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Artist Oscar Tuazon's Los Angeles Water School on Indigenous Histories Around the LA River

SCI-Arc Channel joins artist Oscar Tuazon as he reflects on his project the "Los Angeles Water School [LAWS]," a multi-unit structure engaging with the Los Angeles River.

For several years LAWS provided a platform for bringing people together around the question of water through exhibitions and panel discussions commencing with a community organized exhibition called Language and a roundtable engaging Tongva histories of the river and indigenous thinking around water. The structure moves to various sites to engage with questions of water in diverse contexts including East Lansing, Michigan and Spring Valley, Nevada thereby creating a dispersed map of how clean water moves across vast distances and connects us. Tuazon reflects on how an artwork can intervene at critical moments in an infrastructural conversation and then disappear again.

Engaging different methods of construction, Oscar Tuazon frequently uses wood, concrete, glass, steel, and piping as materials to create his structures and installations. His works have roots in minimalism, conceptualism, and architecture, and have a direct relationship with both the site in which they are presented, as well as with their viewer, often through physical engagement.

Oscar Tuazon (b. 1975, Seattle) lives and works in Los Angeles. The artist is currently the subject of solo shows at Bellevue Arts Museum, Oscar Tuazon: Collaborator and at the Aspen Art Museum, Oscar Tuazon: Fire Worship. Other recent solo shows include Oscar Tuazon: Water School at MSU Broad Museum earlier this year; a large-scale installation Une colonne d’eau in the Place Vendôme, Paris in 2017, Oscar Tuazon: Hammer Projects, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2016 and Studio, at Le Consortium, Dijon, France in 2015.

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