In an experiential art exhibit and pop-up store set against the backdrop of an undisclosed vintage hotel, Angelenos will be able to experience fashion, art, performance and music under one roof. From Friday to Saturday, The Chronicles of LA, self-branded as “a weekend of immersive storytelling retail,” will bring together more than 60 different artists from across the globe to showcase their notions of sex through a variety of media.
Over the course of the two-day event, guests will have the opportunity to purchase art, clothing and products from participating artists and also witness surprise performances by dancers, performers and musicians. The immersive experience was conceptualized by multimedia artist James Mountford and fashion expert Leena Similu.
“We wanted to create a space that would be inspiring and experiential but also a place to shop for exciting new items,” Mountford said.
The two, who are based in London, chose Los Angeles as the destination for their next venture because of its vibrant art and fashion scene.
“When we moved to Los Angeles from London, we found a huge community of locally grown talent that was so raw and energetic and full of life,” Mountford said. “We felt it was the ideal place to initiate a project that can spotlight and nurture these young, diverse and unique talents.”
To ensure that every guest has an individualized experience based on when they arrive and how long they stay, exhibits and performances will be unannounced and scattered throughout the venue. The event will take place in Downtown Los Angeles but its exact location has not yet been announced, beyond the fact that it will be hosted in a vintage hotel.
“We wanted a venue that was completely out of the norm for a pop-up store,” Similu said. “Something that would ignite curiosity and intrigue, and hotels always have a very sexual undertone to them so it seemed perfect.”
Mountford and Similu conducted extensive research to identify and assemble their team of participating artists. Their backgrounds vary from classically trained artists to self-taught fashion designers. Notable and diverse attendees will include abstract BDSM painter Ali Silverstein; dancer and choreographer Jessica Emmanuel; ballpoint pen artist Cary Kwok; designer duo Namilia; and the creators of luxury fashion brand Ammunition Couture.
“Once we found a core group of artists, it grew organically through word-of-mouth and introductions,” Mountford said. “We were very fortunate in the sense that everybody we met was so open and enthusiastic about the idea.”
The event will also see big name performers who are performing “secret gigs” so that they can experiment and be creative with their media without the pressure of pleasing fans. At night, a dominatrix, who doubles as a Ph.D. student by day, will gently electrocute willing volunteers to raise money in support of the transgender community.
By focusing the exhibits, performances and storefronts on sex, Mountford and Similu hope to encourage an open discussion surrounding the topic.
“We hope the event will open a discourse about sex in all its guises,” Similu said. “We’ve pushed hard to try and represent all aspects and most [artists] have really surprised us with the depth of their thought process.”
The roster also comprises 70 percent female artists, which the event organizers hope will ensure that the portrayals of human sexuality are appropriate, respectful and interesting to all patrons.
This debut installment — called Chapter I: Sex — will be the first part of The Chronicles of LA series. Forthcoming chapters will be based on new themes and take place in different secret locations throughout the city.
Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP online, where they will receive more information and a formal invitation to the secret venue.