Lucy Pullen is a visual artist based in New York and Victoria. Her work has been shown at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver); Helen Pitt Gallery (Vancover); Khyber Centre the Arts (Halifax); Optica (Montreal); Jack Hanley Gallery (San Francisco); Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts (San Francisco); Open Space (Victoria); Surrey Art Gallery; Ottawa Art Gallery; Vancouver Art Gallery; Platform (Seattle); and Illingsworth Kerr Gallery (Calgary) among others. She is pursuing a PhD in Media and Communication with the European Graduate School in Switzerland. Pullen is a tenured Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria.
May 14–May 16, 2010
In celebration of the Tate Modern’s 10th anniversary, the gallery is hosting No Soul For Sale—A Festival of Independents. The festival brings together over 70 of the world’s most exciting independent art spaces, non-profit organizations, and artists’ collectives, from Vancouver to Shanghai to Rio de Janeiro, to take over the iconic Turbine Hall with an eclectic mix of arts events, performances, music, and film. Neither a fair nor an exhibition, No Soul For Sale is a convention of individuals and groups who present work beyond the limits of the market and other logistical constraints—it is a celebration of the independent forces that animate contemporary art. The festival is an exercise in coexistence: organizations exhibit alongside one another without partitions or walls.
Artspeak is presenting a project by artist Lucy Pullen at No Soul for Sale. Entitled Blind Spot, Pullen’s towering, freestanding tent-like structure is skinned in reflective fabric. An extension of her recent Artspeak project, I Would Prefer Not To (which pulled reflective blinds on the gallery during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics), Pullen uses the same material to present the notion of a blind spot within the spectacle, positing Artspeak in a position of complicated stake-claiming, complicity, and refusal. The tent’s reflective fabric interrupts the process of mechanical reproduction. When photographed with a flash, a white hole appears in the image. When the viewer occupies a mid-point between the work of art and a light source, the work “pops” or jumps in hue from an indistinct grey to a blinding white light. For over ten years Pullen has used this material to make works of art (sculptures and photographs) that challenge media. Both exclusionary and interactive, Pullen’s tent questions ideas of participation and indifference, calling into question participation in the social, ethical, and economic conundrums surrounding events like No Soul for Sale as much as she does for large corporate parties such as the Olympics. Viewers are invited to photograph Blind Spot with flash and lens in close proximity. Pullen will present the artistic use of 3M reflective fabric on Sunday May 16th at 12:30 in the Tate Modern auditorium.
No Soul For Sale—A Festival of Independents is curated by Cecilia Alemani, Maurizio Cattelan and Massimiliano Gioni, and produced by Tate Modern. The first edition of No Soul For Sale took place in June 2009 at X initiative in the former Dia Center for the Arts in New York.
Independent arts organizations taking part in No Soul For Sale include:
2nd Cannons Publications (Los Angeles), 98weeks research project (Beirut), Alternative Space LOOP (Seoul), Arrow Factory (Beijing), ArtHub Asia (Shanghai/Bangkok/Beijing), Artis – Contemporary Israeli Art Fund (New York/Tel Aviv), Artists Space (New York), Artspeak (Vancouver), Auto Italia South East (London), Ballroom (Marfa), Barbur (Jerusalem), Black Dogs (Leeds), Capacete Entertainment (Rio de Janeiro), casa tres patios (Medellín), Cinématèque de Tanger (Tanger), cneai= (Paris-Chatou), Collective Parasol (Kyoto), Dispatch (New York), e-flux (Berlin), Elodie Royer and Yoann Gourmel – 220 jours (Paris), Embassy (Edinburgh), Filipa Oliveira + Miguel Amado (Lisbon), FLUXspace (Philadelphia), FormContent (London), Galerie im Regierungsviertel / Forgotten Bar Project (Berlin), Green Papaya Art Projects (Manila), Hell Gallery (Melbourne), Hermes und der Pfau (Stuttgart), i-cabin (London), Intoart (London), K48 Kontinuum (New York), Kling & Bang (Reykjavík), L’appartement 22 (Rabat), Latitudes (Barcelona), Le commissariat (Paris), Le Dictateur (Milan), Light Industry (New York), Lucie Fontaine (Milan), lugar a dudas (Cali), Mousse (Milan), Next Visit (Berlin), New Jerseyy (Basel), Not An Alternative (New York), no.w.here (London), Or Gallery (Vancouver), Oregon Painting Society (Portland), Para/Site Art Space (Hong Kong), Peep-Hole (Milan), PiST/// (Istanbul), Post-Museum (Singapore), PSL [Project Space Leeds] (Leeds), Rhizome (New York), Sala-Manca & Mamuta (Jerusalem), Sàn Art (Ho Chi Minh City), Scrawl Collective (London), studio1.1 (London), Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art (New York), The Mountain School of Arts (Los Angeles), The Museum of Everything (London), The Royal Standard (Liverpool), The Suburban (Chicago), The Western Front Society (Vancouver), Thisisnotashop (Dublin), Torpedo – supported by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), Tranzit.cz (Prague), Viafarini DOCVA (Milan), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), Western Bridge (Seattle), White Columns (New York) and Y3K (Melbourne).
February 12–March 21, 2010
Lucy Pullen’s project, I Would Prefer Not To, plays an ineffable game. Occurring between February 12 and March 21 (bracketing the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games), Pullen produced blinds for Artspeak. The blinds, made from a reflective fabric that Pullen has explored extensively in past work, will remain drawn for the 38 cumulative days of the Games. During the day, the blinds appear silvery grey, but in the darkness they will reflect light sources (from street lamps, cars, revelers, protesters) with a blinding brilliance. Both exclusionary and interactive, Pullen’s gesture questions meaningful resistance and indifference. The title borrows from Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener (1853), an existential tale of isolation and passive resistance in the mid-century Wall Street environment of New York. The gesture to pull the blinds on Artspeak, making it an impenetrable space, calls into question participation in the social, ethical, and economic conundrums surrounding the Games. Pullen’s accompanying text investigates the idea of a blind spot within the spectacle, positing Artspeak in a position of complicated refusal.