Monday, May 18, 2009
[Interview conducted by Lori Gilbert]
After child-birth in 1968, artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles became a mother/maintenance worker and fell out of the picture of the avant-garde. In a rage, she wrote the Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969, applied equally to the home, all kinds of service work, the urban environment, and the sustenance of the earth itself. Inspired, also, by NYC’s “Comprehensive Plan” that split its mission into two systems: development and maintenance, she has created works that collide the boundaries of these two systems together, understanding them as the embodiment of opposing human drives of freedom and necessity. Upcoming and recent exhibitions are Birthing Tikkun Olam, an inter-active installation where over 8,000 people participated in completing the work at the new Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco; Radical Nature at the Barbican in London; Agency: the Work of Artists at the Montalvo Art Center, San Jose; a one person show in the Feldman Gallery Booth at the International Armory Art Fair in NYC; WACK! Art & the Feminist Revolution beginning at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and traveling; and the Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates. Often a visiting artist, she was Senior Critic at Yale in the sculpture department in 2007—2008. Forthcoming and recent publications include “Forgiveness for the Land: Public Offerings Made by All, Redeemed by All,” in On Forgiveness, the List Center for Art and Politics, NYC, 2009; and “The Power of the Artist & The Power of Art in the Public Domain,” in Creative Time: The Book, 2007.
Monday, May 11, 2009
[Interview conducted by Ryan Paulsen and Anna Gray]
[with special guest Arlo]
Frances Stark writes texts and poems. She also creates collages on paper and canvas. Stark's artistic style is formed from the combination of text, word, writing and image, often taken from collected pictorial source material. The starting point for her way of working is the self-referential use of literary or visual templates, which she places for the most part ironically or metaphorically in relation to herself, that is to say her various (life) roles as artist, woman, mother, professor and member of an (art) community. The transformation of the templates culminates in an expressly personal language, which appears, both visually and contextually, to be extremely fragile. The contextual fragility can be undoubtedly traced to the fact that Frances Stark works in a very self-ironic way, making circumstances, such as indecisiveness, timidity, becoming something, transformation, stagnation or also being a self-impostor become the central focus of her work.
Monday, May 4, 2009
[interview conducted by Jason Zimmerman]
Mark Dion was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1961. He received a BFA (1986) and an honorary doctorate (2003) from the University of Hartford School of Art, Connecticut. Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. The job of the artist, he says, is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between ‘objective’ (‘rational’) scientific methods and ‘subjective’ (‘irrational’) influences. The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modeled on Wunderkabinetts of the 16th Century, exalt atypical orderings of objects and specimens. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society. He has received numerous awards, including the ninth annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2001). He has had major exhibitions at the Miami Art Museum (2006); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004); Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2003); and Tate Gallery, London (1999). “Neukom Vivarium” (2006), a permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park, was commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum. Dion lives and works in Pennsylvania.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
[interview conducted by Crystal Baxley]
Doug Blandy is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, a Professor and Program Director in the Arts and Administration Program, and the Director of the Institute for Community Arts Studies at the University of Oregon. His research defines, describes, critiques, and analyzes the implementation of community arts programs that are participatory, community focused, community based, and culturally democratic. His most recent research considers the creation and distribution of zines as a component of radical democracy. He is also a principle investigator in a multi-university project associated with the documentation and interpretation of China's material culture.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Lee Montgomery of
Neighborhood Public Radio
Lee Montgomery is a founding member of the Bay area based collective Neighborhood Public Radio, an independent, artist-run radio project committed to providing an alternative media platform for artists, activists, musicians, and community members. The group sets up independent radio stations, which are made available for public use, under the motto “If it’s in the neighborhood and it makes noise... we hope to put it on the air.”
NPR has produced radio projects all over the United States and Europe, including a recent project for the 2008 Whitney Biennial titled " _______ American Life," which took place next door to the Whitney Museum of American Art in an empty storefront.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
[interview conducted by Tasha Liegel]
Larry Sultan grew up in California’s San Fernando Valley, which has become a source of inspiration for a number of his projects. His work blends documentary and staged photography to create images of the psychological as well as physical landscape of suburban family life. Sultan’s seminal book and exhibition Pictures From Home (1992) is a decade long project that features his own mother and father as its primary subjects, exploring photography’s role in creating familial mythologies Using this same suburban setting, his book, The Valley (2004) examines the adult film industry and the area’s middle-class tract homes that serve as pornographic film sets. Sultan's work has been exhibited and published widely and is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art to name a few. Sultan is a professor of art at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Monday, April 6, 2009
[Interview conducted by Ariana Jacob]
Michael Rakowitz first came to the attention of the art world in the winter of 1998, when a project called paraSITE began appearing on the streets of Cambridge, and Boston, Massachusetts. It was a series of inflatable plastic homeless shelters, each one tailored to the individual specifications of its occupant designed to inflate by latching on to heat-exhaust ducts on the sides of buildings, swiping the escaping hot air and rerouting it to provide warmth for those living on the streets.Born and raised in New York, Rakowitz work is informed by an idiosyncratic blend of performance, sculpture and graphic design; its activism is filtered through a highly aesthetic artifice. His projects, which weave together historical information and politics, are marked by a profound emotional depth. He is now on faculty at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.