Join us for the launch of A Decade of Country Hits: art on the rural frontier, edited by Margo Handwerker and Richard Saxton in the IMU Stateroom West. Monday, September 22nd at 5:00pm.
This launch event is an intimate gathering, featuring readings, a musical performance and slide presentation by the M12 Collective, followed by conversation with book contributors. Check m12studio.org for up-to-date tour information.
ABOUT THE PUBLICATION
Art has its Billboard charts. They focus mostly on artists and exhibitions in urban centers. A Decade of Country Hits is devoted to uncharted hits thriving instead on rural aesthetics and rural knowledge. This richly illustrated volume documents ten years of collective works initiated by artist Richard Saxton in rural communities around the world, from the American Midwest and Southwest to parts of Europe, Australia, and South America. Impossible to attribute to any one artistic genre, the works archived here explore a growing community of artists and researchers drawn to the rural experience in all its complexity. It resembles a sketchbook: with drawings, photographs, and from the hip accounts in the field, as well as contributions from likeminded artists, musicians, poets, and writers.
Designed by Peter de Kan, the book is published by Jap Sam Books and distributed in North America and Canada by RAM Publications & Distribution. A Decade of Country Hits includes an international roster of contributors. It contains interviews with Todd Bockley, co-director of the Center for Social Sculpture; Twink Metzler, founder of Living Room Studios; architectural historian Robert Nauman; and Wapke Feenstra, artist and co-founder of Myvillages. Featured throughout are new collaborations with Zach Boddicker, singer and songwriter for 4H Royalty; Kurt Wagner, singer and songwriter for Lambchop; and Matthew Fluharty, director of Art of the Rural. Providing context for the work are essays by artist Stuart Hyatt, founder of TEAM Records; as well as essays by critics and writers Josh Garrett-Davis, author of Ghost Dances: Proving Up on the Great Plains; Mimi Zeiger, author of New Museums: Contemporary Museum Architecture Around the World, Tiny Houses, and Micro Green; and Enrique Ramirez, whose writing has appeared in Perspecta, Thresholds, AA Files, and elsewhere. In addition are essays by award-winning artists Marjetica Potrč, Chris Sauter, and Fernando García-Dory, founder of A Shepherds School; as well as essays by curators, Ian Hunter, director of the LITTORAL Arts Trust; Marco Marcon, co-founder of International Art Space, and Kirsten Stoltz, programming director of the M12 Collective.
The M12 Collective’s recent exhibitions and commissioned works have appeared at the Kalmar Konstmuseum; the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale; the Chicago Cultural Center, Franklin Street Works; the Wormfarm Institute; the 2011 Australian Biennial spaced: art out of place; and the 2010 Biennial of the Americas.
A Decade of Country Hits is edited by Margo Handwerker and Richard Saxton.
Margo Handwerker is a Critical Studies Lecturer in the Department of Architecture & Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has co-curated exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the NAiM/Bureau Europa. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of Architectural Education, Art Lies: A Contemporary Art Quarterly, Abitare, Volume, and Pidgin Magazine; as well as in exhibition catalogues for Everything Loose Will Land, spaced: art out of place, and Nobody’s Property: Art, Land, Space, 2000–2010.
Richard Saxton is a visual artist and educator currently living in Colorado, where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is the founder and creative director of the M12 Collective, an interdisciplinary group that creates and supports experiential projects exploring the value of rural communities and their surrounding landscapes.