Choices: Making an Art of Everyday Life
February 1 – March 30 1986
“Choices” is an exhibition of work which attempts to remove the barriers between art and life. It is about artists who make their lives art, and vice versa, often with extraordinary results. ‘Choices" is not concerned with aesthetic qualities as a criterion for inclusion; its primary focus is not on objects at all. For most people, the work these twelve artists do falls outside the realm of art altogether; a mere description of their pieces is enough to generate heated debate, if not outright rejection.
It is important, in a period marked increasingly by an obsession with fashion, by overtly materialistic attitudes, and by blatant commercialism, to present work which, by intention or default refutes these values, critiques them, or bypasses them entirely. The work in “Choices,” by virtue of its controversial nature, raises questions about the validity of contemporary nonmaterial art activity and in so doing provides a way of thinking about how art and the everyday world are linked.
The exhibition, by forcing attention away from specific works of art and particular aesthetic guidelines, hopes to address such issues as the distinction between art and nonart, commodity and gift, art and religious practice, theater and art activity, intentionality and accident, audience and unwitting participation, artistic discipline and obsessive behavior, and the question of morality as a function of art making—all of which may help to redefine, for the public, the nature and parameters of artistic endeavor in general.