Join Assistant Curator Adrianne Koteen and Professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California and co-founder of Critical Resistance, in an interactive conversation and walkthrough of the exhibition Do you want the cosmetic version or do you want the real deal? Los Angeles Poverty Department, 1985-2014. This is the first museum survey of the Los Angeles-based performance group Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD). Founded in 1985 on Los Angeles’s Skid Row by performance artist, director, and activist John Malpede, LAPD is made up principally of homeless or formerly homeless people and has been an uncompromising force in performance and urban advocacy for almost 30 years. Harris will introduce and screen excerpts from three videos in LAPD’s history spanning 1986-2010. Professor Gilmore will provide historical and political context surrounding each work, connecting them to relevant legal policies, as well as highlight how social justice movements responded at the time. From the deinstitutionalization of state mental health facilities to Clinton’s “Welfare Reform,” join her in examining how state and national policies created and then criminalized poverty, illness, and addiction, leading to the prison boom in California and elsewhere in the country. Explore how concerned citizens and committed organizations have been fighting for better health treatment options and access to affordable housing for the homeless and the recovering. The audience is invited and encouraged to ask questions and share from their own experiences in this dialogue.
About the Presenter
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and American Studies, and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; she is also a Visiting Professor at the Maumaus School of Visual Arts in Lisbon. She received the BA and MFA in Dramatic Literature and Criticism from Yale, and the PhD in Geography from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She has many publications, invited lectureships, honors, and awards. Her prize-winning book is Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California, published in 2007. In a front-page review, the San Francisco Chronicle said “Now, if you want to understand why progressive California leads the Western world with its regressive system of punishment, Gilmore’s “Golden Gulag” is the first must-read book of the 21st century”.
Current projects include a second edition of Golden Gulag, as well as several other book projects: Life in Hell: How Capitalism Saving Capitalism from Capitalism Must Fire our Political Imagination; Fatal Couplings: Essays on Motion, Racial Capitalism, and the Black Radical Tradition; and Big Things: Reconfigured Landscapes and the Infrastructure of Feeling.
Select publications include “Race, capitalist crisis, and abolitionist organizing: an interview” with Jenna M. Loyd (in Loyd et al., eds, Beyond Walls and Cages, University of Georgia Press 2012), “What is to be Done?” American Quarterly June 2011; “Forgotten Places and the Seeds of Grassroots Planning” (in Hale, ed., Engaging Contradictions, University of California Press 2009); “Race, Prisons, and War: Scenes from the History of US Violence” (in Panitch and Leys, eds., Violence Today: Actually Existing Barbarism Merlin Press, 2009); and “In the Shadow of the Shadow State” (in Incite! Eds., The Revolution Will Not be Funded, South End Press, 2007).
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