Hammer Museum Appoints Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler as Curators for Made in L.A. 2020


The Hammer Museum announced today that the 2020 edition of its acclaimed biennial Made in L.A. will be co-curated by Tunisian-French writer and curator Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler, an artist, curator, and graphic designer based in Los Angeles.

Made in L.A. 2020 will be the fifth iteration of the biennial series that highlights artwork created in the Los Angeles region, with an emphasis on emerging and under-recognized artists. Ben Salah and Mackler will spend the next 18 months visiting artists and organizing the exhibition and accompanying catalogue. The exhibition will be on view June through September 2020.

“Every Made in L.A. has its own distinct identity, and I look forward to what Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler will bring to this exhibition,” said Hammer Director Ann Philbin. “They are both deeply engaged with the contemporary art scene in Los Angeles, so we’re eager to see the fresh perspectives they bring to Made in L.A. 2020.”

“Lauren Mackler has a history with Made in L.A., as her project Public Fiction was featured in Made in L.A. 2014 and included a rotating cast of collaborators chosen by Lauren,” said Hammer Chief Curator Connie Butler. “It’s exciting to have her back in this new capacity, and paired with Myriam Ben Salah, who has deep connections to both the Los Angeles and international art community.”

The Hammer’s Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, who has previously served with Performa and The Kitchen in New York, will assist in the organization of the 2020 biennial in the role of Assistant Curator for Performance.

As with past editions of Made in L.A., the Mohn Awards will again be presented in conjunction with the exhibition. Funded through the generosity of Los Angeles philanthropists and art collectors Jarl and Pamela Mohn, the three awards are the Mohn Award, the Career Achievement Award—both of which are selected by a professional jury—and the Public Recognition Award, which is determined through votes cast by visitors to the exhibition.

About the curators
Myriam Ben Salah
is a Tunisian-French curator and writer based in Paris. She has been in charge of special projects and public programs at Palais de Tokyo from 2009 to 2016, focusing especially on performance art, moving image, and publishing initiatives. She was recently the guest curator of the 10th edition of the Abraaj Group Art Prize in Dubai (2018), where she worked with winning artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan on a large-scale commission. In 2016, she was a curator-in-residence at Fahrenheit in Los Angeles. Ben Salah’s recent projects encompass exhibitions, screening series, and performances organized at prominent international institutions including Lazaar Foundation in Tunis, the ICA in London, Beirut Art Center, Kunsthall Stavanger, Kadist Foundation in Paris and San Francisco, Pejman Foundation in Tehran, and DESTE Foundation in Athens. Ben Salah is currently the editor-in-chief of Kaleidoscope Magazine. She also co-edited F.A.Q., a periodical image-only magazine with artist Maurizio Cattelan, as well as FEB MAG, the publication of the Underground Museum in Los Angeles. Her writings have appeared in numerous international art publications and catalogues including Artforum, Mousse, and Numéro. She sits on the jury of Beirut Art Residency, SAM Art Project in Paris, and the Onassis Foundation Residency in Athens. She was part of the curatorial committee selecting emerging artists for Artissima (Turin) and is currently working on artist Neil Beloufa’s first monograph book.

Lauren Mackler is a curator and writer based in Los Angeles. In 2010, she founded Public Fiction, a forum for staging exhibitions, performances, and programs by contemporary artists and writers, as well as a print journal with the same mission. Mackler has organized Public Fiction exhibitions and catalogues at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2012 and 2016); Artissima LIDO, Turin (2012); the Berkeley Art Museum (2013); Frieze Projects New York (2014); the Hammer Museum (2014); the MAK Center for Art and Architecture’s Schindler House (2018); and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (January 2019). She is currently the managing editor of Sublevel, the literary magazine housed in the CalArts School of Critical Studies, and has been on faculty at the School of Visual Arts in New York, the UCLA Graduate Department of Art, and Otis College of Art and Design. Mackler is a contributor to Artforum and various other publications. In 2015, she was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome.

About Made in L.A.
The Hammer’s biennial exhibition series Made in L.A. focuses exclusively on artists from the L.A. region with an emphasis on emerging and under-recognized artists. The Los Angeles biennial debuts new installations, videos, films, sculptures, performances, and paintings commissioned specifically for the exhibition and offers a snapshot of the current trends and practices coming out of Los Angeles, one of the most active and energetic art communities in the world. Made in L.A. began in 2012 with subsequent iterations in 2014, 2016, and 2018, and followed the tradition of the Hammer Invitational exhibitions, which occurred every two years and included Snapshot (2001), International Paper (2003), Thing (2005), Eden’s Edge (2007), Nine Lives (2009), and All of this and nothing (2011).

Made in L.A. 2012 was organized by a team of curators from the Hammer Museum and LA><ART: Hammer senior curator Anne Ellegood, Hammer curator Ali Subotnick, LA><ART director and chief curator Lauri Firstenberg, LA><ART associate director and senior curator Cesar Garcia, and LA><ART curator-at-large Malik Gaines. Made in L.A. 2014 was co-curated by Hammer chief curator Connie Butler and Los Angeles-based independent curator Michael Ned Holte. Made in L.A. 2016 was co-curated by Hammer curator Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, former director of education and associate curator, Renaissance Society. Made in L.A. 2018 was co-curated by Hammer senior curator Anne Ellegood and assistant curator Erin Christovale, with curatorial associate MacKenzie Stevens.


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