Other People’s Projects is an occasional programming strand at White Columns, New York in which their project space is offered to idiosyncratic organisations, collectives, publishers, individuals, etc. to introduce their activities and/or enthusiasms to a wider audience. White Columns presentation marks the first stage of collaboration between the two organisations. Studio Voltaire will present a project at White Columns in Spring 2008.
White Columns will present two video works by the Canadian artists Jeff Funnell and John Will. The tragicomic video Making The Rounds (1981/82) documents, in a casual verité manner, the Winnipeg-based artists 1981 tour of SoHo galleries (inc. those of Ronald Feldman, Paula Cooper, Leo Castelli and Mary Boone, as well as not-for-profits such as The Kitchen and Artists Space). At each stop the artists try to engage with the gallery director in an attempt to show them a sheet of 35mm slides (which in fact depict images of photographic equipment). Their second film Exploitation Gallery (1981/82) records the presentation – and often bemused reception – of Making The Rounds at a Winnipeg storefront gallery. Seen together the two films provide a quarter-century ‘flashback’, as well as offering a still pertinent commentary on the social-mechanics at play in the art world.
White Columns is New York’s oldest alternative art space. It was founded in 1970 by Jeffrey Lew and Gordon Matta-Clark as an experimental platform for artists. The non for profit gallery presents an ongoing program of exhibitions, projects, talks, screenings and events. Over the past thirty-seven years hundreds of artists have benefited from early exposure and support at White Columns, including: William Wegman, Sonic Youth, Jack Goldstein, John Stezaker, David Wojnarowicz, Group Material, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cady Noland, ACT-UP, John Currin, and Sean Landers, amongst many others. Since 2005, under the directorship of Matthew Higgs, the organisation has presented the work of more than 250 international artists – of all generations – in more than sixty individual exhibitions and projects.
Jeff Funnell and John Will, Other People’s Projects, 2007. Courtesy of the artists, White Columns, New York and Studio Voltaire, London.