Saturday, May 03, 2008

Lance Fung Interviewed
Creating Community at Lucky Number 7

Lance Fung in interview with Artist Organized Art, March 30 '08

Artist Organized Art

This Artist Organized Art interview with curator Lance Fung is conducted by Joshua Selman and Erika Knerr, on March 30, 2008 at Lance's SOHO loft in Manhattan. It weaves together formative influences behind his first International Biennial, Lucky Number 7, at Site Santa Fe, opening June 20-22, 2008. The interview precedes a pot luck dinner at his loft attended by his core community of friends and family. Gathering at the space several times a year, most among them are former Lance Fung Gallery artists.

Here are two excerpts from the full interview:

Read the full interview

AOA: The question was if your way of curating is considered to be a reverse engineering of the normal curatorial process, and where the curatorial function of the institutional partners fits in?

LF: I wouldn't say it's a reverse procedure, because that would mean there would have to be strategy to my work, there's no method to my madness, I am who I am. I act, say, speak, think, write, dress, the way I do, you couldn't, and I'm forty five now, so I don't actually give a damn what people think of me, I get it when Holly Solomon said she didn't care --“I'm Holly Solomon,” -- well finally now I'm Lance Fung, you like it, you don't, can it be improved? Yes. Will I change it your way? Maybe, maybe not, and this is the point of being free as an artist and curator, as an individual, its not that you're like “oh everyone doesn't know what they're talking about…” but it's just that you're not concerned about pleasing someone, and by not trying to please someone you have a greater chance of pleasing someone, because you're grounded, you're satisfied, you have something to give, so I don't think so, now surely that most people would look at it that way, because it isn't the way most people would curate a show, I do see, however, a trend in people, a trend with younger curators trying to curate. In approaching their new practices in the way that I live my life, so I'm not necessarily saying they're copying me, but collaboration is coming up quite often now, but in a very different way and typically in a very superficial way, but what's nice is I think that my work has somehow seeped into the way people are looking at things, including some of the seasoned curators. Because, you can't work in an antiquated mode, and that's why people are trying, the art speak is becoming less and people are doing more common speak when they're talking about a show. Or, they're having a greater awareness of the general public in appreciating the work where, in fact, after the fact, I realized that was the main audience for The Snow Show, and that's what made it so profound, so I don't know, that's not for me to answer.

Read the full interview

AOA: In terms of the process of Lucky Number 7, of course, there are ancestors, for example, The Snow Show, Lance Fung Gallery, Construction In Process, Ryszard Wasko and The International Artists Museum, Charlotte Moorman and the Avant Guard Intermedia Festivals, Allan Kaprow, Billy Klüver, George Maciunas, Nam June Paik, etc. This brings up the comparison of “curating” to “organizing.” How do you see the comparison?

LF: I almost had Construction In Process in my essay, but when I showed it to international curators. most of them had not heard of it. So I just linked to a very general subject of something that was much less interesting to me until much later in my Lance Fung Gallery time period and that was Fluxus. Okay, Nam June, yes, but I don't think of him as Fluxus even though he is Mr. Fluxus. So, it does parallel to a lot of what Fluxus was about, this impromptu happening sans curator, it's artist inspired, it's “artist organized art” and Construction In Process is a little bit like that, because it did have, from what I know in the books and what I've heard from you guys, less of a curatorial roll and more of an energy and synergy that came about. So, definitely aspects of Lucky Number 7 are coming from Fluxus, Construction In Process, Lance Fung Gallery and a ton of other references.

It's interesting. Everyone will call this biennial so many different things. “The anti-biennial,” because they can either be talking in response to other biennials and what they stand for, marketing, branding, PR, or they can even talk about anti-market, because the works are ephemeral. It could be anti in many ways. Again, there's none of that strategy involved with Lucky Number 7. Essentially, in Lucky Number 7, I, as curator, have digested everything I've learned, seen and heard of in the art world that I like. Which has made me the curator that I am, because then I work in that mode as opposed to in a very commercial glitzy way. Which parallels Construction In Process, but the big difference there is that organization or production vs. curation are apples and oranges, and often as you well know with The Snow Show, I've had to wear all 3 hats, where I would most prefer wearing only the curator's hat. Not worrying about fund raising and legal and administrative issues, not worrying about promoting it, but just dealing with the curatorial end, would be great and that's what a curator “was.” But, in the new decade or millennium it shifted where almost every curator is out there “shakin' a tin can.” Whether you're working for a big proper museum or you're doing a freelance show you're out there with the Press, because that's another way to get visibility, so that when you're “shakin' the tin can” people are dropping a quarter in yours vs. someone else's. All of a sudden I kept feeling rather inadequate with The Snow Show, having to do all of this stuff. And, I felt slighted, like, “why am I having to do this as a curator?” Well guess what? The world caught up to me in a negative way when it was much better for the curator just to curate, someone else to write the check, and someone else to go out and talk about it. Another thing I've always been a little embarrassed about is my commercial background. In fact, I pulled it out from all of my bios and website and really eliminated Holly Solomon Gallery and Lance Fung Gallery, because very few, if any, curators made the transition from the commercial world to the not-for-profit world. Some went the other way because then by being an important curator, or with a museum, you can be paid more by working in a gallery, but going in the reverse direction, from “money” to “no money,” is “crazy.”

Lance Fung runs Fung Collaboratives, LLC

Also, the credibility is weak, because curator as dealer or dealer as curator has a lot of conflict of interest. We talked about it with The Snow Show. How many artists, that I'd worked with in the past, could I put in The Snow Show without it looking like there was favoritism, or commercial gain. Particularly when Finland was up, so was my gallery. I asked - people said “oh three to five artists based on your group.” In the end I only did two, John Roloff and Top, otherwise I would have put more, not because I was trying to promote the gallery, but because I believed in them. So it's interesting, but I was speaking at this conference on public art with all these other curators Jan Debbaut (formerly of The Tate) organized and they said “but, weren't you at Holly's?” I said “yes, but I don't talk about that,” and they said “why?” I said “well…” they said, “you're' wrong because right now that commercial background you have is so needed and most curators don't have that information.” A) They don't know how to buy a work of art for the institution. B) They don't know how to talk about discounts etc. So it's very funny, curatorial work is evolving and it is including someone odd like me, because normally I wouldn't fit into that category, but I actually don't think it's for the better to be quite honest.

Read the full interview

Lance Fung is an independent curator based in New York City. One of Fung’s most well known projects was The Snow Show exhibition, realized in 2004 in Lapland, and in 2006 in Torino, Italy for XX Olympic Winter Games. Prior to his independent curatorial endeavors worldwide, he had an eponymous gallery in New York, and was the director of Holly Solomon Gallery.

Lance Fung curates International Biennial, Lucky Number 7, at Site Santa Fe, June '08

Since its opening in 1995, SITE‘s mission has been to bring the global contemporary art dialogue to the Southwest region of the US. SITE’s Biennial, organized by a guest curator of international reputation, always attempts a paradigm shift in the field of visual arts. SITE’s Biennial is known worldwide for its innovation and for showcasing great curators ahead of the rest of the art world. In fact, three of SITE’s six curators have subsequently served as Directors of the Venice Biennale, including this year’s Robert Storr, and a fourth won a MacArthur “Genius” Award.

Lucky Number Seven Curatorial Team and Partner Institutions:
1. Ferran Barenblit, Centro de Arte Santa Mónica (CASM), Barcelona, Spain,

2. Iara Boubnova, Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia, Bulgaria,
3. Gregory Burke, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada,
4. Colin Chinnery, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, www.ullenscenterforthearts. org (Partnering with Centre for International Cultural Exchange, China,
5. Alexie Glass, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia,
6. Lukasz Gorczyca and Michal Kaczynski, Stowarzyszenie Integracji Kultury (Association of Cultural Integration), Warsaw, Poland,

7. Laura Steward Heon, SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States,

8. Barbara Holub, Secession, Vienna, Austria,

9. Vasif Kortun, Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey,
10. Chus Martinez, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany,
11. Martina Mazzotta, Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta, Milan, Italy,

12. Tsukasa Mori and Yuu Takehisa, Art Tower Mito, Japan,

13. Joseph Sanchez, Institute of American Indian Arts Museum (IAIA), Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States,

14. Patrizia Sandretto, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy

15. Guillermo Santamarina, El Museo Experimental, Mexico City, Mexico

16. Hyunjin Shin, SSamzie Space, Seoul, South Korea,

17. Alessandro Vincentelli, BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England

18. Marc-Olivier Wahler, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France,

19. William Wells, The Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt,

Special thanks to SITE’s local residency partner,the Santa Fe Art Institute

1. Martí Anson Born in 1967 in Mataró, Spain Lives and works in Barcelona

2. Studio Azzurro: Fabio Cirifino (born in Milan), Paolo Rosa (born in Rimini), Stefano Roveda (born in Milan) and Leonardo Sangiorgi (born in Parma), Located in Milan, Italy

3. Erick Beltrán Born in 1974 in Mexico City Lives and works in Barcelona and Mexico City

4. Luchezar Boyadjiev Born in 1957 in Sofia, Bulgaria Lives and works in Worpswede, Germany

5. Michal Budny Born in 1976 in Leszno, Poland Lives and works in Warsaw

6. Ricarda Denzer Born in 1967 in Kirn, Germany Lives and works in Vienna

7. Hiroshi Fuji Born in 1960 in Kagoshima, Japan Lives and works in Fukuoka, Japan
8. Fabien Giraud Born in 1980 in France Lives and works in Paris

9. Piero Golia Born in 1974 in Naples, Italy Lives and works in Los Angeles

10. Soun Myung Hong Born in 1959 in Seoul, Korea Lives and works in Seoul

11. Scott Lyall Born in 1964 in Toronto, Ontario Lives and works in Toronto

12. Nick Mangan Born in 1979 in Geelong, Victoria Lives and works in Berlin

13. Eliza Naranjo-Morse Born in 1980 in Espanola, New Mexico Lives and works in Santa Fe

14. Nora Naranjo-Morse Born in1953 in Espanola, New Mexico Lives and works in Espanola

15. Ahmet Ögüt Born in 1981 in Diyarbakir, Turkey Lives and works in Amsterdam

16. Mandla Reuter Born in 1975 in Nqutu, South Africa Lives and works in Berlin

17. Nadine Robinson Born in 1968 in London, England Lives and works in New York City

18. Zbigniew Rogalski Born in 1974 in D_browa Bia_ostocka Lives and works in Warsaw

19. Wael Shawky Born in 1971 in Alexandria, Egypt Lives and works in Alexandria

20. Raphaël Siboni Born in 1981 in France Lives and works in Paris

21. Rose B. Simpson Born in 1983 in Santa Fe, New Mexico Lives and works at Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico

22. Shi Qing Born in 1969 in Inner Mongolia, China Lives and works in Beijing

Biennial Leadership

Lead Underwriter

Jeanne & Michael L. Klein

Curator's Patron

Marlene Nathan Meyerson

Honorary Chairs

Anne & John Marion, The Burnett Foundation Margarita & Albert Waxman

Exhibition Patrons

Anonymous, Karen & Steve Berkowitz, Virginia Dwan, Agnes Gund & Daniel Shapiro, Jeanne & Jim Manning, Millstream Fund, Mary Lawrence Porter, Margaret Robson, Alice C. Simkins, Ann Tenenbaum & Thomas H. Lee

Exhibition Supporters

Dottie & Dick Barrett, Cornelia Bryer & Herman Siegelaar, Bobbie Foshay, Marian T. Fung & Family, Katherine & James Gentry, Mari & Peter Kooi, Mihail S. Lari & Scott E. Murray, Rosina Lee Yue & Dr. Bert Lies, Toby D. Lewis, Joanne N. McCarthy, Alicia & Bill Miller, Cindy Miscikowski & Doug Ring, Rita & Kent Norton, Lorlee & Arnold Tenenbaum, Kathy & Charles Webster, Nancy Ziegler Nodelman & Dwight Strong

Artists' Patrons

Miguel Abreu Gallery, Susan Hobbs Gallery

Exhibition Friends

Anonymous, Gay Block & Rabbi Malka Drucker, Tina & Robert J. Denison, Sally & Thomas Dunning, Judith & Richard Greer, Pat T. Hall, Amanda & Keith Innes, Jeri Berger Hertzman & Dr. Philip Hertzman, Mary Kahlenberg & Rob Coffland, Carol Prins & John H. Hart, Crennan & David K. Ray, Courtney F. & Scott Taylor, Susan Steinhauser & Daniel Greenberg, David Teiger, Bebe Woolley & Daniel Gorski, Sandy Zane & Ned Bennett

Corporate Sponsors

UBS Financial Services, Houston Sotheby's

Special Events Sponsors

Gebert Contemporary & Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art, Landfall Press, James Kelly and SITE Unseen 5

Supporting Cultural Organizations

Arts Council Korea, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York Canadian Council of the Arts, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Goethe-Institut, Los Angeles Institut, Ramon Llull Italian Cultural Institute, Los Angeles, The Japan Foundation, Polish Cultural Institute, Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior (SEACEX),

Biennial Weekend Event Chairs

Cornelia Bryer & Herman Siegelaar

Residency Partner

Santa Fe Art Institute

Honorary Committee

Co-Chairs, The Honorable Bill Richardson Governor, New Mexico, The Honorable David Coss Mayor, Santa Fe

Committee Members

Dr. Indrasen Vencatachellum Chief of Section for Arts, Crafts & Design, UNESCO, Ambassador Dennis Richardson Embassy of Australia, Ambassador Eva Nowotny Embassy of Austria, Consul General Alain Dudoit Embassy of Canada, Ambassador Pierre Vimont Embassy of France, Ambassador Klaus Scharioth Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mariusz M. Brymora Culture & Public Affairs Counselor Embassy of the Republic of Poland

Off-SITE Location Partners

1005-G Alto Street Center for Contemporary Arts, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Institute of American Indian Arts, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture Museum of International Folk Art, National Dance Institute, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Palace of the Governors Santa Fe Opera School for Advanced Research

Additional Support

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs' Office of Media Initiatives & students from the College of Santa Fe, NM Highlands University & Institute of American Indian Arts Santa Fe Art Institute, Warehouse 21,

SITE Santa Fe is fortunate to partner with an extraordinary student documentary team, which is hard at work not only to document Lucky Number Seven, but also to incorporate the show's guiding principles-experimentation, collaboration, process, and community-into its final product. The documentary component of the project aims to convey the spirit of the exhibition and to serve as a lasting record long after the artists have gone and the exhibition is over. The finished product will be presented at SITE in the exhibition and online at

The filmmakers wish to thank biennial curator Lance Fung, the artists, and SITE Santa Fe for allowing the access and the opportunity to create this project. Thanks to the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and the academic programs: the Media Arts Program at New Mexico Highlands University, the Documentary Studies Program at the College of Santa Fe, and the New Media Arts Program at the Institute of American Indian Art, and for funding from the Mandelman-Ribak Foundation. SITE wishes to thank HD Solutions for its support of this project.

Student documentation team

Kenneth Bachicha, Veronica Black, Jeana Francis, Jason Jaacks, Carlo Martinez, Megan Fisher McHugh, Marni Samuels, and Paul Conley. The project is coordinated by Eliot Fisher from the College of Santa Fe under the overall direction of Mimi Roberts, DCA Director of Media Projects. Faculty advisors are Professors Robert Drummond and Miriam Langer from the NMHU Media Arts Program, Tony O'Brien from the CSF Documentary Studies Program, and Carlos Peinado from the IAIA New Media Arts Program

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Alison Knowles Tate Modern
London Times: Make A Salad

From: Alison Knowles
To: Joshua Selman
Subject: Tate rated
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 18:15:11 –0400

Josh: The event score to be performed at the Tate in London on May 24th at four o'clock in the afternoon is from the Great Bear Pamphlet By Alison Knowles published in 1964. The proposals for performance are labeled "propositions."

#2-Proposition (October, 1962)

Make a Salad

Premiered October 21st, 1962 at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London, I made and served up salad for perhaps 20 people.

Visiting the Turbine Hall is like standing in Grand Central Station at rush hour. Around 1900 people each day will attend what is titled the Fluxus Long Weekend. My friend Larry Miller and I are the arrangers of the event. He will do the Fluxsports and I the Salad. The other days will include collaborative pieces with performers they provide from Goldsmith college and I will also do a sound work called Newspaper Music. I am very honored by the invitation.

The Tate has been very cooperative with me in my structure for the performance and I in turn have yielded to their demands. They are both large and prestigious and have certainly made salad for special guests over the years, however the differences are significant. My audience must see and hear the salad in production before they can eat it. The first roadblock we surmounted was the actual performance site. I chose the bridge overlooking the entire space. The bridge is about twelve feet wide and approximately four metres from the floor below.

The salad will be selected by the head chef, that's me. The five other chefs they are providing will arrive with their own knives and implements for cutting and shaving vegetables. Chefs, I learned, never share their knives. They will all accompany me the day before to the Borough Market (nearby and the best in London they say) and help select the vegetables flowers and fruits to make a salad for around 500 people. Five hundred people is the figure that was printed in the London Sunday Times Ad this week at any rate. There will be no limit or selection of the people invited to eat. We will eat until it is gone. The table of preparation will be contact mic'd beneath, and the sound spread through the space with a PA system.

All the ingredients will be clean and bagged before we begin. Beneath the bridge a tarpaulin twelve meters square will be spread. It will receive the radishes, olives, violets, rose petals, carrots, tomatoes, at least three types of lettuce for sure. These ingredients will float down, thumping and bouncing and raining down from the bridge to the tarp below . The tarp will be held up at the sides and corners by only the most gifted students from Goldsmith college! The dressing will be dribbled over from the bridge. They promise canoe paddles and a sterilized garden rake for the mixing process, the tarp by now being too heavy to lift. I wished my grand daughters to do the raking in sterilized rubber boots, but this did not pass.

A Mozart quartet will initiate the chopping and when the salad is complete the quartet will finish the selection signaling the serving operation. The music of Mozart and the music of chopping have found a place together at last in contemporary sound art thanks to Proposition #2 and Lucy Railton who heads the quartet.

I have bowed to the hygienic demands of the institution, which has gone through hard territory with the English health department to have a legal salad. We have agreed to wear net hats and gloves but not mouth masks. They (five curators) have "adjusted" the small restrictions and we do have the approval of the Bank of England (really) who will be funding the Fluxus Long Weekend. I am confidant we will not be arrested. I wish the salad to be stupendous not sensational. We know that if we could get this world together there would be enough salad to feed everyone and that's the metaphor.

So, if you find yourself in London in May come to the Tate at four o'clock on the 24th and we can all pitch in, pitch it over and pull it off.

Alison Knowles for Artist Organized Art April 27 03

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