Tag Archives: Vanessa Place


“The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) will be welcoming Les Figues Press as an imprint of LARB Books. ‘We look for every opportunity to help support the literary community in Los Angeles, and so we are very happy to be part of Les Figues’s continued success,” said Tom Lutz, Los Angeles Review of Books editor-in-chief . ‘Les Figues Press has been documenting Los Angeles literary experimentalism for a dozen years, and we are glad to do our small part to help it continue breaking new ground.’ Les Figues will continue to produce four to five innovative works per year, with the support of LARB Books.

“Established in 2005, Les Figues is an award-winning, non-profit publisher focused on feminist work that pushes boundaries of genre and form. With an emphasis on writing as performance, engagement, and a point of participation, Les Figues also curates and hosts literary events, including readings, conversations, performances, and art salons. They have published the work of acclaimed writers such as Urs Allemann, Myriam Moscona, Dodie Bellamy, Colin Winnette, Sawako Nakayasu, Amina Cain, Frank Smith, and Matias Viegener. ‘This promising partnership allows Les Figues Press’s base of operations to stay solidly rooted in Los Angeles, under the management of fantastic additions to our editorial team, Kim Calder and Evan Kleekamp,’ said Teresa Carmody, editor of Les Figues Press. ‘As publishers of queer, feminist, highly experimental books of poetry and prose—including many works in translation—we’re optimistic that LARB’s larger platform and international presence will help bring new readers to these excellent but often overlooked books.’

“Carmody is a writer and editor who co-founded Les Figues with artist and writer Vanessa Place in 2005. Both she and Place have moved to the East Coast to embark on new opportunities, even as they retain their roles as editors-in-chief. In addition to her role at Les Figues, Carmody is now the director of Stetson University’s low-residency creative writing program, the MFA of the Americas. Place is a conceptual artist and criminal defense attorney, and the first poet to perform in the Whitney Biennial [2012]. Her most recent book is After Vanessa Place, with Naomi Toth, from Ma Bibliothèque.

“The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit, multimedia magazine of literature and culture that combines the great American tradition of the serious book review with the evolving technologies of the web. We are a community of writers, critics, journalists, artists, filmmakers, and scholars dedicated to promoting and disseminating the best that is thought and written, with an enduring commitment to the intellectual rigor, the incisiveness, and the power of the written word.

Les Figues Press is a nonprofit literary organization and award-winning publisher of poetry, prose, visual art, conceptual writing, and translation. Based in Los Angeles, our mission is to create aesthetic conversations between readers, writers, and artists. Les Figues Press publishes five to seven books a year and favors projects which push the boundaries of genre, form, and general acceptability. We also curate and host literary events, including readings, conversations, performances, and art salons. Les Figues Press embraces a feminist criticality and editorial vision. We are interested in work that is aware of itself as a textual body within a history and culture marked (like physical bodies) by constructs of gender, race, class, and sexuality.”





Andrea Fraser, Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk, 1989. Single-channel video (Betacam SP NTSC), color, sound. 30:00 min. (image thehammermuseum.tumblr.com)

New Works by Andrea Fraser, Vanessa Place


MAK Center: Schindler House
835 N Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Andrea Fraser’s work engages the institution of art and its interface with other social fields; Vanessa Place’s work interrogates notions of criminality and poetry. Language and sound figure into both of their practices as key investigative tools. Working from the disciplines of art and writing, respectively, both employ existing tracts of text and reposition them in the context of art and performance. AV presents new works by each artist in two sound installations in the Schindler House. Both works prompt the visitor to reflect on absence, presence, power, individuality, inequity, freedom, privilege, subjection and subjectification.
In the Chace wing of the house, Andrea Fraser has installed Tehachapi at Kings Road, an eight-channel audio installation combining field recordings with live audio fed through prison acoustic model. The audio includes recordings made by Fraser and Scott Benzel at the California Correctional Institution, Tehachapi, April 1, 2014, with additional audio from footage recorded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at five different state prisons. The graph in the Nursery, Index II, juxtaposes data on prison populations, income distribution, the art market, and museum and prison construction. In this installation, Fraser attempts to activate some of the structural relations between museums and prisons as the bookend institutions of increasingly polarized neoliberal social space.
In the Schindler wing of the house, Vanessa Place has installed Last Words, a recording in the artist’s voice of the last statements of all the inmates executed in Texas as recorded by the state since 1982.
Although this is the debut installation of the work, Last Words is an ongoing archival piece, as the executions are slated to continue indefinitely. The statements are published on the Texas Department of Corrections website and updated monthly. The current iteration of the work contains the statements of 510 inmates condemned to death, and will be updated as new statements become available. Inmates who refused to make a statement are represented by 5 seconds of silence. In this work, the sentence of death is performed through the final sentences by the condemned.

Related Programming

April 27, 2014

1:00 pm

Discussions with Andrea Fraser, Ashley Hunt, and representatives from Critical Resistance Los Angeles, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, No More Jails LA, and others.

May 22, 2014

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Performance by Vanessa Place, followed by a discussion with Place, Michael Eng, and Jamison Webster.

May 28, 2014

7:00 pm

Andrew Fraser talks with Joe Day about his research on museums and prisons.

Andrea Fraser

Major projects by Andrea Fraser include installations, performances, and surveys for an array of international museums, including the Kunstverein Munich; the Venice Biennale (Austrian Pavilion); the Whitney Biennial; the Generali Foundation, Vienna; the Kunsthalle Bern; the Bienal de São Paulo; Tate Modern; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford; the Museum of Modern Art, Vienna; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia; the Kunstverein Hamburg; the Carpenter Center, Harvard University; and the Ludwig Museum, Cologne. Her books include Andrea Fraser: Works 1984-2003, Dumont, 2003; Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser, MIT Press, 2005; and Texts, Scripts, Transcripts, Museum Ludwig, 2013. Fraser is a professor of New Genres at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Vanessa Place

The Boston Review called Vanessa Place “the spokesperson for the new cynical avant-garde,” theHuffington Post characterized her work as “ethically odious,” while philosopher and critic Avital Ronell said she is “a leading voice in contemporary thought.” Vanessa Place was the first poet to perform as part of the Whitney Biennial; a content advisory was posted. Other exhibition work has appeared at Denver Museum of Contemporary Art; the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art; The Power Plant, Toronto; the Broad Museum, East Lansing; and Cage 83 Gallery, New York. Selected recent performance venues include Museum of Modern Art, New York; Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art; Andre Bely Center, St. Petersburg, Russia; Kunstverein, Cologne; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Frye Art Gallery, Seattle; the Sorbonne; and De Young Museum, San Francisco. Recent books includeBoycottStatement of FactsNotes on Conceptualisms, co-authored with Robert Fitterman, and her translation of Guantanamo, by French poet Frank Smith. Place also works as a critic and criminal defense attorney, and is CEO of VanessaPlace Inc, the world’s first poetry corporation.


Vanessa Place from www.vanessaplace.biz (c) Lawrence Schwartzwald