EJ Hill: Wherever we will to root

February 17 - April 22, 2022

Los Angeles based artist EJ Hill is best known for his rigorous, embodied and durational performances and his exploration of the social construction of identity. This exhibition is the culmination of Hill’s term as the 2021 Wanlass Artist in Residence at OXY ARTS, where he worked collaboratively with his students to unravel and unlearn entrenched ideologies.

This unlearning also takes place in the exhibition, where Hill explores the versatility of his practice freely and unapologetically, insisting that it can and will foreground joy. In this series of new works, Hill departs from his physical practice to access his passion for painting; reframing the painting process as the work itself—in this case the work of care, a therapeutic mechanism for healing, rehabilitation, and even refusal.

Wherever we will to root acts as the pendulum swing to Hill’s physically demanding performances. Right here, the paintings seem to say—in the restful hues of roses and daffodils and daisies—is the place where we bloom, where the body is not tested but nursed back to equanimity. The exhibition invites the viewer to witness the physical evidence of Hill’s process and join in the necessary act of resting, resetting, and finding balance and beauty.

The season of programming features a series of public events which materialize through conversation, performance, music and food—making space for the return of a shared joy and intimacy.

This exhibition and related programming are made possible by generous support from the Kathryn Caine Wanlass Charitable Foundation.