Lucky Number Seven
Process, experimentation, and collaboration are the hallmarks of Lucky Number Seven, SITE Santa Fe’s Seventh International Biennial, which opens on Sunday, June 22, 2008. Curator Lance M. Fung states, “The energy that takes place between people engaged in creative activity has been a driving force in my curatorial work, and is a central element of Lucky Number Seven.” The entire project proposes an alternative to the current format of biennials, which has evolved in recent years into international mega-exhibitions studded with big-name, well-traveled artists.
In fact, that very same energy and creative activity that has transpired here at SITE through this entire process has altered the overall plan for the show. Laura Heon, SITE Phillips Director, said, “The preparations were so intense and the energy so contagious that we were all inspired to take advantage of this incredible opportunity and to maximize the experience by extending the exhibition through January 4, 2009.” Some off-site locations may close before January 4, 2009. For more information, please contact SITE Santa Fe, or visit sitesantafe.org.
All of the works for Lucky Number Seven are site-inspired commissions that will not exist as works of art, per se, beyond the exhibition, with the majority of the materials being recycled back into the community. This element emphasizes temporality and process, and provides the artists with the opportunity to push their practices into new directions.
The advantage of such a framework is that it allows for experimentation and play, and is not dependent on the forces of the market. This instead proposes a field of possibilities, grounded in the unique environment and history of Santa Fe.
Lucky Number Seven aims to create an intimate, rigorous, yet playful exhibition that connects audiences to a spirit of discovery and learning. Furthermore, the artists featured in this Biennial are all emerging practitioners, ranging in age from their twenties through their sixties.
Remarking on the specific locale of Santa Fe, Fung states, “It is exciting and rewarding to be working in Santa Fe, and getting to know the city and its local communities. A crucial aspect of Lucky Number Seven is its engagement with local people, and after meeting with a broad range of the city’s cultural institutions, we are pleased that a number of them will be exhibition partners with SITE. This diversity of venues and locations will open up the exhibition to new audiences, providing access to contemporary art to many who may not have experienced it before.”
Board President Katherine Gentry notes, “This never-before-seen convergence of so many global and local organizations, artists, student interns, volunteers, patrons, and friends in a common cause to realize this Biennial is a true testament to Lance Fung’s enthusiasm and vision, and SITE’s expanding role in this community and in the art world at large. It makes all of us on the Board very proud.”
There are 25 artists making 18 site-specific installations, all newly commissioned by SITE Santa Fe. These artists were nominated by 18 sponsoring institutions from 16 different countries around the globe.
Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects have created the evocative and transformative exhibition design for the Biennial at the invitation of the curator. Responding to Fung’s initial idea of physically changing the perspective of the viewer, the architects were intrigued by the notion of adding multiple levels, and created a ramp as a means to do so. This idea evolved into an elevated path that one would traverse by foot, meandering throughout the galleries. Williams and Tsien’s monolithic sculpture, or architectural intervention, comprises a series of ramps and mezzanines that intersect SITE’s interior space. These interconnected, linear planes carve out incongruous corridors and gallery spaces that house newly commissioned works by the Biennial artists.
SITE is grateful to the following international cultural organizations for their support of the exhibition: Arts Council Korea; Arts Victoria; Australia Council for the Arts; Austrian Cultural Forum, New York; Consulate General of Canada, Los Angeles; The Canada Council for the Arts; Cultural Services of the French Embassy; Etant Donnes; Goethe- Institut, Los Angeles; Institut Ramon Llull; Italian Cultural Institute; The Japan Foundation; Polish Cultural Institute; Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior (SEACEX).
Support for SITE Santa Fe’s exhibitions and programs is generously provided by the board of directors, many individuals, and the following major contributors: The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston; The Burnett Foundation; The City of Santa