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As part of Geffen Playhouse’s Art Lives Here project, four Los Angeles artists have been invited to create original art works to be displayed in our lobby welcoming audiences during our 2022/2023 Season.
We celebrate the diversity in our audiences and our productions, and it is our mission to create, foster, and nourish an environment that is open and welcoming for all. We are a home for the arts, and we believe our physical space should also reflect and be representative of our ongoing commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion in everything we do and the communities we support.
ON DISPLAYSep. 13 – Dec. 18, 2022
Portal consists of a large-scale origami lotus, the Buddhist color of enlightenment. In Taiwan’s Buddhist tradition, grieving family members fold 108 origami lotus blossoms each week for seven weeks. Each week, the 108 paper lotuses are ceremonially burned until the cremation of the lotus covered-body on the forty-ninth day. Forced to mourn the death of my grandparents from afar during COVID-19, I was struck by the powerful symbol of the ritual burning of origami lotus, as a portal for the dead to the afterlife, and as a portal for those mourning to solace. The death of a loved one is a shattering of life as we know it. As Arundhati Roy writes, “pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew... It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.” Through meditative labor, this fragile paper bloom becomes a symbol of hope and rebirth in the face of loss.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Working in installation, painting, photography, and video, artist Flora Kao explores the poetics of human relationship with environment. Examining the psychological potential of constructed space, Kao transforms everyday structures into systems of beauty. Kao examines our impulse to order and preserve in the face of the unknown and uncontrollable. In mapping presence and absence, Kao meditates on memory, mortality, displacement, and decay. Hovering between restraint and collapse, Kao’s work anchors moments of intense emotion through repeated action. Kao’s art responds to our contemporary dislocation from environment. In constructing moments of poetic beauty, Kao challenges the rote experience of space through unexpected sensory encounters with the organic and handmade.
ARTISTYeu "Q" Nguyen
ON DISPLAYJun. 23 – Aug. 14, 2022
Using heirloom tapestry weaving as an allegory to the communal nature of theatre production, this work embodies the magic of theatre in form, material, and process. Fabric remnants of different texture and colors, some sourced directly from the Geffen’s costume department, ripple with energy as they flow seamlessly together to create a new whole. Featuring actors’ signatures from past Geffen productions, the title words, dazzling with costume gems and read like a backstage cheer, celebrate stage life and those who live it.
Like a performance, this work is incomplete without audience presence. Please help me fully realize this work’s intention by tying your ticket to the tapestry using the loose ribbon ends.
Born in Saigon, Yeu “Q” Nguyen is a multidisciplinary artist working in Los Angeles. Known for her vibrant, interactive installations and intricately crafted objects rich in symbolism, Q has exhibited at notable venues such as the SouthWest Museum, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. “The Resilience Archive,” a retrospective of Q’s expansive work circa 2016-22, is currently on view at Stay Gallery in Downey. Upcoming projects include “At The Table” group exhibition at the Armory Center for the Arts and an art commission with Santa Monica city. More on Q can be found at www.yeuqart.com and Instagram @yeuqart.
ON DISPLAYApr. 19 – Jun. 19, 2022
The work is a metaphor for the magic that the theatre evokes in audiences. As theatergoers watch a play, or performance, they feel transported into another world. The physical walls and ceiling of the theatre disappear and a new world emerges where anything is possible. This mixed media depicts theatre seats placed on the surface of a vast landscape that is surreal and fantastic. The open landscape points to the expansiveness of our natural world, with arms open to all its inhabitants.
Luciana Abait was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is currently based in Los Angeles where she is a resident artist of 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. Her photo-based two- and three-dimensional works deal with climate change and environmental fragility, and their impacts on immigration in particular. Abait's artworks have been shown widely in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia in solo shows in galleries, museums, and international art fairs. Selected exhibitions include A Letter to the Future at Los Angeles International Airport and Sur Biennial in California; Flow, Blue at Rockford College Art Museum and Luciana Abait at Jean Albano Gallery in Illinois; Nest at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania; and ARCO in Spain. Abait's works are held in private, public and corporate collections from the United States, Europe, Latin America and East Asia.
ON DISPLAYFeb. 8 – Apr. 10, 2022
This work layers Old World Shakespeare with New World Chicano Theatre. Most prominently, this work is inspired by the Luís Valdez El Teatro Campesino, and features a lady lute player and a drummer from Día de Los Muertos carpas plays. Carpa, or tent theatre, were touring groups on both sides of the border that toured from town to town, set up tents, and performed a mix of slapstick comedy, folk dance, circus stunts and puppetry, all for a mostly working-class audience. Like the Shakespearean actor William Kempe's "nine daies wonder" performed "in a daunce from London to Norwich," the carpa tradition is making a comeback with Valdez's TC, and "The Carpa Plays," of the Teatro Bravo, connecting a theatre tradition 400 years apart.
The work of Roberto Delgado evolves from the reality of the photo. Both the easel work and public art murals have been based on the people and circumstances that he has encountered, with both being an appreciation of the human figure. Born and raised in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, Delgado served in the US Army and was a graduate of UCLA’s M.F.A. program. Spending most of the 70s and 80s in Chiapas State, Mexico, Delgado honed his skills in murals and public art. In 1985 he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and lived in Mexico City, working on large monotypes and murals. Seeing the influence of Mexican-American-Chicano barrio realism on the Mexico City art world first hand, he realized how Chicano art had come full circle, with the craft of Mexican art taken to L.A., now coming back to the Mexico City art world.
ON DISPLAYNov. 9 – Dec. 12, 2021
Horror Without End! doubling is a multimedia video installation which transports audiences to an alternate universe that is populated by monsters, spawning a counter mythology and queering of existing norms. Choreographed by Tetiana Sklyarova and Kayla Aguila, the dynamic movements in the performance tell a story of a doppelganger emerging to eventually take over its original. This work considers what happens when the championing of individualism in U.S. culture runs into the reality of the powerlessness of the individual. Doubling is a celebration of the power of community, even if that community comes in the form of your doppelganger.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Beck+Col are a Los Angeles based artist duo who have been working exclusively in collaboration since 2014. Beck+Col have performed at numerous venues including the Hammer Museum, REDCAT, and JOAN Los Angeles. They have had multiple solo exhibitions at Human Resources and their work has been exhibited worldwide including the Royal College of Music in Sweden, Colección AMALITA in Buenos Aires and at Biquini WAX EPS in Mexico City.
Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates and is currently helmed by Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., Artistic Director Matt Shakman and Board Chair Howard Tenenbaum. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve young people and the community at large in the arts. www.geffenplayhouse.org
In recognition of the essential examination of systemic racism and injustices, we at Geffen Playhouse commit to continued analysis and expansion of our own institutional practices in order to be part of the solution. Our vision for the Geffen is that people of all races, faiths, sexual orientations, abilities, genders and backgrounds find it an easily accessible and highly relevant source of art that reflects the dynamic human experience and galvanizes a more equitable and vibrant community. In adopting this statement, we are amplifying our strategic and ongoing commitment to improving and increasing the cultural diversity, equity and inclusion of our audiences, staff, artists, board, and programming.