Public Fiction’s The Conscientious Objector is a multifaceted endeavor that unfurls in parts from February to April 2018. It comprises a publication, a series of artist-made commercials for television, an exhibition of artworks activated by performances, and public programs.
To be an object, is to object1
Set in West Hollywood, The Conscientious Objector considers how art and culture can establish acts of resilience through ‘non-participation’ and elliptical routes, in contrast to more blatantly socio-political forms of resistance, as well as the ways in which they might use the tropes and platforms of entertainment, advertising and mass culture to reach its audiences. That is, without making any assumptions about who these audiences are.
The overall project is an exploration of different modes or degrees of ‘public address’ – most obviously through a live confrontation with actors in the exhibition, at a step removed via TV commercials, more obliquely via individual artworks, and in the longer term through the publication.
About the exhibition
The Conscientious Objector at the Schindler House presents new and existing works by Sam Gilliam, Anthea Hamilton, Lucy McKenzie, Dianna Molzan, and Suki Seokyeong Kang, plus a new durational performance delivered by professional actors and directed by Todd Gray. Each artist inhabits a different room of the Schindler House, which is progressively activated by a performance that employs the publication as script and prop.
About the commercials
The exhibition is initiated via a series of newly commissioned TV commercials by artists Mohamed Bourouissa, Rosalind Nashashibi, Mathias Poledna, and Martine Syms. Following a rich lineage of art and activism works produced for public access television, these commercials are aired on WeHoTV, the City of West Hollywood’s television station, as well as in museums, art institutions, cinemas, and online platforms.
About the publication
Edited by Public Fiction and The Serving Library (Liverpool/New York), and published by ROMA Publications (Amsterdam), it features new and republished work by Hilton Als, Tauba Auerbach, Claire-Louise Bennett, Octavia E. Butler, Anne Carson, Valentina Desideri & Denise Ferreira da Silva, Shannon Ebner, Chris Evans, Angie Keefer, Mark Leckey, Library Stack (Benjamin Tiven & Erik Wysocan), Marcos Lutyens, Wanda Pimentel, Adrian Piper, Jack Self (Real Review), Patrick Staff, Frances Stark & Ian Svenonius, and Martine Syms.
About the public program
February 8 at 6:30pm: Mohamed Bourouissa in conversation with Negar Azimi at the Schindler House.
March 15 at 6:30pm: A performative reading of Claire-Louise Bennett’s Both Hands at the Schindler House. CANCELED
March 22 at 6:30pm: Rosalind Nashashibi in conversation with Mathias Poledna at the Schindler House.
April 5 at 7:00pm: Anthea Hamilton in conversation with Todd Gray at the Schindler House.
April 15 at 2–4pm: Marathon screening of In the Name of the Placeby Mel Chin and the GALA Committee at the West Hollywood Public Library.
About Public Fiction
Founded in 2010, Public Fiction is a project space and a journal based in Los Angeles. Its program presents a series of exhibitions on a theme, each theme lasting three months and culminating into a journal. Related talks, screenings, secret restaurants, and performances are held within the installations and around the topic at hand. Public Fiction’s program is intergenerational, interdisciplinary and treats the exhibition as a medium in itself. Public Fiction is currently nomadic, hosted by larger institutions, and in this mode, has staged exhibitions at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Artissima LIDO, Turin, Italy; and Frieze Projects, New York, amongst others.
Artist: Sam Gilliam, Anthea Hamilton, Lucy McKenzie, Dianna Molzan, Suki Seokyeong Kang; Artist commercials: Todd Gray, Mohamed Bourouissa, Rosalind Nashashibi, Mathias Poledna, Martine Syms; Publication: Hilton Als, Tauba Auerbach, Claire-Louise Bennett, Octavia E. Butler, Anne Carson, Valentina Desideri & Denise Ferreira da Silva, Shannon Ebner, Chris Evans, Angie Keefer, Mark Leckey, Library Stack (Benjamin Tiven & Erik Wysocan), Marcos Lutyens, Wanda Pimentel, Adrian Piper, Jack Self (Real Review), Patrick Staff, Frances Stark & Ian Svenonius, Martine Syms
Venue: Schindler House MAK Center and WEHO TV, Los Angeles
Exhibition title: The Conscientious Objector
Date: February 3 – April 15, 2018