Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another Artists' Call, Answered

On the heels of both TAM's Telephone exhibition and Mat Gleason's related show comes another local example of distributed curating, or giving-up-control-curating, or process equals the point a-curating...

The LAT's art critic, Christopher Knight, reviewed yesterday Chain Letter, an exhibition at Bergamot Station's Shoshana Wayne Gallery through August 23.

Chain is said to have begun with Dough Harvey and Christian Cummings each emailing ten artists, requesting a work for the show, and requesting that those artists email ten other artists.

(Presumably, if they didn't email ten people, a great harm would befall those ten people. Probably a great harm written out in all capital letters, too.)

The end result? Some 1,600+ artworks in the Bergamot space. (See the Chain link above for photos.)

Beyond curatorial practices, what does all this demonstrate?

That exponents matter? TAM's one-artist-ask-one-artist-ask-one-artist-until-the-number-hits-forty-total-artists paled in volume when compared to SW's ten-artists-ask-ten-artists plan.

That artists and writers who are also curators like to shake the same-old up a bit? TAM's Max Presneill is a working artist and writes catalog and other texts. Doug Harvey is an artist and a highly-regarded art writer and critic.

Or that telephones and chain letters are nowadays quaint anachronisms or, like the telegraph, the precursors to links, retweets and hangouts?