Smack Mellon’s summer group exhibition Condensations of the Social will feature artistic projects that refer to the strands of the social that contribute to the formation of culture: pedagogy, ritual/performance, political and ideological engagement, work, and ecology and sustainability as they relate to place. The exhibition raises questions about the boundaries between art and life, while suggesting that social practice, to a greater degree than traditional art forms, has the potential to directly change how we live.
The exhibition includes projects by Pablo Helguera, Mary Mattingly, Mladen Miljanovic, Tim Rollins + K.O.S., Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and a group of nine artists who are students of Harrell Fletcher and Jen Delos Reyes within Portland State University’s MFA concentration in Art and Social Practice.
Exhibition curator Sara Reisman selected artists with the intention of linking current artistic practices to two historical nodes – the work of Rollins and Ukeles – which serve as early examples of terms that have gained important currency in contemporary art: the pedagogical turn, relational aesthetics, participation, life art, and collaboration, among others. Condensations also explores the contradictory qualities of the medium by bringing together a variety of artworks and approaches that range from altruistic and outside the art world to socially motivated from within the art system.