Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Two Summer Group Shows at Blum and Poe Gallery, Culver City, California

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EMAIL: info@blumandpoe.com 

Standard Operating ProceduresCurated by Piper Marshall
July 14-August 25, 2012
Opening reception: Saturday, July 14, 6-8pm
Opening Concert: July 14, 7:30 pm

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a program or set of instructions detailing every step of an end-oriented process and its "best practices." SOPs are found in institutional and performance-driven contexts: healthcare, education, industry, and the military. Simultaneously contingent and specialized, an SOP is set up as a means of quality control, to be applied when volume is crucial and costs are suppressed.
Today, SOPs are determining the conditions of everyday life. The need for a guiding logic has been extended from the professional to the personal realm. Self-enrichment literature and performance manuals (cookbooks, business plans, travel guides, diet fads, and “how-tos”) have emerged, instructing how to implement daily routines and encouraging automatic response as habit.
The prosaic tools crucial to quotidian existence—search engines, dating sites, and social networks—hinge upon mathematical algorithms. After tracking consumer habits—psychographic and behavioral variables—probability models assist in bombing us with targeted advertisements. These are vital applications. SOPs have reified everyday life and even love—in short, subjectivity as an abstract set of predictable maneuvers.
In this exhibition, we are invested in the contemporary, the framework governing conceptual art, and the system of logic grafted onto praxis. This in turn affects the mental capacity and physical ability to methodically complete daily operations—artistic pursuits or otherwise.
This exhibition brings together artists from different generations and backgrounds who engage SOPs: Tina Braegger, Antoine Catala, Ida Ekblad, Nikolas Gambaroff, Nicolas Guagnini, Yngve Holen, Alex Israel, Helen Marten, John Miller, Olivier Mosset, Amy O’Neill, Sean Paul, Carissa Rodriguez, Greg Parma Smith, Alan Uglow, and Hannah Weinberger. Their analysis of the SOP reconstitutes and renders visible its often-imperceptible economy. For if SOPs are omnipresent in aesthetics, what once was the domain of free activity, then the framework for viewing and reading has also been given in advance, requested to please not step outside the lines of the intended experience.
The summer group show, the mini-retrospective, the emerging artist, the re-emerging artist, the humanist, the poet, the dry intellectual—each one of these modes and categories is a strategy indivisible from a preconceived program that may as well come with a starter kit. Often SOPs are ascribed, without consent or mastery.
We are now assigned the task of completing the following mental exercise: how much of a choreographed system resides in a work of art? The main goal of Standard Operating Procedures turns labor over to the user. The conjecture and reasoning is yours.

No Person May Carry a Fish into a BarCurated by Julian Hoeber and Alix Lambert
July 14-August 25, 2012
Opening reception: Saturday, July 14, 6-8pm

This exhibition seeks to ask, “what is a crime?” The exhibition title, derived from an obsolete law still on the books in Los Angeles, points to the definitions of criminal behavior as sometimes absurd, other times poetic, and occasionally magical. The exhibition includes traditionally understood artworks, as well as objects and images produced through committing crimes and solving crimes. Many pieces on view are simultaneously artworks and the works of criminals or crime solvers.

What constitutes crime is nearly as broad a question as what constitutes art. While crime's definition might seem static, it necessarily evolves alongside our culture's changing ideas of right and wrong. Violating rules, of course, exists beyond just legal definitions. It has been at the center of avant-garde strategies for a century. Looking at the ways that art has participated in crime, and how crime has generated art, gives us a better understanding of both.

The exhibition contains works by Frank Bender, Mike Bidlo, Andrea Bowers, Robert Buck, Mel Chin, John Divola, Honore Daumier, Gregory Green, Daniel Guzman, Victor Henderson, Elmyr de Hory, Adam Janes, William E. Jones, Joanna Hughes, Dawn Kasper, Les Krims, Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz-Starus, David Levine, Bill McRight, Ana Mendieta, Kori Newkirk, Lisa Oppenheim, Hirsch Perlman, Tom Sachs, anonymous photos from the collection of Luc Sante, Ted Soqui, Dirk Skreber, and T.R. Uthco and Ant Farm.

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