The Summer Salon Series
The Summer Salon Series was a performance art festival I curated in conjunction with some great folks listed below. Each summer for four years (2010-2013) at the San Diego Museum of Art, we presented a weekly salon style program of contemporary art. More specifically, each night of the salon featured a different selection of lectures, readings, performances, concerts, film screenings, installations and interventions throughout the Museum campus, and each summer was curated according to a different theme that coordinated with a special exhibition on view.
Photos, highlights, and more explanation of each year's Series can be found below.
*It is important to note that Summer Salon Series 2012 was the third and final season of The San Diego Museum of Art’s Summer Salon Series; in 2013 the program became Summer Break. From 2010-2012, The Summer Salon Series was collaboratively curated by Agitprop (David White, Series cofounder) and Museum staff, including Alexander Jarman, Manager of Public Programs ( Series cofounder), and Dr. Amy Galpin, Curator of Art of the Americas. Lorraine Graham was invited to curate the poetry component of each Summer Salon Series, and Rick Tyner was invited to curate the music presentations for the last year of the Series.
In response to the concurrent exhibition Arnold Newman: Masterclass, the 2013 Series asked about the ways that artists have used frameworks of pastiche to structure their work and how these strategies can even be devised to subvert fame, or create infamy. Amy and I curated a small but smart show of contemporary photographic portraits that were hung amidst the European painting collection (more on that on the Exhibitions page). Jon Rubin and Felipe Castelblanco's The Foreigner was a standout–this dialogical artwork created conversation in real time between visitors and an artist living in Iran. The Border Corps came back for a fourth straight year with a new performance, The Gates of Heck; Margaret Noble and Justin Hudnall demonstrated the immense power of storytelling in Righteous Exploits; we learned about Cool "Disco" Dan; we danced to a live performance by The Egyptian Lover; and Elmgreen and Dragset's video installation Drama Queens kept us laughing the entire festival. Check out the gallery below for more images.
The 2010 Series focused on the salons of Toulouse Lautrec's Paris, presenting a wide range of installations and projects rooted in informality. We aimed to create our own spirit of spirit of the Salon des Indépendants at the Museum. John Benson's The Bus transformed our parking lot into a stage for performance; Michael Trigilio created a soundscape that changed the way we viewed our European paintings; Michele Guieu created opportunities for everyone to be an artist for one night; Chris Warr built a confessional for honest conversation about video art aesthetics; Geoffrey Cunningham and Carla Repice allowed us all to get things off our chest at the Office of Blame Accountability; and between Brian Dick and Zac Monday we had a barrage of costumed characters and mascot roaming the galleries.
Beyond the Banner
In response to the concurrent exhibition The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries, the 2012 Series investigated topics related to historical fictions, and explored the dissemination of information. I was fortunate enough to work with our European Art curator Dr. John Marciari to put together an exhibition of works by Yinka Shonibare, M.B.E. that were installed among the European Art galleries (more about that on the Exhibitions page). Working with the Series team, we invited Pierre Bismuth to leave his car running in front of the Museum; Andrew Dinwiddie to testify about the good word in our parking lot; Katherine Brook to keep us up all night; and the Yes Men to take us on an adventure (that's the only way to describe it). We watched new films like Black Power Mixtape, and classics like The Battle of Algiers. Bombshell BOOM! BOOM! made us all feel like we were musicians and Aquapuke sounded surprisingly serene as the sun came up on the Museum's front steps one morning. Check out the gallery below for more images.
What Does a City Need?
In response to the concurrent exhibition Gustav Stickley and the American Arts and Crafts Movement, the 2011 Series examined the essential components of viable cities for the future, from topics based in the concrete–green space, civic space, smart design–to topics based in the immaterial–dialogue, identity, and history. Dr. Geoffrey West got us pretty excited (or nervous?) about the future of cities during his keynote lecture; John Dillemuth and Brian Zimmerman installed fanciful wood sculptures that towered over us or surrounded us; Ash Smith used a shower of paper airplanes and Suzy Bielak some old sea songs to remind us about our WWII hospital history (proving there must be ghosts in the Museum); Ruben Ortiz Torres schooled us on punk rock during his lecture and Wendel Kling actually played a sewing machine (which is pretty punk rock). We had some hard conversations about gentrification, preservation, and building more equitable cities. But we also jammed with LUMPS and danced? or at least performed with My Barbarian.