MISSION 17's Third Annual Juried Exhibition
December 1st- January 6th, 2007
Including work by:
Victor Barbieri, Deer Fang, Peter Foucault, Justin Hoover and Patricia Maloney, Jesse Houlding, Bradley Hyppa, Moshe Quinn, Eileen Starr Moderbacher, Kathrine Worel, Edmund Wyss, and Paul Zografakis
Clark Buckner, Cheryl Meeker, Elaine Santos, and Michael Zheng
Joy by Eileen Starr Moderbacher
Social interaction has become an integral part of contemporary art practice. In recent years, these "relational aesthetics" have been celebrated in several major Bay Area exhibitions, and connected specifically with the nexus between art and social activism, which gave rise in the 60s and 70s to the leading, local "alternative spaces."
But are these social experiments necessarily progressive? Do they in fact present serious challenges to the status quo? Or has their assilimilation to the museum and art history, to the contrary, rendered them implicitly conservative? Do "relational aesthetics" challenge the over valorization of art as an idealized realm set apart from everyday life? Or do they aesthetisize social action and, in the process, neutralize its political force? Do social experiments in art articulate alternative model of social life, or do they present ideological fantasies of social harmony in a world where war and exploitation are constants? If social life has become a museum piece, is it not perhaps over?
And what has become of the misanthropic artist, who embodies social conflict in her alienation? What has become of the critical force of the autonomous work of art in its distinction from the world around it?
In this show we hope to raise questions concerning the social dynamics in artwork and call new attention to the antisocial as both a defining feature of modern life, and a locus for social change.
- Clark Buckner