Local is the New Conceptual

I’m looking forward to tonight’s panel discussion Local is the New Conceptual: Seattle Art in the Public Sphere, which will take place at 7 p.m. at Greg Kucera as part of the current group exhibition I. D.: Individual Demographics.  The discussion will be moderated by Jen Graves and will involve panelists Ken Allen, Stephen Lyons and Dann Webb.

Dan Webb. The New You Machine.  Sculpey, plywood and metal, 2009. 23 x 15 x 18 in.

Dan Webb. The New You Machine. Sculpey, plywood and metal, 2009.

The panel discussion will be presented, in part, in response to the discussion at last year’s Century 21: Dealer’s Choice show, which Jen Graves called the “Scariest Art Event This Year.”

The panel discussion felt like a painfully limited and self-satisfied conversation, and it made me feel weird about the Seattle art world at the gallery level. I wrote: “It felt like a small-town meeting, with everybody congratulating everybody else on the installation of a new four-way stop.”

Gallerist Greg Kucera challenged Jen to put her money where her mouth is, and she has.  Her panel discussion will focus on the slippery concept of Northwest Regionalism.

The title is “‘Local Is the New Conceptual'”—something Webb said once (in a podcast here) about the periodic obsession with regionalism. We’ll be talking about how hard it is to talk about the identity of a city’s art scene, and then we’ll also be talking about the identity of this city’s art scene: How can it be described? What is lacking? In a pre-panel conversation the other day, we really got into it. Our only concern is that we could talk about this for hours.

This is a topic I’ve also given some thought to, and I am interested in seeing how the conversation unfolds.  See you there!

~ by emilypothast on June 10, 2009.

2 Responses to “Local is the New Conceptual”

  1. whoa! Fantastic. Please report back Emily, I can’t go and would love to hear your take on the discussion.

  2. I was race-racing to get there but ended up terminally planted on 520’s unrelenting pavement. I didn’t even get across the bridge until 7:30 — but wow do I look forward to reading what everyone has to say about it 😀

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