Sarah Rosalena: Standard Candle


May 20–June 18, 2023
Saturdays and Sundays


Mount Wilson Observatory
Los Angeles, CA



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A silver, black, and white collection of beaded strings. Sarah Rosalena, Exit VAR!, 2022, © Sarah Rosalena, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA, photo credit: Ian Byars-Gamber

Exit VAR!, glass beads, thread, 23 x 4 inches, 2022. Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber.

Staged in Mount Wilson Observatory’s 100-inch Hooker telescope, Standard Candle by Sarah Rosalena uses instrumentation and darkness as a lens for examining women’s labor and colonialism, and their role in the advancement of western scientific thought and the imaging of space. Standard Candle features a series of woven and beaded textiles made using computer code and based on images captured by the 100-inch telescope. The exhibition is organized around a body of work developed by the artist in response to the labor of female “computers”—women who worked at observatories undertaking the painstaking tasks of graphing data and performing calculations and predictions using glass plate photographic images.

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