CURATORIAL STATEMENT

Pride Publics: Words and Actions examines themes central to LGBTQ+ public life and highlights trailblazers and their visions. By staging a visual dialogue between historical and contemporary changemakers, this exhibition chronicles moments of multi-generational progress and community actions that contribute to the wellbeing and advancement of queer and trans life in the public realm.

 

These large-scale posters feature literary musings and portraits of contemporary artists, writers, and activists in LGBTQ+ communities. Rendered in black and white with hand-applied accent colors and jotting, this exhibition serves to break up the urban visual noise field with an homage to protest culture and street art. This temporary public art installation consists of 4’ x 5’ posters wheatpasted on a public site in West Hollywood in June and across the larger Los Angeles region in October 2021. The exhibition also includes a window installation at ONE Gallery in West Hollywood, a web guide with media components, printed matter with thematically relevant artworks, and programming.

 

This exhibition continues the legacy of Robert Vázquez Pacheco’s propaganda making. Pacheco deployed Madison Avenue advertising strategies, installing posters and billboards to bring attention to dire issues concerning people of color. To elevate LGBTQ+ issues in the mid to late 1990s, Pacheco contributed to the activist groups GRAN FURY and ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), grassroots organizations that supported LGBTQ+ lives and people living with AIDS through direct action, advocacy, and legislation. With throw-back visual aesthetics, the analog typewritten font used in the exhibition is inspired by Zoe Leonard’s “I want a president” manifesto. Pride Publics: Words and Actions highlights the lineages of queer and trans artists, writers, and activists through new cultural production, propelling LGBTQ+ communities forward.

 

This exhibition is organized by ONE Archives Foundation with support from the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division as a part of the City’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival.

 

This exhibition is made possible in part by Schmitt-Young Group at Morgan Stanley, and Steve Pepdjonovic & Joshua Jetson.

ABOUT ARTIST/CURATOR

Rubén Esparza is a multidisciplinary artist, activist, and independent curator based in Los Angeles. Esparza uses analog materiality alongside complex experimental digital-driven works to create sociopolitical commentary or an homage to brownness and/or queerness. Esparza’s work is in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and Chicago National Museum of Mexican Art.

ABOUT ONE ARCHIVES FOUNDATION

Founded in 1952, ONE Archives Foundation is the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the United States, and is dedicated to telling accurate stories and history of all LGBTQ people and their culture. As an independent nonprofit, ONE Archives Foundation promotes ONE Archives at the USC Libraries — the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world — and provides innovative educational initiatives, public exhibitions, and community programs.