login    password    artist  buyer  gallery  
Not a member? Register
absolutearts.com logo HOME REGISTER BUY ART SEARCH ART TRENDS COLLECT ART ART NEWS
 
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
 
Indepth Arts News:

"Critical Mass"
2002-04-24 until 2002-06-23
Smart Museum of Art
Chicago, IL, USA United States of America

The Smart Museum of Art presents a special exhibition of new work by Chicago-based artists: one of a number of projects examining activist cultural practice in this city. Critical Mass explores current critical art practice in Chicago through new commissions from locally-based artists. This multi-layered project includes installations on the Smart Museum's exterior and in the Smart Museum galleries as well as other collaborative activities, performances, and public events. A public opening reception for Critical Mass on Thursday, April 25, from 5 to 7:30 pm, will kick off a two-day symposium that will explore the intersections between critical art practice and collective action. The symposium will continue through Saturday, April 27, and will include a mixture of formal presentations, discussions, and other large and small-scale activities.

* Training: They usually hold degrees from art schools and many also teach or administrate at cultural institutions.

* Sensibilities: They pursue an ethical, self-reflective practice and are committed to social engagement. They consider how their activities resonate both within and beyond the art world and its institutions, and bring an activist sensibility to their work. They have developed critical, sophisticated, and socially engaged ways of working.

* Strategies: They try experimental approaches and tend to adopt open-ended processes, often involving collaboration with other individuals or groups and sometimes moving beyond the art world. They have updated strategies that were widely deployed by conceptual and community-based artists in the late 1960s and early '70s and then refined at intervals through the '80s and '90s: emphasizing idea as well as object, process as well as product, social responsibility as well as aesthetic resonance. They may or may not choose to label their activities as "art."

Critical Mass offers a mix of the "generations" and perspectives that have contributed to the current vitality of critical art practice in Chicago, and includes artists and groups who have worked here for years, newcomers from other cities, and emerging artists. Participating artists include Wendy Jacob and Laurie Palmer, members of the Chicago-based artists' collective Haha and respectively Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Associate Professor of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Robert Peters, Associate Professor of Art at the University of Chicago; Gregory Sholette, a founding member of the collective RepoHistory and Chair of the Department of Arts Administration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Temporary Services, a group that includes Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin, Marc Fischer, and Lora Lode. Although all of these artists participate in international art discourse, they have chosen to base their practices here and as a result their histories and interests have intermingled in complex and productive ways as part of the larger critical mass.

Critical Mass was conceived for the Smart Museum by Associate Curator Stephanie Smith and organized in close collaboration with Education Director Jacqueline Terrassa. The project's components have been developed and refined through an ongoing series of meetings of the participating artists, educator, and curator. These meetings both echo and reinforce the project's themes. They have provided a structure for productive, critical discussions among participants, have generated innovative methods of helping visitors engage and enjoy contemporary art, and have led to additional collaborations with institutions within and beyond the University of Chicago. Related courses are being offered at the University of Chicago's Midway Studios (Brett Bloom's "Alternative Curatorial Practice: Curating for Riots and Other Extreme Situations") and through the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Gregory Sholette's "Extreme Arts Administration.")

">

Critical Mass demonstrates the potential energy that can be generated by a convergence of elements: in this case a number of visual artists who have sustained and invigorated critical art practice in Chicago through debate and collaboration. Their activities are linked to many strands of contemporary art and culture, and may overlap with other kinds of activist approaches (for instance political, community-based, new genre, littoral, or dialogical art). So although it does not describe a self-defined or perfectly cohesive approach, the term "critical art practice" is offered in a provisional attempt to clarify similarities among the training, sensibilities, and strategies of this interrelated group of artists:

* Training: They usually hold degrees from art schools and many also teach or administrate at cultural institutions.

* Sensibilities: They pursue an ethical, self-reflective practice and are committed to social engagement. They consider how their activities resonate both within and beyond the art world and its institutions, and bring an activist sensibility to their work. They have developed critical, sophisticated, and socially engaged ways of working.

* Strategies: They try experimental approaches and tend to adopt open-ended processes, often involving collaboration with other individuals or groups and sometimes moving beyond the art world. They have updated strategies that were widely deployed by conceptual and community-based artists in the late 1960s and early '70s and then refined at intervals through the '80s and '90s: emphasizing idea as well as object, process as well as product, social responsibility as well as aesthetic resonance. They may or may not choose to label their activities as "art."

Critical Mass offers a mix of the "generations" and perspectives that have contributed to the current vitality of critical art practice in Chicago, and includes artists and groups who have worked here for years, newcomers from other cities, and emerging artists. Participating artists include Wendy Jacob and Laurie Palmer, members of the Chicago-based artists' collective Haha and respectively Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Associate Professor of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Robert Peters, Associate Professor of Art at the University of Chicago; Gregory Sholette, a founding member of the collective RepoHistory and Chair of the Department of Arts Administration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Temporary Services, a group that includes Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin, Marc Fischer, and Lora Lode. Although all of these artists participate in international art discourse, they have chosen to base their practices here and as a result their histories and interests have intermingled in complex and productive ways as part of the larger critical mass.

Critical Mass was conceived for the Smart Museum by Associate Curator Stephanie Smith and organized in close collaboration with Education Director Jacqueline Terrassa. The project's components have been developed and refined through an ongoing series of meetings of the participating artists, educator, and curator. These meetings both echo and reinforce the project's themes. They have provided a structure for productive, critical discussions among participants, have generated innovative methods of helping visitors engage and enjoy contemporary art, and have led to additional collaborations with institutions within and beyond the University of Chicago. Related courses are being offered at the University of Chicago's Midway Studios (Brett Bloom's "Alternative Curatorial Practice: Curating for Riots and Other Extreme Situations") and through the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Gregory Sholette's "Extreme Arts Administration.")


Related Links:


YOUR FIRST STOP FOR ART ONLINE!
HELP MEDIA KIT SERVICES CONTACT


Discover over 150,000 works of contemporary art. Search by medium, subject matter, price and theme... research over 200,000 works by over 22,000 masters in the indepth art history section. Browse through new Art Blogs. Use our advanced artwork search interface.

Call for Artists, Premiere Portfolio sign-up for your Free Portfolio or create an Artist Portfolio today and sell your art at the marketplace for contemporary Art! Start a Gallery Site to exclusively showcase your gallery. Keep track of contemporary art with your free MYabsolutearts account.

 


Copyright 1995-2013. World Wide Arts Resources Corporation. All rights reserved