WILLIAM CAMARGO: Origins & Displacements, Vols. 1 & 2
October 3 – December 31, 2020

Locations: The exhibition was on view through the storefront windows at Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) & MUZEO Museum & Cultural Center



P R E S S   R E L E A S E S : Español PDF File | EnglishPDF File Opens in new window


E S S A Y S  We Been Here: William Camargo and the Arts of Counterstories/Hermos Estado Aqui: William Camargo y el arte de la contrahistoria (digital flipbook)
by Joseph Daniel Valencia, Independent Curator and Exhibitions & Program Manager, Vincent Price Museum

E X H I B I T I O N   C H E C K L I S T  Artwork in the exhibitionPDF File Opens in new window

P E R F O R M A N C E/ I N T E R V E N T I O N  Highlights from the performance at Grand Central Art Center, November 14, 2020

A B O U T   T H E   E X H I B I T I O N

The Begovich Gallery, in partnership with CSUF Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) and MUZEO Museum & Cultural Center, presents Origins & Displacements, Vols. 1 & 2, an on-going body of work examining Orange County’s history through contemporary photographs, videos and performance produced by artist William Camargo. This two-part exhibition features Camargo’s artistic investigation challenging the social depiction and erasure of Chicanx/Latinx people in historical documents, photographs, and news archives. The suite of images in Vols. 1 & 2, examines two cities in Orange County with the highest population of Chicanx/Latinx citizens— Santa Ana and Anaheim. Respectively, they are also where Camargo was born and raised, as well as the locations of the host sites of the exhibition. These regions are pivotal to Camargo’s work and artistic process— tracing the narratives left out from historical photographs and news archives while recounting Orange County’s notorious golden days and not-too-distant past related to gentrification, systematic racism, and police brutality. 

Camargo’s photographs consider the potential for awareness and change. They balance factual commentary on relevant issues plaguing communities of color while examining history. As Katie Adams Farrell, MUZEO’s Interim Executive Director, states, “His work explores and contextualizes local history, creating explicit starting points for honest and meaningful conversations about what our community was, what it is today, and what it can be.” Central to the works featured in Origins & Displacements are photographs of the artist situated at various Orange County spaces while holding a cardboard sign with text revealing hidden stories or information about the area. According to Jennifer Frias, Director/Curator of the Begovich Gallery, the straightforward composition of (Camargo’s) photographs is packed with meaning becoming a site where “art and activism intersect and reflect our current social and political climate at national and local fronts.” 
Both host venues of Origins & Displacements feature works that correspond to past histories. However, to represent where specific topical issues intersect, a medley of images will be shown at both locations. “Vol. 1” at GCAC contains photographs and a video installation in its storefront windows. “Vol. 1” expresses Camargo’s visual response to written materials and images found in archives centered around Santa Ana. Camargo cites the City of Santa Ana’s History Room Digital Collections and its Public Library’s Online Archive as sources for generating the outcome of his photographs. MUZEO’s manifestation of “Vol. 2” is a grouping of photographs rendered as a public installation along its façade. “Vol. 2” includes Camargo’s photographic response to newspaper archives and materials from the Anaheim Heritage Center, particularly the book “Labor and Community” by Gilbert G. Gonzalez. 
Both presentations are viewable anytime from each venue’s pedestrian plaza, where safe social distancing can be practiced and is free to the public. A performance piece is scheduled to take place at GCAC on November 7 and can be seen virtually and in real-time. Viewers can learn more about Camargo’s work by visiting the Begovich Gallery’s website and reading an extended essay by Joseph Daniel Valencia, Independent Curator, and Exhibitions & Program Manager at East L.A. College’s Vincent Price Museum (VPAM). In addition to Valencia’s essay, the website provides a list of sources that inspired the text and images found in Camargo’s work.

"William Camargo: Origins & Displacements, Vols. 1 & 2 "is organized by CSUF Begovich Gallery and it is presented in partnership with CSUF Grand Central Art Center and MUZEO Museum & Cultural Center. Support for the exhibition and its programming is made possible through the Art Alliance, Associated Students, Inc. Instructional Related Activities, the College of the Arts, and Department of Visual Arts. Special thanks to Manny Escamilla, Commissioner of Arts and Culture, Santa Ana, CA. 

A B O U T   T H E   A R T I S T

William Camargo is a photo-based artist, educator and arts advocate. He received his MFA at Claremont Graduate University and his BFA at the California State University, Fullerton. His work has been featured at venues such as Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL), Loisaida Center (New York, NY), University of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN), Mexican Cultural Center and Cinematic Arts (Los Angeles, CA), and The Ethelber Cooper Gallery of African and African American Arts at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA). His work has been published in The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, The New York Times, OC Weekly, TIME, and others. He was awarded residencies at the Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions (ACRE), the Chicago Artist Coalition, the Project Art, and at Otis School of Art and Design’s LA Summer. He is one of the selected recipients of the 2020 Lenscratch Student Prize, and the Leo Freedman Foundation Grant. He is currently serving as Commissioner of Heritage and Culture for the City of Anaheim. He is the founder/curator of Latinx Diaspora Archives. He works and lives in Anaheim, CA.

Artist’s website: www.williamcamargo.com
Instagram: @billythecamera Opens in new window


M A T E R I A L   S O U R C E S/  F U E N T E S   D E   I N V E S T I G A C I O N

  • Anaheim Heritage Center/ Centro del patrimonio de Anaheim
  • “Labor and Community: Mexican Citrus Worker Villages in Southern California 1900-1950” by Gilbert C. Gonzalez 
    “Trabajo y comunidad: pueblos de trabajadores cítricos mexicanos en el sur de California 1900-1950,” Gilbert C. Gonzalez
  • Fullerton College Library/ Biblioteca Fullerton College
  • Anaheim Public Library/ Biblioteca Pública de Anaheim
  • OC Weekly | https://www.ocweekly.com/the-naranjero-blues-6423186/Opens in new window
  • “In Defense of La Raza: The Los Angeles Mexican Consulate and the Mexican Community, 1929 to 1936” by Francisco Balderrama
    “En defensa de La Raza: en consulado mexicano de Los Ángeles y comunidad mexicana, 1929-1936,” Francisco Balderrama
  • Los Angeles Herald, Volume 38, Number 136, 25 August 1892/ Los Angeles Herald, Volumen 38, Número 136, 25 de agosto de 1892
  • Santa Ana Register July 7, 1936 Edition/ Registro de Santa Ana Edición del 7 de julio de 1936
  • ACLU Anaheim Police Department Use of Force Report 2017/ Informe sobre ed uso de la fuerza del Departamento de Policía de Anaheim de la ACLU 2017
    https://www.aclusocal.org/sites/default/files/aclu_socal_report_on_apd_use_of_force_updated_dec_2017.pdfPDF File Opens in new window
  • Santa Ana Public Library/ Biblioteca Pública de Santa Ana
  • Santa Ana History Room Photographic Collection/ Colección Fotográfica Sala de Historia de Santa Ana
  • “Lynching In The West 1850-1935” by Ken Gonzales-Day/ “Linchamiento en el oeste 1850-1935,” Ken Gonzalez-Day


C O M M U N I T Y   R E S O U R C E S/  R E C U R S O S   D E   L A   C O M U N I D A D


R E A D I N G   L I S T

  • Paul Mpagi Sepuya | Aperture Foundation
  • Latinx Art Artists, Markets, and Politics | Arlene Davila
  • Only Skin-Deep Changing Vision of the American Self | Coco Fusco and Brian Wallis
  • Chicano and Chicana Art: A Critical Anthology | Jennifer A. Gonzalez, C Ondine Chavoya, Chon Noriega, Terezita Romo
  • Indian Given Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States | Maria Josefina Saldaña-Portillo
  • Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time | Mark Sealy
  • Photographic Returns: Racial Justice and the Time of Photography | Shawn Michelle Smith
  • Decolonizing Culture: Essays on the Intersections of Art and Politics | Anuradha Vikram

from In Conversation, Fall 2020 featuring Paul Mpagi Sepuya and William Camargo | Webinar event December 5, 2020, in association with Titan Radio

Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s selections 

  • Drive-In Saturday, David Bowie
  • Promise, Lijadu Sisters
  • God Is Love, Marvin Gaye
  • My Boy, Girlhood
  • The Boy with the Thorn in His Side, The Smiths

William Camargo’s selections :

  • But There's Still the Moon, Tasha
  • Moment of Joy, Chicano Batman
  • Labor of Love, Weapons of Mass Creation
  • I'm Still at the Bar, Rudy de Anda
  • Binz, Solange
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