Lauren Halsey: Too Blessed 2 be Stressed!
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France04 May 2019 - 02 Sep 2019
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris presents Los Angeles-based artist Lauren Halsey for her first solo exhibition in Europe.
Using her hometown, South-Central LA, as the starting point, Lauren Halsey draws inspiration from memory—both personal and collective—from Ancient Egyptian “mythmaking,” and from contemporary African-American experience. Her work borrows elements from Funk, Post-Civil rights aesthetics, Hip-hop, Architecture, and Afrofuturism. Halsey’s artistic practice is situated on the boundaries between architecture, painting and sculpture. Her immersive installations, both temporary and permanent, are sited in public and institutional spaces and are always rooted in the specific context of her home city, Los Angeles. Deeply engaged with the area where she was born and grew up, Halsey works on, in response to and in collaboration with the communities in the southern neighborhoods of the city. She explores social issues of class, origins, identity and demographics, and their impact on a perpetually evolving urban environment.
For Open Space #5, the artist designed a site-specific work Too Blessed 2 Be Stressed!, a fantastical landscape. This immersive, surrealist-tinged installation is composed of plants, coloured lights, and geological modules. These modules, called « Funk Mounds » are of various shapes and sizes and are filled with cavities into which the artist has arranged objects that she collected in Paris and South Central LA, from a plurality of vernacular cultures among those of the African diaspora. Creating new connections across borders and eras, these futuristic “reliquaries” are receptacles of living memory, one that the artist continuously nurtures. The installation is accompanied with a soundtrack, a Funk Manifesto, written and read by the artist herself.
Born in 1987, Lauren Halsey is based in Los Angeles (CA, USA). She graduated from Yale University and Cal Arts. Her works have been presented within the context of a solo show at the MOCA, Los Angeles in 2018 and group shows (Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2018), among others. She was recently awarded the Mohn Award (2018) and the Frieze Artist Award (2019).
Open Space is a programme dedicated to the most contemporary artistic expressions. National and international artists are invited to create a specific project for the Fondation. Open Space takes place regularly in different settings around Frank Gehry’s building.