Four on One: four curators each curates Stephanie Syjuco

July 29 - August 25, 2006, The Garage, San Francisco.
A project for the July Pavilion of the Garage Biennale.

Four curators each curates Stephanie Syjuco, a project by Michael Zheng.

Curators: Clark Buckner, Terri Cohn, Joyce Grimm and Steven Wolf

July 29 - August 25, 2006
Four opening receptions: 7/29, 8/5, 8/12, and 8/19, all Saturdays 6 - 11 pm.

The Garage
2830 Pacific Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94115

From the American Heritage Dictionary:

curate tr.v. To act as curator of; organize and oversee.

What does it mean to curate an art exhibition today? The recursive nature of the dictionary definition above is quite revealing. As more and more curators decide not only the theme and artists, but also the form of the art work for exhibitions, curators engage in creative work of a different kind. Not only do curators create cultural phenomena, today they also create art phenomena, using artists as material. In many cases, they have become meta-artists.

No less significantly, curators have risen to the helm of the major international biennales, major museum exhibitions, privileging themselves with exclusive views of the landscape of art. Are curators today in a more probable position to shape art movements? Do they have more opportunities to create a situation where major art works can be created and exhibited that would otherwise be impossible? Or, at worst, do they run the risk of (mis)leading practicing artists by occupying the art scene with unprecedented authority and insurmountable theoretical backing?

Michael Zheng initiated this project Four on One - Four Curators Each Curates Stephanie Syjuco, as part of the Garage Biennale to explore and expose these issues. By reversing the paradigm, the project seeks to acknowledge the creative effort in curating and to explore its effects on the art being presented. For the July Pavilion, Zheng, an artist himself, has invited four professional curators to choose one artist and to each curate a show about the same artist. Each curator is given full freedom and responsibility to independently curate a show that includes an opening and one-week's duration. The documentation of each show will be exhibited along with the subsequent shows. By the end of the exhibition, the viewers will have witnessed four different views of the work of one artist, reflecting not just the multiple facets of the artist's oeuvre, but the differences resulting from the different approaches.

The four curators are Clark Buckner, Terri Cohn, Joyce Grimm and Steven Wolf. While all have extensive curatorial backgrounds, each of them has a very different attitude and approach to curating. The invited artist is Stephanie Syjuco, whose diverse and broad body of work lends itself naturally to multiple angles of viewing.

The Garage is an alternative art space. The Garage Biennale is intended to "act as a receptacle of hopes, dreams, and ephemera from each new Pavilion."

For more information about this project, including the biographies of the curators and the artists involved, as well as the Garage Biennale, please visit the websites noted above.

During the month from July 29 to August 25, 2006, there will be four shows of Stephanie's work at The Garage:

Week one: View Photos
7/29 - 8/3: opening reception 7/29, Saturday 6 - 11pm
Terri Cohn curates Stephanie Syjuco
6 - 7:30 pm: General socialing
7:30 - 8 pm: Salon-style conversation between Stephanie Syjuco and Terri Cohn
8 pm: Unveiling of the work
8:20 -11 pm: Party with music and food and drink

Week two: View Photos
8/5 - 8/10: opening reception 8/5, Saturday 6 - 11pm
Clark Buckner curates Stephanie Syjuco

Week three: View Photos
8/12 - 8/17: opening reception 8/12, Saturday 6 - 11pm
Joyce Grimm curates Stephanie Syjuco

Week four: View Photos
8/19 - 8/24: opening reception 8/19, Saturday 6 - 11pm
Steven Wolf curates Stephanie Syjuco

Press Coverages:
SF Weekly
Neighbourhood Public Radio
Cited in the book "Museums and the Public Sphere" by Jennifer Barrett