West Adams bastion of independent art and curation MuzeuMM hosts a far-ranging group show this month, taking a laid-back yet academic approach to the genre of street photography. Curated by the artist-practitioners of the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art (VICA), “Out in the Street” includes some 30 artists, presenting their work in the context of the medium’s oldest popular activity — documenting what other people are up to out there.
“Out in the Street” curator Juri Koll solicited work that addresses “urban challenges and solutions,” with special attention paid to chronicling of actions for social justice, political protest and cultural philosophy. Of course, each artist interprets this theme differently, with results across the spectrum from casual observances to high-profile collaborations, gentle abstraction and candid portraiture. Well-known names from history and current events, fine art and photojournalism, are shown alongside more experimental and emerging voices, to great effect.
Although the show celebrates the rise in popularity and accessibility of photography, the end result of which is the never-ending Instagram onslaught, at heart it’s a much more quiet riot depicted on the walls. VICA itself takes a consciously historical approach to contextualizing its exhibition projects, and there’s a distinctly contemplative, spontaneous, neorealist aesthetic permeating the selections, forgoing the flash of spectacle for a more nuanced perspective. In the end, the show celebrates the softer powers of photography to present simple, impactful images of how things are, struggles and all.
Participating artists are Asif Ahmed, Debe Arlook, Sunny Bak, Hasmik Bezirdzhyan, Larry Brownstein, Cosimo Cavallaro, Ray Carofano, Liz Chayes, Jeremiah Chechik, Diane Cockerill, Lynne Deutch, L. Aviva Diamond, Jenny Donaire, Doug Edge, Maureen Haldeman, Louis Jacinto, Josh “Bagel” Klassman, Juri Koll, Eric Kunsman, Stephen Levey, Lawrie Margrave, Leigh Marling, Alberto Mesirca, Stefanie Nafé, Ave Pildas, Osceola Refetoff, Dotan Saguy, Buku Sarkar, Lana Shmulevich, Carl Shubs, Ted Soqui, Stephen Spiller, Stephanie Sydney, Edmund Teske, David Valera and Jody Zellen.
MuzeuMM, 4817 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams; (323) 979-3136, veniceica.org; Fri., Sept 21, 7:30-10 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues through Oct. 21.