The latest gallery foray of conceptual artist Pablo Helguera is, somewhat surprisingly, comprised of small delicate collages. Constructed of images that reflect his travels through the Americas during his project, The School of Panamerican Unrest (SPU), Suite Panamericana--now on view at Moti Hasson Gallery in New York--is only one of the material outputs of this ambitious happening (which also includes a website, blog, and an upcoming documentary). In what is described as a 'nomadic think tank,' Mexican-born Helguera and other members of the SPU traveled by car through the Americas, from Anchorage, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina making 'official' stops along the way. Through performances, workshops, screenings, and discussions the SPU initiated a trade of ideas, devoid of the usual polemics of Pan-American trade and globalization. A public performance by Helguera on Thursday, September 20 at 7:30pm at Moti Hasson will surely illuminate these ideas further.
Finally one can get more out of spying on the neighbors than a simple voyeuristic thrill, and this year's winner of the Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Interactive Art, artfully shows us how. Park View Hotel by India-based artist Ashok Sukumaran uses surveillance systems to examine the contested relationships between surveillance, private property, and public space. Originally conceived for ISEA 2006 in San Jose, California, Sukumaran set up spotting scopes in Cesar Chavez Plaza and corresponding sensors inside the windows of the nearby Fairmount Hotel. When properly aimed, the spotting scopes would optically 'ping' the sensors, illuminating the room with a variety of colors. That specific color was then wirelessly transmitted back into the public square, illuminating the nearby light posts with the corresponding hue. This cycle of intrusion, capture, and reconfiguration between the public nature of the town square and the implied privacy of a hotel room illustrates eerily, but also poetically, how the public has the potential to override the binary relationship of public versus private.
Over the past few years a number of contemporary artists and curators have taken up the idea of 're-enactment.' No longer the domain of Civil War buffs, re-enactment as an art movement allows us to actively re-engage and rethink our history. History Will Repeat Itself: Strategies of Re-enactment in Contemporary (Media) Art and Performance, organized by Inke Arns of Hartware MedienKunstVerein, in Dortmund, Germany includes works by C-Level, Pierre Huyghe, and Jeremy Deller. Most notably, however, it includes a video (transferred from film) of theorist Walter Benjamin addressing his favorite topic: the copy. Musing on the work of Piet Mondrian, Benjamin comes to the conclusion that copies of Mondrian's work are 'multi-layered and more complex with regard to its meanings, than the original.' It is this repetition (made so much easier in a digital environment), which add layers of meaning to the ideas, events, and objects that constitute our history. The show runs until September 23rd and will then travel to Berlin's KW Institute for Contemporary Art.
Combining artifacts from gold rush-era California with the work of the ground-breaking artists from California's Bay Area, Pioneers--a new show at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art--is simultaneously a social history and contemporary art exhibition. The show reflects on the spirit of independence and exploration among California's early migrant population through the lens of the art of California's political, social, and cultural upheavals. Moving image works by Ant Farm and Bruce Conner, the theatrical practice of the Cockettes, and works by Diego Rivera and Dorothea Lange are only some of the artworks which illustrate how art can resonate with cultural moments past, present and future. 'Pioneers' runs through November 5th.
The construct of the mirror looms large in the work of Daniel Rozen, and his latest show, Fabrication, is clear evidence of this. Disguising technology with natural materials and textile-based constructions, Rozen's work appears to float in the exhibition space, reflecting back whoever stands in front of it. Where 'Weave Mirror' has the appearance of a hand woven basket, 'Peg Mirror' is constructed of 650 circular wooden pieces that shift and rotate to create a mirror image. Conflating textile design, photography, and new media, Rozen's work absorbs and reflects the equally diverse world around it. This is the third solo show by the artist at Bitforms gallery and the work will be on display through October 6th.
I wholeheartedly agree that Ben made some excellent points (and it's nice to have the link to his notes—thanks for that). In particular:
"//It tried to reinvent the wheel because it lacked the tacit knowledge of previous generations who had shared similar concerns and worked through many of the pitfalls."
I feel this statement clearly encapsulates a problem with much of the recent discourse around the idea of post-internet. There's an assumption that a critical articulation of the relationship between online and physical objects is a new phenomenon. The materiality (or demateriality) was an ongoing concern from the outset of artists working on the Internet. So I'm disappointed when I hear Karen Archley cite a 2009 exhibition curated by AIDS-3D as the first instance of this kind of material engagement—if we are suggesting that this is what the term post-internet has come to represent.
Finger wagging over.
I'm just surprised to see Rhizome facilitating a discussion that suggests that artists and curators were not thinking about the relationships between online themes and aesthetics and offline presentation before 2008!
It doesn't seem like a provocation or exaggeration, it seems like a serious misrepresentation of the history.
I'm sorry. Can someone explain this statement to me? Michael?
Job Title: Exhibitions Curator
Position Type: Full-time contract, 35 hours/week
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Years Experience: 3+
The Western Front Society seeks an outstanding, highly motivated arts professional to step into the role of Exhibitions Curator.
The Western Front is one of Canada’s pioneering artist-run centres and produces and presents works in five programs: Exhibitions, Performance Art, New Music, Media Arts, and FRONT Magazine. The Western Front was founded in 1973 by a small group of interdisciplinary artists, and has developed into an exemplary multi-disciplinary environment for experimental art practice and research. With a staff of ten plus interns and volunteers, the Society collectively produces over fifty events a year.
The Exhibitions Program has a mandate to present contemporary visual art by local, national and international artists. Intentionally open, this mandate has historically focused on artwork that is conceptual, media-based or otherwise ephemeral in nature. Currently the program promotes experimentation with conceptual models and contexts for visual art that have allowed the program to expand beyond gallery exhibitions to include artist books and posters, cross-disciplinary works, site-specific and Internet projects, and commissions.
The Exhibitions Curator reports to the Executive Director, and is responsible for:
• Developing and communicating a dynamic vision for the Exhibitions Program
• Curating exhibitions and all associated programming
• Editing publications
• Writing grants and seeking opportunities for additional funding or support
• Supervising one part-time staff member, contract workers, as well as volunteers
• Exemplary knowledge and understanding of contemporary art practices
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Proven financial management experience
• Strong organizational skills
• Ability to provide direction and work with a diverse staff
• High capacity to meet deadlines and work under pressure
• Knowledge of a broad range of issues related to the arts
• A clear understanding of the philosophy and history of the Canadian artist-run centre movement
• Knowledge of the principle funding agencies and prior grant writing experience
• Knowledge of managing publications and print projects
• Experience installing a variety of art exhibitions
• Mac OS, Microsoft Office, electronic mail and Filemaker Pro, an asset
A competitive benefits package is available after the three months probation period is complete. After eight months of employment, four weeks paid vacation may be taken during the period when programs are recessed. An additional ten days paid holiday time may be taken during the December/January holiday period.
A part-time Exhibitions Assistant supports this position. Provisions are also made within the program budget for research-based travel.
HOW TO APPLY
The Western Front Society is committed to the principles of Employment Equity and encourages applications from Aboriginal persons, members of a visible minority group or persons with a disability.
Applications containing a cover letter, curriculum vitae, three references, and writing samples, must be received by 4:00 p.m. on December 14, 2009.
Please send applications by email only to:
Exhibitions Curator Hiring Committee
Western Front Society
303 East 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1S1
NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.