Mother Culture: Future Feel Good

Rows of rose bushes in a stilted sway under an azure sky, the kind of low-grade pixilated GIF you might have sent to your best friend on a flip phone—this is the moving image greeting you on Los Angeles gallery Mother Culture’s homepage. The sweet greeting of blossoms and unfiltered sunshine is a warm welcome to the space’s unusual approach to nurturing a program and environment.

The space was established by Jake Cruzen and Jared Madere late last year, after opening Bed Stuy Love Affair in New York. Mother Culture is situated in an industrial studio building in Mid-City, a stretch of L.A. that hosts a number of traditional commercial gal- leries—Karma International, Kristina Kite, Ochi Projects—as well as Eckhaus Latta’s experimental retail store and the Underground Museum. Operating something like a mother in a vat of kombucha, it thrives in the same way as bacteria would: contamination is key to its growth and well-being. Work from a previous exhibition will often stay over or bleed into the next presentation; just as a virus reproduces cells within its host, the generative condition spreads by infesting those around it, producing a stream of variations. In this vein, Mother Culture does not limit its collaborators to only words by Jennifer Piejko visual artists, but also invites framers of contemporary parenthood, spirituality, music, community and performance.

The first exhibition, “Everything is more than one thing future feel good,” was a reflection on whether an apocalypse is headed our way because this ending is our inescapable reality, or whether we only perceive it to be imminent because we can’t dream up an alternative. Enveloping the gallery’s walls, Jacolby Satterwhite’s Venus Region wallpaper depicted dimensions of his violet-hued fantasylands, while Madere’s Tell the Truth and Feed Everyone (all works 2017), flailing banners of swirling neon forms and blooms encircling babies, hung from the heights of the walls. Their second exhibition, Jessi Reaves’ “Loopstar future feel good,” added a set of undulating, paint-splattered curved leather sofas to the room, covering much of the floor space; previous works by Madere, Darja Bajagić and Satterwhite stayed in place. Temporary additions for the space’s Sunday afternoon Passion Fruit Artist Talk series, informal discussions led by artists like Olivia Erlanger and Andrew Norman Wilson, are layered over the installations on occasion, with fresh fruit on offer, nourishing and hosting everyone in the cell.

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