The Gift Shop, 2009–2010

In 2009, I proposed the Henry Art Gallery repurpose their vacant museum store space. The result was The Gift Shop: a temporary, autonomous, artist-powered alternative exhibition space located just off the museum's lobby.

Production still from Jenny and Joe I know I know. Photo by Jenny Zwick and Joseph Park.

Joe Plummer performing Work Song. Photo by Leo Saul Berk.

Goals included: involving a diverse and interesting group of artists; developing means and methods which acknowledge the contingent nature of this particular site; generating new understandings of what an exhibition can be; and enjoying the pleasure and energy generated by working together.

Installation view of The Gift Shop Presents Presents. Photo by Sol Hashemi.

Six artist teams produced six short-run low-budget collaborative exhibitions. The teams created their projects autonomously, while I acted as director and liaison with the museum curators, staff, and other stakeholders. The resulting exhibitions posed questions about the roles artists are asked to play, and how an artist-empowered space located within a museum might be different than other kinds of spaces.

Installation view of Atlas of Gifted Ideas. Photo by Gretchen Bennett.

Installation view of Champange Truffles. Photo by Saya Moriyasu.

Emphasis was on work that arose from conversation, innovative strategies for collaboration and exhibition, process and inquiry, and putting new ideas into play. Other interests: discursiveness not totality, permeability of boundaries, regionalism vs. internationalism, authorship vs. anonymity, making more with less.

The inner-workings of Moonlight Requisition. Photos by Jennifer Nemhauser.

A year later I wrote this essay. It appeared in an exhibition catalog which is available to purchase from Publication Studio, or as a free download.

Gift Shop Exhibition 1 of 6

I know I know Jenny and Joe
Jenny Zwick and Joe Park
October 23–November 14, 2009

2 of 6

The Gift Shop Presents: Presents
Sol Hashemi, Jason Hirata and Claire Cowie
November 20–December 13

3 of 6

The Atlas of Gifted Ideas
edited by Heide Hinrichs and Shaw Osha
December 18–January 17, 2010

4 of 6

Moonlight Requisition
Debra Baxter, Margot Quan Knight and Matthew Offenbacher
January 22–February 14

5 of 6

Work Song
Joe Plummer, Eric Fredericksen, Tyler Cufley, Ben Chickadel, Leo Saul Berk and Gretchen Bennett
March 4–March 14

6 of 6

Champagne Truffles
Jennifer Campbell, Nicholas Nyland, Saya Moriyasu, Maki Tamura and Ian Toms
March 25–April 11

read the catalog essay
visit a blog with more pictures
download the catalog (pdf, 1.7 MB)*
download documents (pdf, 580 KB)

*catalog is also available from Publication Studio