednesday, June 17, 7-8pm CamLab will perform in the courtyard of Mandarin Plaza with their Swoon Soon Suit. Premiered last year at Wildness at the Silver Platter, this three-chambered suit is designed to be occupied by CamLab and 1-2 other people at a time. Viewers are invited to zip themselves into the middle section of the suit in order to participate in a "non-verbal exchange". The internal walls are quilted with tactile fabrics incorporating slits and tubes which facilitate the exchanges between chambers.

Friday, June 26, 8–10pm: Call Me Lightning with Vincent Ramos and friends

Saturday, July 11 Panel discussion with Liz Glynn and LA sculptors

Saturday, July 18, 3-6pm artSpa presents: a free aura reading workshop with Krystal Krunch (a.k.a. Asher Hartman & Haruko Tanaka) Holla! Holla! All you krystal ballas! Krystal Krunch, your real psychic bfs, are hosting a free aura reading workshop, teaching their anyone-can-do-it method of uncovering the soul’s highest potential. Amaze your friends by pointing out their true paths, their stubborn blocks and challenges! Help them to see the shining self within without bitching or giving advice! By taking a snapshot of the sensory symbols in the body’s energy field, we can remind ourselves of who we really are and move into our lives with greater assurance, energy, and calm. You don’t need to be Nostradamus to see that this going to be a fun, easygoing day of psychic exploration and personal growth. Come alone, bring a friend, chant for parking.

Saturday, July 25, 2-4pm Performing Economies closing reception. Light refreshments to be served.

Documentation for this event is housed in The Feminist Art Project Archives located at Rutgers University.



Event Type: Exhibition