The following is a fictionalized account of the opening of Jon Rafman's You Are Standing in an Open Field, which was on view from Sept 12 - Oct 26, 2013 at Zach Feuer Gallery in New York.
"Zach Feuer's on 22nd Street," said Thor. He looked up from his iPhone and pointed downtown.
"That sounds right," said Zoe. "A really even number. I can picture it on their website." Zoe nodded and then coughed.
I shrugged and joined them—Thor, Zoe, and my girlfriend Ann. Thor leaned over his phone.
Thor was a tall man, handsome with thick eyebrows. At twenty-two, he was a decade younger than me. Zoe, meanwhile, had sparkly eyes. I think she was Ann's age, twenty-eight. "I haven't seen anything new by Jon in a long time," she said. "I don't even know what this is going to be like."
Generation Works, an artist-run space in Tacoma, Washington, recently staged its last-ever project as part of the Upcoming Exhibitions program at abc art berlin contemporary, an art fair founded in 2008. Harry Burke reflects on their last exhibition, and on the project as a whole.
Generation Works' beginnings as a foreclosed condo in Tacoma, Washington.
Generation Works is responsible, progressive, made of stone, its website says to you, with a touch of imagination, patience, openness. The website header, lifted from the online home of another company with the same name, appears against a background that fades from white to baby blue. In the bottom left is the emblem of its sister organisation, Open Shape, its logo like a better version of its DIS counterpart. DIS were at the fair too, in fact, in a real booth, on the Saturday presenting a talk declaring Mainstream as the truest Avant Garde.
Generation Works is the name of an artist-run space in a condo in downtown Tacoma, Washington. Since 2012 it has played host to exhibitions by three American artists: Alex Mackin Dolan, Bunny Rogers, and Jasper Spicero. It is Jasper who curated the space, which runs through three rooms, and which admitted no visitors for any of its exhibitions. On September 19 of this year, between 5:00pm and 7:00pm CET, the project space staged its last-ever exhibition in an impromptu two-walled gallery construction in the foyer of Art Berlin Contemporary, an art fair. The condo in Tacoma has been foreclosed.
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis's shoes during her 13-hour filibuster on June 25, 2013.
Jennifer Steinkamp, from the seires Sexist Slides (1989). Slideshow projected on a street in Hollywood at EZTV.
Molly Soda, Inbox Full (2012). Ten-hour reading of questions sent to the artist from her Tumblr askbox.
Sister Unn's, 2011
A lot of your work seems to explore the transitional moments of adolescence into adulthood through sexual introductions like Dotyk and Waiting for Anne, as well as through sentimental mementos like the embroidered letterman jackets of Sister Jackets and even the webpage Dad’s Big Socks. With this type of memorialization, there’s also this recurrent fascination with animals as self-identifying symbols: Bunny Rogers, Pones, A Very Young Rider, Lambslut, etc. I wonder where these animal identities intersect with this loss of naïve youth and what your relationship to them is within these transgressive adolescent shifts? Why concentrate on the prepubescent stage? What role do animals play within this shift?
I am interested in deconstructing the comfort felt regarding how we view the transition from girlhood to adulthood. I do not think I concentrate on the prepubescent stage, at least in the biological sense of the word. When my work is categorized with that term it sets up a discussion of a socially-familiar understanding of what [female] prepubescence means, the definition of which is confusing and contradictory. We build value systems based on that understanding. These terms are applied in an assessment of my work and me. Some of my works try to make these terms unstable, by questioning how we arrive at them. The challenge is how to broaden the grounds on which these concepts are positioned as is evident by the limitations of phrasing we have even when trying to interpret the works investigating these concerns. I see a lot of overlap in mass culture’s sexualization and exploitation of children and animals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hix7Ie-IlYU [Dance Precisions / Single Ladies / Pomona]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RP19fnff_c [The Chipettes - Single Ladies [Put A Ring On It]