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Parlour

Exhibition Detail
Bureaucracy Now!
900 Tennessee St, #18
San Francisco, California 94107


May 29th, 2010 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
 
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, Amy BalkinAmy Balkin
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EVENT TYPE:  
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MEMO

Introduction:

Titled after the exhibition Utopia Now! at the CCA Wattis in 2001, Bureaucracy Now! references this drive for a better society by:

  • Bureaucracy as a medium for individual agency
  • Management as self-management
  • Bureaucratic engagement as opening a space for debate and negotiation
  • The aesthetics of the office reconfigured or re-invented
  • Examining how organization occurs, and how it can be co-opted

Art Historical Precedents:

1. Artists utilizing standard bureaucratic practices to create a new space:

  • Yves Klein sold zones of immaterial pictorial sensibility for gold, which he would then toss into the Seine while the buyer burned the receipt.
  • Sol LeWitt often sold his work as a set of instructions and a certificate of authenticity.

2. Artists commenting on exclusionary or authoritarian modes of practice:

  • Marcel Broodthaers created the fictive Museum of Art, Department of Eagles, which featured representations of eagles and financed through gold ingots stamped with eagle insignia.
  • Hans Haacke’s Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, A Real Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971 exposed the fraudulent real estate dealings of a Board Member at the Guggenheim, where the piece was supposed to show.

3. Artists creating new organizations to function ‘better’ than current ones:

  • Artist collaborations and collectives, e.g. the Bureau of Surrealist Research, the Situationists
  • Dada Associations such as the detective agency, medicinal department, and advertising department.
  • Alternative educational institutions, e.g. Black Mountain College, the Bauhaus

4. Artists as organizers:

  • The Art Workers Coalition successfully lobbied the MoMA for among other things better relations towards artists, to take a stance against the Vietnam War, and to institute a free admissions day.
  • Andrea Fraser and Helmut Draxler organized Services, a convening of artists and curators to discuss how to protect the artist’s position in the face of art markets and large institutions.

 

 


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