CAKE AND EAT IT
STRIKE HALLS SEPT 18-SEPT 30
Opening Night & Reception, September 18th
With performance/discussion by Cake and Eat It at 8:00pm
Closing September 30th, till late
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 1pm - 9pm
Cake and Eat It will spend as much time in the gallery as possible. For additional hours, please see updates here, event details and on the exhibition's Facebook page. Feel free to reach out to the artists at info [ at ] cakeandeatit [ dot ] org.
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Cake and Eat It will be installing Strike Halls, a composite of sculpture, text, performance and organizing strategies for the duration of their residency at Human Resources. The work investigates the possibility of strike in a cultural of precarity and domination, as well as proto-solutions towards the creation of a communitarian exchange of social capital. Elements have been painstakingly derived from C&EI’s over decade long engagement with, sometimes artistic, sometimes anarchist, attempts to collectivize commercial, domestic and public space.
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Cake and Eat It (a collaboration between Kate Kershenstein and Ada Tinnell) creates works that deal with the underbelly and sometimes intersection of gift economy, fashion, anarchism, queer identities and radical unionism. Historically, C&EI has thrown fashion shows in dingy dinge holes, hosted anarchist variety shows and salons (yum yum), given away cursed gifts, staged riotous fashion marches, styled defendants for court, ran a year long free boutique and orchestrated an experimental tribute to Jean Genet. Their most recent line of inquiry is an investigation into the cultural scripts that pervade radical political forms- the manifesto, the union, the strike hall, the picket and the strike itself. Questioning the utilitarian veneer of politics, the project seeks instead to elaborate fem methods and aesthetics that better mediate between affective bonds and bonds of political solidarity. Project iterations have so far included a series of temporary strike halls dispersed throughout Los Angeles, a series of zines on the matter and Opera Operaismo: A May Day Opera-As-Flying-Picket.
September 18th at 8pm
With performance/discussion by Cake and Eat It
Cop Watch Benefit/ Cool World
Red carpet. Pursed lips. Velvet ropes. Flickering neon. Under red banners. Red dress. Parting curtains. Come decked out in your best red rags and join us for an evening of performance and dancing in collaboration with Cool World. The Red Party is a benefit raising funds in support of the Cop Watch LA app currently in development for tracking and disseminating information about police brutality. Please turn that cherry out.
Bring clothing to swap or share and help build a conversation and a language around collective style that rethinks the way we dress and the meaning of our outfits. We’re looking to challenge the idea that militancy must reflect the hyper-masculine cisheteropatriarchy. We ask that fems, hard fems, lazy fems, high fems and anyone who finds strength in their feminine energy, join us as we use clothing to create a radical fem space.
Art, Education & Justice!
September 25th, 7-10pm
A social event for artists, faculty, students, and allies. Join our ongoing conversation to help create a better future for higher education! Music, spiked punch, and special guests.
Natural Girl: a T-girl Night
A night of lounge, performance art and dancing centered on trans women and those that love trans women. Presented in collaboration with Emily Lucid, Zackary Drucker, Roxy Wood and Lee Samantha Faelnar Te.
Look At These Fucking Artists #2
The art world often trades in exclusion, and it’s easy to feel talked at, rather than in dialogue. Honestly, a space is very much needed where art workers can discuss the issues and problematics of contemporary art practices in person, where everyone’s voices are heard. Continuing on the conversations broached at the first LATFA, held at the 2012 Anarchist Bookfair, discussion will include: art world exclusion, careerism, racism, gentrification, pandering, elitism, labor exploitation, complicity with colonialist regimes and generally how and if art can be used to dismantle the police state and capitalism. This will be a relaxed afternoon of intimate conversations on key questions chosen by participants for their urgency, timeliness and passion. In hopes of reducing immaterial labor in the prep for these talks, instead of formal presentations, the emphasis will be on vibrant, healthy, non-oppressive dialogue and snacks.
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Ours is a society built not on what you know, but who you know, given that, social capital might really be thecapital. That particular currency of social influence that keeps the cogs of society well lubricated, determining the pecking order, has often been the sole purview of the economic elite. In other words, maintaining closed networks of social caché sure helps keep out the riff-raff.
Curious then that cultural/artistic production, often the work of the somehow marginalized, is perhaps the most potent generator of social capital. Cultural work provides sites of intellectual exchange, sociality, conviviality, and not to mention all those precious, precious objects -prime grounds for social speculation.
We are alienated, woefully so. More so than ever. They don’t call it a police state for nothing. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. All that alienated exchange, all those blank moments, empty eyes. Spaces chock-full of Purina and Fanta, but no space for you/me/us. Mediated to death. We maintenance it, we work at it, we work in it, we reproduce it, we live for it, we hardly recall how to do anything else. Conditioned just so.
And we keep making art. Art magic. Bending time and space. Those beautiful illusions. We make make make make make make make make make make make make make make make make make.
What are we making? Who is it for? What if we didn’t do it? What if we refused? Our hearts might stop beating? The making maybe being the only thing that makes it all worth it.
If we’ve got that time, that excess, to create, if we’ve got that heartbreak that’s going to pour out into something, somehow, anyway, if we’ve got that impulse, if we’ve got that need, if we somehow, one way or another are going to make that work, make that thing…
It shouldn’t be for them. Not anymore.
We can’t just endlessly make sparkling commodities of dazzling authenticity. We can’t just simply speak truth to power, ceaselessly resuscitating a fatiguing revolutionary rhetoric. We can’t continue to participate in simulacra of avant-garde linearism that’s been long since dead. We can’t continue to pace endlessly through a series of circuitous gestures pondering the mire of post-modern chimera. Perhaps we ought to believe in something more undefined, applying it all towards that irreducible limit called utopia. All this activity, this expression, couldn’t it all be a function of x, as x approaches infinity? Creating a calculus of social capital, a refusal to accept the boundedness of our relationships, our lives?
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Surfacing. Collectively coming up from the battle gray to see if we can find much of anything to share.
Let’s resurrect the Strike Hall. Though maybe let’s not just make a historical reenactment? Let’s not make replicas of those hallowed halls of rest, reproductive labor, and revolutionary staging that buoyed worker’s rights struggles of the thirties, the sixties, even occasionally today (see UFW, IWW, ILGWU for examples).
Instead, let’s make a Strike Hall for all, for today, for tomorrow, to share in our struggle, whatever the struggle. Let it be a place for making something, or not making anything. Let it be a place where we ask ourselves who we are, how are we relating, if we are relating, what we actually want? Let it be a place where we have a look at utopia, at all the attempts at collectivizing, the attempts to flee, the attempts to make it out of this police-state-capitalism-whatever-the-origin-awfulness.
And let’s take a nap together, watch something shiny we can ignore while we tickle each other, giggle at four-syllable jargon and maybe catch eyes with someone for one beat longer than necessary. Call me comrade, maybe? Let it be a break room for the break that never ends.