work in This Show Needs You actively engages audiences
in the process of creating. Evoking Joseph Beuys's exclamation
that "everyone is an artist," Michael Smit's ongoing conversational piece How Have You
Been an Artist Today? provocatively asks what it means to
create. It is in this same spirit that Linda
Montano, a seminal figure in contemporary feminist performance
art, invites the audience to either "sit down with her in
silence" or "sit down and receive Art/Life/Laughter
Counseling" during her performance Re-Seeing: Being Blindfolded
in California; 7 hours/ 4 days. Montano will also conduct
a crash course in performance art called, You Too Are a Performance
Artist of Your Life: A Workshop with Linda M. Montano.
and lovers Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle will present
Art Laboratory Bridal Party, an experiment in exploring
love as art. During the course of this seven-year performance
art piece, now in its fourth year, the artists have a performance
art wedding each year in collaboration with their guests, other
artist and various communities. Stephens and Sprinkle will exhibit
ephemera from their first three weddings including dresses, invitations,
and gifts made by friends. In conjunction with the UCSC conference,
the couple will renew their vows on May 17, at the UCSC campus.
Additionally, the ICA will host a Bridal Shower for the couple.
Purves and Susanne Cockrell with Joseph McHenry, will rely
on the participation of local gardeners to realize their installation
Lemon Everlasting Backyard Battery. Inspired by
San Jose's agricultural history, Cockrell and Purves will collect
garden-grown lemons from the area and preserve them during the
exhibition. Rows of the yellow jarred fruits will be displayed
and Cockrell and Purves will provide opportunities for individuals
to share recipes and stories that involve cooking with lemons.
A lemon-infused picnic will convene on May 2, from 5 p.m. to 7
p.m. During the last week of the exhibition individuals may take
home a jar of lemons.
Other projects continue the creative engagement. Harrell Fletcher
and Miranda July give assignments to visitors to complete and
post online in their interactive web project Learning
to Love You More. Christian Jankowski's work involves
collaborations with strangers. Lori
Gordon's text paintings ask, "What color does your body
need?" and Sara
Thacher enlists neighbors and businesses to host and curate
The work in this exhibition needs multiple audiences, including
those who participate in the creation of the work and those who
witness art in-the-making. This Show Needs You encourages
discussion and exploration of what art means and what art is in
the context of collective social experience.