Image Credit: Yuchi Ma, Red Threads (我很爱你) (still), 2022. Courtesy the artist.
For LACE’s ninth Emerging Curators presentation, Carrie Chen curates the screening series A Fossil, A Ruin, A Memory, which features contemporary artists who embrace experimental and intercultural filmmaking through hybrid techniques such as CG animation, game simulation, performance, and live action. The series borrows its title from Towards a Language of Memory by Teshome H. Gabriel, who asks, “What is the relationship between ruin, memory, and the image? The link is no more than an imprint in the sand—those shifting sands upon which lie the ruins among which we live. To live among ruins is, therefore, to live in a perpetual state of rehearsals—in a state of continuous screening of memory-images and memories of even those things, events, and peoples, who are long forgotten.”
For the first time in the program’s history, LACE requested proposals specifically for film and video presentations, calling on the organization’s legacy of supporting emerging video artists. Chen’s proposal was selected from a large pool of applicants by a jury of artists and arts professionals. This year’s jury included Patty Chang, artist and Professor of Art at USC’s Roski School of Art and Design; Suzy Halajian, Executive Director of JOAN Los Angeles; and Adam Hyman, Executive Director of Los Angeles Filmforum.
“I’m always excited to experience the compelling exhibitions and programs that develop from LACE’s Emerging Curator Program,” states Halajian. “It shines light on the important work of curators and artists alike, offering new perspectives, and ways of collaborating. I look forward to seeing how this year’s standout project by Carrie Chen expands on this work through her experimental presentation.”
Chen’s selected artists, including Yuchi Ma, Ainslee Alem Robson, Qianqian Ye, Yaloo and more, challenge traditional narratives and open new pathways for storytelling. Their work navigates diasporic spaces, confronts feelings of yearning and displacement, and interfaces between the past and present through information portals. Piecing together personal and collective recollection-objects in the ruins among which we live, they encode and construct a fragmented yet embodied presence. Their works can be viewed as forms of Intercultural Cinema, which, according to film scholar Laura Marks, “moves through space, gathering up histories and memories that are lost or obscured by displacement, and generating new knowledge from the condition of existing between cultures.”
Carrie Chen (she/her) is an artist, educator, and community organizer based in Los Angeles. Spending time between the US and China, Chen’s practice involves examining non-western ontologies and narratives, while deconstructing and re-configuring her relationship to intercultural identity and ancestry. Taking a transdisciplinary approach, she questions the structures and representations of individual and collective subjectivities as they intersect society, culture and technology. As an artist, she works with CG animation, simulation and projection installation to explore how digital figuration can be a poetic and multidimensional means to express ideas about hybridity, representation, time and memory.
She has organized numerous pop-up screenings at Spectra Studio with a focus on showcasing emerging media artists and experimental filmmakers. Chen is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at USC’s Media Arts + Practice and a lecturer at Parsons School of Design. She has exhibited internationally and recieved the 2024 STRP Award for Creative Technology. She has held talks at CalArts Experimental Animation, Otis College of Art and Design, and X Museum. She holds an MFA of Design Media Arts from UCLA and a Bachelor of Science double majoring in Applied Psychology and Art History from NYU.
“I’m thrilled to collaborate with LACE in spotlighting contemporary artists who boldly engage with experimental approaches and new media to explore intercultural memory and diasporic experience.” Said Chen. “I envision this screening series as a gathering that creates space for excavation, dialogue and new pathways for storytelling.”
ABOUT THE EMERGING CURATOR PROGRAM
The Emerging Curator Program is designed to discover curatorial talent in Los Angeles and provides opportunities for emerging curators to partner with LACE. Applicants are reviewed by a panel that recommends a compelling project to the LACE team consistent with LACE’s experimental spirit. Click here to view all past eight Emerging Curator projects, including the 2023 exhibition Of Seed, Soil, and Stars, curated by Joy A. Anderson and Robin Garcia
LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) is the longest-running incubator for artists, curators, and cultural workers in Los Angeles, founded in 1978 by 13 artists. LACE is a nonprofit venue that exhibits and advocates for innovations in art-making and public engagement. Uniquely positioned in the heart of Hollywood, LACE provides space for artistic experimentation, exploring new forms of art-making at the edge of the field, and amplifies the voices and visions of Los Angeles’ diverse makers. LACE presents free, significant, and timely exhibitions, performances, and public projects, complemented by education initiatives. www.welcometolace.org