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  • Written by Ugne Giraityte


Installation view, Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, October 1–December 31, 2023. Photo: Charles White

Starting from 1st October to 31st December, 2023, Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living unfolds as the Hammer's sixth iteration of its biennial exhibition. The edition features 39 artists from different generations, showcasing a diverse array of artistic expressions. The works encompass a wide range of mediums, including painting, drawing, ceramics, live performance, installation, and sculpture.

These occurrences are grounded in the recognition of skillful artistry, the essence of materials, expressive performances, and a spirit of collaboration. The exhibition highlights diverse creations from Los Angeles artists, such as Melissa Cody, who endeavors to safeguard indigenous knowledge and memories, particularly those of her Navajo Nation heritage. Or Jibz Cameron, engaging in satire within her lesbian and queer communities, playfully exaggerating stereotypes while simultaneously critiquing societal expectations, ultimately subverting them. Additionally, Teresa Baker's textile pieces, characterized by vibrant, bold shapes, colors, and lines. The biennial situates art as a broad aspect of culture intricately interwoven into daily life, community interactions, the emotive impact of queer experiences, and the storytelling of indigenous and diasporic histories.

The inspiration for Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living derives from a statement by the esteemed Los Angeles artist Noah Purifoy, immortalized on a plaque at the Watts Towers: “One does not have to be a visual artist to utilize creative potential. Creativity can be an act of living, a way of life, and a formula for doing the right thing.” The Watts Towers, constructed by Simon Rodia over 33 years and subsequently preserved by the local South L.A. community, including Purifoy, to evolve into a center for artistic education, encapsulates this philosophy. It serves as a poignant metaphor for the essence of this biennial.

This collection also features Devin Reynolds, Chiffon Thomas, Young Joon Kwak, Roksana Pirouzmand, Pippa Garner and many other artistist.


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