516 ARTS in Albuquerque presents Currency: What do you value?

Currency: What do you value?

Leonard Fresquez (Albuquerque, NM),  The New Bootleggers,  2018, mock-up for installation featuring 21 artists Courtesy of the artist

Leonard Fresquez (Albuquerque, NM), The New Bootleggers, 2018, mock-up for installation featuring 21 artists Courtesy of the artist

Erika Harrsh (New York City, NY) Foreign Development Assistance (detail:  German Specimen Butterfly ), 2017, hand-painted, cut-out butterfly prints on archival cotton paper, UV varnished, mounted on acrylic rods Courtesy of the artist

Erika Harrsh (New York City, NY) Foreign Development Assistance (detail: German Specimen Butterfly), 2017, hand-painted, cut-out butterfly prints on archival cotton paper, UV varnished, mounted on acrylic rods Courtesy of the artist

WHEN: November 17, 2018 – January 26, 2019

Open Tue - Sat, 12-5pm

OPENING EVENTS: Saturday, November 17: 5-6pm: Member Preview & Tour • 6-8pm: Public Celebration

WHERE: 516 ARTS, 516 Central Ave. SW, Downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico

HOW MUCH: Free

PUBLIC INFO: 505-242-1445, www.516arts.org

Steve Lambert (Purchase, NY)  Wealth or Happiness , 2012, aluminum, neon, enamel, electronics, antique knife switch 14 x 54 x 7.25 inches Courtesy of the artist

Steve Lambert (Purchase, NY) Wealth or Happiness, 2012, aluminum, neon, enamel, electronics, antique knife switch 14 x 54 x 7.25 inches Courtesy of the artist

Exhibition explores money and value in an upside-down world

Currency: What do you value? is a group exhibition that asks questions about the relationship between art and money, exploring the flaws of our current economic reality. The featured artists expose the complex relationships between currency and how society values or doesn’t value art, work and time. They employ wit and satire to reveal economic inequities and dysfunctions, and ask: how do materialism and corporate interests take precedence over human and environmental concerns? How do debt and money impact art and creativity?

Ramiro Gomez & David Feldman (Los Angeles, CA)  Las Meninas, North Fairing Road, Bel Air,  2018, archival pigment print 30 x 30 inches, edition of 25 Courtesy of Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Ramiro Gomez & David Feldman (Los Angeles, CA) Las Meninas, North Fairing Road, Bel Air, 2018, archival pigment print 30 x 30 inches, edition of 25 Courtesy of Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Literary critic and philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin described the concept of the carnival as a subversive, disruptive, world-upside- down event in which the hypocrisy of everyday life was unmasked. During carnival, social structures including those that defined class and status were disrupted by common people. In Currency: What do you value?, artists turn assumptions upside down to re-examine our relationship to money and how we live our lives.

The exhibition brings together national, international and local artists who engage with these themes through a variety of media and artistic approaches. In Debtfair, Occupy Museums continues their ongoing intervention that began at Art League Houston and appeared at the Whitney Biennial in 2017. The collective asks New Mexico artists how debt affects them and their art and uses collected data to explore the real impacts of debt at a time when U.S. credit card debt alone is over one trillion dollars. Albuquerque artist Leonard Fresquez has organized an installation in which 20 artists explore how high-end commodities are valued and question the worth of such products by producing knock-off versions of popular items. New York artist Evan Desmond Yee fossilizes outmoded technologies including specific Apple products. He demonstrates how these objects, that have such a hold on us, quickly lose their novelty as they become obsolete. By placing the objects in a geologic context, he also raises questions around corporate influence, environmental neglect and a future in which nature reclaims its place over technology. Mel Chin’s Fundred project is continued as an outreach program with local schools involving hand-made currency used to raise awareness about lead poisoning.

Other artists include: Christy Chow, Jennifer Dalton, Nina Elder, Ramiro Gomez & David Feldman, Hernan Gomez Chavez, Scott Greene, Keith Hale, Erika Harrsch, Steve Lambert, Lance Ryan McGoldrick and Yoshiko Shimano.


PUBLIC PROGRAMS: (Events are free and at 516 ARTS unless otherwise noted.)

Saturday, November 17 OPENING EVENTS: Member Preview 5-6pm • Public Celebration 6-8pm The Member Preview includes a walk-through of the exhibition with co-curators Josie Lopez and Manuel Montoya and many of the artists. Join the Friends of 516 ARTS at 516arts.org. Catering by Slow Roasted Bocadillos.

Thursday, November 29, 5:30pm PUBLIC FORUM: Financial Literacy for Artists This forum creates a space for artists in all fields to learn from financial professionals and get questions answered. Speakers include Julianna Silva, Managing Director at WESST, Albuquerque’s best-practice, small business incubator; Lauren Olivia Ruffin Chief External Relations Officer for Fractured Atlas, a national organization that supports artists and arts organizations; Claire Stasiewicz, adjunct professor of International Management at UNM; and Kathy Garrett, President of Number Crunchers, provides professional bookkeeping and tax services specializing in small businesses, nonprofits nd artists.

Thursday & Friday, December 13 & 14, 11:30am-1:30pm LUNCHES: Food as Currency: Pop-Up Lunches with Rosebar Stop into 516 ARTS for lunch in the museum with local farm-to-table catering company, Rosebar. Themes of currency will be explored through food in playful and unexpected ways. Learn about the economics of eating local and the history of edible currencies while you eat and view the show. Boxed lunches will include a sandwich, seasonal side and a sweet for $12.

Saturday, January 5, 1pm FILM SCREENING: Generation Wealth Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles, Thin, kids+money, #likeagirl) offers an incendiary investigation of the pathologies that have created the richest society the world has ever seen, bearing witness to the global boom-bust economy, the corrupted American Dream and the human costs of capitalism, narcissism and greed. At The Guild Cinema, 3405 Central NE, Albuquerque • $8 general / $5 students, seniors, kids

Thursday, January 10, 5:30pm PUBLIC FORUM: The Future of Work This forum brings together speakers from Austin, Texas and Albuquerque to explore business models for the arts, “artistic” approaches to starting and rebooting businesses, and what the fusion of art and entrepreneurship means for the future of work. Guest speakers include: Eugene Sepulveda and Steven Tomlinson, who work in Austin focusing on the expanding space where art, technology and business intersect. Sepulveda is the founder of Culturati, the CEO of the Entrepreneurs Foundation and a Director & Partner in Capital Factory. Tomlinson coaches Wall Street, Fortune 500 and high-tech start-up executives and managers, and is a playwright and performer. Sarita Nair is CAO for the City of Albuquerque, where she oversees all 19 departments of municipal government and nearly a billion dollar budget. Solve Maxwell is an Albuquerque-based investor, advisor/consultant and trader who has been engaged in crypto-related business. Moderated by Shelle Sanchez, Director of Cultural Services, The City of Albuquerque.

Wednesday, January 16, 5:30pm PUBLIC FORUM: Museum Interventions Join the art collective FICTILIS (Andrea Steves and Timothy Furstnau) and members of the collective Occupy Museums (including Noah Fischer) to hear about their interventions dealing with economic inequity and challenging the idea of what a museum is. FICTILIS’ work strives to bridge the gap between social and environmental activism, questioning the value and function of institutions like museums. The Museum of Capitalism in Oakland, CA is an example of one of their interventions. Occupy Museums is a collaborative that came out of the Occupy Wall Street movement, addressing issues around the 1% in the art world and beyond. The forum is moderated by Erin Elder, independent curator and owner of Gibbous, supporting committed artists through professional services.

ONGOING CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Fundred Project Fundred Project, created by artist Mel Chin, is a nationwide art project that seeks to amplify the voices of children and communities affected by lead poisoning. Students (and adults) are invited to create Fundred Dollar Bills, a creative currency and unique works of art that demonstrate how much we value the voices of children and a future free of lead poisoning. So far, nearly half a million people across all 50 states have created their own Fundreds that are filling up the Fundred Reserve in Washington DC. The Fundreds will be presented to our nation’s leaders, with the value embodied in them given as a down payment for action to deal with this destructive element, once and for all. Fundreds from New Mexico will be on view at 516 ARTS as part of the Currency: What do you value? exhibition. Join us as we activate Fundred-making across New Mexico! Participants can make Fundreds at 516 ARTS or in the classroom. For information, contact info@516arts.org.

ONGOING SCHOOL TOURS 516 ARTS offers free educational tours and activities for schools and community groups, with supplemental curriculum materials for educators to use in the museum and in the classroom. Schedule tours at 516arts.org/education.

ABOUT THE CURATORS:

Josie Lopez, PhD, Curator at 516 ARTS, was born and raised in Albuquerque. She received her B.A. in History and M.A. in Teaching from Brown University. She completed an M.A. in Art History at the University of New Mexico and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include examining art as a discursive agent in the political arena, modern and contemporary Latin American art, 19th century France and Mexico, and the history of New Mexican art with a focus on printmaking. Lopez recently wrote the book The Carved Line: Block Printmaking in New Mexico and curated the accompanying exhibition at the Albuquerque Museum.

Manuel Montoya, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Global Structures and International Management at the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management. He was born and raised in Mora, New Mexico, and received his B.A. in English Literature and Economics from the University of New Mexico. He has Master’s degrees from Oxford University and NYU as a Truman Scholar and Rhodes Scholar. He received his PhD at Emory University in Foreign Relations and Comparative Literature as a George Woodruff Scholar and a UNM Center for Regional Studies Fellow. His research interests mainly focus on a concept he refers to as “global legibility,” the process whereby humans conceptualize the planet and make it a meaningful part of their realities.

SUPPORT:

This project is supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, McCune Charitable Foundation, The City of Albuquerque, The FUNd at Albuquerque Community Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Center for Educational Initiatives, New Mexico Arts, Bank of America and Bardacke Alison LLP.


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