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03 Jan 2014

Visualist-in-Residence Event

The Ephemera(l) Institution
Institute of Cultural Inquiry


Join us for an evening with our current Visualist-in-Residence, Martin Gantman, while he presents his investigations into the nature of the ephemera(l) arc of institutions, in contrast to, say, the ultimate freefall of a gravity rainbow — or, perhaps, Slim Pickens' final ride . . . January 11, 2014, 7-9pm Interment of 'Matchboxes-in-anotherbox: testimony' will occur at 8pm

Sue-Na Gay

Institute of Cultural Inquiry
1512 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

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In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. –Yogi Berra

The Institute of Cultural Inquiry (ICI) presents the Ephemera(l) Institution, a public presentation of Martin Gantman's practice-based research at the ICI through its Visualist-in-Residence Project. The findings of his 'archeological' undertaking will be presented at a public event at the Institute on January 11, 2014 from 7 – 9 pm. The evening will include an artist action in the ICI garden at 8 pm: the permanent interment of Matchboxes-in-another box: testimony, a work completed during his residency. Transformations to physical elements of the Institute that have materialized as a result of Gantman's tenure will also be on display.

According to Gantman, a long-time Associate of the organization, the ICI is unique in how it co-opts cultural artifacts for use as foils to pierce the veil that constrains contemporary thought. He asks how the method of the Institute contributes to such results? And in the long term, how does the Institute frame itself so that its contributions, and in particular its singular methods, contribute to the production of knowledge after its demise?

Martin Gantman is a Los Angeles based artist and writer who has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. In 2012, he chaired a panel session entitled: Tracking the Movement of Investigatory Art at the College Art Association Conference in Los Angeles. In trying to address these issues, Gantman brings his interest in investigatory art to service during his residency. Digging into the Institute's distinct approach to its organizational construct, language, and activities, he has fashioned a commentary on the Institute's practices and devices. What does it mean to have an Ephemera Kabinett, which has the potential to contain evidence of almost anything? And how is it mobilized in the effort to produce knowledge? These are questions that Gantman has attempted to answer.

Martin Gantman's VIR workspace and the materials associated with his residency will remain on display (by appointment only) until January 31, 2014. For appointments or questions regarding the Visualist-in-Residence project or other ICI events, please visit out wesite, or contact

The Institute of Cultural Inquiry sponsors displays, symposia, workshops, performances and provides numerous opportunities for both the artist fabricator and the curious spectator of visual culture. The ICI's 'Visualist-in-Residence' (VIR) project offers artists, art theorists, writers, and other visual researchers and culture producers a chance to participate in studio-based visual research in a richly layered and mutable environment. The VIR 'laboratory' may function as an artist's studio, a writing room, a space for gathering data or a quiet space for evaluation and contemplation depending on the needs of each individual project. At the Institute, VIRs are actively encouraged to expand current definitions of visual research and to borrow freely from ICI research practices as they produce knowledge and not merely transmit current, accepted theories or orthodoxies. At the end of each residency, the VIRs are invited to present their 'research' in a public event/discussion session.