February 3rd–April 15th, 2018

PUBLIC FICTION "The Conscientious Objector"


Curated by Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey and Lauren Mackler


835 North Kings Road 
West Hollywood, CA 90069
United States 
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11am–6pm 

T +1 323 6511510 


Public Fiction’s The Conscientious Objector is a multifaceted endeavour that unfurls in parts

from February to April 2018. It comprises a publication, a series of artist-made commercials

for television, an exhibition of artworks activated by performances, and public programs.


About the exhibition
The Conscientious Objector at the Schindler House presents new and existing works by Sam Gilliam, 

Anthea Hamilton, Lucy McKenzie, Dianna Molzan, and Suki Seokyeong Kang, plus a durational performances

delivered by professional actors and directed by Todd Gray. 


About the commercials
The exhibition is initiated via a series of newly commissioned TV commercials by artists Mohamed

Bourouissa, Rosalind Nashashibi, Mathias Poledna, and Martine Syms. Following a rich

lineage of art and activism works produced for public access television, these commercials are

aired on West Hollywood’s TV channel, as well as in museums, art institutions, cinemas,

and online platforms.


About the publication
Edited by Public Fiction and The Serving Library, and published by ROMA Publications, it features

new and republished work by Hilton Als, Tauba Auerbach, Claire-Louise Bennett, Octavia E. Butler,

Anne Carson, Valentina Desideri & Denise Ferreira da Silva, Shannon Ebner, Chris Evans,

Angie Keefer, Mark Leckey, Library Stack (Benjamin Tiven & Erik Wysocan), Marcos Lutyens,

Wanda Pimenel, Adrian Piper, Jack Self (Real Review), Patrick Staff, Frances Stark & Ian Svenonius,

and Martine Syms.


To be an object, is to object *

Set in West Hollywood, The Conscientious Objector considers how art and culture can establish acts 

of resilience through 'non-participation' and elliptical routes, in contrast to more blatantly socio-

political forms of resistance, as well as the ways in which they might use the tropes and platforms

of entertainment, advertising, and mass culture to reach its audiences. That is, without making

any assumptions about who these audiences are.
The overall project is an exploration of different modes or degrees of 'public address'— most obviously

through a live confrontation with actors in the exhibition, at a step removed via TV commercials,

more obliquely via individual artworks, and in the longer term through the publication.

About the Public Program:
February 8: Mohamed Bourouissa in conversation with Negar Azimi at the Schindler House.
March 22: Rosalind Nashashibi in conversation with Mathias Poledna at the Schindler House.
April 5: Anthea Hamilton in conversation with Todd Gray at the Schindler House.
April 15: Marathon screening of In the Name of the Place by Mel Chin and the GALA Committee

at the West Hollywood Public Library.

*1. This is us, paraphrasing an idea from Fred Moten’s In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition,

(University of Minnesota Press, 2003)—specifically the last chapter titled ‘Resistance of the Object:

Adrian Piper’s Theatricality.’


The Conscientious Objector is commissioned by the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission of the

City of West Hollywood, with support from the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Korea Foundation,

Arts Council England, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Karyn Kohl and Silas Dilworth,

Dan Avchen, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), 

kaufmann repetto, Galerie Buchholz, Kristina Kite Gallery, and David Kordansky Gallery.






Image captions: Detail of Lucy McKenzie, Quodlibet LX (Violet Breche Desk) (2015);

Anthea Hamilton, Leg Chair (John Travolta) (2010);

The cover of The Serving Library Annual 2017–18 / Public Fiction's Conscientious Objector issue with

Jacob Lawrence's The Letter from the War Series (1946)