The Getty Foundation announced research grants to 40 regional institutions for its 2017 intitiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Otis' Ben Maltz Gallery received a $160,000 grant for the exhibition Talking to Action: Decolonizing Experiments in Art from the Americas, a survey of the artistic, social, and anthropological actions of contemporary "Social Practice" artists in Latin America—artists who freely blur the lines between object making, political activism, community organizing, environmentalism, and performance. Creating a participatory art outside the gallery and museum system, these artists and artists' collectives engage their respective communities in compelling ways. Argentine artist Eduardo Molinari, for example, adopts the strategy of walking—simply traveling and observing—to produce work critical of official historical narratives, while travel is also central to the SEFT (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada) collective in Mexico, which uses a playfully futuristic vehicle to traverse land and rail, exploring disused railroads. Connections between Social Practice in Latin America and those of Los Angeles artists will also be explored though a series of artist residencies and collective research projects. Talking to Action builds upon the scholarship of Otis' Graduate Public Practice MFA program.
The Getty-sponsored initiative encompasses exhibitions about the artistic connections between Los Angeles and Latin America, about the relationships between Latin America and the rest of the world, about the history of exchange among Latin American countries, or about the Latin American diaspora.
image by Eduardo Molinari