Wignall Museum

LA Art Girls @ The Wignall Museum

Occupy the Museum
September 9 – 21: (u)ntitled: The Wignall Art Organization + Joe Suzuki
September 30 – October 12: The Chaffey Review + Elana Mann
October 21 – November 2: CCFem + LAArt Girls
November 12 – 23: OBOC + Ehren Tool
Reception on September 10, 6:00-8:00pm

Occupy the Museum re-imagines the museum as a collaborative teaching and learning lab, and an investigational space that allows for the exploration of new ideas. During Occupy the Museum, four groups and organizations that naturally overlap with the museum’s mission to foster critical thinking and to encourage innovation and investigation through art have been invited to physically inhabit the space for a select amount of time. Each group is then responsible for organizing a series of events in the gallery. Events should illustrate the creative work they’re doing on campus and in their organization, and allow viewers to participate in some cases. Programming will include lectures, hands-on workshops, film screenings & conversations, readings, and other kinds of experimental programming that investigate the intersections of art, activism, and inquiry within their own respective missions. The invitees include (u)ntitled: The Wignall Art Organization, The Chaffey Review, Chaffey College Feminists (CC Fem), and One Book/One College.

Occupy the Museum opens with a micro-exhibition in the entry gallery featuring one art work per occupying group. The four works serve as a jumping off point to contextualize the programming in the gallery and to allow slow looking and exploration of art objects. Slow Looking is the act of spending considerable time looking at one work of art; new discoveries can be made by the viewer regardless of expertise. The art works will also allow further inquiry through the Wignall Museum’s initiative, Ask Art: Using the Museum to Make Curricular Connections. An educational guide will be developed to assist with slow looking and to encourage broad based interdisciplinary consideration. The Wignall Museum then becomes a site of art-viewing, happenings, static installations and prompts for viewers to consider. Viewers may be present for a particular event, to view the exhibition, or out of sheer happenstance or curiosity. Every event, every visit will be experiential for the viewer and upend their expectations of how a museum functions and what their role as a viewer is.

Artist Joe Suzuki’s Fortune Cat series has been matched up with the (u)ntitled: The Wignall Art Organization. The mission of (u)ntitled is an amalgam of goals – they work to support happenings at the Wignall Museum and museum culture as a whole, but also to explore their own inquiries into curatorial and artistic practice. (u)ntitled organized an artist’s panel that included Suzuki last spring where club members were able to engage Suzuki about his practice. Suzuki, a self-proclaimed “Japamerican dad” uses his own practice to explore the microcosm of his familial experience, a theme that is often investigated by our student artists. His work also reflects the impact of the Japanese culture and aesthetic on American art and design, a passionate interest to many in our student population. Manga, Japanimation or anime, and graphic novels and events like Comic-Con, the symbolism and style that defines Suzuki’s images reflects that influence in America and amongst a wide-ranging population.

Los Angeles-based Elana Mann presents The People’s Microphony Camerata Songbook. Paired with The Chaffey Review: A Creative Collective, a production course that is dedicated to the creation of a journal that consists of literature, film, music and art that assumes a degree of risk by established and emerging artists. Mann’s The People’s Microphony Camerata Songbook utilizes the talents of composers, artists, musicians, and artists from North America, Mexico and Europe and features a collection of resistance songs that were originally written for the LA-based experimental choir the People’s Microphony Camerata (PMC). The PMC was founded by Mann and Juliana Snapper in 2012 to explore the human voice as a political device through the emergent phenomena of the People’s Microphone (Mic). The People’s Mic is a technology used in resistance movements worldwide including the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Mann and Snapper expanded on the interests of the People’s Mic to include the investigation of ideas of radical receptivity and deep listening techniques. These radical explorations were just the type of risk-taking work that The Chaffey Review is interested in.

The LA Art Girls are a group of Los Angeles-based artists who work both collectively and independently. The LA Art Girls evolved from informal gatherings and studio visits, which started in 2004, as a way to encourage the kind of contemporary art discourse they were looking for in a supportive and constructive environment. The group strives to be a voluntary and nonhierarchical gathering of studio practices. Likewise the CCFem work collectively to employ feminisms in support of constructive discourse and education around the empowerment of those who lack power in our culture. In the LA Art Girls Strange Love (2005), an exquisite corpse-style video remake of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, the collective appropriates Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove using their own feminist interpretations of the classic work.

Artist Ehren Tool “just makes cups.” Tool, a Gulf War veteran, has created tens of thousands of cups and given them all away as a peacekeeping gesture. He uses his craft to comment on the horrors of war and the impact on soldiers, young men and women. The graphic nature of the images he includes on his cups demand that we pay attention to war and its many ramifications on peoples’ lives, our communities, and on humanity. Tool’s work corresponds with One Book/One College, whose 2013- 2014 common reading selection, The Things They Carry by Tim O’Brien similarly looks at the dreadfulness of war and the impact on soldiers’ lives.

By matching up our occupying organizations with the four works on view in Occupy the Museum, we hope it will allow one possible context with which to approach the art works and allow for deep thinking about the works. We also hope that the schedule of diverse, compelling events will engage new audiences, excite returning visitors, and engage discourse that is relevant to the curricula at Chaffey College. We hope you’ll join us.

Rebecca Trawick
August 2013

This exhibition and events are free open to the public.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *