LOS ANGELES, CA.- Raid Projects presents Craig Leonard -- Gift For The Screamers, on view August 4 - 25, 2007. Multidisciplinary artist Craig Leonard has given himself the task of finding the former members of the legendary Los Angeles punk band the Screamers in order to give them handmade records of their archival recordings.
In a continuation of his research-based practice, Leonard's "Gift for the Screamers" draws on the multifarious categories of sculptural installation, archival research, performance, audio experimentation, and community activism.
In the archives of the Centre for Experimental Art and Communication (1973-80), Leonard uncovered what he thinks could be punk's Holy Grail. For four months in 1977, the Centre housed the first punk club in Toronto under the title "Crash & Burn". One of the artifacts in the Crash & Burn collection is a rare demo tape from the Los Angeles synth-punk band the Screamers. During their active years (1977-81) the Screamers played several electrifying live shows but in the end never released an official record.
In true DIY fashion, Leonard has used the original recordings to create playable records, which he fabricated in the gallery space, simply using a rubber mold and liquid plastic. The finished records will be given to the former members of the Screamers as a symbol of the record the band never ended up making. Along with the multiple handmade records, the centerpiece of Leonard's installation is his rudimentary "laboratory" displaying the remnants of the record-making process.
Craig Leonard's recent projects have relied on research and community partnerships including: an examination of Cuba's underground libraries; a compilation of obsolete concepts from the Oxford English Dictionary; and a proposal for an anti-canon of Canadian literature. Leonard teaches Intermedia at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Raid Projects is dedicated to promoting the understanding and engagement with contemporary art via exhibitions that reach diverse audiences in Los Angeles, and internationally, and offer the opportunity to establish a dialogue with significant developments of our time in contemporary art practices globally. By an ongoing program of collaborations with a wide range of artists and curators we aim to present and document challenging new work in all mediums by younger, as well as more established artists, from Los Angeles, across the United States and abroad.
Since its founding in 1999, Raid has created over 100 exhibitions, both at the Los Angeles gallery and at museums, institutions, universities and alternative spaces worldwide, that have included the work of more than 500 artists from around the world. Previous projects have been manifested in London, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Istanbul, Mexico City, Sydney and other cities.