Johanna Breiding

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Artist Statement

I work with photography and video to explore the construction of gender and cultural identity, questioning heteronormative ideologies within the social. Often collaborative, my practice archives underrepresented narratives to depict queer collectivities where love and loss exceed singularity. In Epitaph for Family, which opened two days after the U.S. legalization of same-sex marriage, I documented queer-identified perspectives on notions of family and marriage. A key stake was to disclose how heteronormative family structures, and its confines, define the individual and community.

As a queer identified artist, collectivity and cross-generational exchange are integral to my work. In Swarm I and Swarm II, I collaborated with students to document a collective action in Death Valley and to enact an alternative to the solipsism of Landscape Photography through sound and durational movement. Similarly in Death Valley Series: Ejaculation, I employed performance to complicate the “Individual-Author” of Western masculinist Land Art and demonstrate the futility of claiming territory as one’s own.

My work explores behaviors that are marked “deviant” or rendered illegible. Within this framework, I am interested how kinship is tied to practices to legitimation through state rights, gendered hierarchies, and bloodline. For instance, Ursula performs a remembered narrative of childhood sexual discovery (instigated through a childish prank with a phonesex worker), while O Series collects self-photographs of individuals during orgasm, empowering subjects to take control of the camera and archive nuanced images of desire that exceed categorization. Radical intimacy and cross-generational kinship offers breathing room outside prescribed forms of legitimacy and visibility.


California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
MFA Photography and Related Media
Mentor: Allan Sekula
Scripps College, Claremont, California
BA Art History and Fine Art
Mentor: Ken Gonzales-Day
Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland
Drawing, Painting & Print Making
(Study Abroad)

Select Exhibitions
*Magic Hour (Epitaph for Family), Solo Show at the Oakland Museum of Art (Upcoming), curated by Christina Linden, Oakland, CA.
* Distance In/Formation (A video/photo installation and performance made in collaboration with Rebecca Bruno, Wilfried G Souly and Yann Novak), at Lenzner Gallery/LACE, (Upcoming), curated by Ciara Ennis and Robert Crouch, Claremont, CA.
*Seduction of the Cyborg, Group Show at Human Resources Gallery (Upcoming), curated by David Frantz,Hannah Grossman and Simone Krug, Los Angeles, CA.
*Night Again Again, Video Installation in collaboration with Shoghig Halajian at the Berkeley Museum of Art, Berkeley, CA.
*homeLA, Victoria Park, in collaboration with Marbles Jumbo Radio and Yann Novak, curated by Rebecca Bruno, Los Angeles, CA.
*Johanna Breiding + Geneva Skeen: Field Variations at South of Sunset, curated by Robert Crouch, Los Angeles, CA.
*A Space Remembered, Group Show at Angels Gate Cultural Center, curated by Martabel Wasserman, San Pedro, CA
*Epitaph for Family, Solo Show, Human Resources Gallery, curated by Shoghig Halajian, Los Angeles, CA.
VOTED BEST EXHIBITION IN LA BY ART IN AMERICA*Crank, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA.
*We Love Our Parents, We Fear Snakes, Solo/Collaborative Project and Residency through WCCW (where I invited Marbles Jumbo Radio and Yann Novak to collaborate and participate), at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
*One After Another, In Succession at Charlie James Gallery, my first Curatorial Project with featured works by Carmen Argote, Johanna Breiding, Harry Dodge, Charles Gaines, Ken Gonzales-Day, Tyler Matthew Oyer, Dylan Mira, Julie Tolentino, Alice Wang and Kim Zumpfe. A text by Hanna Wildow and Litia Perta, Los Angeles, CA.
*Following Vito Acconci, Adobe Gallery, Solo Project, curated by Nathalie Brilliant, San Francisco, CA.
*Fade In/Fade Out, 356 Broadway, Los Angeles, CA.
*Emily O Inauguration, 4670 York, curated by Kim Zumpfe, Los Angeles, CA.
*60 Americans, Elga Wimmer Gallery, curated by Terrence Sanders, Chelsea, NY.
*Photo LA , L.A. Mart, curated by CalArts MFA Photo department, Los Angeles, CA.
*Heat/Pool, Verdens Ende Kunstforening, curated by Anne Guro Larsman, Tjøme, Norway
*Re-Think Environment, Human Resources Gallery, curated by Martabel Wasserman, Los Angeles, CA
*Seaton Street Screening, Film Screening, Seaton Studio, curated by Heather O’Brien, Los Angeles, CA
*Photo LA , L.A. Mart, curated by CalArts MFA Photo department, Los Angeles, CA
*MOLT! Speculative Identities, (Asterism Derivative), Kreuzberger Atelierhof, Berlin, Germany
*QAC (Queer Arts Collective), Group Show, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
*Art Sale,Workspace, curated by Daniel Ingroff, Los Angeles, CA
*Somewhere between Magic and Science, Solo Show, Hahmajärventie Gallery, curated by Asterism Derivative, Haukijärvi, Finland
*Artist as Traveler, Galerie der Hochschule, Braunschweig Kunstschule, Braunschweig, Germany
*MMXII, CalArts MFA Graduate Exhibition, L.A. Mart, curated by Catherine Taft, Los Angeles, CA
*Touch Magic Like Smoke and Bone, Solo Show, Gallery 402, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
*Untitled, Susan Vielmetter Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
*We Got Next, Untitled Art Projects Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
*American Folk Anthologies, Gallery 403, Group Show, California Institute of the Arts, curated by Cody Edison, Los Angeles, CA.
*Perverse/Reverse, Gallery D301, California Institute of the Arts, curated by Asterism Derivative, Los Angeles, CA
*Next to Nothing, The Farley Building, Los Angeles, CA
*Place From Which One Speaks, Main Gallery, California Institute of the Arts, curated by Michelle Dizon, Los Angeles, CA
*Heroic Distortions and Narrative Strategies, Human Resources, curated by Kaucyila Brooke and Malene Dam, Los Angeles, CA
*Pith Show, Gallery D301, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
*Jeunes Talents Exhibition, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Paris, France, New York, NY Miami, FL and Los Angeles, CA
*White Narcissus/Backstage Carnage, Solo Show, Gallery D300, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
*Triple Base, Armory, New York, NY.

The World That Begins Where Our Skin Ends, Artist Residency, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
Summerforum, Artist Residency, Joshua Tree, CA
DAAD Grant Recipient
Arteles, Artist Residency, FINLAND
Braunschweig Kunstschule, GERMANY
Jeunes Talents Residency, Arles & Paris, FRANCE
Dean’s Grant, CalArts, CA
Bartmen Grant, CalArts, CA
Ahmanson Foundation Scholarship, Los Angeles, CA
Dean’s Grant, CalArts, CA
Lucia Suffel Award, Scripps College, CA
Mellon Grant, Scripps College, CA

Lectures/Artist Talks
Artist Lecture Series at UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
Just Speak Nearby: The Politics & Practices of Art Writing at 356 Mission Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
at land’s edge, LACA (Los Angeles Contemporary Archive)
SSU Queer Lecture Series, Sonoma State, Sonoma, CA
Tir Journal, Pieter Space, Los Angeles, CA
SFAI San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
CalArts Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco, CA
New York Film Academy, Burbank, CA
Tir Talk, Human Resources Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Analog Dissident, Los Angeles, CA
Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA
KChung Radio, Los Angeles, CA
CalArts, Valencia, CA


Overlooking the Port of LA, an Exhibit Considers Sustainability utm_hp_ref=arts