ART ITINERARY ARTICLE by Andy DelGuidice

By Andy DelGiudice

Glenn Kaino piece titlted "Bridge".

Glenn Kaino piece titlted "Bridge".

Saturday marked the launch of of the 2nd running off the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) 5×5, a multidisciplinary project that tasks 5 Curators with establishing public art installations throughout Washington DC. The curators bring 5 individual pieces to fruition and they can each work with any number artists in an unlimited number of mediums to execute each installation. Four of the five curators chose to complete their installations in areas around the city, inviting the public to not only consider the pieces in their immediate everyday surrounds but to also traverse the city and explore areas that they might not normally encounter.

"Bridge" by Glenn Kaino.

"Bridge" by Glenn Kaino.

The DCCAH organized an abbreviated media tour on Saturday and gave attendees a glimpse of two or three of the installations organized by each curator. It was interesting to consider the narratives established by each curator and hear from them directly on how the collaboration with their selected artists, the DCCAH, the District government, and various neighborhoods brought their ideas to fruition. It was almost overwhelming to try to take in so many pieces located throughout the District in such a short amount of time, but most of the works will be in place throughout October to December and are free to the public, with an emphasis on experiencing the 5×5 project and it’s diverse scope of work on a first hand basis.

Photo From Brightest Young Things article of Nora Naranjo Morse Digging.

Photo From Brightest Young Things article of Nora Naranjo Morse Digging.

Curator Shamin M. Momin titled her city-wide campaign Alter/Abolish/Address and each of her chosen artists push the viewer to consider their environment, personal background, role and impact on a number of social issues permeating through society. Our first top on the tour was to the striking “Bridge”, a collection of 200 replicas of famed United States Olympian Tommie Smith’s fist of protest, assembled by Glenn Kaino in an abandoned Navy Yard warehouse.  


To read the full article visit:

http://brightestyoungthings.com/articles/art-itinerary-5x5.htm

Traveling Each Day to the Nonuments Site

We live in a working class neighborhood about an hour from the  NONUMENT site. Every morning we get on the bus line that takes us to the metro for another 35 mins. Ride to the site.
It seems that all of humanity is represented on the crowded bus during rush hour. Nurses, students, men in business suits going to their jobs every single day on the bus and metro system. Coming from a rural area the experience of seeing so many people so early in the morning really makes me appreciate the quiet, leisure mornings in New Mexico. I'm humbled by the human spirit as I witness people 's generosity and kindness as they hurry off and of the bus. Yesterday a young kid kindly offered a young mother his seat, she smiled gratefully as she managed a bag and a baby all at the same time.
I feel inspired and humbled by the working class and every morning when I get on the bus I'm committed to honoring the people I see on the bus?
 

DIGGING, a live performance piece in Lance Fung's NONUMENTS Exhibition. Funded by 5x5 (The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities)

The moment a shovel is pushed into the ground a connection to the land and a commitment to action begins.

The act of unearthing the ground is humbling, it builds strength and requires determination. Digging also unearths unrealized opportunities that would otherwise remain buried. In our performance installation we are using digging as a metaphor for the challenges we face. Should we define our experiences from manufactured sources and cultural invention? Or, do we choose to dig toward the center of who are, finding a solid foundation to move forward.

Digging in traditional Pueblo Clothing

Digging in traditional Pueblo Clothing

Digging will take place over thirty days. Beginning with level ground the team will work daily to create earthen mounds.  In the last four days the earth will be re-leveled. Participants in the performance will wear costumes representing different aspects of American culture like the service industry, business class, farmers, and criminals. Using hand tools dirt will be accumulated into mounds. Through more than 580 combined hours of labor, Digging demonstrates facing personal and social challenge.  

Although this performance lends itself to many interpretations about the workplace, inequality, and politics, the mounds of digging are ultimately acknowledgments of everyone’s connection to the earth.  The Waterfront community expresses the universal experience of land transitioning out of a natural state. This neighborhood is only blocks away from the Nations capitol, an enormous monument of power with global implications. Digging will become a permanent Nonument in our memory speaking to another kind of power.  


ARTIST INVOLVED

Nora Naranjo Morse, b. 1953

I live on the Santa Clara Pueblo reservation in Northern New Mexico. Both of my parents were Tewa indians. My father’s name was Mitchell. He was a part time builder and full time problem solver. Mitchell was quick with any tool and remarkable when it came to getting himself out of a fix. My mother’s name was Rose. She worked with clay and raised nine children. Rose was a survivor who navigated through life on her instincts and a third grade education. The people I come from have given me traits that as I get older, become more valuable. I too am a builder. My home I helped construct 35 years ago is made out of mud and straw.  I work everyday with a number of concepts and materials. I make art inspired by culture, social issues and environmental concerns. And like my father, I’m getting better at getting myself out of a fix.  I have shown at the White House, (Washington D.C.): The Canadian Museum of Civilization, (Ottawa, Canada): The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, (Washington D.C.): Site Santa Fe, (Santa Fe, New Mexico): Akiyoshidai International Art Village, (Japan).


Eliza Naranjo Morse, b. 1980. 

Pueblo Women creating waffle gardens to grow food.

Pueblo Women creating waffle gardens to grow food.

In my adolescence I got the idea that living near your parents was failure.  Now I’m discovering the richness that comes from being close to my family in a community whose families have generally been here for many generations. Experiences like  building a house,  teaching art to children, working at our community dump, farming, chores and art making fill up my days.  When I am making art it is delightful for me to illustrate coziness and adventure and to arrange things like used plastic.  It is cathartic for me to  create characters that express human experiences like  aging, awkwardness, love, shame and strength.  And as I mature I am compelled to make art about social and environmental subjects.  I have shown domestically and internationally at  Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts, (Ekaterinburg, Russia); Cumbre de el Tajin, (Veracruz, Mexico);  Chelsea Art Museum, (New York, New York); SITE Santa Fe (Santa Fe, New Mexico);  and Axle Contemporary, (Santa Fe, New Mexico).  Chimayo, New Mexico is where I share  studio with Alexis Elton who is a collaborative partner in Digging

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Alexis Elton, b. 1980.

Digging with inmate clothing.  Nora (Left), Eliza (Center) and Alexis (Right) in Espanola, New Mexico.

Digging with inmate clothing.  Nora (Left), Eliza (Center) and Alexis (Right) in Espanola, New Mexico.

Alexis Elton grew up in the Hudson Valley, New York and currently lives in Northern New Mexico where she co-operates a farm. Alexis sees many similarities between her art practice and the farming process influencing work and the relationship between sculpture, land, installation, and social dynamics, using traditional and nontraditional materials, such as remnants from the field. The impact is conceptual in terms of decay and renewal. Alexis earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Afterwards, Elton had a studio in Beacon, NY. Exhibitions include Kingston Biennial, Kinston, NY, Philips de Purry, NY, NY, Beacon Artists Union, Beacon NY & The Museum of Imagination, Hudson, NY. 


Lance Fung To Curate Five Temporary Monuments

Washington DC exhibition Nonuments opens on September 6th and runs for one month.

NONUMENTS

Media Contact:

John Talley, Executive Director of Fung Collaboratives 
info@fungcollaboratives.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Washington DC – The exhibition Nonuments opens on September 6th and runs for one month. Part of the second installation of the public art initiative 5 x 5, organized by the Washington DC commission for arts and humamities, curator Lance Fung has invited six visionary artists to create 5 ambitions, large-scale artworks. These visually stunning yet conceptually challenging nonuments will be situated on an empty lot in the SW neighborhood of Washington DC. This 1.5 acre empty lot was generously provided by the city to be transformed by the Fung Collaboratives team into a temporary park. Artists from across the country will create projects engaging the complexities of the neighborhood as well as social issues across the country. The projects embrace all aspects of the city, including its remarkable history, environmental concerns, migration, the devaluing of hard labor, and human trafficking.

In addition to the invited artists, many local artists, residents and business owners from the SW neighborhood will partner with Fung Collaboratives to make this a grass roots success as well as an art exhibition with the highest standards. Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) will lend its expertise and contacts to reach out to the local community and bring the most appropriate partnerships as well as encourage volunteerism. In short, Nonuments is about community, collaboration and social exchange.

This 1.5 acre empty lot was generously provided by the city to be transformed by the Fung Collaboratives team into a temporary park.

This 1.5 acre empty lot was generously provided by the city to be transformed by the Fung Collaboratives team into a temporary park.

As stated in Fung’s curatorial statement, “Washington DC, our nation’s capital, is renowned for its grand monuments honoring the history and achievements of great Americans. But behind the federal face of official Washington, there is a real city with distinctive neighborhoods filled with passionate citizens living their lives. For my curatorial contribution to 5 x 5, I envision Nonuments— a temporary sculpture park featuring ‘monuments’ devoted not to the great but to ordinary people, to the ideals of democracy, and to the common struggles of humanity.” He continues to say, “The more that I work in the public realm, the more I realize that I want my projects to be more than window dressing for neglected urban areas—for me, it is more important to create projects that are useful and appreciated by local residents. The biggest challenge is finding a way to make projects that not only fulfill this goal, but also pres ent challenging art exhibitions featuring works of the highest artistic standards.”

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For more information:  http://www.fungcollaboratives.org


Nonuments INSTALLATION in Washington DC

Nonuments INSTALLATION in Washington DC

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Curated by Lance M. Fung

CURATORIAL PREMISE

Washington DC, our nation’s capital, is renowned for its grand monuments honoring the history and achievements of great Americans. But behind the federal face of official Washington, there is a real city with distinctive neighborhoods filled with passionate citizens living their lives. For my curatorial contribution to 5 x 5, I envision Nonuments—a temporary sculpture park featuring “monuments” devoted not to the great but to ordinary people, to the ideals of democracy, and to the common struggles of humanity.  

I want to transform the two vacant parcels of land located at 990 4th Street SW into a much-needed public space.  Currently, many pedestrians—adults and children—cut across the empty lots with nothing to look at or do.  I feel that by placing beautiful and thought-provoking sculptures in that location the public will be engaged in a variety of ways.  People driving by will see something fresh and new, with different appearances in the day and night.  Pedestrians will stop, pause and think.  Hopefully the subject matter of each nonument will be so engaging that visitors will return to spend additional time with the art.  The park and its artworks will include inviting features such as picnic tables, interactive elements and attractive landscape design so that people will want to spend time, bring their families, sit, and relax.

I feel that by placing all five artworks on the same lot a critical mass will be achieved so that an exhibition experience will emerge and the end result will be a new destination.  This concentration of artworks, together with the landscaping envisioned in two of the artist’s proposals, helps frame the new public space.  I hope that the DCCAH, the community, and other 5 x 5 curators will consider using this location as a site for performances and other public events to further activate the park, so that residents and visitors can experience what great art, landscape design, and social activism can achieve when exploring and developing a dynamic new sense of urbanism.  My goal, as we achieved through our temporary exhibition Artlantic in Atlantic City, is to create an internationally recognized curatorial project while providing local residents with a safe, green and interactive place they can call their own. In DC, however, the focus will be on the art and not on the park; this is appropriate for the city of monuments and for the subject matter of the project.  I anticipate visitors from other parts of the city and surrounding areas, as well as tourists, to venture by and spend time with the art exhibition as they explore the city to see all of the 5 x 5 projects.

Monuments by definition are meant to be everlasting, but over time their meanings can change and become irrelevant. I invited six accomplished artists to create site-specific proposals for what I call nonuments.  The artists’ main task is to make visually stunning sculptures capable of truly engaging the general public.  No matter the form, material, or aesthetic, each artwork needs to embody the mission and meaning of a nonument.  These themes, which form the conceptual basis for the proposals, offer another level of engagement, challenging viewers of all backgrounds regardless of their experience with art.   My goal is to produce permanent monuments by creating temporary public artworks – nonuments.  Each nonument tackles timely, relevant, and emotionally engaging concerns. The themes range from environmental concerns, the fight against human trafficking, the positive and negative challenges of development, immigration issues, and the human will to survive. By giving form to these issues, stimulating discussion, and possibly inspiring action, these temporary monuments will leave an ongoing, living legacy beyond the lifespan of any bronze statue.  Whether a nonument raises awareness, issues a cry for help, or activates social change, its aim is engagement and dialogue, bringing together diverse groups of people.  

Like Gordon Matta-Clark, an artist/activist that I greatly admire, I believe in the social responsibility of public art.  All of the materials used to create the nonuments will be given to the immediate neighborhood.  This way, the materials themselves will be put to permanent use, and the money will fund lasting projects beyond the temporary artworks.  For example, at the close of Nonuments, the trees and shrubs will be given to residents to plant in their yards and public areas

The more that I work in the public realm, the more I realize that I want my projects to be more than window dressing for neglected urban areas—for me, it is more important to create projects that are useful and appreciated by local residents.  The biggest challenge is finding a way to make projects that not only fulfill this goal, but also present challenging art exhibitions featuring works of the highest artistic standards. For some reason, most public art seems to satisfy one or the other objective, not both at the same time.  With this realization, it has been our mission at Fung Collaboratives to go beyond false distinctions that limit the scope of art in the public realm. Public sculpture, community-based social project—whatever you want to call it, we distill our work to just art.  The adjective doesn’t matter; the emphasis is on the art. In DC, I plan to achieve what I have done through my previous projects in San Francisco, Santa Fe, Turin, and Atlantic City, and that is to find and satisfy the perfect balance that only great public art can achieve.

 

Lance M. Fungi

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Nora and Eliza Naranjo Morse's participation in the installation:

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Nora and Eliza Naranjo-Morse

For the Land, 2013 – 2014

Earth, shovels, uniforms

Scale:  approximately 500 square feet

Underdeveloped parcels of land in most cities are either waiting to be sold or urbanized into cement and steel structures. In the case of the performance piece For The Land, working within an open landscape gives the artist team of Naranjo Morse the opportunity to utilize the land and human interaction in an organic process.   For thirty days, using only shovels and earth, mother and daughter artist team will create a documented, ongoing land art performance on the Nonument exhibition site.  Nora and Eliza Naranjo Morse will spend each day at the site collaborating with the earth and shaping it into mounds. 

There will be approximately fifteen mounds with heights varying between two and four feet. When each of the mounds is complete, several types of colored clay will be added to the mounds. Each working day, the artists will wear a uniform. The uniforms will represent cross-sections of contemporary human experience; business suits, traditional Pueblo Indian work clothing and formal wear are examples. The last week of the performance will be spent adding an additional layer of color to the mounds before returning the mounds back to it's original. 

The team's thirty-day commitment to this land creates a special opportunity for interaction with Jefferson Middle School.  Programing would include artist’s lectures and on site participation by the students to create the mounds and add color to finished surface.  This partnership enhances the month long term relationship between the members of this community and their physical place. 

Although this performance lends itself to many layers of interpretation about family, cultures, the environment, and women in the work place, For The Land ultimately celebrates the earth.