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ICA LA Celebrates Two Decades of My Barbarian

Kaleidoscopic image of the performers singing into microphones
Screencap from My Barbarian's performance of Songbook | The Whitney Museum of American Art YouTube channel

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) celebrates two decades of Los Angeles-based collective My Barbarian—composed of Malik Gaines (Critical Studies MFA 99), Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade—with an exhibition running from Saturday, Oct. 1 to Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. 

The exhibition is a continuation of a three-part survey at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, which ran from October 2021 to February 2022. More about My Barbarian from the ICA LA website

My Barbarian traces the history of the group’s work through video, performances, and documentary footage, as well as sculptures, paintings, drawings, masks, and puppets drawn from their extensive archive. Designed to be an immersive 3-channel video installation for a single gallery, the exhibition features a two-hour compilation of new edits to the trio’s years of collaborative work, featuring performances for the camera, video documentation of live performances, photographs, and previously unreleased footage drawn from the group’s extensive archive. The exhibition also includes a selection of artworks—including sculptures, paintings, drawings, masks, textiles, costumes, and puppets, which emerge and disappear from view through carefully choreographed theatrical lighting. The presentation effectively underscores the theatricality inherent to everyday life, including that of the art institution.

The exhibition is accompanied by a live performance of the collective’s multilayered Broke People’s Baroque Peoples’ Theater, co-produced by ICA LA, My Barbarian, and The Industry, on Saturday, Oct. 29. Additionally, REDCAT in Los Angeles will present a double-bill performance titled Double Future, running from Thursday, Dec. 8 to Saturday, Dec. 10. 

My Barbarian will be exhibited jointly with Rebecca Morris’ 2001-2022. A walkthrough of both shows, presented by Hey Baby Feminist Parenting Group and ICA LA’s Learning and Engagement team, takes place Thursday, Oct. 20.

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Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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ICA LA Celebrates Two Decades of My Barbarian