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Shelter or Playground: an Exhibition at FLAX

Courtesy of the California Institute of the Arts Institute Archives

France Los Angeles Exchange (FLAX) presents Shelter or Playground at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. Curated by Maud Jacquin, Anna Milone, and Sébastien Pluot, this group exhibition is the result of a collective research effort initiated by Art by Translation (TALM Angers & École nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris-Cergy) with the MAK Center for Art and Architecture and France Los Angeles Exchange (FLAX), in collaboration with the California Institute for the Arts. On view starting February 9, 2019, with performances beginning February 16 and 17, 2019. Shelter or Playground is FREE during the performances and MAK Center admission rates apply at all other times.

This exhibition springs from The House of Dust, a seminal yet under-recognized late 1960s work by Fluxus artist Alison Knowles. Originally called The Play House, this intermedia piece serves as an entry point into contemporary investigation of the relationships between architecture, technology, and performance.  In a text titled Shelter or PlaygroundRudolf Schindler described his house as a “Playground” that “grows with its inhabitants” and where “life will regain its fluidity”. Today, the house open its doors to contemporary artists who have been invited to produce site-specific works, responding to both architectures by Schindler and Knowles and translating them into multiple performative forms.

Shelter or Playground will involve the commissioning of new works and performances by Henry Andersen & Bryana Fritz/Slow Reading Club (Australia, USA), Lila Athanasiadou (Netherlands), Jasmin Blasco (France/USA), Dimitri Chamblas (France), François Dallegret and François Perrin (France), Milka Djordjevich (USA), Daniel Frota (Brazil), Mark Geffriaud (France), Gerard & Kelly (USA), FLAX Artist-in-Residence Aurélie Godard (France), Jeff Guess (France), Simon Leung (USA) and Luke Stoneham (UK), Lucky Dragons (USA). It will be accompanied by interpretations of scores by Fluxus artists or those associated with Fluxus—Alison Knowles, Yoko Ono, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros—interpreted by CalArts students and by historical performances including works by Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown on the Calarts Nomad Floor. The floor will play the role of a contemporary House of Dust as a studio, gathering place, gallery, blank slate, habitat and point of discussion about context, performing and witnessing performance, open to anyone upon registration to the MAK Center.

This FLAX Project is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and the FLAX Creative Circle including The Skylark Foundation, Arthur Forney, Olga Garay English and John Mark Horton.

With the additional support of Ceci n’est pas..., an artistic season of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.