Harry Gamboa, Jr, Cruel, 1975. Super-8 film. Showing Willie Herrón III
This September, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987, the first retrospective to present the wide-ranging work of the Chicano performance and conceptual art group Asco. Geographically and culturally segregated from the still-nascent Los Angeles contemporary art scene and aesthetically at odds with the emerging Chicano art movement, Asco members united to explore and exploit the unlimited media of the conceptual. Creating art by any means necessary — often using their bodies and guerilla tactics—Asco merged activism and performance and, in doing so, pushed the boundaries of what Chicano art might encompass. Asco: Elite of the Obscure includes nearly 150 artworks, featuring video, sculpture, painting, performance ephemera and documentation, collage, correspondence art, photography (including their signature No Movies, or invented film stills), and a series of works commissioned on occasion of the exhibition. Asco: Elite of the Obscure is on view at the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art September 4 to December 4.