Crimes of OmissionApril 20 - August 5, 2007
A "crime of omission" is defined as the failure to act upon a legal duty or responsibility. In this exhibition, the title refers to artistic strategies that remove visual traces of a crime or draw attention to injustices that typically go unnoticed. Viewers may initially overlook the criminal references in the works, allowing them to have an extended engagement with these contemporary artworks that will be presented as open-ended questions rather than foregone conclusions. "Crimes of Omission" will be on view in ICA's Project Space from April 20- August 5, 2007.
The show brings together nine artists from around the globe: Geraint Evans (b. 1968; lives in London, England), Ken Gonzales-Day (b. 1964; lives in Los Angeles), Michael Linares (b.1979; lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico), Christian Marclay (b.1955; lives in London, England and New York), Donald Moffett (b.1955; lives in New York), Trevor Paglen (b. 1975; lives in Berkeley), Freddie Robins (b. 1965; lives in London, England), Susan Silton (b.1956; lives in Los Angeles) and Taryn Simon (b.1975; lives in New York). Media varies from Donald Moffett's light loop painting of The Ramble in Central Park (a gay cruising area) to Freddie Robins' conceptual knitting pieces that feature miniature replicas of homes where 19th Century murders occurred.
Two artist projects created in collaboration with the student curators specifically for the show will also be included. The first is a wall sized mural by Ken Gonzales-Day based on a photograph of a California lynching from which all traces of the victim have been erased. This piece serves as a life-size introduction to the show and artistic uses of omission. The second takes the form of an announcement card designed by Susan Silton that is based on leaflets that are dropped by the U.S. Military over Iraq. This card will be mailed across the country, extending the reach of the show beyond the museum.
This exhibition is unique in that it is curated by ten undergraduate students as the culmination of the year-long course, the RBSL Bergman Foundation Curatorial Seminar: "Contemporary Art and the Art of Curating." Through personal interaction with curators, artists, and collectors, as well as extensive site visits, the students have come to understand the challenges and creative possibilities of the curatorial process. This class is the only undergraduate class of its kind in the country, providing students with the opportunity to curate their own show at an institution as esteemed as ICA.
Student Curators' Commentary
Student curators include: Loren Appin, Kristen Beneduce, Julia Berenson, Brittni Busch, Morgan Greenhouse, Alexandra Lenobel, Jenna Moss, Alexandra Nemerov, Vincent Szwajkowski and Alex Tryon. The course is taught by Richard Meyer, Katherine Stein Sachs CW'69 and Keith L. Sachs W'67 Visiting Professor of Art History, Liliana Mikova, Ph.D. candidate in Art History, and Naomi Beckwith, Whitney Lauder Curatorial Fellow.
ICA acknowledges primary funding for this project and exhibition from the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation. Additional support for the exhibition and has been provided by RBSL Bergman Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Dietrich Foundation Inc., the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art, friends and members of ICA, and the University of Pennsylvania. ICA is also grateful for in-kind support from Loews Philadelphia Hotel. (Information complete as of 3-8-07.)
The Department of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania gratefully acknowledges generous support from the RBSL Bergman Foundation to fund the curatorial seminar.
Images, top to bottom: Freddie Robins, Knitted Homes of Crime, 2002, hand knitted yarn, quilted lining, 10.2x7.1x6.3-15.4x8.7x23.2 inches, installation view at FirstSite. Courtesy of the artist, hand knitted by Jean Arkell, Photo: Douglas Atfield... Geraint Evans, Dumpster (detail), 1998, acrylic on board friezes, seven 17.25 x 31 inch panels.Courtesy of the West Collection.