Nickname GameDec. 20, 2010

For immediate release Contact: Robbin Zella 203-332-5052

Housatonic Museum of Art presents
“It’s for you” Conceptual Art and the Telephone

Cutline: Nickname Game, Luka Geronimas, 2008
Click for hi-res image

Bridgeport, CT-- From February 24 through March 25, 2011, the Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA) at Housatonic Community College will present an exhibit “It’s for you” Conceptual Art and the Telephone in the Burt Chernow Galleries and other areas of the HCC campus. The exhibit is, in part, a response to the wide-ranging use of phones in the hallways and other areas on the campus of the college.  

Each day students text, talk, surf the net, and listen to music on their phones.  With this exhibition, artworks that use the phone as an artistic medium or mediator are brought together in an original exhibition curated by Terri C. Smith.  

The projects range from the late 1960s to today and include sound pieces, videos, and objects that resonate with the functions, technologies, and physicality of the telephone. Artists in the exhibition include: T. Foley, Lukas Geronimas, Jeremy LeClair, Christian Marclay, Yoko Ono, Rachel Perry Welty, Robert Peters, Pietro Pellini, and Hannah Wilke.

Many of the artists in “It’s for you” aim to democratize the artist/audience relationship, a quality that is intricately woven into the history of conceptual art.  In “It’s for you,” Yoko Ono might call the gallery as part of her Telephone Piece, providing direct contact between artist and viewer.  Students will work with T. Foley, creating their own ring tones as part of her Locally Toned project. Archival materials are also included as a way to represent ephemeral works from the past as with Robert Peters’ Naming Others: Manufacturing Yourself (1993) where the artist asked people to call an 800 number from pay phones and choose which stereotyping phrase described them best.

“It’s for You” harnesses the familiarity of the telephone as a way of introducing audiences to a variety of conceptual art practices, which often include a mix of art theory and social critique. The exhibition, consequently, endeavors to connect concerns found in contemporary art with the objects, communication habits, and changing technologies in our daily lives.  In that spirit, visitors and students will be encouraged to comment on the exhibition using telephone-friendly interfaces such as Twitter.

Housatonic Community College provides an affordable and accessible education through two-year degrees, transfer preparation, and certificate programs, as well as a wide variety of continuing education and personal/professional enrichment seminars and workshops.  In addition, HCC offers employee and occupational training for businesses, municipalities, government agencies, and professional associations to help develop the educated and skilled workforce required to meet regional business and industry needs.  HCC is nationally recognized as an “Achieving the Dream” institution.  To learn more, visit the college’s website at: <> .

HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Bridgeport, less than 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1), a block from the Arena at Harbor Yard. Free parking is available in the Housatonic garage.