Publications have long been important sites of discourse integral to the formation of artistic communities and their diverse practices. Despite this rich history, the medium has rarely been privileged as a serious art form. While there have been recent efforts to evaluate publications as art objects by art historians and curators alike, this trend has yet to be widely adopted by arts institutions, leaving questions around the treatment and display of these printed materials unresolved. Publications, with their dependence on touch and manipulation, destabilize museum rituals built on preservation and maintaining distance between object and viewer. Neither mending nor disregarding this conflict, Connective Tissues centers publication in an institutional context, acknowledging and embracing the discordance between the two.
Connective Tissues foregrounds this historically overlooked medium for the viewer. Presenting works by seven contemporary artists from various disciplines and backgrounds, as well as a collection of twentieth-century magazines and artist books, the exhibition examines how publications have long been used as tools for communication, personal development, artistic growth, social engagement, and community-building among artists and creatives. With each exhibiting artist approaching the medium on their own unique terms, the definition of the artist publication is left malleable and unstable. Ultimately, Connective Tissues argues for the significance of the publication within artistic practices while experimenting with exhibiting an institutionally invisible medium.
Connective Tissues: printed & published is organized by Macaella Gray and Zoe Roden with Center Space Project.