Public Fiction: The Conscientious Objector

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Beginning in January, the city of West Hollywood and WeHo arts are excited to present the latest project from Public Fiction, The Conscientious Objector, a 3-part project curated by Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey and Lauren Mackler.

Los Angeles-based, Public Fiction was founded by curator Mackler in 2010, and is both rooted in the City of Angels and offers an encompassing global sensibility. Presenting experimental themed exhibitions, Public Fiction series last three months and culminate in a journal, as well as including talks, film screenings, secret restaurants, concerts, and performances held within installations.

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Starting off 2018 with cultural fireworks,The Conscientious Objector presents a series of “artists commercials” for both broadcast and theatrical presentation, and a publication created in collaboration with The Serving Library,  to be published by ROMA Publications. Throughout February, March, and April, there will also be an extensive exhibition and performance program at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture among other locations. The program looks at cultural citizenship, societal factions, and public address, and as such, serves as a potent commentary of today’s intensely fraught political and social landscape, where audience and accountability are in the forefront of interaction.

Curator Bertolotti-Bailey is head of production and international projects at the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art; Mackler is the founder and director of Public Fiction. Together, they note that the project is set in West Hollywood, and contains local history with all its inherent glamor and flair. “The commissioned texts will allude to local studios, theatre, film and television via three native literary formats and modes: the script, the pitch, and the episodic – all of which typically reflect public values and the temper of the times,” the duo attests.

The texts will be first published in a journal available in LA with a special insert that includes bonus writing; works are authored by Hilton Als, Tauba Auerbach, Claire-Louise Bennett, Octavia Butler, Anne Carson, Valentina Desideri & Denise Ferreira da Silva, Chris Evans, Angie Keefer, Mark Leckey, Marcos Lutyens, Adrian Piper, Jack Self, Patrick Staff, Frances Stark & Ian Svenonius, Martine Syms, Ben Tiven & Erik Wysocan, and include images by Shannon Ebner and Wanda Pimentel.  The content concerns acts of civil disobedience and other forms of resistance, as well as the relationship between entertainment and power.

Artist commercials, conceived of as an alternative form of public address, include works by artists Mohamed Bourouissa, Ami Inoue, Rosalind Nashashibi, Mathias Poledna, and Martine Syms; the pieces will be shown on West Hollywood’s WeHoTV.

The exhibition and performance program will run from February 3 – April 15 at the Schindler House at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. With artworks by exhibiting artists Sam Gilliam, Anthea Hamilton, Suki Seokyeong Kang, Lucy McKenzie, and Dianna Molzan, performances, directed by artist Todd Gray, will pull from the published book.

In addition to the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts program, partners include the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, British Council, Arts Council England, Korea Foundation, Consulate General of France to the United States of America.

Stay tuned for more specific program details.

  • Genie Davis; photos provided by The Conscientious Objector.

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