Defining the subjectivity of one’s place results in using affixes; a way to enact and hone-in, to indicate further and to be closer to or to control the presentation of. 

_topia. 

That dash. 

That space. 

That absence of a prefix; _topia alone leaves a space open for subjectivity. 

Breaking the rules of engagement, integration, and presentation, four LA based artists discuss, edit, curate, and write together; asking what we can create when the opportunities and institutions we were told to believe in have ultimately failed. Using form, materiality and imagery we reflect on this subjective liminal space. 

Charlie Engelman’s sculptures perform a mimesis, presenting an inverse, rather than the original form. These negative casts recontextualize objects of everyday life, separating them from function and imposing new meaning and narratives in their shadow.

Samantha Greenfeld’s Midden series shifts within states of fragmentation and wholeness, unifying relics into singular, interconnected bodies. In the same way discarded material allows archaeologists to understand ancient civilizations, the amalgams of memories from found materials transform into portraits of a life, a community, a time, and a place.

Nilay Lawson obliterates with imagery and figuration with “Can’t Hide What The Sun Can See”; a baseball-cap shaped painting depicting horrors of American urbanity on one side, as the other side explodes with flora, camouflaging the entire surface. Lawson has developed a pictorial language of symbols that speaks to current political, cultural, and social tensions.

Molly Tierney uses decomposition and assemblage as her foundation to investigate materials. In Vanguard Sentiment, she combines unearthed canvases with weathered personal print ephemera, and a latex impression from her studio floor, thus converting the value of the surface into time and memory. In “Social Political Inscription of Being near Erasure of the Self” she did a hand rubbing in emulsified asphalt of her garage door studio. Thinking at how our culture is being determined by entertainment and marketplace, and everything is mirroring the status quo. When value is determined by price, and not by labor. Social Political inscription of being, how advertising and marketing are telling us how to be. What defines us through social control power systems outside ourselves? Controlling society off marketing schemes through technology and social media. Near erasure of the self, when you realize you are part of these systems. What can you do, or say about living under a capitalist society when everything around us is turned into a luxury commodity.

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