GRAFT, which will see changes as the collective disperses later in the summer, will host Shitty Infinity for one more evening—Friday, July 20 from 7 to 11pm at their gallery on Fourth Street (1415 Fourth Street SW).
Alibi: Tell us about the show.
GRAFT: Shitty Infinity is a project exploring our contemporary relationship to the celebrity culture which surrounds artists and museum institutions. It is a bootleg contemporary art museum, featuring off-brand and homemade replicas of some of the most fetishized and mythic artworks which you might find in any museum collection across the country. We are interested in challenging the hierarchy of value around contemporary art, in which a handful of artists and institutions in major cities are regarded as the blueprint for all relevant artwork, performance, music, etc., and instead focusing on the personal, the handmade and the bizarre.
What are you hoping to reveal to visitors?
We want to create an experience that is surreal, wonderful and personal. We want to create a museum space which can be approached with a sense of irreverence and play and to cultivate a perspective on famed and famous art which is more human [in] scale and less mythical. We are working with a wonderful team of collaborators to encapsulate and hyperbolize our shared and individual experiences in feeling frustrated and alienated by the highly regulated format of typical art museums. Our collaborators include So This Is Art, Rob Stevens, Lance McGoldrick, Ren Adams, Natalie Day, Drew Miller, Piera Yerkis, Bradford Ericsson, Stanley Brapola, CB Bryan, Noel Mollinedo, Jenette Isaacson, Apollo Gomez and Lee Frampton, among others.
What do you all learn in the process?
This is the culmination of a lot of personal experiences, especially living in a city which is frequently regarded as less culturally relevant than a New York or LA. [We had] to explore our own experiences along with the ideas and stories of our collaborators, and to find humor and a sense of ownership within these markers of popular artistic culture.
Can you tell us more about the changes happening at GRAFT?
After 3 and a half years, and over 50 exhibitions in this space, as well as many other events, we are letting go of our lease after this month to new tenants who will continue it as an artist-run space. Two of our members are departing for other cities, so we are transitioning after July to a model more focused on sporadic curation and development of our own collective projects. We will be creating a public art installation in late August for SOMOS, as well as seeking opportunities outside of Albuquerque and within the city. We are so grateful for the support and enthusiasm we have received from this city and look forward to many more projects and adventures with our community in the future!