À chaque stencil une revolution (For each stencil a revolution)

Hammer Projects: Latifa Echakhch

For her Hammer Project, Latifa Echakhch will reprise her 2007 work À chaque stencil une revolution (For each stencil a revolution) for the Hammer’s lobby wall. After attaching hundreds of sheets of carbon paper to the wall, Echakhch will treat the surface with a solvent that causes the ink to run down the pages and pool on the floor. Her use of carbon paper points to an outmoded duplication technology that was central to the ability of political groups of earlier generations—such as the civil rights and anti–Vietnam War protests of the 1960s—to disseminate information and opinions. The title of the work is a quotation from the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who was referring to the proliferation of revolutionary groups and protest movements. While the work pays homage to the uprisings of that period, it rings with melancholy: stripped of its ink, the paper is robbed of its potential to carry any message. Referring as well to both abstract expressionism and the signature blue of Yves Klein, the work asks us to reconsider the relationship of abstract art to politics.

Hammer Projects: Latifa Echakhch is organized by Hammer senior curator Anne Ellegood.



By Anne Ellegood

Today revolutions are fought as never before. As we have recently witnessed across the Middle East—in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere—digital technologies in the form of text messaging, e-mail, and social media have played a pivotal role in the rapid dissemination of ideas and information and the ability to harness large numbers of supporters in public spaces for protests. The capability to readily document events through photography and video and to circulate images widely not only has facilitated and speeded up the exchange of information but has also provided the means for greater oversight and empowerment. The Big Brother–type surveillance historically put into place by the state to monitor the public has been turned on its head so that citizens can now be ever more effective watchdogs, keeping an eye on the behavior of the powerful. Take, for instance, the massive public outcry in the wake of the circulation of images of campus police pepper-spraying the faces of a group of students who were peacefully protesting recent tuition hikes on the University of California, Davis, campus in November 2011. The abuse of power made so viscerally evident by recordings of the event posted online promptly led to cries of outrage, and the university was forced to investigate the incident and evaluate what many argued was an escalating dynamic of police brutality across the University of California system. (1)

, October 26, 2012, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/09/2012919115344299848.html.

, February 6, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/latifa-echakhch-interview_n_1250639.html.

 (New York: Da Capo, 1994), 23–39. 

, exh. cat. (Austin: Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, 2007). 

, no. 19 (June 2009), http://www.moussemagazine.it/articolo.mm?id=101.


Hammer Projects: Latifa Echakhch has received support from Stacy and John Rubeli.

Hammer Projects is a series of exhibitions focusing primarily on the work of emerging artists. 

Hammer Projects is made possible by a major gift from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.
Generous support is provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and by Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy.

Additional support is provided by Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley; the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; the Decade Fund; and the David Teiger Curatorial Travel Fund.