Do you want the cosmetic version or the real deal? Los Angeles Poverty Department, 1985-2016
Sunday, May 15, 2016
"The LAPD aims to be completely inclusive, to absorb others not accepted by other organizations 'because they don’t act right,' in order to reflect the opinions of the deeply marginalized, as well as to provide an outlet for artists who have no physical space to create."
— Get Down Town
"I think a lot of the initial response to homelessness was that it was something that was going to be solved and go away," Malpede said. "Now, all these years later, it's clear that housing is what's needed, and that issue is gaining resonance throughout all levels of society."
— LA Times
"...the Skid Row community, through the artwork of LAPD, has won something that will likely outlast a trendy meatball stand: a moment of collective history, the legend of that spring day in 2013 when their voices made a difference."
"...LAPD’s collaborative production of artwork produces real collective analysis. Through LAPD, Skid Row residents create forms that provide a link between actual lived experience and social structures that shape what those experiences can be."
— Art in America
Founded in 1985 on Los Angeles’s Skid Row by performance artist, director, and activist John Malpede, Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) is made up principally of homeless or formerly homeless people and has been an uncompromising force in performance and urban advocacy for over 30 years. This exhibition features extensive archival material, including photographs, texts, and ephemera, drawn from LAPD’s archives.
LAPD Performances: What Fuels Development?
The exhibition’s centerpiece is a new installation and performance work entitled What Fuels Development? — a set for a devised theater piece exploring the mechanics of displacement in an age of immense income inequality, and Skid Row’s fight to not be overwhelmed by an alcohol-fueled entertainment district. Five performances were held at the Armory on March 25, 26 and April 1, 2, and 3.
The exhibition Do you want the cosmetic version or the real deal? Los Angeles Poverty Department, 1985-2016 at the Armory originated at the Queens Museum. The Armory’s presentation of this exhibition, along with the commission and presentation of the new work, What Fuels Development?, is made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council Creative California Communities, and the National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project. What Fuels Development? has been co-commissioned by Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia, PA), in partnership with Pangea (Minneapolis, MN), Armory Center for the Arts, and NPN. The Armory’s production of What Fuels Development? received additional support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). The Forth Fund is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For more information: www.npnweb.org. Do you want the cosmetic version or the real deal? Los Angeles Poverty Department, 1985-2016 at the Queens Museum was produced with funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and National Endowment for the Arts. Project funding was also provided by Surdna Foundation and Institute of Museum and Library Services.