Los Angeles

Made In L.A. 2016: “a, the, though, only”

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
June 12–August 28, 2016

Curated by Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker

The third edition of the Hammer’s self-described locals-only biennial (although some participants lived in Los Angeles only briefly) arrives otherwise themeless, save for its cryptically beautiful subtitle—a, the, though, only—provided by the poet Aram Saroyan.While the show includes radically fewer artists than previous iterations (a mere twenty-six), it nevertheless showcases a broad range of practices, with musical scores by Wadada Leo Smith, choreography by Adam Linder, films by Arthur Jafa and Laida Lertxundi, public-access activism by Labor Link TV, Web-based work by Guthrie Lonergan, fashion design by Eckhaus Latta (who were interestingly also included in last year’s Greater New York at MoMA PS1), and text by Saroyan, who contributed an image and poem for the show’s catalogue, alongside more traditional media from painter Rebecca Morris and sculptor Kelly Akashi. The true flavor of any show can perhaps be savored only upon tasting, so it’s hard to speculate as to whether this one will shed light on what it means to make art in Los Angeles and why that might even be special. Perhaps this lacuna is the very point.