For her contribution to Made in LA 2020: A Version, the prestigious Los Angeles biennial, artist Sonya Sombreuil has invited other local artists, musicians, filmmakers, and designers to exhibit their work, on a rotating basis, alongside her clothing designs. Titled VIVID, the installation is a generous, unexpected gesture that expands the biennial beyond the 30 artists selected by the curators.
This month is a highlight, as Sombreuil chose to screen films by Fox Maxy, Alima Lee, and Maia Ruth Lee, and they are also available to stream on the Hammer Museum website. These are artists with a beautiful sense of curiosity who use video to explore, share, experiment, play, and invent. The editing is bold, the music choices entrancing, and the works hold your attention in a way that video — in my opinion — sometimes struggles to.
“Maat means Land” (2020) by Maxy, an Ipai Kumeyaay and Payómkawichum filmmaker, moves between scenes of everyday life with tenderness and humor. Maxy has said it’s “a film where I wanted to say ‘thank you’ and just acknowledge all these really important places and times that have made me who I am.” Maia Ruth Lee’s “The Stranger” (2018) travels through the green hills of Nepal, the artist’s father narrating in Korean. In an intriguing commentary on the role of translation, Lee wrote her own subtitles for the film, drawing on her diaries and writings, so that they don’t match her father’s words. And finally, Alima Lee’s “Flesh to Spirit” (2019), which also moves and progresses like an essay, is about the vulnerable and ecstatic journey to discovering and loving one’s body.
When: through June 30
Where: online and on-site at the Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles)
More info at the Hammer Museum