LAPD Performances: What Fuels Development?
Sunday, Apr 3, 2016
"...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." — Artforum
Fuels Development? is an installation that serves as 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. The project, which is being debuted at the Armory, builds upon the shared interests of the Armory and LAPD in connecting the experiences of people to the social forces that shape their lives and communities.
What Fuels Development? builds on LAPD’s long-term strategy of using art to re-knit the social fabric on Skid Row, a neighborhood recently acknowledged as “the last Skid Row in America.” That Skid Row exists at all at this point in time is due to a fortuitous moment in the 1970s when the city was moved to implement a progressive development plan for the area that not only preserved the highly concentrated cluster of some 50 single room occupancy hotels in downtown but also augmented it by bringing a continuum of services to the same 50-block area. This was sometimes derisively referred to as the “containment policy,” because it funneled poor people and services to Skid Row and away from other parts of the developing downtown. However, as a consequence of clustering housing and social services in Skid Row, the community has in the intervening 40 years cohered as an authentic neighborhood, with numerous grassroots initiatives devised and led by residents to benefit the neighborhood and also to advocate for their own interests within the context of the competing interests of the city and moneyed interests covetous of the real estate.
What Fuels Development? incorporates a rich layering of lived experiences and collaborative reflection, and also make use of such “found texts” as public hearings by incorporating the location and setting into the overall conception of the production. Performances will take place on March 25, 26 and April 1, 2 and 3, and will seek to parse out complex civic issues regarding contested space and competing definitions of “community vitality.”
• Read Press Release
• See Performance Photos on Flickr
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 exhibition is on view in the Armory’s Caldwell Gallery through May 15, 2016.
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 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.