Posted on February 18, 2015
Karen Finley, A Woman’s Life Isn’t Worth Much, installation view at Franklin Furnace, 1990. Image courtesy of Franklin Furnace.
In a recent article in Artforum, Martha Wilson discusses her early artistic practice, the impetus behind the founding of Franklin Furnace, and the upcoming opening of the ICI exhibition Performing Franklin Furnace in New York. In the article, Wilson describes the climate in the 1970’s towards performance art and the early days of Franklin Furnace:
I realized that the major institutions then were not taking seriously the work that was being created downtown. We were doing street works, posters on the curb for the rat population of New York, and inflammatory essays about capitalist pigs who were running the economy.
Performance was way far away from the discussion and that was all we were doing. Everyone was in three bands or doing work with film, so I thought, “We are going to start collecting this material and preserving it and exhibiting it.” The artist’s voice is seldom valued and recognized to the degree that it should be.
To read the full article, visit Artforum‘s website, here.
Additionally, Interview Magazine highlighted Wilson in conversation with fellow artist Anton van Dalen. Wilson and Van Dalen speak together about the New York art scene in the 1980s and how attitudes and relationships in the art world have shifted over the last 30 years.
The work that we were creating at that time was explicitly trying to undermine the commercial gallery museum’s access with ephemeral performance art and posters on the wall and posters for the rat population of New York—stuff that undermined the pillars of values that were established in the art world. That’s what we were doing all that time.
To read the full article, visit Interview’s website, here.
Wilson, whose personal archives were recently donated to New York University’s Fales Library, is the focus of the upcoming three-part exhibition Performing Franklin Furnace. Two concurrent exhibitions will be on view at the Fales Library and Pratt Manhattan Gallery from February 19 – April 30, 2015. The exhibitions will be accompanied by a series of live performances and screenings at Participant Inc. from February 26 to March 1, 2015, with works by Michael Smith, Coco Fusco, and Clifford Owens.