In an election year driven by worldwide public demonstrations, congressional stagecraft and conflicting narratives, rhetoric, aesthetics and politics are apt to collide. As part of a 2012 national series, poet-performer Douglas Kearney and artist-activist Edgar Arceneaux of the Watts House Project discuss the political impetus and implications of their work.
Los Angeles-based artist Edgar Arceneaux has been the Director of the Watts House Project, an artist driven neighborhood redevelopment project centered around the historic Watts Towers since 1999. He is the recipient of many awards including the United States Artists Award, and his many solo shows include exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, the Kitchen, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and The Studio Museum of Harlem. His work has also been included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and California Biannual 2008. Edgar cares about the relationship between the art and the social space and has committed his professional life to its exploration.
Douglas Kearney is the author several books of poetry including Fear, Some (2006); The Black Automaton (2009), and Quantum Spit (2010.) He has received a Whiting Writers Award, a Coat Hanger award and fellowships at Idyllwild and Cave Canem. He has been commissioned to compose poetry in response to art by the Weisman Museum in the Twin Cities, the Studio Museum in Harlem, FOCA and SFMOMA. Performances of Kearney’s libretti have been featured in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Europe. He teaches at CalArts.
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Walter Mosley, Chair
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Moderated by Reverend Jim Burklo, Assoc. Dean of Religious Life, USC
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