August 21, 2007 - CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts - Americana: 50 States, 50 Months, 50 Exhibitions
August 21, 2007

Americana: 50 States, 50 Months, 50 Exhibitions

Lin Shi Khan and Tony Perez, Scottsboro Alabama:
A Story in Linoleum Cuts, 1935.
Courtesy Tamiment Library, New York University

AMERICANA: 50 STATES, 50 MONTHS, 50 EXHIBITIONS
September 5, 2007 – May 31, 2012

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107
T: 415.551.9210
www.wattis.org

“The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.”
–Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Americana: 50 States, 50 Months, 50 Exhibitions is a long-term exhibition consisting of 50 displays, each approximately one month long, co-organized by Wattis Institute director Jens Hoffmann and CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice. Each month’s display will examine a different American state, in alphabetical order by state name. Americana will focus on overlooked and little-known aspects of the states through artworks, historical artifacts, curiosities, and other elements. All presentations will take place in the same exhibition space, the Mary Augustine Gallery, which is configured in the shape of the continental United States.
Americana examines the states as they are today, and it also looks at how social and political imperatives condition the production, presentation, and interpretation of art and exhibition making. It aims to distance itself from any idealization of what constitutes the United States, instead treating the nation as a complex web of coexistences, contradictions, and conflicts. The brisk pace of the 50 displays reflects the varied and constantly changing fabric of this relatively young country and its multilayered, shifting national identity.

The title is a reference to an exhibition of the same name that was curated by the artist collaborative Group Material at the 1985 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Group Material also focused on art and elements of mass culture that they understood as overlooked, forgotten, and outside the mainstream in order to investigate critically how museums and exhibitions assist in the formation of American identity.
Schedule for fall 2007-spring 2008:

Alabama: September 5-22
Alaska: September 25-October 13
Arizona: October 16-November 3
Arkansas: November 6-December 1
California: December 4-January 12
Colorado: January 15-February 9
Connecticut: February 12-March 1
Delaware: March 4-29
Florida: April 1-19
Georgia: April 22-May 10

About the CCA Wattis Institute
The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts was established in 1998 in San Francisco at California College of the Arts. It serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary art and curatorial practice. Through groundbreaking exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, and publications, the Wattis Institute has become one of the leading art institutions in the United States and an active site for contemporary culture in the Bay Area.
About CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice
The first of its kind on the West Coast, the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice offers an expanded perspective on curating contemporary art and culture. The program seeks to extend the current European and North American academic focus on traditional museum and gallery exhibitions, exploring the impact of artist-led initiatives and other efforts that take place outside conventional venues. Reflecting San Francisco’s geographic location and cultural histories, the program also emphasizes curatorial and art practices in Asia and Latin America.

Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy and Bill Timken. Generous support provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe, and the CCA Curator’s Forum.

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

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