testsite 8.5: Temporary Services & Harper Montgomery

testsite 8.5

Temporary Services at testsite

Temporary Services and Harper Montgomery

November 16th - December 22nd, 2008

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Temporary Services installation. Image courtesy of the artists.

Project Details

"We want to be in control of our lives. Whether we are jungle fighters, craftsmen, company men, gamesmen, we want to be in control. And when the government erodes that control, we are not comfortable."

- Barbara Jordan

"When you come back with no arms or legs, then you can say war is fun"

- The Dicks ("I Hope You Get Drafted")

For testsite 08.5, Temporary Services will investigate two aspects of the state's cultural and political history that embody its radical independence: the development of Punk music in Austin during the early 1980s, and the speeches of Barbara Jordan, the great, late United States representative from Texas. This will be Temporary Services' first exhibition in the Lone Star State.

As part of their ongoing series of publications entitled Temporary Conversations, Temporary Services will publish two new booklets drawn from interviews, memories, and artifacts contributed by Punkers. One will celebrate the band The Dicks and a separate booklet will extensively interview Austin-based musician and artist Tim Kerr, who has played guitar for many bands including the Big Boys and Poison 13.

Temporary Services will also apply these dual interests to a new series of banners. Fabricated from discarded plastic bags, these recycled textiles are part of the group's ongoing investigation into new uses for plastic bags: Personal Plastic. Quotes drawn from politician Barbara Jordan and Punk lyrics are featured on a series of banners hanging in locations both inside and outside the residence housing testsite's exhibition space.

Temporary Services' testsite 08.5 is motivated by their interest in focusing on people and histories that have not been given as much attention as they should, as well as that of coupling their exhibitions with self-published booklets. Towards this purpose, a new poster will appear around Austin and DOMY Books will host a release event for the new Temporary Conversations booklets at their store. Also, an extensive array of past publications by Temporary Services spanning ten years will be installed in the galleries at Test Site.

As is always their way, with their project for testsite 08.5, Temporary Services casts the artist as activist and brings tangible social purpose to the practice of making and exhibiting art. All of the aspects of Temporary Services' activity in Austin, including working with pre-used plastic, tie into the get-it-done spirit that both the musicians they are focusing on and Ms. Jordan seem/ed to have. Making something useful (hope, groundbreaking legislation, groundbreaking lyrics and harnessing youth culture, intervening in public to shed light) out of something useless (despair, racism, plastic) is a common theme.

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