PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents Space Is the Place, through December 30, 2007. The theme of space explorationits infinite potential, as well as its historical successes and failuresis the focus of Space Is the Place, featuring installations, paintings, works on paper, and sound and video works made during the past ten years by an international group of contemporary artists. Global attitudes toward this subject have changed radically between the time the Soviets launched their Sputnik satellite nearly fifty years ago and the explosion of American space shuttles in 1986 and 2003. Despite recent setbacks, travel to outer space remains a powerful catalyst for contemporary artists, inspiring nostalgia, fantasy, and, at a time of great terrestrial conflict, consideration of serious earthly concerns. While these works are united by the primary theme of outer space, the open-ended parameters of the subject also invite consideration of issues relating to the technological, environmental, and sociopolitical forces affecting life on earth. The title of the exhibition derives from a 1974 movie about an influential jazz-fusion band, whose leader, Sun Ra, spoke of making music sublime enough to elevate humanity beyond Earth, transcending reality. Much like the cosmic themes of Sun Ra, Space Is the Place reaches out toward the inviting realm beyond our planet. Featured artists include Laurie Anderson, Nina Katchadourian, Oleg Kulik, Julian LaVerdiere, Aleksandra Mir, and Jane and Louise Wilson, among others.
The exhibition Space Is the Place is organized and circulated by iCI (Independent Curators International), New York. The guest curators are Alex Baker and Toby Kamps. The exhibition, tour, and catalogue are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, with additional support from the iCI Exhibition Partners.