People "Weekly," the inaugural exhibition of the CUNY Graduate Center's Amie and Tony James Gallery, is a sequence of six specially commissioned artist projects and a small "exhibition-within-the exhibition" curated by the gallery's new director, Linda Norden. Norden describes People "Weekly" as a "group show in time." The exhibition is designed to introduce new artwork directly into the dynamic academic arena of the Graduate Center. The artists invited to contribute to People "Weekly" vary considerably, but each artist's project responds in some way to the exceptional location and context of this midtown, public university gallery.
Barbara Kruger Untitled (window installation)
October 2 - February 28
Yunhee Min, For instance
October 2 - November 30
What You Wish For
October 8 - 22
Barbara Kruger, Justice, 1997
Rachel Mason, My Cabinet, 2004-ongoing
William Pope.L, One Substance, Eight Supports, One Situation, 2008
BIN (Version 2), 2008
Art Spiegelman, Breakdowns, 2008
Meredith James and Jacques Louis Vidal, True Stories, 2008
William Klein, In and Out of Fashion, 1998
Linda Pollack, Habeas Lounge
October 29 - November 6
(Rachel Mason, My Cabinet, continues)
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, with Lisa Barbash and Ernst Karel, Sheep Rushes, 2000-8
November 15 - November 30
Daniel Joseph Martinez, the west bank is missing, i am not dead, am i, 2008
December 11 - January 4, 2009
Thomas Torres Cordova, Everybody Loves the Sunshine, 2007; I wish you could color correct my films for the rest of my life, 2007
January 17 - January 31, 2009
(Reception with the artist, January 21, 6-9pm)
Yunhee Min, For instance
February 11-February 28, 2009
(Reception with the artist, February 19, 6-8pm)
In the opening installation, titled ‘For instance', Yunhee Min's theatrical drapes celebrate the gallery's expansive former-storefront windows and claim the space for art. The curtains mimic the intervals of the galleries windows and walls and reinforce the relationship between gallery and street by framing seductive and changing views of the pedestrian and auto traffic outside. On view as a solo installation for just four days in October, Min's curtains set the stage for the exhibitions to come, and in several installations, they will be reconfigured by the artist to serve as backdrop.
On Oct 8th the gallery changes to "What You Wish For", a small group show that contemplates the intertwined histories and shared practices of the department store and the gallery or museum. During the week of this year's momentous presidential election, Linda Pollack's "Habeas Lounge" uses an elegant, over-sized red couch to transform the gallery into a social space for lectures and informal discussions on Habeas Corpus, immigration and other aspects of Constitutional Law. Where some of the projects in People "Weekly" intend to introduce art and artists into the Graduate Center community, Pollack's "Habeas Lounge" inverts that relationship, making the gallery an extension of the seminar or classroom.
In November, anthropologist Lucien Castaing Taylor's "Sheep Rushes," produced with his fellow anthropologist wife, Illisa Barbash, will screen excerpts from a monumental documentary of one of the U.S.' last functional commercial sheep ranches. Produced over a period of eight years, the film tracks, in almost hyper-real detail, the accelerated birthing and shearing of the sheep, as performed by paid hands on hourly wage, and the decelerated tending of the thousands of sheep by two lone modern-day shepherds. In December and early January, Daniel Joseph Martinez' "the west bank is missing; I am not dead am I," comprising two huge cast aluminum "wheels of fortune," introduces an angry abstract allegory addressed to the seminal role played by housing design in former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's vision for the West Bank settlements. Later in January, Thomas Torres Cordova reconstructs a two-part essay on air conditioning originally conceived as part of his Bard College MFA thesis exhibition. "Everybody Loves the Sunshine," is a film on the history of this ubiquitous electrically fueled cooling device; "I wish you could color correct my films for the rest of my life," is a very literal demonstration of the benefits of those magnificent machines and the over-heated hallucinatory visions that an air conditioned culture leaves in its wake. The exhibition comes full circle in February, closing by re-visiting Yunhee Min's "For instance" in its entirety.