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Skirball Cultural Center details West Coast debut of Chloë Bass: Wayfinding
For the first time in Skirball history, a continuous outdoor installation utilizes entire fifteen-acre campus
November 17, 2022–March 12, 2023
LOS ANGELES, CA—The Skirball Cultural Center announces today additional details of the West Coast debut of the exhibition Chloë Bass: Wayfinding. Featuring a series of sculptures inspired by public wayfinding signage, the expansive outdoor exhibition poses questions exploring human emotions, ranging from compassion and desire to anxiety and loss. The sculptures use archival images, repeating phrases, and supporting statements that are placed in conversation with five central questions, intensifying everyday moments and encouraging visitor reflection and exchange. Chloë Bass: Wayfinding will conclude its national tour at the Skirball with a new, site-specific fifth section, as well as an audio artwork narrated by the artist and local Los Angeles collaborators, Kyra Jones, Mollie Eisenberg, and Jake Lawler. This is the first exhibition in the Skirball's history to fully utilize the institution's fifteen-acre outdoor campus for a continuous art installation. It will be on view from November 17, 2022, through March 12, 2023.
“We are thrilled to bring Chloë Bass’s moving exhibition to the Skirball Cultural Center, and while it was conceived of before the pandemic, it was prescient in its call for reflection and processing and its use of outdoor public spaces,” remarked Jessie Kornberg, Skirball Cultural Center President and CEO. “It feels like the right work for this time. This is also the first time that we have used our beautiful and expansive campus in this way, and we are thrilled to welcome visitors to this experience.”
Inspired by public wayfinding signage, Bass thinks of the exhibition as an experience of emotional wayfinding—the internal navigation of personal relationships and emotions in everyday life. The exhibition revolves around five questions—four of which were previously written: HOW MUCH OF CARE IS PATIENCE? HOW MUCH OF LOVE IS ATTENTION? HOW MUCH OF LIFE IS COPING? and HOW MUCH OF BELIEF IS ENCOUNTER? A fifth question, HOW MUCH OF HOPE IS FORGETTING?, has been written by the artist specifically for the Skirball’s presentation.
These questions are displayed individually on five large-scale reflective sculptures that mimic billboards, placed throughout the Skirball’s outdoor campus. In addition, approximately thirty-four smaller pieces with supporting statements and images will be displayed on steel signposts or acrylic sign frames, as well as Bass’s personal narrative displayed on garden markers. The audio artwork is a distinct, concurrent art piece. Sharply composed vignettes inspired by Los Angeles will deepen listeners' experiences as they grapple with water use and access, memory, joy, and risk.
“Chloë Bass’s project speaks beautifully to the Skirball Cultural Center’s mission and, particularly, our goal of fostering meaningful human connections through the experiences we offer. As Bass wisely posits, connecting in meaningful, positive ways with other people and with the world at large starts with an internal process of reflection and ‘emotional wayfinding.’ This body of work offers our visitors an opportunity to embark on that journey,” said Sheri Bernstein, Museum Director, Skirball Cultural Center.
Chloë Bass: Wayfinding is one of four projects that have grown out of Bass’s multi-faceted series Obligation to Others Holds Me in My Place, a poetic investigation of intimacy within the immediate family (including her own), particularly focusing on American mixed-race families. “The way I see it, being Jewish is not antithetical to being Black, but rather an aspect of it. If I am able to hold the recent effects of one genocide with sensitivity and care, this should help me hold two. As a person, I am always better in dialogue,” explains Bass.
About the Artist
Chloë Bass (b. 1984, New York, NY) is a multiform conceptual artist working in performance, situation, conversation, publication, and installation. Her work uses daily life as a site of deep research to address scales of intimacy: where patterns hold and break as group sizes expand. She began her work with a focus on the individual (The Bureau of Self-Recognition, 2011–2013), has recently concluded a study of pairs (The Book of Everyday Instruction, 2015–2017), and will continue to scale up gradually until she’s working at the magnitude of the metropolis. She is currently working on Obligation to Others Holds Me in My Place (2018–2022), an investigation of intimacy within immediate families.
Bass has held numerous fellowships and residencies: she is a 2022 Future Imagination Fund Fellow at NYU Tisch College of the Arts, a 2020–2022 Faculty Fellow for the Seminar in Public Engagement at the Center for Humanities (CUNY Graduate Center), a 2020–2022 Lucas Art Fellow at Montalvo Art Center, and was a 2019 Art Matters Grantee. Previous recent honors include a residency at Denniston Hill, the Recess Analog Artist-in-Residence, and a BRIC Media Arts Fellowship. Her projects have appeared nationally and internationally, including recent exhibits at Henry Art Gallery, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Mass MoCA, Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, BAK basis voor actuele kunst, the Knockdown Center, the Kitchen, the Brooklyn Museum, CUE Art Foundation, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the James Gallery, and elsewhere. Reviews, mentions of, and interviews about her work have appeared in Artforum, the New York Times, Time Magazine, Forbes, Hyperallergic, the Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, Temporary Art Review, and ARTnews, among others. Her monograph was published by the Operating System in December 2018; her chapbook, #sky #nofilter, was published in November 2020 by DoubleCross Press. Her short-form writing has been published in Paletten, Hyperallergic, Arts.Black, and the Walker Reader. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Queens College, CUNY, where she co-directs Social Practice Queens/Social Practice CUNY with Gregory Sholette.
The exhibition and its related educational programs at the Skirball Cultural Center are made possible by generous support from the following donors:
Kafi and Bob Blumenfield
Stephanie and Harold Bronson
Ticketing for the Fall Exhibitions:
Tickets for the fall exhibitions will be released on Thursday, October 6, at 10:00 am. Admission to Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories: $18 General; $15 Seniors, Full-Time Students, and Children over 12; $13 Children 2–12. Together for Good: Caron Tabb and the Quilting Corner and Chloë Bass: Wayfinding will be included with admission to Fabric of a Nation, Noah’s Ark at the Skirball, or as part of general admission: $12 General; $9 Seniors, Full-Time Students, and Children over 12; $7 Children 2–12. Exhibitions are always free to Skirball Members and Children under 2.
About the Skirball
The Skirball Cultural Center is a place of meeting guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. We welcome people of all communities and generations to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate discovery and hope, foster human connections, and call upon us to help build a more just society.
Visiting the Skirball
The Skirball is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049. Museum hours: Tuesday–Friday, 12:00–5:00 pm; Saturday–Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm; closed Mondays and holidays. Advance timed-entry reservations are recommended. For general information, the public may call (310) 440-4500 or visit skirball.org.