March 28, 2008 · Print This Article
An exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute’s (SFAI) Walter And McBean Galleries has been suspended after the gallery received over 3000 emails from students, faculty, and community members in protest. Don’t Trust Me is French artist Adel Abdessemed’s first exhibition on the West Coast. The controversial work consists of several monitors, each showing looped footage of a tethered animal – a goat, an ox, a horse, a sheep, a pig, and a fawn – being hit on the head with sledge hammer. In addition to the contentious footage, the exhibition includes a large neon brain, a series of wall drawings, and a large video installation that features the artist hanging from a helicopter while trying to draw Gericault’s Raft Of The Medusa (1818).
The institute is having an open forum at 12PM Monday at their lecture hall where concerned individuals will be able to discuss the issues surrounding the work with Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and former BAS interviewee Hou Hanru, Dean of Academic Affairs Okwui Enwezor, and institute professors and artists John Rapko and Tony Labat. If you happen to be in the area, please come.
Mining the media fallout:
The San Francisco FOX affiliate KTVU did a short segment on the exhibition, watch it here.
SFAI has a statement out on Tuesday.
San Rafael-based animal rights organization In Defense Of Animals has referred to the videos as animal snuff films, you can link to their interpretation of the exhibition, here.
San Francisco SPCA has released a statement condemning the exhibition, read that here.
The San Francisco Examiner published an article about the exhibition, read that here.
Finally, after a six month wait, it is here…
The audio from the 2007 Stone Summer Theory Institute: Is Art History Global?
This will be a series of six or seven 2-4 hour excerpts from the week-long event. In advance of the second iteration “What is an Image?” You can find more info and the application for the 2008 Institute at… http://www.stonesummertheoryinstitute.org
The 2007 participants can be viewed at http://www.badatsports.com/megsmagic/2007-panorama.jpg
Keep in mind that this audio is rough “B-side stuff,” but nonetheless provides a chance to go behind the curtain on this thoughtful conversation.
In this episode we present… “The Intro Round Table Event.”
From The Stone Summer Theory Institute Site…
2007: The Globalization of Art, co-organized with Zhivka Valiavicharska
The book will be co-edited with Alice Kim; please see the book series for more information.
The “biennale culture” now determines much of the art market. Literature on the worldwide dissemination of art assumes nationalism and ethnic identity, but rarely analyzes it. At the same time, there is extensive theorizing about globalization in politics, postcolonial theory, economics, sociology, and anthropology.
This was the first event of the series to bring political theorists together with writers and historians concerned specifically the visual arts and its art history.
Seminars were taught by Fredric Jameson, Harry Harootunian, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Shigemi Inaga, Susan Buck-Morss, James Elkins, and Zhivka Valiavicharska.
Brian and Marc recently collaborated on a review of Tony Lebat’s Bulk at Queens Nails Annex for Shotgun Review. Here’s an excerpt:
“Tony Labat’s exhibition Bulk opened to throngs of art students, smoking and drinking on the sidewalk. At first, the event seemed like any other gallery reception. However, as a show focusing on the manifestation of social relations in an art event, the students hadn’t come to see anything in particular, but to rather simply be with one another. With the gallery’s main space converted to a bar, complete with amateur bartenders, swill cocktails at criminal prices, and makeshift wooden tables; Bulk turned Queens Nails Annex into a speakeasy, one built like a cheap theatrical set.
… Bulk’s events have drawn together those who share in a common perspective – art students, gallerists, curators, etc.- participating in their prescribed roles of social exchange and power dynamics, as if the events had a written script. The exhibition doesn’t challenge itself to compose the audience, who provide its labor, or translate their efforts into meaning. Any examination into the relationship between the mechanics of audience as a means of production, and how it conditions the possibilities of interpretation, is absent. Without intervention, the events emerged as expected; codified and rigid. Creating work that fosters social relations shouldn’t reduce an event to the calling together of a coterie, turning the artist into a socialite of aesthetics whose practice would be a chain of well-hosted shin-digs. Bulk is emblematic of this festivalist, lackadaisical attitude that’s far too common in contemporary art.”
Sometime in the last couple of weeks the participant list was released for the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Wouldn’t you know it a couple of great Chicago oriented Artists are on the list!!! Our heart felt congratulations go out to Melanie Schiff and Amanda Ross-Ho!!! Please see the full list here.
More to come as it unfolds…..