March 3 – April 17, 2011
The Plains of Id: Mapping Urban Intervention in Los Angeles is an exhibition that focuses on contemporary artists who intervene within a specific area of Los Angeles’ sprawling topography. Artists include: Sandra de la Loza, Patrick “Pato” Hebert, Joel Tauber, and the artist collective Fallen Fruit (David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young). The title of the exhibition derives from Reyner Banham’s seminal book, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971). One of the first scholars to consider the cultural significance of the city, Banham analyzed Los Angeles’ urbanism and categorized the most distinctive part of the city as the “Plains of Id”.
It is within this terrain that de la Loza, Hebert, Tauber, and Fallen Fruit, open a range of accessibility to the city and its resources through socio-political art. The artworks featured in this exhibition revise older forms of activist art by paying homage to and simultaneously critiquing their utopian frameworks. By employing L.A. as a vehicle to understand broader issues of urbanism, the artists extend Banham’s efforts to draw attention to a city that in the past was perceived by outsiders as culturally insignificant.
Tree Baby is part of Tauber’s ongoing Sick-Amour project (2005-ongoing), which began when the artist fell in love with a California Sycamore tree stuck in the middle of a giant parking lot at the Rose Bowl. After caring for the tree, he cultivated approximately two hundred “tree babies” (seedlings from the original tree) to plant in public locales throughout California. Approximately one hundred and forty Tree Babies have been planted thus far; the locations of which have been mapped and are available at http://www.joeltauber.com/treebabymap.html.
Tree Baby has been purchased by the CSULB Museum and Curatorial Studies Program with funds generously provided by Associated Students, Inc.