School of Art
04/09/2016 - 06/12/2016
REDCAT: Opening reception: Sat, April 9, 6–9 pm
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater) was carved out of the parking structure of the Walt Disney Concert Hall (home of LA Philharmonic) as CalArts' downtown venue for contemporary arts and opened its doors in 2003, shortly after the freshly inaugurated music venue. The Gallery at REDCAT was itself an addition to the original plan, which initially only included a multi-purpose performing art center. For his project at REDCAT, John Knight revisits this relationship between the two cohabiting institutions in today’s highly developed “cultural corridor” of downtown Los Angeles, considering the relationship between space, architecture, contemporary arts and real estate.
Since the late 1960s, Los Angeles-based artist John Knight has pioneered the practices of site-specificity and institutional critique, always interested in interrogating the underlying geopolitical and economic systems implicit in everyday convention. Eschewing a signature style, Knight prefers to work in situ, engaging with and responding to the context of each unique site. Often utilizing the visual strategies of architecture, advertising, and corporate design, Knight’s multilayered projects challenge the art establishment and its relationship to a larger global context.
CalArts, the hallway between the Main Gallery and Supershop
ART: Exhibition of 25 posters (pinned to the wall) produced by Graphic Design program BFA and MFA students and 3 faculty members from the Graphic Design program.
CalArts, Bijou Theater
ART: Funded by ICAP, School of Music, President’s Office, Art School, and the Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series.
Richard Ray Whitman (Yuchi and Creek) is an established American Indian artist, photographer and actor. He attended CalArts in 1972-73 as a transfer student from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, a tribal college. The IAIA had several established institutional partnerships and CalArts was one of the institutions that offered a transfer arrangement to IAIA graduates. Unfortunately, like many government programs, the IAIA students who did attend more “majority” colleges often did not receive adequate funding or mentorship to continue their degree aspirations. After his first semester, Whitman lacked enough money for tuition, lodging and supplies. He found his way to the Southern California Indian Center in downtown Los Angeles, hoping for assistance. At the center, he happened upon a meeting and agreed to join a protest movement that was forming a caravan of cars to drive out of state. That movement turned out to be the American Indian occupation of Wounded Knee.
Whitman credits the FBI as the first collectors of his work, as his camera and film were confiscated after the siege of Wounded Knee ended. Whitman’s political involvement in American Indian rights has continued into the present day. His most well known photographic series, Street Chiefs, (1970-1980) documents homeless urban Native people in Oklahoma.
Whitman’s work is featured in the 2014 Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian exhibit catalogue “For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw” published by Yale University Press.