2021 FOCAFellowships

Everything Just Changed, No?

Fellows of Contemporary Art proudly presents the 2021 FOCAFellowships Exhibition Everything Just Changed, No?. Curated by Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia, the exhibition highlights work by FOCAFellowships grant recipients Carmen Argote, Nikita Gale, and Tran, T. Kim-Trang.

Nikita Gale, LOCKED LUNGS, 2020-2021, photo: Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia Tran, T. Kim-Trang, Excellent Satisfaction, 2021, photo: Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia

Carmen Argote, Cosmic Backpacks, 2021, photo: Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia

The exhibition features new works by three artists. Tran, T. Kim-Trang’s video titled Excellent Satisfaction ruminates on how student evaluations are assessed and unveils a world of conflicting emotions and ideologies. Nikita Gale presents LOCKED LUNGS, a small open-sided shelved box with a mini record player and an amplifier. When it is turned on, the room is filled with the sound of inhaling and exhaling, on repeat. Carmen Argote presents three works from a new series titled A Cosmic Language that are mostly made from discarded pizza boxes that the artist collects from her neighbors’ trash cans. In this time of uncertainty, Curator Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia presents the works of three artists with the shifting feelings of hope and celebration to doubt and anger. This exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by Fellows of Contemporary Art.

FOCAFellowships is a biennial, unrestricted grant of $10,000 each for up to three mid-career artists in recognition of their current and significant contributions to California art.  Available through nomination only, FOCAFellowships are designed to further encourage and support California artists with an exhibition history of ten years or more. This is the eighth biennial award given by FOCA since 2006.

A panel of three distinguished curators nominate the artists who are then invited to apply for the award. Final selection is determined by a jury of three arts professionals who submit the recipients to Fellows of Contemporary Art.

Fellows of Contemporary Art    
Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 5pm
July 21 – August 28th
(Closed August 12 and August 14)
970 N Broadway, Suite 208
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 808-1008

The 2021 FOCAFellowships Exhibition Everything Just Changed, No?, curated by Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia, opened on Saturday, July 17, 2021 during FOCA\’s Summer Party. The exhibition runs until August 28, 2021.



Carmen ArgoteCarmen Argote’s process-based practice is derived from her environment and its connection to her body. The act of walking and movement is an integral part of her practice and transforms the body into her studio. The search for visual fragments in her embodied state come forward to conceptualize the construction of an idea and the aesthetics and materials begin to emerge.Carmen Argote (b. 1981, Guadalajara, Mexico; lives and works in Los Angeles) received her MFA in 2007 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also received her BFA in 2004. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Visual Arts Center, University of Texas, Austin (2020); New Museum, New York (2019); PAOS, Guadalajara, Mexico (2019); Ballon Rouge Collective, Istanbul, Turkey (2019) and New York (2018); Instituto de Visión, Bogotá, Colombia (2018); Panel LA, Los Angeles (2017); Adjunct Positions Gallery, Los Angeles (2015); MAK Center, Los Angeles (2015); Human Resources, Los Angeles (2014); and Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2013). Argote has been featured in group exhibitions at SculptureCenter, New York (2019); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2017), Ballroom Marfa (2017); and Denver Art Museum (2017). She is the recipient of the Artadia Los Angeles award (2019), Artist Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation (2015) and a California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2013).Argote is represented by Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, California.Carmen Argote is a Los Angeles-based artist known for performance art and sculpture.  She received her BA and MFA from UCLA. She has had numerous solo exhibitions, notably Me At Market, University of Texas at Austin and As Above, So Below, New Museum, New York. Her work has been featured in many group exhibitions, including “Made in L.A. 2018”, Hammer Museum and The House Imaginary, San Jose Museum.
Nikita GaleNikita Gale’s work applies the lens of material culture to consider how authority and identity is negotiated within political, social, and economic systems.Nikita Gale’s work applies the lens of material culture to consider how authority and identity is negotiated within political, social, and economic systems. Nikita holds a BA in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeological Studies from Yale University, earned an MFA in New Genres at UCLA, and now lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Nikita has had many solo exhibitions, most notably PRIVATE DANCER, California African American Museum, Los Angeles and AUDIENCING, MOMA PS1. Nikita’s work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions such as “Made in L.A. 2018” at the Hammer Museum.Nikita’s work has recently been exhibited at MoMA PS1 (New York); LACE (Los Angeles); Commonwealth and Council (Los Angeles); Matthew Marks Gallery (Los Angeles); The Studio Museum in Harlem (New York); Rodeo Gallery (London); and in “Made in L.A. 2018” at the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles). Gale's first European institutional solo exhibition will take place at London's Chisenhale Gallery in 2022.Nikita holds a BA in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeological Studies from Yale University, earned an MFA in New Genres at UCLA, and now lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Tran, T. Kim-TrangTran, T. Kim-Trang was born in Vietnam and emigrated to the U.S. in 1975. She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and has been producing experimental videos since the early 1990's. Her work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group screenings in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Biennial, and the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. Her Blindness Series, eight experimental video shorts investigating blindness and its metaphors, was completed in 2006. Tran is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Creative Capital grant, a Getty Mid-Career Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship, which has enabled her to develop a screenplay based on the life of her mother titled Call Me Sugar, which she hopes to direct as a feature film project.In 2010 Tran exhibited a three-channel video installation titled Landless in Second Life, where she created an Afterlife for her mother as a way to explore notions of immigrants and immigration in the online, virtual world Second Life. In 2016 she produced a born-digital book of critical essays on The Blindness Series and completed a casual game titled Arizona 9 about a girl’s murder that led to the demise of the border-watch movement. In 2020 she debuted Movements: Battles and Solidarity, a large-scale video installation on the shared movements in fashion, the Vietnam War and women in the garment industry from 1972-74.Tran is a Professor of Art and Media Studies at Scripps College.Tran, T. Kim-Trang works across multiple media, including video, new media, and installation. Major themes in her works include visual dynamics, immigration, biotechnology, and relationships to technology. Tran received her BFA from the University of Iowa and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Her experimental videos have been exhibited internationally, including in the Biennial exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and in 1999 she presented her Blindness Series in a solo screening at MOMA.

Curated by

Nicolas Orozco-ValdiviaAssistant Curator at The Mistake Room, Los Angeles.

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2021 FOCAFellowships: Discussion

July 14, 2021
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