Hammer Museum: “Democracy When?” with Dorit Cypis

In 2002, I was invited to work with The Hammer Museum, again. I was so excited. This time we were paired with Artist Dorit Cypis. Who was running the workshops with the Hammer Museum youth group Artists. We were able to bring in images, make collages, and perform in front of projectors. Where as the collaboration with the Tibetan Monks was all about setting aside our egos and creating magic from sand that was ephemeral. In this project we were center stage. Our group began with over 30 young artist and on the day of the final presentation only three of us, fought through our personal insecurities and showed up. I remember being made fun of, by those who quit, for being excited about the project. I was delighted to participate then, and continue to cherish those memories today!


Here is a little on Artist Dorit Cypis, and her creative practice:

“Dorit Cypis uses performative strategies, photography, and social sculpture to explore the psycho-physical-social aspects of history, knowledge and experience. Cypis’ presentations are often immersive laboratories abstracting form and meaning to expose paradox and possibility. Her work has been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, International Center of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Orange County Museum, Walker Art Center, Musee d’Art Contemporain/Montreal, Musee des Beaux Arts/Bruxelles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Orange County Museum of Art, in addition to international galleries and artist spaces.

Cypis has taught on identity, representation, social relations, and conflict transformation at universities and colleges across the USA, as well as in Canada, Holland, France, Switzerland, and Israel. Cypis has been instrumental in designing public programs including Kulture Klub Collaborative, Minneapolis, 1992-1998, artists working with homeless youth to develop their capacity for creative expression, and Foundation for Art Resources, Los Angeles, 1979-1982, assisting artists to work collectively and to situate art in the public domain. Cypis founded Foreign Exchanges in 2007, developing tools of engagement across personal and cultural differences. She is a founding member of Mediators Beyond Borders and recent Chair of the Middle East Initiative of Mediators Beyond Borders.

Cypis has received awards and fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, Japan Foundation, Bush, McKnight, Jerome, Ordway and Durfee Foundations, City of Los Angeles Cultural Arts, and Fellows of Contemporary Art. She earned an MFA Californian Institute of the Arts, and an MDR, Masters of Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University. She was born 1951 in Tel Aviv, Israel, and lives and works in Los Angeles.”

2002 “Democracy When?, UCLA Hammer Museum and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions SHOW: the Flag, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA.”