Certain Traces: Dialogue Los Angeles/ Prague 2004
Prague Artists:
Jiri Cernicky, Jitka Havliãková, Vladimír Kokolia, Vladimír Merta, Tomás Ruller, Stepánka Simlová, Margita Titlová.
Los Angeles Artists: Kim Abeles, Deborah Aschheim, Barbara Benish, Habib Kheradyar, Christian Mounger, Marnie Weber, Alexis Weidig.
Curated and organized by Barbara Benish
(South Gallery)
September 10 – October 24, 2004
Reception: September 12 from 2-5pm

Lita Albuquerque, Lynn Aldrich, Tony Berlant, Eric Johnson, osseus labyrint, Marianne Magne, Michael C. McMillen, Sarah Perry, Victor Raphael, Peter Shelton, and Daniel Wheeler
Guest Curator: LeRad Nilles
(North Gallery)
September 24 – December 31, 2004
Reception: September 26 from 2-5pm

Traces of Identity: An Insider’s View into the L.A. Armenian Community, 2000 - 2004
Photographs by Ara Oshagan
Curator: Charlie Hachadourian
(Project Room)
September 24 – December 31, 2004
Reception: September 26 from 2-5pm

Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery
4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Contacts: Mark Greenfield, Scott Canty
E-mail, <>

Victor Raphael, “U.F.O.”, 1992, Gold Leaf on Spectrum Polaroid, 4" x 4".


An exhibition of visual and performing art, BioBallistic is part of our Guest Curator Program. Curator LeRad Nilles includes eleven artists in the exhibition: Lita Albuquerque, Lynn Aldrich, Tony Berlant, Eric Johnson, Marianne Magne, Michael C. McMillen, osseus labyrint, Sarah Perry, Victor Raphael, Peter Shelton, and Daniel Wheeler.

The term “bioballistic” is used by molecular geneticists to describe a modern scientific process by which genes are altered in order to produce an intended result; it is a combination of biology and ballistic, wherein “biology” deals with living organisms and “ballistic” relates to the study of rapid motion. The eleven artists of BioBallistic share an interest in the biological and cosmological advances and mysteries of science. Often scientific facts and mathematical principles and patterns are the entry points for deeper investigation into the artists’ work.

Lita Albuquerque looks to physics and cosmos-related mathematical theories in order to draw inspiration for her work. Lynn Aldrich creates installations that resemble empirical experiments in order to play with concepts of space, time, and the ephemeral nature of life. In his fingerprint series, Tony Berlant crops, abstracts, and explodes the scale of his and his family members’ fingerprints. Eric Johnson combines wooden structures with polyester resin skins in an attempt to illustrate the concepts of theoretical physicists, including Stephen Hawking, Bernhard Riemann, and Albert Einstein. Marianne Magne creates photography-based video that focuses on the deconstruction and reconstruction of the human body. Creating mysterious installations that reference specific narratives, Michael C. McMillen’s work often relates to the human mind’s perception of science and our environment. osseus labyrint, an artist pair, creates performances that focus on the human body as a laboratory of random mutations. Using found bleached animal bones, Sarah Perry creates sculptures that are juxtaposed and layered with everyday objects. Victor Raphael’s Polaroid photographs, layered with gold and metal leaf, transform the Polaroids’ original images into glimpses into the artist’s own personal universe. Peter Shelton’s installations and sculptures reference issues of meditation and universal consciousness. Daniel Wheeler constructs abstract narratives of human beings and our environment through the combination of uncommon objects and materials.

Traces of Identity: An Insider’s View into the L.A. Armenian Community, 2000-2004

The culmination of four years of work by photographer Ara Oshagan, this documentary exhibit features 40 black-and-white photographs and explores questions of immigrant and Armenian identity from multiple angles: religious, familial, social and political, including Armenians from the fringes of society and alternative lifestyles. Traces of Identity, is the first such photographic project about Los Angeles Armenians to be exhibited publicly.

From family retreats at Big Bear Lake, inmates in Ironwood state prison, and church services in Pasadena, to demonstrations on East Hollywood streets, a youth party in Studio City, a drug-rehab center in Palmdale and a convalescent home in Eagle Rock, among others, the exhibit brings together the strands of a diverse and vibrant Armenian presence across the breadth of the greater Los Angeles area. It addresses issues of identity and displacement common to many immigrant communities.

“Armenians are an extremely diverse community in Los Angeles, although they are united in the common tragedy of the 1915 genocide,” says project director, Dr. Donald E. Miller of USC. “Currently, there are about 250,000 Armenians living in Los Angeles, the largest concentration of Armenians living outside the Republic of Armenia. Traces of Identity captures both the vitality and complexity of this community and powerfully raises the question, “What does it mean to be Armenian in the 21st century?”

As an insider to the community he documents, Oshagan’s work is ultimately a well-polished mirror — a multi-layered self-reflection that explores questions of being and identity. Sometimes fluid, sometimes truncated, Oshagan’s photographs carefully balance the questions asked and answered in each image. The answers he offers, in the end, are questions: “Who am I? How do we define ourselves as Armenians? Where do we stop and the others begin?”

For more information about Ara Oshagan please visit <> .

Certain Traces: Dialogue Los Angeles/Prague 2004

A series of exhibitions at six different Southern California venues will feature painting, sculpture, installation and performance by 14 artists from the Czech Republic and 14 artists from Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, September 10 – October 24, 2004.

Exhibitions will also be on view at Post Gallery in downtown Los Angeles; Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman College in Orange; The Shed in Huntington Beach; and the Sam Francis Gallery at Crossroads in Santa Monica and the Pomona College Museum of Art. On November 17, the exhibition will be open at the Kampa Museum and the Karlin Brewery in Prague.

Certain Traces is a 15-year commemoration of the historic Dialogue Prague/Los Angeles show of 1989/1990 that defied Communist sanctions and presaged the final dissolution of communist Czechoslovakia. As an anniversary event, Certain Traces celebrates the achievement of the original show and expands the original concept of open dialogue to explore the meaning of creative discourse for a diverse group of artists from Los Angeles and Prague in a newly defined open society.

The original show gathered 12 Czech artists willing to risk official sanctions to take part in an open exchange with 12 Los Angeles counterparts. While 15-years has brought immeasurable change to the political and cultural landscape in both countries, the basic notion that inspired Dialogue : Prague/Los Angeles, that a creative discourse in the arts might rise above national borders to promote artistic innovation, mutual understanding and goodwill remains unchanged. This is the starting point for Certain Traces: Dialogue Los Angeles/Prague.

The Los Angeles exhibition is curated and organized by Barbara Benish, a Los Angeles artist who has been living in Prague for the past 11 years, with generous assistance of Pomona College Museum curator Rebecca McGrew. Ms. Benish’s work is also included in the exhibition. The exhibition in Prague is curated by art historian Sarah Brock, a Prague resident since 1993.

Special Event:
Family Art Workshop: September 26, 2-5pm (during Reception)

Conversations with the Artists:
Certain Traces: Dialogue Los Angeles/Prague: “First Friday” October 1, 7:30pm
BioBallistic/Ara Oshagan: Saturday, November 6, 2:00pm; Saturday, December 4, 2:00pm
Friday – Sunday, 12:00 noon – 5:00pm
Hours are extended to 12:00 noon - 9:00 p.m. on First Fridays (the first Friday of every month).

General $5.00, Seniors and Students, $3.00.
Children under 12 with adults, FREE
Free admission to the opening Reception and on First Fridays

The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery is a facility of the Cultural Affairs Department City of Los Angeles

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