“Where Do We Go From Here?” is a public art exhibition featuring contemporary artists who identify as women and people of color. The exhibition can be viewed from street level at 700 South Main Street in the LA Fashion District, and is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from October 15, 2021, through March 1, 2022.
The exhibition theme, “Where Do We Go From Here?” is a prompt to envision a future forward after a tumultuous time, including an ongoing pandemic, racial and cultural reckonings and economic upheaval. These challenges also present opportunities to reconsider the type of world the community wants to build.
“When envisioning a future world, we must ask, ‘Who is it meant to hold space for? Who is it going to work for? Who gets to build it both literally and spiritually?’ The answer to all of those questions should be ‘everyone,’ but that requires a very different reality from the one we are in now where so many are left out,” said Tré Borden, curator of the exhibition. “‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ presents these essential questions to the community and asks them to imagine what our collective destiny could and should look like.”
The exhibition includes responses to the prompt from three artists.
The 2021 exhibition of the annual Womxn in Windows project from curator and founder Zehra Ahmed is shown in the street-front windows of the building. Womxn in Windows was founded in 2019 when Ahmed saw a need to share the perspectives of womxn from underrepresented communities in public spaces and engage with wider audiences. The multi-monitor installation features works of moving images by five artists, Kesh, Moshtari, Olivia Gastaldo, RaFia Santana and Morehshin Allahyari. Womxn in Windows will also include an open call to LA artists to submit works with their interpretation of this year's exhibition theme. Audiences can share their own response to the question “Where Do We Go From Here?” by scanning the installation’s QR code with their phones. Responses will be displayed on the monitors over the course of the exhibition.
Artist Janna Ireland’s “How Big is the Earth” (2021) is composed of six original photographs printed on silk. The artist used the prompt “Where Do We Go From Here?” to consider the world she wants her children to inherit. The photos were taken at home during the pandemic and show Ireland’s children engaged in different forms of play and exploration.
Artist Ginger Q’s “ESTAMOS AQUI -- WE ARE HERE” (2021) is a six-foot tall neon green sign atop the building that reads “ESTAMOS AQUI,” which translates from Spanish to “we are here.” The piece references the building’s heritage as Dearden’s furniture store, which provided credit lines for many immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Thousands of immigrants were able to gain citizenship using Dearden’s receipts to confirm their presence in the U.S.
The exhibition is at 7MAIN, a mixed-use creative office campus at the corner of 7th and Main Streets. After nearly a century of continuous operation as Dearden’s department store, the newly renovated 7MAIN features a restored original timber frame structure and masonry walls, as well as contemporary finishes and enhanced safety features.
“The LA Fashion District is a neighborhood of artists, designers and other creative people,” said Dean Nucich, managing principal at Urban Offerings, which provided the space at 7Main. “With this exhibition, the building itself acts as a canvas for creative expression. We were honored to create a space for local women artists, and to welcome the community to participate in the experience outdoors in a COVID-safe way.”
“The LA Fashion District is known for experiences and hidden gems waiting to be discovered,” said Anthony Rodriguez, interim executive director of the LA Fashion District Business Improvement District, which is co-sponsoring the installation with Urban Offerings. “This exhibition is a point of engagement to welcome the community into the creative ecosystem at work in the area every day.”
For more information, visit the Los Angeles Fashion District website and social channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The exhibition uses the hashtag #WhereDoWeGoFromHere.