Some Assembly Required: race, gender and globalization

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© Courtesy of Craft and Folk Art Museum
Some Assembly Required: race, gender and globalization
Curated by: Shelby Graham

5814 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
May 23rd, 2010 - September 12th, 2010
Opening: May 22nd, 2010 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Tue - Fri 10-5, Sat & Sun 12-6
assemblage mixed-media, sculpture


The world has been declared “flat” by pundits, politicians and corporate executives, but what  lies beneath the glossy, one-dimensional globalization story we see in the mass stream  media? How are the intensely personal issues of race and gender complicated by a “flat  world”?

Some Assembly Required: race, gender and globalization, which opens on May 23, 2010 with celebratory reception on May 22 from 6pm to 9pm, explores the impact of globalization  on  personal identity. Featuring thoughtful and eye-popping works of seventeen diverse artists  who demonstrate their unique perspectives using the medium of assemblage, this provocative  exhibition is sure to start a conversation. By combining found or discarded items,  man-made or natural materials, personal or generic objects, these artists strive to assemble  an identity that incorporates the multi-layered aspects of self in the 21st century. Each  artwork weaves together not only different materials but also diverse perspectives influenced  by culture, race, gender, and religion. The assemblages communicate intensely personal and  artistic responses to the impact of globalization on life and self.

Originated in 2009 at the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery at the University of California Santa  Cruz and curated by Director Shelby Graham, Some Assembly Required brings together a  mosaic of art and perspectives in an effort to share both universal truths and unique  experiences of modern life. “Every exhibition is an assemblage: a collection of persons or  things, a gathering. This gathering seeks to offer more than a collection of compatible  objects,” muses Curator Shelby Graham.


Some Assembly Required features prominent Los Angeles artist Betye Saar, whose  ssemblage reflects her experience as a mixed race woman and her interest in stereotypes,  memory and place. Also featured is Betye Saar’s daughter Alison Saar, who explores sexuality, race and gender in her life-sized mixed media sculptures. In Some Assembly  Required, she raises issues of slavery in her evocative portraits painted on worn objects of  labor.

Adia Millett’s site-specific installation allows the viewer to be completely surrounded by her  work to absorb and contemplate the layered messages abundant in this all-encompassing  installation.

Additional artists include:
Kim Boekbinder, Gaza Bowen, Len Davis, Elizabeth Dorbad, Mildred Howard, Lucien Kubo,  Willie Little, Douglas McClellan, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Monty Monty, Dominique Moody,  Susan Tibbles, Flo Oy Wong, and Maggie Yee.

While using different objects, techniques, scale, and media, the artists in this exhibition all  have the same goal: to explore the questions of self and create meaning in their own lives,  while offering guideposts and perhaps solace for others.

About the Curator
Shelby Graham has an MFA in photography and is a practicing artist exhibiting her work in  he US and Japan. She has been director of the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery at UCSC  since 1999 and her curatorial works include Cielo/Sky in Tenerife, Spain, 2010; Some  Assembly Required: race, gender and globalization, 2009; Interruptions of Hierarchies, 2008;  Image as Object, 2006; Hank Willis Thomas: Signifying Blackness, 2006; and The Rhetoric of  he Pose: Rethinking Hannah Wilke, 2005. Graham is on the executive planning committee  or the new Center for Art and Visual Studies at UCSC. She has taught courses in  hotography, contemporary art and museum practices at the University
of California, Santa  Cruz; Cabrillo College; and Seinan Gakuin University in Kyushu, Japan.