Andrea Bowers (in collaboration with Movimiento Cosecha), “Somos 11 Millones/We Are 11 Million” (2018), part of Agora, a High Line Commission, on view April 2018–March 2019 (photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy Friends of the High Line)

In 1993 the exhibition Culture in Action took place in Chicago, bringing together artists like Suzanne Lacy, Mark Dion, and Daniel Joseph Martinez with local community groups to create work about issues that affected them. Curated by Mary Jane Jacob, this seminal exhibition provided an early showcase of what would come to be known as social practice art, forging a link between white-walled institutions and activism surrounding social, political, and economic issues.

In the spirit of Culture in Action, Lacy and Trude Schjelderup Iversen, senior curator at KORO, Norway’s Public Art Program, have organized a weeklong intensive seminar and series of talks. Although the seminar is currently all booked, the talks titled Conversations in Social Practice Art, are open to the public and feature a wide range of influential artists, writers, and activists. Highlights include a conversation on Sunday between Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera and Lucia Sanroman, the Director of Visual Arts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA). The two will discuss the last year’s exhibition of Bruguera’s work at YBCA which recently opened at MUAC in Mexico City. Next Tuesday, writer and critic Lucy Lippard will expand on her recent talk at New York’s Open Engagement, “a polemic about the world we’re trying to change, the issues, and a somewhat dyspeptic look at the role of art/social practice/polemics.” The final event is a panel discussion next Wednesday with artists Andrea Bowers, Rigo 23, and Kenyatta Hinkle, and writer Bill Kelley Jr., who will present a diverse range of approaches to art that prioritizes social engagement. The talks will be held at several locations including the Underground Museum, ICA LA, Roski Graduate Building, Hauser & Wirth, and 18th Street Art Center. They are free and open to the public, although RSVPs are requested.

Work by Jetsonorama (aka Chip Thomas), one of the subjects of Lucy Lippard’s talk (photo courtesy of the artist)

When: Thursday, May 24–Thursday, May 31
Where: Various locations around Los Angeles

More info at USC Roski School of Art and Design.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.