In partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (ICA LA), Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) recently debuted CURRENT: LA FOOD, which delivers food-themed, museum-quality public art throughout the City until November 3 for visitors and locals alike to explore! 15 artists were commissioned to take on the subject of food accessibility and equity and the citywide initiative includes works by artists such as Ry Rocklen, Michael Rakowitz, Jazmin Urrea, and Nancy Lupo.
This is a public art exhibit as well as ways to interact with people and food across greater Los Angeles parks and recreation centers in 15 municipal council districts for 1 month. You can see the calendar of events here: https://www.currentla.org/calendar/
Current: LA is a government-backed arts and culture collaborative entity that has commissioned this effort. It’s a drive but it’s also fascinating!
Installations are currently on display in 15 public parks and neighborhoods (all installations and related programming—including 75 events– are free and open to all). CURRENT: LA FOOD is the second iteration of the Public Art Triennial following on from the inaugural 2016 launch of CURRENT: LA Water. Through an intricate partnership between artists and community members, CURRENT: LA FOOD is shedding new light on the precarious balance between pleasure and peril found in food today.
The artists and community organizations were thoughtfully paired together to encourage conversations and provide engaging experiences in each location, designed to provoke audiences to think about food and issues surrounding food in new ways through art..here are a few of the installations with correlating images:
Valley Recreation Center (North Hollywood)
Artist: Shana Lutker
Public Programming Community Partner: Christopher Reynolds
Drawing on manipulative food marketing and consumption from a personal and communal perspective, Christopher Reynolds presents a site-specific installation in and around the pool at Valley Plaza. Sounds, scents, and performances complete the Baker-Miller, pink-hued experience.
Roger Jessup Park (Pacoima)
Artist: Emily Marchand
Through food, Emily Marchand’s A Thousand Lunches examines ideologies around survival. At Roger Jessup Park, volunteers participate in a large-scale lunch-packing session to benefit local homeless services in Pacoima. A large community lunch takes place on a compostable cloth embedded with seeds that participants cut portions from and use to grow food.
Public Programming Community Partner: Bed & Breakfast– a workshop
Bed & Breakfast’s workshop participants learn how to fabricate and cook with solar cookers. Also featured is an instructional publication, with plans and recipes for a variety of DIY methods, as well as B&B artist contributions, to illustrate the energy-efficient (and fun!) process of cooking with the sun.
Pershing Square (Downtown Los Angeles)
Artist: Nancy Lupo
Nancy Lupo’s Open Mouth is an installation of custom benches with rounded end elements that resemble teeth. The benches are arranged in a configuration that resembles a diagrammatic adult human mouth. The work is a stage for viewing, meeting, and thinking about the metabolism of the city.
Public Programming Community Partner: The Golden Dome
The Golden Dome and its collaborators will bring people together to explore food and prismatic color at two gatherings that involve shared meals, tea ceremonies, performance, and sound. This project will address the deeper personal, social, spiritual, and political ways we can experience food and drink.
Pan Pacific Park (Fairfax, Mid-City)
Artist: Michael Rakowitz
Michael Rakowitz re-creates Room F of the destroyed Northwest Palace of Nimrud in Iraq in the form of an outdoor banquet space. Dates are the main ingredient of the project’s meals and serve to spark conversation about the historical engagements between the United States and Iraq and the date industry that connects the two countries.
Public Programming Community Partner: Leyna Lightman
Working with an adobe bread oven constructed for, and in, Pan Pacific Park, Leyna Lightman will collaborate with women from different regions of the world to prepare, bake, and share bread over conversations that explore the history and heritage of this fundamental food.
Exposition Park Rose Garden (Expo Park, Adams District)
Artist: Michael Queenland
Michael Queenland’s Untitled, 2019 metal sculpture presents breakfast cereal piled on top of a hand-knotted rug that features patterns from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. One layer shows a perishable item made for modern consumption, while the other is part of a history of artisanal craft. Two cultural products are juxtaposed to compel consideration of formal, social, and political associations.
Public Programming Community Partner: Center for the Arts Eagle Rock
Taking place throughout the Rose Garden, Center for the Arts Eagle Rock’s one-day, all-ages event will bring together members of Los Angeles’ artist and culinary communities to engage participants in a breadth of hands-on activities—involving food, art, and poetry—that relate to the city’s rich and diverse food cultures.
Leimert Plaza Park (Leimert Park Village)
The events and art installations of Nari Ward’s Enchanted Servers metaphorically set the table to celebrate and reflect on how food is served. In Leimert Park, a totem sculpture made of food plate covers and jacks evokes LA car culture, food trucks, and DIY music instruments. Participatory activations related to this work generate meaningful social communion around food, art, and music.
Public Programming Community Partner:
SÜPRSEED’s vegan experience SÜPRFEST brings a taste of delicious health to the Village, featuring meals from some of the best vegan vendors in the city. Eats and experiences combine to make wellness accessible, so stop by for an incredibly enjoyable afternoon!
There is so much more to this event and many more artists for you to see. Please visit
If you want to view the artists and decide who you want to see, please visit here: https://www.currentla.org/artists/
If you want to view the programs/community partners involved in Current LA Food, please visit here: https://www.currentla.org/public-programs/
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