September 11, 2007 – November 18, 2007

The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas is excited to presentTransactions, on view September 11 to November 18, 2007—part of its line-up of contemporary exhibitions this fall. Transactions focuses on artists who have adopted a radical approach to artistic production and distribution. In addition to showing at galleries and museums, these artists also operate within the public sphere, creating work for sites associated not with art, but with everyday life. Here viewers will see art originally made for newspapers and magazines, sculptures that are being sold over the Internet, hand-sewn articles of clothing that were surreptitiously dropped into retail stores, and zero-value currency created in unlimited editions and given away for free, among other provocative projects.

Insofar as they infiltrate alternative systems of exchange, the projects inTransactions constitute a new form of public art, one that challenges both the museum’s and the gallery’s monopoly over the presentation of art. The motivations behind them might be critical, mischievous, entrepreneurial, generous, or a combination of all four. Beyond raising questions about the value of art and its status as both commodity and private property, the artists in this exhibition solicit the viewer’s input, action, and collaboration as well.

The exhibition features work by nine artists working in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America: Conrad Bakker, Daniel Bozhkov, Eugenio Dittborn, Christine Hill, Emily Jacir, Ben Kinmont, Cildo Meireles, Seth Price, and Zoë Sheehan Saldaña. Spanning the years 1974 to 2007, the content of the exhibition includes videos, sculptures, photographs, paintings, and a variety of printed material. While some of the works document interventions that have already come to a conclusion, others exist beyond the walls of the museum. These “living” or “performative” projects are not only completed by viewer participation, they also test our expectations for a museum exhibition.

Transactions is curated by Kelly Baum, assistant curator of American and contemporary art at the Blanton, and is accompanied by an illustrated 48-page catalogue. Copies of the catalogue can be purchased through the museum store. Please call (512) 475-6406 or email aklossner@mail.utexas.edu for more information.

Transactions is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art. Funding is provided by Michael Chesser, Jeanne and Michael Klein, and a grant from Houston Endowment Inc. in honor of Melissa Jones for the presentation of contemporary art at the Blanton, and is supported by the generosity of the members of the Blanton Contemporary Salon.

*Participants needed! Many of the projects in Transactions are activated by you, the viewer. Send your email address to list@untitledprojects.com to collaborate with artist Conrad Bakker on an engaging project developed just for this exhibition.

Fall Season at the Blanton includes second contemporary project,Mike’s World: Michael Smith and Joshua White (and other collaborators) , September 11 – December 30, 2007

Organized by the Blanton, Mike’s World will be the first major retrospective of internationally renowned performance/video/installation artist Michael Smith and his New York-based collaborator, director/artist Joshua White. This extraordinary exhibition features some 30 years of short videos, installation environments, and other performance-related materials detailing the adventures of “Mike,” a sweet but hapless Everyman character created by Smith, and his hilariously awkward and ineffectual search for a piece of the American Dream. The curator for the show is Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, curator of American and contemporary art and director of curatorial affairs for the Blanton.

The Blanton’s contemporary season extends into 2008 with Jorge Macchi: The Anatomy of Melancholy, December 18, 2007 – March 16, 2008. This will be the first comprehensive U.S. exhibition of one of Latin America’s principal contemporary artists. Macchi produces work that is characterized by drawing poetic potential from everyday situations and materials. The exhibition will showcase approximately 40 of Macchi’s most important works, spanning 15 years of artistic production in a variety of media including video, installation, drawing, sculpture, and collage.

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