As the Museum of Contemporary Art completes its 100th 12x12 exhibition in ten years with Jessica Labatte, critic Claudine Isé of Bad at Sports makes a cogent case for an MCA New Year's resolution: re-think it.
Claudine, thanks for vocalizing issues that are often overshadowed by the glamour and excitement of contemporary work appearing in an institutional context. They asked for your input-- now let's see if they listen up.
"And that’s the problem that I have with the 12 x 12 series as a whole. It’s too much about giving every artist their turn, and not nearly enough about ambition, innovation, and critical expansion of an artist’s practice (and an audience’s understanding of it). I’ll be even more blunt: 12 x 12 shows rarely feel special. The work by artists that is exhibited in this smallish gallery off the MCA’s main entryway is no better, and more often than not it’s significantly less good, than the work that that same artist has shown at a local gallery."
"The MCA needs to do more to make this opportunity count. 100 shows and almost 10 years is long enough to prove the Institution’s commitment to emerging local artists. Now, I think it’s time for the MCA to expand that commitment into something more lasting and meaningful by taking a long look at how they allocate their resources and at what they, and more importantly what their artists, truly want and need from a 12 x 12 exhibition."
Read the full review here.