MUXXXE, Chula, 2019. Video still.
MUXXXE, Chula, 2019. Video still.

Vincent Price Art Museum presents Sonic Terrains in Latinx Art

The Vincent Price Art Museum (APG 2020) at East Los Angeles College is pleased to present Sonic Terrains in Latinx Art, a major exhibition of Latinx sound practices, extending from the early avant-gardism of sound art to new interdisciplinary art forms.

The exhibition showcases an intergenerational roster of 30 artists and collectives who utilize sound in diverse and varied outputs, including visual art, performance, spoken word, music, pirate radio, public protest, and social practice. Works within the exhibition examine the medium and structure of diverse sonic forms, as well as address the role of sound in processes of racialization, resistance, identity formation, cultural belonging, and collective healing. Taken together, these artists and artworks underscore the function and malleability of sound as an instrument for creative expression and political intervention.

Major figures include Pauline Oliveros (b. 1932 – d. 2016) and Raphael Montañez Ortiz (b. 1934), two notable artists working at the intersection of experimental sound and performance art who grapple with questions of listening and consciousness; and Gerardo Velázquez (b. 1958 – d. 1992) of Nervous Gender and Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara (b. 1942), two leading Chicano interdisciplinary figures who branched into rock and punk poetry and sound experimentation. Works by artists such as Raven Chacon, Guillermo Galindo, and Jimena Sarno offer contemporary approaches to sound and composition, drawing upon their formal training to chart new directions within the visual arts.

Sound as a site of resistance is evidenced in the works of many artists in the exhibition, such as Guillermo Gómez-Peña, whose long-standing use of audio technologies, spoken word, and performance powerfully addresses racism, xenophobia, and border politics, and collaborators Nguyen E. Smith and Marven Fabian whose performances and live soundscapes expose government failure to address the impact of climate change and natural disasters across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Autumn Chacon considers state-occupation of land and airwaves, and Indigenous resistance, vis-a-vis micro- and pirate-radio, while Gala Porras-Kim’s work on Zapotec culture considers the resilience of Indigenous languages and the politics of linguistics. The Sonic Insurgency Research Group (Josh Rios, Anthony Romero, and Matt Joynt) also examines relationships between sound and power, often remixing historical materials for socially-engaged performances, installations, and events.
Additionally, visual artists with strong penchants for music, such as Gary “Ganas” Garay and Los Jaichackers (Eamon Ore-Girón and Julio Cesar Morales), frequently make sound and music cultures the subject of their diverse works, while a rising generation of artists and vocalists such as San Cha, Sofía Córdova, Carmina Escobar, Martine Gutierrez, MUXXXE, and Dorian Wood bridge art and music through performance and art-driven videos.

Artists and Collectives
Allora & Calzadilla, AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides), Tania Candiani, Autumn Chacon, Raven Chacon, Cog•nate Collective (Misael Diaz and Amy Sanchez Arteaga), Sofía Córdova, Carmina Escobar, Marvin Fabien, Guillermo Galindo, Gary Garay, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, María Elena González, Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara, Martine Gutierrez, Marcus Kuiland-Nazario, Los Jaichackers (Julio Cesar Morales and Eamon Ore-Giron), Raphael Montañez Ortiz, MUXXXE, Pauline Oliveros, Gala Porras-Kim, San Cha, Luz María Sánchez, Jimena Sarno, Sonic Insurgency Research Group (Josh Rios, Anthony Romero, and Matt Joynt), Nyugen E. Smith, Penelope Uribe-Abee, Gerardo Velázquez, Dorian Wood, and XUXA SANTAMARIA.

Opening Reception
Saturday, April 30, 2022
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Public Programming
The exhibition will be accompanied by a suite of virtual and in-person public programs. Please see the museum’s website for details.

Sonic Terrains in Latinx Art is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalog produced by the Vincent Price Art Museum. Edited and with a joint scholarly essay by Javier Arellano Vences, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, and Joseph Daniel Valencia, the catalog aims to establish new directions in the field of Latinx art history while simultaneously locating Latinx art practices within avant-garde, sound-based, and experimental genres. The catalog is designed by ELLA, a graphic design studio based in Los Angeles, and will be available in late 2022.

About the Vincent Price Art Museum
The mission of the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College is to serve as a unique educational resource for the diverse audiences of the college and the community through the exhibition, interpretation, collection, and preservation of works in all media of the visual arts. VPAM provides an environment to encounter a range of aesthetic expressions that illuminate the depth and diversity of artwork produced by people of the world, both contemporary and past. By presenting thoughtful, innovative, and culturally diverse exhibitions and by organizing cross-disciplinary programs on issues of historical, social, and cultural relevance, VPAM seeks to promote knowledge, inspire creative thinking, and deepen an understanding of and appreciation for the visual arts.

Exhibition Credits
The exhibition is organized by the Vincent Price Art Museum. It is co-curated by Javier Arellano Vences, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, and Joseph Daniel Valencia.

Major support for the exhibition is provided by generous grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and the Ford Foundation.