Tag Archives: Alice Könitz


As a native Texan, I have witnessed firsthand the discrimination that immigrants face in the United States. I have heard from friends who visited detention centers, and from lawyers representing those detained. I have heard the stories of those who are separated from their families, and read transcripts from underfunded courtrooms operating far beyond capacity. It is devastating. That all of this occurs in the name of “security” and “safety” is the greatest farce of all. Molly Gochman

DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE (DYKWTCA) is a call to action and exhibition of over 100 unique works of art by 100+ leading visual artists that is organized by the artists and activists Mary Ellen Carroll and Lucas Michael. Each work incorporates, or represents an actual account (in whole or in part) from a child who was separated from their family and detained by the U.S. government. This text may be in the native language of the child or a translation into English. The accounts are taken from the interviews that were conducted by the Flores investigators that included legal, medical and mental health experts who visited the detention facilities six months ago in June of 2019. Upon witnessing the deplorable, inhumane, and illegal conditions they found the children in, they decided it was necessary to act upon their findings. They went public.*

The exhibition—WHEN WE FIRST ARRIVED…,curated by Ruth Noack—will open this weekend in Washington, D.C., and proceeds from artwork sales will benefit and support the Safe Passage Project, Terra Firma, Team Brownsville, and the Innovation Law Lab.


Through March 29.

Opening night: Saturday, January 25, from 6 pm to 8 pm.

The Corner at Whitman-Walker

1701 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

When We First Arrived…, artwork, from top: Spencer Ostrander, Ricci Albenda, Mary Lum, Molly Gochman, Rob Pruitt, Terence Gower, Jesse Presley Jones, When We First Arrived invitation card, Amy Sillman, Beto De Volder and Leon Villagran, Kay Rosen, and Carlos Motta. Artwork courtesy and © the artists, the photographers, DYKWTCA, Mary Ellen Carroll, and Lucas Michael.


This week, we passed by Blum & Poe to see Alma Allen‘s exhibition; we listened Hurricane performed by MS MR; we learned about Alice Könitz‘s work; we walked in the Mojave Desert; we visited Carl Kay’s buildings in hollywood hills and we talked about ‘a woman under the influence‘ a movie by John Cassavetes.


Alice Könitz is a Los Angeles institution. Or rather, she’s the founder of a Los Angeles institution. Or perhaps she’s none of these: her work–including the small shed museum she built in her backyard–influences precisely because it operates outside of the preexisting institutional framework. Alice Könitz is a rebel.

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Born in Essen, Germany, Könitz moved to Los Angeles in the 1990s, where she studied at CalArts. Her sculptures of cardboard and other found materials reflect the streets and built environment of Los Angeles. Detritus often coalesces into beautiful objects as if by chance. Other works are methodically constructed, but represent the detritus of our urban architecture–strip malls and 24-hour donut shops.



Könitz is best known as the founder of the Los Angeles Museum of Art, a shed with a corrugated roof she erected in her backyard in 2012 as an interdisciplinary performance and exhibition space. Since its founding, the Los Angeles Museum of Art has been a thriving space for underrepresented or “emerging” artists to show work and collaborate. The museum’s name, satirizing the behemoth institution LACMA (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), comments on the intractability of the publicly-funded art world and its distance from the city’s artists and their communities.

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Ironically, LAMOA garnered such press that in 2014 it was transported into a well-established museum institution, as an entry in the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. biennial. A facsimile of the LAMOA platform and removable rough-hewn walls was constructed inside the Hammer’s galleries, sans roof, and Könitz won the juried Mohn Award for the work she exhibited there.