INDIANAPOLIS.- The first exhibition of contemporary art exploring parades and street pageantry will premiere at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) in May 2008. On Procession will draw upon themes of ritual, propaganda and civic celebration, and survey issues of history, identity, and public visibility. The exhibition will feature videos, sculpture, installations, costumes, banners, and parade artifacts and ephemera by such artists as Francis Alÿs, Jeremy Deller, Fritz Haeg, Paul McCarthy, Amy ONeill, Allison Smith, and art collective Friends With You. In conjunction with the exhibition, the IMA is organizing a downtown art parade on April 26, 2008, and will debut new works by Smith and Haeg as part of the parade.
As a major part of our culture, processions, whether they are religious, political, or for pure entertainment, engage the human spirit, said Maxwell L. Anderson, the Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Were excited to be able to take our commitment to contemporary programming a step further by inviting the public to participate in the live parade, by joining us in person or via our web site.
On Procession will be on view in Indianapolis from May 2 through August 10, 2008 and will feature works including:
Francis Alÿs: The Modern Procession, 2002, featured a march from the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan to Museum of Modern Art in Queens, NY, in which participants carried reproductions of iconic works by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, and carried artist Kiki Smith on a platform. The exhibition will feature video documentation, drawings, and planning documents created around the project.
Jeremy Deller: A Social Parade, 2004, was created for the Manifesta 5 biennial held in San Sebastián, Spain. Deller searched for ways to expand the use of public space for social congregation, and collaborated with the citys underground social groups and associations. Video from this parade and other related works will be on display.
Amy ONeills project Parade Float Graveyard (2004-2006) recreates parade floats and fragments of floats from actual parades. ONeill will create a new piece for IMA, based on the premise that memorializing parade floats demonstrates their status as temporary monuments of popular culture.
Friends With You presented their floating blimp parade Skywalkers at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2006. Friends With You will create a new blimp for the exhibition that will be on display in the IMAs Pulliam Great Hall. An accompanying display will be featured in the downtown parade.
Other artists and collectives with work in the exhibition will include Allison Smith, Fritz Haeg, Michele Magema, Paul McCarthy, and Dave McKenzie. The exhibition will also feature art ephemera from the annual Deitch Projects/Creative Time Art Parade in New York.
The IMA-organized parade will take place on Saturday, April 26, 2008 in downtown Indianapolis. As the artistic director of the parade, Los Angeles-based artist Fritz Haeg will challenge the conventionally linear parade route by dividing the route in two, but conclude with the Eastern route meeting the Western. His piece is titled East Meets West Interchange Overpass Parade. Participation in this project is open to submissions at www.onprocession.org.
Artist Allison Smith has been commissioned by the IMA to produce three large-scale, pull-toy donkeys during her teaching residency at the Herron School of Art. Smith will work with local cultural institutions to research and create her performance for the parade, which will include the wheeled donkeys and costumed attendants. Other artists and community groups will also devise parade projects for inclusion in this event. To engage a broad spectrum of community members in the parade, IMA also will host public workshops in the spring with artist Alison Heimstead, who has designed puppets and choreographed processions with Bread & Puppet and Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatres MayDay Parade in Minneapolis.
The parade is a platform for presenting and engaging artwork in the public sphere, said Rebecca Uchill, assistant curator of contemporary art at the IMA. It will forge a new model for an exhibition in the street, inviting audiences to march and create alongside the artists.
The parade, which will process through the Indianapolis neighborhood of Fountain Square, is conceived as an extension of the exhibition. It will be documented and presented in part in the coinciding IMA exhibition, online at www.onprocession.org and in an online exhibition catalogue, which will include user-submitted video archives and do-it-yourself artwork devised by New York design firm Elasticbrand. Information about the public workshops is available at www.onprocession.org.
On Procession is curated by Indianapolis Museum of Arts Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art Rebecca Uchill and will be on view from May 2 August 10, 2008.