What I Did on My Vacation
A Multi-Venue Program Organized by Soft Network
Taking its title from both the extraordinary Carolee Schneemann performance that was first staged at Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton on August 29, 1975 as part of Joyce Kozloff and Joan Semmel’s radical feminist exhibition entitled Women Artists Here and Now and a series of happenings organized by Allan Kaprow in 1967 throughout the Hamptons for CBS’s historic news program Eye on New York, Soft Network’s summer project gathers artwork, ephemera and moving-image from a group of intergenerational artists in a sprawling, visual poem on mediation and re-mediation.
Exhibitions and screenings span Broadway, Tribeca; Halsey McKay, East Hampton; S&S Corner Shop, Springs; Metrograph Cinema online; and the Arts Center at Duck Creek, Springs. Artworks specifically chosen for Broadway represent an expansive view of performance for the camera and look at the complicated, yet integral role archival actions take in preserving the artistic interchange of fleeting, corporeal based work as well as artist networks.
A 1955 rubbing by Sari Dienes of Gloria Swanson’s Hollywood Star; pencil drawings of a curvaceous Rrose Sélavy from the turn of the 21st century by the late Anita Steckel; boldly colored, figurative paintings by Juanita McNeely of her friends from the 1980s; and a new 18-inch (foot)print by Alison Knowles enlarging the sole of her shoe imprinted into rough, responsive paper all show an extended interest among a group of feminist peers in the mediation of performance as a conceptual and visual gesture.
A new installation of photographs and slideshow from Robin Graubard made over several years in Paris; a recently located image from Adam Putnam’s archive of one of his first performances; a man grinning at the Piers photographed by Alvin Baltrop; profound photographic still lives from the 2000s by Sarah Charlesworth; and documentation of the late Carolee Schneemann revisiting Interior Scroll in 1993 represent the capture of performance, desire and self reflection as engines for art production as well. Collaborative works by Alisha B. Wormsley and Kite; Andrea Fraser and Jeff Preiss; and Ryan Muller and B. Wurtz further the emphasis in this project on artist partnerships and networks as essential to cultural production and a means of survival for most.
The film and video program titles including Statues Hardly Ever Smile (Stan Lathan/St. Clair Bourne, 1971); Orchard Document: May I Help You?(Andrea Fraser, Jeff Preiss, 2005-2006); and Reclaimed Empire (Adam Putnam, 2008-2017) take existing artworks and their sites of display as subjects to be activated via performance.
Organized as a searching scroll of performance and correspondence, this project considers the fractured boundary between private and public as an endless conveyance of self, sometimes to no one and sometimes to many. Artists depicting other artists or their own personages, correspondence reflective of one’s community and performance residuals convey the crucial role of communication and the record left after.
A six-part film and video program co-programmed by Soft Network and Jason Evans for Metrograph online runs through August 23rd and concludes with a live screening at the Arts Center of Duck Creek in Springs on August 22nd. Programmed by Rosalind Schneider and Martha Edelheit of Women/Artist/Filmmakers,Inc. a female experimental film collective founded in the 1970s, the final series includes several titles from the 1975 art and performance week Women Artists Here and Now.
Overall, the program for Metrograph, titled Artists on Camera 1967-2021 looks at the long tradition of artists depicting other artists as an intimate perspective on a typically guarded world. Unique encounters with friends, peers, and their wider community bring an admiration shared by those on both sides of the camera. From quiet portraits filmed in studio environments that explore the nuances of an artist’s everyday life, to layered films that trace the influence of one artist’s work on another, the program of shorts, mid-length and feature films reveals how both the portrayers and the portrayed intersect.
About Soft Network
Soft Network is a cooperative platform established by Chelsea Spengemann and Sara VanDerBeek for connective arts programming. We work between past and present to explore ways in which the archive and archival interactions can become integral modes of exchange, collaboration, creativity and commerce. Soft Network’s mission is to provide opportunities for living artists and the representatives of non-living artists to support each other through sharing resources, labor and profits by generating new projects in collaboration with existing platforms. Projects will be available to view during regular business hours of the exhibition space or by appointment. All artworks are available for immediate purchase at the exhibition space and in certain instances online via our partners.
In Soft Network's online store with Rachel Comey, items are organized into various sections that are periodically updated. A dream archive of sorts, this collection of artwork, publications, special editions and ephemera grows out of Soft Network's interest in process and dialogue between practitioners and their inspirations. Soft Network's presentations will be ongoing, accumulative and intergenerational.
In addition to Rachel Comey, Soft Network's collaborators include Pochron Studios, Brooklyn; S&S Corner Shop, Springs; Wolfy Part II, Tivoli, NY; ArtFizz Projects; Parrish Art Museum Store; Registrars Group LLC, NY; and many individuals.
Broadway, NYC, August 5 - August 27, 2021
Andrea Fraser & Jeff Preiss
Kite & Alisha B. Wormsley
Ryan Muller & B. Wurtz
Alisha B. Wormsley
S&S Corner Shop, The Art Building, Springs, Long Island, July 24- September 26, 2021
Li Harris & Alisha B. Wormsley
Kamau Amu Patton
Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Gwen Smith The Black Woman Project
Stan VanDerBeek with Elaine Summers
Halsey McKay, East Hampton, Long Island, May 28 - July 26, 2021