Light the Barricades

Light the Barricades is a series of electrified shrines for contemplating inner obstructions. Combining the anatomy of billboards with the rituals of walking and sitting meditation, the installations invite passersby to reckon with resentment, judgment, and doubt—qualities that increasingly seem to dominate American life today. Visitors are invited to read an illustrated fable along the length of the facade before sitting for a five-minute reflection with an illuminated hourglass and a pointed question. The artwork consists of Chinese ink, photomontage, and text.

Spanning four sites across Los Angeles, the solar-powered structures first appeared at Grand Park, the Annenberg Community Beach House, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County before convening at the Annenberg Space for Photography as part of Walls: Defend, Divide, and the Divine, an exhibit that examines the historical use and artistic treatment of walls. Extending into the museum’s gallery, the project invited visitors to anonymously share their obstacles while considering the experiences of others through a video installation of select responses. Over 3,000 handwritten reflections were collected, many of which are featured in the book. Chang and Reeves’s original soundtrack for the gallery appeared in an anthology of ambient music by Brooklyn label Mysteries of the Deep.

This installation is now on view at The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, February 24 – July 25, 2021. By reconfiguring the traditions of Chinese landscape painting, lightboxes, and silent contemplation, Light the Barricades offers a modern ritual for these distracting times that draws upon the I Ching’s advice to pause and reckon with our inner obstructions during times of uncertainty and flux.

2019, Los Angeles, California; 2021, Charlotte, North Carolina. 8′ h x 27′ w x 3′ d lightboxes; 21′ x 18′ gallery installation. Lightboxes: Solar panels, aluminum, polycarbonate, vinyl, LED lights, hourglasses, concrete, ink. Gallery: concrete, projection, audio. Commissioned by Katie Hollander and the Annenberg Space for Photography. Exhibition curated by Jen Sudul Edwards. Project management by Stephanie Brown.

Grand Park, Los Angeles, CA
Annenberg Community Beach House, Santa Monica, CA
Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Grand Park, Los Angeles, CA
Grand Park, Los Angeles, CA
Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Grand Park, Los Angeles, CA
Annenberg Community Beach House, Santa Monica, CA
Detail of artwork
Annenberg Community Beach House, Santa Monica, CA
Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, CA
All three installations at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA
Participatory video installation at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA
All three installations at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA
On the spine of the walls, Los Angeles, CA
Grand Park, Los Angeles, CA
Mint Museum Randolph, Charlotte, North Carolina