Chain Letter Santa Monica: part 1 - Friday

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A crazy art event transpired this week at Bergamot.
It all started with a call for art on Facebook:

"Chain Letter" is a group show wherein 10 artists have been invited to participate. 
Those 10 then invite 10 artists whom they admire. 
Those 10 invite 10 more and so on. This cycle continues for 30 days. 
The result is an exponentially massive, artist-curated group show based entirely on admiration.

Organized by Christian Cummings & Doug Harvey

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 23, 6 - 8 pm
Installation for artists: Friday, July 22 


More than a thousand artists converged at Bergamot on Friday. I heard it was gridlock on Cloverfield and they had to call in the police. Those lucky enough to find parking queued up for hours for intake and installation.
photo by Steve Craig
I was lucky - Katherine Kean very kindly braved it all and got my piece in the 2nd annex in D2. She also took a piece that Lani Asher had mailed me from San Francisco. (I had to work).
there is my piece when Katherine installed it (photo by Katherine)
I saw much heated discussion on Facebook on Friday over how insane it all was. Sant Khalsa drove from San Bernardino (75 miles) only to turn around and drive home, unable to cope with the hubbub at Bergamot. Here is her Chain Letter piece that she faxed to Shoshana Wayne:
Sant Khalsa
Participation: From Here to There and Back
Inspired by the L.A. Art & Life Experience

Friday, July 22, 2011

Awoke early this morning with the best of intentions to deliver my mixed media photographic sculpture, Tree and a wonderful clay and rubber piece by my colleague and friend, Alison Petty Raguette to Shoshana Wayne Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica for the Chain Letter 2011 exhibition, a summer group show curated by Christian Cummings and Doug Harvey.

I felt it was important to participate because I wholeheartedly support the concept of the exhibition. I also wanted to acknowledge through participation, the inspiration I gain from so many of the artists I personally know and share ideas with in the L.A. art community as well as others I have never met.

I arrived at Bergamot Station at 9:30 am (thinking that was early – before 10 am) after an almost two hour, 75 mile drive from my home in San Bernardino. The I-10 freeway Cloverfield Ave exit off ramp was backed up with hundreds of cars carrying artists with their work. By the time I got through the gate of Bergamot, traffic was in a deadlock and a line of artists had formed around the property. Artworks were sprawled everywhere (some very large sized works transported in U-Haul trucks). I existed the parking lot and circled the surrounding neighborhood looking for parking as artists walked long distances carrying their artworks. Meanwhile, the line of cars from the freeway was rapidly getting longer and parking was nowhere to be found. After a phone conversation with Alison, I decided to head home and accept that our artworks would not be included in the massive heap of inspired creative debris that would cover the floor of the gallery.

Driving home, I thought about my experience and my disappointment. I also thought about how many of my conceptual ideas for artworks come while I am driving on the So Cal freeways and that the act of driving to Santa Monica from San Bernardino and back is my piece, my Participation in the Chain Letter.
Sant Khalsa

There was a big outcry when the gallery capped the artworks at 1700. A Salon des Refus├ęs was created by Marino Pascal
Chain Letter Overflow show
That's BS. First there is no rules and then they cap it at 1700 people. WTF?
#1. Real artists are always late.
#2. Real artists don't wait in line.
I'm setting up a chain letter overflow exhibition at 6551 West Bl, Inglewood, CA, 90302.

Setup, opening and strike: 5-9pm Sat Jul 23, 2011

1 comment:

  1. here is Katherine's write-up of her installation experience: http://katherinekean.blogspot.com/2011/07/chain-letter-los-angeles-installation.html
    what a trouper!