In January and February 2020, I am the Artist-in-Residence at MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, Scotland. The residency and film documentation are supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.
About MERZ Gallery
Located in the former lemonade factory in Sanquhar, MERZ is the project of artist and filmmaker David Rushton, who is developing once derelict and neglected sites into art spaces. In addition to MERZ, he has turned a former abattoir into ZIPStudio and the Museum of Model Art and began manifesting a village of caravans that can house artists during the summer. Future additions include a second small studio with accommodation (Tadpole), a pop up cinema/further exhibition or studio space (кино), an unheated studio (FURTH), and sculpture green in addition to the work-shed and yard around the MERZ gallery and Bothy. Learn more at merz.gallery.
At the Residency
At this residency, I will activate as an artist, a writer, and a culture worker through a series of projects.
ARTIST I will create a body of work that reflects my experience in Sanquhar. John Enderfield observed of Kurt Schwitters, “He used paper of virtually every possible origin and description that was available to him.” The art made while in residence will be exhibited at MERZ Gallery and shared online via social media.
WRITING My writing will focus on the idea of collage as a 21st century art movement. The writing will deconstruct the idea of an art movement and make the argument that collage, as a 21st century art movement, redefines how artists relate to one another and how art functions in society. I will also maintain a journal of thoughts and observations while in residency.
CULTURE WORK As a way of demonstrating collage as a 21st century art movement, I will build an international collection of collage. The Schwitters’ Army Collection of Collage Art at MERZ Gallery will be a permanent collection, a survey of art by collage artists, alive and active in 2020, who responded to a call to artists and shipped, via post, a single collage to MERZ Gallery. Components will include a Finding Aid, a website, and a book of collage in the collection. Learn more at the Schwitters’ Army website HERE.
Methodology & Values
TRANSPARENCY I will build the Schwitters’ Army Collection in a transparent and open manner. The collection will be open to any artist who sends a collage. The Finding Aid will be live so that each day, anybody can access the document to follow the process.
COMMUNICATION I will communicate via social media (Instagram and Facebook) on a daily basis. Instagram @kasini will share personal experiences of being at the residency in Sanquhar. Instagram @kolajmagazine will share collage registered to the collection. On Instagram @merz.gallery, I will post reports on work I am doing while in residence, pictures of the gallery and installation of artwork, process work, and events.
ACCESSIBILITY I will maintain public hours at MERZ Gallery: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from Noon to 3PM when anyone can stop in for a visit. I will make and post a sign that reads “The Artist Is In” and I will be available for visits by appointment to those who email.
For Kurt Schwitters, MERZ was his manifesto. He explained it as “the combination of all conceivable materials for artistic purposes, and technically the principle of equal evaluation of the individual materials.” His intention was to give anything from a used bus ticket to a piece of wire found on the street “equal rights with paint.” MERZ liberated artists by declaring anything potential material for their art making and, to illustrate this concept, he made hundreds of collages which he called MERZ pictures. Such forward thinking led art historian Isabelle Ewig to call him the “Father of the fathers of Pop.” Really, any collage artist working today owes a debt of gratitude to Schwitters, who not only legitimized the medium, but also established a working practice and aesthetic that is the basis of many artists’ contemporary practice.
Schwitters’ liberation of material was revolutionary to a world who thought of art as canvas, paint, and stone. In my work, however, I think very little of material. A child of the late 20th century, I grew up in a world where anything could be art and the true material of art was the idea. I think of Yves Klein having a spat with his gallery and declaring all of his paintings invisible. Or his Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility (1959–62) in which the artist traded empty spaces in Paris for pieces of gold. If the buyer agreed to burn the certificate, Klein would throw half the gold into the Seine to restore the natural order. These are forms of ritual play, gestures no different than Malevich’s Black Square or any work of art that asks the viewer to consider more than what they can literally see.
I speak about my work as an artist, as a writer, and as a culture worker, but I think of my work as contiguous parts whose gestalt, I hope, makes a grander point about the liberation of humanity. People tend to get what I mean when I say I am a writer or an artist, but culture worker is trickier. If my art uses paint and fragments of paper and my writing uses words, the material of culture work is the people you engage: other writers, academics, arts administrators, press agents, gallerists, and, of course, viewers and artists. My projects would be nothing without the communities of people involved…and there would be no point to any of it without those communities. Like Erykah Badu said, “We’re just emerging into a new state of being altogether.”
2019 was a transformative year for me. I’ve worked harder than I ever had and got farther than I’ve ever gone. As we start a new decade, and as I push on into middle age, the urgency to make some statements before I move on to another life becomes heightened. I think this is a normal part of aging, particularly when one has been lucky enough to spend much of their life engaged in vocational work. I will spend the first two months of 2020 in residency at MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, Scotland where I plan to finish some texts that have been building up in me for a few years now. I am grateful for the privilege and want you to be part of it.
Since 2009, fellow Schwitterite David Rushton has been turning an old lemonade factory in rural Sanquhar into MERZ Gallery. He describes where he started, “Imagine a quarter acre plot of rubbish-strewn scrub-land in the centre of a small town. Something discarded and abandoned. It is divided by two rights of way to allow access to gardens serving two cottages along the eastern edge of the plot.” From this he has built a mixed gallery and studio space, a bothy for housing visiting artists, and a residency program to support their work at the site.” In parallel to Schwitters’ assembly of text on paper and his name ‘MERZ’ for a body of work, I thought there were resonances in adapting his approach and providing description to a small abandoned landscape imprinted with industrial and domestic histories, and that’s why I thought to call the site ‘MERZ’.” Schwitters took “the combination of all conceivable materials for artistic purposes” seriously and twice built immersive environments out of structures: MERZbau in Hanover and, later, the Elterwater MERZ Barn two-and-a-half hours south of Sanquhar in Langdale, Ambleside.
In preparing for the residency, I’ve been thinking how if Rushton could apply Schwitters’ philosophy to an old factory, I could apply it to my culture work. I often write about collage as a medium, a genre, and a community. More recently, I have been thinking of collage as a 21st century art movement. This is the idea I plan to explore while at MERZ Gallery. I invite you to join me and be part of the manifestation of the international collage community by sending a collage to MERZ Gallery. The collage will be documented and exhibited at the gallery in January and February. I will select one collage each day and share it online and via social media with a few words about how it connects to the work I am doing. And after the exhibition, the collage will become part of MERZ Gallery’s permanent collection, a forever stash of art marking the occasion that artists from all over the world manifested in Sanquhar. MERZ Gallery has agreed to maintain and care for the collection and to exhibit the collection in ten years, 2030, or give it to an organization that will do so.
Why? Because this is what we do in the collage community: we engage, we exchange, we manifest with one another. We emerge into a new state of being together. That is what makes art powerful. It connects us and takes us into the future.
How to Participate
Ric Kasini Kadour invites collage artists to submit a two-dimensional collage for inclusion in the Schwitters Army.
There is no theme. If you’re a ripper, send him a ripped collage. If you’re a digital artist, print and send a digital work. If you’re a collaborator, send a collaboration. Send a collage that shows what kind of collage artist you are.
The preferred size is 8″x10″ (20.3cm x 25.4cm) or smaller. The collage may not be larger than 14″x11″ (35.6cm x 21.6cm). Note: If you send something larger, Kadour will cut it in half. If you send something that isn’t collage, Kadour is going to cut it up and turn it into a collage. Mail Art with collage is welcome. Do not send framed work.
Once the collage is mailed, please send an EMAIL with an image of the collage and title. Also include the artist’s name, mailing address and website. If you want, you may also answer some questions, but it is optional.
Mail the collage to: MERZ Queens Road Sanquhar DG4 6DH Scotland, United Kingdom
NOTE TO ARTISTS OUTSIDE THE EUROPEAN UNION: Upon arrival in the United Kingdom, items valued at more than $100 US may be subject to customs fees, charges, and value-added taxes. Those charges are ultimately the responsibility of the artist. Should we be assessed custom fees, charges, and value-added taxes, we will contact the artist for reimbursement of these fees or the work will be returned.
January 31st, 2020
The collage may arrive at any time, but collages should arrive before January 31st, 2020. Any that arrive after February 15th will not be processed. Consider the time it takes to mail art from your country to the United Kingdom.
What Will Happen
Upon receipt (beginning January 8th), collages will be documented and registered. The collage will be exhibited at MERZ Gallery through February 20th and then the work will become part of MERZ Gallery’s permanent collection. MERZ Gallery has agreed to maintain and care for the collection and to exhibit the collection in ten years, 2030, or give it to an organization that will do so.
During the exhibition, selected collages will be shared on Kolaj Magazine’s website and via social media.
What is your origin story? When did you first start making collage seriously?
Who was the first collage artist you connected with?
August 24th to October 27th, 2019 at Rokeby Museum, Ferrisburgh, Vermont
Exhibit Opening Saturday, August 24th, 11AM-5PM as part of Art Rokeby Festival
Structures define our world. Some of us live among skyscrapers, row houses, condominiums. In Vermont, many of us live among houses and barns. Rokeby Museum, a National Historic Landmark, is a collection of houses, barns, and outbuildings that served a variety of ends. The exhibition temporarily repurposes these historic spaces as platforms for contemporary art and asks the viewer to contemplate the role that structures play in shaping our experience of the world and how structures can inform and shape the experience of others. The exhibition is curated by Ric Kasini Kadour, Curator of Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum, and is the second of two exhibitions this year that are introducing contemporary art to the historic site.
The art on view at eleven locations throughout Rokeby reflects on, responds to, or contrasts with structures on the site. In the Toolshed, sculptures by Meg Walker juxtapose ready-made elements with newly fabricated forms as a means of commenting on the role these structures play in the identity and history of rural communities. Inside The Other House, Axel Stohlberg‘s floating series invites the viewer to consider how humanity activates structures. Outside The Other House, Stohlberg will install black and white house sculptures. Informed by the memory of playing in dairy barns in his youth and Inspired by an old cemetery near his house to create monuments, two large sculptures by Denis Versweyveld, one installed outside the Education Center and one in the Slaughterhouse, express the archetypal house shape while considering the lath and plaster that make up old homes and barnes. In the Main House, Judith Rey‘s colorful box and gable paintings intermingle with the historic artifacts. Rob Hitzig will install two, interlocking, amorphously shaped, colorfully painted, plywood cut-outs on the Granary. An installation by the pond of Steve Hadeka‘s modern birdhouses will form a neighborhood that will be “developed” over the course of the exhibition as new houses are added to it. A conceptual work by internationally renowned multimedia artist and performer Yoko Ono will activate the Dairy Barn Foundation.
Built in the 1930s, the Tourist Cabin, the last original structure to be built at Rokeby, will play host to an international exhibition of Mail Art. Rokeby Museum has invited artists from around the world to send a piece of mail art that reflects or responds to their home or a building in their home community. These “postcards”, arriving from across the United States and Canada and from such far away places as Brisbane, Australia; Rosario, Argentina; and Stuttgart, Germany, bear artists’ thoughts about the idea of home and the buildings that inform their sense of place.
“One thing Rokeby does exceptionally well is provide us the opportunity to imagine how people lived in the past. The buildings at this historic site tell important stories about resistance, persistence, and resilience. They speak to how people fed themselves, stayed warm, and lived together,” said Kadour. “By pairing these buildings with contemporary art, we hope to continue to tell these stories and add new stories that speak to the role buildings play in our day-to-day lives.”
The opening of the exhibition will take place during the Art Rokeby Festival, a day-long event celebrating art at Rokeby.
About Rokeby Museum
From 1793 to 1961, Rokeby was home to four generations of Robinsons–a remarkable family of Quakers, farmers, abolitionists, artists, and authors. Today, the Robinson family’s home is a National Historic Landmark, designated for its exceptional Underground Railroad history. Rokeby is among the best-documented Underground Railroad sites in the country, one the National Park Service has described as “unrivaled among known sites for its historical integrity and the poignancy of the stories it tells.” Telling those stories is at the center of the Museum’s mission, which is to “connect visitors with the human experience of the Underground Railroad and with the lives of the Robinsons, who lived on and farmed this land for nearly 200 years.” The Museum is located on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh, Vermont. www.rokeby.org
About Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum
Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum is an ambitious two-year project designed to engage artists and the public with Rokeby Museum archives, objects, buildings, and land. Project activities will demonstrate how contemporary art can pick up the unfinished work of history and foster civic engagement in social, economic, and environmental justice issues. In 2019, Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum will present two exhibitions, introduce an artist membership program, conduct a symposium about the relationship between art and history, and host an artist lab designed to support the development of an artist’s practice. Artists will be invited to make art at or about Rokeby Museum and their work will be shared online and at a festival in August. Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum is a collaboration with Kasini House. www.rokeby.org/contemporary
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
www.pleasantranch.com After twenty years of professional experience in the music, media and design industries, Steve Hadeka began woodworking in 2012, studying with friends who were guitar builders, as well as instructional videos on the Internet. In the summer of 2014, he became a full-time woodworker and in January 2018, he opened a shop and studio in Winooski, Vermont, where he creates one-of-a-kind wooden art, home décor, barware, kitchenware and furniture under the Pleasant Ranch brand.
www.roberthitzig.com Montpelier, Vermont-based artist Rob Hitzig has been showing work in solo, group and juried exhibitions in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, DC and across Vermont since 2007. In 2019, he was awarded Juror’s Prize, 2nd Place at the Vermont Studio Center’s 35th Anniversary Vermont Alumnx Exhibition. At the South End Art Hop in Burlington, he won first place in 2009 and Outdoor Sculpture Juror’s Prize, 2nd Place in 2014. He organized Montpelier SculptCycle 2008. His work is in the collections of Johns Hopkins University and the City of Newburyport, Massachusetts. He is represented by Cross MacKenzie Gallery in Washington, DC and Skyline Art Services in Houston, Texas.
www.imaginepeace.com Originally from Tokyo, Yoko Ono was the first woman admitted to the philosophy program at Gakushuin University in Tokyo, where she studied for a year before moving to New York, where she studied writing and music at Sarah Lawrence College. Ono became an influential conceptual and performance artist prior to her marriage and artistic partnership with John Lennon. George Macunias, founder of the Fluxus collective, gave Ono her first solo gallery show in 1961. From the 1970s to the 1990s, Ono worked on music, both solo and in collaboration. The Whitney Museum of American Art presented a retrospective of her work in 1989, as did the Japan Society Gallery in 2000, and the Museum of Modern Art in 2015. She received a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Yoko Ono lives and works in New York City.
Judith Rey holds a degree in Art Education from the State University of New York, New Paltz, as well as a Masters degree in Counseling. Rey has shown her work throughout New England and Florida. She has received a number of awards and her work has been included in major juried regional exhibitions. She lives and works with her husband, the sculptor Denis Versweyveld, in their home–studio in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.
www.axelstohlberg.com Axel Stohlberg holds an MA and BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, with studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and the Art Institute of Boston. He owned and operated Axel’s Frame Shop & Gallery in Waterbury, Vermont from 1983 to 2013. His residencies include four at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson between 1980 and 2003; artist-in-residence at Basin Harbor in Vergennes, Vermont in 2003; and at Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine in 2014.
Denis Versweyveld has spent most of his professional life in the arts and arts education. He holds a degree in Art Education from the State University of New York, New Paltz; an MFA in Sculpture from Indiana University, Bloomington, with studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He has exhibited throughout New York, New England and the Midwest, and has received a number of awards, including three grants from the Vermont Arts Council. His work is in a number of private collections in the U.S. and Europe. He lives and works with his wife, the painter Judith Rey, in their home–studio in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.
www.megwalkersculpture.com Meg Walker studied at the Edinburgh College of Art and Moray House College of Education, both in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her work has been shown extensively in solo, two-person and group exhibitions in Scotland, New York, and across Vermont. Her commissions include work installed at the Broughton House Garden in Kircudbright, Scotland and the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont. Her work is in private collections in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the collection of the Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont. Meg Walker lives and works in Charlotte, Vermont.
Rokeby Museum 4334 Route 7 Ferrisburgh, Vermont 05456 (802) 877-3406
The Past Is Now: Historic Sites as Venues for Contemporary Art
Lecture & Slideshow by Ric Kasini Kadour
at the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, Vermont
Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 3PM
Historic sites are important threads in the fabric of culture and society. These time capsules hold for us, in land and architecture, memories of our past and the stories of the people who lived there. Contemporary art is the art of today and speaks to 21st century society. What happens when the two mix? Artist and writer Ric Kasini Kadour will present examples of historic sites that have used contemporary art to bring ideas of the past into the present. He will share how contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson referenced the optical illusions and interactive sensual experience of the 17th century landscaped gardens at Palace of Versailles to reframe the sites and their historical narrative within the contemporary visitor’s experiences. He will speak about how an annual art fair at Governors Island National Monument reinterprets the former army post and how the annual exhibition at Kents’ Corners in Calais, Vermont provides an opportunity for artists to bring the past into the present. The talk will present research from the American Alliance of Museums, the London-based Elizabeth Xi Bauer Art Consultancy, and Lowell, Massachusetts researcher and curator Kate Laurel Burgess-MacIntosh, who is the author of the blog Revitalizing Historic Sites Through Contemporary Art. The slideshow will be followed by a lively discussion about what we want from contemporary art and our historic sites.
The American Alliance of Museums writes, the marriage of contemporary art and historic sites “is a chance to discover new revenue and funding possibilities, and expand partnership and collaboration opportunities, while enlarging the reach and visibility of historic house museums. Most importantly, it gives us the opportunity to change public opinion, uncover new research and information, and breathe new life into old spaces, while seeing the past in different ways. Contemporary art introduced at historic sites can do all this and more; art is the new mode of interpretation, and artists are the new interpreters.”
Lecture attendees will also be able to view “The Fabric of Emancipation: The Lens of American History through Contemporary Fiber Arts” curated by Harlem Needle Arts. The exhibit includes pieced quilts, representational and abstract, made by African American fabric artists Ife Cummings and Michael A. Cummings, as well as a layered, pieced assemblage by L’Merchie Frazier.
Who should attend?
This lecture is open to the general public. We want your thoughts and ideas about historic sites and contemporary art. Artists interested in interacting with historic sites are encouraged to attend, as are members of historic societies interested in strategies for bringing their work to new audiences.
About Rokeby Museum
A Quaker family farm for nearly two centuries, this National Historic Landmark served as a safe haven for 19th century fugitives from slavery. Exhibits and programs highlight the noted accomplishments of family members who were ardent Abolitionists and talented artists, writers, and naturalists. Explore award-winning exhibits, guided house tours, more than ten historic farm buildings and agricultural features, and 50 acres of interpreted nature trails. www.rokeby.org
4334 Route 7
Ric Kasini Kadour at Antenna::Signals
at Antenna’s Paper Machine in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
January 24, 2018, 6-8:30PM
In celebration of the opening of Antenna’s Paper Machine print center, Signals presentations and performances examine the theme “Papers”. “Papers” explores the myriad uses of paper–a medium at once literal and symbolic, malleable and dogmatic, portable and burdensome–to translate and regulate life. The event explores the connotations of the theme from a number of specific angles, including immigration papers, The Green Book (guide to safe road tripping for African Americans in Jim Crow America), Storyville blue books (catalogues for New Orleans’ famed red light district), and rolling and hemp papers.
Kolaj Magazine‘s editor, Ric Kasini Kadour, is one of the featured presenters. Other presenters and performances include: Katrina Andry; Vanessa Centeno and John Lawrence; The Historic New Orleans Collection; Lydia Y. Nichols; Rodrigo Toscano; and Mr. Kush from Weed World Candies.
Conceived as a “live arts magazine,” Antenna::Signals is a variety show-styled event from the artists and writers of Antenna. Each “issue” of Antenna::Signals features a spread of 6-8 local artists, writers, musicians, scientists, activists and scholars whose practices relate thematically. The live magazine drops four times each year, accompanied by the release of a two-dimensional print publication.
Antenna is a New Orleans-based non-profit organization committed to being a vital participant in the life of the city by creating and supporting artist- and writer-driven programs.
(adapted from Antenna’s press materials)
Antenna’s Paper Machine
6330 St. Claude Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana USA 70117
Date and Time:
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Kolaj Magazine is an internationally-oriented, printed, quarterly magazine about contemporary collage. We are interested in how collage is made, how collage is exhibited, and how collage is collected. We are interested in the role collage plays in contemporary visual culture. We provide quality exposure for contemporary collage art.
In 2012, Ric Kasini Kadour co-founded Kolaj Magazine with Benoit Depelteau. At a time when printed publications are under duress, Kolaj Magazine is thriving. Its growing subscriber base comes from thirty-six countries, on every continent except Antarctica. This full colour, internationally-oriented art magazine retails for $12.00. Ric Kasini Kadour serves as the Publisher and Editor.
We approach collage broadly and, as such, we have included in our territory of inquiry such media as traditional cut-and-paste collage, digital collage, assemblage, photomontage, fibre art when it has an element of juxtaposition, and painting when it appears as if multiple visual languages are in use or cut paper fragments are used as a compositional tool of the painter in a manner that is evident in the final work. This approach has afforded us a unique position to observe contemporary collage and make connections between the historic and the current practice of artists, gallerists, museums, curators, historians, and critics.
The magazine operates with a unique publishing model that is driven by its subscribers, has limited advertising, caters to a ’boutique audience’, and takes advantage of on-demand printing. Kolaj uses an editorial approach that makes content relevant in the long-term, so that the articles in Kolaj #1 are as relevant as the most recent issue. As a result, the project does a significant trade in back issues and the archive of magazines remains a relevant source of ideas and information.
In addition to a printed magazine, the effort has expanded into a number of key subprojects.
The Collage Taxonomy Project is an ongoing survey of the wider collage community that attempts to define the language we use to talk about collage.
Collage has a problem with taxonomy. Because collage is both a medium and a genre, an approach to artmaking that involves lots of different media, its definition is vague. While the wide-view editorial approach of the magazine has broadened our understanding to include both the genre of collage, the method, and the medium, it becomes problematic when we engage in critical and curatorial matters.
Collage is an enormous tree and its branches are as widespread and diverse as its roots. If we are truly going to celebrate all things collage (and more importantly, advance a critical and curatorial understanding of collage), we need to develop a collage taxonomy. To that end, Kolaj Magazine actively solicits suggests from its readers and publishes articles that seek to define terms and concepts. The purpose is to give the community a common language to talk about collage.
Collage Books takes an inclusive approach to documenting collage-related publishing efforts and is open to trade editions, ‘zines, artist books, catalogues, and literary endeavours. “So much of collage these days is experienced in printed, published form,” said Kolaj editor and publisher Ric Kasini Kadour. “Collage Books is Kolaj Magazine’s tool for organizing, documenting, and cataloguing books in which collage plays an important role.”
The audience for the site includes readers and collectors of collage books and printed ephemera as well as curators, art venues, and writers. “We aim to create a historical record of books about collage and raise awareness of new titles as they become available,” said Kadour. The directory includes books in and out of print.
Collage Books contains listings for all collage-related titles, and like the magazine, the site takes a broad view. Trade editions, art criticism, and coffee table books are featured side by side with artist books, gallery-published catalogues, and self-published ‘zines. The site is also open to literary endeavours that feature collage. When possible, the directory links titles to reviews of books in the magazine and places where the book can be purchased.
Kolaj Magazine‘s Artist Directory is a tool for organizing and cataloguing artists who work in the medium of collage. Its audience includes the general public as well as independent curators, art venues, and writers. The editorial staff uses the Artist Directory to select artists to feature in the publication and to select artists for various curatorial projects. Not all artists featured in the publication are in the database and there is no guarantee that listing in the database will result in being featured in the magazine. The Artist Directory exists as a public resource for those interested in collage as a medium and is designed to put interested parties in direct contact with artists.
Kolaj Magazine presents Exhibitions-in-Print as a means of exploring critical ideas about collage. We examine work related to a curatorial premise, identify themes and ideas. The purpose is to develop and share an understanding of collage as a medium and a genre.
Kasini House Artshop works with the Kolaj Magazine Artist Directory to produce curated packs of the Collage Artist Trading Cards. Each card is a full colour, 5.5″ x 3.5″ postcard with rounded corners. An example of an artist’s work is on the front of the card and the artist’s public contact information is on the back. Collage Artist Trading Cards come in packs of 15.
After five years of publishing and editing the magazine, we have come to five key observations: 1) Collage is a poorly curated, archived, and understood medium in the art world. 2) The Collage Community is enthusiastic and passionately devoted to the medium. 3) Collage repeatedly shows up at key moments of artistic advancement, regardless of whether or not the final artwork is collage. 4) Collage manifests new thinking and continues the work of Modernism. A collage-centric view of art history redefines both cannon and art history’s narrative. 5) A historic shift is taking place where the lessons of early-Modernist collage are being employed in contemporary artworks. Ric Kasini Kadour actively seeks opportunities to share these observations with art professionals through meetings and public talks.
How does an object have meaning? Why do we own objects? How do we consume, acquire, or collect objects? How does art become or maintain its relevance? These questions are central to my practice.
I started ARTSHOP in 2004 as a way of organizing, exhibiting, and sharing art products: those things made by artists which are not necessarily fine art, not simply reproductions of fine art, and not craft; the by-products, ephemera, and small objects of contemporary visual artists. Art Product is a family that includes the following genera: ephemera, publications, multiples, and small art. I often explain it as the things artists make that are not their primary work, but that do embody their vision, aesthetic, and ideas.
The project is informed by Claes Oldenburg 1961’s The Store, in which the artist converted his workshop in New York’s Lower East Side into a retail storefront and stocked it with painted pop sculptures made out of muslin and plaster. From 2002 to 2005, the concept was re-interpreted by Joyce Yahouda, a gallerist in Montreal. The Store explored the inherent tension of art presented as commodity. ARTSHOP is also informed by Toronto’s Art Metropole, a project started in 1974 by General Idea that documented the conceptual art movement in Canada by collecting (and sometimes selling) contemporary art multiples and ephemera; and by Printed Matter in New York, which was founded in 1976 by a collective of artists and art workers seeking to examine the role of artists’ publications in the landscape of contemporary art.
ARTSHOP has three parts: a collection of approximately 200 art products that have been permanently acquired; collaborations with artists whose work is for sale through ARTSHOP; and art products that I have made. Since 2004, ARTSHOP has been presented as an online magazine and shop; as a time-limited exhibition in an art gallery context; as part of larger art events and fairs; and in ongoing installation at two commercial art galleries. While most contemporary art employs luxury marketing strategies in its sale and presentation, ARTSHOP uses the vernacular of retail to present art to the viewer. North Americans are fluent in the visual language of retail and as a result, interact with art presented in this manner differently. Online, ARTSHOP has explore a variety of models from using social media to promote and sell art products to a subscription model that engages the audience for a year at a time.
An art product is not complete until it is sold. This is not unprecedented in contemporary art. Yves Klein’s Zone de Sensibilité Picturale Immatérielle (1959-1962) divorced art from object and placed art in the milieu of ritual by selling empty space. The sale of the space was the art. I would argue that the sale of Damien Hirst’s work is as important as the work itself. For the Love of God transforms $24 million in diamonds into a $100 million piece of art, but the work was not completed until it was sold on August 30th, 2008.
The sale of the art products in ARTSHOP completes the objects and a significant component to this project is devoted to the selling of art products. To date, ARTSHOP has existed primarily in the context of art (galleries, art fairs, events, etc.) where the audience has engaged the project prepared to have an experience of art. The introduction of retail theory into space primarily using luxury marketing strategies is profound. Some patrons reject the idea outright and walk out of the gallery. Others transform completely. They remove their hands from behind their back and begin touching objects and looking at them differently. The exchange of money for product is a performative act that completes the work.
In 2013, I started doing INSTANT ARTSHOP, a version of the project as an intervention outside of an art context: flea markets, grocery stores, malls, and other public spaces that are separate from contemporary art spaces. I built a self-contained kiosk on which art products can be displayed.
While ARTSHOP is a vehicle for showing and selling my own projects, most of the objects in ARTSHOP are produced by other people. With most of those objects, the artist was not necessarily thinking about how the consumer would relate to, acquire, or own the object. Artists often only make work only for themselves; to express their own ideas and feelings. ARTSHOP works as a bridge between the artist and the viewer by shepherding a design and marketing process that results in a greater connection between the viewer and the artwork.
Connection: the Art of Coming Together
Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery
June 5-October 6, 2017
Curated by Ric Kasini Kadour
The exhibition, “Connection: the Art of Coming Together”, presents a survey of contemporary Vermont art organized by artist networks rather than aesthetics or media. As an experiment, curator Ric Kasini Kadour, editor and publisher of Vermont Art Guide, asked four artists or art professionals from different corners of the state to submit the name of an artist they feel is part of their community or network. He then went to those people and so on until he had enough people to fill the exhibition. The results of this experiment, as well as Kadour’s extensive commentary on the artists’ relationships and artwork, are on view through October 6th at the Vermont Arts Council Spotlight Gallery in Montpelier. A version of the exhibition appears in print in Vermont Art Guide #5.
Kadour explained the thinking behind the exhibition: “In my role as editor of the Vermont Art Guide and in my writing about regionalism in a modernist context, I am interested in communities and the art they produce. ‘Connection: the Art of Coming Together’ is an extension of that work, but where my focus tends to be on works of art, this exhibition is focused on the artist as an individual participating in a network of artists.”
“In old art traditions, artists organized themselves by aesthetic tradition, in workshops and studios. In modernism, every artist is an island. Relationships are not limited to master and apprentice or peer in a rival studio. Two artists may collaborate extensively on projects or exhibitions, share styles, and teach each other or they may have entirely different approaches to artmaking. Nevertheless, these relationships form an unseen web of connections that bring people together in a spirit of fellowship and support. To know these connections is to know more of the story of contemporary art.”
Participating artists: Susan Abbott (Marshfield); George Bouret (West Pawlet); Linda Bryan (Newbury); Keith Chamberlin (St. Johnsbury); Charlie Hunter (Bellows Falls); Linda E. Jones (Burlington); Erika Lawlor Schmidt (Pawlet); Mary McKay Lower (Middlebury); Carol MacDonald (Colchester); Gabrielle McDermit (North Chittenden); Matthew Monk (Montpelier); Neil Riley (Marshfield); Joseph Salerno (Johnson); Gail Salzman (Fairfield); Jessica Scriver (Charlotte); Meri Stiles (St. Johnsbury); Thea Storz (Kirby).
“In a time when there seems to be so much polarization, we wanted to focus on how art can be a powerful catalyst to bring people together,” said Vermont Arts Council Communications Manager Kira Bacon. “In the expert curation of this show, Ric Kadour has demonstrated exactly that.”
The Winooski Pop-up Gallery District transformed downtown Winooski, Vermont into a vibrant hub of contemporary art for six weeks in the summers of 2011 and 2012. Holiday Art Markets took place in November and December of 2011 and 2012. The events included art exhibitions; music and other cultural events; activities for children; and showcased the community of Winooski–its shops, restaurants, and history. The project worked with over 100 artists, brought thousands of people to downtown Winooski, and sold approximately $20,000 worth of art.
The Winooski Pop-up Gallery District changed how people thought about the town. People said things like, “Winooski is Burlington’s Brooklyn.” To which we responded, Brooklyn is New York’s Winooski.
By presenting contemporary art in vacant spaces, we converted potential urban blight into an asset that raises the profile and desirability of the community. The Pop-Up Gallery District leveraged the creative economy and presented Winooski as the place where people want to eat, shop, live, work, and enjoy.
Maison Kasini presents
Montreal Contemporary Art during the South End Art Hop
September 9th & 10th,2011 in Burlington, Vermont
The South End Art Hop is Vermont’s largest visual art event. In its 19th year, the two-day event occurs on the weekend following the Labour Day holiday and attracts over 30,000 visitors and hosts more than 500 participating artists.
During the South End Art Hop, Galerie Maison Kasini (Kasini House’s Canadian sister company) presents “Montreal Contemporary Art,” an exhibition of artwork from Montreal.
The purpose of the exhibition is to generate enthusiasm for Quebec art, to promote Montreal as an art destination, and to foster dialogue and connection between the two communities. The exhibition is presented with support from L’Association des galeries d’art contemporain (AGAC) and Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC).
The two-day event will take place on Friday, September 9th and Saturday, September 10th.
LOCATION: The exhibition is located 266 South Champlain Street. The building is accessible from South Champlain Street and from Pine Street. To access the building from Pine Street, go to 277 Pine Street (Black Horse Fine Art Supply) and go behind the building. 277 Pine Street is across the street from The Soda Plant (SPACE, BACKSPACE, Brickels Studio Gallery, ReSource, etc).
Galerie Maison Kasini | Galerie Trois Points | Galerie d’Este | Galerie Bernard
Max Wyse | Sylvain Bouthillette | Aislinn Leggett | André Boucher | Jean-François Girard | Michael-Thomas Poulin | Dave Todaro | Yvon Goulet | Alice Jarry | Carl David Ruttan
Also On View
ArtShop sells small artist products. This includes books, folios, catalogues, monographs, chapbooks, ‘zines, small one-of-a-kind works, multiples, and other creative endeavours by contemporary working artists. ARTSHOP at the South End Art Hop will focus on Canadian Artists.