Ten Days in October
Ten Days In October represents an experiment for the SculptureCenter, a laboratory for emerging artists with little visibility in New York City. (A serendipitous scheduling opportunity has allowed for such a quick, flexible show. We hope to stage similar exhibitions in the future.) The theme of the work in this exhibition is the product of a coincidence of timing. The dates of the show cover the 35th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, a footnote now in cold war history, but at the time perhaps the closest the world has ever come to global nuclear annihilation.
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In these relatively stable and prosperous times many artists concentrate on fairly parochial concerns. Their interests range from the completely personal to wider but deliberately finite ethnic, economic, intellectual, or sexual identifications. The consistent thread in these investigations is the artists' interest in aligning themselves with a selective branch of the larger human family, as opposed to an all encompassing notion of humanity. Indeed, it is often in the oppositional nature of these alignments that the work claims its authority.
It seems an interesting assignment for artists steeped in this contemporary tradition to address themselves to the concept of truly universal experience, albeit in specially catastrophic circumstances symbolized by the distant Cuban crisis. The artists in Ten Days In October represent a wide variety of experience and formal backgrounds, and they have been given the opportunity to respond to these general guidelines as they see fit. It will be interesting to see what they produce.
Matt Freedman is a sculptor and visiting critic at the University of Pennsylvania. This will be his first opportunity to curate a show. He sits on the SculptureCenter exhibition committee.