“Showing the Work,” an exhibition curated by Sarah Fritchey, will be on view at Franklin Street Works June 7 through August 31.  For related performances see our June calendar.

At a moment when major art museums regularly program experimental dance on their premises, “Showing the Work” evaluates the stakes of this exchange.  The exhibition brings together eight artists whose work explores the meeting place between the artist, the performance and the audience and demonstrates how time-specific events might be meaningfully exhibited in the gallery over a multi-week period.  Six of the artists will perform a one-night-only performance during the show’s run, which will culminate in a roundtable discussion on the final day.

“Showing the Work” asks: How can the live, transitory qualities of a dance be represented during this exhibition? How does the “white cube” facilitate a critical analysis of artist-audience interaction that traditional “black box” theaters do not? How can the works on display resonate qualities of the performing body? How might choreography be understood as a visual manifestation that is alive with the possibility for change, truth, intimacy, and exchange?

The exhibition features artists working inside and out of the dance fieldwho design individual systems of choreography to generate new work.  Many of these works will be on view to the public for the first time and aim to introduce the audience to terminology from the dance field, as well as to show the physical and mental work of dance.  The exhibition also rethinks a performance as one of an infinite set of outcomes, a living form that much like the body is in a constant state of change.

Likewise, the work on display will act more like a live body than video documentation and include: a floor-to-wall-to-ceiling pattern that is the map for a duet, a video that simultaneously presents four versions of the same dance performed in different spaces over the course of a year, artist notebooks that contain scores for emoting sound and recognizable language, a gaming device that proposes consumerism as a form of choreography, text/object combinations that prompt viewers to become collaborators in a recorded performance, and a lecture that critically interprets an early dance work anew.

Exhibiting artists include:Jen McGinn and iele paloumpis, Robert Morris, Claudia La Rocco, Carolee Schneeman, Mårten Spångberg, Tatyana Tenenbaum, and Gillian Walsh.


It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information

Franklin Street Works presents It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information, an exhibition featuring artists’ projects that engage the postal system and its intersections with digital communications media. The artists in It Narratives find forms for everyday experiences of distance and time by reflecting on the way objects move through information networks. The exhibition is curated by New York-based guest curators Brian Droitcour and Zanna Gilbert and will be on view from September 6 – November 9, 2014, with a free, public reception on Saturday, September 13 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

With areas of expertise in mail art (Gilbert) and Internet art (Droitcour), the curators take into consideration how Internet technology and digital forms of commerce have changed the way artists use the postal system to make work. Mail art emerged in the late 1960s as a collective, networked medium. It allowed artists to circulate and exchange works and ideas in a sphere uncontrolled by curators, institutions, the art market, or state censorship. Today, mail is employed less frequently as an artistic medium, in keeping with an overall shift in how information is experienced and exchanged. News and greetings from friends and family have migrated from the postal system to the faster networks of email and social media, yet “snail mail” has not become obsolete. Sending objects over great distances is part of online commerce. Print-on-demand services that allow users to design their own T-shirts, books, or mugs with a few clicks of a mouse connect Internet browsing and data input to receiving objects by mail and handling them in everyday life.

It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information takes its title from a prose genre popular in the late 18th century, the “it-narrative.” These were accounts of objects circulating in the structures of emergent industrialized capitalist markets written in the first-person from the perspective of the objects. It Narratives the exhibition updates this concept for the 21st century by presenting artists’ projects that track the movement of objects online and by mail, taking measure of the physical and emotional experiences of time and distance inherent to these networks.