Artist Unknown/The Free World
Organized by John D. Monteith & Oliver Wasow
Oct. 29, 2011 – Jan. 29, 2012
Opening Reception: Fri., Oct. 28, 6 - 9 pm
Book Release Event: Sat., Oct. 29, 1 – 3 pm; Galleries open 12 – 4 pm
The U.S. premiere of a first-of-its-kind exhibition features hundreds of images of vernacular photography found online by artists John D. Monteith and Oliver Wasow. From the bizarre to the sublime, these anonymously sourced amateur photographs provide a fascinating view of American culture through the new frontier of social media.
Artist Unknown/The Free World “is the best exhibit I’ve seen yet to capture the zeitgeist of the 21st century.” – John Thomason, Boca Raton Magazine
Artist Unknown/The Free World is “a fascinating exhibit,” “provocative,” and “weirdly exhilarating.” – Michael Mills, Broward/Palm Beach New Times
Artist Unknown/The Free World is born of countless hours of online conversations between Wasow and Monteith. It reflects a new, emerging genre in contemporary visual culture and the artists’ recognition that in a digital environment the artist’s practice is increasingly migrating from the confines of the studio to the image-rich landscape of the World Wide Web.
Photography has traditionally been the most accessible and enduring visual medium for documenting a personal aesthetic. The advent of social media sites such as Facebook® has democratized photography even further. Artist Unknown/The Free World explores the nature of these developments to look at the different kinds of images that are providing source material to artists. How people choose to represent themselves on social networking sites and chat rooms illuminates their self-image from spaces once considered private or intimate. The project explores the growing practice of utilizing found images by artists, and in doing so, presents a picture of our culture through the collective lens of these amateur photographers.
In addition to the exhibition of found photographic imagery, the Center in collaboration with Gean Moreno’s [NAME] Publications will produce a book to accompany this exhibition. With hundreds of images selected by the artists, the book will include texts by internationally recognized art critics Jerry Saltz and Marvin Heiferman, the Center’s Curator of Exhibitions Jane Hart as well as a transcript of dialogue between John D. Monteith and Oliver Wasow which corresponds to this ongoing project.
Book Release Event
Sat, Oct. 29, 1-3pm
Free special event with artists and exhibition organizers John D. Monteith and Oliver Wasow, and [NAME] Publishing’s Gean Moreno on the occasion of the release of the book Artist Unknown/The Free World, published in conjunction with the exhibition. Q&A and book signing.
Hot Topics Speaker: Marvin Heiferman
Sat., Oct. 29, 4-6 pm
Hot Topics Speaker: Jerry Saltz
Sat., Dec. 10, 5-7 pm
Artist Unknown / The Free World is made possible in part by a FAB! Knight New Work Award supported by Funding Arts Broward and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The publication of the book accompanying the exhibition is also funded in part by Lou Anne and Mike Colodny.
The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported in part by its members, admissions, private entities, the City of Hollywood, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and the Kresge Foundation. We welcome donations from all members of the community who wish to support our work.