Monday, March 12, 2007

Talasek: Response to "that audience issue"

From: JD Talasek
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 22:32:46 -0400

thank you for the comments regarding the challenge of providing venues for the type of work discussed in this symposium.

First, I would like to acknowledge how the origin of this symposim can be traced back to Paradise Now: Picturing the Genetic Revolution. When the exhibition traveled to UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, it provided the catalyst for dialogue between our two institutions culminating in the creation and co-sponsorship of this symposium. The exhibition introduced me to the art work of our facilitator Suzanne Anker as well as others who we have exhibited at the National Academy of Sciences.

You mentioned the “entrepreneurial spirit” it takes to create venues to show this type of work. As implied in your post, the real challenge is creating and educating an audience. After all, the work that has been discussed so far is introducing an unfamiliar dialogue and process to the community which still all too often judges the quality of work based upon what would look good hanging in one’s living room.

So within the context of this section on social and cultural concerns, I’m curious to hear from our diverse experts on the issues faced by venues hosting bioart exhibitions. If such venues are liaisons between artist and public, how can they better facilitate this connection? What is the critics’ role in this?

JD Talasek
Director Office of Exhibitions and Cultural Programs
National Academy of Sciences

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