NEW YORK.- The New Museum is pleased to announce the opening of "Museum as Hub: Six Degrees," the New Museums exhibition for the Museum as Hub international collaboration. Six Degrees refers to the angle of Bowery Street off New York Citys grida way of considering the uniqueness of downtown and the vibrant community of cultural producers that has historically marked the Bowery and Lower East Side. The exhibition engages the neighborhood by employing nearby buildings as canvases, local artists as collaborators, and New Museum territory as a meeting place, recital hall, and laboratory. Expanding the concept of how an exhibition is defined, Museum as Hub: Six Degrees includes projects that begin before the exhibition period and reverberate beyond the temporal and physical confines of the exhibition space to rethink how a contemporary art museum can support and present artistic practices.
Curated by Eungie Joo, the New Museums Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs, the exhibition is on view from September 25, 2008, through January 11, 2009.
The project begins with Night School, an ongoing seminar series organized by artist Anton Vidokle that features artists, writers, and curators in conversation with the public over the course of a year. Six Degrees continues with new Night School seminars, as well as ongoing and newly commissioned work by New York-based artists Lisa Sigal, Martha Rosler, Dave McKenzie, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, and California-based collective My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade).
Lisa Sigals Line-up began as a proposal to paint a gesture into the surroundings of the New Museum. Looking out the window of the New Museums fifth-floor Resource Center, Sigal chose a color in the surrounding landscape, taking inspiration from the seafoam green bicycle lane (on Prince Street). A metaphor for the effects of the New Museum on its new neighborhood, Sigal imagines the line continuing into the horizon and beyond. In the realization of this project in New York, Sigal worked with individuals and organizations, depending upon their cooperation, counsel, and support to shape the final project. Inspired by the Museum as Hub project, Sigal also worked with artists Essam Abdallah (Cairo), Erwin van Doorn (Eindhoven), Paulina Lasa (Mexico City), and Sangdon Kim (Seoul)each involved with Museum as Hub partner projectsto continue the line around the world. Photographs document each artists interpretation of Sigals request in the context of his or her city, the angle of the line alluding to the next appearance of Sigals line in its global circumnavigation.
Dave McKenzie presents three works; On Location, Ill Be There, and Postcards From, each situating the artist as wanderer, citizen, loiterer, and observer, confronting themes of presence and dislocation as he interacts with community members in the Lower East Side and beyond. In Ill Be There, McKenzie commits to multiple appointments throughout the neighborhood with no one in particular. Visitors are invited to keep the appointment, and join McKenzie at various locations throughout the course of the exhibition. A schedule of these appointments will be posted on museumashub.org.
Martha Roslers 197475 work, The Bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems, was presented in Museum as Hub: An Introduction (Dec 2007-Feb 2008), the first exhibition in the Museum as Hub space. Roslers engagement with the neighborhood has continued over the past three decades, and she frequently revisits the sites documented in the work as a measure of the changing neighborhood. For Six Degrees, Rosler has created Bowery High Lights hundreds of present day photographs of the Bowery neighborhood that record this moment in time and recall the Bowerys ever-changing struggle and relevance in New York City. The project will be presented as a two-channel slideshow with accompanying text. Ginger Brooks Takahashis quilting forums or Powerstitches employ traditional craft to de-formalize the exhibition space by transforming it into a productive community space. The ongoing project, an army of lovers cannot fail, uses its harmless motif of rabbits engaged in acts of sexual and physical play both as an object of work documenting a community-effort, and commentary on privilege, sex, and society. Several Powerstiches will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition. Also on view will be Post-Living Ante Action Theater (PoLAAT): Post-Paradise, Sorry Again, a single-channel video installation documenting the recent two-week residency of the Post-Living Ante-Action Theater (PoLAAT), created by the artist collective My Barbarian. The group transformed the New Museum theater into an active performance studio to explore theatrical works, collectivity, and countercultural movements as stagings of liberation.
Six Degrees will also include a station with video documentation of past Night School seminars leading up to the exhibition and recommended texts by seminar leaders Boris Groys, Martha Rosler, Liam Gillick, Okwui Enwezor, Hu Fang and Zhang Wei, Maria Lind, and Paul Chan. Begun in the winter of 2008, Night School is an integral part of the New Museums presentation and is an ongoing seminar series organized by Anton Vidokle that features artists, writers, and curators in conversation with the public over the course of the year. Coinciding with the opening day of Six Degrees on September 25, artist Rirkrit Tiravanija will present a seminar. Subsequent presentations by Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Walid Raad and Jalal Toufic, and Raqs Media Collective will take place during the course of the exhibition.