Franklin Street Works presents the original exhibition Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action, on view from October 27, 2012 - January 13, 2013. The exhibition looks at three threads of alternative art space histories and examines how engaged, inclusive strategies are still being used to break down perceived barriers between contemporary art and its audiences. The themes covered in Working Alternatives are conviviality and food, artists who use media (newspapers, television, and radio) as platforms for artworks, and artist collectives in the US, explored through an open archive gathered specifically for this exhibition.
Originally Working Alternatives was designed to be the backdrop for our first annual fundraiser, but Franklin Street Works is postponing that event until the spring so the indoor/outdoor extravaganza will coincide with warmer weather and have less proximity to long-standing regional art events. If you saved the date for our fundraiser, however, don’t despair and keep it on your calendars – there is still a party! Working Alternatives will open on the same night, October 27, from 5:00 -8:00 pm with a free, public reception. The evening will include a lively performance of San Francisco artist Tom Marioni’s “Drinking Beer Sonata with 13 Players” where thirteen people will create music by blowing into beer bottles based on Marioni’s instructions.
For Working Alternatives, curators Mackenzie Schneider, Terri C Smith, and Jess Wilcox explore three threads of alternative art platforms and production: conviviality and food as components in alternative art space programming and mission (Wilcox); artists using media such as radio, television, and newspapers as alternative venues for presenting work (Schneider); and artist collectives presented in a living archive with weekly changing exhibitions using archive materials (Smith). In addition to historical examples, the exhibition also includes original artworks by contemporary artists that reflect and expand on the showʼs themes. Working Alternatives’ artists include: Paul Branca, Jaime Davidovich, ESP TV, Group Material, Ann Hirsch, Tom Marioni, Anna Ostoya, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag. Franklin Street Works is also excited to collaborate on several off-site artworks, including the live radio broadcast of an Ann Hirsch performance on WPKN, Bridgeport, and collages by Anna Ostoya in the Stamford Advocate via four, monthly ads during the show’s run.
“Franklin Street Works’ mission as a not-for-profit art organization is inspired, in part, by this rich history of alternative art spaces in New York and beyond, making Working Alternatives an informed expression of our influences and programming,” says Creative Director, Terri C Smith, “Considering our exhibitions often involve a level of collaboration, that our space has a café designed to be a convivial gathering place, and our affinity for new media, the sub-themes of the exhibition reflect our spirit and history in a nuanced manner, making this a fitting one-year anniversary exhibition for Stamford’s newest not-for-profit contemporary art space.”