Tuesday, September 1st to Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Show runs September 1-October 3, 2009
Opening event: Friday, September 18, 6-9pm
Artist remarks: Friday, September 18, 6 pm
Extended weekly hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-6pm
THE NIGHT WALK WITH JAMIE BURKART: Saturday, Sept. 12, 11:59 pm
Departing from Paragraph gallery
OPEN VIDEO SCREENING: Saturday, Sept. 26, 3 pm
Featuring video shorts by Jamie Burkart.
Attendees are also invited to bring their own video works or works in progress to share.
Great Accommodations is a project spearheaded by Kansas City-based artist Jamie Burkart that highlights the Missouri River within Kansas City, utilizes the central rivers as a social network, and imagines lifestyles for cities on the water. Interested in the river’s capacity to connect people, places and ideas, Great Accommodations challenges friends and strangers to “stretch with the river through dynamic situations, massive collaborations, daring feats, and handicrafts.”
“I want this exhibition to become a space where people from every city up and downstream from Kansas City can come and write their own histories together,” says Burkart. Together with collaborator Suzanne Hogan, he has mailed hundreds of letters and placed targeted Facebook advertisements to reach people and places located along the Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas and Ohio rivers, inviting individuals to contribute their stories and perspectives of life on the river as part of the project; to “inhabit this physical Wikipedia-like space and tell their story with me.”
“A couple of years ago, I organized a bicycle-powered paddle wheel raft project,” writes Burkart in his letter to potential collaborators. “We drifted from Kansas City, down the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, until the water tasted like salt. For four months we slept on sandbars. But in the storm, we stayed with the restaurant owner. The student and the lumber inspector met us at the shore. With local pride and stewardship, they took us in and took us around. Vicksburg, Mississippi [where the raft was pulled over by the U.S Coast Guard and docked for 51 days until receiving clearance to resume its voyage] cared for us like a parent. So in a way, I’m trying to return the favor… I think there are people out there, looking back to their river-view centers and imaging lifestyles for cities on the water. I’m trying to leverage equivalence on the river network to fold every River City into one ‘Cities on the Water.’ Ideally, the show is a local event for every River City in America.”
Burkart’s multi-component, rhizomatic, immersive installation will assume the form of a kind of living museum, housed within a massive inflatable environment filling Paragraph and Project Space. Developed by Burkart from three perspectives — physical, behavioral, and visual — the exhibition will include interactive video installations, participatory sculptural experiences, computer programs, community projects, and “working” documentation. Much of the show is made from recycled materials collected by businesses and individuals around the Kansas City area. Interested in initiating a story and letting visitors complete it, Burkart himself will assume the role of gallery attendant, “active accommodator,” and facilitator for the duration of the show.
For photos of the event, check out our flickr.
About the Artist
As an artist, Jamie Burkart is interested in creating projects that ask strangers to trust themselves and each other, and which represent themselves live, in real time. Creating problematic situations, he hopes to harness the viewer’s impulse to find resolution toward exploring discontinuities within their own personal, group, civic and regional identities. Burkart received his BFA from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2006. His work has been presented at venues including Bushwick Arts Project Lab, Brooklyn; Bridge Gallery, UCSC, Santa Cruz; Felix Kulpa Gallery, Santa Cruz; and Film Arts Foundation, San Francisco.