Art-Past-Present #1

The Wende Museum, Culver City, California
March 16, 2017
3:00 - 5:00 pm 

To understand the realities confronting us, we need historical and artistic reflection. In the first installment of a new discussion series, The Wende Museum invited contemporary artists to share their ideas about how the past gives meaning to the present. Chief curator Joes Segal moderated an interactive conversation with contemporary artists Farrah Karapetian and Christopher Wyrick as they considered what it meant to make art in times of irreconcilable alternative truths.


Farrah Karapetian is an artist currently based in Los Angeles. Her work in cameraless photography and sculpture is a conscious, relational strategy of personal encounter and exchange that hinges on a sense of the contest between individual agency and authority. She is represented by Von Lintel Gallery, Los Angeles, and Danziger Gallery, New York, and her work is in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, SFMOMA, LACMA, and The Wende Museum, among others.

Christopher Wyrick is a painter from Charleston, South Carolina who lives and works in Los Angeles. His work deals with polarities in our society and he frequently works from photographic and cinematic sources to capitalize on the emotional resonance of iconic imagery. He is a staunch proponent of public art and has begun working on large scale mural works around Los Angeles. Coming from a family of publishers, he also writes about the intersection of art and film.

Art-Past-Present: About the Series

To understand the realities confronting us, we need historical and artistic reflection. We interpret the world by reviewing how it has been, how it might have been, how it could be.

By shaping its own reality, art can implicitly or explicitly challenge the status quo. Yet art does not exist in a vacuum: it is always part of a broader story. In times of radical change, perceived certainties reveal themselves as mere projections. Our interpretations of the world are based on the lens we have been looking through. At the same time, radical changes also sharpen our focus on possibilities and alternatives. Reality is no longer self-evident, and is therefore open to change.

In this discussion series, we invite artists to share their ideas about confronting the past to give meaning to the present, in order to generate understanding or stimulate action. We want to open up perspectives and restore agency in times of irreconcilable alternative truths.

This project is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.