I’m doing a talk on Tuesday the 16th at 10:30 at the Aiken County Historical Museum in South Carolina about The Sharing Project installation and the forgotten socialist Jewish commune of Happyville — which existed for a short period (1905-1908) near Aiken — in advance of the exhibition of the installation at the Aiken County Historical Museum this summer. If you’re in the area on the 16th, it would be great to see you there!
I’m excited about the communal sculpture sharing event this Friday from 5-6:30 at the Smith Gallery, as the finale of the exhibition of The Sharing Project installation at Appalachian State University. If you live near Boone or will be in the area, come check out the 15 videos, 21 interviews and communal sculpture in the installation – and then help distribute / share the objects gathered over the course of the exhibition.
I’m looking forward to doing a talk about my work at Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) this evening (Thursday) at 6 pm at the Turchin Center Lecture Hall. I will be talking about the exhibition of The Sharing Project installation that is on display at the Smith Gallery at App State through October 27, as well as the rest of my work; framing what I’ve done in terms of ethics, environmentalism, and mysticism and in relationship to some of the artists and teachers who’ve inspired me over the years – like my mentor at Yale, Ronald Jones; my teachers at Art Center, including Stephen Prina, Diana Thater, Mike Kelley & Patti Podesta; Bas Jan Ader; Felix Gonzalez Torres; and Mierle Laderman Ukeles. For those of you who will be in the area… I very much hope to see you at App State this evening!
There’s certainly a lot of things to worry about right now. Increased hate speech and hate crimes; fascist, racist rallies; a terrifying US president and cabinet; deportations; global warming; hurricanes… Yet, somehow I retain hope. I’m encouraged by the resistance here and I’m buoyed when I hear about how many of the Tree Babies are thriving. When I started taking care of The Tree in the middle of the parking lot, I never thought that The Tree would have so many offspring and that so many people and institutions would be kind enough to adopt them. Not all of the Tree Babies are still with us, but many are and many of them are thriving. One of them lives in Germany, far apart from its many siblings in Southern California. Smaller than its siblings, it must still be quite happy; as it has been cared for wonderfully by the Haubrok Foundation. This small German Tree Baby can be seen in front of Stephan Adamski’s new gallery space in Berlin as part of an impressive exhibition, organized by film curator Marc Glöde and collector Axel Haubrok with Black Flamingo Projects, called “la > x” – which focuses on artistic viewpoints from LA. The show includes the movie version of Sick-Amour as well as a large photo of The Tree. The opening is tonight (September 12) from 7 – 9 pm at FAHRBEREITSCHAFT (herzbergstraße 40-43, 10365 Berlin). The exhibition, which features works by my former teachers Stephen Prina and Christopher Williams as well as Margaret Honda, will run from September 15 to December 2. The show is open on Saturdays after 3 pm (pre-registration necessary; firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s also open on september 15 from 7 – 9 pm and on september 16 and 17 from 12 – 6 pm for Berlin Art Week.
The Sharing Project installation is traveling to the Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. If you’re in the area, I hope you can join me and gallery director, Jennie Carlisle, at the opening event, this Friday from 5-6:30 pm. The show features 15 videos – and 21 interviews – that explore the meaning of sharing and the forgotten Socialist Jewish commune of Happyville (1905-1908) in South Carolina.
A communal sculpture of shared objects has already started growing. Please consider contributing to it by bringing toys, tools, or other domestic items. You will have the opportunity, at the end of the show, to take these things and give them away to whomever you think will enjoy them.
After the opening, there will be a series of other events, including a lecture / discussion, a full day symposium on sharing, and a visit to a NC intentional community. More info and press release, below.
The Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University
215.421.7118 / email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Exhibition at the Smith Gallery Addresses the Personal and Political Dimensions of Sharing
Joel Tauber: The Sharing Project
September 1 – October 27, 2017
Opening Reception, September 1, 5-6:30pm at the Smith Gallery
The Smith Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of The Sharing Project, a multimedia documentary installation by Winston-Salem based artist Joel Tauber, which grapples with questions of how and why we share in the context of family and political life. The project features a set of fourteen paired videos that present challenging episodes from the artist’s life as a parent teaching his young son about the social virtues and limits of sharing, along with a central video projection detailing visits to the site of the historic Jewish commune of Happyville, in South Carolina to explore the land where a utopian social experiment briefly flourished. Tauber underscores the complex nature of sharing by including a diverse array of expert opinions from fields ranging from History, Anthropology, Education, Political Science, and Philosophy. These are presented through an iPad app that allows visitors to peruse interviews according to their own interests.
The final component of the installation is a community sculpture that will evolve as visitors contribute toys, tools, and other domestic items. At the close of the exhibition, all items collected will be redistributed through a community sharing event. All who attend the opening on September 1st are encouraged to bring something from their own homes to help create the foundation for the sculpture.
While The Sharing Project originated from a highly personal place for the artist, Tauber has been quick to ground the project in larger concerns. “The question of how much we should share is interconnected with the question of what political system we should adopt. Inequity is not just a political problem—it’s also an ethical, philosophical, historical, economic, biological (perhaps), psychological, and pedagogical one. I’ve tried to expose the complexities of this problem through a rigorous, personal, and interdisciplinary examination of what is inseparable from any possible solution—the meaning and value of sharing,” the artist said.
The Smith Gallery decided to host the exhibition for just these reasons. Gallery Director, Jennie Carlisle, noted that much of the current political polarization taking place at local, state, and national levels seems to center around questions of how best to allocate resources, who deserves these resources and why. “Tauber’s project is a very approachable, intimate view of an issue we are called to make decisions around every day in a myriad of ways,’’ she said. “Beyond this, we are thrilled to present the installation, because it is a rare opportunity to see an outstanding example of expanded documentary – a new field of art production that blends video, audio, and web based interactive technology.”
This exhibition and its programs are supported by a North Carolina Arts Council grant as well as the College of Fine and Applied Arts and the Art Department at Appalachian State University.
Artist Talk with Joel Tauber | September, 21, 6pm | Turchin Center Lecture Hall
Tauber will offer a public lecture about the project, his career, his approach to new media production, and the way that his Jewish cultural heritage informs the work he makes.
Field Trip to Earthaven Ecovillage | September 23, 9-4pm
The gallery hosts a field trip to Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC to learn about one of the most established intentional communities in Western North Carolina, and to hear community members talk about their approach to resource sharing, the challenges they face, and the role that artmaking and creativity plays in their community building. Contact Jennie at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to reserve a spot.
Family Activities in the Gallery
September 25 and October 4. Times to be announced.
Join Brooke Hofsess and students in the Art Education program for morning and afternoon playshops that incorporate art making, games, and stories on the theme of sharing. Perfect for families with children 5 and under. Contact Jennie at email@example.com for more information and to reserve a spot.
Symposium: Sharing &
Friday, October 20. Time and Location to be announced.
A one day panel discussion series addressing the idea of sharing in relation to a range of contemporary social concerns - immigration, education, healthcare, and environment. The emphasis of the event will be to present cross-disciplinary and divergent perspectives, to focus on local and statewide concerns, and to provide a forum to think through the interconnection between personal and political belief systems related to resource sharing. More information coming soon.
Free Market: Community Sculpture Distribution Event | Friday, October 27, 5-6:30pm
Come celebrate the close of the exhibition with a meal sharing event and the redistribution of items collected for the making of a community sculpture. Take home a hidden treasure, toy, tool or household item to share with a friend or family member.
About the Artist
Joel Tauber is an artist and filmmaker based in Winston-Salem. He teaches experimental film and orchestrates the video art program at Wake Forest University. His work has been shown in solo art exhibitions at a number of locations, including Galerie Adamski in Berlin as well as Aachen, Germany; the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach; the Helen Lindhurst Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Southern California; the Rocky Mountain School of Photography; and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. He has been included in numerous group art exhibitions including the 2004 and 2008 California Biennials at the Orange County Museum of Art; “The Gravity in Art” at the De Appel Centre For Contemporary Art in Amsterdam; and “Still Things Fall From the Sky” at the California Museum of Photography. Film Festivals include the Sedona International Film Festival, the San Francisco Documentary Festival, and the Downtown Film Festival – Los Angeles, where his movie, “Sick-Amour”, was awarded “Best Green Film.” Tauber won the 2007 Contemporary Collectors of Orange County Fellowship, the 2007-2008 CalArts / Alpert Ucross Residency Prize for Visual Arts, and a 2015 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts in conjunction with a residency from The Grand Central Art Center.
About the Smith Gallery
The Smith Gallery is a vibrant contemporary art space, housed in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. It presents original and travelling exhibitions, features work by faculty and students at the university, and commissions daring new art in all of its forms. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM and during special events scheduled at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, 731 Rivers Street, Boone, NC 28608. Admission is FREE.
I’m heading to LA next week to visit The Tree in the middle of Rose Bowl parking lot K and to celebrate one of its 200 Tree Babies that is growing so beautifully and tall at USC.
The Tree and its Tree Babies began teaching me about love, devotion, and activism quite a long time ago, and they continue to do so today.
They also continue to teach me about family, community, and collectivism. I’m deeply grateful to everyone who has offered hugs, water, and other forms of nourishment to the Tree and its Tree Babies.
We are gathering on April 27 in LA for a discussion about what we can do for our environment and for each other, both individually and collectively. We will screen my film Sick-Amour, celebrate the USC Tree Baby, and offer it both water and affection.
It would be wonderful if you could join us.
Three videos from the Sick-Amour installation will be on display in the show, “Dirty Talk: Art. Environment. Action” at USC. There will be a current photo of the USC tree baby — which is now quite big! — and a map of its location on campus.
The show is going to be wonderful, and I hope to see you at the opening tomorrow night!
It was an absolute joy to have this conversation with Pedro de Llano. We have lots in common, and we cover a lot of ground in this story. Many thanks to Pedro for engaging in such a stimulating dialogue with me. And many thanks to Gloria Sutton, Alyssa Pavley, and everyone else at Art Journal Open for all of your support and for all of your editorial work. I really appreciate it!
As part of the show “Our Mind Into A Brezel” at the Kunstverein Neuhausen, a story and photo from The Sharing Project (“Shared Resources And Expectations”) is appearing in the publication, THE EXECONOMIST, which appears at first glance to be a normal financial newspaper. The contents, though, challenge those expectations in all kinds of ways. Many thanks to the curators, Susanne Jakob, Kai Bauer, and Hans Winkler for organizing this wonderful show and publication!