Radical Propagations/Propagaciones Radicales

18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica

March 21–July 30, 2022
March 9, 2022
18th Street Arts Center
3026 Airport Ave
90405 Santa Monica, CA

18thstreet.org
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Artists: Alberto Tlatoa, Lucía Monge, Rashonda, Rebecca Youssef, and Yrneh Gabon

Santa Monica—18th Street Arts Center is pleased to present the exhibition Radical Propagations/Propagaciones Radicales curated by artist and researcher Maru García, and featuring the work of Alberto Tlatoa, Lucía Monge, Rashonda, Rebecca Youssef, and Yrneh Gabon, on view in the Propeller Gallery at 18th Street Arts Center’s Airport Campus (3026 Airport Ave. in Santa Monica) from March 21–July 30, 2022.

Just as a plant can propagate through cuttings that can be replanted and encouraged to root in new soil, this exhibition includes the work of artists and activists whose practice focuses on splitting and sharing, on generating spaces for regeneration and resilience. Artist Maru García explores biosystems, interspecies relationships, and the capacity of living organisms (including humans) to act as remediators in contaminated sites. Her work highlights the importance of eco-aesthetics, where relationships and community are proposed as a way of building cultures of regeneration. Regenerative practices propose methods of building relationships and community from the bottom up. Actions that seem minuscule, when propagated by these means, achieve a scope that aggregates and grows deep, interconnected roots. The impulse to share knowledge, food, and ideas, can iterate and grow in unanticipated ways.  

The artists that García has curated into this exhibition explore processes as diverse as guerrilla gardening, human-plant interspecies mobilizations, and the formation and distribution of seed libraries. But these artists also engage in repetitive manual works, harkening back to Mierle Laderman Ukeles' concept of "Maintenance art"; art that is not noticed and whose impact is often not recognized. These are artists who compost, who cultivate, who maintain community gardens, living daily as radical propagators of cultures of regeneration.

About the Curator
Maru García is a Mexican transdisciplinary artist, and researcher based in LA. Her areas of interest are explorations on biosystems, interspecies relationships, and the capacity of living organisms (including humans) to act as remediators in contaminated sites. Her work highlights the importance of eco-aesthetics, where relationships and community are proposed as a way of building cultures of regeneration. Website / Instagram.

Related events
Exhibition walkthrough with curator Maru García: Radical Propagations/Propagaciones Radicales

Saturday, March 26, 2022 11–11:30am, English tour; 12–12:30 pm, Spanish tour
18th Street Arts Center, Propeller Gallery. Register here.

Join curator Maru García for an in-person exhibition walkthrough of Radical Propagations/Propagaciones Radicales.

Pile 2 patio, mulch/compost sculpture
Part of Radical Propagations/Propagaciones Radicales
Saturday April 23, 2022, 11–3pm
18th Street Arts Center, Propeller Gallery. Register here.

Pile 2 patio is a piece by artist Maru García that explores the materiality and community-building qualities of a mulch/compost pile. On view for one day only. This event will also feature a workshop on soil health with Sustainable Works.

Plant propagation + watering with artist and curator Maru García
Ongoing from March 22 to July 26, 2022
Tuesdays, 12–1pm
18th Street Arts Center, Propeller Gallery.

Join artist Maru García every Tuesday at noon for conversation and maintenance of the exhibition Radical Propagations/Propagaciones Radicales.

Support
This exhibition and the research leading up to it is made possible by the Artists At Work program, a collaboration between THE OFFICE performing arts + film and the LA County Department of Arts and Culture; the City of Santa Monica, and 18th Street’s generous community of donors. Many thanks also to the thought partnership of Santa Monica’s Sustainable Works.