Perpetual Peace

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Pinatubo, an image from film 'Perpetual Piece' , 1992 © Courtesy of the Artist and 18th Street Arts Center
Perpetual Peace

1639 18th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
June 18th, 2012 - September 7th, 2012
Opening: July 21st, 2012 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

santa monica/venice
(310) 453-3711
Mon-Fri 11-5:30
installation, video-art


For her summer Artist Labs project and exhibition at 18th Street Arts Center, and coinciding with her participation in the first LA Biennial at the Hammer Museum, LA-based artist Michelle Dizon will create a large-scale video installation entitled Perpetual Peace. This seven-channel video installation will be a further development of a series of ongoing works around imperialism, neocolonialism, and globalization in the Philippines, for which she is gaining much local and international recognition.

Over the past four years, Dizon has worked in video to document sites in the Philippines impacted by economic globalization.  These sites have included the areas around former US military bases, the extraction of natural resources by multinational corporations, and the war-torn regions of the southern Philippines. At 18th Street's main gallery, Dizon will weave video that she has shot together with archival footage, text from philosophical, political, and literary sources, and sounds composed from field recordings, scores, and voice, into an intricate work that invites viewers to reflect upon diasporic subjectivity, postcolonial history, and the effects of global capitalism in the Philippines.

Dizon will divide the main gallery into four rooms, each of which will hold a chapter of Perpetual Peace. Organized across the themes of discourse, history, economy, and subjectivity, each chapter is a layer linked by the viewer's movement through the time and space of the installation. Elements of the work include wall text around war, imperialism, and democracy, historical footage of US militarization contrasted with the ruins of contemporary bases, forms of labor and production in the industries of mining, fishing, and banana plantation interspersed with interviews with workers, and a lush, dreamlike, and perpetually dissolving set of landscapes set against some of Dizon's own reflections on life, death, land, return and passage.

Perpetual Peace invites the public into a dense and layered experience of the postcolonial diaspora in the Phillipines, where shifts in space and time expose a complexity of psychic and social effects of diaspora and a nuanced and thought-provoking perspective on economic globalization.

Join us on July 21, 2012 from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm for 18th Street Arts Center's summer ArtNight featuring an opening reception for Lab Artist Michelle Dizon's new video installationPerpetual Peace, developed on-site at 18th Street. Stay for open studios by local and international artists, art installations, DJ set by artist Eamon Ore Giron (our next Lab Artist), and an artists' marketplace. Come early at 6:00 pm for an artist talk by Curator in Residence Bill Kelley Jr. in conversation with 18th Street's Director of Residency Programs Pilar Tompkins Rivas.

Food by Komodo food truck. Complimentary beverages provided by Izze Sparkling Juice and Hpnotiq Liqueur.



An artist, filmmaker, and writerMichelle Dizon, was born and raised in Los Angeles as part of the Philippine diaspora.  Her video installations, films, and writing focus on subjectivity as it intersects with the histories of colonialism and its legacies of immigration, diaspora, and globalization.  Currently, she is at work on a feature-length film and large-scale installation entitled Perpetual Peace that addresses US imperialism, militarization, globalization, and war in the Philippines.  She is also revising a book entitled Vision in Ruins that explores visuality in an era of neoliberal globalization.   

Dizon has exhibited and lectured internationally at venues such as the Center for Feminist Studies in Zagreb, Croatia; Jeu de Paume in Paris, France; Caixaforum in Barcelona,  Spain; Casa Asia in Madrid, Spain; Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark; Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manila, Philippines; Vargas Museum in Manila, Philippines; Para/Site Art Space in Hong Kong, China; Galleryloop in Seoul, Korea; Tate Modern in London, England; Human Rights Center in Berkeley, United States; CUE Art Foundation in New York, United States; Vox Populi in Philadelphia, United States; and Redcat Gallery in Los Angeles, United States. She has received fellowships from the Human Rights Center, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the University of California Initiative for Research in the Arts, and the Fulbright Association.  

Dizon is the incoming Co-Chair of the Visual Art Program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and Visiting Faculty in the Photography and Media Program at the California Institute of the Arts.  She earned an MFA in Art with emphasis in Interdisciplinary Studio from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric with designated emphases in Film and Women, Gender, and Sexuality from the University of California, Berkeley.  She lives and works between Los Angeles, California and Davao City, Mindanao.



ArtNight is 18th Street Art Center's biannual signature event that includes exhibition openings, open studios with local and international resident artists, live bands, food trucks, and an artist-run open-air craft market.