When in St Louis last year visiting Heidi Hove and Ryan Pierce at their Luminary Arts residencies, Kelly and I had the good fortune to spend time visiting with the folks at Fort Gondo. The Luminary and Fort Gondo folks were so spectacular, and the St Louis scene so delightful and vibrant we have been discussing moving to St Louis ever since. St Louis or Sheboygan. Don't accuse us of being predictable on the relocation front.
Anyway, for reasons unclear to me, I am not on the Luminary mailing list. Fortunately, the always on internet can tell me that they have two shows up right now:
The Marvelous is Free
Curated by Anthony Romero and Matt Joynt
The Marvelous is Free is an exhibition of archival and historical ephemera that places St. Louis' Black Artists' Group, a collective of African American experimentalists working in theater, visual arts, dance, poetry, and jazz, within a network of like-minded artists and activists producing similar experiments in politics, form, and community between the late 60s and early 70s. Bringing together a range of rarely seen objects, films, and ephemera from personal and institutional collections, The Marvelous is Free presents a landscape of art and activism that includes the Black Arts Movement, Queer Liberation, the struggle for Latina/o civil rights, and more.
Politics exists in a literal landscape of streets and trees, parks and vacated lots, as well as in the speculative speech and continually reanimating acts of the populous. Democracy is also time-based, faltering and reforming. Like an exhibition, despite any attempt otherwise, it is not a stable form.
Could we posit that the unexpected emergence of an act - in this case, the act of art met with the acts of viewing and response - is a test of democracy’s image and that this image creates a residue we could call an exhibition?
Sporadic Democracy is a culmination of a year-long exploration of how communities come together and fall apart, how public space is shaped, and wide-ranging experimentations with artistic forms appropriate to these questions. Conceived as a cycle of actions, expansions and gathering points, Sporadic Democracy will contain independent, but interrelated projects within a single shared space, alternately occupying the gallery as an opening, an archive, a platform for discussion, a publication, a date, a street parade.
The exhibition includes significant contributions from The Luminary’s Fall Residents, including Tori Abernathy, Rebecca Conroy, Alessandra Saviotti, Antonio Serna, and Paul Shortt with additional contributions including a video program, entitled “Somebody Else’s Problem,” curated by Rachel Reese and an accompanying youth-led publication to be distributed throughout the exhibition.
Obviously that is all just marketing text from the website. Kelly and I will set a good example for you and go to these shows in late October. Then I will give you a more personal chitter chatter.
Both shows are Open Wednesday-Saturday from 12 to 6pm each week through November 6.