Living as Form (The Nomadic Version)

June 12, 2014 - September 14, 2014 Fred J. Donath Memorial Gallery, General Exhibition


Chemi Rosado Seijo, El Cerro (The Hillside), 2001—Ongoing, Naranjito, Puerto Rico, Color print-outs. El Cerro is an ongoing collaborative project in which all the houses of Naranjito, a mountain village in Puerto Rico, are gradually painted green. The residents of the barrio, which is notorious for being a crime-heavy area, are fully involved in the formal aspects of the painting process.

As part of our ongoing exploration of and support for socially engaged art and museum practice, Plains Art Museum is excited to present Living as Form (The Nomadic Version), co-organized by Creative Time and Independent Curators International (ICI) with Nato Thompson as lead curator.

Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) is an unprecedented, international project exploring 20 years of cultural works that blur the forms of art and everyday life, emphasizing participation, dialogue, and community engagement. In collaboration with 25 curators from around the world, Thompson selected 48 socially engaged projects produced in the last 20 years as the foundation of this exhibition. “Something historically unique is happening in cultural production that requires different rules for art than those of the 20th century,” says Thompson. “This culturally-savvy method of civic production has manifested in everyday urban life and growing civil unrest. Living as Form is an opportunity to cast a wide net and ask: how do we make sense of this work, and in turn, how do we make sense of the world we find ourselves in?” Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) provides a broad look at a vast array of practices that appear with increasing regularity in fields ranging from theater to activism, and urban planning to visual art.

To add a local component to this touring show, Plains Art Museum has engaged with more than a dozen regional artists involved in socially engaged projects in Fargo-Moorhead who will be part of the exhibition and programs. Click here for program schedule.

Visitors will encounter a gallery that is more of an active project space and resource center than a typical art museum gallery. They will be able to contribute to the Woven Welcome rag rugs led by Jill Odegaard, take part in conversations in our Conversation Circle, identify personally significant landmarks represented on a map designed by Jeff Knight, learn about the Museum’s Defiant Gardens, and play ping pong in the spirit of Wing Young Huie, who uses ping pong to break down barriers between people.

Additionally, Plains Art Museum will host Central Time Centric, a landmark symposium on art and social engagement in the Midwest, on September 4-7, 2014, in Fargo, N.D. Participants will take part in conversations about the role of artists n communities, the most effective ways of doing this work, and the evolution of art as social practice, among other issues.

Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) is co-organized by Creative Time and Independent Curators International (ICI), and assembled in collaboration with Plains Art Museum.

Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) is the flexible, expanding iteration of Living as Form, an exhibition curated by Nato Thompson and presented by Creative Time in the fall of 2011 in New York City. Lead project support for the original Living as Form exhibition was provided by the Annenberg Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Danish Consulate, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mondriaan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Additional support for Living as Form (The Nomadic Version) was provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; and the ICI Board of Trustees.

Support for the Plains Art Museum’s presentation of Living as Form and related programming is supported in part by a Bush Foundation Community Innovation grant and the North Dakota Humanities Council, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the exhibit do not necessarily reflect those of the North Dakota Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.