‘There is a perversity in the learning process: We look backward at history and tradition to go forward; we can also look downward to go upward. And withholding judgement may be used as a tool to make later judgement more sensitive. There is a way of learning from anything.’ – Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas, 1972
Zabludowicz Collection is pleased to announce its inaugural artists’ residency programme in Las Vegas, USA. Building on the Collection’s established bi-annual residencies in Sarvisalo, Finland, this new initiative invites a small group of internationally based contemporary artists to spend time in one of the world’s most iconic locations. The programme is underpinned by the Zabludowicz family’s longstanding commitment to Downtown Las Vegas and its cultural development.
Las Vegas embodies many of the cultural, economic and ecological paradigms that emerged in the second half of the 20th Century. It is a city renowned for its entertainment industry and spectacular vernacular design. This built environment presents us with a physical analogue to a hyper-reality we might today associate with digital online experience. A place of tourism and transit, Las Vegas is also a city with a permanent population, a variety of industries, and a fascinating history in parallel to the Casino boom.
Generations of artists, writers and thinkers have been fascinated by the properties of Las Vegas, with its dramatic intersection of architecture, entertainment and escapism. The Collection’s residencies offer artists the opportunity to respond to this landscape and the people who live in or pass through it.
In addition, there is a strong connection with our exhibitions programme in London. The residency artists will be part of a group exhibition titled Emotional Supply Chains, opening on 25 February 2016. This exhibition explores personal and group fictions, constructed identities, and the promotion and consumption of happiness, and will feature 16 leading international artists.
Paul Luckraft, Curator: Exhibitions says: ‘Zabludowicz Collection strongly supports emerging artists, and often those interested in how technology intersects with society. Las Vegas is of course a rich terrain to consider these pressing questions, and over a number of years many artists have expressed an interest in visiting and getting to know the place first-hand, digging down beyond easy assumptions or clichés. Vegas has a small but committed arts community, and we also want to foster dialogue between international practitioners and those already active in the city.’
Daniel Keller and Ella Plevin
(b. 1986, Detroit, US and b. 1988, London, UK). Collaborative duo living and working in Berlin Las Vegas dates: 3–30 November and 5–9 December
David Raymond Conroy
(b. 1978, Reading, UK). Lives and works in London and Brussels Las Vegas dates: 18 November–9 December
(b. 1985, London). Lives and works in London Las Vegas dates: 24 November–9 December
(b. 1986, Bangkok, Thailand). Lives and works in New York
Las Vegas dates: 4–10 December
Think Vegas, 6–8 December 2015
As a culmination of the residency a two-day symposium, Think Vegas, is being convened. This event invites artists, curators, historians and critics to discover and discuss the current arts scene in Las Vegas and possibilities for its evolution as a cultural and creative centre. Held across a number of different locations around the city, topics of discussion will include why Las Vegas is interesting for artists and curators? What role can art play in a city that prioritises entertainment, and what would the necessary catalysts to develop the cultural infrastructure of the city be? By bringing together a group of key international figures in the art world, it is hoped that the discussions and outcomes from the symposium might offer an initial sketched roadmap for the future growth of the arts in Las Vegas.
The residency artists are listed below, with indicative dates for their time in Las Vegas.