Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber / Edgar Arceneaux

  • Exhibition
  • Garage Exchange

1137 S Cochran Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

As a text differs from a book, an image differs from an archive

Exhibition on view Fridays and Saturdays, 11am – 6 pm

For this eleventh iteration of the Garage Exchange Vienna-Los Angeles exhibition series, former MAK Artists-in-Residence Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber work together with celebrated Los Angeles artist Edgar Arceneaux.

Photographs from artist Sabine Bitter’s archive, reaching back to the mid-1980s, come together in this installation to represent the moments of promise, conflict, and possibility encountered in urban landscapes and felt in the texture of a city such as Los Angeles.

Reyner Banham’s influential love-letter to the Southland, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971), which changed the cultural perception of L.A. and its urban evolution, serves as a framework for Bitter and Weber’s ensembles of archival imagery. Their selection of photographs responds to Banham’s ways of seeing a city through architectural histories and how everyday actions and quotidian use form a city’s ecologies.

Having met at an artist residency in Banff, Alberta in 1998, Edgar Arceneaux and Bitter & Weber braid together their long-term practices of repurposing the traces, images, and material residuals of particular urban sites. In dialogue with Bitter & Weber’s conversation with Banham, Arceneaux continues his practice of sugaring books, a process where books are immersed in sugar and water for months, and the accumulated crystals transform into sculptures that reflect on notions of knowledge production and the book as object. Arceneaux has sugared various editions of Banham’s innovative classic and transformed these tools for learning into structural elements of the exhibition.  

The exhibition’s title foregrounds an urban landscape of affective and material involvements, shifts, and movements that can be viewed as public, architectural, sociopolitical, and personal. No doubt that Banham, who came to celebrate the urban infrastructure built around the car, would love the idea of an exhibition in a garage.


Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber live and work in Vancouver and Vienna and have collaborated since 1994 on projects addressing cities, architecture, and the politics of representation and space. Mainly working in photography and spatial installations, their research-oriented practice engages with specific moments and logics of global-urban change as they take shape in neighborhoods, architecture, and everyday life. Since 2004, they have been members of the cultural collective Urban Subjects (Bitter/Derksen/Weber). Exhibitions include: Phantastischer Kapitalismus, Gallery GPLcontemporary, Vienna; Here & Elsewhere – Nothing to be done, Sarajevo; The Vienna Model. Housing for the 21st Century City, Museum of Vancouver; New Conjunctions and Intersections, United Nations Headquarters, New York; Informal Paths, MAXXI, Rome; Archives, Re-Assemblances and Surveys, Klovicevi dvori Gallery, Zagreb; Tensta Museum: Reports from New Sweden, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; Front, Field, Line, Plane – Researching the Militant Image, Kunstraum der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg; Envisioning Buildings, MAK, Vienna; The Urban Cultures of Global Prayers, NGBK, Berlin; We: Vancouver, Vancouver Art Gallery; Communitas, The Unrepresentable Community, Camera Austria, Graz.

Edgar Arceneaux lives and works in Los Angeles. His work investigates historical patterns through drawings, installations, and multimedia events. From 1999-2012, he was the director of the Watts House Project. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at MIT LIST Center; Kunstverein Ulm, Germany; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Studio Museum of Harlem; and the Project, New York, among others. Group exhibitions include: Performa (2015); Biennale de Montreal (2014); Shanghai Biennale (2014); MoCA Detroit (2011); Bienal de São Paulo (2011); Whitney Biennial (2008), and many more. Awards and residencies include the Malcolm McLaren Award from Performa (2015), Rauschenberg Residency (2013), United States Artists Fellowship (2007), ArtPace Residency (2006), Joyce Award (2005), and a Creative Capital Grant (2005).

About Garage Exchange Vienna-Los Angeles

In order to expand the cultural exchange at the core of the Artists and Architects-in-Residence program, the Austrian Federal Chancellery and the MAK Center invite Austrian and Vienna-based alumni residents to collaborate with L.A. artists and architects of their choosing at the Garage Top at the Mackey Apartments for the Garage Exchange Vienna-Los Angeles exhibition series.

 This exhibition series is made possible by the Austrian Federal Chancellery.