Santa Monica Prefecture


Close Your Eyes If You Want to See

Dorit Cypis

April 1 – May 15, 2019
Thursday/Friday 4-7PM, Saturday 11-2PM + by Appointment
Stay tuned for a final presentation in June – to be announced.

Santa Monica Prefecture is pleased to present a new work by artist Dorit Cypis, Close Your Eyes If You Want to See, a social sculpture exploring relationships between psychological, physical and social aspects of identity and social relations. Clear, fearless, and piercing, Dorit’s work emphasizes critical social engagement, never falling into reaction, or outrage.

Close Your Eyes If You Want to See consists of braille text drawn onto the back wall of the SMP garage space to fill it like a notebook page. The text describes a human aphorism calling for human alignment to mutually work towards freedom and social justice, two states that are somewhat ineffable, challenging to define and slippery to reach. Mirroring how challenging this call to action is, the visual braille text is an oxymoron of communication – the blind cannot see it, the sighted cannot decipher it. The artist recognizes visual braille as resembling the look of musical notation, and imagines sound taking the place of sight in resonating meaning. If we cannot see, can we perhaps hear what beckons us?

Over the residency of this project several musicians will be invited to interpret the text as musical score. Consideration will be given to the location of Santa Monica Prefecture as one of several single car garages situated in a public alley used daily by local residents and below two private residences. As the volume of live music may be a challenge, and to evoke interaction amongst local residents, the first musicians invited to collaborate on interpreting the braille text will be those living in the immediate vicinity, with a personal stake in this location. Each musical score will be recorded for inclusion in a CD compilation to be accompanied by a poster of the visual braille text. At the conclusion of this residency a public performance of all musical scores will be presented at Santa Monica Prefecture.

Dorit Cypis’ has explored themes of history, identity, and social relations as an artist, mediator and social activator since the 1980s. Moving fluidly between the studio and the street Cypis’ practice includes performance, photography, and immersive media installation presented at museums and cultural contexts nationally and internationally; civic community programs building capacity for generative relations across cultural differences; publication on identity and social relations and curriculum development at colleges/universities. Dorit is a founding member of Mediators Beyond Borders International, 2007, a founder of Kulture Klub Collaborative 1992, networking artists and home-less youth to bridge survival and inspiration, and Director of Foundation for Art Resources 1979. She earned an MFA, California Institute for the Arts and Masters Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University.  She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rauschenberg Foundation Residency, 2014. Cypis was born in Israel and raised in Montreal, Canada. At the core of her work is a guiding question, “who are we to each other?”

Luke Palascak is a musician and artist born in Winter Park, Florida. He has released 3 albums and toured internationally with a band he co-founded in 2006 called Pretend. He has curated art exhibitions in the Los Angeles region since 2010. In 2016, he established Santa Monica Prefecture, an exhibition space located in the residential alley behind his home.  Santa Monica Prefecture is an open platform by design, so that it may accommodate and evolve as necessary. He occasionally posts drawings on his website

Luke Palascak, Director

1120 20th Street (Alley), Santa Monica, CA 90403 424-382-6792