Press Release

The Hammer Museum is pleased to announce Breath(e): Toward Climate and Social Justice, a groundbreaking exhibition that centers environmental art practices addressing the climate crisis and anthropogenic disasters, and their inescapable intersection with issues of equity and social justice. Part of Getty’s region-wide initiative PST ART: Art & Science Collide, Breath(e) is curated by artist Glenn Kaino and guest curator Mika Yoshitake and features more than 100 artworks by 25 international artists. The sprawling exhibition will fill the majority of the Hammer’s galleries and outdoor spaces, and includes specially commissioned works by Mel Chin, Ron Finley, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Garnett Puett, and Lan Tuazon. The exhibition will be on view at the Hammer from September 14, 2024, through January 5, 2025, and is presented in partnership with Conservation International.



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Breath(e) : Toward Climate and Social Justice

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (United States)

14.09.2024 - 05.01.2025




Breath(e) spotlights 25 intergenerational and transdisciplinary artists whose practices encompass photography, multimedia, augmented reality, painting, living organisms, and more. The exhibition seeks to address the existential dangers posed by the climate crisis and to advocate for a nonhierarchical, worldview influenced by ancestral indigenous knowledge, which envisions all elements of nature as one family rather than as materials for use and exploitation by humankind.

A number of artists have created works commissioned specially for Breath(e): Multidisciplinary artist and enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold, Cannupa Hanska Luger’s site-specific, multi-part installation Sovereign relates to his ongoing Future Ancestral Technologies, which blends indigenous wisdom with science-fiction speculations.

Garnett Puett, a sculptor and fourth-generation beekeeper, creates “Apisculptures” in collaboration with a bee colony. Puett has created a structure in which visitors may safely enter and witness the bees’ gradual creation of a sculpture.

Inspired by systems aesthetics, maintenance, and feminist ecological art of the 1960s, Filipino artist Lan Tuazon will present an outdoor installation made from five techniques of material invention using sculpture as a test-site of repair. Tuazon’s work considers how plastic waste operates within the circular economy and invites viewers to donate their own plastics to be shredded and made part of the installation. In this work, sustaining change can be a few acts that serve ecological belief.

Environmental activist Ron Finley, also known as the “Gangsta Gardener,” will present a large-scale garden installation outside of the museum’s bookstore and galleries.

Known for his commitment to making socially engaged conceptual art that addresses the most urgent issues of our time, Mel Chin’s project IOV (Interpretation of Vision, pronounced “eye of”) attempts to dismantle division and promote empathy, which he considers the first step in a collective undertaking to fight climate change and persistent social injustice. This multi-stage commission began with an open call for stories from people whose lives were changed by an extraordinary phenomenon, resulting in artworks derived not from the artist’s own vision, but instead honoring and elevating the experiences of the respondents.

Some works in the exhibition illustrate what scholar Rob Nixon calls “slow violence,” disastrous governmental or corporate practices which may not immediately reveal their impact on communities or ecosystems. Artist and activist LaToya Ruby Frazier’s photo series Flint is Family depicts the water crisis that affected Flint, Michigan, a city predominantly comprised of Black and Brown communities. Scientist and artist Brandon Ballengée makes portraits of marine species that have been driven to extinction by human-caused disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, using the oil itself as his medium. Performance and installation artist Yangkura traces the migratory movement of trash and debris that originated in Southeast Asia and South Korea and washed ashore on Japan’s Tsushima Island—polluting their ultimate destination while leaving the originating waters relatively clean. The artist creates “monsters” from the debris, who are trying to find their way back to their home. Vietnamese-American artist Tiffany Chung, herself a political and climate refugee, creates large-scale vernacular architectural models that consider forced migration and human displacement resulting from climate change—including projections that portions of Vietnam will be fully consumed by rising sea levels by 2050.

Breath(e) participating artists: Brandon Ballengée, Mel Chin, Tiffany Chung, Ron Finley, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Ryoji Ikeda, ikkibawiKrrr, Michael Joo, Danil Krivoruchko, Xin Liu, Yoshitomo Nara, Otobong Nkanga, Roxy Paine, Garnett Puett, Rob Reynolds, Sandy Rodriguez, Sarah Rosalena, Bently Spang, Mika Tajima, Clarissa Tossin, Lan Tuazon, Yangkura, Jin-me Yoon, Zheng Mahler.

Courtesy of the Gangwon International Triennale 2024.

Exhibition 14 September 2024 - 05 January 2025. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard - Los Angeles, CA 90024 (United States). Hours :Tuesday–Thursday: 11 AM–6 PM. Friday: 11 AM– PM.
Saturday–Sunday: 11 AM–6 PM.  Monday Closed





Breath(e) : Toward Climate and Social Justice, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (United States)

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2024 All Rights Reserved

Garnett Puett apisculpture, Cochecton, New York, July 1986. Photo: Gillian de Seve.

Garnett Puett apisculpture, Cochecton, New York, July 1986. Photo: Gillian de Seve.