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MCA Denver Presents Two Exhibitions Exploring on Popular Culture

DENVER, CO.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver) is announced the opening of two exhibitions, one featuring artist Jim Green and another by artist Paul Slocum. The exhibitions open May 12, 2009.

Jim Green, Unplugged, 2009, Project Gallery
Curated by The Artist-in-Residence Committee
May 12–August 30, 2009

Jim Green aims to make public spaces more engaging by introducing elements of humor and surprise. Trained in drawing and painting, he has worked with sound as his preferred medium for over twenty-five years and playfully inserts unexpected recordings into the built environment.Green’s sound installations meant to humanize public spaces are located nationally and locally. In Colorado, Green has created Singing Sinks (2002) for the Denver Art Museum and Laughing Escalators (2004) at the Colorado Convention Center.

Now, shown for the first time, MCA Denver is proud to present one of the artist’s more mischievous and humorous works, Unplugged, 2009, a grid of self-inflating Whoopee Cushions. With considerable irreverence for a cultural institution that is known to show “fine art”, the installation of the familiar gadgets is designed to imitate a hilarious, possibly embarrassing, gaspassing noise when compressed. About the installation, Green states, “I created six animated modules programmed to produce an exuberant mix of contrasting rhythms constructed from the signature flarp of the Whoopee Cushion.” For the museum visitor, the experience tends to invoke a collection of surprisingly nostalgic, adolescent, and funny memories.

Jim Green was born in 1948. He lives and works in Denver, CO. He studied at the Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota (1966–68) and holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Minnesota (1970) and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Colorado (1978). He was two-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Media Arts (1979 and 1982). Sight-specific commissions of his work are installed in cities throughout the United States, including Laughing Escalator (2004) at the Colorado Convention Center, Denver and Singing Sinks (2002) in the restrooms of the Denver Art Museum, CO. As part of the exhibition Extended Remix (2006) at MCA Denver, his outdoor installation Affirmative Greetings welcomed unassuming passers-bye with compliments and wishes for a nice day, while Courtesy Phone, a red telephone, inconspicuously installed on the gallery wall, connected anybody who picked up the receiver to the artist’s cell phone.

Paul Slocum, You’re Not My Father, 2008, Lu & Chris Law New Media Gallery
Curated by Petra Sertic for MCA Denver
May 12–June 28, 2009

Highlighting the lo-fi appeal of amateur videos and exposing the lack of refinement in original television productions, Paul Slocum’s video You’re Not My Father is comprised of several re-enactments of a short scene from the American television show Full House (1987–1995). For the piece, Slocum recruited amateur participants through ads posted on Internet message boards and Craigslist and provided instructions on how to re-shoot the scene with special attention to dialog and gestures. Starting with a short ten second act from an episode of the show featuring characters D.J. and Uncle Joey, originally played by actors Candice Cameron and Dave Coulier, the video moves forward through various impersonations hosted in the impersonators’ own living rooms, bedrooms, and work spaces.

A musician as well as a visual artist, Slocum creates an ominous effect in the video using sound loops, based on the scene’s original music. The work explores issues of defiance against authority, as presented by the characters, D.J. and Uncle Joey, and their different mimics. The ability to take something as simple as a ten second clip from a sitcom and turn it into a strangely compelling work of social commentary is what has made Slocum internationally recognized among the contemporary Generation X and Y artists, specifically those focusing on computers, music, video games and Internet culture.

Paul Slocum was born in 1974. He lives and works in Dallas, Texas. He received a bachelor of computer sciences degree, summa cum laude, from University of Texas at Dallas. Slocum is director and co-owner of And/Or Gallery in Dallas, Texas, which specializes in presenting and archiving new media art. As part of the duo Tree Wave, he makes music using outdated video game and computer equipment. A selection of his exhibitions and performances includes Montage: Unmonumental Online, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, New York (2008); Nexus Texas, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas (2007); TAG, The Hague, Netherlands (2006); and Deitch Projects, New York, New York (2005).

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