Under the Cover: Lauren Halsey

In this episode of “Under the Cover,” Artforum editor in chief David Velasco talks with artist Lauren Halsey about Summaeverthang, a food program and community space supporting South Central Los Angeles. A photograph of Summaeverythang is featured on the cover of the magazine’s September issue.

“Under the Cover” is a monthly web series of conversations with the artists whose work is featured on Artforum’s cover.

Lauren Halsey is rethinking the possibilities for art, architecture, and community engagement. She produces both standalone artworks and site-specific projects, particularly in the South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles where her family has lived for several generations. Combining found, fabricated, and handmade objects, Halsey’s work maintains a sense of civic urgency and free-flowing imagination, reflecting the lives of the people and places around her and addressing the crucial issues confronting people of color, queer populations, and the working class. Critiques of gentrification and disenfranchisement are accompanied by real-world proposals as well as celebration of on-the-ground aesthetics. Inspired by Afrofuturism and funk, as well as the signs and symbols that populate her local environments, Halsey creates a visionary form of culture that is at once radical and collaborative.