A word on the Art Hotel exhibit from
M5Arts co-curator Seumas R. Coutts, Ph.D.
The concept for the exhibition has two points of exodus: art—the making, management and mediation of art outside the conventional locations in museums and galleries—involving space-centered strategies for metropolitan development and policy. Both are problematic and prone to misconception through non-critical activism, and have emerged from different arenas with long histories and tend to be examined in seclusion. The use of knowledge in specialized and academic disciplines enables a shift, of accountability, so that decisions which determine city use and form appear remote from those they touch, or inevitable, a kind of municipal disfigurement; cities are not like an exotic flower that have been planted by experts in a greenhouse. They are hard and soft always becoming a mirror of the people whom inhabit the materiality that makes a city, a city. Perhaps it will be in the spaces between something old and something new that unorthodox frameworks for the display of art emerge, and perhaps these will be nurtured by the imagination to which the creative arts lay claim and those who support them, and is by no means arts exclusive property.
Art, plunges itself into the materiality of the earth, though with very distinctive singular aims in mind. This is what M5Arts ‘Art Hotel’ is going to do.
This exhibition is a way of looking at art in spaces from perspectives outside art; it is not a history or survey of art, for which the claims made tend to be more and through the research on the mind, city planning and the externalities of the social benefits it brings; not only to those those directly involved with such undertakings, it supports culture as a all-inclusive entity vital to a livable city and perhaps, reaffirms the idea that imagining possible futures – a project no more restricted to skilled planners than imagination and wonder is restricted to artists – all of which is part of a culture as a group gathering together to enjoy a warm night to celebrate a new birth, and that such imaginings may produce a regeneration in which the social benefits of such activities are understood as crucial. If this seems naive, the alternatives — tolerance of urban corrosion, skepticism, or the lack of fantasy—all of these are varieties of despair, and they defeat the one of the aims of art: to construct a future freed from its own narrative. This occupying spaces between the folds of art disciplines reflects my own tendency to think trans-disciplinary (where tolerance is greater because one is less of a threat, but where recognition is compounded with a critical sense of non-belonging). If my psyche draws me to an art work, then I should say still that critical thought requires such an approach, and that a trans-disciplinary enquiry is more likely to produce new insights into the social, cultural and political conditions in which the practices intervene than one based in a single discipline in the proverbial white cube.
Companion audio to the Art Hotel project in Sacramento, CA. Featuring former residents of the Marshall and Jade buildings, and the artists working to transform the block during it’s final weeks.
ART HOTEL ARTISTS
Gerald H. Thomas
Jose Di Gregorio
Diane Ruhkala Bel
Robert Jean Ray