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First exhibitions of the new season!

AC Institute
547 West 27th Street, 6th floor
September 9 - October 16, 2010
Web Site

Sept. 9th, 2010 from 6-8 pm For the first exhibitions of the new season!

New Space Gallery #610 Same location, just one floor up.

The AC Institute presents five solo exhibitions on the theme of exchange and value


Be Andr: Structure

Katie Latona: The ‘Eat My Problems’ Bake Exchange

Sebasjtan Leban and Stas Kleindienst: _Buy Your Own Art Experience_

Max Liboiron: The New York Trash Exchange (NYTE)

Kim Wan: When does an art gallery give away artworks?

Be Andr: Structure The piece Structure explores the links between exchange and value. It is an interactive installation that continues to be created and grow as the audience interacts with it by exchanging something of their own for a piece of the art work – a poster depicting the value of one pound in different currencies on the day the idea of the piece occurred to the artist.

The objects the visitors decide to exchange for a piece of art should be placed on the black area on the floor as an integrated part of the installation.

When the black area on the floor is full of objects they will be removed and placed into black plastic bags next to the exchange area. The plastic bags will be part of the installation, and will be exhibited as part of the installation when the piece is on display.

This installation will continue to grow as more and more people interact with it. When all the posters are exchanged new ones must be printed.

In this way the installation continues to grow each time it is exhibited. The number of black plastic bags will show how well it is received and in that way also be a measure of its value.

Katie Latona: The ‘Eat My Problems’ Bake Exchange Taking the form of a traditional “bake sale,” this project presents a group of anonymous problems, baked into cookies, that are available for exchange with the viewer. To receive a cookie, the viewer (now participant) must submit one of his or her own problems, by writing it down on the card provided, and depositing it into the box. The submitted problems will then be baked into the next batch of cookies, which will be replenished throughout the exhibition.

At its most basic level, the “bake sale” sees a cookie traded for our participation in the project. The cookie is “free” in that no money changes hands, but it does ask something of us: that we engage with the project. We also exchange our problem for someone else’s; we are able to relieve ourselves of a burden, whether mundane (“netflix addiction”) or deeply personal (“premature ovarian failure”), only to take on another’s. We are sharing the load.

Is one problem worth more than another? Is one cookie less enticing because of what is stamped into it? Is it fair to exchange a “strange groin lump” problem for the “flat bike tire” cookie? Is that considered a bargain? What is the value of my labor, as the artist and baker?

Sebastjan Leban and Stas Kleindienst: Buy Your Own Art Experience Who, how and what defines what an artwork IS? The answer to this question can be traced in the system of valorization of artwork, which defines, values and places the artwork in a larger social context inscribing it at the same time into the genealogy of the history of art. One of the fundamental problems of the art world and the art market is the attachment to the original as some kind of fetish, which of course, is evaluated with all of society’s fetishes and installed into a specific hierarchical valorization. The project Buy Your Own Art Experience explores and exposes the issue of idealization of art and the artist, the valorization system of artworks and capital produced through the culture industry. The project consists of five performances documented in photographs. Those who buy the performance will have the possibility to participate in the real performative act. On the contrary, if one decides to buy a photograph (object), the performances will be interrupted and the final result of the project will be an object-photograph as a pure commercial artefact. Thus the buyer will be faced with the fact that he/she can consciously activate the process of context alienation, which cancels the performative element of the project by transforming it into an object.

The Leban/Kleindienst’s artistic practice is characterized by intermedia interdisciplinarity that is reflected in the critical analysis of the systems of valorization (in the arts and in other fields), contemporary migration, new forms of colonialism and other phenomena occurring within the changing social formation. Through art and theory, Leban/Kleindienst intervene into specific systems with the aim to establish contemporary critical tools that enable to rearticulate the ever more complex social reality.

Max Liboiron: The New York Trash Exchange (NYTE) The New York Trash Exchange (NYTE) is a cross between a cultural laboratory experiment, environmental activism, and a model of economic change. Like all of Max Liboiron’s recent work, this piece is a participant-determined, interactive economy based on trash. A miniature city has been made from New York City discards. Gallery visitors are welcome to take any piece of the city away with them at any time as long as they make and leave something behind in exchange. This single rule of interaction mimics a steady-state economy, where there is no net growth or decline, though there is still development.

All of Liboiron’s trash installations include a different one-rule economy. Gallery visitor’s interactions with the work usually create social economies that exhibit different characteristics than those of everyday market-driven capitalism. They tend to show that people are not inherently greedy, self-maximizing, or selfish, but generous, creative, and even daring in their relationships to goods and to each other. Visitor actions are tracked with video or surveys and the data is used to model and imagine sustainable economic and material futures.

New Yorkers are the ultimate test of self-interest and material accumulation, but New York is also a bastion of creativity— how will visitors to the AC Institute choose to “develop” this miniature New York City? Will it be impoverished, with viewers taking the best pieces and leaving behind rubbish (as Canadian curators and critics have predicted)? Or will it flourish? The end result is in your hands.

The final outcome of the exhibition will be published at

Kim Wan: When does an art gallery give away artworks? Just when does an art gallery give away artworks, hand-made especially for the free market? In a world of climate change and water shortages does free, clean water mean anything to a person living in the developed world? Are paintings more important than water? When does money become art, instead of art accruing fiscal value? These are some of the questions posed in this installation by artist Kim Wan.

The installation itself consists of hand-painted $1 bills, photocopies of drawings, a water-cooler with a set of scales and plastic cups. As the viewer enters the space, s/he is offered the choice of taking either a photocopy or a cup of water. The painted dollar bills, however, stay on the wall, occupying the space and remain indeterminate.

“I am attempting to set up a market economy within the gallery space.  In response to the project brief, I have identified differences between the ‘artificial’ value that consumers place on luxury objects such as paintings, and the ‘real’ value placed on natural resources - such as a cup of water. In identifying the choices and economic forces which shape and inform a free-market economy, I wish to enter into a discourse where the artworks become an interactive and quantifiable commodity. My aim is to realise interpretations and debates surrounding the capitalist system whilst provoking discussion and debate Art, money, death, life.............” (Kim Wan)


Be Andr was born in 1978 in Oslo, Norway and now resides and works in London. He studied at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL London. His art has been exhibited at the ‘Third Thoughts’ exhibition at CCA Andraxt, Spain curated by Barry Schwabsky and Carol Szymanski. Some of his new pieces will be shown at the ‘Multiplied: Contemporary Edition Fair’ at Christie’s, London in October 2010. Katie Latona was born in Islip, New York in 1981, and received a BA from Fordham University in 2003. She works in a variety of media on projects for galleries and public spaces, and has exhibited nationally. From a background in painting, Katie’s practice is now predominately materials-based, and involves performance, photography, and video. Her focus has long been on using ephemeral systems to investigate language: how it circulates, and what it asks of us. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with her degree due in 2011.

Sebastjan Leban is working in the field of art and theory. He is a co-founder and co-editor of Reartikulacija and is a lecturer of Radical Critical Analysis at the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) in Ljubljana. His artistic practice involves the collaboration with Stas Kleindienst and the group Reartikulacija. He has exhibited in numerous national and international exhibitions, participated in many symposiums and had texts published in several different publications. He is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the Institute of Philosophy at SRC of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Stas Kleindienst works in the field of art and theory in collaboration with Sebastjan Leban and is a member and a co-fouder of the group Reartikulacija. He has exhibited in numerous exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad and has had texts published in different publications. He lives and works in Ljubljana.

Max Liboiron is an artist and academic whose understandings of environmental relationships were formed growing up in rural northern Canada in an area disproportionately affected by poor environmental health, deforestation, reservation poverty, and climate change. Now a PhD candidate at New York University in Media, Culture, and Communication, Liboiron continues to work with issues of environmental sustainability—specifically, garbage— in academia while exhibiting her art in Canada and the United States.

Kim Wan is a contemporary artist working on an international platform. Recent collaborations include a self-portrait in the National Portrait Gallery, London; exhibiting work alongside Van Gogh; and public art in Bejing. Kim is a process-based artist, investigating materials and different disciplines and then developing them into more advanced and/or reconciled works. Educated at Winchester School of Art, UK, in Fine Art and trained as a painter with an artistic lineage tracing back to David Bomberg, Kim reaches beyond formal approaches to the problem of painting and embraces the new. Art insiders have described Kim Wan as being in that group of painters that includes Bacon, Freud and Auerbach. Being of Chinese-Malay and English descent, this heady mix informs Kim’s work. Not Chinese work, not English work, but both and more: informed by a far-reaching global consciousness.

Shows run from September 9, 2010 to October 16, 2010 Artists talks to be scheduled. Check back!

About AC Institute: AC’s mission is to advance the understanding of art through investigation, research and education. It is a lab and forum for experimentation and critical discussion. We support and develop projects that explore a performative exchange across visual, verbal and experiential disciplines. We encourage critical writing that challenges conventional expectations of meaning and objectivity as well as the boundaries between the rational and subjective.

Art Currents is a non-profit 501©3. AC Institute 547 W. 27th St, 6th Floor New York, NY 10001 Gallery #610 / email: Gallery Hours: Wed., Fri. & Sat.: 1-6pm, Thurs.: 1-8pm
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