An exciting and immersive four-day group art show opens August 4th at RCNSTRCT Studio on Melrose Ave. Titled We Stole the Fire, the show includes artists Phil America, Sheryo x The Yok, Lolo YS, Abars, Willie Gomez, Kristen Liu-Wong, Robbie Conal, Teddy Kelly, Deladeso, xTOFUx, Scott Hove, Tslil Tsemet, Homeless Cop, Gangster Doodles, Ginger Q, Nicole Salgar, Dorian Lynde, Alec DeMarco, Samuel De Angelis, Ray Young Chu, The Portalists, Jon Von Bonk and Roman Prado.
A collaboration with Mezcal El Silencio, the show is an art experience focused on free speech and expression. Presented by Think Tank Gallery and artist Phil America, the goal is to “launch an artist coup” and “reclaim power from the modern gods of government and media,” as Think Tank curators Jacob Patterson and Andrew Barsoum, and creative director Phil America, announce.
The art experience includes performance art, installations, graffiti, and limited edition merchandise. They promise “guerilla activist installations” leading up to the exhibition including a sculptural work in progress that viewers are encouraged to mark-up however they’d like. On the 4th, there will be an opening ceremony and group exhibition, with the show continuing through the 7th at the pop-up location on the corner of Melrose and Martel. Audiences can join in live or follow on social media; the event will be documented on 35mm film by Think Tank Gallery, and afterwards, become part of both a zine and a photo series.
So, what’s the experience about? Fire, symbolizing in both Greek and Mexican mythology the idea of something stolen from the gods to sustain life and create civilization. The exhibition takes on the idea that instead of mythological gods, the people can steal that precious fire from the government and the media, re-igniting revolutionary defiance.
“A Molotov cocktail has never been thrown to maintain the status quo,” says Think Tank Gallery director and curator Jacob Patterson, who has also set up a fully-functional Molotov cocktail-dispensing machine right outside the gallery space on Melrose. Titled Renegada, the vending machine sells limited edition Molotov cocktails for $5.
Viewers will also find a lemonade stand repurposed to sell hand-carved Zippo lighters. The stand will be in operation from 3 to 9 p.m. each day until Saturday’s opening.
One of the most exciting aspects of the event overall is the fact that viewers will be involved in the project directly and become a part of the performance art taking place. Participants are encouraged to interact with the sculpture, the cocktail machine, and the lemonade stand, as well as viewing the group show, which is passionate, political, and intense.
Artist Tsil Tsemet, who will have a piece called “The Awakening” in the show, says her work “comes as a result of observing while living in, and being part of, a society that created a world which — at this point — is constantly spinning while choking” on what spews from it. “We have created it through our comfort shortcuts, addictions, tiny interactions – as another little click on our computer, and, of course, our choices as consumers.” She adds, “The face in the piece is only reflecting on what we are all responsible for.” She notes that her image translated to the face of current American leadership while “demonstrating the law of karma in a very clear and grotesque physical shape, serving as a wake-up call.”
About the instigators of this flaming, participatory event: the ever-innovative Think Tank Gallery recently worked with Cirque du Soleil to walk visitors through a large, cake-themed installation; Phil America, a California-based artist and activist, uses installation and sculpture as well as performance to connect to viewers and subjects world-wide.
Mezcal El Silencio has been a long-time supporter of Think Tank Gallery’s immersive art exhibitions, with their most recent collaboration at a site-specific performance during Derby Day at the Santa Anita Racetrack. The artisanal mezcal is hand-crafted in The Valley of Tlacolula, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Enjoy the group experience August 4 from 6 to 11 p.m., and August 5-7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to RSVP for opening night event: https://thinktank.gallery/stealthefire
Admission to all events is free.
7400 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046