Thursday, September 13, 2007

Just Spaces at LACE

Just Space(s)
September 26 – November 18, 2007
LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)
Organized by Ava Bromberg and Nicholas Brown

OPENING RECEPTION: Wednesday, September 26, 7-9pm



Everyday we confront spaces that don't work - from our neighborhoods and parks, to our prisons, pipelines and borders. In this exhibition and programming series, artists, scholars and activists reveal how these spaces function - and dysfunction - making way for thought and action to create just societies and spaces.

The projects in this exhibition reflect the renewed recognition that space matters to cutting edge activist practices and to artists and scholars whose work pursues similar goals of social justice. A spatial frame offers new insights into understanding not only how injustices are produced, but also how spatial consciousness can advance the pursuit of social justice, informing concrete claims and the practices that make these claims visible. Understanding that space - like justice - is never simply handed out or given, that both are socially produced, differentiated, experienced and contested on constantly shifting social, political, economic, and geographical terrains, means that justice - if it is to be concretely achieved, experienced, and reproduced - must be engaged on spatial as well as social terms.

By transforming LACE, in part, into an active learning environment, Just Space(s) seeks to provide visitors with tools to consider alternatives to reactionary and essentializing political discourse that tends to dominate and frame our conceptions of justice - and constrain our abilities to imagine and implement it. The exhibition presents some of the most innovative and efficacious contemporary artistic, activist, and scholarly work engaging social and spatial analyses. In addition, a library/infoshop and symposia and event series extend the scope and scale of the main exhibition. Taken in whole or in part, Just Space(s) aims not merely to show what is unjust about our world, but to inspire visitors to consider what the active production of just space(s) might look like. It asks a crucial question: How do we move from injustice to justice exactly where we stand - in our neighborhoods and our institutions, at the level of the body, the home, the street corner, the city, the region, the network, the supranational trade agreement and every space within, between, and beyond? While much theorizing about - and active experimentation with - the role and potential of a spatial justice framework remains undone, this exhibition and its public programming contribute to the articulation of a powerful concept/tool that links critical theory and ethical practice.


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