Carmen Argote: Workbook / Notebook
Saturday, Sep 30, 2017
This two-part exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Carmen Argote communicates the complexity of routine pedagogical exercises that reveal the inner process of second language learners.
Workbook is an installation situated throughout the exterior garden at Armory La Casita, the Armory’s community learning annex in Northwest Pasadena, where Argote will arrange over fifty white plastic signs that feature a series of handwritten verse. The presentation is inspired by the writings on the whiteboard inside La Casita, used predominantly by ESL learners, and extracted written text from her grandmother’s English grammar workbooks. The installation will be on public view through fall of 2017.
Notebook, an exhibition in the Armory’s Pasadena Art Alliance Gallery, features Argote’s 3D model of La Casita along with a book of retraced writings from her grandmother’s spiral notebook used during her own ESL education. Unlike the standardized nature of the grammar workbooks, the project’s source notebook is more personalized, containing phone numbers of the artist’s grandmother’s friends, birthdays, and other intimate notes in Spanish. The work offers a layering of two distinct experiences and questions what is lost in an attempt to retrace what has been done before. This exhibition will be on view at the Armory through April 2, 2017.
Carmen Argote: Workbook/Notebook is made possible with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.