[design and photography by Brian Lauzon]


We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles

Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015

Exhibition Dates: May 9 - November 22, 2015

Magazzino del Sale No.3, Dorsoduro 264, Venezia, Italy [click for map]

Presented in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia

Click here to download the Press Release PDF

Go to our Projects Page for images of the exhibition.


Presented Artists:

Brandy Eve Allen                    Tanya Batura                    Jamison Carter                      Carolyn Castaño
Robbie Conal                          Kenturah Davis                Amir H. Fallah                        Alexandra Grant
Margaret Griffith                   Sherin Guirguis                Ben Jackel                              Mark Licari
Rebecca Niederlander           Stas Orlovski                    Natasa Prosenc Stearns       Tony de los Reyes
Frank Ryan                             Shizu Saldamando           Carole Silverstein                  Alexis Zoto


           We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles is an exhibition that presents, for the first time on the international stage, a group of exceptional contemporary Los Angeles artists whose work makes Los Angeles one of the most exciting hubs of creativity in the world today.
           We Must Risk Delight is inspired by the poem A Brief for the Defense by a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry finalist, Jack Gilbert. In his viscerally visual poem, Gilbert calls on humanity to recognize every moment of delight even in the most ominous of impressions. By slicing through the somber depictions of the world we live in with sharp and vibrant moments of joy, the poet presents an irrefutable case for our happiness as being our most requisite expression of freedom, not in spite of the cruelty that is a part of our world, but because of it.     
           A work of art represents the artist’s vision of the world and, when embraced, it can be seen as a way of making a world. The artists presented in We Must Risk Delight will give the audiences of the Biennale Arte 2015 an opportunity to discover the city of Los Angeles through the kaleidoscope of its creative community, while also encouraging us all to risk delight and celebrate the act of creating as humanity’s pathway to joy: both within ourselves and in the collective world around us.
            We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles is being presented as an official Collateral Event of the 56th manifestation of la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015.


A Brief for the Defense by JACK GILBERT


Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies

are not starving someplace, they are starving

somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.

But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.

Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not

be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not

be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women

at the fountain are laughing together between

the suffering they have known and the awfulness

in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody

in the village is very sick. There is laughter

every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,

and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.

If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,

we lessen the importance of their deprivation.

We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,

but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have

the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless

furnace of this world. To make injustice the only

measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.

If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,

we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.

We must admit there will be music despite everything.

We stand at the prow again of a small ship

anchored late at night in the tiny port

looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront

is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.

To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat

comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth

all the years of sorrow that are to come.


From REFUSING HEAVEN (Knopf, 2005)