organ museum

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A giant helium balloon bearing the face of an ojisan (middle-aged man) appeared in the sky in Utsunomiya on Sunday, in an event organized by the Utsunomiya Museum of Art to bring artwork to the public outside museums.

The balloon measures 15 meters in diameter and features the face of a man who lives in the city. The man was selected from 218 applicants.

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Walk through the sand, relax in a hammock, listen to music! Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium is the Brazilian artist’s first full-scale U.S. retrospective in two decades. The exhibition captures the excitement, complexity, and activist nature of Oiticica’s art, focusing on the decisive period he spent in New York in the 1970s. 

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Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium is the Brazilian artist’s first full retrospective in the United States in two decades, with a particular focus on the years he spent in New York. Oiticica’s work began with formal, geometric investigations in painting and drawing and eventually took the form of large-scale installations and environments, as well as experimental writing, filmmaking, and photography. As his career advanced in Brazil, New York, and beyond, his work became increasingly immersive, transforming the viewer’s role from spectator to active participant.

See the exhibition before it closes this Sunday, October 1!

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, Living Room from the Francis W. Little House, Wayzata, Minnesota (1912-1914). The room is nowadays re-installed as close to it´s original appearance as possible at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo copyright by Scandinavian Collectors 2016.

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5 Women Artists—Archives Edition

Selections from the Getty Research Institute’s collections :

Barbara T. Smith—A performance- and installation-art pioneer. Her work explores concepts that strike at the core of human nature, including sexuality, spirituality, and death. 

The Guerrilla Girls—An anonymous feminist protest group that confronts discrimination against women artists and artists of color in the art world and tackles broader social issues. 

Harmony Hammond—A trailblazing feminist, lesbian, and queer artist whose work aims to “break down the distinctions between painting and sculpture, between art and women’s work, and between art in craft and craft in art.”

Marcia Tucker—An influential curator of painting and sculpture at the Whitney Museum of American Art and founder of the New Museum of Contemporary Art. At the New Museum she organized key exhibitions such as Bad Paintings (1978) and Bad Girls (1994)

Joanie 4 Jackie—A feminist video project started by filmmaker, artist, and writer Miranda July in 1995. These chain-letter videos, started during the Riot Grrrl movement, aimed to create a generation of female film makers in a pre-YouTube era. 

4 Books on Latin American and Latino art
A Shelfie from Selene Preciado, Program Assistant

Hi, I’m Selene Preciado, program assistant at the Getty Foundation. Outside of my work at the Getty, I am an independent curator of Latin American and Latino art.

In anticipation of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, this selection of books is inspired by the initiative’s effort on advancing the fields of Latin American and Latino art history by promoting their dialogue, as these are often perceived as separate fields of study albeit sharing narratives and historical contexts. One of the strongest points of convergence between the two fields is in the strategies of conceptual artists, particularly in arte de acción or performance, which has been a significant area of production in the Americas since the sixties. 

PST: LA/LA exhibitions such as the Armory’s Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico; the Hammer’s Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985; or Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A., organized by ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries, as well as the highly anticipated performance art festival organized by REDCAT (January 2018) will include performance artists from across Latin America, the United States, and other diasporas.

1. “Arte No es Vida: Actions by Artists of the Americas, 1960-2000,” by Deborah Cullen. (El Museo del Barrio, 2008).

This exhibition catalogue for Arte No es Vida: Actions by Artists of the Americas at El Museo del Barrio is one of the most comprehensive compilations on performance art by Latino and Latin American artists, and it includes a detailed chronology of the most important actions since 1957 until the year 2000. The exhibition was also a curatorial laboratory for exploring the problem of exhibiting performance—a time-based medium—through documentation, video, ephemera, and objects.

2. “ASCO: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987,” by C. Ondine Chavoya and Rita Gonzalez. (Hatje Cantz, 2011).

This 432-page tome is the most important document on the East Los Angeles collective ASCO (1972–1987), produced on the occasion of the major retrospective organized as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945–1980 in 2011. But don’t let its girth intimidate you—the exhibition catalogue is very dynamic, fully illustrated, and contains about twenty essays of different lengths and topics, such as ASCO’s walking murals, collaborations, or “No-movies,” as well as a section on documents and extensive bibliographic information.  

3. “Corpus Delecti: Performance Art of the Americas,” by Coco Fusco. (Routledge, 1999).

This book was edited by theorist, curator, and artist Coco Fusco, whose work since the 1980s has explored postcolonial, gender, and race issues. Corpus Delecti is an excellent resource and one of the very first performance art surveys that bridged together regions and movements by including art from Latin American, Chicana/o, and Caribbean artists, as well as genres that blurred the lines between fine arts, theater, vaudeville, and staged political protest.  

4. “MEX/LA: ‘Mexican’ Modernism(s) in Los Angeles, 1930-1985,” by Rubén Ortiz-Torres and Jesse Lerner. (Hatje Cantz, 2011).

Like ASCO: Elite of the Obscure, this catalogue was published in conjunction with the groundbreaking exhibition MEX/LA, part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945–1980, and organized by the Museum of Latin American Art. Just like the exhibition, this catalogue is an unconventional and thought-provoking approach to telling the story of the relationship between Mexico and Los Angeles. 

Departing from forked origins—from the mythological location of Aztlán, the founding of L.A. as a “Latin American city” (since it was Mexican territory back in 1781), to the presence of Mexican muralists in the 1930s who ignited local production—it visits chapters in L.A.’s history that explore exchange, remix, appropriation, and ongoing negotiations of race, class, and gender. Through the work of Chicana/o artists like ASCO, Barbara Carrasco, Yolanda López, and Ricardo Valverde, as well as Americans such as Wallace Berman, the Eames, or Millard Sheets, MEX/LA pushed boundaries also in exhibition making. Its non-chronological, non-thematic approach consisted in connecting artists and artworks through ideas.

While this book doesn’t solely focus on performance art, the MEX/LA catalogue might be the unifying thread of this list, in that it offers a critical view on hybrid and shifting identities as performative constructs. You only have to take a look into the performativity of figures such as Robert Stacy-Judd, the Zoot Suiters (a counterculture of the 1930s–40s), or even the borrowed Maya elements in the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright—all included in the particular universe of MEX/LA. The concepts explored in the exhibition and catalogue of MEX/LA are part of the origin story of what is now Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.

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Catch-up post with lots of photos. I spent most of the last 48 hours hoping I don’t have a sinus infection, and I finally feel safe to say that I don’t. Still not feeling 100% on my game, but mostly back. And my jet-lag is really almost gone. While I’ve been feeling physically terrible, though, I’ve been feeling incredibly fulfilled in every other way: emotionally, culinarily, culturally, mentally, artistically.

Top photo: lecture hall in Jagiellonian University. Who knew Copernicus was Polish? (Maybe everyone, except me.)

Second photo: Lady with an Ermine, by Leonardo da Vinci, dramatically lit in its own gallery at the National Museum.

Third and fourth photos: from an incredible exhibition at the National Museum, called “#heritage” (“#dziedzictwo” in Polish). This exhibition contains about six hundred different items from all periods of Poland’s history, and it wants to encourage conversations about Polish heritage and identity. As someone who definitely has Polish heritage and potentially has a Polish identity, I found it really fascinating. The third photo is a 20,000-złoty note with Marie Curie on it, printed in 1989. Did you know she was Polish? She named the first element she discovered polonium, after Poland.

The fourth photo is a map from 1907 of the number of people with Polish heritage living in each U.S. state.

The fifth photo is the organ in Saints Peter and Paul Church.

The sixth photo is silly, that banner just reminded me of one my favorite SNL characters, Bill Hader’s Stefon (in retrospect that sketch is kind of homophobic and terrible but I still love Stefon, sorry) saying, “It has everything” about whatever club he was talking about.

The seventh photo is also silly, just me cheesin’ with a bust of Pope John Paul II who I have taken to calling JP. I actually did know that he was Polish before I came here!

Phew, okay, that’s a pretty comprehensive catch-up, minus any food, which you’ll have to go to my Instagram to check out.