THINK AGAIN Public Art Retrospective Opens at L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, 11/9

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The L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center's Advocate & Gochis Galleries present THINK AGAIN: Collected Public Works, a retrospective exhibition featuring Los Angeles-based political artists S.A. Bachman and David John Attyah. The exhibit opens on Friday, Nov. 9, and there will be a free reception, with light refreshments, on Thursday, November 15, from 7-10 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through December 15.

THINK AGAIN: Collected Public Works highlights major public artworks from Attyah and Bachman's art collaborative, THINK AGAIN, which is committed to expecting something political from art. Their work addresses hot-button social issues, including homophobia, gender equality, racial justice, and immigrant rights by deploying billboards, posters, postcards, and multi-media street interventions to jumpstart the public imagination. The exhibition also features new independent works by the artists.

The exhibit locates THINK AGAIN's work in its most important and original context: LGBT community action.

Among the featured artworks is documentation of Actions (Still) Speak, a 70 x 15-foot interior mural and companion exterior-building projection. While the mural itself is a massive digital collage-a hybrid of photography, drawing, sculpture, and text-this exhibit will feature a smaller-scale reproduction and a video of the original installation. The key imagery of the mural-mute microphones entangled in a mass of audio cords-urges individuals to question global silence on AIDS and violence against women.

Among the poster projects in the show will be THINK AGAIN's very popular Queer Youth Manifesto, a list of 10 rights that LGBTQ youth should enjoy as both citizens and human beings. It has traveled for more than a decade to youth centers and Gay-Straight Alliances nationally. The exhibition also includes Hello/Hola, a wallpaper installation exploring the artists' view that U.S. trade policies have a disastrous impact on poor women internationally.

Copies of THINK AGAIN's monograph, A Brief History of Outrage (DAP/Politicizing Pictures Press, 2003), will be on view, in addition to selections from The Sample Series. The Sample Series questions discrepancies between media fictions and social reality via appropriated imagery and documentary photography. The project uses images from Los Angeles and other metropolitan locales: Leimert Park, Hollywood Blvd., and the Federal Building in Westwood, as well as Haight-Ashbury (San Francisco) and Times Square (New York).

Finally, the exhibition includes new independent works by Bachman and Attyah. Bachman presents Quote Unquote, a multi-media project addressing the current "war on women." The nucleus of the project is a national outreach campaign asking women to submit quotations that have been significant to their experience as women living in the U.S. Women quoted include Audre Lorde, Arundhati Roy and AngeLes Davis.

Attyah presents Punch, a mixed-media printmaking installation consisting of large-scale etchings, cut paper, and letterpress cards. Punch reflects on male fears of invincibility and fantasies of vulnerability, and wonders how and why men create their identities via aggression. Images of sepia-toned prize fighters-perhaps fighting, perhaps at play-are connected by smaller imprints of Band-Aids, broken noses, bull's eyes, muscle fibers, body hairs. The work also features appearances by Liberace and Ronald Reagan.

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Advocate & Gochis Galleries are located in The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood (one block east of Highland, just north of Santa Monica Blvd. Free parking).




More On: Les Davis, Ronald Reagan, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner.

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by Barry Kostrinsky