For Experience 47: FREESTATE, artist Cole Sternberg will conceive and enact an agitprop public movement via exhibition, website and propaganda factory that conjures into conceptual existence The Free Republic of California. Taking place both inside and outside the museum, as well as online – the utmost of imaginary spaces – Sternberg’s show addresses concepts of human rights, the environment, democracy and freedom through a multi-media and publicly activated artistic journey, one that recalls Beuys’ 7000 Oaks (which precipitated the founding of Germany’s Green Party in 1980), with a Guevarian intensity. Sternberg employs sculpture in its 3-dimensional totality: physical, performative, and social to turn a mirror onto American society’s past moral choices and previously unconsidered future. The show is intentionally slated to take place just before the 2020 presidential elections.
The Museum will be split into three rooms, forcing the viewer to experience each as a separate moment along the path to the Free Republic.
Room one is an elaborate canvasing office, replete with posters, buttons, lawn signs and other public activation propaganda. Sternberg has even drafted a new Constitution for California, published in pocket form for easy mass dissemination. Room two is the brain of the concept. As California Dreamin’ plays on repeat, the walls of this room are filled from floor to ceiling with works on paper chronicling the Artist’s mind map of succession. They explain the historical heartache, the environmental elegance and the logistics of a peaceful and beneficial transition. The final room is the largest and calmest. Feelings of escape and freedom permeate from the Sternberg’s environmental sculpture and collage which sit quietly against a traditional Museum backdrop, demonstrating a future where one can breathe.
About the artist – Cole Sternberg was born in Richmond, Virginia. He lives and works in Los Angeles and practices in a range of formats including painting, installation, video, and writing. Series of his work have focused on a variety of social issues, from current human rights activism and its relationship to the law, to the environment, to the media and concepts of content overload. The works tend to be subtle or subversive in nature, driven by elegant visual concepts and poetry. He is interested in the intersection between humanity and humankind and how their lack of congruity hinders social progression and development.
Sternberg has exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the American University Museum (Washington, DC), Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND, Los Angeles), LA><ART (Los Angeles), Primary (Miami), David B. Smith Gallery (Denver), MAMA (Los Angeles & Berlin), Praz Delavallade (Los Angeles) and There-There (Los Angeles). His works are held by major collections throughout the world, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), ESMoA, the American University Museum (AUM) and Deutsche Telekom.
The ESMoA Experience Award recipient for FREESTATE is Álvaro D. Márquez. Márquez is a visual artist and part-time professor of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies at Cal State LA. Márquez’s work explores questions of social, racial, and gender inequality and engages questions about the self, history, and one’s place in it.
Experience 47: FREESTATE is curated by Dr. Bernhard Zuenkeler.
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El Segundo, California 90245, USA