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Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) publishes Engagement Party. Social Practice at MOCA, 2008–2010

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) is pleased to announce the publication of Engagement Party: Social Practice at MOCA, 2008–2012. This comprehensive, fully illustrated examination of the artworks created during the run of MOCA’s influential Engagement Party program is the first museum publication to deal in-depth with the emerging discipline of social practice in the visual arts. Published by MOCA and distributed by D.A.P., the 240-page catalogue is available beginning January 1, 2013. Please join us for the book launch on January 9, 7–10pm, at ForYourArt.

Engagement Party was the renowned experimental artist residency program at MOCA funded by an Artistic Innovation Fund grant from the James Irvine Foundation from 2008 until 2012. Engagement Party offered Southern California–based artist collectives and collaborators the opportunity to make socially based artworks by interacting with and exploring the museum and its resources in unexpected ways. Selected artists were free to work on-site for three months, making new work to be presented on the first Thursday of each month. Employing a range of mediums, disciplines, and strategies, resident artists created performances, workshops, screenings, lectures, interactive performances, and a host of other activities that engaged the participation of museum-goers in the making of artwork. Participating artists and artist collectives included Finishing School, KnifeandFork, OJO, Slanguage, My Barbarian, Lucky Dragons, Ryan Heffington + The East Siders, The League of Imaginary Scientists, Neighborhood Public Radio, The Los Angeles Urban Rangers, Liz Glynn, and CamLab. Making non-object-based artwork a critical component of MOCA’s programs, Engagement Party challenged the conventions of the museum as a collecting institution only, as well as provided a needed platform for those creating socially based artwork.

Engagement Party: Social Practice at MOCA, 2008–2012 features a major essay by Grant Kester, Professor of Art History and Director of the University Art Gallery in the Visual Arts department at the University of California, San Diego, on the ethical questions that social practice raises for art and its reception. The catalogue also features profiles on each of the artists who participated in the program and analyses of the works they presented by writers including artist and critic Erik Bluhm; Rita Gonzalez, Assistant Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; writer and critic Holly Myers; Corrina Peipon, Curatorial Associate at the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Lily Siegel, Assistant Curator at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Aandrea Stang, former MOCA Senior Education Program Manager and Program Director for Engagement Party, contributed an introduction that delves into the origins and philosophy behind the program. The publication also includes a selected annotated bibliography of social practice.

Engagement Party was made possible by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. In-kind media support has been generously provided by ForYourArt.

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