|I C A N E W S R E L E A S E|
Contact: Jill Katz
Director of Marketing & Communications
Institute of Contemporary Art
University of Pennsylvania
118 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3289
Tel. (215) 898-7108/5911
Fax: (215) 898-5050
Ant Farm: 1968 - 1978September 8 - December 12, 2004
Exhibition Walkthrough: Friday, September 10, 5-6pm, ICA Members Only, join on-site
Opening Reception: Friday, September 10, 6 - 8pm, free and open to the public
July 29, 2004
ICA is pleased to present the first exhibition to survey the work of the legendary architecture and art collective, Ant Farm. A group of radical architects who were also video, performance and installation artists-but above all, visionaries and cultural commentators-Ant Farm was founded by Chip Lord and Doug Michaels in 1968 amidst the hot-house San Francisco counter-culture. Influenced by "alternative" architects like Buckminster Fuller, Archigram, and Superstudio, Ant Farm's early inflatable structures were suited to a nomadic, communal lifestyle, divergent from the mainstream Brutalist architecture of the 1960s. The group was also known for spectacular performance events like "Media Burn" (1975), for which Lord and Michaels dressed up like astronauts and sped a customized Cadillac El Dorado through a pyramid of burning televisions.
Ant Farm officially disbanded in 1978 after a fire in their San Francisco studio destroyed a great deal of their work. Much of their photographic documentation and videotapes survived, however, and this, along with a wide range of Ant Farm materials organized into a visual "timeline," will form the core of the exhibition. A comprehensive catalogue, published by UC Press, will accompany the exhibition. It includes essays by Caroline Maniaque, Michael Sorkin, Steve Seid, a conversation among Constance Lewallen, Chip Lord, Doug Michels, and Curtis Schreier, an Ant Farm-designed timeline, and a reprint of Lord's essay on American car culture, Automerica.
Ant Farm: 1968 - 1978 is co-curated by Constance Lewallen, Senior Curator for Exhibitions at Berkeley Art Museum, and Steve Seid, Assistant Curator for Video at the Pacific Film Archive. Ant Farm: 1968 - 1978 was previously presented at Berkeley Art Museum, University of California (January 21 through April 26, 2004) and at Santa Monica Museum of Art (July 2 through August 14, 2004). After its presentation at ICA, the exhibition will travel to University of Houston, Blaffer Art Gallery (January 15 through March 13, 2005); ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie), Karlsruhe, Germany (April 30 through July 24, 2005); and Yale University School of Architecture Gallery (August 29 through November 4, 2005).
Image: Ant Farm, "Media Burn", July 4, 1975, Performance at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA, Photo: ©John F. Turner
ICA gratefully acknowledges the lead sponsorship of KieranTimberlake Associates, LLP - Stephen Kieran, FAIA and James Timberlake, FAIA and the generous support of the Goldberg Foundation, Inc. Additional support has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; The Dietrich Foundation Inc.; MGA Partners, Architects; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art, friends and members of ICA; and the University of Pennsylvania. (Information complete as of 7/20/04.)
The catalog for Ant Farm: 1968-1978 is supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. The catalog and the exhibition have also been made possible by the Judith Rothschild Foundation, in recognition of Doug Michels; the National Endowment for the Arts; Rena Bransten; Marilyn Oshman; the Consortium for the Arts at UC Berkeley; the Windfall Foundation; and Joan Roebuck. Special thanks to Robert and Caroline Michels. Ant Farm: 1968-1978 is organized by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and is cosponsored by the College of Environmental Design and Department of Architecture.ICA
Founded in 1963 as part of the University of Pennsylvania, ICA presents a year-round exhibition schedule that defines, analyzes, and explores the contemporary visual arts. A non-collecting museum, ICA offers one-person, thematic, and group exhibitions, including commissioned works. ICA diversifies its examination of art to include interdisciplinary work such as film, video, performance, architecture, and design. ICA plays a vital role in introducing American audiences to rising international artists and is also committed to the regional arts community. ICA has been at the forefront of contemporary art for 40 years, presenting the first museum solo exhibitions of artists Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Lisa Yuskavage, Charles LeDray and many others.
ICA is located at 118 South 36th Street at the University of Pennsylvania. ICA is open to the public, except during installation, from 12:00pm to 8:00pm on Wednesday through Friday and from 11:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults; $2 for students over 12, artists, and senior citizens; and free to ICA members, children 12 and under, PENN card holders, and on Sundays from 11:00am to 1:00pm. For more information, call 215-898-7108/5911.