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Made in L.A. 2016: Gala Porras-Kim

Made in L.A. 2016: Gala Porras-Kim


The way that I learned English was, my dad would make games. “Ah that’s a code! English is just this thing that’s all hidden in there and you just have to figure out what the word stands for in another one, right?” And then, through that—almost everything—you see an object and you don’t know what it is, it’s just a code in the world. And you’re just, like, how does this fit in the way that I perceive things, right? So for the show I’m borrowing objects from the Fowler— they have a lot of artifacts, and have mainly ethnographic collections. I was looking through their collections and then I found all these objects that didn’t have a cataloguing number. So they didn’t know where they came from, or how to put them in a historical context. I’m basically trying to reconstruct a version of what these objects could have been. I just have considered the amount of information that’s available already. When there’s no more information, that’s when then I can use that space to sort of make an object to fill in for the missing part. In a way, to me, then it’s interesting to think about artifacts as, like, these changing objects through time. Here’s a time when I was broken, and then like here’s a time when this conservator did this green part that was not even right, but it’s cool. How, depending on when somebody experiences the object, then that’s the one instance that you see it, no? But they’re around for so much longer than anybody else. To me the thread of the work is how the unknown is sort of filled— you know, for these artifacts the history of the provenance of where they come from is gone, so then, how do you fill the information that’s not there? Artmaking is the broadest field. Because it allows for all these really weird interpretations, or like, really serious ones. It’s easier to talk about these uncertainties in the world. Everybody should be able to have a say on how the history of the world should be written, no?

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