a shape made through its unraveling


September 9 - Octover 21, 2017

Over the last several years, Larkey’s work has existed within a framework of the utopian, combining aspects of language, sculpture, painting, and architecture to create structures that defy categorization. For this exhibition, Larkey has shifted from conceiving of the utopian as inherently unrealizable, to imagining, in conjunction with others, how we can create beneficial structures that are well within the field of the possible.

The central premise of the show is that art can help formulate what supportive social and economic structures might look like. To this end, the work in the exhibition reconfigures existing frames of reference – such as the alphabet – in order to offer possibilities other than those presented by patriarchal capitalism. Visitors are invited to engage with the work in dynamic ways that create connection between the participants to generate new visceral/lived frameworks for viable social and economic exchange.

In the main gallery, “Inhabit, Move, Stall, Rise” consists of four large-scale, linen-wrapped, painted metal structures that re-conceive the alphabet to encompass fluidity, contradiction, and the presence of possibility. Rooted in relational and embodied modes of interaction, these works provide the visual and conceptual framework within which the rest of the show and events unfold.

“A Shape Made Through Its Unraveling” is a large wall work composed of ceramic pendants, each of which is offered to visitors to the gallery to take, wear, and keep. By taking a pendant, each visitor participates in an ongoing performative act that manifests both connection to others and the necessary sharing of resources in order to promote mutual well being. Rethinking what ownership of an artwork can mean, the work exists not in the consolidation of the individual pieces, but in the spatial connections that are made by the dispersal of its parts.

Refashioned cinderblocks made from painted stucco over metal, “Beginn-ers,” function both as abstract paintings and as metaphors for the beginnings of collectively conceived, generative structures. Eight of these works are displayed on the wall; the ninth is a floor work in the form of a vessel, into which visitors are invited to leave written ideas about what structures – economic, social, physical – they would like to build. These ideas will be compiled on a website – www.beginn-ers.com – dedicated to collective imaginings of a sustainable world.

Dispersed throughout the exhibition, “Take Care” is a set of sculptures made from metal, wood, foam, and fabric, to be used as seats that provide comfort and rest while inhabiting the space. It foregrounds the recognition that care for ourselves, others, and the ecosystems we live within, must be present in everything that we build and create.


The exhibition will include events held in collaboration with people and organizations who are actively working to reconfigure our social and economic relationships to each other and our environment. All the collaborators have been financially compensated for their labor and time, and a portion of the proceeds of any sales of artworks will go to organizations of their choosing. This is to emphasize not only an ethics of compensation for labor, but the need to invest capital (social, economic, intellectual, cultural) in those structures which displace exploitation and the hoarding of resources as the dominant model.

RESTORE is an exploration of the principles of restorative justice. Restorative justice is a methodology used to resolve conflict and generate greater understanding of our role in conflict. It is being proposed as a way for communities to reduce harm, bypassing the criminal justice system. This event will be held with Red Road Restorative Justice on September 23rd, 2-5 pm.

INHABIT focuses on issues of land and property. As communities, we have the possibility of using our joint economic and social power to build affordable housing that supports our economic and social well-being. This event will be held with the Latch Collective and the Los Angeles Eco-Village on October 10th, 7 pm.

ARTICULATE deals with how language can be used as a both a tool of oppression and a tool of healing. We will consider how the use of language as a performative speech act creates the structures of our shared reality. We will find ways that language debilitated through misuse can be revitalized to function as a powerful act of resistance and healing. This event will be held with Amanda Yates Garcia on October 14th, 2-5 pm.

CONNECT addresses the divisiveness created by capitalism based on the creation of scarcity. We will use techniques derived from the Theater of the Oppressed to explore paradigms based in connection and abundance, as well as discuss solutions to the problem of contrived scarcity. This event will be held with Jade Gordon on October 21st, 2-5 pm.