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See: Bay Area Now 7, opens Friday

Very excited for dear friends presenting new works.

July 18–October 5, 2014
Bay Area Now 7
ybca, San Francisco

There’s a lot of reasons to be excited for BAN7, but I’d like to personally cheer these folks:

Susan O’Malley and Leah Rosenberg (by invitation of Montalvo Arts Center). Find your center and then get a little de-centered at their event-specific cocktails on July 24, from 6-8pm.

Susan O'Malley and Leah Rosenberg, Find Your Center, Montalvo Arts Center at ybca.

Susan O’Malley and Leah Rosenberg, installation of Find Your Center, Montalvo Arts Center at ybca. Source: Susan and Leah.

This, unbelievably, is happening at ybca:

Bay Area Art Workers’ Alliance

Bay Area Art Workers Alliance presents an exhibition of works by preparators addressing the invisible labor, aesthetic vocabulary, and materials that art workers use when they install and care for the precious objects that give value to institutions like YBCA. …

Each of these 50 new art works are constructed using on-the-job materials informed by vantages of the preparator — behind the painting, during the paperwork, inside the crate, from truck to office to gallery — that happen between, in proximity to, and in spite of the finished exhibition.

In the collaborative spirit of the profession, BAAWA will present works generated by preparators with a strategic focus on the collective work of a community rather than one single author.

BAAWA’s site: http://www.bayareaartworkersalliance.org

I really wished that I could have attended the Tate Modern’s No Soul For Sale fair of alternative and artist-run spaces, so when I heard that BAN7’s distributed curatorial model was inspired by NSFS, I was intrigued. The featured organizations cut a broad cross-section of the Bay Area art scene. In fact, I’m not familiar with some of them—either they’d begun around or after I left SF for NYC, or they were in entirely different networks. For a scene as small and tightly-knit as the Bay Area, this chance for BAN to present new spaces, artists and ideas is really exciting. It’s easy to knock bi- and triennials, but when the curatorial authorship reflects smaller art organizations, I hope audiences attend with a more open mindset.

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Art & Development, Community

Meanwhile, Thameside…

If I were Bugs Bunny, I’d burrow my way to London today, and re-surface Thameside just in front of the Tate Modern. After dusting myself off and gliding past stunned tourists, I’d visit No Soul For Sale, A Festival of Independents:

The festival will bring together over 70 of the world’s most exciting independent art spaces, non-profit organizations and artists’ collectives, from Shanghai to Rio de Janeiro, to take over the iconic Turbine Hall with an eclectic mix of cutting-edge arts events, performances, music and film on 14-16 May 2010.

Alongside venerable alt spaces like Artist’s Space (NYC) are groups like Arrow Factory (Beijing), cneai (a French org devoted to artist’s multiples), Green Papaya Art Projects (who hosted my work, along with that by Stephanie Syjuco, Mike Arcega, Reanne Estrada, and Megan Wilson in Galleon Trade international art exchange in Manila in 2007) and The Royal Standard (a Liverpool-based collective, whose past directors include Laurence Payot, who participated in This & That International Mail Art Swap).

After that, I’d jump onto a Tate ferry to visit the Douglas Gordon exhibition at Tate Britain (thru May 23).

In 2009, [Gordon] was commissioned to create a site-specific work at Tate Britain, to be installed in the Octagon and alongside Art and the Sublime, a display of historic sublime works in the adjacent gallery. These spaces are remarkable for their austere, neo-classical grandeur, with barrel-vaulted ceilings and a central dome designed to make the gallery a ‘temple of art’. Gordon’s response was to utilize and animate the architecture itself with a complex yet cohesive installation of over eighty text-based works entitled Pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989… (2010).

On one level, the effect seems to articulate Gordon’s idea of art operating as ‘a dialogue between artist and viewer’, hence many of the texts address us directly, employing ‘I’, ‘You’ and ‘We’. On another, it underlines the artist’s fascination with language and its potential for ambiguity, obscurity and multiple meanings.

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