SAN JOSE, CA.-
As part of its continuing 45th-anniversary celebration, the San Jose Museum of Art
is presenting an exhibition that showcases popular works from SJMAs collection and disrupts the museums status quo. Momentum: an experiment in the unexpected, on view through February 22, 2015, takes as its premise the idea that artworks are animated by viewers responses as well as by the artists intention.
This project begins with a curatorial selection of works from the permanent collection around the general theme of movement, by artists such as Alexander Calder, Jennifer Steinkamp, Jim Campbell, and Leo Villareal. To further animate the exhibition, SJMA has invited ten interveners from a variety of creative fields (design, dance, comedy, calligraphy, cartooning, music, poetry, bodypaint, yarn-bombing) to respond to a work of their choice. Their personal artistic re-takes on the collection take many forms: installation display, text, sound, video, sculpture, performanceall on view in the galleries. Visitors, in turn, are invited to talk back both to the works in the collection and to these innovative interventions through open-ended activities.
Momentum includes favorite works from SJMAs collection, including some that are rarely seen and several recent acquisitions on view for the first time. New media works that are set in motion through digital or mechanical means include Campbells Home Movies 300-3 (2006), Tony Ourslers Slip (2003), Alan Raths Info Glut II (1997), and Villareals Untitled (for San Jose) (2012). Sculptural works like Tam Van Trans flamboyant Most Secret Butterfly (2009) and Alvin Lights torqued July 1963 (1963) impart a sense of motion, as do the sweeping gestural lines and repetitive mark-making of Sonia Gechtoff, Il Lee, Ellen Carey, Fred Spratt, and Hassel Smith. The installation Burnt Patch by Andy Goldsworthy, an expansive site- specific work created for SJMA in 1995, went on view in November.
The interveners are: Craig Calfee, bicycle designer; David Perez, poet laureate of Santa Clara County; Carl Rohrs, calligrapher and typographer; John Edmark, inventor and product designer; Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, stand-up comic; yarn-bombing street artist Streetcolor; sound artist Marc Weidenbaum and his online collaborative project Disquiet Junto; Trina Merry, body paint artist; Lark Pien, cartoonist and graphic narrative artist; and Damien Smith, principal dancer for the San Francisco Ballet.
We invited these creative professionals to disrupt and, we hope, wildly animate the exhibition with their hands-on, personal responses to the works from the collection, in whatever medium, format, and scale they choose, said Susan Krane, Oshman Executive Director of SJMA. Familiar objects that SJMAs visitors havecome to know and love over the years will triggerand inspirethe makings of these creative minds. This hybrid exhibition promises to be open-ended, liberated from habits of pristine display, and impossible to predict. Momentum takes to a new level the notion of making the 21st-century museum open to interpretation.
Kat Koh, curatorial associate at SJMA and curator of Momentum, says Art is animated by actual movement, implicitly animated by the felt presence of the artists dynamic process, and continually animated by viewers ongoing participation in making meaning.
As part of the call-and-response approach to the exhibition, visitors to Momentum are invited to add their own responses. Opportunities in the galleries include Etch-a-Sketch drawing, a dance floor, a slow art challenge, and an interactive station to electronically annotate images from the exhibition with words or drawings. Visitors can see each others interventions in the galleries or on the Museums website, sanjosemuseumofart.org.