Digital Opening for Artifacts at the End of a Decade 2/25/21
By Jill Hughes | Tuesday, February 23, 2021
By Jill Hughes
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
The digital opening for the UMCA exhibition, Artifacts at the End of a Decade takes place this Thursday, February 25th, at 6:00pm. Co-curated from the UMCA collection by Jill Hughes, 2021 MA Art History candidate, and Jessica Scott, 2021 MFA Studio Arts candidate, the exhibition will present the artists’ book Artifacts at the End of a Decade in its entirety for the first time since 1989.
In August of 1979, Steven Watson and Carol Huebner mailed 200 invitations to artists they had never met, asking if they would like to contribute to a project about the previous decade.
More than fifty people replied, “Yes,” and two years later the project was completed. Artifacts at the End of a Decade is the result — an unbound artists’ book whose “pages” consist of 44 unique pieces of photography, ceramics, fiber, print, clothing, painting, and drawing, contributed by artists including Martha Rosler, Fab 5 Freddy, Laurie Anderson, Sol LeWitt, Michelle Stuart, John Ashbery, Robert Wilson, Lucinda Childs, and Robert Kushner, among many others.
This exhibition prompts the audience to examine the meaning of these works, now that we have seen how history has unfolded through a 40-year span, from the 1970s to today. Artifacts provides space to consider the past from the vantage point of a collaborative work of cultural reflection. What about their time did these artists most want to communicate to future audiences? How did they envision us? On the eve of our own new decade, this prescient and multifaceted artists’ book models a hands-on approach in using a subjective perspective to understand the socio-political moment, asking, “Have we been here before? How did we survive then, and how can we survive now?”
To view the digital exhibition, including guided virtual tours and audio guides by Hughes and Scott, visit the exhibition page here.
To reserve a digital ticket for Thursday’s opening, please visit the UMCA event page here.