Thursday, June 21, 2007

Art "band" on tour

Last night, and for one night only, Young Blood Gallery hosted "Self Made", a show put on by three artists traveling the country and showing their work in a different city and a different gallery every night for 30 days. The idea behind it was to break free of the typical gallery system and tour much like a band would, gaining exposure and experience along the way.

I have to say I love the concept of this, as I spend a good deal of time reading about various bands and envying their lifestyle of touring the globe and sharing their creative passion while gaining incredible life experiences. It is a sharp contrast to the visual artists working in solitude most nights, showing work in venues that are far more regimented, having openings that aren't half as fun as concerts, and the ability to expose your work to people in every city and town across the country in a live venue is next to impossible. I think the popularity of Artist's Collaboratives is a result of artist's desire for more of this creative community and sharing of experience. And the three artists showing at YBG have taken the collaborative effort a step further.

Two Brice Bischoff photographs

The three artists just recently graduated from the MFA program at the San Francisco Art Institute and all three are originally from the southeast. Their tour of cities began in New Orleans, will venture into Canada, and eventually end in Houston, TX. Technically, I found the work of Jamie Spinello very eye catching. She layers plexiglass with cut mylar and paper sandwiched in between to create organic shapes and cavernous spaces.

Artist Brice Bishop, originally from New Orleans, showed photography which related to Katrina and his coping with the disaster while living in San Francisco and only imagining the effects of the hurricane while not actually being there to experience it first hand.

Kevin Parks Hauser, who was an incredibly friendly guy had a lot to say about the current gallery system and the need for more alternative ways to show work. He showed large photographs of installations he had previously done in S.F. He also plans to build actual installations while on tour but sees the photographs not as documentation but as works of art in themselves. The photographs were interesting, but I felt they were a very small window into installation and video work that were undoubtedly more engaging.

While I think the concept behind this tour is inspiring, I found that the artwork did not really fit the purpose. If a group of artists are going to do something so ambitious, their work ought to be a response to the constantly changing space, location, people, and local culture. There are so many different ways to use these experiences in the art, through installation, performance, video, or even better, engaging the audience as participants in the art themselves. Instead these artists were showing work from their MFA thesis show, work that did not seem made for a constant installing and de-installing every 24 hrs for 30 days straight (with the possible exception of Hauser who seems better suited to respond to changing spaces). This work seemed more fit for you typical gallery setting. Nevertheless, kudos to them for taking on this ambitious tour and daring to think far outside the box.
It makes me wonder what it would be like to have groups of artists constantly touring through cities, with venues like The Earle and Variety Playhouse set up for nightly shows of various art groups on tour. Just think of the t-shirt designs that would come out of it! It would be fantastic, I'm ready to join a band.

More information that be found on their website

1 comment:

Lynna said...

Interesting to know.