MBG Issue #140: A Gesture of Science Fiction

Issue # 140

A Gesture of Science Fiction

January 29, 2010

share with a friend:

Alejandro Cesarco, The Two Stories, 2009, Still from a 16 mm film transferred to video. Courtesy Murray Guy, New York and the artist.

from the editor

A conversation about art and economy may easily descend into a list of shortages (shortages in government funding, philanthropy, collectors, galleries, studio spaces) and, in response, a celebration of certain types of abdication from the system (the DIY, the temporary, the collective). Rightly, we perceive dysfunction in commercial and capitalist models. However, out of frustration, it’s tempting to complain about the systems too much and examine our own responses too little.

The question begs to be asked: what is your personal economy?

This is one of the questions raised in Art Work: A National Conversation about Art, Labor, and Economics, a newspaper and website recently released by the Chicago-based collective Temporary Services. In a series of articles entitled “Personal Economies,” anonymous artists write about the way they make ends meet. These stories begin to uncover the many ways that artists support themselves: day jobs, the use of office resources and time to work on personal projects, teaching, freelance work, barter, fundraising and grant-writing. They forgo health insurance, they receive stipends from their parents and they depend on cheap rent. These are the practicalities of our lives.

At the Austin release of Art Work, Kate Watson and I invited a number of artists and art professionals to talk about their personal economies in terms of their art practices. Sean Gaulager supports Co-Lab, his experimental exhibition space, through odd jobs as an art installer and house painter, among other things. Katie Geha supports SOFA, her apartment gallery, by keeping expenses low ($50 per exhibition). She’s a graduate student, so fellowships, teaching assistantships and student loans are probably part of this economy. Russell Etchen keeps the doors of Domy Books open by stocking Dunnys and other trendy, collectible toys. Artist Jenny Hart started her own business, Sublime Stitching. The business is based on her artistic skill set—she designs hipster embroidery patterns—but she keeps it completely separate from her artistic practice. Each of these artists and art professionals has established a different relationship between art practice and economic practice.

Another question follows upon the heels of the first: how does your personal economy coincide with your art practice?

This question must precede the questions we ask of the larger economic systems within the art world. Otherwise, we risk complacency. We can only start from where we are.

Check out this issue, and next time, look forward to reviews of Desire at the Blanton, Christine Gray at Okay Mountain and Margarita Cabrera at Box 13.

Claire Ruud is Associate Director of Fluent~Collaborative.


Kia Neill
Women & Their Work, Austin
Through February 25, 2010

By Allison Myers

Kia Neill, Grotto, 2009, Chicken wire, paper-mache, lumber, plaster, paint, glitter, polyurethane foam, flocking fiber, Spanish moss, CDs, blinking colored lights, tinsel, Approximately 6 x 10 x 30 feet. Courtesy the artist and Lawndale Art Center. Photo: Eric Hester.

The party grotto of the Playboy mansion—an artificial waterfall complete with blue water, palm trees and colored lights—is the perfect analogy for Kia Neill’s installation Terrain, currently up at Women and Their Work. The artist makes this comparison herself. The party grotto, she says, is like nature, but better. Similarly, Neill’s handcrafted landscape, which resembles a bedazzled cave floor, moves beyond mimicry of the natural world and into a sensational vision of nature-plus. Just like Hugh Hefner’s razzle-dazzle wonderland, Terrain plays with the line between the artificial and the natural, provoking a suspension of disbelief—that uniquely human ability to transform the artificial into something fantastical.

Terrain is the latest in Neill’s three-year engagement with visionary landscapes. Where she previously focused on the claustrophobic space of the cave ceiling, here she directs our attention back down to earth. Viewers must focus on the ground while they maneuver winding walkways of mossy stalagmites and shimmering geodes. Close attention is a matter of physical necessity, as the only light in the gallery comes from blinking LED lights beneath the installation. A smart move, this darkness has the effect of making the environment all the more absorbing. The LEDs also cast flickering shadows, which expand the environment onto the gallery walls. The shadows are often faint, and would benefit from being more defined, but the effect succeeds in incorporating the work more tightly into the space.

Overall, the installation has a distinctive handmade feeling to it, and the time-consuming intensity of the project is clearly apparent. The rocks are covered in a mossy layer of crafting fiber, the geodes are made from broken CD shards, the chicken wire construction is visible in the stalagmites and the whole thing is illuminated with slowly blinking Christmas lights. Despite the everyday materials, Neill does achieve some sense of an authentic landscape. The geodes, for instance, give off the perfect hard-edge, jewel-like impression.

Walking into the space, it’s all of these handmade details that first draw your attention. You bend down, poke your head around and just want to see how Neill actually made it all. Upon standing up and observing the space, however, the work provokes an entirely different experience: one of absorption. Within the dark room, the installation is encompassing enough to allow for a mild suspension of disbelief. Like an Indiana Jones movie, you’re skeptical but still play along. And it’s this paradoxical effect that lies at the heart of the work. You positively know that what you are looking at is faker than a playboy bunny’s cleavage. You just saw the chicken wire. And yet, you still imagine that a glitter-covered bat might fly out from the corner at any moment. Without being completely fake or completely realistic, Neill’s installation addresses the space in between—a space, it seems, that continues to become more and more relevant to the way we interact with our world.

Allison Myers is a freelance writer based in Austin. She received her M.A. in art history from The University of Texas at Austin.

The New Normal
DiverseWorks, Houston
Through February 28, 2010

By Andrea Grover

Jill Magid, Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy, 2006-2007, Single-channel video without sound, three Chromogenic prints, book, stand-in bullet in bulletproof vitrine, Vitrine: 12 x 12 inches; prints: 21 7/8 x 27 3/8 inches; 21 7/8 x 32 3/8 inches; 33 ½ x 47 inches. Courtesy Yvon Lambert Gallery, New York.

The 60th anniversary of George Orwell’s science fiction opus 1984 came and went unnoticed last year. Why would such a prescient novel generate so little hubbub on its birthday? Perhaps the notion of a society numbed by perpetual war, newspeak (the reduction of language to suit ideological purposes), and constant government surveillance of the public is not that newsworthy. Do these ideas apply so aptly to the 21st century that 1984 seems redundant? Or is pointing out this trend toward total surveillance just harshing the mellow of the Net Generation who surrender their privacy with wild abandon? On my first day on Facebook, I jokingly posted my status as “Big Brother is watching you,” and was surprised by a slew of comments suggesting I was a buzzkill.

The New Normal, an exhibition curated by Michael Connor, tackles the subject of personal disclosure in a world where we’ve come to accept it as de facto. The show’s title harkens back to “the new normalcy,” former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s description of the indefinite curtailment of personal freedoms post 9/11. Indeed we are entering our 9th year of the USA Patriot Act, 7th year of the War in Iraq, and decades of corporate – driven media—so far from objective journalism that Orwellian “doublethink” doesn’t sound that weird.

The thirteen artists in The New Normal reveal private information to question unequivocal participation in this over-sharing orgy. From Trevor Paglen’s passport photos of CIA operatives to Guthrie Lonergan’s video introductions lifted from people’s Myspace pages, The New Normal looks at what happens when people are defined by their data trail.

Jennifer and Kevin McCoyVice Presidential Downtime Requirements, 2008.

In Jennifer and Kevin McCoy’s installation, Vice Presidential Downtime Requirements (2008), the artists reverse the roles of observer (government) and observed (citizen). The McCoys recreate a typical Cheney hotel room in the gallery with his VIP requirements fulfilled: all TVs tuned to FOX News, ample cans of Sprite Zero, a pot of decaf brewing and the temperature set to 68 degrees. In this instance, Cheney’s own consumer habits are broadcast to viewers, who can analyze his consumption up close.

Similarly, Hasan Elahi discloses his own consumer habits in his ongoing project Tracking Transience, a compulsive daily log of the artist’s flights, meals, purchases and exact locations presented as photographs, maps and consumer data. Elahi began voluntarily monitoring himself for the FBI after an “anonymous tipster” flagged him as a potential terrorist in 2002. After months of interrogation and nine lie detector tests, Elahi was cleared of any suspicion, but still advised to “check-in” with the FBI regularly, hence the self-surveillance. Implied in Elahi’s project is the rise in racial profiling and xenophobia under the guise of increased U.S. security. Both Elahi’s project and that of the McCoys present an absurdist view of surveillance, where the accumulation of a person’s mundane habits defuses the power of that very information.

The project that most thoroughly conveys the moral complexities of extracting information is Jill Magid’s multi-media Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy (2006-07). One evening, Magid approached a male NYC police officer on the subway, and asked to be strip-searched. The officer refused, but what ensued was a friendship based on mutual disclosure, implied romance and taboo. Over the course of five months, Magid gained the officer’s trust, (despite warnings from his friends she was using him,) and was granted access to his personal beliefs and professional life, even when it threatened his marriage and job. On view is a photograph of Magid in the officer’s uniform shirt, an image of her holding his gun, a (replica of) a bullet he gave her and other artifacts of their relationship. A 64-page novella details their time together with the same allure as the government-forbidden romance between protagonists Winston and Julia in 1984.

As Here Comes Everybody author Clay Shirky points out in the exhibition catalog, what Orwell didn’t predict in 1984 is that “governance doesn’t require government.” By participating in networked communication, we’ve become so accustomed to observation that disclosing our most private moments seems “normal.” In other words, who needs a totalitarian society when the citizens willingly monitor themselves?

Andrea Grover is a migrant curator, artist and writer. In 1998, she founded Aurora Picture Show, a now recognized center for filmic art, that began in Grover’s living room as “the world’s most public home theater.

Omer Fast
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Through February 14, 2010

By Kate Green

Omer Fast, Production still from Nostalgia III, 2009, Super 16mm film transferred to high-definition video, color, sound, 32:48 minutes. Courtesy of The Whitney Museum of American Art.

At a moment when most art falls into the category of either eye-candy or eye-sore, Omer Fast’s newest film and video project, Nostalgia (2009), provides welcome relief with luscious imagery and a gripping structure that refuses to be pinned down. Ambitious, it features a short documentary-like video of Fast interviewing a Nigerian refugee, a longer two-channel reenactment of the interview and an even longer film departing from it. Each looped work builds upon the next to explore the fickle nature of power, especially vis-à-vis race: skin color wields tremendous power over how stories are told and, therefore, what history is written.

This theme is not new to Fast, but in this latest project he takes it on more pointedly than he has in past works, which have demonstrated Fast’s increasing skill at merging the seductive language of popular cinema with a non-linear narrative style. While Fast may be best known for Spielberg’s List (2003), a documentary-style video that cross-examines first-, second-, and third-hand accounts of the Holocaust, his more recent works have used various conceptual and formal strategies to play with narrative. Consider Take A Deep Breath (2009), which was featured recently at Postmasters Gallery. The video co-mingles a medic’s straightforward story about a bombing in a Jerusalem café with a dramatization of the events as they are filmed for a fictional video. Here, tension arises not from blood (as it does in the media), but out of conflicting accounts of the fictional shoot given by its cast members—a bossy assistant, a stoner cameramen, a struggling actress, an ethnically ambiguous bomber—as they jockey for power. Similarly, The Casting (2007), which won Fast the 2008 Whitney Biennial’s Bucksbaum Award, stood out for exposing the cracks in verbal and pictorial accounts by pitting a soldier’s stories against their enactment in cinematic tableaux.

Omer Fast, Production still from Nostalgia III, 2009.

Nostalgia’s three interrelated works allow Fast room to explore, with greater depth than ever before, the multiple ways that a single event can be experienced and the way that accounts of that experience may shift with each iteration. The central motif in this work is the trap—we all fall into and lay them, especially when it comes to race and other cultures. In Nostalgia I, a five-minute video playing on a flat screen at the gallery’s entrance, a Nigerian refugee explains in voice-over how to build the trap that helped him survive, while on-screen a white Westerner constructs the contraption. The difficulties of translation are even more apparent in Nostalgia II, a ten-minute, two-channel video in the next room. Here actors play the Nigerian refugee and white artist. The artist, who needs the refugee’s details for a film, comes off as alternately exasperated, well-meaning, condescending, and unable to understand the other’s cultural context. The refugee, desperate for work from the artist, seems guileless and duplicitous—a player who also gets played. The work’s structure intensifies their maneuvering for control: adjacent screens feature the same scene shot from each character’s perspective. Equally foregrounded, both men’s viewpoints vie for our attention. Nostalgia III, a thirty-minute film in the last room, further manipulates perspective. Here, in richly styled shots referencing the utopic/dystopic genres of 1970s science fiction and blaxploitation, Fast has once again swapped black for white: the refugees on the run are three white Brits fleeing their ruined country for a better life in an unnamed African country. The non-linear narrative jumps between scenes of the beleaguered trio trying to elude black soldiers patrolling their tunneled borders and the domestic lives of those in the relatively stable African country. In this topsy-turvy world where a black state fends off refugees from a white one, nobody is all good or all bad and everyone knows how to lay a trap.

If history had played out differently, black Africa might be dominating the white West, and Haiti might be sending rather than receiving aid. However, in the world we inhabit today, it takes a gesture of science fiction like Fast’s to conjure such an unimaginable scenario. With Nostalgia he vividly and effectively reverses the assumed skin-color equation, turning race into a trap that snares us all.

Kate Green is pursuing her Ph.D. in art history at The University of Texas at Austin.

Alejandro Cesarco
Artpace, San Antonio
Through May 2, 2010

By Claire Ruud

Alejandro Cesarco, Index (A Novel), 2003.

Index (A Review)

accident: and indexes, 2 (see also index)
art: as index, 3 (see also index); and luxury, 1
artist: at the turn of the century, 3
Artpace, 3
avant-garde: bourgeois concept of heroic male in, 5
Barthes, Roland, 4
bathrooms: and gender policing 2; in the tomboy film, 2
Baudrillard, Jean: between bathrooms and Bederman, 2
Bederman, Gail, 2
book: non-fiction, 3; as ocean, 1; unwritten, 3
Byatt, A.S.: on indexes and pleasure, 1
Cesarco, Alejandro, 3 – 6
crisis: in economy of cultural capital, 4
critic: and desire as metonymy, 4; as detective, 4
death: of the author, 3; of the reader, 3
discourse, 5; of absence, 5; and affective rhythm, 5; and indecision, 5; as initiator of practice, 5; master, 5; that says itself, 5; unspoken parts of, 5
displacements, 5
dissemination, 5
distance: between reader and text, 5; and place of enunciation (historicity), 5
exclusion, 7
Female Masculinities: index of, 2
How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read, 4
index: as art, 3 (see also art); as ordered, 1; poetics of, 3; practicality of, 1 – 2; as random, 1 – 2; as self portrait, 6; as sign, 6
Index, 3, 5
Index (A Novel), 3
Index (A Reading), 3 – 6
indexer, 3
library, 1
Manliness and Civilization, 2
narrative: construction of, 3, 6
pleasure: of sorting and ordering, 1
Sortes Virgilianae, 1
truism: when flipped on head, 3


A.S. Byatt once described indexes as "a kind of Sortes Virgilianae, a place where the pleasure of sorting and ordering meets the opposite pleasure of the random, the inconsequential and the chancy."

Indexes, those long, alphabetized lists at the back of books, are merely a practicality in many reader's lives. An index provides the reader with an orderly way to find out what's important in a book. It is also a mechanism through which a reader may retrieve a single droplet of information from within the ocean of ideas contained between the covers of a book. At the library, a scholar browses indexes to determine each volume's relevance to her project. Later on, after reading a book in full, she returns to the index to retrieve a reference about art and luxury in colonial America. Systematic and tidy, an index provides readers with access points to a text.


Indexes may be practical, but they are also studies in accident. Browse an index and the strangest and most serendipitous visual juxtapositions appear:

bathrooms: and gender policing, 20 – 29; in the tomboy film, 192
Baudrillard, Jean, 167
Bederman, Gail, 49 – 50. 271 – 72

These three consecutive entries from the index of Judith Halberstam's Female Masculinities offer practical information about what's important in the book. With a glance at the page numbers accorded each topic, the reader may infer which topics receive the most attention: (1) bathrooms, (2) Gail Bederman, (3) Jean Baudrillard.  For this reader, the entries also perform an inside joke. What better place to squish Baudrillard than between bathrooms and the author of Manliness and Civilization?


As any indexer will tell you, indexing is an art. For his current exhibition at Artpace, Alejandro Cesarco has flipped this truism on its head: his art is indexing. The show consists of three indexes to three books he has not written, at least not in the sense of putting narrative to a page with words strung together as sentences. Still, the viewer may construct a narrative out of Cesarco's indexes, and in that sense, these books are readable.

Cesarco's indexes look much like the pages found at the back of most non-fiction books. Entries are organized alphabetically and appear in a two- or three-column layout on each page. Pages are numbered consecutively (254, 255, 256...), and at Artpace, these pages are framed individually and hung together sequentially. The earliest work, Index (2000), reads like a list of the concepts, texts, histories and people you would expect a young artist to have been thinking about at the turn of the century. In comparison to two later works, this index is rather dry. Index (A Novel) (2003) hinges on the romance novel, and Index (A Reading) (2008) swirls around the concepts of the reader, the writer, memory and loss. This most recent work reads most evocatively; here, both Cesarco's subject and his increasing facility with indexes (the poetics of cross-referencing, subordination, contiguity and ellipsis) heighten the affective quality of the work.


In the popular and irreverent How to Talk about Books You Haven't Read, Pierre Bayard takes Roland Barthes' "death of the author" to an extreme: the death of the reader. For Bayard, the reader, like the author, is vanishing into the distance. "Readers" are constructed through texts, while texts are constructed through the reading of them. Bayard concludes that we haven't actually read the books we claim to have read, and therefore we possess no authority over these texts. This lack of authority incites crisis—namely, a crisis in the economy of cultural capital, which rests on, among other traits, our literacy.

Cesarco's indexes get at this crisis succinctly. An index allows the artist to write a book without writing it, and the viewer to read the book without reading it. In fact, with Cesarco's indexes, the viewer writes the book as she reads.

Take page 19 of the text to which Index (A Reading) refers, for example. The index tells us that his page discusses, among other topics, the critic as detective, desire as metonymy and Auguste Dupin. Viewers may construct all sorts of narratives from this constellation of terms. For this viewer, the terms coalesced around a discussion of the critic as both a logical, calculating detective à la Edgar Allen Poe's Auguste Dupin and a link in a chain of deferred desire for meaning within art. As a critic, I take this as a warning not to logic through the narratives behind Cesarco's indexes too obsessively.


Cesarco knows how to make an indexical joke, too:

discourse, 50; of absence, 11, 30-32; and affective rhythm, 15, 22; and indecision, 79, 123; as initiator of practice, 77; master, 64; that says itself, 2, 32; unspoken parts of, 199
displacements, 4
dissemination, 38-39
distance: between reader and text, 4; and place of enunciation (historicity), 65

These are four consecutive entries of Index (A Reading). It feels almost sinful to flesh them out. Their affective rhythms, unspoken parts and displacements put the distance between reader and text so crisply and seductively.

My favorite joke in Cesarco's indexes is much simpler. On the first page of Index appears the one-liner:

avant-garde, 78,84; bourgeois concept of heroic male in, 62


If these indexes do not index written texts, what do they index? In one sense, they bypass the text and index the author, Cesarco himself. In this way, the indexes may be understood as self-portraits.

In another sense, when read by a viewer in the gallery, these indexes become completely unmoored from both Cesarco and his unwritten text.  Instead, the indexes come to refer to texts the viewer constructs in relation to them. (For instance, Cesarco's Index (A Reading) indexes the story I told earlier about the critic on page 19.)

In a third sense, Cesarco's indexes point through his unwritten texts to the objects, people and ideas to which his texts would have pointed: the endless deferral of signs. Literally, these indexes index nothing that is.


Finally, there is what is left out of indexes. Indexes work by exclusion. An index that included every word in a text would be useless. Cesarco's indexes point to these gaps. All that has not been included haunts all that is.

Claire Ruud is Associate Director of Fluent~Collaborative.

Announcements: exhibitions

Austin Openings

The Blanton Museum of Art
Opening February 5

Of Desire, the Blanton's press release pretty much says it all with the statement, "how fascinating, evocative and familiar." The exhibition explores the idea/emotion/nature of desire through the work of such artists as Marilyn Minter, Glenn Ligon and Tracey Emin.

Leslie Mutchler
Courtyard Gallery
Opening Reception February 4, 4-6pm

In her most recent large-scale PhotoShop collages, Mutchler fashions landscapes and space-scapes out of images from IKEA, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel catalogs. It's like bringing modern mass-market design full-circle back to its referents in the landscape and our vision of the future.

Travis Kent
SOFA Gallery
Opening Reception: January 31, 2-4pm

Travis Kent takes pictures of things—two identical shirts on a clothesline, potted plants, a girl’s fuzzy head against a desert landscape. The photographs are matter-of-fact in their presentation. With a slight hint of nostalgia, they describe the sites, objects and people that Kent seemingly happens upon. Placing the artificial against the natural, the works in Hope You’re Well act as indices of a more expansive experience, one that is transitory and ethereal. From the press release

Give Up
Domy Books
Opening Reception January 30, 7-9pm

Here's a YouTube video of Give Up doing what Give Up does at the Xerox machine, in the print studio, on street corners and on billboards.

Austin on View

Jim Torok
Lora Reynolds Gallery
Through March 13

Jim Torok's Clowns and Portraits explores the fertile, if much traversed, image of the clown and continues the artist's exploration of the portrait.

Kia Neill
Women & Their Work
Through February 27

See Allison Myer's review in this issue.

Austin Closings

Christine Gray
Okay Mountain Gallery
Through February 13

With Into The Light, Christine Gray continues to explore the frenetic play between real and unreal created using sculptural arrangements as the basis for her paintings. This new body of work takes it's inspiration from American mythological tropes, often revealing surreal landscapes, crude shelters and objects suggestive of rituals with mystical significance. From the press release.

Ideas of Mountains
Creative Research Laboratory
Through February 6

Composed of 11 site-specific projects, Ideas of Mountains explores the unique atmosphere of the CRL as a malleable artist space and incubator for the creative process. The exhibition features artists living and working in Austin, as well as students and alumni of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. From the press release.

San Antonio on View

Alejandro Cesarco
Through May 2

See Claire Ruud's review in this issue.

Fred Sandback
Lawrence Markey Gallery
Through March 5

Minimalist and Conceptual artist Fred Sandback's yarn construction Untitled (Four-part Vertical Construction in Two Colors) from 1987 graces Lawrence Markey's gallery.

Unit B Gallery
Through March 6

Ever wonder what it's like to be an animal other than a human? In this exhibition Emily Landon and Chris Wildrick explore just that.

San Antonio Closings

Katie Pell
Sala Diaz
Closing February 14

Katie Pell's installation Intractable Chatter is about the distances between us (and those between us and ourselves).

San Marcos on View

Okay Mountain
Texas State University Gallery
Through February 26

Okay Mountain's Big Strange Mystery lies somewhere between a natural history museum and a U.F.O. museum. Sounds like a trip.

Announcements: events

Austin Events

Conversation: Representing Desire
The Blanton Museum of Art
Saturday February 6, 2-3pm

Curator Annette Carlozzi speaks with artists Glenn Ligon and Marilyn Minter about their work and the concept (feeling?) of desire.

Film: L’Avventura
The Blanton Museum of Art
Sunday February 7, 3-4:30pm

Here's the trailer for Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura on YouTube. This is the first of four films screened in conjunction with the Blanton's exhibition Desire.

Announcements: opportunities

Call for Entries

Artadia Awards 2010 Houston
Deadline: March 1, 2010 at 11:59 CST

Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue is now accepting applications for the Artadia Awards 2010 Houston from all visual artists living and working in Houston, Harris County, Texas. Individual artists and collaboratives working in all media and at any point in their career are strongly encouraged to apply. Awardees will be selected in the spring of 2010 through Artadia’s rigorous two- tiered jury process. For more information and to apply visit Artadia's website.

New Art/Arte Nuevo
University of Texas at San Antonio
Deadline: March 31, 2010

New Art/Arte Nuevo: San Antonio 2010, a biennial juried exhibition, will feature the work of artists living and working, or with roots/raíces, in South and West Texas. Juried by Malaquias Montoya and Valerie Cassel Oliver, the exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue. Click here for more information about how to submit entries for consideration.

Texas Oklahoma Art Prize
Wichita Falls Museum of Art
Deadline: February 13, 2010

It costs $10 per entry to submit your work for consideration in the TXOK  Art Prize, but one artist selected by jury will receive $2000, and two others will receive $1000. For more info visit the museum's website and scroll down.

Call for Proposals

Unsolicited Proposal Program
Proposals accepted online February 15 - March 15, 2010

Continuing its annual Unsolicited Proposal Program, apexart will accept 600-word, idea-based proposals for evaluation by an international panel of apexart associates. Submissions are reviewed independently, anonymously and without visual support material — they are evaluated solely on the strength of the idea. Previous curatorial experience is in no way required, and will not factor into the selection process. The two proposals with the highest ratings will be presented at apexart in the 2010-11 season (September 2010 to July 2011). For more information and to submit a proposal visit


Associate Curator of American Paintings
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Open Until Filled

Feeling saucy? The Metropolitan Museum of Art is looking for an Associate Curator of American Paintings. Requirements include a Ph.D. in art history with a specialization in American paintings with a minimum three to five years of curatorial experience. Keys to success include demonstrated scholarly achievement and experience in accomplishing original research on works of American Art; strong computer skills; the ability to maintain precise and careful records; a commitment to scholarship of the highest order; and the ability to work closely with all staff within the Department and with colleagues throughout the Museum.

The Associate Curator of American Paintings is a full-time position that includes full benefits. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Send cover letter indicating position of interest, resume & salary history to:
employoppty@metmuseum.org as a Word attachment only with the position title in the subject line.


The Montreal Arts Council Residency for the Americas
The Darling Foundry
Deadline: March 1, 2010

The Darling Foundry, in collaboration with the Conseil des arts de Montréal, invites applications to its residency program for independent curators of the Americas. The project is aimed at independent curators who want to build on their professional experience in the art industry. Artists and curators staying at the Darling Foundry will be immersed in the Montreal artistic community. Housed for two months in a live-in studio at the Darling Foundry, the curator will be given opportunities to organise and promote events and conferences.
The residency includes airfare (max CAN$1,200), a live-in studio for two months from 1st June to 31st July 2010 and a stipend of CAN$250 per week. For more info and to apply click here.

Critical Studies Residency
CORE Program, MFAH
Deadline: April 1, 2010

The internationally renowned Core Program awards critical studies residencies to highly motivated, emerging critics, art historians, and curators who have completed their academic training but have not yet fully developed a professional career. Throughout the year, residents engage in ongoing dialogue with each other and meet regularly with pre-eminent visiting artists, critics and curators. Each resident receives a $10,000 stipend, health insurance, and private studio/office space (housing not included). The residency term is nine months, from September to May, and is renewable for a second term. For application instructions visit www.core.mfah.org.

Artist and Writer Residencies

Vermont Studio Center
Deadline: February 16, 2010

The Vermont Studio Center is an international residency program open to all artists and writers. Year-round, VSC hosts 50 artists and writers per month, each of whom receives an individual studio, private room, and all meals. Residencies last from 2-12 weeks and provide uninterrupted time to work, a community of creative peers, and a beautiful village setting in northern Vermont. In addition, VSC's program includes a roster of Visiting Artists and Writers (2 painters, 2 sculptors and 2 writers per month) who offer slide talks/readings and individual studio visits/conferences. Visit the VSC's website for additional information.

More from the Archive