Following the Prescribed Path
The seven artists in Following the Prescribed Path took diverse journeys into both urban and natural landscapes over the course of six decades, and ultimately transformed their experiences into a range of media. The artists’ projects suggest diverse reasons for stepping out our doors—to follow in someone else’s footsteps (whether they are just in front of you or whether they have long since passed), to trace historical wounds, to make a pilgrimage, or to pursue a hero’s journey in search of a transcendent experience. While it might be counterintuitive to think that following a predetermined route is creatively stimulating, the artists in this exhibition suggest otherwise.
The artists in Following the Prescribed Path took diverse journeys into both urban and natural landscapes over the course of six decades, and ultimately transformed their experiences into a range of media. While it might be counterintuitive to think that following a predetermined route is creatively stimulating, the artists in this exhibition suggest otherwise.
Standing upright and walking on two legs distinguishes humans from most other animals. As long as we have been ambulatory, the urge to walk out the front door and just explore one’s environment has been part of the human psyche. Motivated by this basic desire, each of the exhibition’s seven artists embarked on such a journey, but with a twist. The artists’ routes followed a “prescribed path,” one in which the parameters were established before they ever ventured out. Mark Ruwedel followed the seventy-two-and-a-half-mile route through Los Angeles previously taken by an urban hiker. Vito Acconci decided to let strangers on the streets of New York lead him. Kim Abeles allowed a mountain, smoggy conditions, and “the way the crow flies” to determine her walk. Diane Meyer traced the ghostly existence of the Berlin Wall. The urban grid and the romantic pull of the ocean directed Bas Jan Ader. Gabrielle Ferrer developed schemes for herself inspired by earlier wanderers and thinkers. Erin Mallea set out on the well-mapped Appalachian Trail.
Their projects suggest diverse reasons for stepping out our doors—to follow in someone else’s footsteps (whether they are just in front of you or whether they have long since passed), to trace historical wounds, to make a pilgrimage, or to pursue a hero’s journey in search of a transcendent experience. In the process, they articulate dreams and fears that we all share, and maybe they will inspire us to step out of our daily routines to follow our own prescribed paths.
Related Public Programs
Artists’ Talk and Opening Reception
Saturday, September 13
Artists’ Talk (2:30–4pm), Reception (4–6pm)
Murphy Recital Hall and Laband Art Gallery
Join us for a conversation with artists Kim Abeles, Gabrielle Ferrer, Erin Mallea, and Diane Meyer at 2:30pm and then come celebrate with the artists at an opening reception from 4–6pm.
72 Miles Across LA, Mark Ruwedel and Nigel Raab in Conversation with Carolyn Peter
Sunday, October 5, 2pm
Laband Art Gallery
Artist Mark Ruwedel and urban hiker (and LMU associate professor of history) Nigel Raab will tell stories about the seventy-two-and a half mile adventures they took across Los Angeles and discuss their parallel, but unique, projects about the megalopolis.
Journeys in Sound and Dance
Tuesday, October 7, 12:15pm and Thursday, October 23, 7pm
Laband Art Gallery
LMU sound artist David Karagianis, and LMU faculty choreographers Rosalynde Loo and Damon Rago, along with LMU students, will lead us in unique journeys through the exhibition and beyond. Each performance will be a new experience.
The Virgin of Guadalupe: Processions and Pilgrimages
November 14, 12:15pm
Murphy Recital Hall
Dr. Karen Mary Davalos, professor of Chicana/o Studies, Dr. Kirstin Noreen, professor of Art History, and Dr. David Sánchez, associate professor of Theological Studies will offer different perspectives on the Virgin of Guadalupe, processions, and pilgrimages. This talk is co-organized by the Laband Art Gallery and KaleidoLA: The Speaker Series of the Department of Art and Art History.
Diane Meyer, Erna-Berger Strasse, from Berlin, 2013. Hand-sewn archival inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist; Kim Abeles, Memory Box, from Pilgrimage to the Wedge, 1987. Asphalt-covered box strung with gold, silver, and copper thread and wire; color photograph of the Mountain Wedge as visible on a clear day; dyed cheesecloth; brass detailing; title and Mountain Wedge shape made of spiritual incense on lid of box. Collection of Steve and Doni Silver Simons, Los Angeles, CA; Bas Jan Ader, No. 1 from Studies for In Search of the Miraculous (One Night In LA), 1973. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of Mary Sue Ader-Andersen, The Bas Jan Ader Estate and Patrick Painter Editions, Santa Monica, CA. Copyright: © Mary Sue Ader-Andersen, The Bas Jan Ader Estate; Mark Ruwedel, Mile 2 from Following Nigel, 72.5 Miles, 2011-2014. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the artist; Mark Ruwedel, Mile 59 from Following Nigel, 72.5 Miles, 2011-2014. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the artist; Erin Mallea, A piece from From Maine to Georgia, 2012-14. Mixed media. Lent by Sarah Hill, courtesy of the artist; Gabrielle Ferrer 405 to the Beach from Pocket Walks, 2009–10. Letterpress, color photograph, hand-traced Google Earth map, and soft-ground etching Courtesy of the artist.