FLAX (France Los Angeles Exchange) is pleased to announce The Dialectic of the Stars, a series of video, performance, and music-based programs, to be showcased at iconic Los Angeles venues in February 2018 before heading to Paris later in the year. Under the direction of visionary French curator Anna Milone, FLAX has engaged art historian and curator Fabien Danesi, as their Curator-in-Residence to present The Dialectic of the Stars, featuring works by 19 emerging and established French and American artists and collectives. Free and open to all, the pioneering initiative underscores FLAX’s mission of promoting mutual understanding between SoCal and France through the arts.
Taking place over two weeks from February 11th through 25th—when the nights are long and the lights brighter—the series will draw a constellation of five locales, like points of a star, including The Sowden House on February 11, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) on February 15, Ford Theatres on February 18, L.A. Dance Project (LADP) on February 24 and Zebulon on February 25. FLAX invites the public to enjoy events throughout the city at these popular arts destinations, each blending their programming with Fabien’s vision to ignite dialogue about L.A. as an important cultural hub.
“I’ve followed Fabien’s work for many years and have always been inspired by the unique lens through which he interprets the world,” says Milone, who takes a highly personalized approach, connecting her artists with Southern California’s vibrant cultural scene. “Each of Fabien’s visionary presentations of The Dialectic of the Stars is seen as a constellation and FLAX welcomes the public to drift all over the city to experience these incredible artworks and activations.”
“As a European, I was inspired by LA, which is about both image and images: it’s cinematographic and paradisiac, but also artificial, violently fascinating as can be a suburban simulacra, which expands itself between a desert and an ocean. It’s an attracting, contradictory, hallucinatory and mysterious place– both political and poetic,” says Fabien Danesi, curator and former program director of Le Pavillon, the residency program of the famed Palais de Tokyo in Paris, a longtime collaborator of FLAX.
Of the 19 artists featured in this festival, many will be showing in the U.S. for the first time, including Fouad Bouchoucha, Rafaela Lopez and Paris-based multimedia artist Nicolas Momein. Renowned for his innovative and large-scale sculptural work, Momein will create a mobile piece specifically for The Dialectic of the Stars that will act as the totem of the project, linking all the events together. Magnetic sculptures will be presented on a van and each iteration will unveil a new presentation of the work.
LA-based artists were also commissioned by FLAX to perform or produce new artworks echoing the venue where they will be presented: Ford Theatres for Scoli Acosta, Robert Karimi, the Lucky Dragons, Emily Mast in collaboration with Alan Chan, Alison O’Daniel and Assaf Shaham; Geneva Skeen for LACE; and Zebulon for Jasmin Blasco. For more information, visit www.flaxfoundation.org
Stars are not just produced by the Dream Factory. Nevertheless cinema still continues to condition our look and to influence strongly our mental and sensible representations.
Ange Leccia’s video Star Dusts acts as a call from the street while Fabien Danesi proposes an introduction to this journey using the technique of détournement with images extracted from movies set in Los Angeles and others documents related to the American West Coast Culture set in the extraordinary heritage building.
Wrong Ped Xing
LACE // 6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90028
Thursday, February 15 at 7pm
This event is free and open to all.
With Nøne Futbol Club and You are Listening to Los Angeles
7.30pm: Screening of Teherangeles by Arash Nassiri
7.50pm: Performance by Geneva Skeen
8.30pm: Motorcycles concert by Fouad Bouchoucha
Tires on fire, police frequency radio, motorcycle accelerating, drone point of view on Downtown—all these elements could draw a kind of dystopian world, not so different from our reality. But they constitute at the same time an hypnotic wavelength, a sensible vibration, which permit to explore one characteristic of Los Angeles: the flux—mechanical and electronic—which passes through the polymorphic city and connects all of its multiple centers.
Drag me crazy
Ford Theatres // 2580 Cahuenga Boulevard East, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Sunday, February 18 from 2pm to 8pm
This event is free and open to all.
2:00PM – 8:00PM: Installations and performances throughout the Ford Theatres by Scoli Acosta, Lucky Dragons, Hoël Duret, Robert Karimi, Rafaela Lopez, Emily Mast in collaboration with Alan Chan, Alison O’Daniel and Assaf Shaham. No reservations required.
4:00PM – 6:00PM: Performances in the amphitheatre by Emily Mast in collaboration with Alan Chan, Lucky Dragons and Rafaela Lopez. No reservations required.
6:00PM – 8:00PM: Food, refreshments and games by Robert Karimi.
Due to limited seating, reservations are required. Please visit www.fordtheatres.org/calendar/dialectic-stars-drag-me-crazy
Built in 1931 just after a fire, which destroyed the original amphitheatre, the Ford Theatres represents architecture of the Golden Age of Los Angeles. But no nostalgia is authorized. The reference to the Gates of Jerusalem affirms cosmopolitism and majesty, with some confidence into the future, but at the same time a certain kind of sham. And it seems pertinent to play with this false pretense. The Ford will be lightened by the air and full of invisible forces. In a meditative perspective, we could say that to breathe is to think on condition, to not forget air resistance, that is to say the force acting opposite to the relative motion of any object moving, what we call in fluid dynamics: drag.
L.A. Dance Project // 2245 East Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90021
Saturday, February 24 at 7pm
This event is free and open to all.
7.30pm: screening of The Pit (Dancer with Golden Lips) by Naotaka Hiro
8pm: performance by Noé Soulier
After technique and air, mechanical flux and respiration, the fourth event will be dedicated to the body. Objectified and analyzed or organic and internal, the anatomy is a thing, which is never independent of the representations that we have of it. Culturally constructed, the body can be a form in movement and a dense material sensible. It’s an instrument, which escapes paradoxically to a strict use. In an area (The Pacific Region) which constitutes 29 percent of all Botox consumption – according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery – to question plastically the body gives the opportunity maybe to reactivate an old notion: alienation.
Zebulon Cafe // 2478 Fletcher Drive, Los Angeles CA 90039
Sunday, February 25 from 6pm-midnight
This event is free and open to all.
6pm: performance Jasmin Blasco
7pm: screening of Animal Glisse by Bertrand Dezoteux
7.30pm to midnight: after party. DJ set Jasmin Blasco
Even if we know with Giorgio Agamben that “what we perceive as the darkness of the heavens is the light that, though traveling toward us, cannot reach us, since the galaxies from which the light originates move away from us at a velocity greater than the speed of light”, we will try to approach the concrete stars for the last station of our trip. But this space travel won’t just be a lyrical apotheosis, which will prove our faith into the future but a way to underline a kind of anachronism. And the drift will bring us back to the ocean through an image, a condensed of the unknown and a cliché…
ABOUT FLAX // flaxfoundation.org
FLAX (France Los Angeles Exchange) is a California-based 501(c)(3) public charity committed to collaboration, innovation, exchange, and sustainable impact. Guided by its vision, FLAX’s program offers Southern California artists and organizational partners reciprocal and collaborative opportunities with artists, curators, and cultural institutions based in France. FLAX has a strong commitment to public engagement, introducing multi-disciplinary art projects in collaboration with established cultural institutions. FLAX achieves its mission through three reciprocal modes of cultural exchange: FLAX Projects are large-scale art projects initiated, created, and produced by FLAX; FLAX Grants are provided to Southern California-based cultural organizations in support of France-related art projects in multiple disciplines; and FLAX Invites host France-related artists at the FLAX House in Los Angeles.
ABOUT The Sowden House // sowdenhouse.com
The John Sowden House was built in 1926 in Hollywood by Lloyd Wright. The house is noted for its use of ornamented textile blocks and for its striking facade and internal layout, resembling a Mayan temple. The original owner, John Sowden, was a painter and photographer who hired his friend, the eldest son of Frank Lloyd Wright to build a “home” that was really a fantastical performance and exhibition space for the artistic community. The house is built using poured, concrete textile blocks and looks inward – both vital precursors to the development of modern (California) architecture.
ABOUT LACE // welcometolace.org
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) is a forty year-old institution that both champions and challenges the art of our time by supporting artists who innovate, explore, and risk. We move within and beyond our four walls to provide opportunities for diverse publics to engage deeply with contemporary art. In doing so, we further dialogue and participation between and among artists and those audiences.
ABOUT Ford Theatres // fordtheatres.org
The John Anson Ford Theatres are owned by the County of Los Angeles and operated in partnership with the Department of Parks & Recreation and the Ford Theatre Foundation. Situated in a 32-acre regional park in the Cahuenga Pass, the Ford Theatres complex is one of the oldest performing arts venues in Los Angeles still in use. Each year, the Ford presents an eclectic season of music, dance, theatre, film and family events that represent the diversity of the region. Ford programs nurture artists, arts organizations and audiences through initiatives designed to encourage participation in the arts.
ABOUT L.A. Dance Project // ladanceproject.com
The L.A. Dance Project is a platform for the development, creation, support and presentation of world-class dance in Los Angeles. Comprised of an internationally acclaimed dance company, a brand new performance space in Los Angeles’ burgeoning Arts District and a program of media initiatives, LADP promotes dance not only as an artistic practice but as a way of being in the world. LADP seeks to foster dance-centered artistic collaborations across all disciplines, cultures and communities in Los Angeles and around the globe.
ABOUT Zebulon Cafe // zebulon.la
Brooklyn-born Zebulon, now open in Los Angeles, offers a music venue, café, concert hall, restaurant, screening room and other delights.