• David Hartt: Interval
    David Hartt
    Matthew Schum and Lauri Firstenberg
    LAXART, Los Angeles
    Mar 07, 2015 to Apr 11, 2015

View of David Hartt: Interval installed at Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 2015, Los Angeles. Courtesy of the artist and LAXART.

David Hartt: Interval is a multi-media installation featuring new film footage of two culturally significant sites—Whitehorse in the Yukon and Sakhalin Island, a Russian territory in the Japanese archipelago. The artist is interested in the specificity of a place. What narratives and ideologies does it reveal? How do the personal and the public commingle? The exhibition is hosted by LAXART as part of the citywide Occasional Initiative, highlighting residencies and commissions with international artists. The two-channel video is purposefully installed in a former sprawling professional office at an icon of post-modernism, the Bonaventure hotel. By presenting the work in a venue that references the history of Southern California architecture and the post-Fordist landscape that Los Angeles embodies, the project emphasizes Hartt's exploration of spatial dynamics and conceptual beauty. Audiences experience the evolution of communities in a focused study of culture in the context of the built environment.

David Hartt is a Canadian-born, Chicago-based artist whose conceptual photographs, video, sculpture, and multi-media installation investigate the ideologies and narratives embedded in the built environment, revealing individual traces that contribute to the manifestation of the ideal in public space. The highlight of solo and group exhibitions over the past five years is Stray Light, which explores the visual world of Johnson Publishing Corporation. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the show was accompanied by his first monograph and traveled to Henry Art Gallery (Seattle) and the Studio Museum in Harlem. The work was reviewed in such forums as Artforum, Art in America, and the Architect's Newspaper. Hartt has previously shown in New York, Chicago, and Brussels. He is an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011–) and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College (2014–).

Curator and publications editor Matthew Schum is a Los Angeles-based writer whose work in art spaces began in Minneapolis. He has worked at the Walker Art Center and Museum of Modern Art. In 2011, he worked in Milan as an editor at Flash Art International. His recent books for LAXART include those by artists Steffani Jemison, Mary Weatherford, Mungo Thomson, and Rebecca Morris. His recent exhibitions include those by Isabelle Cornaro and Patricia Fernández. In September 2014, Schum debuted a film by artist Mark Boulos, a coproduction with the Geneva Biennial. He is completing a PhD at UCSD on how interventionist exhibitions shaped contemporary art in Istanbul.

Director and chief curator Lauri Firstenberg received her PhD in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University in 2005 and founded LAXART. Firstenberg cocurated Made in L.A. 2012 with the Hammer Museum, and has curated LAXART exhibitions with artists Daniel Martinez, Ruben Ochoa, Adria Julia, Kori Newkirk, Walead Beshty, and Glenn Kaino, among others. She was formerly assistant director/curator of Los Angeles's MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, and curator of Artists Space (New York). She has previously taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and at USC's Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts.

Founded in 2005, LAXART is the leading independent nonprofit contemporary art space in Los Angeles, producing experimental exhibitions, public art initiatives, and publications with emerging and established local, national, and international artists. LAXART supports risk and dialogue, produces new work for new audiences, and creates a dynamic program that reflects the city's diversity. LAXART is the space for artists, is led by artists and serves as an incubator for the next generation of curators.