Some Assembly Required: race, gender and globalization
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.
ARTISTS FEATURED INCLUDE:
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.