Monday, June 29, 2009

DEAR READER: The Blogging Commences

Dear Reader,

This blog (started on June 20, 2009) was not part of the initial concept of the exhibit "SUMMER SESSION".

In short, the curatorial concept of SUMMER SESSION initially was to focus the gallery's time, money and energy meaningfully into an artist's development and the creation of artwork. The show's premise was to promote creating something substantial and endearing beyond presentation. The gallery space would be used as the artist's studio. The artist, creation process, and progress of public/gallery/guest VIP interaction over the summer would comprise an evolving exhibit exploring relationships within the art world.

Utilization of the gallery as a studio space was immediately scrapped when the artist selected from the Open Call, Jerry Blackman, pointed out that he'd work better in his current workspace - a fully equipped studio with all tools and comforts needed. It only made sense to adjust SUMMER SESSION to maximize the resources available. At its heart, SUMMER SESSION is a response to the market's inevitable reconfiguration of appropriating resources.

All involved came to the same conclusion. Mr. Blackman would work from his studio. The gallery space would be used to explore the process and progress of an artist by exhibiting ideas for new works as they develop. SUMMER SESSION morphed to include a large new work completed throughout the duration of the show and a cluster of raw drawings added to, drawn from and modified while Mr. Blackman works.

As the exhibit became more self aware of its ability to inquire into art's process and progress, it became increasingly necessary to juxtapose a like-minded inquiry into the art world's process and progress. With this intention, I'm very excited (albeit feeling naked) that Jerry Blackman and Dam, Stuhltrager have decided every text, pc, cv, photo draft and email discussion will be printed and hung as part of the exhibit and posted on this blog. The decision to hang prints of all past and future supplement materials stemming from SUMMER SESSION exposes both the gallery and artist completely... Yet this action will offer an unpredicted, unique and utterly sincere perspective.

Essentially, SUMMER SESSION grew beyond its conception to become more aware of what it was born to be. Instead of constricting natural growth of a project as a gallerist (who stands to lose any control of the exhibit in her space and be seen sourly), I recognize it is more important to be apart of what this project is becoming: a true exploration of the relationship of art - artist - gallery - art world - public.

Come what criticism may, I look forward to SUMMER SESSION's viewers and guest VIPs contributing to what is as of this moment, an open dialogue.

-Leah Stuhltrager
Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery

1 comment:

  1. Leah, I had a couple of gut reactions to this blog;

    1) That this type of transparency or institutional critique is interesting and reminds me of many pieces that are circulating and have circulated in this vein since the sixties.

    2) That a tremendous amount of effort went into the post card at the very same moment that Roberta smith of the NY times did a blog about the vanishing of the gallery postcard.

    3) I think the inclusion of emails shows that sometimes the convenience of email actually turns simple decisions and conversations that could be resolved in a fifteen minute phone call into exhausting debates that drag on for days and emails at a time. I for one find this fascinating and frustrating.

    4) Today we do live in a world where the gallery is not the sole arena where context can be created around a work of art. For better or for worse this means that an audience expects more from the art it consumes, they expect to see a legible well organized cv, they expect to see a website, a blog, a facebook and any other extra connection beyond the object(S) housed within the gallery space. I suppose as is the case with the best artist statements/exhibition collateral this excess material neither detracts from nor enhances the physical work in the gallery but rather appears as an extension of the exhibition, the gallery and the artist.
    Since I will not be at the show in person I will be relying on this blog and any other web based documentation to bring the exhibition to me. So in that sense this increased level of transparency will benefit the artist.

    I suppose this is all to say, keep fighting the good fight on behalf of artists! and in this moment in our history any efforts to make an interesting show, provide guidance and exposure to an artist, and provide content and experience to an audience is to be commended.