Wattis Institute

God Only Knows Who the Audience Is

21 Apr - 02 Jul 2011

© Douglas Davis
The Last Nine Minutes, 1977. Film Still
Courtesy of the artist and EAI
Performance, Video, and Television Through the Lens of La Mamelle / ART COM
21 April - 2 July, 2011

God Only Knows Who the Audience Is: Performance, Video, and Television Through the Lens of La Mamelle / ART COM is an exhibition produced by the graduating class of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts with the support of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
The exhibition investigates the notion of "performing" as a medium and a site of mediation. Using the publications and archives of the now-defunct gallery La Mamelle / ART COM as a frame of reference, the exhibition interrogates the range of different relationships between audience and artist through the presentation of a variety of traces—including photographic and filmic documentation, remakes, performances, ephemera, and broadcast-based works. Though the basis of the show is "historical," referring back to artistic developments of the 1970s and 1980s, the exhibition traces and extends the conversations within these questions of media, representation, and audience up to the present day through the inclusion of works by contemporary artists.
Give Them the Picture is a literary extension of the exhibition. This accompanying publication is not an exhibition catalog but rather a selected anthology of essays taken from La Mamelle and ART COM magazines. It places in dialogue 24 articles, penned by critics and artists. This collection represents the complexity of the above ideas as they were grappled with at the time of their original publication and positions them as contemporary questions. It also features conversations between the curators and two of La Mamelle / ART COM's key figures, Nancy Frank and Darlene Tong. The publication will be available at the opening reception.
The artists include: Eleanor Antin, Rea Baldridge, Olaf Breuning, Chris Burden, CAC TV, Peter d'Agostino, Jaime Davidovich, Douglas Davis, Paul Forte, Terry Fox, Mario Garcia Torres, Lynn Hershman, Christian Jankowski, Martin Kersels, Paul & Marlene Kos, Noah Krell, Joel Kyack, La Mamelle / ART COM, Stephen Laub, Chip Lord & Phil Garner, Whitney Lynn, Tom Marioni, Raul Marroquin, Luis Felipe Ortega & Daniel Guzman, Ricardo Rivera, Bonnie Sherk, Barbara Smith, SOON 3, Pierrick Sorin, T. R. Uthco & Ant Farm, and Bill Viola.
About the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice
Founded in 2003, CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice offers an expanded perspective on curating contemporary art and culture. Alongside traditional forms of exhibition making, this two-year master's degree program emphasizes the momentous impact over the last half-century of artist-led initiatives, public art projects, site-specific commissions, and other experimental endeavors that take place beyond the confines of established venues. It is distinguished by an international, interdisciplinary perspective, and it reflects San Francisco's unique location and cultural history by placing a particular importance on the study of curatorial and artistic practices in Asia and Latin America.

Tags: Ant Farm, Eleanor Antin, Olaf Breuning, Chris Burden, Jaime Davidovich, Terry Fox, Daniel Guzman, Christian Jankowski, Martin Kersels, Joel Kyack, Tom Marioni, Mario Garcia Torres, Bill Viola