In Response: Zoe Leonard’s ‘I want a president’

  • Sat 3 November 2018
  • 1 pm

On the occasion of ‘Zoe Leonard. Analogue,’ the gallery’s first Los Angeles exhibition devoted to New York-based artist Zoe Leonard, join us for an afternoon of performances and readings in response to Leonard’s influential text from 1992, ‘I want a president.’ Local artists, activists, poets, writers, and thinkers will gather together to share their thoughts, words, work, and art in anticipation of the midterm elections. Participants include: Artists Lita Albuquerque Edgar Arceneaux with performer Joana Knezevic Nao Bustamante Edgar Heap of Birds Patrick Staff Performance Artist & Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors Art Historian, Critic & Curator Andy Campbell Curator Kimberli Meyer Poet Amy Gerstler Writer Helen Molesworth Founder of WordsUncaged and Director of Cal State LA’s BA program at Lancaster State Prison Bidhan Roy ‘“I want a president” was written in 1992, in the midst of a presidential election and the early years of the AIDS crisis. Zoe Leonard’s work is a personal lament, a ferocious accounting, and a call to action. It is a call to a public that wants more from politicians and from political narratives; it is a call to a public that is enraged and fed up. It is a call to a public that needs the complexity of desire insisted on in the work. And it is a call to a public that is ready to mobilize their political desire and ready to make political demands.’ – Sharon Hayes, ‘I want a president Transcript of a Rally,’ 6 November 2016 This event is free, however, reservations are recommended. Click here to register. About ‘Zoe Leonard. Analogue’ Coinciding with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) retrospective – ‘Zoe Leonard. Survey’ – Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present the gallery’s first Los Angeles exhibition devoted to New York-based artist Zoe Leonard. The landmark, decade-long project, ‘Analogue’ (1998 – 2009) is comprised of 412 photographs arranged in grids and organized into 25 chapters. Originally conceived as a chronicle of the rapidly changing Lower East Side, where Leonard once had her studio, ‘Analogue’ evolved into a parable of cultural production, touching on issues of gentrification and the exchange of commodities as an extension of colonialism. The images in this installation depict storefronts and objects on the brink of obsolescence due to an expanding global economy and rapid technological advancements emerging at the turn of the millennium. An allegory for globalization, Leonard’s photographic series is the result of a peripatetic process that led her from the declining mom and pop shops of New York City to roadside markets in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Cuba, and Mexico, tracing the circulation of recycled merchandise. About Zoe Leonard New York-based artist Zoe Leonard balances rigorous conceptualism with a distinctly personal vision in her work, which merges photography, sculpture, and installation. By employing strategies of repetition, shifting perspectives, and a multitude of printing processes, Leonard’s practice probes the politics of representation and display. Leonard explores themes such as gender and sexuality, loss and mourning, migration, displacement, and the urban landscape. Her photography specifically invites us to contemplate the role that the medium plays in constructing history, and to consider the roots of contemporary photographic culture. More than its focus on any particular subject, however, Leonard’s work encourages the viewer to reconsider the act of looking itself, drawing attention to observation as a complex, ongoing process.