Durden and Ray’s “We Are Here / Here We Are”
By Genie Davis
In pandemic times, we all long for – at least I do – a way to view art safely, in person. And to get out of the house other than for walks down the same neighborhood streets. Or if we are working around other people out of necessity, the last thing we want to do is be around more people right now. That said, Zoom and Facetime may not be fulfilling everything we need when it comes to a look at art.
With that in mind, Durden and Ray has placed an LA county-wide exhibition of 100 artists, which as the press release says “explores our innate desire for connectivity through sensation.” Opening this weekend, May 16th, and running through June 20th, a wide range of art from installations to sculptures, to photographs, drawings, and paintings are placed throughout the city in public places or at artists’ studios or residences, all outdoors.
The locations include DTLA, the East Side, the South Bay, Long Beach, Santa Monica, the West Side, Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. The location of each piece is posted on a Google Map, along with images and enough information about the work. Should you be unable to physically visit each location, yes, you can view each of them online.
Publically accessible and allowing easy social distancing, most locations allow for both drive-bys and walking visits. I’ve made an early stop at one beautiful sculptural work by Steve Fujimoto near my home, and it was delightful to see the large scale work, which both aesthetically fit the environment and expanded on the location.
The exhibition is titled We Are Here / Here We Are, and many of these works are highly vulnerable: both to the vicissitudes of weather even in LA, and to those who might take or destroy them. As with Desert X, which offered a smaller curation of more massive works in the Coachella Valley, part of the fun for viewers is finding these art works, viewing how they refine, define, and expand the locations they are placed in, and seeing them also as individual works, helping us to connect with beauty, change, and a new way of being “in real life.”
Seeing the textures, noticing the contexts, viewing real work in a real place – this has become a startling, beautiful thing. Durden and Ray should be highly commended both for including such a wide and skilled range of works, and presenting them in this unorthodox and deeply passionate fashion.
Artist Jeanne Dunn, one of the participants, sent out her own announcement “The idea is to provide the public enjoyable and stress-free encounters with artworks displayed outdoors and on one’s own time. You’ll see a great range of ideas, mediums, display methods, and scale,” she says.
And judging from the online photographs, the carefully detailed mapping, and the one sculptural work I viewed today – you’ll see terrific work and have fun in an exceptional art treasure hunt like no other.
Start the hunt here: http://www.durdenandray.com/the-exhibition-project
Durden and Ray’s personalized Google Map displays the coordinates of each work, a photograph of the piece in-situ, as well as a brief description that provides some context. A small placard is available at each site and provides some information about each piece, as well as a QR code that links to the map with more information about the show and other works in the neighborhood.
Opening: Saturday, May 16th , 2020, starts at noon
On view: May 16-June 20, 2020
Hours: Dawn-dusk, every day, unless noted – you’ll see at least one location that allows night viewing.
Participating artists include: Luciana Abait, Kim Abeles, Abel Alejandre, Sophia Allison, Ismael de Anda III, Susan Arena, Dawn Arrowsmith, Carl Baratta, Maura Bendett, Andrea Bersaglieri, Arezoo Bharthania, Dave Bondi, Gavin Bunner, David Buckingham, Jennifer Celio, Chenhung Chen, Helen Chung, Dave R. Clark, Andrew Philip Cortes, Sydney Croskery, Joe Davidson, Dani Dodge, Jeanne Dunn, Marielle Farnan, Roni Feldman, Susan Feldman, Cia Foreman, Sarajo Frieden, Josh Friedman, Steven Fujimoto, Kiyomi Fukui, Yvette Gellis, Makenzie Goodman, Mark Steven Greenfield, Kio Griffith, Jennifer Gunlock, Jenny Hager, Stephanie Han, Michelle Carla Handel, Pete Hickok, Carmine Iannaccone, Bryan Ida, Brenna Ivanhoe, Nancy Ivanhoe, Kiel Johnson, Flora Kao, Cody Lusby, Constance Mallinson, Joel H. Mark, Anne Martens, Ryan McCann, Amanda Mears, Cynthia Minet, Brian C. Moss, Megan Mueller, Thomas Müller, Hagop Najarian, Michael Nannery, Khang Nguyen, Rebecca Niederlander, Dakota Noot, Sean Noyce, Labkhand Olfatmanesh, Duane Paul, Snezana Saraswati Petrovic, Elizabeth Preger, Mei Xian Qiu, Jenny Rask, Jaklin Romine, Colin Roberts, Michael Rollins, Liza Ryan, Stephanie Sabo, Samuel Scharf, Sonja Schenk, Greg Schenk, Kristine Schomaker, Adam Scott, Stephanie Sherwood, Dimitra Skandali, Marla Smith, Adam Stacey, Curtis Stage, Katie Stubblefield, Ami Tallman, Camilla Taylor, Chris Trueman, Katya Usvitsky, John Waguespack, Ryan Russell Ward, Curtis Weaver, Ann Weber, Tracey Weiss, Julie Whaley, Valerie Wilcox, Steven Wolkoff, Alison Woods, Paul Woods, Jody Zellen, plus many more.
Now is a great time for art like this, people are starving for something new.