REDCAT @ Walt Disney Concert Hall: An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life

Curated by Lauri Firstenberg and Anton Vidokle

Excerpt from the essay by Jori Finkel:

When Siqueiros died in 1974, there were more than 11,000 images. He specified in his will that his archive, housed at the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros in Mexico City, be made available free for public use, something like a Communist version of Corbis or Getty Images.

About half the archive can now also be viewed at the Web site, an arts portal based in New York. Its director, Anton Vidokle, the other curator of the Redcat show, says he thought of putting the archive online when he visited it three years ago. “I was blown away by the material,” he said. “I haven’t seen a group of pictures this ideological since my childhood in Moscow. Even a humble image like a drill bit is celebrated — it’s seen as beautiful, glamorous, a tool for revolution.”

About two years ago, Mr. Vidokle and Ms. Firstenberg began drawing up a list of international artists to approach for the show. Many were Mexican or Chicano. “It was important to work with artists who have a connection to Siqueiros,” Mr. Vidokle said. “But it’s not like I went into their studios and asked to check their passports.”

CALARTS’ Downtown Center for Contemporary Art
Located in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex
631 West Second Street, Los Angeles