Collective Bargaining Exhibit at UT-Dallas

Collective Bargaining

Main Gallery, Visual Arts Building, UT-Dallas
September 6 – October 4, 2013
Gallery hours: Mon – Fri, 2 – 5 pm

Reception, Friday, September 13, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Collective Bargaining is co-curated by UT Dallas Visual Arts Faculty Diane Durant and Lorraine Tady.

Media Image and Postcard

From its roots in women’s quilt-making parties, European atelier, and parlor games, the artist collective represents a unique negotiation of ideas and expression, an attempt to bring individual artists together to form a new creative unit.  But no two collectives are the same. Some focus exclusively on the output of collaborative works, whereas others continue to support and encourage the success of the individual within the artistic community at-large. There are manifestos, decrees, movements, and declarations that speak to the intentions of the group, which are often rooted in rebellion, frustration, necessity, or a desire (simple and yet noble) to create something greater than itself—something greater than the sum of its parts. There is the push and pull of success and failure—but there is also safety in numbers—and art making within the collective tradition is no different.


Collective Bargaining addresses these fundamental notions of artistic interaction by inviting art collectives from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to exhibit alongside one another in a creative expression of the varied manifestations of collective behavior—of collective bargaining. HOMECOMING! Committee, Art Beef, S.C.A.B. (Socialized Contemporary Artists Bureau), The Sour Grapes, The Ghost Town Arts Collective, The Junior Ward, IN COOPERATION WITH MUSCLE NATION, and SOLVENT will each wrestle with their own collective identity to generate new work for the exhibition.


HOMECOMING! Committee recently exhibited at the Dallas Museum of Art, and as part of the Texas Biennial, will also show at CentralTrak. They state “HOMECOMING!, through shared experience, will transform the ephemeral into the tangible. We believe this transformation is paramount, and is the true nucleus of artmaking.”


The Sour Grapes formed in 2000 as a graffiti crew. They have grown from showing and producing their work in train yards and dark alleys to galleries and museums throughout Texas, as well as expanding their creativity into various artistic mediums.


The Junior Ward will be creating a large room-like installation. The Junior Ward, as a collective, addresses the inversion of public and private through various mediums while emphasizing the relationship between artistic expression and mental health. Private neuroses are given a public audience as The Junior Ward confronts the dichotomies, paradoxes, and archetypes of two of our most beloved institutions.


The Ghost Town Arts Collective will present documentation of a bargaining “event.” They explain, “Our idea is to literally exploit the concept of bargaining by having artists trade objects with others, with the goal of obtaining a more aesthetically pleasing object with each trade.  The artist would document each step of the process in their chosen medium (photo, video, drawing, etc.), and with a short text description. In the end, all of the recordings, text, and final objects that each artist ends up with will be compiled and displayed together in the gallery.”


Art Beef will have a two-part installation investigating communication and sound. They “believe in taking a project-based approach to our activities, essentially letting spaces denote the activity and, in turn, questioning the forms of programming most often associated with other artist-run spaces, galleries, organizations, and institutions.”


IN COOPERATION WITH MUSCLE NATION has planned a large installation with projections. They write, “In response to recent rumors of our ‘death,’ we will pose for a series of memento mori, or post-mortem photographs. Each member of the collective will be posed following the prescribed methods from the Victorian era, where this style of photography originated. The poses of the “deceased” will depend on the subject’s age and the family’s (in this case, the rest of the collective’s) personal preference. Each member will become subject to the rest of the collective’s thoughts and feeling of them. These portraits will reveal the true nature of each member of the collective, and our real feelings for and about one another.”


SOLVENT will perform their “Collecting Consciousness” —an active example of how they work together as a group. They write, “The past few months, Solvent’s members have met regularly and practiced syncing our meditative states with one another to bring ourselves into the present moment, energetically linked. “Meditative state” refers not to just typical images of sitting crossed legged silently, but any type of “being in the zone.”  It is common knowledge that (most) artists enter in a meditative state as they begin to focus on the paint and brush—similar to an athlete’s, an actor’s, a speaker’s, etc’s performance.  We have played with various techniques of group meditation to achieve the desired energy to create something together.  It is no secret that the human body exists within a field of energy, and itself emits electromagnetic frequencies; thus, we align ourselves in various fashions, sometimes engaging vocal sound waves, to see which frequencies produces which results upon creation.”


S.C.A.B. (Socialized Contemporary Artists Bureau) will build a large pirate ship in the center of the gallery. They explain, “There is an anomalous event, familiar to some yet unfamiliar to most, that is referred to as the Walter’s Principal.  Within the infinite possibilities of particle behavior as we know it today there exists a infinitesimal potential for particles occupying separate spaces and times to coalesce into a rematerialized space of overlapping objects from respective space-times.


Imagine you have a pirate ship making voyage from port Cape Hope in 1823 and in circa 2013 a gallery space existing in the Dallas metroplex.  These parts coalescing within each space in each time are duplicated respectively to create two separate anomalous temporal overlaps.  This is what S.C.A.B. proposes to recreate.”


Collective Bargaining is the first visual art exhibit of the 2013 – 14 season at The University of Texas at Dallas. The show runs from September 6 until October 4 in the Main Gallery of the Visual Arts Building with a reception to be held Friday, September 13 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Collective Bargaining is co-curated by UT Dallas Visual Arts Faculty Diane Durant and Lorraine Tady.


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