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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jonathan Horowitz’s Your Land/My Land: Election ’12 @ UMOCA (Various locations, October 5-November 24)

UMOCA Presents Jonathan Horowitz’s Your Land/My Land: Election ’12
Oct. 5-Nov. 24, 2012

Salt Lake City – The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art joins the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the New Museum in New York, and other museums across the United States to present Jonathan Horowitz’s Your Land/My Land: Election ’12—a special exhibition coinciding with the 2012 American Presidential election.

Your Land/My Land: Election ’12 is a reimagined installation originally presented by Horowitz during the 2008 presidential election. At each location (as in ’08), red and blue area rugs will divide the exhibition space into opposing zones, reflecting America’s color-coded, political, and cultural divide. Back-to-back monitors will be suspended between the carpets, with one broadcasting a live feed of Fox News, the other of MSNBC. The lyrics of This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie, which originally addressed the issue of land ownership, will be applied to the wall.

The space created by Horowitz will provide a location for people to gather and watch coverage of as well as talk about the presidential election. The installation’s central trope is a divided United States swathed in only red and blue.

“It’s an unprecedented opportunity to align contemporary art institutions in such a synchronized manner,” said Aaron Moulton, senior curator at UMOCA. “This exhibition manages to represent our political system and our country in a way that is both ironically balanced and unnervingly accurate. It gives new agency to art museums as an active space to create dialogue with our visitorship through an event that so profoundly affects us all.”

According to Horowitz, “If race and gender were the defining themes of the ’08 election, economic policy and economic disparity will likely be the defining themes of the 2012 election. The placement of the lyrics will extend this metaphor to the land of the museum and the land outside. To some, museums are decidedly blue—elitist bastions of liberalism—to others, they are lynchpins of a capitalist art market analogous to other capitalist markets that have been collapsing around us.”

When Your Land/My Land opens, a portrait of President Obama, as the current representative of all Americans, will hang from the ceiling between the two sides and a portrait of Mitt Romney will sit on the floor. On election night, each venue will host an election returns event, with the installation becoming a minimalist backdrop. If Obama wins, the position of the two portraits will remain the same. Should Obama be unseated, their positions will be switched.

Special events: UMOCA will extend its hours for viewers to experience the vice presidential debate and election night in the museum (Oct. 11, 7-9 p.m. and Nov. 6, 7 p.m.-TBD).

Participating venues include:
Contemporary Art Museum: St Louis, MO – Sept.7–Nov. 11
Contemporary Art Museum: Raleigh, NC – Sept. 22–Nov. 13
Contemporary Arts Museum: Houston, TX - late Sept.–Nov. 11
Hammer Museum: Los Angeles, CA – late Sept. – late Nov.
Utah Museum of Contemporary Art: Salt Lake City, UT – Oct. 5–Nov. 24
New Museum: New York City, NY – Oct. 10- Nov. 18
Telfair Museums: Savannah, GA – Oct. 5–Nov. 18
Jonathon Horowitz is participating in the group exhibition, Battleground States, also opening at UMOCA on Oct. 5, 2012. The two exhibition openings will occur during UMOCA’s monthly First Friday series on Oct. 5, 8-10 p.m. with DJ Street Jesus, food, and a cash bar.
About the Artist
Since the early 1990’s, Horowitz has made art that combines the imagery and ambivalence of Pop Art with the engaged criticality of conceptualism. Often based on popular commercial sources, his work examines the deep-seated links between consumerism and political consciousness, as well as the political silences of postwar art. Recent solo exhibitions include “Minimalist Works from the Holocaust Museum,” Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland (2010), “Apocalypto Now,” Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2009), and the retrospective exhibition, “And/Or,” P.S.1, New York (2009).

The award-winning Utah Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits groundbreaking artwork by local, national, and international artists. Five gallery spaces provide an opportunity for the community to explore the contemporary cultural landscape through UMOCA’s exhibitions, films, events, classes, and presentations.

Founded in 1931, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art has been recognized as Best Museum in the State of Utah for 2011 and 2012 and is a four-time recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Located at 20 S. West Temple; open Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free. For more information call (801) 328-4201 or visit www.utahmoca.org.

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