PUBLIC WORKS: ARTISTS’ INTERVENTIONS 1970s–NOW, September 16–December 13, 2015

MCAM_PublicWorks_card-page-001

Oakland, CA—August 14, 2015.

The Mills College Art Museum is pleased to announce Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s – Now on view from September 16 to December 13, 2015. Organized by the Mills College Art Museum, Public Works examines strategies of public practice by women artists from the 1970s to the present. The exhibition presents photography, prints, audio, video, and installations from a number of important historical and contemporary projects that explore the inherent politics and social conditions of creating art in public space.

Public Works moves beyond traditional views of public art as monumental and/or permanent artworks and instead focuses on often small but powerful temporary artistic interventions online and in the urban environment. Through various tactics, Public Works explores themes of public space, public expression, public action, public platforms, and public life through the evolving lens of participatory projects, socially engaged performance and political action, among other media.

Christian L. Frock notes, “When considering artists’ interventions in public space, the limits on public expression come into sharp focus, particularly if we also consider the recent backlash against peaceful protests and the rising dominance of private interests. Public Works broadly considers how artists subvert these limitations to advance freedom of expression on a number of salient issues defining public life, specifically in relation to encroaching technologies, personal liberty, gender equality and the environment, among other themes.”

“The desire to work independently outside of traditional venues and formats, to pursue collaboration and to encourage audience participation, informed the development of public practice since the 1970s. Key long-term projects in this survey demonstrate the potential for art to intervene and engage with public policy,” adds Tanya Zimbardo.

The fully illustrated exhibition catalogue of the same title features an introduction by Mills College Art Museum Director Stephanie Hanor, PhD, essays by curators Christian L. Frock and Tanya Zimbardo, and conversations and texts from María del Carmen Carrión, Courtney Fink, Leila Grothe, Valerie Imus, and Meredith Johnson.

The exhibition is supported in part by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.

@millsartmuseum; @publicworks_art; #publicworksintervene; #womenatwork; #millsartmuseum

Book Cover: Bonnie Ora Sherk, detail Sitting Still I, 1970. Courtesy the artist.


RELATED PUBLIC PROGRAMS
(Visit http://mcam.mills.edu)

Opening Reception

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 | 6:00-8:00 pm

MCAM

Artist Talk: Bonnie Ora Sherk

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 | 7:00 pm

Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College

Performance & Panel: On Freedom of Expression and Technology as Public Platform:
Featuring a live Skype performance by Enar de Dios Rodríguez, a special multiple produced by Leah Rosenberg, and a panel discussion featuring exhibiting artists Amy Balkin, Tania Bruguera, Stephanie Syjuco, and Favianna Rodriguez.

Sunday, October 4, 2015 | 3:00 pm

Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College

Curators Talk: Christian L. Frock and Tanya Zimbardo

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 | 7:00 pm

Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College

Jenifer K. Wofford: MaxiPad

Southern Exposure Off-Site Commission

Sunday, November 8, 2015 | TBA

Location: Oakland

Constance Hockaday: You Make a Better Wall Than a Window – The Tour

Southern Exposure Off-Site Commission

Sunday, December 6, 2015 | TBA

Location: SF Ferry Building

Artists in Exhibition:  Amy Balkin, Tania Bruguera, Candy Chang, Minerva Cuevas, Agnes Denes, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Karen Finley, Coco Fusco, Guerrilla Girls, Sharon Hayes, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jenny Holzer, Emily Jacir, Suzanne Lacy, Marie Lorenz, Susan O’Malley, Adrian Piper, Laurie Jo Reynolds | Tamms Year Ten, Favianna Rodriguez, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Stephanie Syjuco, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles.  Off-site commissions by Constance Hockaday and Jenifer K. Wofford.


ABOUT THE CURATORS:

Christian L. Frock is an independent curator, writer and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is presently 2015 – 2016 Scholar in Residence at the Center for Art & Public Life at California College of the Arts. Her work focuses on the role of artists in social justice and public life. Invisible Venue, the alternative curatorial enterprise she founded and has directed since 2005, collaborates with artists to present art in the public realm, online and in the built environment. Her writing has been featured in the Guardian US, KQED Arts, NPR.org, Public Art Dialogue, and San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. Frock has organized numerous interventions and site-specific commissions, including projects with EMERGENCY USA| Thoreau Center for Sustainability, Headlands Center for the Arts, Kala Art Institute, Oakland Main Public Library, and Mills College Art Museum, among others. She is presently visiting faculty at California Institute of Integral Studies, California College of the Arts, and San Francisco Art Institute. Chronicle Books released Frock’s first book, titled Unexpected Art, in March 2015. Her work is archived on www.invisiblevenue.com and www.visiblealternative.com. Frock possesses an MA in curatorial practice from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Tanya Zimbardo is the Assistant Curator of Media Arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She co-curated four off-site SFMOMA commissions in outdoor and non-art spaces for the 2012 SECA Art Award: Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend, David Wilson (2013) exhibition. At SFMOMA, Zimbardo co-organized Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards and The More Things Change, among other exhibitions. She has curated numerous screenings of film, video, and performance documentation at the museum and other venues. Her research and writing is primarily centered on conceptual art, performance, experimental media, and artist-run projects in California since the 1970s. She has co-authored and contributed texts to several publications including SFMOMA’s Open Space and most recently West Coast Visions, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul. Zimbardo received her MA in curatorial practice from the California College of the Arts.

Museum hours are Tuesday-Sunday 11:00 am–4:00 pm and Wednesday 11:00 am–7:30 pm. Admission is FREE for all exhibitions and programs unless noted.

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