L.A. Artist Will Build Immersive Caves at MOCA Grand Avenue

Lauren Halsey
Lauren Halsey, detail, Kingdom Splurge (, 2014, mixed media, 288 x 480 in., Yale University, New Haven

LOS ANGELES—The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), presents Lauren Halsey: we still here, there, a site-specific installation work created at MOCA’s Grand Avenue location.

This spring Los Angeles–based artist Lauren Halsey (b. 1987, Los Angeles, California) will take up residence at MOCA Grand Avenue, where she will build and regularly change an immersive space resembling a fantastical system of caves that viewers are invited to linger in and explore. This environment will serve as a visionary archive reflecting the diversity of everyday Black cultural experiences in South Central L.A., the artist’s home since childhood.

Halsey’s installation will incorporate an abundance of found objects such as incense, oils, tchotchkes, figurines, mix CDs, local newspaper clippings, and vernacular portraits, creating a vibrant record of a community facing rapid gentrification and development. At the same time, the work will serve as a speculative space, evoking imaginary futures for South Central through landscapes and rock carvings made by hand, miniature shrines, fountains, and sound installations.

The environment will reflect Halsey’s deep investment in preserving and supporting her neighborhood as well as her exuberant engagement with diverse global references including the music of Parliament-Funkadelic, ancient Chinese Buddhist caves, and the habitable sculptures of French modernist André Bloc. At the heart of Halsey’s project is the idea that architecture can be a form of empowerment and social transformation for marginalized communities and a way to envision, in the artist’s words, “a freer, funkier, and more optimistic tomorrow.” The artist will work inside of the exhibition during select museum hours, enabling museum visitors to experience the installation as it evolves in real time.


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