SITE Santa Fe Unveils Three New Exhibitions

Editor | - February 19, 2013

"State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970," "Linda Mary Montano: Always Creative" and "Mungo Thomson: Time, People, Money, Crickets"

The new shows run February 23 through May 19, 2013. The members’ preview is Thursday, February 21 and the public opening takes place on Friday, February 22.

Robert Kinmont, 8 Natural Handstands (detail), 1969/2009, from a series of nine silver gelatin prints, each: 8 x 8 in/ 21.5 x 21.5 cm, photo: Joerg Lohse, image courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York.

State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970, is an investigation of the development of conceptual and related avant-garde activities among artists living in California in the late 1960s and early 70s. State of Mind identifies and investigates the West Coast art world’s significant contribution to Conceptual art, video, performance, and installation. This exhibition features approximately 150 works by 60 artists in a range of media including video, film, photography, installation, drawing and painting as well as performance documentation and ephemera. State of Mind is one of the three anchor exhibitions that helped chart the course of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, the ambitious collaborative initiative of the Getty with arts institutions across southern California, celebrating the birth of the L.A. art scene.

Featuring approximately 150 works by 60 artists, State of Mind explores the growth of Conceptualism and the exploration of new methodologies, technologies and sites for artistic expression in California in response to immense social change. In 1970s California, the effects of a youth oriented counter-culture, the Civil Rights Movement, the Chicano students’ protest against racism and inequality, and the Vietnam War strongly influenced the artists in this exhibition. Californian artists began freely experimenting and upending traditional forms of art in search of mediums more suitable to the concerns of the moment. Artists moved out of museums and galleries and into the streets as a form of institutional critique and aspired to create a community that fostered an exchange of radical forms and ideas.

State of Mind focuses on Conceptualism’s examination of public and private space through installations, a relatively unexplored area of study, and also juxtaposes the practice of Northern and Southern Californian artists. The exhibition centers on ten themes: the Street, the Environment, Politics, Feminism, Domestic Space, Public Space, Perceptual and Psychological Space, the Body and Performance, Art about Art, Artists’ Books, and Ephemera. The exhibition showcases Conceptualism’s use of ideas, language, and systems of meaning as showcased through video, film, photography, installation, artist books, drawing, and paintings as well as extensive performance documentation and ephemera. The artists featured include a range of major international figures to lesser-known artists who nonetheless made important contributions.

Curated by Constance Lewallen and Karen Moss; Co-organized by the Orange County Museum of Art and the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The exhibition tour is organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York.

Linda Mary Montana, Kingston, NY 1985, courtesy of the artist.

Linda Mary Montano: Always Creative is a concentrated exhibition of the work of American performance artist Linda Mary Montano (b. 1942), which considers the breadth of the artist's practice through a careful selection of works from 1969–present. In a career spanning over forty years, Montano has created works in a variety of forms that explore the interaction between art and life. At the heart of her practice is the belief that the strategies employed in the creation of and engagement with art, such as focused attention, openness, and awareness, can enhance the quality of one's life, if turned toward everyday activities. Similarly, the experiences of one's life can enrich one's art. This exhibition is curated by Janet Dees, SITE's Assistant Curator, in collaboration with the artist.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication You Too Are a Performance Artist: Art in Everyday Life, produced by SITE Santa Fe. This publication will function as a performance art workbook consisting of newly created performance instructions paired with documentation of several of Montano's performances from 1969 onward. It will include interviews with the artist by Moira Roth, Charles Duncan, and an essay by Janet Dees.

Since 1969 Montano has performed and exhibited her work in numerous institutions worldwide. Montano's work has been included in recent important historical survey exhibitions including WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles & MoMA P.S. 1) and The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia: 1860–1989 (Guggenheim Museum), in addition to State of Mind. Montano's Performance Artists Talking in the Eighties (2000) remains an important source about art in that era. Letters from Linda M. Montano, an anthology of her writings, was published by Routledge in 2005.

Special thanks to video data bank for its support of this exhibition.

The public is invited to engage with Linda Montano and her exhibition on multiple occasions. For the Members' Preview and Public Opening, visitors are invited to wear clothing in a color associated with one of the seven chakras outlined below:

1st Chakra- Red - Security
2nd Chakra- Orange - Life Force
3rd Chakra- Yellow - Courage
4th Chakra- Green - Compassion
5th Chakra- Blue - Communication
6th Chakra- Purple - Intuition
7th Chakra- White - Bliss

At the Members' Preview, the artist will conduct Art/Life Counseling in one-on-one sessions. Montano will also conduct one-on-one Art/Life Counseling sessions via Skype on Friday, March 22nd, 12–2 pm & Friday, April 19th, 12–2 pm. Limited availability; call 505.989.1199 x 24 to schedule your counseling session.

Mungo Thomson, still from Untitled (Margo Levin Gallery 1970-), 2009.

SITE Santa Fe presents Mungo Thomson: Time, People, Money, Crickets, an exhibition consisting of a selection of Thomson’s recent works in a range of media including film, video, sound, sculpture and installation.

Thomson will premiere two new works at SITE. Acoustic Partition (2013) is a follow-up to Thomson's project for the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Coat Check Chimes, which replaced all of the existing coat-hangers in the Whitney Museum's coat check with custom-made "tuned" hangers based on orchestral triangles. Through the coat check's daily operation the hangers knocked together to produce aleatory music. Acoustic Partition is a fully functioning, collapsible room divider separating the gallery spaces. When slid open or closed by visitors, the door will push or draw air through the reed mechanics of an accordion. Like Coat Check Chimes, Acoustic Partition will be an enormous musical instrument disguised as part of the museum's institutional infrastructure and "played" by the public.

Void and Observer (2013) is the first iteration of a new sculpture series that focuses on mis-struck US coins — rare and collectible "error coins" that are a result of a production mistake at the US mint, in which a blank coin planchet is struck off-center with the coin image. In Thomson's reworking of the phenomena, produced in a limited edition, the off-center president appears to be contemplating the void of the blank part of the coin. The work is kept in the pocket of gallery personnel and displayed upon request.

The exhibition also includes a selection of works from Thomson's TIME project (2009–ongoing), a series of large mirror works, and People (2011–ongoing), a takeaway tabloid-style magazine.

Thomson attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York and received an MFA from UCLA. He has had solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2008); The Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2007); and Galeria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMeC), Bergamo, Italy (2006), among others. His work was included in several notable group exhibitions including The Pacific Standard Time Public Art and Performance Festival (2012); the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011); The 2008 Whitney Biennial; Performance 05: First Biennial of Visual Art Performance (2005) and the Biennial of the Moving Images, MaMCO, Geneva (2001), among others.

This spring, SITE will publish Mungo Thomson's first monograph to accompany the exhibition. This publication is made possible by a lead gift from Rosina L. Yue & Bert A. Lies, MD, with additional support from Susan Foote & Stephen Feinberg, Michael Price, and Galerie Franks Elbaz, Paris.

Mungo Thomson: Time, People, Money, Crickets is organized by SITE Santa Fe and the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver and curated by Irene Hofmann and Nigel Prince.

From SITE Santa Fe press materials