COSTUME JEWELRY THAT SCRATCHES THE SKIN: Introducing Four New Editions Publishers (September 19 - October 31, 2010)
Featuring the work of : Edicionces Caja Verde (Santiago de Chile), The Invisible Arts Club (Gateshead, U.K.), Payshay Fraysko (Genoa, Italy), and Single Room Occupancy (Vancouver, Canada)
Triple Candie is pleased to present "Costume Jewelry that Scratches the Skin," an exhibition of recent work by four international contemporary "art" publishers. Based in Canada, Chile, England, and Italy, the publishers distinguish themselves from others around the world by producing editions and multiples in inexpensive, unsigned, limitless quantitites. Their works are, in short, the costume jewelry of the art publishing world.
The publishers are a diverse bunch. One creates unlimited fabric multiples for distribution in department stores. Another designs posters for an anarchist community center. A third is run by a young artists' collective out of a flophouse kitchen, and the fourth is, well, a little hard to describe briefly. The exhibition provies a sampling of their work in the form of posters, digital photographs, books, stickers, printed coasters, small sculptures, knickknacks, ephemera, and other objects (except jewelry -- there is no jewelry). What saves these objects from becoming commodities pure and simple must be addressed on a case-by-case basis: Some of the pieces masquerade in the language of art, others are hand-made, a few are so obtuse as to be almost nonsensical. And all are at least partly marketed to an art audience by being exhibited in an art context (be it a gallery, museum, or art fair).
If there is anything vexing about these publishers, it is their fixation on authorless production. All are quick to deflect the issue when asked, noting that they are "publishers," "editors," or "directors" and that many others are involved in creative decision-making. When asked about the motivations behind working the way they do, the same three words come up repeatedly: "expedient," liberating," and "cost-efficient."
A Note about the Exhibition: "Costume Jewelry that Scratches the Skin" is the latest in a long series of exhibitions at Triple Candie about art but devoid of art. The publishers are fictional, and almost all of the editions and multiples in the show were sourced, altered, or designed by Triple Candie. The few real editions that have been included are unattributed. They include multiples by Allora & Calzadilla and Jonathan Lethem.