Walker Art Center

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OPEN-ENDED (the art of engagement)

How can an art gallery be more than a gallery? Can it also be a stage, a media station, an info lounge, a salon, and a cinematheque? How can it be a community—a chaotic utopia or utopian chaos that creates a community? These challenging questions activate OPEN-ENDED (the art of engagement), an exhibition that invites visitors to go beyond mere viewing to playing an active role in the art. To fill this tall order, it brings together artists with whom the Walker has formed ongoing relationships, to construct and energize a shared space.

The core of the exhibition is composed of three new projects built on-site by past Walker artists-in-residence. Choreographer Ralph Lemon’s installation is a landscape of memory and history re-created from his stage set for Come home Charley Patton (2004), the third part of his Geography Trilogy co-commissioned and presented by the Walker. This work collides with and counterbalances other scenarios of “home” made by Catherine Opie and Sam Durant during their residencies in 2002. Filmmaker Spencer Nakasako, whose self-activated video booth was shown here in 2001, creates a digital media station for recording and playing videos within the exhibition as well as expanding interactive communication between the gallery and the outside world. Visual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, continuing his influential practice of transforming the gallery into a social space, builds a stage/lounge enlivened by a series of programs for use by visitors.

OPEN-ENDED is more than an exhibition—it will evolve constantly, with its overall shape and perimeter shifting through contributions and interventions from creative minds in our neighborhood. It will include events and performances put together by guest curators and artists, regularly scheduled video screenings, and programmed and spontaneous salons where visitors can gather for discussion. An attempt to question the distinction between art and life and to build a community inside the gallery, OPEN-ENDED aims to be a social space for all.

Curator: Doryun Chong

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Funding

OPEN-ENDED (the art of engagement) is made possible by generous support from the Bush Foundation.