Curator: Sarah Fritchey
December 2, 2017—February 24, 2018
Artspace is pleased to present Resident X, a group show that introduces the idea of the “Artist Residency” as circumstantial form. The six artists in the show have not applied for residencies, nor have they sought out the unconventional places where they make work. Rather they find themselves consigned to one place for an extended period of time—a hospital bed, subway train, car, airplane, cubical, their home, and get to making art.
The exhibition contemplates the desire to work and seek temporary escape within certain types of space. Does a residency need to be a physical dwelling space, or can this escape reside in untapped places in the body and mind? Also what privileges do we take for granted when we have the capacity to travel to make work? How might an accidental residency decolonize the relationship between artist and site.
Jon Gitelson’s The Sweet Spot explores the Chicago subway system as residency. From January to May of 2009, the artist produced photographs, video and a graph of 50 measurements that tracked the artist’s likelihood of getting a seat during the rush hour commute.
Keith Johnson’s photographs propose the hospital as residence. When a medical emergency landed him in the hospital for six months, he documented the frequent changing of his hospital bandages. The work contrasts his earlier bodies of work that track his movement through natural landscapes over time.
Katie Jurkiewicz’s Working Hard or Hardly Working imagines the work place as residence. Jurkiewicz started the series unconsciously during weekly Artspace staff meetings, doodling over the printed agendas. In the Winter of 2017, she recognized the office documents as a body of work, installing it in her cubicle, adding wall text, and inviting her colleagues to a wine and cheese opening.
Sam Messer’s “photoplasms,” a term coined by friend/author Paul Auster, introduce the airplane as residency. Messer created these etchings during his weekly commute from Los Angeles to New York City, where he landed before taking the train to New Haven to teach at the Yale School of Art. He created the work by taping 35mm film negatives to the plane’s window, manipulating the surface with an etching needle and paintbrush.
Carmen Papalia explores non-visual learning as a place of residency. In See For Yourself (2012-ongoing) and Blind Field Shuttle (2011-ongoing), he invited viewers to tour art institutions with their eyes closed. In White Cane Amplified (2015), he replaced his white cane with a megaphone, relying on the responsiveness of others to move through an unfamiliar neighborhood.
Dushko Petrovich’s Adjunct Commuter Weekly enacts the highway as residency. Copies of this newspaper, made for and by adjunct art teachers whose studio time is coopted by awful work commutes, is available for purchase. Petrovich launched the newspaper, which also exists as an online journal, with a Kickstarter campaign shot from the rotating steering wheel of his car.