This summer, Los Angeles' riverbanks and water-related sites will blossom to life despite the drought. Current:LA Water, a citywide public art biennial made by possible by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, is seeking to uncover the complexities inherent in water (or the lack of them) on urban life. Out of 237 cities, Los Angeles was one of four selected for the coveted grant. Patricia Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies says the grant not only aims to give cities an economic lift, but it envisions providing a "spiritual lift" as well.
Across 16 locations (15 designated sites plus a "hub") from Bee Canyon Park in Granada Hills to Point Fermin Park in Long Beach, site-specific artwork and public programming by international and Los Angeles-artists will provoke visitors to ponder the tangled web of connections water weaves in our city's history. Initiated by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), Current:LA also seeks to build connections between the sometimes-siloed communities of Los Angeles, as well as to nature in the urban setting. Felicia Filer, co-executive director of Current:LA said, "Unlike exhibits in a museum, these site-specific works across Los Angeles beckon city dwellers to slow down, have a seat, seek shade, walk the bike path, until there is nothing left to do, but be."
"Untitled 2016 (LA Water, Water Pavillion)" by Rirkrit Tiravanija at Sepulveda Basin, 6300 Lake Balboa Hiking Trail, Encino.
Angelenos will be surprised to find a waterfall by the Los Angeles River's path, but that's exactly what's in store for them at artist Tiravanija's site. The artist has built an intimate timber-frame structure, which doubles as a public space where events around water are held. Expect a blessing ceremony by Thai monks, tea ceremonies and communal cooking to happen.
"Exquisite Corpse" by Kerry Tribe at Sunnynook Park, L.A. River Bike Path, Atwater Village.
Not everyone can traverse all 51 miles of the Los Angeles River. Artist Kerry Tribe captures some of the scenery of each mile of the river into a serene 51-minute film that captures the varied landscapes, neighborhoods and people that can be found by the river. Its images present a whole picture of the river, which isn't commonly seen by visiting just a few miles of the waterway.