Curated by Georgina Jackson
The Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce its new exhibition, Neighbo(u)rhood. The participating artists are Glenn Loughran, Ferhat Özgür, Seamus Nolan, Sarah Pierce/The Metropolitan Complex, Diane Samuels, John Smith, Elisabeth Subrin and Dawn Weleski.
In the popular imagination the term neighborhood conjures up ideas of home, community and even common identity, but is this really so? How often do such images capture the complexity and conflictual nature of living together, of sharing space, of negotiating difference and of creating consensus? This exhibition re-considers neighborhood, the figure of the neighbor, and the deliberation of how we live together. Can the figure of the neighbor propose an alternative to the dichotomy of friend or enemy? Can the classical concept of neighborhood be used to reconsider social and political formation as complex and incomplete, universal and particular, representative and invisible?
During the late nineteenth century, Pittsburgh was a central destination for generations of immigrants who made a living working in the steel mills, iron, glass, and other factories along the three famous rivers. The city, once referred to as 'The City of Immigrants,' offered the promise of economic prosperity in the land of the free and the land of opportunity. While this massive influx has not been repeated during the late twentieth or twenty-first centuries, neighborhoods such as Squirrel Hill and Polish Hill acknowledge the historical formations of communities to a site, city or nation according to ethnic, cultural and religious affinities.
Today in Pittsburgh, it is common for people to define their home not by city limits but by neighborhood boundaries. Thus the idea of neighborhood informs a sense of belonging, but an identity beyond that of the cultural, ethnic, religious or social. In this sense neighborhood operates as a space in which there is a juxtaposition of difference but also a potential for alternative forms of community not based on identity but on the common.
Neighbo(u)rhood will be presented both at the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art and different sites in Pittsburgh. As part of the exhibition Glenn Loughran and The Saxifrage School are collaborating on a temporary public pedagogical intervention called The General Will, at 120 Federal Street, Pittsburgh, from May 14 through June 14, 2011. For further information and up-to-date listings see on.fb.me/GeneralWill
A series of talks and events includes a panel discussion with Dr. Robert Cavalier, Glenn Loughran, Georgina Jackson and Dawn Weleski titled 'Community Conversations' on Tuesday, May 17; a screening of the documentary film The Pipe (2010) and panel discussion on Thursday, June 9; presentation by City of Asylum and in-residence poets on Thursday, July 28; studio visit and tour of Sampsonia Way with Diane Samuels on Saturday, August 6; and Dawn Weleski's City Council Wrestling at 'When Worlds Collide' on Friday, August 12, at the Lawrenceville Moose Lodge.
The exhibition is curated by Georgina Jackson and is the third project in a series curated by Mark Garry and Georgina Jackson as part of the Mattress Factory's Curator-In-Residence program made possible by the generous support of The Fine Foundation. Neighbo(u)rhood is supported by Culture Ireland and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. The Mattress Factory's artistic program is supported by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, The Heinz Endowments, Roy A. Hunt Foundation, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
About the Mattress Factory:
The Mattress Factory is a museum of contemporary art that presents 'art you can get into'—room-sized environments, created by in-residence artists. Located at 500 Sampsonia Way, on Pittsburgh's North Side, since 1977, the Mattress Factory has been hailed as the best facility for installation art in the United States.
For additional information or press images please contact Lindsay O'Leary, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, +1 412.231.3169 x232 or email lindsay [at] mattress.org
Neighbo(u)rhood is on view May 14–August 21, 2011.
500 Sampsonia Way Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10–5pm, Sunday 1–5pm