Work in Southern California: A Retrospective
Work in Southern California: A Retrospective

Work in Southern California: A Retrospective will illuminate the breadth of experience of labor and industry in the greater Los Angeles area, opening new avenues for understanding the meaning and sheer variety of the work that has built, sustained, and occupied the unique and diverse population of this storied and often misunderstood region.

Work will delineate differences in experience with critical exploration of a shared past, as subjects place their work in the context of our traditional understanding of Los Angeles and the neighboring communities that constitute life in the region. The testimonies and artifacts that emerge as part of the exhibition will create a new picture of our place, both demystifying and honoring the work that has created and built contemporary Southern California in the footprint of the orchards, coastline, and raw landscape that preceded it.

Scheduled to open in June 2006 and close in December 2006, Work in Southern California will feature:

Walking Tours. A Series of Walking Tours, the first scheduled for March 5, 2006, will explore different neighborhoods within Los Angeles and will be led by Resident Storytellers. The Studio’s Resident Storytellers are passionate about their city, experts in history and the built environment, and come from a variety of backgrounds.

Oral History Collection. Beginning in January 2006, the Studio will begin gathering oral histories from different individuals in the region whose history is both representative and unique. Interviewees will explore their own work history experience and reflect on how the region has changed within their lifetime. These histories will be available in excerpt form at the Studio’s website, for study at the Studio, and in different installations.

Symposium on “Work in Southern California.” On September 16, 2006, the Studio will host a speaker series that will include local scholars from a variety of disciplines. Comprised of two panels, each will explore concepts of labor and industry tied to an historical theme.

Gallery Exhibit. Culling a vast array of materials: ephemera gathered in the process of conducting oral histories, artifacts from local archives, and the oral histories themselves, the Studio for Southern will launch its exhibit for Work in Southern California on June 24, 2006.
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