Delusionarium 5 (Adaptation) will open across two Los Angeles exhibition spaces, Night Gallery and as-is.la, on May 15, 2021 and will run through June 12.
The project has been in the works for years, co-curated by Jesse Benson and Becky Koblick with essential input from Davida Nemeroff, and an exhibition-within-the-exhibition Flame from the Dark Tower collaboratively organized by Leila Weefur and 5/5 Collective at as-is.la, as well an active publication accompaniment.
D5 is part of a nomadic group exhibition series initiated by Benson in 2004, playing off biennial structures but not bound to any regular pattern of emergence, and organized not around a concept or formal principle, but through a supportive social structure. After a 13-year hiatus Delusionarium has returned.
Iterations in the series evolve organically and contrasting elements are embraced, allowing contributors to include essentially anything they want to. A vaguely established thread connects and supports all moments within the series, without a harnessing effect. The nomadic nature of the series allows for new contexts and illuminates the specificity of each site and situation without asking artists to work in situ.
Delusionariums often use loose subtitles that aren’t thematically restrictive. The subtitle for D5 was provided by Nemeroff back in 2019, mentioning at the time that she had been thinking about adaptation. An amazing premonition, given the enormous rate of change we all experienced in the subsequent years. Originally scheduled and announced to open April 2020, D5 had to adapt to survive like everything else.
D5 will include a type of exhibition catalog that will exist in two forms. In addition to a new text by Anthony Carfello, the publication will feature contributions from the exhibiting artists and dozens of additional participants.
Delusionarium is specific to its moment in history. In its infancy the series anticipated the collapse of roles, self-publishing, and DIY culture of our contemporary moment. Before fairs, gallery shares and gig culture had all become ubiquitous Delusionarium worked toward shared economies of space and labor both to amplify the visibility of platforms and to investigate collaborative exhibition models. Night Gallery and as- is.la were chosen for their programs, spaces, and histories as contributors to the cultural landscape of Los Angeles. A future D6 could exist anywhere.
Delusionarium 5 (Adaptation)
Daniel T. Gaitor-Lomack
William E. Jones
Tory J. Lowitz
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Michael E. Smith
Leila Weefur and 5/5 Collective
Jesse Benson is an artist currently based in Oakland. His work has exhibited internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include You Are Someone I can Tell My Secrets To at LOCKER (2020, Los Angeles) and Miracle Grow at Michael Benevento (2017, Los Angeles). Benson regularly engages in collaborative curatorial/organizational projects. Recent examples include his part in co-founding the collective Assembly®, and his initiation of the artist-on-artist writing journal The Benefit of Friends Collected, of which Volume 2 was published by Project X (X-TRA Magazine) and co-edited with Shana Lutker.
Becky Koblick is an independent curator and director of Altman Siegel, San Francisco. In 2019 Koblick relocated to the Bay Area from Los Angeles, where she held director positions with Art Los Angeles Contemporary (2017-2019) and Michael Benevento (2012-2017). She is a founding member of the collective Assembly® and co-founder of Los Angeles project space sixteen:one (2002-2004). Koblick received her MFA from Goldsmiths Curatorial Department in London in 2011 and worked in gallery director positions in London and Brussels (2009-2011).