“The time is out of joint; O cursed spite!/That ever I was born to set it right!” — Hamlet, Act I, Scene v
Time is out of Joint will take place at the MAK Center’s Mackey Garage Top and courtyard spaces in Los Angeles. Beginning September 3 and running through October 31, three successive exhibitions will showcase work by a subset of ten participating artists
This exhibition is free and open to the public, but please schedule an appointment to visit.
Show 1, September 3-19
Show 2, September 24-October 10
Show 3, October 15-31
Wed-Sat 12-6 pm
August 11—Valencia, CA—Taking its title from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the exhibition Time is out of Joint features the work of 2020 MFA graduates from the School of Art at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). The exhibition is organized by CalArts School of Art faculty member Scott Benzel. In reference to Time is out of Joint, he cites Catherine Malabou’s 2020 essay To Quarantine from Quarantine, “sheltered-in-place has to be a radical Robinson Crusoe experience, an experience that allows one to construct a home out of nothing. To start anew. Or to remember.”
The artists in Time is Out of Joint have spent the recent months “remembering,” “starting anew,” and “constructing homes” for themselves and others, improvising solutions to the everyday problems of artmaking, addressing issues raised by the pandemic and the intensifying movement for racial and social justice.
The exhibition is organized by Benzel and the participating artists: Alia Ali, Naama Attias, Karlis Bergs, Casey Baden, Claire Chambless, Woohee Cho, Sophia Daud, Jenny Eom, Tracy Fang, Ashu Gera, Holly Harrell, Sterling Hedges, stephanie mei huang, Erin Kapor, Vinhay Keo, Lucy Kerr, Mia Yao Meng, Morgan Ogilvie, Minga Opazo, Alexeis Reyes, Hannah Rubin, Freddy Ruiz, Michelle Sauer, Andrew Siedenburg, Lillian Liyuan Yang, Evelyn Hang Yin, Ken Yuen, Erica Zhang and Xiaoyun Zeng.
Openings of each of the three exhibitions will be accompanied by a livestreaming launch event featuring CalArts School of Art faculty and the presentation of time-based works. In addition, the artists are producing an unbound boxed publication modeled on the Fluxus artists’ legendary Fluxkits and yearboxes, and Marcel Duchamp’s museum in a box, Boîte-en-valise (de ou par Marcel Duchamp ou Rrose Selavy). The publication will be released on October 8.
To ensure the safety of gallery visitors, the number of visitors in exhibition spaces, at any one time, will be limited, masks are required and social distancing will be enforced. Visitors will be asked to sign a liability waiver.
Providing context for the exhibition, Benzel commented, “in her pandemic-penned essay, Catherine Malabou quotes a passage in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions describing his approach to confinement in a barren hospital or Lazeretto in Genoa during an outbreak of plague.”
I began to arrange myself for my one-and twenty days…I proceeded to furnish the chamber I had chosen. I made a good mattress with my waistcoats and shirts; my napkins I converted, by sewing them together, into sheets; my robe de chambre into a counterpane; and my cloak into a pillow. I made myself a seat with one of my trunks laid flat, and a table with the other. I took out some writing paper and an inkstand, and distributed, in the manner of a library, a dozen books which I had with me. In a word, I so well arranged my few movables, that except curtains and windows, I was almost as commodiously lodged in this Lazeretto, absolutely empty as it was, as I had been at the Tennis Court in the Rue Verdelet.
“It is through this improvisatory creative process,” noted Benzel, “a process of ‘remembering’ and refiguring elements of his life before isolation that Rousseau sets things right. Rousseau’s clever innovations for domestic well-being under quarantine and Hamlet’s pursuit of the truth of his father’s death suggest that a ‘time out of joint’ is not merely a time of anxiety, confusion, and loss but also of reflection, innovation, and the unveiling of truths not readily apparent in ‘normal’ times.”
Scott Benzel has curated exhibitions at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture (The Schindler House), Los Angeles; Los Angeles Contemporary Archive; and the Welcome Inn, Eagle Rock, CA, as part of Pacific Standard Time organized by Getty Museum, Los Angeles, among others. He is a member of the faculty of the School of Art at CalArts and currently has a solo show on view at Bel Ami, Los Angeles.