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Louisa Van Leer


Mobile Studio Project , 2007-2009

The Mobile Studio Project is an ongoing project where I'll roam the streets of Los Angeles in an 18ft, 1974 Dodge Establishment motorhome/art studio making art, mapping projects, public art installations and videos. The mobile studio will be a platform, a stage, a viewing device to explore the social and spatial make-up of the mega-city that is Los Angeles.

The first public exhibition with the motorhome is called "Urban Road Trip: Los Angeles" In collaboration with Karla Diaz and sponsored by Art 2102.

>From the Press Release:

Urban Road Trip: Los Angeles, 2008. Louisa Van Leer, artist/architect and Karla Diaz, writer/performer travel through the city of Los Angeles to explore the ninth largest metropolitan area in the world - a mega-city covering 470 square miles with millions of inhabitants.

How do they make sense of a place like this? By taking road trips. A road trip not only invokes the car culture and sprawl of Los Angeles but the open-road state of mind: enjoying the ride, giving oneself permission to pull over, to talk to strangers and to get lost through the familiar and unfamiliar alike.

Over the next several months, the artists will transform a 1972 Dodge Camper (also known by it's model name "The Establishment") into an exhibition space, artist studios, projecting device, recording studio, meeting site and place of refuge as they navigate Los Angeles' superlative terrain.

The first project in the Urban Road Trip series, "Reunion of Strangers" uses the location of ART2102's former gallery space at 2102 East 1st Street, as a starting point to explore neighborhoods in East Los Angeles. It centers on the historic neighborhoods of Boyle Heights & Lincoln Heights, which were some of the first suburbs of Los Angeles, through interviews, photographs, videos and installation. The artists visited other addresses with the same street number of 2102 and found themselves in tamale shops, vacant lots, apartment buildings, train tracks and pharmacies among others. The results, exhibited in "The Establishment", are the artifacts culled from the artists" act of searching, remembering and their multiple personal exchanges within the community, arriving at a uniquely comprehensive view of one neighborhood located in the sprawl of Los Angeles.

"Reunion of Strangers" seeks to draw a virtual line on the map of Los Angeles that is neither street, nor freeway, nor district boundary, but a desire line that links people and places and doesn't presume to meld the fragmented qualities of LA, but takes that as a given and builds it into a mapping method. In the months to come, the Reunion project which starts/reunites the old Art 2102's brick and mortar address in Boyle Heights with the current itinerant, roaming Art2102, will inscribe a path around Los Angeles connecting 2102 address and uniting strangers and unknown places across the vastness of the city.

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