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Earlier this month, five artists installed monuments across the city of Los Angeles, but you can’t see them with your naked eye. That’s because they are all rendered in augmented reality, as part of the project Monumental Perspectives launched by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Snapchat. Viewable with a phone, the monuments honor histories and communities that have gone under-recognized, including street vendors.
Ruben Ochoa’s “¡Vendedores, Presente!” celebrates the several vendors across Los Angeles — their colorful stalls of rainbow-patterned umbrellas, buckets of flowers, spicy elote, and mangoes. You can find the virtual monument at MacArthur Park, where Ochoa went to school and witnessed daily “how vendors were getting their hustle on.”
To complement the project, Ochoa worked with director Pete Galindo to make a three-part documentary series, The Politics of Street Vendors in Los Angeles. The first episode launches on International Workers’ Day, Saturday, May 1, on LACMA’s YouTube channel, and will focus on vendors’ efforts to legalize street vending. Future episodes, which will drop every three weeks, will touch upon the particular struggles that vendors have faced during the pandemic, including a troubling rise in cases of assault. Stick around at the end of each screening for conversations between Ochoa, advocates, LACMA curator Rita Gonzalez, and others.
When: Saturday, May 1, 12–12:30pm (PST)
Where: online via YouTube
More info at LACMA