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Virtual MOCA

Lectures & Panels

MOCA is pleased to present a selection of virtual panels, lectures, and artist talks that showcase MOCA’s commitment to creating timely, incisive, and informative dialogue regarding the art and issues of our time. Keep checking back to this space to find new videos that explore MOCA’s exhibition program and other related public programs.

Artists on Artists

MOCA is reintroducing its "Artists on Artists" series in a new two-part, online video format. "Artists on Artists" brings together local artists to create a dialogue between their work and the work of another artist from MOCA’s collection. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, MOCA’s indoor galleries remain inaccessible to the public. This has spurred our "Artists on Artists" series to move outside, showcasing outdoor works of public art that are currently available to visitors.

Nevine Mahmoud on Scott Burton
The first virtual "Artists on Artists” highlights the work of artist Nevine Mahmoud (b. 1988, London). Mahmoud’s visceral practice uses materials often associated with their hardness, durability, and heft such as concrete, marble, and granite, to create vibrant organic, even erotic, forms. Mahmoud, who currently works and lives in Los Angeles, will reflect on the work of Scott Burton (b. 1939, Greensboro, AL; d.1989, New York, NY), an artist who also shared an affinity for dense materials, bold shapes, and an interest in the relationship between the human body and Modernist geometries. Mahmoud will specifically reflect on Burton’s Memorial Bench, 1990 which sits at the entrance to MOCA’s Grand Avenue location.

Artists on Artists: Rosha Yaghmai on Larry Bell
The second virtual "Artists on Artists” highlights the work of artist Rosha Yaghmai (b. 1978, Santa Monica, California). Yaghmai’s practice employs a diverse set of materials, historical sources, and techniques to create ethereal works that subtly allude to the domestic realm. Yaghmai, who currently works and lives in Los Angeles, will reflect on the work of Larry Bell (b. 1939, Chicago), an artist who shares Yaghmai’s interest in the sensorial effects that can be produced through the manipulation of light and transparency. Yaghmai will specifically reflect on Bell’s Bill and Coo at MOCA’s Nest, 2019 which is located on MOCA’s Grand Avenue Plaza.

Creating the Compassionate City

Creating the Compassionate City
Creating the Compassionate City is a conversation among arts and social change practitioners produced in conjunction with Los Angeles Poverty Department’s Art Rise performance, organized by MOCA. This webinar is a conversation among three deeply committed and experienced arts and social change practitioners: Karen Mack, Charles Porter, and Jeremy Liu. The conversation will be introduced by MOCA Assistant Curator Rebecca Lowery and moderated by John Malpede of Los Angeles Poverty Department.

Uncommon Commons

As the global Covid-19 pandemic continues to force many of us to conduct much of our lives outdoors, we at MOCA believe that it is an opportune time to focus our programming on outdoor art in the public sphere. In doing so, we aim to call attention to the spaces that host these artworks and the ways that art, site, and public may work in tandem to create civic discourse. As part of this effort, we have organized Uncommon Commons, a series of virtual panel discussions that investigate the relationship between outdoor artworks, public sites, and the people that visit them.

Uncommon Commons Panel
Uncommon Commons Panel is a discussion investigating access, inclusion, and the changing role of Urban Parks and Civic Space in Los Angeles. This panel features individuals who are committed to the civic ideals represented by democratic public space.

Uncommon Commons: Who is the Public in Public Art?
In this second presentation in the series, we assemble a panel of artists, curators, and civic arts commissioners who engage and rely on their communities to inform their decisions regarding the content or form of the artworks that will become part the urban landscape. Together, we hope to investigate how to create artworks that are responsive to the political, historical, and emotional communities they represent.

Uncommon Commons: Crisis State
This month’s Uncommon Common panel will investigate how public space is being put to use to tackle these multiple crises. Each of the panelists involved will discuss how they are using their positions is organizing, building, and bringing together in an effort to overcome these issues and utilizing public space to do so.

Uncommon Commons: What Can Public Art Do for Environmental Activism? 
The calls for environmental justice have reached a fever pitch in recent years and many artists, curators, and institutions are attempting to understand how their practices can buoy these efforts. This month’s Uncommon Commons will explore what role public art can take in calling attention to environmentalism, conservation, and environmental justice.

Uncommon Commons: Making Public Art Work
For this fifth and final installment of our Uncommon Commons series of virtual panels, we turn our attention to the reception and impact side of the community relationship to public art. We will bring together a panel of public art experts who will each consider how the works they have put into the public sphere have affected their communities. By adopting a critical lens on projects past, present, and future these specialists will chart the evolution of the political, aesthetic, and ethical concerns commissioners, curators, and artists must take into consideration when engaging with public art. In a series of examples, we will explore the opportunities, and pitfalls, that are unique to artists working within the public sphere.

MOCA x In Absentia

MOCA x In Absentia
Written during the early weeks of the Covid-19 virus outbreak in North America, the poems of "In Absentia'' document cultures on the cusp of devastation. The poems capture the fear, the grief, the defiance, and the hope of that first wave.Poems and readings selected and edited by Nkosi Nkululeko, Emily O’Neill, and April Ranger. Participating poets include C. Bain, Molly Bess Rector, Aaya Perez, Liv Mammone, Siaara Freeman, and Marina Weiss.

MOCA x 27N

MOCA x 27N: Panel with Tania Bruguera
On the 27th of November, 2020, more than 300 artists, intellectuals, and Cuban citizens presented themselves at the Ministry of Culture to demand the government follow through on their supposed commitment to freedom and civil rights. This protest came as a result of police violence exerted the previous day against members of the San Isidro Movement—an activist group who over the course of the past few years has been vocal in demanding greater freedom of expression in Cuba. Using social media as a tool to bring awareness to their cause, they have sparked renewed attention and urgency in calling for an end to government censorship and repression against all artists, intellectuals, and activists in Cuba. This community adopted the name 27N and together have staged peaceful protests asking for freedom of artistic expression in the face of government repression.

MOCA supports the right to free expression in all mediums and across the globe, and are hosting this event to bring attention to the struggle taking place for these rights in Cuba.

GOTV: The Role of the Artist

GOTV: The Role of the Artist
What is the role of art as we get out the vote and build larger movements for change? In this national conversation with engaged artists, hear about the importance of voting in both local and national elections, using art to challenge and shift culture, and how we build powerful, and beautiful, movements. Speakers include Glenn Kaino, Caroline Klibanoff, Claudia Pena, and Kristina Wong. This program is a collaboration between JANM, MOCA, Made by US, and For Freedoms.

XMAP: In Plain Sight

XMAP: In Plain Sight is a program series by In Plain Sight, made up of three panel discussions.

In Plain Sight is a coalition of 80 artists united to create an artwork dedicated to the abolition of immigrant detention and the United States culture of incarceration. Over Independence Day weekend 2020, Labor Day, and Indigenous People’s Day, IPS launched the nation's skytyping fleets to spell out artist-generated messages in water vapor, legible for miles. These messages were typed in the sky over detention facilities, immigration courts, borders, and other sites of historic relevance. As the planes soared, they made visible in the sky what is too often unseen and unspoken on the ground: the appalling, profoundly immoral, imprisonment of immigrants. IPS helped break through this wall of secrecy, exposing to public scrutiny the sites of detention centers, paid for with your dollars and operated in your name.

XMAP: In Plain Sight, The Los Angeles Orbit Panel
Moderated by rafa esparza and Cassils
Introduced by MOCA

In Plain Sight (IPS) lead artists rafa esparza and Cassils present an overview of IPS followed by a panel discussion with Bamby Salcedo, Beatriz Cortez, Yosimar Reyes, and Ken Gonzalez-Day. Artists featured in this panel generated the phrases that formed the ring, or “shared orbit path,” around downtown Los Angeles over the July 4 weekend. Artists will show IPS images and discuss their individual practices as artists and organizers in relation to their involvement in IPS. Panel includes discussion of Los Angeles as the second largest city of immigrants in the United States and explores how the multicultural conditions of the city have generated experimental collaborative practices by artists and activists alike.

XMAP: In Plain Sight, Writing Diaspora
Moderated by Yansi Pérez
Introduced by MOCA and Kyle Stephan, IPS Cultural Partnerships and Programming

This program features an evening of readings and discussion with acclaimed poets Javier Zamora (New York, NY) and Raquel Gutiérrez (Tucson, AZ), two participants in the In Plain Sight artist intervention. Sharing roots in El Salvador, they will read selections from their writings that explore experiences of immigration and borderland politics. Following their presentation, they will be joined in conversation by Yansi Pérez, Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Carleton College and author of Más allá del duelo: Otras formas de imaginar, sentir y pensar la memoria en Centroamérica. At the end of the program, viewers will learn about accessible actions they can take to join the movement against immigrant detention.

XMAP: In Plain Sight, Beyond the Walls
Moderated by richie reseda
Introduced by MOCA and Kyle Stephan, IPS Cultural Partnerships and Programming

This panel will discuss the relationship between the prison industrial complex and the immigrant detention system, and how the personal and familial experiences of incarceration inform the art and activism of its featured speakers, many of whom participated in the In Plain Sight artist intervention over July 4 weekend.