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In the Artist Lab at 18th Street Arts Center, Kenneth Tam continues his ongoing interest in the social dynamics within all-male groups and the norms of masculine identity. Tam uses the American summer camp as both a conceptual frame and an actual site to investigate these interests. A uniquely American invention, the summer camp has evolved from an activity for the privileged into a rite-of-passage for children of all backgrounds, and speaks to how we see play as essential in childhood but superfluous in adulthood.
The centerpiece of Tam’s residency is a new video work involving participants gathered from online postings. The artist invited a group of adult, working-age men of all backgrounds to participate in a three-day experimental summer camp, filmed in May 2018 at the Griffith Park Boys Camp. At the camp, they were able to temporarily reimagine their lives in ways not pressured by the strict social demands of waged work.
On July 27, 2018, at the peak of the summer recreation season, Tam will present an outdoor screening of a single-channel version of the film at Virginia Avenue Park in Santa Monica’s Pico Neighborhood. Concurrently, from July 16 through September 14, Tam will develop and exhibit an installation in the Main Gallery. The Opening Reception is August 18, 2018.
This event is free and open to the public.