September 6 - October 25, 2009
Opening Reception: Sunday, Sep 6, 2-4pm
Danielle Adair, Nicholas Grider, Jason Kunke, Nikhil Murthy, Chris Revelle, Maria Schriber, Matthew Siegle, Carlin Wing
Organized by Nicholas Grider
Welcome to Fake Iraq features the work of eight artists who have role-played journalists at the Army's National Training Center in the Mojave desert. Located at Fort Irwin, the National Training Center (NTC) is a 1,200 square-mile simulation of the Mideast, complete with Iraqi and Afghani actors, soldiers playing insurgents, and entire cities built out of Conex shipping containers and painstakingly decorated to look like the real thing. Since January 2008, the NTC has been looking to embed journalists with troops training at the Center, and many of the artists in the current exhibit were among the first "journalists" to embed.
Organized by Nicholas Grider, the exhibition features a diverse mix of documentation of and reaction the experience of being a (fake) embedded journalist. This is neither a pro- nor anti-war exhibit; instead, the work ranges from the warm empathy of Maria Schriber's portraits of "insurgents" to the implied criticism of Chris Revelle's portable recruitment station. The idea behind the exhibit was to present a broad array of work by artists, many of whom never had any previous close contact with active-duty military. Both as a document of war games in the twenty-first century and as a collision between the cultures of the artist/civilian and the soldier, Welcome to Fake Iraq seeks to explore what warfare and war games mean to us, now, while two wars continue on the other side of the world.
The eight artists in the exhibition are:
Danielle Adair (video)
Nicholas Grider (photography and text)
Jason Kunke (sculpture and text)
Nikhil Murthy (video)
Chris Revelle (installation)
Maria Schriber (photography)
Matthew Siegle (drawing and installation)
Carlin Wing (photography)
An full-color catalog featuring artist statements, images and interviews will be published by the Center, following the opening of the exhibition.
Welcome to Fake Iraq will take place in the Center's main gallery, Gallery A. A reception for the exhibition will take place from 2-4 pm on September 6, 2009. The galleries at Angels Gate Cultural Center are open Tuesday - Sunday, 10AM - 5PM.
Danielle Adair - The Making of Americans - video still
Chris Revelle - The Spread of Democracy
Nikhil Murthy - Over There/Under Here - video still
Carlin Wing - Support for Expanded Sight (Magnum 5000 Series Light Tower with 4-Stroke Diesel Engine and Marathon Generator) 2
Nicholas Grider - Actors 3
Matthew Siegle - Hooah Installation detail (work and military table)
This exhibition is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.