Slanguage Studio is currently featuring the Kianga Ford Library. I thought it was interesting to see books varying from the perspective as a student and a teacher. A few themes highlighted through the collection are contemporary social identity, psychology, photography and feminist art theory. Book titles which piqued my interest were “Work Ethic” by Helen Molesworth, “Subjection & Subjectivity” by Diana Tietjens Meyers and “Sexuality in Western Art” by Edward Lucie-Smith. There is also a record collection that is meant to be played whilst lounging in the gallery space reading a book.
Article by Cynthia Lujan
Buzzing sounds echoes through Slanguage Studio here at LA><ART due to Los Angeles based artist James Berson with his two dual sided artwork neon-sign and painting boxes called “Elvis 2″. These two boxes are similar but different. One box is jammed packed with green uppercase Spanish words versus the other box is filled with pink upper case English words when you see them from outside of Slanguage Studio. Words brightly shine into the space below, glowing for attention to understand what it reads. When you try to read the contexts within each boxes, they don’t really make sense. I was stuck trying to figure out, what it all meant. But once I read it straight, skipping to the next color and language box, the phrase repeating itself differently, the statement becomes clearer. “ELVIS HA DEJADO EL BUILDING BUT THE EDIFICIO SIGUE ALLI”. Being bilingual I was able to understand. Berson’s artwork is about American’s history of racial invisibility and marginalization. Acknowledging both similarities and differences is intentional in this piece.
Article by Monica A. Martinez
“Pura Chachara: The Bike-B-Q” by Talk is Cheap: Unincorporated Language Laboratories (Silvia Mantilla and Matthew Wollin) consisted of, artist Silvia Mantilla, cruising around different parts of Los Angeles, on a bike. She spoke to different people on the street and asked them to tell her a story of a time in which they misunderstood or misinterpreted a situation or dialogue due to misinterpretation of the language. In exchange for the story, Mantilla would give the story teller homemade arepas (Colombian corn patties). This video was followed up by a second video called “Si Se Ha Vivido Bien!”, by Talk is Cheap: Unincorporated Language Laboratories (Silvia Mantilla, Cata MariaElena Elisabeth, Christian Guiñanzaca, and Bill Jannen). The second video consisted of a male narrator speaking in Spanish and telling the story of how his mother grew up in a valley that had a river, and later she moved away. He follows up the story by mentioning that he himself as a kid was a sick child, he grew up without a father and ten years later he reunited with him. The narrator also speaks about cancer and death, this is a video that talks about the relationships of life and how no one really knows in which direction we are going or where we will end up, the question the artist seems to ask is whether or not we have lived good. The second video seems to be a statement and reflection about life while the first video seems to touch up on the subject of language barriers. Both videos touch up on the idea of migration and the immigrant community, as well as the miscommunication between people.
Article by Angel Franco