March 27, 2017

Acclaimed Artist Lita Albuquerque to Give Keynote at “LA as LAB: Extra Territories”

Installation by Lita Albuquerque
Lita Albuquerque, Southern Cross, 2014 (from Stellar Axis: Antarctica, Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, 2006). Inkjet print, 50 x 60 inches. Photograph by Jean De Pomereu. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Artist Lita Albuquerque once told an interviewer her approach to art “begins with nature and who we are in relationship to it. I am continually asking questions about who we are in relationship to the environment around us and to the planet itself.”

That vision has resulted in spectacular examples of “land art” such as Albuquerque’s Stellar Axis, in which she traveled in 2006 to Antarctica and created an installation featuring 99 blue spheres on the polar ice that were aligned with the positions of the stars overhead.

Portrait of Lita Albuquerque
Lita Albuquerque

Albuquerque’s sense of engagement with the surrounding environment—a vision of art’s special interaction with the physical world around and above us—takes center stage as a guiding theme of the upcoming Bradshaw conference at Claremont Graduate University (CGU), “LA as LAB: Extra Territories.”

The conference will be held April 8 in Albrecht Auditorium on the CGU campus. Registration is open.

Art and culture in Los Angeles are challenging old paradigms—public art and location-based events are transforming museums and cultural organizations into affiliates rather than centers. Who is in charge in this environment? What is the role of our art and cultural institutions in this extra-territorial world?

“These are critical questions that the conference will address,” said Jonathan Neil, director of Sotheby’s Institute of Art – Los Angeles (SIA-LA). “Claremont has been a locus of advanced artistic experiments, at least since the 1970s, when Michael Asher and others made some of the first moves in the history of institutional critique here. We are excited to pick up on that legacy and to have such accomplished thinkers and practitioners joining us to consider where the arts in L.A. will take us next.”

Co-sponsored by CGU’s School of Arts & Humanities, Transdisciplinary Studies program, SIA-LA, and with generous support from the Thornton F. Bradshaw Programs and Endowment Fund, the conference will present a day of conversation with more than 20 artists, curators, and administrators representing major museums and cultural organizations in the greater Los Angeles area.

Speakers and panel participants will engage on topics such as Cultural Equity and Inclusion, When Museums Change, Real Estate Development as Cultural Change Agent, Public Art and Public Engagement, and more.

For Sarah Conley Odenkirk, conference organizer and associate director of SIA-LA, the artists and creative thinkers participating in this conference were invited because they already play important roles in a critical ongoing dialogue about pushing the boundaries of creative expression.

“The engagement that these participants represent and the audiences they draw will be a crucial catalyst for social change in Southern California and elsewhere,” Odenkirk said. “It is our honor and pleasure to host this conference on our campus to continue the long tradition of leading the way in creative, impactful discourse.”

Discover more about the Bradshaw Conference at CGU and past events:

LA as LAB - Extra Territories