Garth Clark spoke early on Friday morning at SOFA Chicago 2010 presenting an audio visual excursion into his recent curatorial tour de force Metalsmith Exhibition in Print: Neo-Palatial. The lecture was titled, "Peering Over the Palace Wall: The Neo-Palatial Aesthetic in Contemporary Art."
If you aren't familiar with Exhibition in Print it is a special annual issue of SNAG's Metalsmith Magazine that is supposed to be a virtual exhibition. I have always loved the idea of this annual issue. Considering the effort and cost of sponsoring a physical exhibition (e.g. staff, storage, insurance, shipping, and installation), Exhibition in Print is a fabulous altenative.
Exhibition in Print can present a "no holds barred" theme with minimal risk and travel anywhere with no limits. Sometimes it's great, especially when it takes a risk. Other times it is boring if it follows the status quo. It has been a little bit of everything over the past fourteen years.
The most recent Exhibition in Print was a remarkable issue. As guest curator, Garth Clark actually structured the magazine text and images like a tour of an exhibition. Through his words and images you can find yourself immersed in a virtual palace.
You can purchase the issue, or read an interesting review of the multiple issues by Damian Skinner. This issue of the magazine is packed with multi-leveled symbolism and provacative content. It is to be enjoyed at every level.
But, beyond looking at the images on the magazine pages and reading between the lines in the text, every artist and maker can learn an important insight. Garth Clark approached the the complete layout, text and content as a bold, inventive adventure. All previous issues of Exhibition in Print were simply catalogs of work. In contrast, Clark shaped an entire experience. He had an idea and he brought it to fruition without precedent. Nothing selected in this issue was average or ordinary.
And THAT is just the point. So much around us is ordinary, average, mere reinterations of other people's ideas, following the status quo. To really stand out and create excellance, we need to create some- thing never seen before, something that breaks the bonds of self-imposed limits. You must step out of your comfort zone. A really simple idea, so much harder to BE, yet so liberating once achieved.
At the end of his lecture Clark said that it was now going to be an actual exhibition. Wow! Maybe even a book! Garth Clark creates magic one more time.
Garth Clark raised one more issue...a real hot button topic about copyright of images.
Stay tuned for Thursday's post.....
Were you at the lecture?
Did you read the Metalsmith Exhibition in Print: NeoPalatial?
Please feel welcome to leave your comments.
In the effort of full disclosure, Emiko Oye has worked for me as a studio assistant for 13 years, and Elliot Gaskin was a summer intern 2009.