Category Archives: United States

Art: The Art Scene Responds To The Troubled Economy

The Art Scene Responds To The Troubled Economy
Lauren Leibowitz September 26, 2011

Like many New Yorkers, we’ve been following reports on the Occupy Wall Street protests happening in New York City’s financial district this past week. National media has been all atwitter with reports of attacks on these peaceful protesters, who have assembled a diverse group of demonstrators to make a statement about government corruption and the privileging of big business and the wealthy 1% in American policy-making.

No one was safe from their wrath, not even the art world, which typically serves as a bastion of cultural criticism and social commentary on matters of civic discontent. In an effort to champion workers’ rights over corporate greed, protesters took aim at Sotheby’s by repeatedly interrupting an art auction at the famed art auction house last week, pledging their allegiance to Sotheby’s art handlers, who have been struggling over contract negotiations. The art auction served as a poignant reminder of the discrepancies in the distribution of wealth in the art market itself, a sort of microcosm of the larger financial issues plaguing our country.

We decided to pay homage to art’s traditional role in this conversation—as criticism, commentary and instigator—by taking a look at some of the projects that have tapped into our social zeitgeist, activating it via emotive visual experiences to address the recession, unemployment and lots of other factors contributing to this particularly charged moment of worldwide economic crisis. These responses date back to 2008, when the recession first began, and paint an interesting trajectory of how the dialogue has shifted since.

Damon Rich, “Red Lines Crisis Housing Learning Center” (2008)

Damon Rich designed an architectural model to represent home foreclosures in New York City based on a panorama of the city from the 1964 World’s Fair. “In some way, I hope my exhibitions function as strange educational playgrounds for adults,” he told the New York Times.

“Dead End Part I” from arsoni5t on Vimeo (2008)

This intriguing animated graphic novel, though in German, contains many themes pertinent to the American economic climate. The Dead End series takes place during the financial crisis of 2008, and depicts an armed zombie uprising. The stark black and white imagery evokes the cold hard attitude we feel toward the machine.

Pathways To Housing staged this video installation last spring, developed in partnership with the creative agency Sarkissian Mason. The organization drew the attention of passersby to the plight of the city’s many homeless, a group whose interests are ignored all too often. A video projection of a slumbering, shivering man encouraged pedestrians to send a text message to the charity, which would, in effect, help the ghostly figure to find shelter.

“We Like America and America Likes Us” from Bruce High Quality Foundation on Vimeo (2010)

Anonymous artist collective The Bruce High Quality Foundation made this video as part of the 2010 Whitney Biennial about our complex relationship with our country. The video was projected onto the windshield of an ambulance/hearse in the exhibition, with montages from American cultural touchstones set to a narration from a disembodied voice that critiques the conflicts of our shared experiences. “We wish we could have fallen in love with America… but it never made sense.”

SPENT, (2011)

Playspent.org, an interactive site, comes from McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham, and sets out to prove that poverty is no game. SPENT is a simulation of the choices a low-income single parent must make to survive, putting the player in the tough position of choosing between essentials like auto payments or a child’s field trip funding. You might make it through the simulated month—but you might not be happy with the results.

ATM or this is [not] new york, Sponsored By Nobody (ongoing)

ATM or this is [not] new york is an NYC-based performance piece that sheds light on the city’s interactions with the homeless population. Produced by Sponsored By Nobody, this traveling theatrical endeavor presented the homeless interacting with ATM patrons in exchange for spare change. The performance evolved into a dialogue on gentrification and the interactions within the city between people of highly different interest groups. This project was successfully funded through Kickstarter.

Loft In The Red Zone, Fractured Atlas Foundation (ongoing)

Loft In The Red Zone proposes another call for action—though this group’s been affected by the ongoing Wall Street occupation to a bit more of a detriment. This exhibition is an artists’ tribute to New York City on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, expressing several artists’ reaction to the aftermath of the crisis. Unfortunately, barricades have gone up around the gallery in attempts to safeguard the city against the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the gallery isn’t receiving the action it needs. Donate to their Kickstarter in order to ensure that the exhibition makes enough money to stay open through October.

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Exhibition: September 11

September 11
September 11, 2011–January 9, 2012

MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

http://www.momaps1.org

Since that fall morning in 2001, “September 11” has come to connote a broad swath of feelings and subjects that range from the personal to the national; it has been used to justify political, security, and military decisions the world over, while continuing to weigh upon the landscape of New York and its inhabitants, particularly those directly affected by the attacks. Witnessed by an estimated two billion people, the attacks on the World Trade Center were among the most pictured disasters in history, yet they remain, a decade later, underrepresented in cultural discourse—particularly within the realm of contemporary art.

Responding to these conditions, MoMA PS1 Curator Peter Eleey brings together more than 70 works by 41 artists—many made prior to 9/11—to explore the attacks’ enduring and far-reaching resonance. Eschewing images of the event itself, as well as art made directly in response, the exhibition provides a subjective framework within which to reflect upon the attacks in New York and their aftermath, exploring the ways that they have altered how we see and experience the world in their wake. September 11 opens on the tenth anniversary of the attacks and occupies the entire second floor of the museum, with additional works located elsewhere in the building and in the surrounding neighborhood, including one of Thomas Hirschhorn’s street altars from the late 1990s, which will be installed for the first month of the exhibition on a street corner near MoMA PS1.

Artists in the Exhibition
Diane Arbus, Siah Armajani, Fiona Banner, Luis Camnitzer, Janet Cardiff, John Chamberlain, Sarah Charlesworth, Christo, Jem Cohen, Bruce Conner, Jeremy Deller, Thomas Demand, Shannon Ebner, William Eggleston, Harun Farocki, Lara Favaretto, Jane Freilicher, Maureen Gallace, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jens Haaning, Susan Hiller, Roger Hiorns, Thomas Hirschhorn, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Mark Lombardi, Mary Lucier, Gordon Matta-Clark, Harold Mendez, Mike Nelson, Cady Noland, Roman Ondák, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, John Pilson, Willem de Rooij, George Segal, Rosemarie Trockel, James Turrell, Stephen Vitiello, and John Williams.

Catalog
September 11 is accompanied by a fully illustrated 248-page catalog designed by Kloepfer-Ramsey and published by MoMA PS1. In addition to Peter Eleey’s curatorial essay, it includes new contributions by Robert Hullot-Kentor and Alexander Dumbadze, as well as texts by Alexander Kluge, W.J.T. Mitchell, and Retort. Distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., available online and at the ARTBOOK shop at MoMA PS1, +1 (718) 433-1088. ISBN 978-0-9841776-3-9.

Exhibition Support
The exhibition is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Teiger Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Generous support is provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

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Project / Open Call: Twin Towers Go Global

Open Call
Where Would You Rebuild the Twin Towers?

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Twin Towers Go Global is issuing an international open call for responses to the question “Where would you choose to rebuild the Twin Towers? Why?” In collecting and archiving voices from across the globe, TTGG hopes to create a memorial expressive of the Towers’ significance to a wide array of individuals and cultures, as well as their continuing unifying power.

Responses can be as simple or complex as you like, and you can enter as many times as you want. They can take the form of image, essay/text, sound, video, or a mixture of these (you can even handwrite your response and take a picture of it!) Images should come in jpeg, mov, mp3, or pdf format, or type text directly into an email. Submissions will be accepted beginning July 30 and ending September 2, 2011, and all responses will be posted on an ongoing basis on our submissions gallery. Ten finalists will be selected to be highlighted on the Twin Towers Go Global website. Five will be selected by popular vote. The other five will be selected by a jury we are currently composing. On our list of possible jurors are artists, architects, scholars, celebrities, and 9/11 family members. If you would like to nominate someone for the jury, please send us their name, contact information, and why you think they would be appropriate.

The ten finalists will be posted after Tuesday, September 6, and all participants will be notified by email when finalists have been posted. Finalists will receive a special mention during the public reception of a 10th anniversary exhibition organized by TTGG resident artist Pedro Lasch at Stephan Stoyanov Gallery in New York City on September 7, 6-9pm. They will also receive a dedicated page on the TTGG website, and will be included in the 2nd Anniversary Report published by Pedro Lasch and Twin Towers Go Global on September 11, 2011 for inclusion in the international exhibition Documenta 13, through their AND AND AND platform.

If you would like to vote on your favorite idea, visit this page after September 3, and send an email with the title of your selection in the subject line of an empty email to: vote@twintowersgoglobal.org

View Gallery

Open Call Rules

Submit responses to:
Jessye McDowell
open.call@twintowersgoglobal.org

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Exhibition: Speculative

Exhibition: June 16 – August 28
OPENING: JUNE 16
Performance Art Event: June 30
Panel Discussion: July 28
6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles 90028

CURATED BY:
Christopher O’Leary &
Zach Blas

SPECULATIVE features work by:
Casey Alt
Zach Blas
Jeff Cain
Micha Cardenas
Xarene Eskandar
Michael Kontopoulos
Elle Merhmand
Christopher O’Leary
Claudia Salamanca
Pinar Yoldas

CURATORIAL STATEMENT
Today, we see the world we live in as an inviable world, and yet a world poised for radical reconfiguration.

From global economic crises to pandemic panics to burgeoning forms of hatred and control to the ravaging of our earth, new borders and quarantines haunt and terrorize the world at stochastic levels of the global, nation-state, informatics, and the biological. Indeed, our world presents to us the seemingly complete commodification of life, culture, the body, earth.

Yet, we find within these very inviabilities the kernels of potential to enact and push forward new ways, worlds, and lives.

In fact, we see many up-risings emerging everywhere: from the calls to action of militant groups like The Invisible Committee to the UC student protests to the insurrections of the Middle East to the digital activisims of WikiLeaks and Anonymous.

These all point toward living and existing in the world another way.

We see the SPECULATIVE as the uniting force in our artwork that conjures forth the potential of the world we want, in political, cultural, social, sexual, technological, biological, economic, and ecological dimensions.

The SPECULATIVE is that imaginative, aesthetic work done by the artist to create new possibilities, inspire change, gesture toward a livable future, and generate new tactics and methodologies.

The SPECULATIVE asks us to use our imagination politically.

The SPECULATIVE allows us to subvert reality; practice new types of activism; work with the impossible as a political framework; rediscover the magic of our materials; question what a body and collective is capable of; locate new sexualities and perversities; reconfigure capitalism, design, and branding; create new worlds, peoples, species, and ecologies; find embodiments and other productive actions that emerge from war, apocalypses, disasters, and death; and build our dream utopias.

Exhibition and Event Description

As an exhibition The SPECULATIVE will focus on new modes of art making and new modes of presentation with a emphasis on the experiential, subversive, and tactical potentials for art in the 21st century. The projects included in this exhibition engage wildly diverse mediums from critical software, art-science, social practices, experimental video, wearable architecture, performance works and much more. The practices represented here deal with speculative notions of design, science, business, sex, gender, death, politics, environmentalism and most of all the future.

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Publication: Art Asia Pacific issue 65

ArtAsiaPacific
Issue 65
Sept/Oct 2009

http://www.aapmag.com

The depressed global economy has raised the stakes for government leaders around the world as frustrated citizens cry out for political and social reform. Waves of civil unrest in Asia have dominated the international media in recent months. In mid-June, massive protests in Iran followed the announcement of questionable results for the presidential election. Meanwhile, in western China, simmering tensions between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese erupted into bloody riots, resulting in some 200 dead, more than 1,000 injured and many more arrested.

ArtAsiaPacific’s September/October issue focuses on artists whose work engages with politically charged themes and seeks out alternative resolutions to the world’s most deeply entrenched problems.

The horrifying specter of nuclear war remains a sensitive topic in Japan. Features editor Ashley Rawlings examines how the irreverent Japanese collective ChimPom broke one of the country’s touchiest taboos after skywriting the word PIKA (meaning “flash” and an overt reference to the atomic bomb) in white smoke over Hiroshima. Rawlings analyzes why the city’s residents found the group’s action unacceptable, yet were able to embrace other interpretations of the 1945 explosions by artists such as Cai Guo-Qiang.

Turning to Taiwan, AAP’s desk editor in Taipei David Frazier looks at the sexually charged paintings and digital prints of Wu Tien-chang while reflecting on the island’s transition from four decades of martial law to democracy in 1987. Curator and scholar Britta Erickson explores the diverse work of Yang Jiechang, revealing how the artist regularly encounters social and political antagonism when he exhibits, not only in his home country of China but also in France and Poland. From the Middle East, AA contributor and Almanac co-editor Marisa Mazria-Katz considers the ruminative work of Yael Bartana, an Israeli artist who critiques Zionist propaganda in videos that touch on Israeli national identity. Looking north to Lebanon, managing editor HG Masters traces recent developments in the work of conceptualist Walid Raad who, after retiring his project the Atlas Group on the history of the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90), has turned his attention to the development of art and culture in the Middle East, including the massive museum construction projects in Abu Dhabi.

In Profiles, AAP meets instrumental figures in China, Iran and Australia. Vicki and Kent Logan, owners of the largest private collection contemporary Chinese art in the United States, talk about their fascination with Cynical Realism, and how the 1990s movement broadened their understanding of social change in China. AAP’s West Asia desk editor Sara Raza talks to artist, curator, collector and gallerist Fereydoun Ave about developments in the Iranian art scene following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and his recent mixed-media collages portraying heroic figures from Persian medieval poetry. Michael Young sits down with John Kaldor, Australia’s leading contemporary arts patron, who has commissioned major public artworks in Sydney by Christo, Gregor Schneider and others over the last 40 years.

In Projects, NaoKo TakaHashi, a Japanese performance artist who has worked in Jerusalem, tells AAP about how she transformed her experience as an immigrant in London into performances and installations that record social interactions with unwitting participants. For Where I Work, AAP visited Naiza Khan in her Karachi studio, filled with the artist’s haunting abstractions of the female body and her more recent work about urban decay. Reflecting on the history of the Subcontinent, senior editor Don J. Cohn reviews three recent books on India’s passage to artistic and cultural modernity. In My Eight, artist and biting social critic Ai Weiwei lists his favorite governments, and as a reminder that democracies are not immune to the erosion of civil liberties, independent curator Hyunjin Kim discusses the South Korean government’s regulation of free speech and deep budgetary cuts to the country’s arts infrastructure.

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Sound of Ebb: Still a Difficult Time

Name: Katie McMurran
Location: South Pasadena, CA, USA

Title: Still a Difficult Time
This piece is about what we know now in comparison to what we were told then.

credits:
Michael Chick, voice
Bush clips from Reuters News

Wind Sound by audible-edge (http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=995351)
Winter wind whistling through window.mp3 (http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=69512)

TV Static Sound by NoiseCollector (http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=4948)
tvstatic.wav (http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=57025)

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Article: With Dad Laid Off, Finding Ways to Hold On

With Dad Laid Off, Finding Ways to Hold On

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Published: August 23, 2009
New York Times

“MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — Among the flotsam and jetsam that gather over the years in a home, there is now the random taillight behind the Winklers’ living room couch. And a 1967 Buick Riviera dashboard under the desk. When jobs are short and the savings account dwindles, selling spare parts on the Internet can help put braces in mouths, and pay a credit card bill or two.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/us/24bethtwo.html?_r=1&hp

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