Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler. Photo: Deborah Farnault and Santi Hurtado.

Hammer Museum Names Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler Curators of Made in L.A. 2020

The Hammer Museum announced today that the fifth edition of its Made in L.A. biennial, which will kick off in 2020, will be curated by the Tunisian French writer and curator Myriam Ben Salah and the Los Angeles–based curator and graphic designer Lauren Mackler. Ben Salah and Mackler will spend the next eighteen months visiting artists and organizing the exhibition, which highlights artwork created in the Los Angeles region, with an emphasis on emerging and underrecognized artists.

“Every Made in L.A. has its own distinct identity, and I look forward to what Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler will bring to this exhibition,” said Hammer director Ann Philbin. “They are both deeply engaged with the contemporary art scene in Los Angeles, so we’re eager to see the fresh perspectives they bring to Made in L.A. 2020.”

Based in Paris, Ben Salah was recently the guest curator of the tenth edition of the Abraaj Group Art Prize in Dubai (2018), where she worked with artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan on a large-scale commission. Previously, she served as the head of special projects and public programs at the Palais de Tokyo from 2009 to 2016 and as a curator-in-residence at Fahrenheit in Los Angeles. Her recent projects, which range from exhibitions to screening series and performances, have been presented at institutions such as the Lazaar Foundation in Tunis, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the Beirut Art Center, and the DESTE Foundation in Athens. Ben Salah is currently the editor in chief of Kaleidoscope magazine, and her writing has appeared in publications such as Artforum, Mousse, and Numéro.

Mackler is currently the managing editor of Sublevel—the literary magazine housed in the CalArts School of Critical Studies—and has been on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York; the University of California, Los Angeles graduate department of art; and Otis College of Art and Design. In 2010, she founded Public Fiction, a forum for staging exhibitions, performances, and programs by contemporary artists and writers, as well as a print journal with the same mission. Mackler has organized Public Fiction exhibitions and catalogues at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Artissima LIDO, Turin; Frieze Projects New York; and the Hammer Museum. She is a contributor to Artforum and various other publications.

Lauren Mackler has a history with Made in L.A., as her project Public Fiction was featured in Made in L.A. 2014 and included a rotating cast of collaborators chosen by Lauren,” said Hammer chief curator Connie Butler. “It’s exciting to have her back in this new capacity, and paired with Myriam Ben Salah, who has deep connections to both the Los Angeles and international art community.”