Underground Show Alternative (USA) is a group exhibition of small works by artists who are either currently living/working or have previously lived/worked in the Bay Area. Artworks were selected to span the spectrum and is not limited to a singular medium or intellectual framework. It is co-curated and co-organized by Andrew Ingersoll and Jear Keokham.
The show is at once self-organized as a studio-warming celebration for two of Root Division's newest studio artists, Ingersoll and Keokham, but it also serves to utilize what limited real estate is available to artists in the ever-changing socioeconmic landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area.
With curatorial projects being an extension of and intertwined with Ingersoll and Keokham's artistic practices, they were aiming to complicate the division between artist and curator by physically and conceptually shapeshifting their studios into a temporary exhibition space for the first ever program under their newfound moniker, Hongs Kong Salon.
Unsanctioned by Root Division, socioprofessional norms are negotiated as participating artists are invited and encouraged to add the exhibition and location to their curriculum vitaes. By co-opting the art world institutional language and performance of professionalization, the application and function of validity was put into trial in a speculative fashion.
Rather than working to draw a conclusion, the contextual and conceptual framing of USA leaves a trace of questions: Who decides the history and future of art? How professionalized and/or institutionalized should artist ran spaces be? Are artist ran spaces really artist ran if the artists in the space have minimal agency? Where do artists sit in the hierachy of roles between artist, curator, critic, or historian and how much of that is determined by the director or board of an institution? In a society where money talks, do emerging artists have a say?
Participating Artists Include:
Ghost Ghost Teeth
Oliver Hawk Holden
Kevin Thomas Welch
& Daren You