“Made in L.A. 2020: a version”—Kandis Williams

“Made in L.A. 2020: a version”—Kandis Williams - Body

“Made in L.A. 2020: a version”—Kandis Williams

Kandis Williams is one of the artists in the Hammer Museum’s fifth biennial, “Made in L.A. 2020: a version.” Williams uses a variety of artistic techniques such as collage and assemblage. While at The Huntington, she discovered a file cabinet that holds cards of all the botanical specimens that were planted at The Huntington, but didn’t grow. Each card includes important information about the plant such as the species and origin. What they all have in common is a red stamp that says “dead.” Williams found this cabinet particularly interesting, and it was one of her sources of inspiration for her large collages in the exhibition. Watch the video below to hear how “The Dead File” played a role in her art.

See installation shots of Williams’ artwork at The Huntington and read more about her artistic practice here. To see her pieces at the Hammer Museum, click here. Learn more about “Made in L.A. 2020: a version” here.

Time to collage your own “Dead File”!


  • Pencil or pen
  • Art materials (crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, etc.)
  • Paper or index cards
  • Paper clip, rubber band, stapler, or something to hold your papers/cards together


1. Think about things in your past that you have tried and were unsuccessful at, or cultural trends you used to like but no longer do. What aspects of your past do you consider “dead?” Maybe it is a music genre you used to like, or a sport you no longer play, or part of your identity that has changed. It could be anything.

2. Make a card for each aspect of your life you consider “dead.” Include a card title, the year, a short description and a drawing, or even a photograph. If you want, you can create your own version of the “dead” stamp featured on the botanical cards.

3. Combine all your cards together to create your file.


1. Was it hard to come up with items or topics for the cards?

2. How did it feel to create this file? Was it liberating or was it difficult?