2111 Mission Street
Suite 401
San Francisco 94110

A curatorial experiment including work by:
Eliza Barrios, Chris Cobb, Cathy Davis, Paz de la Calzada, Rebecca Millsop, Packard Jennings, Michael Romano, Jenifer Wofford, and Virginia White

Co-Curated by:
Emily Sevier and Clark Buckner

January 20th - February 18th, 2006

It's no secret that opportunity often hinges on who you know. The current Presidential administration illustrates the point quite well from its selection of Supreme Court nominees and to its appointment of a FEMA Director. While this administration isn’t the first to give preferential treatment to friends and political allies, it has cast the process into the media limelight. Everyday, there is another story or accusation of cronyism in the news. With all the attention given the issue of cronyism, it is hard not to realize our own indulgences down the road of favoritism. We are all guilty, some more, some less. But it is pretty safe to say that each of us has benefited from a convenient connection or personal relationship at one time or another.

In curating an exhibition dedicated to the theme of cronyism, the hope is to explore the complex and nuanced implications of the term. Part of this investigation is an acknowledgement of its dark side as an element of corruption, firmly imbedded within the framework of political and social institutions. However, when viewed from a less pejorative angle, cronyism is fundamentally about friendship and supporting those that you trust and believe in. Cronyism is one of the essential building blocks of community from a very grassroots level. It is often from conversations among friends that ideas emerge and transform into action. For this reason, within the arts, it is not uncommon for friends to organize shows of friends’ work. This practice is perfectly valid, but can easily tread a fine, incestuous line. The exhibition, Croynism, simultaneously parodies the decadence of closed, self-protective power-blocks, while acknowledging the importance of mutually supportive networks of friends in sustaining a vibrant and self-empowered artistic community.

- Emily Sevier




"Cronyism at MISSION 17," Rebecca Miller, Shotgun Reviews, February, 2006

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