The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents The Mark Bradford Project, a yearlong audience participation residency connecting the artist with the Chicago community. This project leads up to the Mark Bradford exhibition, the first survey of the artist’s work to date, on view at the MCA Chicago, May 28–September 18, 2011.
YOUmedia encourages critique, conversation, and collaboration. Each time I walk into the space, I see teens gathered in groups chatting together, playing Rock Band as “band mates,” listening to someone’s new audio track, sharing out poetry with mentors. Within all these shared experiences, the youth are listening to each other’s ideas, contributing their own, appreciating differences, and propelling themselves to better understand their own ideas. As part of The Mark Bradford Project, the option of who you could critique, converse, or collaborate with has included some additional faces, including Mark Bradford.
Now, with the culminating exhibition of this work, (Re)Connect, set to open next week, the youth have moved from production to presentation, spending time thinking about how their artworks exist in an exhibition space. Recently, the teens visited the MCA and Skyped with Mark to explore installation ideas. They are hungry for suggestions and information, and seem energized by the various ways that artists choose to display work. They are revising their work and thinking about the experience of the viewer. The youth process this new mode of thinking with great openness and excitement. It is so beneficial, maybe even critical, to have an encouraging environment of critique, conversation, and collaboration already in place, which YOUmedia provides. As I see it, this allows for risk-taking to take place and thus meaningful processes and experience to occur. That’s what I like to call, The Mark Bradford Project.
Check out a slideshow of a recent “Mark Bradford Monday” when youth came to the MCA to explore the exhibition Without You I’m Nothing: Art and Its Audience and spent time talking about their artwork for (Re)Connect with curator Tricia Van Eck.
— Elena Goetz, MCA Coordinator of Youth and Family Programs; Images of (Re)Connect installation at Pop-Up Art Loop Gallery, 205 S. State Street, Chicago, IL; Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA ChicagoTags: YOUmedia (Re)Connect collaboration exhibition Elena Goetz