LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives (Collection II)

LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives (Collection II)

  • April 18, 2022–Ongoing
  • Various locations throughout Los Angeles County via Snapchat
  • Learn how to use Snapchat

The River Once Ran, 2022

The River Once Ran transforms the concrete basin of The Los Angeles River into a landscape teeming with plant and animal life. This work is situated alongside Judy Baca’s iconic half-mile mural The Great Wall of Los Angeles (1978 - ongoing), conceptualized by the artist as a “tattoo on the scar where the river once ran.” The lens activates different layers of history at this site, exploring the consequences of the taming of the river, the intelligence of plants and animals, and the purposeful recovery of the history of diverse communities of California from prehistoric times to the 1950s.

In The River Once Ran, we see a recovery of the river, a restoration of the land, a flurry of stork’s bill seeds, a coyote, hummingbirds, and butterflies. We hear the howl of the coyote and the voices of the mural makers involved in the creation of The Great Wall. Time is compressed to allow the multiple histories of the site visible at once - illustrating a healing of the river and a recovery of disappeared histories.

The River Once Ran may be experienced at The Great Wall of Los Angeles beginning this summer or from anywhere by searching in Lens Explorer and scanning the QR code below.

The River Once Ran Snap Code

Composition by Judy Baca. SPARC Artist Assistants: Daniel Barajas and Gina Leon
Lens Creator: Holliday Horton 

Headshot of artist Dr. Judith F. Baca

Dr. Judy Baca

Dr. Judy Baca has created public art for four decades. In 1974, Baca founded the City of Los Angeles’s first mural program, which produced over 400 murals, employed thousands of local participants, and evolved into an arts organization—the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). She continues to serve as SPARC’s artistic director while promoting social justice and participatory public arts projects. She is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant for the expansion of The Great Wall.

Baca makes art shaped by an interactive relationship of history, people, and place. Her public artworks focus on revealing and reconciling peoples’ struggles for their rights and affirming the community’s connections to place. Together, she co-creates “sites of public memory.”

Photo by Todd Gray

What the Willow Whispers, 2022

Los Angeles artist Sandra de la Loza imagines monuments that are alive and dynamic like the creek that once flowed near Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park. In What the Willow Whispers, she animates the arroyo willow that lived along Compton Creek, the last major tributary of the Los Angeles River before it spills into the Pacific. Her lens revives the native plants that construction and an oil storage facility once diminished. Trees, birds, and animals resurface from a primordial pool that bursts through concrete. Music by local artist Carlos Gabriel Niño and Friends add the sound of wind, water, and seed pods rattling into the environment. The ecosystem in the lens grows and transforms by season, illustrating how the land is interconnected with time and history. What the Willow Whispers recalls the past to urge a vision of new ecologies in the future. 

What the Willow Whispers may be experienced at Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park or from anywhere by searching in Lens Explorer and scanning the QR code below.

What the Willow Whispers Snap Code

Composition by Carlos Niño & Friends featuring Surya Botofasina and Aaron Shaw; Recorded and Mixed by Jesse Peterson.
Lens Creator: Don Allen Stevenson III

Art Activity

What do plants and monuments have in common? What kind stories do plants tell us? Download Sandra de la Loza's What the Willow Whispers art kit to learn more!

Headshot of artist Sandra de la Loza

Sandra de la Loza

Sandra de la Loza is a third-generation Angeleno whose roots reside in historic Los Angeles working-class barrios. De la Loza conducts deep research into the stories of this land and its people through walks, visits to archives, oral histories, and participation in local community struggles. Through immersive installations, video, photography, and public art, her work investigates the layers under our present environmental and social landscapes as a means to decolonize, heal from historic and systemic violence, and create circles that enable liberated social relationships. She is an artist, educator, and creative strategist who has exhibited her work in public space, museums, and galleries locally, nationally, and internationally.

la revolución es la solución!, 2022

Kang Seung Lee engages with recent history through a methodical process of redrawing imagery from community-based archives. la revolución es la solución! stems from activist responses to the 1991 murder of Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old African American girl who was shot by Soon Ja Du, Korean American owner of the Empire Liquor store. Lee uses kites associated with Korean memorial services and New Year’s celebrations to map out the responses of activists initiated by community leaders after Harlins’s death. Lee wishes to amplify the voices and actions of activist leaders who have worked across racial and class lines to rebuild their communities. Lee’s project was originally conceived for the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising and is reconfigured to document the ongoing work of the Latasha Harlins Foundation, K-Town ’92, Mothers Reclaiming Our Children (Mothers ROC), as well as CARACEN’s (Central American Refugee Center) important role in bringing to light the mass deportations in the wake of multi-ethnic protests. Lee uses the transformational and lyrical qualities of animation to map virtual kites onto the sky. These kites flutter between the pain of the past and the hope for alliances and actions across communities, now and into the future. 

la revolución es la solución! may be experienced at Algin Sutton Recreation Center or from anywhere by searching in Lens Explorer and scanning the QR code below.

la revolución es la solución! Snap Code

Composition by Prismess Beam. Image: Latasha Harlins Foundation; Mothers Reclaiming Our Children; USC Digital Library. Los Angeles Webster Commission Records Collection; K-Town’92. Studio Assistant: Woohee Cho. Research Assistant: Hailey Loman 
Lens Creator: Hart Woolery

A Closer Look at the Resources
In his AR monument, Lee reconfigures each kite to document the ongoing work of various organizations to amplify the voices and actions of activist leaders who have worked across racial and class lines to rebuild their communities since the 1991 murder of Latasha Harlins. Take a closer look at the English, Spanish, and Korean translated resources Lee includes in his Lens. 

Art Activity

What do our shared histories and kites have in common? Can you tell a story with a kite? Download Kang Seung Lee's la revolución es la solución! art kit to learn more and create your own kite! 

Headshot of artist Kang Seung Lee

Kang Seung Lee

Kang Seung Lee is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in South Korea and now lives and works in Los Angeles. His work frequently engages the legacy of transnational queer histories, particularly as they intersect with art history. Lee has had solo exhibitions and projects all over the world, including Gallery Hyundai, Seoul (2021); Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles (2021, 2017, 2016);  and Artpace, San Antonio (2017). Selected group exhibitions include 13th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2021); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2020);  and Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador (2016). Lee is the recipient of the 18th Street Arts Center Artist Lab Residency (2020); California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2019); and the Rema Hort Mann Foundation grant (2018).

Photo by Ruben Diaz