press release

The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas is pleased to present Transactions, on view through November 18, 2007--part of its line-up of contemporary exhibitions this fall. Transactions focuses on artists who have adopted a radical approach to artistic production and distribution. In addition to showing at galleries and museums, these artists also operate within the public sphere, creating work for sites associated not with art, but with everyday life. Here viewers will see art originally made for newspapers and magazines, sculptures that are being sold over the Internet, hand-sewn articles of clothing that were surreptitiously dropped into retail stores, and zero-value currency created in unlimited editions and given away for free, among other provocative projects.

Insofar as they infiltrate alternative systems of exchange, the projects in Transactions constitute a new form of public art, one that challenges both the museum’s and the gallery’s monopoly over the presentation of art. The motivations behind them might be critical, mischievous, entrepreneurial, generous, or a combination of all four. Beyond raising questions about the value of art and its status as both commodity and private property, the artists in this exhibition solicit the viewer’s input, action, and collaboration as well.

Transactions features work by nine artists working in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America: Conrad Bakker, Daniel Bozhkov, Eugenio Dittborn, Christine Hill, Emily Jacir, Ben Kinmont, Cildo Meireles, Seth Price, and Zoë Sheehan Saldaña. Spanning the years 1974 to 2007, the content of the exhibition includes videos, sculptures, photographs, and a variety of printed material. While some of the works document interventions that have already come to a conclusion, others exist beyond the walls of the museum. These “living” or “performative” projects are not only completed by viewer participation, they also test our expectations for a museum exhibition.

Transactions is curated by Kelly Baum, assistant curator of American and contemporary art at the Blanton, and is accompanied by an illustrated 48-page catalogue.

Transactions is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art. Funding is provided by Michael Chesser, Jeanne and Michael Klein, and a grant from Houston Endowment Inc. in honor of Melissa Jones for the presentation of contemporary art at the Blanton, and is supported by the generosity of the members of the Blanton Contemporary Salon.

Participants needed! Many of the projects in Transactions are activated by you, the viewer. Send your email address to to collaborate with artist Conrad Bakker on an engaging project developed just for this exhibition.

Kurator: Kelly Baum

mit Conrad Bakker, Daniel Bozhkov, Eugenio Dittborn, Christine Hill, Emily Jacir, Ben Kinmont, Cildo Meireles, Seth Price, Zoe Sheehan Saldana