Lynn Hershman Leeson, The Floating Museum

Lynn Hershman Leeson, The Floating Museum

Lynn's Global Mind Radar/Reader (An Emotional Barometer), was part Superlight in the 2nd 01SJ Biennial and, like Floating World, is part of Lynn Hershman Leeson: A project of Life to the power of n, a year-long exhibition series on the work of Lynn Hershman Leeson initiated by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and jointly organized by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the de Young Museum, the Hess Collection, New Langton Arts, SFMOMA, and the 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge at the San Jose Museum of Art.

The Floating Museum (1975-1978): Lynn Hershman Leeson

Lynn Hershman Leeson

September 24 - October 25, 2008

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 24, 7-9pm

New Langton Arts presents a selection of documents and ephemera from the archive of The Floating Museum , a project produced by Bay Area artist Lynn Hershman Leeson between 1975 and 1978. The Floating Museum was an early, unprecedented, artist-curated model for exhibiting public and site-specific art.

A pioneering organization, The Floating Museum commissioned artists to create installations in rural landscapes, public buildings, city streets, and prison courtyards, as well as in the non-space of sound and the airwaves. Encouraged to use nontraditional art forms (at the time) such as video, performance, and environmental installation, Bay Area, national, and international artists produced over four hundred projects. Artists that showed with The Floating Museum included: Michael Asher, Eleanor Antin, Newton and Helen Harrison, Gordon Matta Clark, Robert Harris, Teresa Hak Kyung Cha, Douglas Davis, Peter Weihl, Motion, Judith Barry, Terry Fox, Natasha Nicholson, Paul Cotton, Bonnie Sherk, and many others. The Floating Museum allowed artists who did not fit the boundaries of the gallery to produce and present their work. A fundamental concept of The Floating Museum was to recycle existing resources and spaces, with the intention of bringing the artist’s work directly to the viewer in public places, transforming local sites into temporary exhibition spaces. The Floating Museum was structured as a collaborative, self-organized rotating system supported by membership donations.

Langton showcases an extensive selection of digital images from the archive of The Floating Museum , including, among others, the exhibitions HERRATA (a collaborative exhibition with Jo Hanson and Pat Tavenner to correct the errors and omissions of women in local museum exhibitions); Global Space Invasion Phase I (a show that presented new works by artists that traveled from California to various parts of the globe creating works that related to the countries they visited), Global Space Invasion Phase II (an exhibition produced in collaboration with SFMOMA that used spaces in the city – from the Bay Area Rapid Transit to elevators and alleys – for staging the work of over one hundred artists), and the San Quentin Mural Project produced by the prisoners of San Quentin. Alongside ephemera from the Global Passport show, Langton will display a selection of underground comics, documentation by Eleanor Antin, Suzanne Lacy, and Peter d’Agostino, and an interview with Lynn Hershman Leeson about the history of The Floating Museum . The Archive of Hershman Leeson’s The Floating Museum resides at Stanford University Library.