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Meet the Artists of the LA River Biennial Show

LA's new LA River-based biennial launches this summer; the artists are a pretty fascinating group

The LA River is all set to become a gallery of sorts this summer for Los Angeles's first public art biennial and Mayor Eric Garcetti has just revealed the artists selected by a curatorial committee to participate, displaying pieces centered around the theme of water alongside the river. Here's a closer look at some of the artists who have been chosen.

Michael Parker

This won't be the first trip to the river for multidisciplinary artist Michael Parker. In 2014, he carved an impressive, 137-foot long obelisk (replicating the never-finished Egyptian monument honoring Hatshepsut) into one of the concrete embankments alongside the water.

Edgar Arceneaux

Arceneaux works in a variety of media, including performance art. He's also the founder of the neighborhood development organization Watts House Project. In November, he gained attention for a piece inspired by Ben Vereen's performance in blackface at Ronald Reagan's inaugural ball.

#EdgarArceneaux #Performa15 Commission -- last show tonight at 7pm. @museummammy

A video posted by Performa (@performanyc) on

Kori Newkirk

Originally from New York, Newkirk now works out of Downtown Los Angeles, where he has developed an interest in the community of people living on Skid Row. His work is often constructed from unusual material—such as bicycle wheels and synthetic hair.

#KoriNewkirk @robertsandtilton @kori.newkirk

A photo posted by Christopher Yin (@christopheryin) on

Lucky Dragons

This LA-based duo consisting of Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck has been toeing the line between experimental "techno-tribal" band and good old fashioned performance art group for quite some time. Installations created by the group in the past have included a musical forest sculpture displayed in Austin and a neat synthesizer that can be played only through human contact.

Mel Chin

Chin is a natural choice for a public art project centered around the revitalization of the LA River. He has long focused on environmental themes and restoration in his work, which includes soil treatment efforts and a project focused on removing lead contamination from the city of New Orleans.

Kerry Tribe

Tribe is a Los Angeles-based video artist who has drawn inspiration from iconic LA landmarks in the past. Her short film Greystone probes the grisly history of one of the most intriguing—and most filmed—houses in Beverly Hills. Filmed on location at Greystone Mansion, the film tells the story of the deaths of oil heir Ned Doheny Jr. and Hugh Plunkett using only dialogue taken from movies shot in the house.

Candice Lin

Another Los Angeles-based artist, Lin is a sculptor known for her often unsettling work that pokes fun at power structures and human-centric approaches to the natural world.

#youareaparasite #candicelin

A photo posted by @francoisghebalygallery on

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Tiravanija isn't a local artist (the Thai artist was born in Argentina and operates out of New York), but his work often contains something most Angelenos can probably appreciate: free food. A proponent of art's ability to facilitate conversation and community, Tiravanija can frequently be found cooking up curry and rice for visitors to his exhibits. He's also the man pictured on this exquisite "Tofu Kills People" shirt.

my boy being artsy #Rirkrit #Tiravanija #tofukillspeople #art #tshirt

A photo posted by @masakoshiba on

Teresa Margolles

The recruitment of Mexican installation artist Margolles suggests the Biennial's curators aren't shying away from darker displays. In the past, Margolles has created powerful pieces that draw attention to the high homicide rate in Mexico and international violence against women.

Flag (Bandera) 2009 By Teresa Margolles 'Citizens and States' Display Tate Modern @tate The fabric of Flag I contains traces of blood, soil and other substances from the sites of murders around the northern border of Mexico, testifying to the thousands of violent deaths associated with the powerful drug cartels that control smuggling routes to the United States. Another version of this work was shown at the Venice Biennial in 2009, where Margolles represented Mexico with an exhibition titled What Else Could We Talk About? As the government failed to intervene in the drug wars, the blood-stained cloth was hung outside the Mexican pavilion as a memorial for citizens that the nation ignored. #teresamargolles #flag #bandera #mexico #makeartnotwar #loss #memorial #message #love #impactful #art #london #tate #tatemodern #citizensandstates #contemporary #londonart #installation #instaart #iphonography #artgram

A photo posted by Zaina Swailem ☮ (@zainaswailem) on

Gala Porras-Kim

Based in LA, Porras-Kim's art is often part archaeology. She has extensively studied the languages and writing systems of indigenous cultures and draws on this research for inspiration.

Chris Kallmyer

Another sound-based artist (and occasional Lucky Dragons collaborator), Kallmyer has created some pretty interesting sonic collages inspired by seemingly mundane sounds that are generally ignored--like that of a rake collecting fallen leaves.