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Friday, July 2, 2010

Displaying Vito Acconci's 'Seedbed' today

In a recent blog post, Lindsay Pollock talks about the new show going up at MoMA that draws exclusively from their permanent collection. It also includes 66 works that MoMA owns but has never displayed before, one of which is Vito Acconci's 'Seedbed'.

'Seedbed' was a performance piece Acconci did in the early 70s at Sonnabend Gallery in which he lived under a slanted platform and masturbated for the duration of the show. He would then fantasize about the people walking above him and his words were broadcast throughout the gallery. I was trying to figure out how MoMA was going to recreate this piece - was Vito himself going to revisit this piece, were they going to construct a ramp and hire someone to pleasure themself a la Acconci? The answer it turns out is simple - I emailed Lindsay Pollock and they said they are showing the video. Lame.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fear of Flying coming to cwp

Euan Maddonald, Two Planes, 1998, single-channel video installation with sound.

For immediate release: February 25, 2010

Fear of Flying: Josh Azzarella, Stacey M. Holloway and Euan Macdonald
at christopher west presents.

Indianapolis, IN - February 25, 2010: christopher west presents is delighted to announce Fear of Flying, a three-person exhibition featuring the work of New York-based Josh Azzarella, Indianapolis-based Stacey M. Holloway, and Los Angeles-based Euan Macdonald. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, March 18, from 5 until 8 p.m.

For the first-ever group exhibition at the gallery, Fear of Flying brings together three artists from different parts of the country and at different stages in their careers. In his seminal video piece, “Two Planes,” filmed in 1998, Macdonald digitally superimposed a duplicate image of a flying plane that shadows the original, which lends the work a haunting significance. This video elucidates his knack for finding evocative content in ordinary subject matter. Through the manipulation of historical imagery, Azzarella creates stills and videos that radically alter the contexts and meanings of images ingrained in the public conscience. In “Untitled #9 (W.T.P.1),” (2006) Azzarella has altered the events of September 11, 2001, frame by frame, causing the viewer to revisit that tragic day and wonder how our world might be different if the planes had missed the Twin Towers. Holloway’s site-specific installations communicate an emotional discomfort within her own life, a disconnect between the physical world she operates in and the internal world she lives in. For her, passenger planes represent fears and anxieties, while scale models convey a child’s perspective.

Euan Macdonald was born Edinburgh, Scotland, 1965, and lives and works in Los Angeles. He has had numerous solo shows in international museums and galleries including Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto; Kunstbunker Kinstverein, Nuremberg; as well as major group shows, Treble, 2004, Sculpture Center, Queens, NY; Irreducible, 2005, The Wattis Center for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; Seville Biennale, 2004; Gimme Shelter, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Fresh, 2000, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY; and 010101: Art in Technological Times, SF MoMA, 2001.

Josh Azzarella was born in Ohio and currently lives and works in New York City. Solo and group exhibitions include DCKT Contemporary (New York); Mark Moore Gallery (Santa Monica, CA); Vancouver Art Gallery (British Columbia); Kavi Gupta Gallery (Chicago); Akademie der K√ľnste (Berlin). He was the recipient of the 2006 Emerging Artist Award from The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield, CT). His work is included in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Stacey M. Holloway was born in South Bend, Indiana and has recently completed her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota with an emphasis in sculpture. Within the program, she received a Graduate School Fellowship, the Katherine E. Nash Studio Art Scholarship, and the Pioneer Scholarship to support her studies. Additionally, Holloway also received a Graduate Research Partnership Fellowship with Professor Wayne E. Potratz to complete Inter-Connections in Art Through Metalcasting, a collaborative project between the Interact Center and the University of Minnesota's Department of Art foundry.

Special thanks to RCA Television for providing the technology for this exhibition.

About christopher west presents

christopher west presents is a contemporary art gallery focusing on emerging regional and national artists. The intimate gallery space focuses primarily on solo exhibitions and artists’ projects. The gallery program is directed by Christopher West who has more than ten years experience in curating and selling contemporary art both in Indianapolis and in California. The gallery is located in the heart of the Massachusetts Avenue Arts District and is open to the public Wednesday 11 – 5, Thursday 11 – 7, Friday 11 – 5 and Saturday Noon – 4 or by appointment.


christopher west presents
646 Massachusetts Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rx for a Healthy Art Scene: Part 1 - the IMA blog

A few days ago I posted a list by Renny Pritikin on his 23 ingredients needed for a healthy art scene. The first issue I would like to talk about is not actually on the list, but if we are going to be Indy-centric we'll need to adapt the list to our specific needs. For our purposes, I would like to combine number 17 and 18.

17 - we need articulate artist leaders & 18 - we need heroes, iconoclasts, villains (people everyone loves to hate). Essentially, we need someone or something to lead the charge and a centralized location in which to praise, hate, vent about what is happening here locally. For quite some time it appeared the local arts blog On the Cusp might turn out to be just such a place, and in fact it still is a place that at times provides invaluable information and even some criticism from time to time. Unfortunately, with no budget and only volunteer contributors lead by Scott Grow, it becomes nearly impossible to consistently provide relevant information on a regular basis, as noted by the dozen or so posts so far in 2010. Other sites with potential have popped up and most have gone away nearly as fast as they arrived. With one exception - the Indianapolis Museum of Art Blog.

The IMA is a national and international leader in so many areas. From ArtBabble, to 100 Acres, to hosting extraordinary exhibitions in contemporary art and design, certainly the IMA deserves the praise they get from across the globe. What I would like to see is their blog take more of a leadership role in the local community just as their programming is taking a leadership role among other institutions. And since they already keep up with regular posting, they seem to at least have the infrastructure set up to do just that.

They already do some fabulous posts - I'm thinking in particular the posts about acquisitions and conservation - but a serious critique about the arts in Indy is what's needed. From new economic developments that install not very inspiring sculptures outside their shiny new doors, to the local artist that has a fantastic exhibition but gets little traffic, to calling out non-profits and art collectives and galleries that aren't pulling their weight. Yes, an authoritative voice that calls on us all to collectively raise the bar could help work wonders.

This post in particular was inspired by SFMOMA's blog Open Space and their discussion of the possible closing of the 30+ year old non-profit New Langton Arts. Having lived across the street from New Langton it held (and holds) a special place in my heart. Truly a place that had a major impact on my life. But after 3 decades it's mission was in question and some of the groundbreaking exhibitions they were pioneering early on were now being done by the larger institutions like SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It was the discussion on SFMOMA's blog that asked the tough questions regarding New Langton, like is it still relevant or even necessary in 2010? Indy doesn't have decades-old experimental non-profits like New Langton or Southern Exposure (also in San Francisco) - but it does have a need for a place we can all turn to to discuss our triumphs and our tragedies. And given the time constraints of maintaining a volunteer blog, let alone facebook, twitter, etc., the IMA may be the only place this can happen.

It's certainly not as easy as it sounds - you never know when you might step on a donor's (or potential donor) toes, but I think it's possible. Maybe start by joining with On the Cusp and don't be afraid to piss some people off. It's just a thought, but I think it's a good place to start.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Local news

Two pieces of news from the Indianapolis Business Journal worth pointing out:

First, Lou Harry in his A&E blog draws attention to the Phister Hotel in Milwaukee that now provides an artist-in-residence program. They provide studio space, a monthly stipend as well the opportunity to show the artist's work. On the surface it seems like a great idea, the danger I have seen in similar situations is that work is often safe and not very exciting. I think there is real potential here if the artist chosen is relevant in a contemporary art sense and someone who will actually add something to the local art scene and discourse.

Second, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail gets $20.5 million in federal stimulus funds. This puts the Trail $7.5 million above it's original goal of $55 million. Congrats to all involved on raising the funds - NOW LET'S FINISH THE EAST END OF MASS AVE! I feel really bad for the merchants down there that have been cut off from the rest of the Avenue.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Prescription for a Healthy Art Scene

I came across the below image while doing some research on my old stumping grounds in California. This list was written by Renny Pritikin for Proximity Magazine. Although it was written (I believe) for the SF Bay Area, I think there is a lot we can take from this list and apply directly to Indianapolis. A quick glance at the list will reveal there is a lot more ground to cover in Indy if we are to make this happen. In the coming weeks I'll pick out a few tidbits and try to expand on what I think we are doing locally or should be doing locally. For now, take a look at the list in it's entirety (click on image for a larger view).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Auction alert

Thanks to Lindsay Pollock, I found this Chris Johanson that is going up for auction at Freeman's in Philly as part of the Lehman Brother's sale. For those in the Johanson market it might be worth picking up the phone and bidding on this one. It's estimate is $300 - $500. I'm guessing it will go for quite a bit more than that but worth a shot - it's an edition of 40 and still available through Paulson Press for $3000.