Artists Space presents the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of ART CLUB2000. Spanning the group's entire career, from 1992 until their planned dissolution in 2000, the exhibition includes restagings of ART CLUB2000's complex and theatrical multimedia installations and site-specific mise en scène, as well as the presentation of extensive ephemera and research material, much of which has never been on public view.
Artists Space presents a special collection of highlighted materials from ART CLUB2000: Selected Works 1992–1999.
Surfacing the typically unseen labor that both props up and enables artistic pursuits, ART CLUB2000's exhibition Working! (1995) at Forde in Geneva, Switzerland became an office environment with a table, rolling chairs, and a coffee machine surrounding a central video monitor topped by a taxidermied seagull. Addressing the numerous forms of labor implicitly at play in the room, AC2K produced a video, viewable below, that featured members of the gallery’s cooperative committee recounting every job they had held prior to working at Forde, all while feeding stale bread to the local swans.
The exhibition 1970 (1997) mined New York artistic life in its legendary living forms and was centered on video interviews with a constellation of artists who were active and accessible to the group: Alex Katz, Isa Genzken, Henry Flynt, Vito Acconci, Carolee Schneemann, Les Levine, Simon Cerigo, Niki Logis, and Olivier Mosset. Each artist was recorded opining on the topic of “1970,” and their interviews were then presented simultaneously as a cacophony of voices on a nine-square grid of vintage televisions—invoking both Ant Farm’s Media Burn and Nam June Paik’s loft-era video walls. The interviews with Niki Logis and Vito Acconci are available in their entirely below.
In 1998, ART CLUB2000 mounted its final exhibition Night of the Living Dead Author, a morose and haunting body of new works including a cobbled-together "manifesto" of sorts implicating the emerging artists of their generation, including AC2K itself, in relation to actual critical practice. Presented in the style of a Jenny Holzer LED work, this text became a swan song for AC2K's impending demise the following year. Echoing throughout the largely empty space, a soundtrack of gnashing and moaning zombies and a mechanical voice further heightened the pervading mood of horror.
Formed in 1992, the fabled collective ART CLUB2000 provocatively articulated eminent crises in youth and artistic identities within the neoliberal post-recession economy that epitomized 1990s New York. Under the guidance of the mercurial art dealer Colin de Land, who hosted the group's debut exhibition in 1993 at American Fine Arts, Co., the members, all Cooper Union students, conceived of their collaboration as an opportunity to parody and critique the dispassionate Generation X attitudes that were celebrated in commercial culture and advertising of the time. Overtly employing their own youth, they began at a time when the New York art world was eager for the voices and images of emerging-artist-personae. After receiving press coverage for their first exhibition, ART CLUB2000 became the group’s official name and simultaneously set the terms of its own demise with the promise to disband at the turn of the millennium. The group would produce an exhibition for each of the next seven summers at American Fine Arts, Co., as well as participating in solo and group exhibitions at institutions across the US and abroad.
Taking the group’s seven New York City exhibitions as its central focus, Selected Works 1992–1999 elucidates the artists’ radical and expansive exhibition-making techniques, weaving together discrete exhibitions and their multifaceted elements—wall paintings, sculptures, texts, interviews, photographs, videos—into a comprehensive overview of the group’s working trajectory. Over the past three years, Artists Space has undertaken the preservation of ART CLUB2000's extensive archive, which serves as the foundation for reconstructing many of these installations for the first time since their original display.
ART CLUB2000:Selected Works 1992–1999 has been realized in partnership with Kunsthalle Zürich, where it will be on view from September 19, 2021 – January 16, 2022.
Founding members of the group were Patterson Beckwith, Gillian Haratani, Danny McDonald, Shannon Pultz, Sarah Rossiter, Soibian Spring and Craig Wadlin. The configuration of the group changed occasionally as exhibitions were made; when Rossiter resigned after the first exhibition, Will Rollins joined the group. Colin DeLand passed away in 2003 at the age of 47.
Artists Space is very pleased to present a special evening of reflections on the work of ART CLUB2000. Featuring Bernadette Van-Huy, Collier Schorr, Douglas Coupland, Jack Pierson, Malik Gaines, and Natasha Stagg, these eminent panelists will each offer a close reading of one or more aspects of AC2K's work. Each focusing on an exhibition, a single image or artwork, or an element from the archive, they will present their observations, memories, inferences, focuses, and extrapolations on ART CLUB2000's artistic project.
ART CLUB2000: Selected Works 1992-1999 is supported by Barbara and Howard Morse, Anonymous, and The Friends of Artists Space.
Additional support provided by Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Cy Twombly Foundation, The David Teiger Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, The Danielson Foundation, The Fox Aarons Foundation, Herman Goldman Foundation, The Destina Foundation, The Luce Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, VIA Art Fund, Arison Arts Foundation, The Chicago Community Fund, The David Rockefeller Fund, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Jill and Peter Kraus Foundation, The Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation.