This Show Needs You

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© courtesy of the Artists and SJICA
This Show Needs You

560 South First Street
95113 San Jose

March 28th, 2008 - May 17th, 2008
Opening: April 4th, 2008 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Peninsula/South Bay
Tue-Fri 10-5; Sat-Sun 12-5; Closed Mon


The 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.

Collaborators and lovers Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle will present Love 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.

Collaborators Ted 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 Distributed Exhibition.

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.