A narrative history of Tiny Creatures, a short-lived Los Angeles-based group of artists, Chris Kraus’s article will also reference like-minded, unintentional artist communities of earlier decades. In November 2008, Janet Kim, curator of Tiny Creatures, a small Echo Park gallery, invited a group of friends (artists, musicians, and writers) to stage a three-day show at Mexicali Rosa Cultural, a community-based gallery in the Baja California border town of Mexicali. Run by a high-school teacher and writer, Rosa Cultural is no more a community-based gallery in the traditional sense than Tiny Creatures was a gallery. Both enterprises were social clubs with a cultural slant. Framed as a chronicle of the three-day Mexicali adventure, the essay will recount the short histories of both institutions through conversations with leading participants.
Chris Kraus is the author of three novels, a collection of art essays, and co-author of a book on Los Angeles art. She writes regularly for Artforum and has published articles in Art in America, Art/Text, the Nation, Bookforum, Texte Zur Kunst, Index, and other magazines. She co-edited David Wojnarowicz: A Definitive History of the Lower East Side (Semiotexte, 2006). Retrospectives of her early film work have been exhibited in Berlin, Brussels, and Miami. She recently curated an exhibition of work by George Porcari and Jorge Pardo at Momenta Gallery in Brooklyn. Kraus received the CAA’ s Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism in 2007. A co-editor of Semiotexte since 1990, she is at work on a new novel, Summer of Hate.