Lauren Halsey

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Artist Statement

Being 27 years old and having always been carless in Los Angeles, I have had the opportunity to fanatically watch the city, shaping my practice of recording and archiving city blocks. I archive South L.A. and Watts’ vernacular culture: businesses, signage, tags, mix CDs, menus, incense, flyers. Recordings become fragments of travel journaling that lose their formal meanings and connotations and are transformed by my aspirations and dreams of and for their respective communities. Although my subjects depict reality, depictions are driven by my desires for the environment–thus, they are not accurate portrayals of a city block. Once in my possession, the archive becomes content for utopic fantasies of Los Angeles. I become pharaoh, the master architect and kingdom planner of new fantasyscapes forming mystical pseudo histories and remixing the neighborhoods with nature, technicolors and outer space as a means to empower neighborhoods and energize for a new tomorrow. In my work, the neighborhoods transcend pessimism and baggage held by outsiders and insiders. This illustrates my interests in appropriating fabricated histories, materials, local businesses, space and reflecting my subjects back to the community in the form of Kingdom Splurge.

Kingdom Splurge is an infinite project of endless becoming that entails liberation through Funk, fantasy architecture and the experimental development of space: gardens, lawns, vacant lots, churches, liquor stores, parking lots. The Kingdom is interested in the collective well-being of the neighborhood in which it lives. The Kingdom constitutes a fantasyscape for people and creatures (ie. fish, butterflies, birds, etc.) to inhabit in complete freedom– spatially and creatively, alongside representations of moments in nature, crystals, l.e.d.s, lasers, holograms and nomadic sculptures. In the Kingdom’s early stages I, pharaoh, high-voltage Funkateer and master architect, Lauren Danielle Halsey, will engage as kingdom planner of the habitat, constructing micro-neighborhoods (Kingdoms) within pre-existing neighborhoods for potential participants to ponder and actualize new images and possibilities in for a freer, Funkier and more optimistic tomorrow. Kingdom Splurge is a space of hypothesis for proposing new beginnings that are articulated through sculptures and environments built with what already exists in neighborhoods. The goal is community building—to revalue ephemera and existing forms (architecture, local businesses, gang tags, signage, etc.) as a method of restyling space. The Kingdom is interested in collaboration with those who have a passion for the future and are interested in stretching their imagination to create grand visions of and for working class neighborhoods.

 

CV

EDUCATION

2014 Yale University, MFA

2012 California Institute of the Arts, BFA

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014   Thesis Exhibition, Yale University

2012   Thesis Exhibition, California Institute of the Arts

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2014    Yale Sculpture 2014, Storefront Ten Eyck, Brooklyn, NY

13 Artists, 24/6 Gallery, Yale University

2013    MFA 2014, 1156 Chapel Street Galley, Yale University

2012    Harlem Postcards, Studio Museum in Harlem, Harlem, NY

Authenticity?, Untitled Art Projects, Los Angeles, CA

2011    Drawing: A Verb, California Institute of the Arts

Woman House, California Institute of the Arts

Sloppy Seconds, California Institute of the Arts

 

RESIDENCIES

2014   Studio Museum in Harlem Artist-In-Residence

2014   Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture

 

AWARDS

2013    Alice Kimball English Travelling Fellowship, Yale University

2011   The Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts, California Institute of the Arts