Current Exhibition

The New Situationists

March 3 – April 28, 2017

Opening Reception: March 3, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Art Pick: East Bay Express

Original Image Credit: Steve Seid

The New Situationists  is the first major survey of Bay Area avant-garde art and countercultural activities, influenced by the ideas, theory and techniques of the Situationist International movement (1957 – 1972). The Situationists aimed for integration of art and life, and worked to critique consumer capitalism and mediated experience. At their core, they challenged the idea of ‘art.’ It would be traditional to present this work in 2018, a tidy 50th Anniversary celebration, as one does for institutions like monarchs, museums, fast food chains, and your grandparents’ marriage. The New Situationists is literally avant-garde in that it is occurring in 2017, a year prior to the semi-centennial of Situationism’s acme.

Situationist Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle predicted the Trump Age. Many of the works in the show critique authoritarian and capitalist politics. Others demonstrate the Situationist technique of détournement, in print, sound, media, and performance. The New Situationists also include artists whose work challenge the primacy of the art object, and will engage in social projects, creating “new situations” in the public sphere of Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, also known as Oscar Grant Plaza, site of much civic protest as well the operations of the City of Oakland’s government. The exhibition features work from the 1970s to the present.

Our hope is that a brief history of past Bay Area provocations, actions and interventions will incite a new generation of artists, who will look into the past in attempt to dismantle, fight, and subvert the present. Looking back is looking forward.

Today, the tradition of the Situationists marches on. Join us!

Participating Artists:

Art Strike’s Back, Craig Baldwin, Yann Beauvais, being_sound, Howard Besser, Billboard Liberation Front, Evan Bissell, bivoulab (Archimedia), L.M. Bogad,  Black Hole Cinematheque, Alexander Brown, Laura Brun, Bureau of Public Secrets, Eduardo Cachucho & Babak Fakhamzadeh, Cacophony Society, Canyon Cinema, Chris Carlsson, Council for the Eruption of the Marvelous, Isaac Cronin, Cult of Dang, Guy Debord, Krista DeNio & Stephanie DeMott, Finishing School, Peter Foucault & Chris Treggiari, Guillermo Galindo, Benj Gerdes & Jennifer Hayashida, Shelley Harrison, Packard Jennings, Ken Knabb, John Law, Little Black Cart, Negativland, Stephen Perkins, Plagiarism Festival 1988, Point Blank, Processed World, ReadyMaids (Anna Muselmann and Rachael Cleveland,) Daniel Zender, Keith J. Sanborn, Terrel Seltzer, Si-si Dance & Performance Art Project, Teenage Stepdad, Winston Smith, Kal Spelletich, Eddie Yuen, Konrad Steiner, Dore Bowen, Stephanie Rothenberg, Si-si Dance & Performance Art Project, Suicide Club, Kal Spelletich, The Urban Rats, V. Vale, René Vignet, The Washington Hillbillaries: The A Teams 1993, Les LeVeque, and WIGband.

Special Screenings: Guy Debord, Keith J. Sanborn, and Craig Baldwin (co-presented in partnership with Black Hole Cinematheque and Canyon Cinema.)

Reading Room: Videos, archival materials, books, pamphlets, flyers and print-outs. Special selection of books and pamphlets for sale by Little Black Cart.

Curators/Provocateurs: Natalia Ivanova Mount & Sarah Lockhart

Pro Arts Blog curation: Extremely Good Shit

Major Contributors of Archival Materials: Chris Carlsson, Isaac Cronin, Ken Knabb, John Law, Scott MacLeod, and Mehdi El Hajoui. THANK YOU!

The New Situationists project is made possible with a generous grant from The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.