Grant Kester states that belief in “the intrinsically repressive nature of collective experience and the redemptive power of individuation is a staple of contemporary art theory and criticism [and art practice as he states elsewhere].” He goes on to make the point that critical distance from society and any kind of collectivity makes for a programmatic production of art of resistance that is “never fully tested against the exigencies of site and situation, only imposed upon them” (89). He’s analyzing collective art works from groups working in India, Argentina, among other places. (See The One and The Many: Contemporary Collaborative ARt in a Global Context. Duke University Press: 2010.)
So my question is this: if we consider galleries and even project spaces in 21st Century Los Angeles as sites of “critical distance,” ongoing “disruption,” and hopeful “innovation” (all characteristics Kester cites as Modernist tropes different from those of the historical collective which are fixed, integrated, and affirmative of dominant values), then what would it mean to take these sites’ specificities into consideration? Can you disrupt the disrupted or is this kind of disruption just the ultimate in self-gratification? If disruption is the status quo, what does it mean to disrupt a space of disruption? Is groundspace, as a venue outside the main flow of the “art world” stream (Bergamot, Wilshire, Chinatown), a place of disruption? And if so or if not, what would it mean to disrupt that disruption?