Majeure Force is a two-part exhibition in our gallery space, opening by appointment on June 27 and August 1. The presentation will include work by Marcel Alcalá, Sarah Awad, Andrea Marie Breiling, Cara Benedetto, Han Bing, Derek Boshier, Josh Callaghan, Cynthia Daignault, Mira Dancy, Ian Davis, Awol Erizku, Derek Fordjour, Daniel T. Gaitor-Lomack, Samara Golden, Paul Heyer, Ridley Howard, Tomashi Jackson, JPW3, Wanda Koop, David Korty, Grant Levy-Lucero, Tau Lewis, Anne Libby, Jasmine Little, Rose Marcus, Jesse Mockrin, Robert Nava, Elise Rasmussen, Khari Johnson Ricks, Anna Rosen, Brie Ruais, Sterling Ruby, Melanie Schiff, Elaine Stocki, Claire Tabouret, Marisa Takal, Sean Townley, Christine Wang, Sterling Wells, Kandis Williams, and Andy Woll.
The concept of the “Force Majeure” is commonly found in contracts, stipulating that the terms of a given agreement will be suspended due to circumstances beyond either party’s control. These circumstances include but are not limited to war, strike, natural disasters (legally termed “Acts of God”), and epidemics. Normally relegated to the fine print, the Force Majeure clause has hidden in plain sight, quietly acknowledging the possibility of crisis – and as a result, individuals have not. From the vantage point of sheltered-in-place Spring 2020, the Force Majeure clause takes on an ironic prescience: we did foresee catastrophe – we simply didn’t prepare for it.
2020 marks Night Gallery’s first decade in Los Angeles, and its incredible trajectory has mapped a head-spinning course of history. An anniversary exhibition has long been in the works, bringing together our diverse roster of artists in a celebration of our first ten years, in which we have grown from an artist-run storefront space to a premiere institution for contemporary art’s most exciting voices. Beyond showcasing the brilliance of our artists, our exhibition would pay tribute to the community that has grown around the gallery and continuously supported it, making Night Gallery a locus of imaginative exchange.
By March 2020, the whole world had changed, with industries suspended and populations confined to their homes. The long-forgotten clause of Force Majeure now described the times. Through mass confusion and fear in the face of failures of public leadership, one affirming story could still be found: the endurance of creativity – through confinement, despair, and deep uncertainty. Indeed, despite the chaos of our current moment, the persistence and continued imagination of our artists has been a source of comfort and motivation. It is in that spirit, and in the spirit of communal collaboration that has always defined us, that we are pleased to present Majeure Force, an exhibition celebrating Night Gallery’s ten years. The show is named for our current moment, paying tribute to the community that surrounds us through good times and bad, and is a nod to our own role as a major force in the burgeoning art world in Los Angeles, the city we are proud to call home.
It feels like a great moment for art to untangle some of the increasing complexity. I think the ability to put form to some of these things is a great release from a diet of simplistic or truncated sound bites that are floating around.
- Anne Libby