The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This is a flyer invitation to a “Fabulous Halloween Party at LACE” at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) Gallery at 240 S. Broadway Street organized by artists Gronk and Patssi Valdez of the Asco Collective on October 31, 1978.
The invitation is an example of the image/text flyers produced by the Asco, conceptual art collective. In the group’s characteristic use of images and text, the idea becomes more important than the object in an absurdist dialogue that questions reality, thus challenging stereotypes and myths. In this particular flyer, Gronk recounts the success of the March 1978 [Jerry] Dreva/Gronk exhibitions and the mass suicide of mannequins flying from a 4th floor onto Broadway Street in Los Angeles. Gronk asks "What if we die?" followed by the assertion that in the 1960s, "400 people were slaughtered in a downtown street and were swept away at their own expense." He invites guests to place bets on what the 1970s will be known for.
This flyer was sent as mail art around the U.S. In this particular case, the recipients were the Michigan-based RAM Collective member Ana Luisa Cardona, her husband Julio Perazza, and son Simon Perazza.
The East Los Angeles-based Asco Collective was active between 1971 and 1987 and counted among its core members Harry Gamboa, Jr.; Gronk; Patssi Valdez; and William “Willie” F. Herrón III.
The Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) Gallery was founded in 1978 by a group of artists, among them Gronk and Harry Gamboa, Jr. of the Asco Collective, with a grant from the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). Scholar Chon A. Noriega says in his book Urban Exile: Collected Writings of Harry Gamboa Jr. (1998: 5), “LACE was perhaps the first arts center in downtown Los Angeles, appearing before the creation of the Cultural Affairs Department and MOCA [Museum of Contemporary Art].”
Ana Luisa Cardona was a member of the University of Michigan-based Raza Art and Media Collective, which was active between 1974 and 1979. During these years, RAM Collective became interested in developing a wider network of exchange and communication with other art collectives in Illinois, Texas, and California such as MARCH, Con Safo, and Asco, respectively. With regards to Asco, RAM Collective found a source of inspiration in their conceptual approach toward an alternative Chicano art. RAM Collective published the work of Asco’s artists in the third (September 1, 1976) and fourth issues (June 1, 1977) in their eponymous journal.