Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) is a public archive and library dedicated to contemporary art-making. LACA collaborates with artists to build archival collections, which include studio leases, contracts, paystubs, performance apparel, set pieces, police reports, text messages, class syllabi, and materials from formally running art spaces. These collections enable us to learn from each other’s experiences and create new works that privilege the desires and needs of our communities.
LACA moves towards understanding, rupturing, and celebrating a communal art practice and life that is not overdetermined by values that favor wealth creation and sustain historical inequities.
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.
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
Director: Hailey Loman
Lead Archivist: Saida Largaespada
Programming Director: Andrew Freire
Educational Programming: Andrew McNeely
Librarians: Dianne Weinthal, Garry Rosenblum, Hugo Cervantes, Keko Jackson, Maite Muñoz, Zach Whitworth
Web: Joy/Jade, Andrew Chernauskas
Jae Hwan Lim
LACA is a registered nonprofit organization.