The PST Project, Willie Herrón’s Street Mural Asco East of No West (2011) and the Mural Remix Tour: Power Relations on the Los Angeles Art Scene
Eva Zetterman: Karlstad University, Sweden
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This article departs from the huge art-curating project Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945–1980, a Getty funded initiative running in Southern California from October 2011 to April 2012 with a collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions coming together to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene. One of the Pacific Standard Time (PST) exhibitions was Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987, running from September to December 2011 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This was the first retrospective of a conceptual performance group of Chicanos from East Los Angeles, who from the early 1970s to the mid 1980s acted out critical interventions in the politically contested urban space of Los Angles. In conjunction with the Asco retrospective at LACMA, the Getty Foundation co-sponsored a new street mural by the Chicano artist Willie Herrón, paying homage to his years in the performance group Asco. The PST exhibition program also included so-called Mural Remix Tours, taking fine art audiences from LACMA to Herrón’s place-specific new mural in City Terrace in East Los Angeles. This article analyze the inclusion in the PST project of Herrón’s site-specific mural in City Terrace and the Mural Remix Tours to East Los Angeles with regard to the power relations of fine art and critical subculture, center and periphery, the mainstream and the marginal. As a physical monument dependent on a heavy sense of the past, Herrón’s new mural, titled Asco: East of No West, transforms the physical and social environment of City Terrace, changing its public space into an official place of memory. At the same time, as an art historical monument officially added to the civic map of Los Angeles, the mural becomes a permanent reminder of the segregation patterns that still exist in the urban space of Los Angeles.

Keywords: Pacific Standard Time; Asco; Willie Herrón; Asco; East of No West; Mural Remix Tour; power relations; segregation patterns

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Independent Articles

, Article 37, 2014
Eva Zetterman
The PST Project, Willie Herrón’s Street Mural Asco East of No West (2011) and the Mural Remix Tour: Power Relations on the Los Angeles Art Scene:
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