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Chloë Bass

Installation view: Chloë Bass: Wayfinding, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA, 2022. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

The third phase of Chloë Bass's one-person exhibition Chloë Bass: Wayfinding at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA.

The institutions press release follows:

LOS ANGELES, CA—The Skirball Cultural Center announces today additional details of the West Coast debut of the exhibition Chloë Bass: Wayfinding. Featuring a series of sculptures inspired by public wayfinding signage, the expansive outdoor exhibition poses questions exploring human emotions, ranging from compassion and desire to anxiety and loss. The sculptures use archival images, repeating phrases, and supporting statements that are placed in conversation with five central questions, intensifying everyday moments and encouraging visitor reflection and exchange. Chloë Bass: Wayfinding will conclude its national tour at the Skirball with a new, site-specific fifth section, as well as an audio artwork narrated by the artist and local Los Angeles collaborators, Kyra Jones, Mollie Eisenberg, and Jake Lawler. This is the first exhibition in the Skirball's history to fully utilize the institution's fifteen-acre outdoor campus for a continuous art installation. It will be on view from November 17, 2022, through March 12, 2023. 

“We are thrilled to bring Chloë Bass’s moving exhibition to the Skirball Cultural Center, and while it was conceived of before the pandemic, it was prescient in its call for reflection and processing and its use of outdoor public spaces,” remarked Jessie Kornberg, Skirball Cultural Center President and CEO. “It feels like the right work for this time. This is also the first time that we have used our beautiful and expansive campus in this way, and we are thrilled to welcome visitors to this experience.” 

Inspired by public wayfinding signage, Bass thinks of the exhibition as an experience of emotional wayfinding—the internal navigation of personal relationships and emotions in everyday life. The exhibition revolves around five questions—four of which were previously written: HOW MUCH OF CARE IS PATIENCE? HOW MUCH OF LOVE IS ATTENTION? HOW MUCH OF LIFE IS COPING? and HOW MUCH OF BELIEF IS ENCOUNTER? A fifth question, HOW MUCH OF HOPE IS FORGETTING?, has been written by the artist specifically for the Skirball’s presentation. 

These questions are displayed individually on five large-scale reflective sculptures that mimic billboards, placed throughout the Skirball’s outdoor campus. In addition, approximately thirty-four smaller pieces with supporting statements and images will be displayed on steel signposts or acrylic sign frames, as well as Bass’s personal narrative displayed on garden markers. The audio artwork is a distinct, concurrent art piece. Sharply composed vignettes inspired by Los Angeles will deepen listeners' experiences as they grapple with water use and access, memory, joy, and risk. 

“Chloë Bass’s project speaks beautifully to the Skirball Cultural Center’s mission and, particularly, our goal of fostering meaningful human connections through the experiences we offer. As Bass wisely posits, connecting in meaningful, positive ways with other people and with the world at large starts with an internal process of reflection and ‘emotional wayfinding.’ This body of work offers our visitors an opportunity to embark on that journey,” said Sheri Bernstein, Museum Director, Skirball Cultural Center. 

Chloë Bass: Wayfinding is one of four projects that have grown out of Bass’s multi-faceted series Obligation to Others Holds Me in My Place, a poetic investigation of intimacy within the immediate family (including her own), particularly focusing on American mixed-race families. “The way I see it, being Jewish is not antithetical to being Black, but rather an aspect of it. If I am able to hold the recent effects of one genocide with sensitivity and care, this should help me hold two. As a person, I am always better in dialogue,” explains Bass.