On view starting
Porch Gallery is pleased to present Critics Picks.
The show features crowdsourced satirical art book titles collected from a public google form between January and April 2020. 119 titles were selected and produced from the over 350 submissions. Inspired by Internet message board culture, memes, personal libraries, inspirational signs, crowdsourced content, leftover construction materials, and art world satire.
While visiting the porch, viewers should maintain six feet of space between one another. No more than 4 people on the porch at one time. If you arrive and notice someone viewing the work, take a moment to enjoy the garden until they’ve had time to move on.
Critics Picks is viewable daily from July 30th - August 26th. 10:00am - 8:00pm
Porch Gallery 3306 Park Avenue Minneapolis, MN
Q: Where did the idea for the show come from?
A: I came across a book titled A Curator’s Quest while traveling last fall. It was among a very curated collection of coffee table books on display at a cocktail lounge in Dupont Circle. I couldn't tell if it was a real title and began to question some of the other titles around it. I presumed it was a pretty clever move given that the books weren't really there to touch. Turns out it, I was wrong and it was real.
Q: Then what?
A: Winters typically involve a lot of projects around my house. I was in the middle of a major demo and the process of framing and drywalling a number of bedrooms upstairs. After a few weeks of work, the scrap pile of cutoff started to grow. In between art podcasts, I started playing the game of making up art book titles and writing them on the scrap 2x4s. The first few titles included books that often reflected a ridiculous observation of the art world or simply a title that didn't exist that I would be interested in reading.
Q So you created the titles?
A: No. I thought the project/idea offered a unique format to work within, but realized that the project's true potential would come down to getting as many artists involved as possible. In late December I created a google form written with the intention of creating as open of a call as possible for fake art book titles. I imagined the prompt being able to capture a contemporary mood and observation of the art world. The open call was posted on Instagram and on the homepage of the porch gallery website.
Q: And people participated?
A: Yes! Unfortunately after 100 submissions, participation quickly dried up. I started to produce some of the titles that stuck out to me with the scrap 2x4 pile and started posting them. Surprisingly each time I posted a photo, I would receive another 25-30 submissions. All of the submissions came anonymously with only a timestamp and title. I had an email notification set up for the form and was always very surprised when I’d wake up to just one submission from what I suspected to an angsty painter in the middle of the night. The process of receiving the titles quickly became just as fun as trying to invent them.
Q: Did the topic of the submissions change because of the pandemic?
A: Yes!! There are a number of shelter in place specific titles that made it into the show.
Q: Did you curate the full collection?
A: Prior to sheltering in place, I had a fantasy in-person pizza night planned where I’d invite a group of six to discuss the full list and curate the show. Since that wasn’t possible, I curated the first 50, and a fellow artist and friend Dennis Koch helped select the other half of the show.
Q: Does the show simply consist of "fake" books?
A: No! In preparation for the 2020 hybrid academic year, I've created a free HD ZOOM background. Download below and share a screenshot with us! @theporchgallery / firstname.lastname@example.org