February 16 — March 20, 2008

Collecting & Collectivity

A group exhibition exploring the private and public practices of art collecting and art collectives

Collecting and Collectivity is an exhibition about two seemingly opposite ideas. Collecting, the gathering of objects, is usually associated with the marketplace while collectivity, the gathering of people, is often thought of in reaction to the marketplace. Collectivity designates a group of people constructing a set of shared values and acting accordingly. Politically, collecting is associated with capitalism and collectivity with communism.

The curators, through the exhibition, ask; Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, is there a new paradigm for collectivism that can be informed by collecting? How independent is the avant-garde, traditionally thought of as independent from the market? If art can be made by more than one individual, how does that affect the trend of the art star as a lone genius?

This exhibition brings together seven artists and collaborative teams that challenge the separation between collecting and collectivity.

Julie Ault + Martin Beck
Ault and Beck are the authors ofCritical Condition: Selected Texts in Dialogue(2003.) Julie Ault is an artist who independently and collaboratively organizes exhibitions and multiform projects. Her work emphasizes interrelationships between cultural production and politics. She is the editor of Alternative Art New York 1965–1985 (2002). In 1979 Ault co-founded Group Material, the NYC-based collaborative, which was active from 1976 through 1996. Martin Beck, born 1963, is an artist whose exhibitions and projects engage questions of authorship, historicity, and display and they often draw from the fields of architecture, design, and popular culture.

Otabenga Jones & Associates is an organization founded by Otabenga Jones and whose other members include artists Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Jamal Cyrus, Kenya Evans, and Robert A. Pruitt. The group works under the tutelage of Mr. Jones, who is named after Ota Benga, the African Pygmy brought to the United States in 1904 and later exhibited at the Bronx Zoo. This historical reference to the pseudoanthro-pological penchant for exhibiting Africans and other non-Western peoples in world's fairs and other such exhibitions of the time is an indicator of the group's intent.
Their pedagogical mission, realized in the form of actions, writings, and installations, is to highlight the complexities of representation across the African diaspora; to establish a cross-generational aesthetic continuum stemming from the transatlantic experience; and, as they write in their mission statement, quoting from Sam Greenlee's classic satirical novelTheSpook Who Sat by the Door(1969), "to mess wit' whitey."

Danica Phelps is conceptual artist who's works continously blur the line between life and art by making drawings that document her everyday activities from selling her artwork to paying bills and making love.
Danica Phelps received her MFA from RISD in 1995. Solo exhibitions include: Staub(g*fzk!), Zurich; Ritter/Zamet, London; Galerie Schutte, Germany; Robert and Tilton, Los Angeles; Zach Feuer, NY and Art House, Austin, TX.

Team SHaG is a collaborative team including New York artistsDavid Humphrey, Elliott Green and Amy Sillman. Taking their cue from Surrealist artists Andre Breton and Paul Eluard, the artists create what they call “team paintings.” One artist begins the work, then passes it along to the other two to complete.

Michael Smith has collaborated with Joshua White on several large-scale installations that have been shown at; The New Museum, New York; the Christine Burgin Gallery, New York; The Vienna Kunsthalle, Art Metropole, Toronto, the Hales Galley, London and at the Basel Art Fair.
Smith will be included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

Daniel Lefcourt was born in New York City in 1975 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has had solo exhibitions at Taxter and Spengemann in New York, in 2004 and 2006, and at Groeflin Maag in Basel, Switzerland in 2005. He has upcoming solo shows at Sutton Lane in Paris, France and at Mitterand + Sanz in Zurich, Switzerland in Autumn 2007. Lefcourt's work has been featured in numerous group shows including several exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art's P.S.1 venue including Greater New York in 2000 and The Gold Standard in 2006. Other group exhibitions include New Work From New York at the Cheeckwood Museum in Nashville, Do You Like Stuff? at Swiss Institute in New York and most recently in Concrete Works at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times, Frieze, The New Yorker, ArtNews, ArtNet.com, The Boston Globe and has been included in publications such as Artworks: Money, by Katy Seigel. He received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997 and his MFA from Columbia University in 2005.

BASEKAMP + David Dempewolf BASEKAMP is an artist-group and non-commercial space, which has researched and co-developed interdisciplinary, self-organized art projects with other individuals and groups for the past decade. For this exhibition, BASEKAMP will be collaborating with David Dempewolf, a former co-founding member. Scott Rigby continues to organize Basekamp's projects, international residency program, and exhibition space in Philadelphia with a rotating group of artists. Rigby and Dempewolf periodically collaborate together on projects and exhibitions, including 'Through the Pedagogical Looking Glass' at ICA, Philadelphia 2001, 'Connect The Dots' at Columbia University in 2004, and 'Flash on the Screen' in 2006.

About the curators:
Noah Simblist is an Assistant Professor of Art at Southern Methodist University.
Charissa Terranova is an Assistant Professor of Aesthetic Studies and the director of the Central Track Residency Program at the University of Texas, Dallas.