1972 Viet Nam Series Rene Mederos via Javier Hernandez-Miyares amazing photoset on flickr
I have a curriculum to write and have been having a hard time concentrating on it so this week there may or may not be more posting but as it is it’s going to be spotty at best.
I do want to let folks know about the performance that I have facilitated for the Seattle Chinatown/ International District Artwalk this Saturday July 18. Seattle based avant Hip Hop group Linda and Ron’s Dad ( Think Christian Marclay meets RZA over blunt’s followed by some thrift store crate digging) performing their multi media piece Viet Ron. Viet Ron is a suite of music and candid video footage based on percussionist/artist Tyler Swans (Truckasauras, Foscil, LnRD) experiences while traveling through Viet Nam in 2007. While there Tyler acquired a small collection of war era Vietnamese pop records which he has recontextualized into a soundtrack for the footage he filmed while in country with his partner, artist Chi Pham. This will be only the 2nd time the complete Viet Ron suite will have been performed and the first time it will be performed in a gallery setting. The performance will be held :
July 18th @
666 Jackson street
between Maynard and 7th
in the Seattle International District
Chinatown Artwalk Map
The space will be open 5pm – 8pm
Viet Ron performance at 7pm
photography by Carina del Rosario
Mosaics by Monica Rodriguez
A few thoughts about last nights panel discussion at Greg Kucera Gallery here in Seattle titled “Blowing up Demographics“.
The topic seemed to be about how moderator Mary Ann Peters felt the art dealers association art show “Century 21 : Dealers choice” was too White Guy centric and really the problem for her was not so much white but the guy. I think for most artists I know we are already so heavily excluded from that “Blue Chip” world that we rarely even notice that it’s not there in the morning. You can’t miss something you never had. Somebody said something about earning your place at the table, I say fuck your table I’m going to have mine to go. There was mention of institutional racism, the thought of which was soundly tsk-tsked, but promptly shoved aside for the question of why there is not more advocacy for the gays in art. Uhm, I think they have it handled. There was also the lady who was outraged that those nasty savage natives would dare deprive her of the privilege to ogle their most sacred items at the SAM. Now listen to me, the fact that you gotta pay to see them is means for disqualification. “But I got to see all kinds of dead africans and shit at the Met” Exactly the point, they dont want you white muffu@#a’s to steal any more of their stuff. Damn!!! There was also mention of the current show up in the Kucera space “Individual Demographics” which i guess explores the relationship between trying to sell shit from the backstock and a good PR campaign. Lawrimore guy was asked to posit from on high on the topic at hand. He relayed a wise tale of going to see “30 Americans” at ArtBasel Miami, He helpfully clarified that these “Americans” were actually of the African Variety and obviously recipients of affirmative action, ehrm, I mean tokenism. Now here is where I want to share my feelings with you, Any time a white person speaks of tokenism to me i feel like asking if that’s anything like nepotism. Listen just because you were excluded doesn’t mean we had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get 30 quality black artists together. Shit I bet there are at least 75 out there. Now Lawrimore guy might not know them but they are there and in fact they are building their own networks. This is the point i feel was most missing from the conversation. Artists that have been excluded from the “inside” don’t really need to be in the room to do their thing. You see there are always more people, interesting, vibrant people out here than in there. We have the internet now to connect with patrons, fans, media, venues, what ever from across the globe. I think that art is in for the same paradigm shift as the music industry over who controls the distribution and promotion of what is being created. The more you want to play insider the more you are marginalizing yourself. Like one attendee said “Bring your own damn table”. Mine has got a good game of Three card Monte goin’ on.
I am super busy getting ready for the show I am curating at Vermillion Gallery. If you are in the Seattle area on the 14th please drop in and say hey. Unfortunately in the meantime I am not going to be able to post with any regularity so please bare with me and as soon as I can will be back in the saddle with the bloggage.
In the meantime please enjoy the video teaser we created for the show –
Desmadre : Fresh Latino Perspectives in America
Vermillion Gallery and Desmadre Arte presents
Fresh Latino Perspectives in America
May 14 – June 6, 2009
Artist Reception Thursday May 14 6pm – 10pm
featuring a performance by
Jaime Torres and Rafael Barrios
and comida provided by
Vermillion Gallery 1508 11th Ave Seattle Wa 98122
Featuring the work of -.
Jaime (Germs) Zacarins
Pedro De Valdiva
Vermillion Gallery in conjunction with Desmadre Arte present “Desmadre: Fresh Latino Perspectives in America”, a group show of emerging artists who are incorporating Latino cultural themes within urban contemporary works. This exhibition is a view into the rich, yet subtle manner in which Latino culture exists in modern American life. The artists participating are influenced through a multitude of references showing elements of the Mexican social realism of Orozco and Rivera, the pop of Warhol and Cuban agit propagandist Rene Medeiros, saturday morning cartoons, paño art, tattoo’s, and graffiti in all of it’s manifestations.
There has been a growing underground for Latino artists, centered mainly in the West Coast, that has become increasingly tied with the contemporary Urban art community. These artists have been incorporating imagery and themes that relate to their Hispanic heritage and the American experience. While for many the Spanish language has been sacrificed in efforts to assimilate, there are other ties to a shared past that consistently appear in many of the works included in “Desmadre: Fresh Latino Perspectives in America”. Many of the artists explore the strong family experiences that factor heavily in the Latino community, ranging from the mundane family celebrations that mark the calendar to the strong female presence that anchors so many families . These experiences are what connect the past to the present and on to the future
As we head into this 21st century there has been a departure from the old cultural identities. We are seeing what curator Nicholas Bourriard calls the “Creolization” of culture, a blending of various traditional cultures with some local specific contemporary elements. This show is equally about this moment in history, a time in which America is living up to it’s promise to be the worlds melting pot, as it is about any given culture. There is a sense of reinvention present in much of the work by the artists participating in the show, an urge to respect the past while pushing forward to forge new means to celebrate their heritage.
Desmadre Arte – Desmadre Arte is a collective effort by curators Jose Tapia and Damion Hayes and artist Julio Guerrero to showcase emerging artists who are incorporating traditional latino cultural themes within contemporary works. Our goal is to shed light on a growing movement amongst latino artists who are exploring and incorporating cultural roots while creating work that expresses the 21st century realities and complexities of life. To do this we are producing art shows that revolve around these themes as well as maintain our website to showcase the artists we feel best represent these Ideals.
It’s my birthday so I am going to ride my bike with my son and enjoy myself.
Visual Culture explores the Visual Branding juggernaut that is OBAMA
Wonk Wonk Wonk The art Market blather blather blather Sucks yadda yadda yadda So What. (via Fad)
Jersey Joe is the Originoo Can clapper. Graffiti Don Dada. (via What You Write)
The WSJ gets its chones in a bunch over a graffiti book written by some scholarly ninja. Ninja Please. (via Bombin)
Great interview with Glyn “Bigga” Bush, of Rockers HiFi (via Reup)
Is a rich white guy adding Blackface to a photo of a Rasta really transformative? A bit more detail on the Richard Prince lawsuit (via The Art Newspaper).
Supertouch has the goods on the Todd James shows down under.
“you want to be a throat slasher, night stalker, or skateboarder?” More wisdom from the Gonz:
Abraham Obama Ron English 2008 Installed in Seattle Jan. 20, 2009
So this is the project I installed on inauguration day. It’s interesting to do this project because for most of my adult life I have never had much faith in the political system doing anything good for the common man. With this election I had the honor of seeing a man with a similar background as I (absent black father, single mother, raised by white grandparents, a genius) become the president. At first I tried to resist, figuring it would be a pipe dream that Obama would be elected but as the primary season moved along I was struck by the good will the man had towards his opponents, his grace under fire, and dude can sure charm people. So I bought in, voted for the first time since Clinton broke my heart in his first term (what no medical care ). I still want to see what happens now before anybody gets canonized but am willing to give Barak Obama the benefit of the doubt. I think that these prints will spark a much needed dialogue in the community about politics, about art, and about us as a nation.