PRESENTED BY THINK TANK GALLERY
ON MELROSE AVE DURING JULY AND AUGUST.
PRESENTED ALONGSIDE MEZCAL EL SILENCIO
A Molotov cocktail has never been thrown to maintain the status quo.
Think Tank Gallery and Mezcal El Silencio bring you “We Stole the Fire,” a monthlong arts experience around the Melrose neighborhood, well-known to international shopping and graffiti enthusiasts alike. Think Tank Gallery will collaborate with creative director Phil America and a handful of local and Mexican artists to produce a month of street stunts, graffiti, performance artworks and installations, analog documentation, limited edition merchandise campaign, and a group art show to wrap it all up. Each contribution to this month of creation steals the fire of a different legend, art movement, or advertising campaign that came before it. See the full curatorial statement here.
Every experience will give audiences a chance to follow along or hop on and off the ride as they please, but nearly all of them will be incomplete without audience contribution. The entire campaign will culminate in an art show of the same name on August 4th, in a beautiful space on the corner of Melrose Blvd and Martel Ave that has seen takeovers by such street legends as Shepard Fairey, Retna, and JR the photographer.
Each time that a bold, new street installation hits public space, the project's landing page will transform, giving audiences a chance to follow the ongoing reconstruction for a limited period of time. Some of your favorite artists are involved; please follow our Instagram for updates so you don't miss any of them.
Sat, Aug 4, 6-10PM • Free with RSVP • 21+ Only
Sun, Aug 5, Limited Times • Free with RSVP (TBA) • All Ages
And RSVP for opening night below. 21+ only.
"We Stole the Fire" includes a three-part street installation series, based on the Mexican legend of Mayahuel and her 400 rabbits. Through these pieces, and by borrowing from art movements, public space, government policy, and corporate advertising, we are stealing the fire from those in power in 2018, the same way that ancient cultures stole the fire from the gods to achieve their own free will. The projected dates for these street interventions are below, and this website will be reconstructed to reflect their short-term installations, so that you won't miss them:
Act 1, Part 1: CEREMONIA – Dropping Tuesday, July 17th at 9PM
ADDRESS: 925 WALL ST DTLA
Act 2: RENEGADA – Projected Drop: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Act 3: ORIGEN – Projected Drop: Monday, July 30th, 2018
Act 1, Part 2: CEREMONIA – Projected Drop: Saturday, August 4th, 2018
Culminating Gallery Show + Product Release
Opening + Ceremony: Saturday, August 4th, 6-10PM
Gallery Hours: Sunday, August 5th
We are bringing a hell of a list of artists with us for our first show on Melrose. The show will end up being pretty damn political in nature (see the prompt that we sent each of our artists below), so expect a lot of Trump hate, but the show runs the gamut from topical to ethereal; soothing to scathing; colorful to conceptual. With work presented in almost every media imaginable – writing, documentation of street works, installation, sculpture, paintings, video, performance, drawings, photographs, soundscapes and more – we're presenting one of our most diverse shows yet.
WE STOLE THE FIRE: MANIFESTO
Molotovs are assembled with a purpose of resistance, revolution, or even renaissance. They are a reconstruction of found materials with the purpose of reconstructing that at which they are aimed. Even when they are assembled with ironic or creative intent, their purpose is to make a statement, almost always in the face of oppression. Great artists also imbue their artworks with this same resistance to the status quo, and similarly to a Molotov, these works are made by sourcing readily available materials, filled with courage and kerosene. Artworks of resistance set ablaze the minds of viewers, igniting a creative fire of inspiration that things can change, and that prior traditions and systems of power can be burned down, reassembled, and replaced with new ones in their place. As artists, we take this fire and burn down what is old and dead. We choose what will rise in its place.
A Molotov cocktail is an inherently bold object. The Molotov explodes because it fills with so much pressure from its own heat that it must release violently, and many of the works of art in this exhibition are created with the same need for liberation. There is a freedom in this release of pent up heat and energy, and because of it – as well as the found object nature of the materials that make them – Molotov cocktails are a symbol of liberty. The fire that fills and floods from these objects also bears independence; many legends tell of stealing this fire from gods to gain free will for the people.
“We Stole the Fire” is a group art show that will take place both in gallery and on the street, while stealing space from one environment and reconstructing it in the other, a concept born during our current Post-Street Art moment. The exhibit steals from advertising traditions, public space, old systems, historic art movements, passed down legends, and perceived truths to reconfigure these things into something that is more useful today. We must steal and recontextualize these ideas so that they may value everyone with their power. The very concept of “everyone” is one that is at risk beneath our current regime, and like the gods in legends of every ancient culture, they keep the fire from us so that they may use it to control us. We aim to steal that fire.