Sunday, November 9, 2008

Keep It Slick, The Yes Men at CMU Miller Art Gallery Pittsburgh PA

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The Pittsburgh Galleries blog is a volunteer effort from Rick Byerly to promote Pittsburgh art events which feature artists from the area. The website effort is an up-to-date directory with Pittsburgh area art venues. Thanks go to Sirani Gallery of 5875 Forbes Ave in Squirrel Hill for being a sponsor and David L. Edwards Art and Anonymous for their donations to this effort. Donation and sponsor info can be found here. Rick Byerly, Uniquetake Photography

Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men
Curated by Astria Suparak
Organized by Feldman Gallery, PNCA + Miller Gallery, Carnegie MellonNov. 14 – Feb. 15, 2009

· Nov. 14, 5-6pm: How To Be A Yes Man Workshop with preview film clips, Carnegie Mellon School of Art Lecture Series. In the “Your Town, Inc.” exhibition at Miller Gallery, 2nd Floor.
· Nov. 14, 6-8pm: Business Casual Reception
· Dec. 4, Thurs. 8pm: The Yes Men Movie Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Melwood Screening Room.

The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University and the Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art are proud to present the first major exhibition of renowned artist group the Yes Men. “Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with the Yes Men” will run September 4 through October 26, 2008 at the PNCA in Portland and November 14, 2008 through February 15, 2009 at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Each exhibition features a workshop and lecture by the Yes Men titled “How To Be A Yes Man,” with preview clips of their upcoming feature-length film, to be released next year. “The Yes Men are among the most visible and effective activist-artists of our time, reaching countless people through websites, newspapers, and television broadcasts,” said Astria Suparak, curator of Keep It Slick. “Over the past decade they have fearlessly taken on the world’s biggest corporations and bureaucracies. Infiltrating the elite realm of the influential and the moneyed, cloaked in the sheerest layer of authority–thrift-store suits, quick-print business cards, forged press releases–these social activators urge us to question where ethics belong in our capitalist-driven society.” The Yes Men have gained international acclaim and notoriety for exposing dehumanizing business practices and helping to keep critical issues in the international spotlight. They do this through impersonating representatives of powerful corporations and government organizations such as ExxonMobil, McDonald’s, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Yes Men’s famed hoaxes include a phony George W. Bush website celebrating the unsavory details of the then-Presidential candidate, and the false announcement of the World Trade Organization’s dissolution in order to shift focus to helping the poor. Co-organized by the Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, “Keep It Slick” exhibits the Yes Men’s practice with elaborate costumes, slapstick videos, outrageous posters, and selections from their personal collection. Though their sociopolitical pranks have been widely publicized, they have never been presented on such a large scale. “This survey represents the first-ever solo exhibition of the Yes Men. Here you can walk into a re-creation of their past exploits in the Conference area, witness a comically apocalyptic future, and pay your respects to a janitor who generously donated his body to satisfy our insatiable energy needs. In the Executive Board Room, you may browse through the Yes Men’s personal office items and orate along to their absurd PowerPoint presentations,” Suparak said.

The Yes Men have gained international notoriety for impersonating World Trade Organization spokesmen on international TV and at business conferences around the world. They describe what they do as Identity Correction. Unlike Identity Theft, which criminals practice with dishonest intent, Identity Correction is the art of impersonating a powerful criminal to publicly humiliate them for conspiring against the public good. Their targets have included big bad bureaucracies like the World Trade Organization, nasty world leaders such as George Bush, ugly right-wing think tanks like The Heritage Foundation, and heartless corporations such as Dow Chemical.

Dedicated to bringing national and international contemporary artists to Portland, the Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art showcases stellar artists who fully participate in a collaborative creative dialogue that includes studio visits, gallery talks and culminates in a public First Thursday opening. The Feldman Gallery is enriched through the College's partnerships with leading artistic and educational institutions including an on-going collaboration between the College and PICA’s TBA Festival, which in 2008 brings to the Gallery the culture-jamming activists The Yes Men.

The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon has supported the creation, understanding, and growth of contemporary art through exhibitions, projects, events, and publications since January 2000. The 9,000 square foot space functions as a showcase for experimentation, examination, discovery, and discussion. The gallery aspires to engage diverse audiences, to create and strengthen communities through art, and to stimulate, provoke, and encourage contemplation of the visual arts of our times. The Miller Gallery is a non-collecting facility located in the Purnell Center for the Arts, on Carnegie Mellon’s campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a unit of the College of Fine Arts and named for Regina Gouger Miller, avid art collector, alumna of the School of Art, and principal donor.

The Time-Based Art Festival is a contemporary art festival of regional, national, and international artists presenting theatre, dance, music, film, visual exhibition and installation. PICA presents moments of movement and imagery under bridges, over rivers, on stages and throughout the city—all in Portland, Oregon USA. The TBA Festival examines and celebrates every form of contemporary art and is the only festival of its kind in North America.


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