Image found here.
“It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.” Aristotle
Of course it’s not exactly the same idea, but Popup Art Bethel and Migrant Salon share similar intentions. Organized by artist Michael Seri of Detritus Art & Design, the exhibition is a temporary exhibit hosted in an empty storefront on Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, Connecticut. The host building was formerly home to a sign printing company, and Seri sees the popup project as “[moving] from town to town [bringing] new life to empty storefronts… [as] a way to bring new life, bring people together and revitalize communities.” There doesn’t appear to be a unifying concept for the current exhibit on Greenwood Avenue other than to bring an array of area artists (25) together at one time, in one place and for a single, unique event. This of course has great potential, particularly in respect to allowing artists more opportunities to show their work and the chance of generating interest by a community in its own culture and creative conversation. Yet one of the most powerful potentials of the art vehicle (gallery, museum, etc.) is not only to facilitate a mingling of the public and art, but also negotiating that meeting: giving it a purpose, finding a common denominator (sans dilution of individual works), pointing it in a direction. Perhaps PUAB does this, and if not, maybe it makes an activating impact simply by being an idea that came to fruition. Either way, more cooperation in the arts is always a good thing. Empowering local art is a good thing. And more art in areas unaccustomed to seeing and contemplating it is a good thing! PUAB runs from June 30th - July 30th, and the space is open Thursdays - Sundays, 2-9:30pm. The opening reception is tomorrow, Saturday, 2-5pm. See you there!
So Much to See At the TED conferences in 2011, Amit Sood introduced Google Art Project, a global attempt to democratize the availability of museums’ art collections to the public. Today Google is able to manifest virtual walking tours of 151 institutions in 40 countries around the world. Taking a closer look at this new resource prompted me to include a page on this site called “REALM”. This space is intended to be a growing list of web, print, local and global resources on art. Its current form is extremely general, but a start! In time the content will grow in quality and specificity.
The BMW Guggenheim Lab is something I encountered last year, when the first “think tank” opened in New York. Although the social platform-as-art claim is pretty boring (relational aesthetics and its spawn does not prevail in a way I think great art does), the experimenting with venue-as-art part of this undertaking I find uplifting. I’m not sure why, but to make the walls of an institution literally permeable and “un-monolithic” is fomenting in a similar way later 20th century performance art broke down and rebuilt cultural conceptions of identity. I like that the space for New York was designed to fit around existing city architecture. I like that there are multiple building designs, each planned to break down, travel and set back up again. There is global outreach for the project and yet at each host city there is also an apparent local objective. Against the backdrop of an overtly commercial, privatized and voiceless art world, the horizontal organization (if only superficial?) of these centers appears refreshing. It will be amusing to follow the events of the BMW Guggenheim Lab as they unfold. The risk it’s taking, if not the dollars it’s putting down, of being a venture hard to categorize may prove to be a strong example for Migrant Salon to follow.