(Un) Making - Episode 30: Edgar Arceneaux
to Dec 14

(Un) Making - Episode 30: Edgar Arceneaux

Episode 30: Edgar Arceneaux

By Weston Teruya May 9, 2018


Link to listen to podcast: 


Weston Teruya welcomes artists, arts administrators, and cultural workers of color to get real about their lives, practices, and careers. Each episode is an in-depth look into how art gets made, but more importantly how these folks are seeing to the system of art’s (UN)making.


In this episode, I talk with Los Angeles-based artist & educator Edgar Arceneaux. In our recent episodes, we’ve looked at the role of cultural organizing and community building to hold space in neighborhoods being destabilized through gentrification. With this conversation with Edgar, we shift slightly to look at place as both a physical site for relationships and a temporal landscape of memory and history. We talk about his work Until, Until, Until --which centers on Ben Vereen’s fraught blackface performance at Ronald Reagan’s 1981 televised inauguration celebration--as well as his initial thoughts about a future project looking at the lives of Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, otherwise known as Milli Vanilli. With these projects, Edgar explores concepts of absolution, redemption, and the participation of audiences and institutions in exploitative systems. Edgar also reflects on Watts House Project--an arts-based neighborhood improvement project in the community surrounding the Watts Towers--his initial goals for that work and wrestling with the aftermath when things came apart.

I also highly recommend reading Anna Martine Whitehead’s conversation with Edgar as part of her Endurance Tests series with Art Practical to delve more deeply into the complications of grappling with blackface minstrelry, particularly in our current political context.


Edgar Arceneaux is an artist working in the media of drawing, sculpture, and performance, whose works often explore connections between historical events and present-day truths. He played a seminal role in the creation of the Watts House Project, a redevelopment initiative to remodel a series of houses around the Watts Towers, serving as director from 1999 to 2012. His work has been featured at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Performa 15, New York; and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, among other venues. Arceneaux is also an Associate Professor of Art for Roski School of Art and Design at USC; he lives and works in Pasadena, California.

Subscribe to Art Practical on iTunes to catch (un)making as soon as it publishes, or look for it here every other Friday! #APaudio

This episode is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.

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Boney Manilli - Ford Theatre's Artist Residency/ Work-in-progress
to Jan 1

Boney Manilli - Ford Theatre's Artist Residency/ Work-in-progress


Summer and Fall 2019, Edgar Arceneaux and team will be continuing the development of his new play, Boney Manilli in residency at the Ford Theatres.

Boney Manilli is a hallucinatory mash-up that takes the shape of a church revival, discotheque, burial ceremony and a puppet show loosely centered around ‘90s pop group Milli Vanilli. Los Angeles-based artist Edgar Arceneaux invites the audience on a journey from the tombs of pop infamy to the redemption of an infamous lip-syncer, exploring the consequences of entertainment and how it animates our contemporary political moment. In this world of unexpected connections and conflicts, we traverse 83 years of history and fantasy, encountering a German record producer with a desire to be born in a black body, silver-voiced singers, a dancer from Aruba, and a life-sized marionette swinging across time and space by the force of the maniacal Russian monk Rasputin. 

Edgar Arceneaux is an artist working in the media of drawing, sculpture and performance, whose works often explore connections between historical events and present-day truths. He played a seminal role in the creation of the Watts House Project, a redevelopment initiative to remodel a series of houses around the Watts Towers, serving as director from 1999 to 2012. Arceneaux’s second theatrical work, Boney Manilli is a thematic follow up to his 2015 piece, Until, Until, Until. It investigates the 1981 performance of Broadway legend Ben Vereen in which Vereen performed in blackface on live national television as part of Ronald Reagan’s inaugural celebration. His work has been featured at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Performa 15, New York; and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, among other venues. 

This event is part of the Ford Theatres Artist-in-Residence program, which provides local artists the space and resources to develop new work.

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LINC Art Educator Workshop
9:00 AM09:00

LINC Art Educator Workshop

  • APU - John and Marilyn Duke Academic Complex (DUKE) (map)
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Linking Innovation, Networking, and Creativity

When: Saturday, July 13, 2019, 9 a.m.

Where: Azusa Pacific University’s West Campus, 701 E. Foothill Blvd., Azusa

Azusa Pacific University invites art educators to this one-day event where you will hear from Don Masse on bringing contemporary art into the classroom, Tiffany Fox on advanced colored pencil techniques, Matt and Laura Grundler on STEAM and art integration, as well as others on exhibitions, galleries, and more. Several workshops will include hands-on projects. We hope to see you there!

Tickets: Individual tickets are $10, with a group rate of $5 per ticket when you purchase 5 or more at a time. Use code ART2019 at checkout.

Buy Tickets

For more information about the event, email art@apu.edu.

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"Twilight of Authority, Dawn of Authority,”  2019
to Sep 11

"Twilight of Authority, Dawn of Authority,” 2019

Artist Edgar Arceneaux’s new sculpture is on display through September 2019 at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects at their new downtown location.

Downtown Los Angeles
1700 S Santa Fe Ave #101
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Gallery Hours
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm
and by appointment
Phone +1 213 623 3280

The downtown gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the north parking lot adjacent to the building. Please call the gallery in the unlikely event that the gate to the parking lot is closed and we will open it for you.

Artwork Information/Photo Credit

Edgar Arceneaux
“Twilight of Authority, Dawn of Authority,” 2019
48 x 60 x 14" [HxWxD] (121.92 x 152.4 x 35.56 cm)
Inventory #ARC615
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer

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UC Davis - EDGAR ARCENEAUX: Art Studio Visiting Artist Lecture Series
4:30 PM16:30

UC Davis - EDGAR ARCENEAUX: Art Studio Visiting Artist Lecture Series

  • UC Davis - Manetti Shrem Museum, Community Education Room (map)
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April 4, 2019 - 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Edgar Arceneaux mixes drawing, sculpture, video, film and performance to explore how we construct history and memory in a racially divided country. His work has been shown at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Performa 15, New York; the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, among other venues. From 1999 to 2012, he was director of the Watts House Project in Los Angeles, an initiative to remodel houses around the Watts Towers. He is an associate professor at University of Southern California.

WHEN: Thursday, April 4, 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Manetti Shrem Museum, Community Education Room

Edgar Arceneaux’s appearance is co-sponsored by the UC Davis Humanities Institute.

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Personal Problems: A Film Series Organized by Charles Gaines
7:30 PM19:30

Personal Problems: A Film Series Organized by Charles Gaines

In celebration of Black History Month, Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present ‘Personal Problems’ – a film series organized by LA-based artist Charles Gaines. The films selected will offer a varied perspective on the African Diaspora, considering African American history and culture as part of the worldwide colonial and postcolonial narrative.

According to Gaines, ‘Human drama and sensibility are always culturally driven, and the art of the postcolonial Diaspora shows the role of culture and politics in intensifying human drama, giving art a more expanded role in our general understanding.’

Over the course of two days, Gaines’ series will feature seven films, both short subject and feature-length, that center on political narratives, and as the artist describes, are ‘from the point of view of the family.’ This is depicted in the resistance to French colonial oppression in Rachid Bouchareb’s ‘Outside the Law’ (2010), displayed through the difficulties of black family life as melodrama in Bill Gunn & Ishmael Reed’s ‘Personal Problems’ (1980), and highlighted by the trauma of family separation caused by an oppressive immigration policy in Ousamane Sembène’s ‘Black Girl’ (1966).

The short films and videos in the series such as Edgar Arceneaux’s ‘Until, Until, Until…’ (2015 – 2016), Cauleen Smith’s ‘H-E-L-L-O’ (2015), and both of Ja’Tovia Gary’s short films, ‘An Ecstatic Experience’ (2015) and ‘Cakes da Killer: No Homo’ (2013) are reflections on how the colonial context links identity to performance.

This film series is free and guests are welcome to attend all screenings. Reservations are recommended due to limited space. Please indicate which film(s) you wish to see when you reserve your spot. Click here to register

Friday 22 February
7.30 pm

Directed by Ousamane Sembène
59 min.

Directed by Edgar Arceneaux
2015 – 2016
48 min

Followed by brief Q&A with Charles Gaines & Edgar Arceneaux

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Until, Until, Until...
to Dec 1

Until, Until, Until...


7:00pm EST. Repeats daily (to Dec 1)


Brown Arts Initiative

Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

Studio 1


FREE to Students | $10.00 Brown Faculty & Staff | $20.00 General Public | Registration required | For tickets: www.arts.brown.edu

Nov 29 – 30 and Dec 1, 7:00 pm

FREE to Students | $10.00 Brown Faculty & Staff | $20.00 General Public | Registration required | For tickets: www.arts.brown.edu

Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Studio 1

Edgar Arceneaux’s first live work, Until, Until, Until…, investigates the infamous 1981 performance of Broadway legend Ben Vereen, televised nationally as part of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration celebration. Intended as an homage to vaudevillian Bert Williams – America’s first mainstream black entertainer – the final five minutes of the performance were censored for the television audience, causing Vereen’s biting commentary on the history of segregation and racist stereotypes in performance to be lost on viewers at home. Until, Until, Until… is based on the footage that never aired that night. This piece questions the truth of past narratives and creates an opportunity to reconsider our collective understanding of historic events.

Presented by Brown Arts Initiative.

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D+M Visiting Artist Series: Edgar Arceneaux
to Oct 26

D+M Visiting Artist Series: Edgar Arceneaux

  • Rhode Island School of Design (map)
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The D+M department welcomes Los Angeles artist Edgar Arceneaux (b. 1972) to RISD. Arceneaux directed the Watts House Project from 1999–2012. Solo exhibitions of his work have been mounted at the List Museum at MIT; Kunstverein Ulm, Germany; Kunstmuseum Basel; the Studio Museum Harlem, New York, and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. He has been included in the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and in group exhibitions at Mona Bismarck American Center, Paris; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Orange County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and The Baltic Center, England, amongst others.

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5:30 PM17:30


Visiting Artist and Scholars:

Edgar Arceneaux is coming to CSU Chico with his new show:"Social Practice, Political Theatre: The Artwork of Edgar Arceneaux" 


Artist Talk: Thursday, September 27 @ 5:30pm in the Zing Recital Hall located in the Arts and Humanities Building.

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USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study
5:00 PM17:00

USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

  • Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study (map)
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Physicists say that it is theoretically possible to time travel into the future, but not into the past.  Imagine, though, interactive live art that could function like a time-machine and challenge this assumption.  Encountering Professor Edgar Arceneaux’s work is to experience this kind of time travel, moving fluidly through the past, the present and the future.  For instance, when witnessing/participating in his interactive, multi-media, temporally fluid live performance art, Until, Until, Until, one moves through time and in time, where “linear logic is abandoned in favor of wordplay and visual associations.” Arceneaux’s work is what one critic called, “time-based action art,” which explores historical patterns, while simultaneously interfacing with contemporary discriminative attitudes.  Americans, Arceneaux has said, like to envision their history as “progressive and triumphant.”  But much in the stories is left out, invisible, purposely forgotten, erased.  For this session, Professor Arceneaux will move us through the intersection between history, memory, and trauma, with the intention to fill in the absent spaces and radically change our course ahead.  

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Edgar Arceneaux at The Broad
10:00 AM10:00

Edgar Arceneaux at The Broad


The Broad’s Un-Private Collection Series to Feature Edgar Arceneaux, Simone Leigh, Steven Nelson, Lynne Tillman and Kerry Tribe Examining the Legacy of Joseph Beuys on Contemporary Art and Culture

LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Broad today announced a new three-part iteration of its highly popular Un-Private Collection series, which will explore the legacy of German-born artist Joseph Beuys in relation to contemporary art practice. The Broad collection includes more than 500 Beuys multiples—one of the most complete collections of his multiples in the world and an important resource for Los Angeles. In addition to this new series, The Broad will dedicate one of its 2018 Summer Happenings to Beuys and the Fluxus art practice in music and performance. The Un-Private Collection series is made possible in part by the generous support of Leading Partner East West Bank.

Widely regarded as a major figure of the German postwar avant-garde, Beuys explored the concepts of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy through his diverse body of work, which included traditional media such as drawing, painting and sculpture, to time-based "action" art, installation art and performance art. Beuys viewed art as a vehicle for social change, and throughout his career, he was a vital voice on a wide range of subjects including political, environmental, social and cultural trends.

The Broad has partnered with the quarterly contemporary art journal X-TRA, whose mission is to provoke critical dialogue about contemporary art, to curate the series. Each program will highlight a theme central to Beuys, and invites contemporary artists to discuss their work and ideas through that lens.

“Beuys understood that debate and teaching were crucial facets of his art practice, and that artists play a central role in driving public discourse on issues facing society. Inspired by his practice and activism, this new series of Un-Private Collection conversations brings together artists, educators and critics to explore their respective creative practices, and to reassess and reframe key themes within Beuys’ work for contemporary times,” said Ed Patuto, director of audience engagement. “In addition, the series includes a workshop led by Los Angeles artist Edgar Arceneaux that will address the themes of effectivity and social practice aimed at developing better financial models for artists and art professionals working both inside and outside the commercial art market and art institutions. Arceneaux’s proposition for organizing artists follows in the footsteps of Beuys’ social and political activism.”

The Broad is proud to feature artist Simone Leigh, a Hugo Boss Prize 2018 nominee and recipient of a 2018 visual arts grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in the first conversation, scheduled for Thursday, February 22. Leigh's diverse practice incorporates sculpture, video and installation, all informed by her ongoing exploration of black female subjectivity and ethnography. Leigh and art historian Steven Nelson, director of UCLA’s African Studies Center and professor of African and African-American art history, will question the themes of spiritualism and mysticism associated with Beuys’ work. Beuys was often characterized as a shaman. His objects were created from a precise set of materials, such as fat and felt, and were the result of ritualistic “actions” (or performances) and imbued with symbolic meaning and his private mythology. Leigh’s work may also appear to have mystical allusions: her research-driven practice draws from folklore and traditional religious practices spanning the Caribbean, Africa, and the American South. Shana Lutker, a Los Angeles artist and co-organizer of this series for X-TRA, and independent curator Diana Nawi will provide introductions.

Writer Lynne Tillman, who is currently professor/writer-in-resident in the department of English at the University at Albany and teaches at the School of Visual Arts' Art Criticism and Writing MFA program, will join Los Angeles visual artist Kerry Tribe, whose work in film, video and installation focuses on the mechanics of representation and its metaphoric potential and engagement with reality, for a discussion on lies and myths for the second program of the series on Thursday, May 17. Beuys is a controversial figure in art history, in large part because of his constructed biography: Beuys often recanted his dramatic origin story, a swirl of truth and lies, contributing to his mythic stature. In their work, Tillman and Tribe both investigate the construction of narrative and knowledge. This conversation will explore the ways that Beuys, Tillman and Tribe each raise questions about how identity shapes public reception and perception. The conversation will be moderated by Lutker.

Los Angeles artist Edgar Arceneaux, who co-founded the Watts House Project, a nonprofit neighborhood redevelopment organization in Watts, will lead the workshop on effectivity and social practice on Saturday, September 22, with an introduction by Daniel Spaulding, a Beuys scholar and art historian.

Tickets to each program are $15 and will take place in the Oculus Hall at The Broad. Full program details are available at www.thebroad.org/programs.

 The Un-Private Collection is The Broad’s ongoing series of public programs launched in September 2013. The series introduces audiences to the museum’s postwar and contemporary art collection by showcasing stories behind the collection, the collectors and the artists. Since launching the program, The Broad has brought together a variety of artists in conversation with cultural leaders, including Mark Bradford with Katy Siegel, Shirin Neshat with Christy MacLear, Jeff Koons with John Waters, Takashi Murakami with Pico Iyer, Eric Fischl with Steve Martin, John Currin with James Cuno, Kara Walker with Ava DuVernay, and architect Elizabeth Diller with Eli Broad, Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad, and Paul Goldberger. Talks have been held at venues throughout Los Angeles, making the programming available to audiences across the city. Conversations are livestreamed and full videos of past talks are available online at http://bit.ly/Un-PrivateCollection.

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School of Visual Arts - Curatorial Roundtable
12:00 PM12:00

School of Visual Arts - Curatorial Roundtable

MFA Art Practice presents a talk by artist Edgar Arceneaux.

Arceneaux is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work investigates historical patterns. Linear logic is abandoned in favor of wordplay and visual associations, revealing how language, technology and systems of ordering produce reality as much as describe them. He has had solo exhibitions at the Kunstverein Ulm, Germany; Galerie Kamm, Berlin; Frehrkring Wiesehoefer, Cologne; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York and the Project, New York.



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10:00 AM10:00


K.A.M.P. is a unique family fundraiser that provides kids of all ages the chance to be creative with Los Angeles-based artists. Each year, local artists host hands-on art workshops throughout the museum. K.A.M.P. artists come from a variety of disciplines, including visual arts, architecture, design, music, and more. In addition to these workshops, we celebrate reading with Story Time, featuring celebrity guests reading their favorite children’s books. 

Proceeds from K.A.M.P. provide essential support to Hammer Kids programming, which serves over 60,000 children and families annually.

If you would like more information about K.A.M.P., or would like to support this one-of-a-kind event, please contact us at kamp@hammer.ucla.edu or call 310-443-7043.

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to May 20



Created by Nataki Garrett & Andrea LeBlanc
Directed by Nataki Garrett
Featuring Jacob Gibson and Andrea LeBlanc

Emmett “Bobo” Till, a 14-year old Chicago youth, walked into a store in Money, Mississippi to purchase 5-cents worth of bubble gum from Carolyn Bryant, a 21-year old, white mother of two. Within a few days of this interaction, Till’s beaten and bloated body was found tied to a cotton-gin fan in a shallow part of the Tallahatchie River. Bryant’s husband Roy and his brother JW Milan would be acquitted of Till’s murder by an all-white male jury, only to confess to the murder a year later in a Look Magazine article.

What happened in those fateful minutes shared between Bryant and Till in the store? Creators Nataki Garrett and Andrea LeBlanc layer historical transcripts, video imagery, and re-imagined encounters to expose what lies beneath the exchange between Carolyn Bryant and Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955.

World Premiere, May 17-20, 2018 at REDCAT

To Purchase Tickets: https://www.redcat.org/event/nataki-garrett-and-andrea-leblanc-carolyn-bryant-project

The Carolyn Bryant Project was developed by Blank The Dog Productions and CalArts Center for New Performance and is made possible in part though funding by the MAP Fund and Trans-Atlantic Consortium.

The Team 

Scenic Designer, Liz Smith
Costume Designer, x. hill
Lighting Designer, Chris Kuhl
Sound Designer, Daniel Gower
Video Designer, Edgar Arceneaux
Associate Video Designer, Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh

Production Stage Manager, Topher Rohrer
Production Manager, Kathleen O’Kelly
Associate Producer, Sophie Blumberg
Technical Consultant, Paul DiPietro
Design Consultant, Chris Barreca

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USC Roski 2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition
to May 13

USC Roski 2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Please join me and my student n celebrating the culmination of this amazing 2 years at Roski School of Art and Design. I’m very proud of my students work. They killed it and am excited to be able to curate their thesis show. 

Come spend part of your Cinco Mayo with us! Find the invite below.

Opening reception: 

Saturday, May 5th - 5 to 8 PM. 

The show will be open May 6th-3th


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Centre Pompidou Studio 13/16 - Paris
to Apr 8

Centre Pompidou Studio 13/16 - Paris

Edgar Arceneaux and Kurt Forman at Studio 13/16

Centre Pompidou - Paris, France)

The production studio at Studio 13/16, Centre Pompidou Paris has been in full swing this month!
On April 8th, there will be a screening of the videos produced during Edgar Arceneaux’s residency with Kurt Forman.

With a world-renowned expertise in the field of relations with young people, the Pompidou Center confirms its vocation as an institution at the forefront of cultural and educational innovation by becoming the first major museum in the world to create an exclusively dedicated space to teenagers. Entrusted to the care of the designer Mathieu Lehanneur, this unique place opened its doors in September 2010 and offers teens from 13 to 16 years an original programming based on experience.

Studio 13/16 is open for free and without reservation on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 14h to 18h and every day during school holidays.

Studio 13/16 is sponsored by Lilian Thuram, a former footballer and creator of a foundation that bears his name and works to educate young people against racism.

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