February 23, 2017

Throwing Up Bunnies: The Irreverent Interlopings of Triple Candie, 2001–2016

Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy
View of Throwing Up Bunnies: The Irreverent Interlopings of Triple Candie, 2001–2016, 2017. Courtesy of Addison Gallery of American Art.

In conjunction with the exhibition Throwing Up Bunnies: The Irreverent Interlopings of Triple Candie, 2001–2016, Peter Nesbett and Shelly Bancroft, the duo who comprise the curatorial agency Triple Candie, will give a gallery tour on Saturday, March 4, at 4pm, at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts. A reception will follow.

Triple Candie generates exhibitions that challenge fundamental assumptions about the value of art and the nature of the art experience. The first American survey of Triple Candie’s work, Throwing Up Bunnies presents new projects and a selection of past installations, slightly altered for this viewing, including David Hammons: The Unauthorized Retrospective, Undoing the Ongoing Bastardization of The Migration of the Negro By Jacob Lawrence, and The Workshop of the Harrogate Seven. The exhibition will be on view through April 2, 2017.

After operating as a traditional not-for-profit art gallery in Harlem for four years, Triple Candie sought a way to productively oppose what it saw as a growing materialism in the art world and stopped working with artists and showing original art objects. Instead, it began creating exhibitions using what it calls art surrogates—reproductions, unfaithful copies, or props—temporarily put in the service of an idea and then recycled or reused for future projects. In 2010, having realized more than 70 exhibitions, Triple Candie closed its Harlem gallery, left New York, and began producing exhibitions for museums internationally.

In addition to exhibiting art surrogates, Triple Candie has also promoted the work of fictional artists, displayed broken bottles and rocks as historical artifacts, and hired an actor to protest one of its exhibitions. Vilified by some, revered by others, and always generating lively discussion, Triple Candie was called “Manhattan’s one truly alternative alternative space” by the New York Times and “one of the most mysterious and contemporary art institutions on the contemporary scene” by the Milan-based publication Domus.

“Within the history of alternative spaces and organizations, Triple Candie holds a distinct place. It emerged at a time when mainstream institutions started embracing previously excluded art forms and populations, which in turn made it difficult for the smaller venues that championed such work to remain both urgent and relevant,” states Addison Gallery Curator Allison Kemmerer. “Rather than find new marginalized communities for which to advocate, Triple Candie decided to start working without artists, offering up a new model that ironically had, and continues to have, more in common with artist-run organizations that similarly challenge traditional notions about art.”

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