Artists Space

On Being an Exhibition

October 12 – December 8, 2007

Main Space

On Being an Exhibition, curated by Joseph del Pesco, borrows Michael Asher’s “Situational Aesthetics” as a point of departure toward the development of an exhibition that leverages this pre-conditioning of the viewer, the physical language of the gallery, and the packaging and promotion of its contents.

A third floor entrance off of an elevator. Beyond its black-floored vestibule is a large object standing at an angle inside the doorway. It emulates the interior panels of an elevator. A partially obscured sign saying "ARTISTS SPACE" is visible in the room beyond the doorway on its far wall.
BGL, Elevator, 2007. Site-specific installation. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Bill Orcutt [A third floor entrance off of an elevator. Beyond its black-floored vestibule is a large object standing at an angle inside the doorway. It emulates the interior panels of an elevator. A partially obscured sign saying "ARTISTS SPACE" is visible in the room beyond the doorway on its far wall.]

On Being an Exhibition borrows Michael Asher’s “Situational Aesthetics” as a point of departure toward the development of an exhibition that leverages this pre-conditioning of the viewer, the physical language of the gallery, and the packaging and promotion of its contents. By implicating these infra-structural aspects of the institution, On Being An Exhibition intends to interrupt the situation of the gallery experience and recontextualize the production of an exhibition. Asher acknowledges certain elements of the gallery as known quantities (lighting track, white walls, a front desk, a gallery attendant, etc.) despite their background/neutral status. Through complicating the physicality, location, or function of these preexisting objects in the gallery, the value of these elements can change, making us aware of their capacity to hold meaning. Thus, context-contingent meaning arises out of a complex set of relationships between the gallery, its history, and the expectations of the viewer/user.

Artists: BGL, Conrad Bakker, Beth Campbell, Valerie Hegarty, Germaine Koh, Isola and Norzi, Chadwick Rantanen, Derek Sullivan, Anne Walsh/Chris Kubick, Lee Walton, Laurel Woodcock. Public program by Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)

The exterior of a Soho building at night. Inside the third floor are two glowing blue neon quotation marks visible from outside.
Laurel Woodcock, (Untitled), Neon Quote, 2005. Neon Sculptures. Courtesy the artist [The exterior of a Soho building at night. Inside the third floor are two glowing blue neon quotation marks visible from outside.]
The interior of a Soho loft space. In the foreground, a plastic bucket hands from a red rope attached to an overhead pulley that is suspended from a wooden plank hanging overhead.
On Being an Exhibition. Installation view, Artists Space, 2007. Photo: Bill Orcutt [The interior of a Soho loft space. In the foreground, a plastic bucket hands from a red rope attached to an overhead pulley that is suspended from a wooden plank hanging overhead. '"ARTISTS SPACE" is written on the far wall, and a number of bookcases, a white pedestal with a clear plastic hood, and a front desk populate the room. Behind the front desk are two neon quotation marks.]
A wooden reception desk with piles of various materials on it. A person sits at the desk smiling, and behind them, mounted on the wall, are two glowing neon quotation marks.
Lee Walton, Hillary Wiedemann: Living Record, 2007. Performance. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Bill Orcutt [A wooden reception desk with piles of various materials on it. A person sits at the desk smiling, and behind them, mounted on the wall, are two glowing neon quotation marks.]
The corner of a loft space. A printed image of a canyon is affixed to the wall. The image is torn in half and the tear extends off of the paper onto the wall itself, continuing from floor to ceiling.
Valerie Hegarty, Cracked Canyon (Poster), 2007. Site-specific installation. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Bill Orcutt [The corner of a loft space. A printed image of a canyon is affixed to the wall. The image is torn in half and the tear extends off of the paper onto the wall itself, continuing from floor to ceiling.]
The corner of a small white room features elements implying that it
Beth Campbell, Four Eyes Are Better Than One, 2007. Site-specific installation. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [The corner of a small white room features elements implying that it's a bathroom: a sink, a blue trash bin, and a hot-water heater are below while a wall-mounted paper towel holder and a non-reversing mirror hang above.]
The interior of a Soho loft space. Its central column is collaged with photographs and printed paper with a small stack of materials on the floor next to it. On the left is a wide dark doorway to another room. In the distance is a bench, images on the wall in a grid, and a TV on the floor. There is wall text to the right and a wall shelf with photocopied papers on it.
On Being an Exhibition. Installation view, Artists Space, 2007. Photo: Bill Orcutt [The interior of a Soho loft space. Its central column is collaged with photographs and printed paper with a small stack of materials on the floor next to it. On the left is a wide dark doorway to another room. In the distance is a bench, images on the wall in a grid, and a TV on the floor. There is wall text to the right and a wall shelf with photocopied papers on it.]
A rectangular television sits on the wooden floor near the wall. The high-contrast image on the TV shows another room with a long table upon which are computers, phones, and other office equipment. There are chairs at the desk and images hung on the wall.
Chadwick Rantanen, Untitled, 2007. Video animation. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [A rectangular television sits on the wooden floor near the wall. The high-contrast image on the TV shows another room with a long table upon which are computers, phones, and other office equipment. There are chairs at the desk and images hung on the wall.]
In the corner of a room, a group of six brooms and mops is held free-standing off of a wall by a shelf which allows the handles to pass through it, holding them in place in a line. Near the adjacent wall, a metal dustbin stands facing the brooms, dust both within the dustbin and nearby.
Isola & Norzi, Mama, 2006. Installation. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [In the corner of a room, a group of six brooms and mops is held free-standing off of a wall by a shelf which allows the handles to pass through it, holding them in place in a line. Near the adjacent wall, a metal dustbin stands facing the brooms, dust both within the dustbin and nearby.]
A carpeted gallery with two benches. One wall is painted dark gray and on it are two audio speakers mounted on either side. Between them are eighteen sheets of paper attached to the wall and lit with a spotlight.
Anne Walsh + Chris Kubick, Room Tone, 2007. Sound Installation. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Bill Orcutt. [A carpeted gallery with two benches. One wall is painted dark gray and on it are two audio speakers mounted on either side. Between them are eighteen sheets of paper attached to the wall and lit with a spotlight.]
On a wooden floor in a white room are a pile of objects which emulate video projectors plugged into a power strip nearby. There is a remote control on the pile. On the otherwise empty facing white wall, "EPSON" is written in green letters.
Conrad Bakker, Untitled Project: Projection [ARTISTS SPACE], 2007. Painted wood and mixed media. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Bill Orcutt [On a wooden floor in a white room are a pile of objects which emulate video projectors plugged into a power strip nearby. There is a remote control on the pile. On the otherwise empty facing white wall, "EPSON" is written in green letters.]
The exterior of a Soho building at night from the opposite street corner. Inside the third floor are two glowing blue neon quotation marks visible from outside.
Laurel Woodcock, (Untitled), Neon Quote, 2005. Neon sculptures. Courtesy the artist [The exterior of a Soho building at night from the opposite street corner. Inside the third floor are two glowing blue neon quotation marks visible from outside.]