The Rise of RAD: BODY-MOTION-SPACE-ARCHITECTURE
July 24 - September 4, 2010
Cash bar provided by: Bar One
Music by: MXF
Erupting from the Californian surf scene of the 1960s and branching out into music, language, street art and street clothing, skateboard culture has spanned the globe with its focus on individuality, freedom and a transgressive mixture of sport and play. This exhibition's focus is on contemporary art that can trace its roots to this sub-culture-gone-mainstream, exploring urban architecture, resistance, and the core values of the skate phenomenon through the matrix of urban theory and politics. It utilizes theoretical, historical, sociological and contemporary art facets to explore how a Californian children's toy went through technological advances that led to a revolution throughout youth culture and, in turn, spread to the world and impacted culture from the street to the museum.
Artists often take inspiration from their own youth subcultures – even in general culture skateboarding has subconsciously made itself part of the air breathed here in SoCal and elsewhere across the world. When artists look at skateboarding they see the implications of the activity – political, sociological, psychological, etc and can react to this, to build on the meaning of it, the content, to look at wider issues. The physical engagement with the activity of skateboarding, as well as the immersion in the subcultures that it generates – with all of its implicit profiles of rebellion, individuality, freedom and separation from mainstream society – can and does create an infrastructure of interpretation of Being. This includes a variety of things in the world, by necessity of course, ranging from the methodology of spatial movement and interaction within the architecture of the urban environment to the idealization of the Self as essentially existential and isolated.
The physiological extremes that the body itself is forced into, with its moments of exhilarating danger, the triumph of will over gravity that heightens the perceptual moment, the adrenaline rush of speed all become inextricably linked to untheorized but present aspects of engagement between the inner self and ones surroundings. All that is needed is the soundtrack and the act of skateboarding becomes its own mythology of experience for the practitioner – one that is shaped by the nexus point where lifestyle, sense of self, motion, movement and the mechanics by which this achieved come together.