press release

Mayday Productions is a New York based curatorial collaborative. Our concern is to construct a series of focused situations the success of which is based on unpredictability and utopia. Our goal is to create a transient space for simultaneous encounters between artists, audience, curators, and art objects. While making transparent the artists' processes and curatorial approaches we are indeed projecting an agenda: the dialectics of control and sensuality. Mayday Productions' projects are not meant to be an institutional critique but instead presents our own experimental model. The actual events are not end products but rather steps toward utopia. Mayday Productions has planned the following activities:


In light of recent political activities and the subsequent flurry of response from inside and outside the art world both internationally and within Vienna, Mayday Productions will turn the Kunsthalle Exnergasse into a transparent platform through which individuals and groups will be able to communicate and find a presence. Mayday Production will operate from the Kunsthalle Exnergasse to facilitate and maintain communication via the Internet and on location within an already existing network of over 13000 art professionals worldwide. Mayday Productions intends to consolidate and make public all activities regarding Austria's present political status by inviting every individual or organization to contribute in person or online.


Mayday Productions has invited three artists to take residence for a few days and present a project or a one day event at the Kunsthalle Exnergasse. The artists are: Matthew Buckingham (film and video), Fritz Welch (wall drawings and sound), and Jayce Salloum (video installation) The following three projects will take place in three installments:

May 17 - 20, 2000 Jayce Salloum Jayce Salloum is an artist who has spent the last 15 years in the continual process of documenting, amassing and filtering visual culture derived out of transitory spaces, or territories in the process of 'between-ness' - be it local urban spaces undergoing gentrification (New York's East Village), geo-politically carved areas (South Lebanon), or palimpsests of historically charged regions (former Yugoslavia). Manifested through street photography, appropriated imagery, video, film, installations and curatorial and academic pursuits, Salloum orbits around specific points of contention where the constructed urban or suburban environment regurgitates social and political discourses - that usually go undetected in our daily frames of references.

For Agit Prop, Jayce Salloum will take residence as a visitor, bringing with him collected items for installation, and inviting the public to add to this collection. Conversations and interviews with visitors will be video taped and edited into an ongoing body of work which consists of footage, notes/observations and other material from ex/current Yugoslavia, and the Middle East that contributes to his study of borders, refuge and the conditions of living/moving trans-culturally.

The public is encouraged to bring things to the gallery before May 17th and while Salloum is there, to build the installation; objects, writings, notes,pictures, anything that speaks to the current and past dilemnas, especially concerning race, identity, cultural politics, immigration/migration, refuge, home/heimat, nationalism[s], and borders. Jayce Salloum is a Lebanese - Canadian living in Vancouver.

May 24 - 27, 2000 Fritz Welch Wall Drawing and Sound, 2000 Site-specific installation Fritz Welch works in two mediums: drawing and sound. He draws using graphite or ink on a variety of surfaces and he collects and generates sounds. Both forms are based in the types of cultural products and by-products that pile up around us, like so much trash, and a procedure based on disassembly, ruination, and regeneration. Welch finds his inspiration in agit-prop graffiti, advertising flyers, Chinese menu marginalia etc., as well as in every-day ambient sound and conversations; objects and images that seem stripped of any life or really any cultural value, not even capable of maintaining the status of kitsch, and sounds that cross the line between music and noise. For Kunsthalle Exnergasse Welch will make a large-scale wall drawing combined with an elaborately edited sound collage. Fritz Welch is a Brooklyn-based artist who has shown extensively in the New York area. He regularly performs with his group Bushwick Trio at the Knitting Factory in New York. He has recently shown at Transmission Gallery in Glasgow and the AC Project Room in New York.

May 31 - June 6, 2000 Matthew Buckingham and Joachim Koester "Sandra of the Tuliphouse or How to Live in a Free State (Ellipses)" 16mm film/video/slide projection installation with sound, 1998 "Ellipses" is one section from a larger film and video project titled "Sandra of the Tuliphouse or How to Live in a Free State," a collaboration between Matthew Buckingham (USA) and Joachim Koester (Denmark) which examines past and present life inside the anarchistic 'free city' of Christiania, in Copenhagen. In “Sandra of the Tuliphouse or How to Live in a Free State” Christiania is approached at face-value, as a self-described laboratory of freedom, an environment that provides an almost unique opportunity to unravel a very particular history of markedly contrasting power relations and vivid social forces.

The "Ellipses" section of the work focuses on the subjectivity of Sandra, a fictional character who is visiting Christiania for the summer. The viewer follows Sandra through her first four weeks inside the community as she becomes increasingly preoccupied with the image of Christiania's flag; three yellow dots on a red field. To Sandra this sign resembles an ellipses, the three dots used to indicate missing words or faltering speech in a printed text (i.e.: ...). As an ellipsis this symbol comes to represent spatial and temporal ruptures in her life and surroundings related to her own personal dislocation and more generally to the incomplete possibilities of utopia. Matthew Buckingham lives and works in New York. His work has been shown recently in the Greater New York exhibition at the P.S.1 Museum, at the Musee d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, the Museum Fredericianum, Kassel, and his films have been screened at the Pacific Film Archives/Berkeley Art Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Mayday Productions:

mit Matthew Buckingham / Joachim Koester, Jayce Salloum, Fritz Welch