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Exhibition Type:

Saturday, 4 August 2018 to Tuesday, 7 August 2018
Saturday, 4 August 2018 - 6:00pm

Think Tank Gallery (with co-curators Jacob Patterson and Andrew Barsoum​) and artist / creative director Phil America​, in collaboration with El Silencio Mezcal​, are thrilled to announce We Stole the Fire​, an art experience on Melrose Avenue engaging the people through participative activations, graffiti, performance art, installations, and a limited edition merchandise campaign. This will place participants at the front-line of the revolution to reclaim our imaginations from the modern gods of government and media. Following the guerilla activist installations will be a one-night ceremony and three day group art show opening August 4, 2018, curated by Think Tank Gallery​. Confirmed artists include Phil America, Sheryo x The Yok, Lolo YS, Abars, Willie Gomez, Kristen Liu-Wong, Robbie Conal, Teddy Kelly, Deladeso, xTOFUx, Scott Hove, Homeless Cop, Gangster Doodles, Ginger Q, Nicole Salgar, Dorian Lynde, Alec DeMarco, Samuel De Angelis, Ray Young Chu, The Portalists, Jon Von Bonk and Roman Prado​. More will be announced as they are confirmed.

The art show will be held on August 4 from 6 - 11pm, and August 5 through 7th from 11am - 5pm at RCNSTRCT Studio at 7400 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, on the corner of Melrose & Martel. Every experience will give audiences a chance to fully participate or follow along on social media as they please, but the programming will be incomplete without audience contribution. The entire street campaign will be documented on 35mm by Think Tank Gallery Lead Photographer, Willie Gomez, culminating in a zine and gallery photo series.

In most cultures around the world, fire has always been something mankind has stolen from the gods in order to create civilization. This was true in Greek mythology, as well as Mexico’s, where fire was used to create mezcal, known as the holy elixir for its ability to sustain life. Centuries later, the old gods of mythology have been replaced by new powers—the government and the media—who use their magic to manipulate the populace. We Stole the Fire aims to re-ignite the same revolutionary defiance that spawned human civilization, so The People can now reclaim their imaginations and overcome this time of immense political, cultural and environmental turmoil.

“A molotov cocktail has never been thrown to maintain the status quo,” says Think Tank Gallery director and curator Jacob Patterson​, and that truth reverberates through the entire month of July. Lead by Phil America​, the three-part durational immersive programming of We Stole the Fire will begin unfolding on the heart of Melrose Avenue before the opening of the show. It will launch with the mysterious appearance of an abstract street sculpture designed to steal the flames of advertising from the public space around it, that passersby are invited to mark however they like. Over time, artists hand-selected by Think Tank Gallery will also add their unique voices to the sculpture. Passersby will also discover a fully functional Molotov cocktail dispensing machine, and later, a newspaper stand that has seen legendary pop ups and murals from artists like Shepard Fairey and the photographer JR, now repurposed to fill lighters and sell hand-carved zippos. These experiences will culminate at the opening reception of the We Stole the Fire group art show on August 4, 2018 at RCNSTRCT Studio, where the revolution will burn to its inevitable conclusion. The show will feature over 20 artists.

“Molotov’s have historically been used to both resist and reclaim and the machine looks to ignite that same spirit in the viewer,” explains Phil America. From start to finish the viewers will be directly involved in the project and actively influence the outcome with each step, becoming a performer in the work itself. Narrative in approach, these three street stunts may also be enjoyed in an episodic manner, but the greatest impact will hit for those who catch all three and also attend the final art show. Any one of the experiences will leave a lasting impact for unsuspecting passersby. Devoted to promoting free speech and expression, Mezcal El Silencio has been a long-time supporter of Think Tank Gallery’s immersive art exhibitions, including escape rooms and west coast themed art shows. Their most recent collaboration was a site-specific performance during Derby Day at the Santa Anita Race Tracks, where an artist took over a century-old information booth at the park and gave advice on how to bet on losing horses, while mixing a signature Silencio Mule. We Stole the Fire will be Mezcal El Silencio and Think Tank Gallery’s most involved collaboration to date. More information about this programming will be announced as confirmed.

Curator :

Artist ( Description ): 

Phil America is a California-raised artist and activist. He has worked and lived throughout the US, Europe, Asia and Africa, concentrating on individual moments of freedom while looking at relationships with class, gender and race. In his work he uses installation and sculptures, performance, photography and video searching for a better understanding and connection to his subjects while bringing about an interpersonal relationship between the viewer and himself. Recently he has focused on using this conversation as a medium, as well as looking for ways to activate unused spaces.

Venue ( Address ): 

7400 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Hijinx Arts , Los Angeles

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