People's Biennial

January 27—March 2, 2012, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery: An exhibition that examines the work of artists who operate outside the "sanctioned" mainstream art world, recognizing a wide array of artistic expression present in many communities across the United States. Curated by Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann, organized by Independent Curators International (ICI).

People's Biennial is an exhibition that examines the work of artists who operate outside the "sanctioned" mainstream art world, recognizing a wide array of artistic expression present in many communities across the United States. For the exhibition's first iteration (2010 – 2012), co-curators Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann direct their focus on Portland, Oregon; Rapid City, South Dakota; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Scottsdale, Arizona, and Haverford, Pennsylvania. Working in cities that are not considered the primary art capitals, the artists in this exhibition present significant contemporary work, ranging from documentary photographs of military life in the heartland to video works focusing on the biological activity in urban ecosystems. In covering the little-known, the overlooked, the marginalized, and the excluded, the exhibition represents a real snapshot of creative practice in America today.

Working in close collaboration with curators from the five hosting cities, Fletcher and Hoffmann conducted a year of research by visiting the communities, participating in a series of public events and open-calls, and meeting hundreds of artists. Their journey led to the eventual selection of works and the exhibit touring to the partner institutions in each locale.

Hoffmann, who also curated the recent Istanbul Biennial, writes in the exhibition's catalogue, "People's Biennial responds to several frustrations with the homogeneity and insular aspects of other biennials today, as well as the spectacular nature of many of these global exhibitions... People's Biennial promotes an alternative selection process and devotes itself exclusively to work by artists who have never had significant exposure. The exhibition focuses on creative talent that does not subscribe to the conventional structures we are used to operating in, allowing us to discover work that is more immediate, spontaneous, even vulnerable, and offering a potential model for more community-based, grassroots exhibitions."

People's Biennial fuses concerns of the unknown, the peculiar, and the disregarded with a humorous critique of the art world's fascination with biennial exhibitions, their specific politics and economies and the glitz and glamour that is usually attached to them. Hoffmann writes, "People's Biennial calls explicit attention to how most so-called professional art is merely art that conforms to a set of conventions that most of us have accepted and internalized. Our biennial uses typical display techniques, but with a subversive intent: to set up a feeling of familiarity in the viewer that is then shattered by the unorthodox artworks on view. The goal is to present art as it is, and not as it so often seems in other biennials: distant, conceited, calculated."

The Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College is the next and final stop of the exhibition tour.

www.haverford.edu/peoplesbiennial

Schedule of Events

OPENING RECEPTION
Friday, January 27, 2012
, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Haverford College, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Whitehead Campus Center

Artist Maiza Hixson will be on-hand to conduct interviews with visitors from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Artist Laura Deutch will give a tour of her Messages In Motion mobile media studio at 6:30 p.m. People's Biennial Portland-area artist, Rudy Speerschneider will be in attendance and serving homemade ice cream from his Junior Ambassador's Food Cart: A Mostlandian Venture during the opening.

Rudy Speerschneider's visit is made possible with support from the John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College

ARTISTS CONVERSATION
Thursday, February 9, 2012
, 4:30 p.m.
Haverford College, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Whitehead Campus Center

People's Biennial Project Liaison, David Richardson and Campus Exhibitions Coordinator, Matthew Callinan will lead a conversation with Haverford area People's Biennial Artists

Program made possible with support from the John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College

SCREENING AND CONVERSATION WITH ARTIST LAURA DEUTCH
Thursday, February 9, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Haverford College, Sharpless Auditorium, KINSC

El Sol Sale chronicles the rapid growth of the Mexican community in the historically immigrant neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Told through the first hand experiences of the main subjects who have been a formative part of this development over the last 20 years, a collective story of the community unfolds. However with growth and assimilation, come problems, resistance and efforts to organize. El Sol Sale presents stories from the subjects' memories, reflections and perspectives about the complexity of searching for a better life in a country that is not one's own. (US, 2010, 52 minutes)

Program made possible with support from the John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College

SCREENING AND CONVERSATION WITH ARTIST HOWARD KLEGER AND BRANDON JOYCE
Monday, February 13, 2012
, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Haverford College, Humanities Center, Stokes Hall 102

Artist Howard Kleger will screen and discuss his film Howard2Go featured in the People's Biennial exhibition. This program will be led by Brandon Joyce.

Program made possible with support from the John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College

PEOPLE'S CONFERENCE WITH HARRELL FLETCHER AND JENS HOFFMANN

Friday, February 24, 2012, 4:30 p.m. at Haverford College, Sharpless Auditorium, KINSC

Exhibition co-curators Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann reflect on the process of making the first People's Biennial, as well as its potential for future iterations. Moderated by Renaud Proch, Deputy Director, ICI.

Saturday, February 25, 2012, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania

This day-long conversation proposes a question in two parts: How can one contextualize and display art that exists outside the norms of the mainstream art world in an innovative manner, and how can structures of display transform into ongoing systems of support for artists? Moderated by People's Biennial co-curators Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann, speakers include Tom Finkelpearl, J. Morgan Puett, Andrew Suggs, Nato Thompson, and more.

In collaboration with Independent Curators International (ICI), Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), and with support from the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative

Overseen by the John B. Hurford '60 Center for Arts & Humanities and located in Whitehead Campus Center, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery is open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., and Wednesdays 11 a.m. - 8 p.m..

For more information, contact Matthew Seamus Callinan, Campus Exhibitions Coordinator, at (610) 896-1287 or mcallina@haverford.edu.

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People's Biennial is a traveling exhibition organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. Guest curators for the exhibition are Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann. The exhibition, tour, and catalogue are made possible in part by a grant from The Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and The Cowles Charitable Trust; the ICI Board of Trustees; and ICI Benefactors Barbara and John Robinson.