Fred Lonidier, Art is Opium, 1973. Vintage black and white photograph. 13 x 20 in. (33 x 50.8 cm). Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Purchased with funds provided by The Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach, Directors. Fred Lonidier, Art is Opium, 1973. Vintage black and white photograph. 13 x 20 in. (33 x 50.8 cm). Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Purchased with funds provided by The Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach, Directors.
Fred Lonidier, Art is Opium, 1973. Vintage black and white photograph. 13 x 20 in. (33 x 50.8 cm). Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Purchased with funds provided by The Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach, Directors.

Celebration of Our Enemies: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection

An intergenerational grouping of artists whose works have rarely been exhibited together.

This selection of video, sculpture, and photography presents an intergenerational grouping of artists whose works have rarely been exhibited together. Tony Cokes’s seminal video Black Celebration (A Rebellion against the Commodity) (1988), which attempts to reconcile the uprisings and riots that took place throughout black neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Boston, Newark, and Detroit in the 1960s, is a centerpiece of the exhibition, shown alongside Stephen Prina and Christopher Williams’s early collaborative photographic series The Construction and Maintenance of Our Enemies (1986–87). The two works reflect themes and methodologies pursued by artists in the 1980s that pose an antagonistic and critical relationship to modes of representation. Borrowing from these strategies are a group of more recent artists, such as Klara Lidén, Sondra Perry, and Martine Syms, whose works in the exhibition question the role of art relative to culture, politics, and the industries and institutions that take part in art’s presentation, preservation, and commodification.

Celebration of Our Enemies: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection is organized by Aram Moshayedi, curator, with Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, curatorial assistant.

Media sponsorship is provided by Cultured magazine, KCET, and KCRW 89.9.