Explanation as Composition

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibits (LACE)
Explanation as Composition

6522 Hollywood Blvd.
90028 Los Angeles
March 3rd, 2011 - April 17th, 2011

santa monica/venice
Wed-Sun 12-6


U.N.F.O Projects #5 and #6

It is understood by this time that everything is the same except explanation and time, explanation and the time of the explanation and the time in the explanation.

Explanation as Composition
* explores the ways in which texts—as narratives—operate within and around a gallery space.  How does the narrative of an experience affect that experience, and how are narratives “curated”—publicly and privately. Explanation as Composition begins with a social writing event in which invited writer-participants will collaboratively create six narrative experiences of the gallery: story, geography, ekphrasis, provenance, nature, and confession. These narratives will be turned into audio tours of the current exhibition space; gallery visitors can choose which audio tour they would like to experience, complete with an accompanying brochure.  The narratives will continue beyond the space of the gallery through a series of online texts, curated by U.N.F.O.: Unauthorized Narrative Freedom Organization, and published on the Les Figues Press blog.

*An inversion of Stein’s “Composition as Explanation.”  Or as Stein says, “This makes the thing we are looking at very different and this makes what those who describe it make of it, it makes a composition, it confuses, it shows, it is, it looks, it likes it as it is, and this makes what is seen as it is seen.”

Using a combination of collaboratively written texts, appropriated stories and just plain writing, U.N.F.O. will create six audio tours for the gallery.  Each tour will be on its own i-pod shuffle, and will be orchestrated, along with ambulatory directions, with the current exhibitions.  Each audio tour will also have an accompanying brochure. The narrative strands will continue online as UNFO writers invite other writers to continue building these narratives.  The online writing will be published on the Not Content and Les Figues blogs.

You can check out one of the LACE iPod Shuffles, but it's always nice to be prepared! Download each audio tour for on your own mobile device or iPod via the links here:

Introduction (to all six tours)

[a tour in] STORY

[a tour in] GEOGRAPHY

[a tour in] EKPHRASIS

[a tour in] PROVENANCE

[a tour in] NATURE

[a tour in] CONFESSION

Join us on Sunday, 2 April at LACE for a discussion and listening party! More information, click here.

Harold Abramowitz
is a writer and editor from Los Angeles. His recent publications include Not Blessed (Les Figues Press), House on a Hill, Part 3 (Slash Pine Press), and House on a Hill, Part 1 (Insert Press, Parrot Series #2).  Harold co-edits the short-form literary press eohippus labs (  He also writes and edits as part of the collaborative projects SAM OR SAMANTHA YAMS and UNFO.

Amanda Ackerman
lives in Los Angeles where she writes and teaches.  She is co-editor of the press eohippus labs.  She is also a member of UNFO (The Unauthorized Narrative Freedom Organization) and writes as part of SAM OR SAMANTHA YAMS.  Her publications include three chapbooks: Sin is to Celebration (co-author, House Press), the recently-released The Seasons Cemented (Hex Presse), and the forthcoming I Fell in Love with a Monster Truck (Insert Press).  Her work can also be found in the current edition of Little Red Leaves and The Encyclopedia Project: Volume F-K.

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, Tin House, the Georgia Review, and the Best American Short Stories 2004 and 2009. The recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and an NEA Fellowship, she directs the MFA program in writing at the University of California, San Diego. She lives in Los Angeles and was recently named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by the New Yorker.

Teresa Carmody is a writer and co-founding director of Les Figues Press.  Her works include Requiem (Les Figues), Eye Hole Adore (PS Books) and Your Spiritual Suit of Armor by Katherine Anne (Woodland Editions). The chapbook I Can Feel is forthcoming (Insert Press). Her work appeared in the 2009 &Now Awards: Best of Innovative Writing, and in several literary journals, including: Mandorla, Bombay Gin, Druken Boat, Luvina, emohippus greeting cards 1-4 and more.  She was one of the organizers of the original Ladyfest in Olympia, Washington, and co-organizer of Feminaissance, a colloquium on women, experiments and writing at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles-based writer and performance artist. She is the author of the poetry collections The Ravenous Audience (Akashic Books) and, with Amaranth Borsuk, Excess Exhibit, forthcoming from ZG Press. She has written several chapbooks including Fragments Found in a 1937 Aviator's Boot (Dancing Girl Press), FASHIONWHORE (Legacy Pictures), The Polished You, as part of Vanessa Place's Factory Series (oodpress, 2010), and Kept Women, forthcoming from Insert Press. She is founding editor of the journal Gaga Stigmata: Critical Writings and Art About Lady Gaga ( Her fashion / text project, Prices Upon Request, can be viewed at ZG Press 's website. She writes about celebrity style for

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