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Thinh Nguyen, “Don’t Take My Love” (2017-18)

Covering 500 square miles, criss-crossed by freeways, and home to the busiest port in the country, Los Angeles is a city defined by movement. It is no surprise, then, that one of its most iconic public spaces is dedicated to transit. First opened in 1939, Union Station is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western US, with over 100,000 people passing through its gates daily. Its mix of Mission Revival and Art Deco architecture may make it seem like a throwback to a bygone era, but it remains as vital as ever as a major regional and national transportation hub.

Union Station former ticketing lobby (photo by Ron Reiring, via Flickr)

As visitors embark on new lives, return home to visit family, or jaunt off for a weekend escape, change and transformation are key elements of the building’s identity. This idea is the inspiration behind Changes, an afternoon of 20 performances organized by Stephen van Dyck and co-organized by Metro Art Presents. Although throngs of people fill its halls daily, the experience is largely solitary: similar journeys taking place on parallel tracks. With this series of happenings throughout the station, van Dyck aims to create a more communal atmosphere, bringing together patrons from all walks of life.

Some of the highlights include Paul Outlaw’s “Shine,” which will use the station’s shoe shine stand to explore issues of race, labor, and BDSM subcultures; Thinh Nguyen’s “Don’t Take My Love,” a mournful vocal performance protesting current US immigration policies; and Jonathan Gómez’s “Trance Transit House,” a roving sonic installation that fuses the station’s ambient soundscape with rave music. A complete list of artists and schedule are available on the website.

When: Sunday, August 26, 1–6pm
Where: Union Station (800 N. Alameda Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

More info at Changes.

Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he is a frequent contributor to Daily Serving, and Glasstire.