The Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) challenges established concepts of the archive and art institution, sustaining a unique experimental environment for critical inquiry, artistic research, and public dialogue.
LACA is an art archive, library, and exhibition space located in Chinatown, Los Angeles. We collect art publications and ephemera generated since our founding in 2013, and we host regular discursive programs with artists, activists, and scholars. LACA is not affiliated with a larger institution, allowing us to maintain our collection without the limitations associated with prevailing, traditional structures.
The archive contains over 33,000 items related to contemporary art since 2013, focused on current and recent activities in Los Angeles and beyond. It includes materials with special emphasis on underexposed artistic modes of expression such as studio and performance ephemera, artists’ writings, audio-visual recordings, digital media files and institutional collections of artist-run spaces. Our non-circulating library features more than 15,000 small edition artist books significant to the Los Angeles and global contemporary art landscapes. Rather than archivists and art historians alone determining the narratives around collections, contributing artists generate their own descriptive logic. The LACA website hosts a comprehensive and fully searchable database of the archive and library.
LACA hosts free events such as performances, independent book releases, pedagogical workshops, screenings, and exhibitions that challenge art’s relationship to wealth inequality and social possibilities beyond racial capitalism.
Grounded in artists’ subjective experiences, programs frequently speak to issues of citizenship and documentation, immigration, incarceration, assimilation, race, ethnicity, and religion. Our goal is to counter processes that create hegemonic archives and narratives of art in Los Angeles. Through LACA’s core effort of maintaining and activating its collection, we enable complex histories to form and interact.
LACA is located in Chinatown’s Asian Center, and shares its space next to Hip Woo Hong, Chinatown Pharmacy, and Bel Ami Gallery. From 2013-2016, the archive was located in a shared complex with François Ghebaly Gallery and Fahrenheit by the FLAX Foundation in Vernon.
Management and Organization
Executive Director: Hailey Loman
Lead Archivist: Saida Largaespada
Programming Director: Andrew Freire
Educational Programming: Andrew McNeely
Description Archivist: Zach Whitworth
Librarians: Maite Muñoz, Dianne Weinthal, Hannah Whelan, Hugo Cervantes, Keko Jackson, Andrew Cabrera
Web: Joy/Jade, Andrew Chernauskas
Jae Hwan Lim
LACA is a registered nonprofit organization.