A presentation and discussion with Julie Ault based on the recent publication Show & Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material.
Friday, December 10 at 8.p.m,
The Public School - Los Angeles
951 Chung King Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Show & Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material
Edited by Julie Ault. Essays by Doug Ashford, Julie Ault, Sabrina Locks, Tim Rollins.
Published by Four Corners Books, London, 2010
In 1980, the artist collaborative Group Material opened a storefront at East 13th Street on New York's Lower East Side, from which they launched a program of socially engaged exhibitions and events. Group Material's original members—which include Julie Ault, Patrick Brennan, Tim Rollins, Beth Jaker, Mundy McLaughlin, and Marybeth Nelson —came from backgrounds in feminism, Marxist theory, design and popular culture, and curated exhibits reflecting this eclecticism, such as It's a Gender Show and The People's Choice—a collection of everyday objects (wedding photos, dolls, even a cigarette-pack collage) gathered from people living on their block. Subsequently deciding not to maintain a space, from 1982 on, the group organized projects in existing alternative and mainstream art institutions and utilized distribution forms such as billboards, newspapers, and public transit advertising. Group Material's projects radically overhauled curatorial thought, setting art alongside artifacts, documentary material and storebought objects, within exhibitions that were oriented around topical social concerns. Projects included Primer (for Raymond Williams), Artists Space, 1982, Subculture, IRT Subway Trains, 1982, Americana, 1985 Whitney Biennial, Inserts, Sunday New York Times, 1987, Democracy, Dia Art Foundation, 1988, and AIDS Timeline, Berkeley University Art Museum, 1989.
Show & Tell is the first monograph on Group Material. In keeping with the methods and principles used by the collaborative, the book charts the group's activities, drawing heavily from Group Material’s archive, including original documents, photographs, drawings, correspondence, artifacts, anecdotal information and texts. It includes essays by three long-term members.
Julie Ault is an artist and writer who often assumes curatorial and editorial roles as forms of artistic practice. Ault is one of the cofounders of the artists collaborative Group Material (1979–1996), which explored the relationships between art, activism, and politics. Ault’s exhibitions include: No-Stop City High-Rise: a conceptual equation, in collaboration with Martin Beck, for the 29th Bienal de São Paulo; the exhibition design for Changing Channels: Artists and Television, 1963–1985, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, 2010, also with Beck; and Wet and Wild: The Spirit of Sister Corita, Signal, Malmö, 2007. Her edited and authored publications include: Show and Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material (2010); Where the Lions Are (2009), in collaboration with Danh Vo; Felix Gonzalez-Torres, (2006); Come Alive: The Spirited Art of Sister Corita (2006); and Alternative Art New York 1965–1985 (2002). Ault has taught at numerous institutions including: Ecole supérieure d’art visuel, Geneva; University of California at Los Angeles; Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson; and Malmö Art Academy; and is currently a PhD candidate in Visual Art at Malmö Art Academy, Lund University.