My Future Ex
Focused on the celebration of temporary relationships between people, materials and places, My Future Ex presents a diversity of contemporary approaches to the practice of installation and performance art. Curated by Tra Bouscaren and Sandra Q. Firmin, the exhibition features an ambitious mixture of local, national, and international talent in a kaleidoscopic series of installations and events, spanning 11 locations across the city of Buffalo throughout the Fall season. United by a drive to invigorate the city’s potential, the 17 artists and collectives featured in My Future Ex activate overlooked spaces and seek to build connections between existing projects and people around the city. From September through November, events will pop up and open for only a few days (or hours) at a time, ranging from two 3,000 square feet installation projects, outdoor happenings, artist lectures, activist dinners, and site-specific public sculpture projects. My Future Ex expands out from the UB Art Gallery’s traditional home base into Buffalo’s distinctive neighborhoods. It floats along the Buffalo River, accesses vacant warehouses downtown and a West Side Laundromat doubling as a cultural center, rides mass transit, and becomes rooted to urban farms and wildlife habitats. Buffalo, one of many once prosperous Rustbelt cities dotting the borders of the Great Lakes, has suffered for decades from a post-industrial legacy of economic hardship. Shrinking populations connected by a crumbling infrastructure, neglected architecture rooted in soil awash in pollutants present nothing if not more motivation for Buffalo’s plucky grass roots cultural practitioners. Artists, activists, urban farmers, educators, and entrepreneurs are rising to the challenge of revitalizing the city’s long-term cultural, historical, and economic health. My Future Ex approaches installation and performance practices that are not on top of, but integrated with what we find at hand, with what is here, here in Buffalo. We hope thereby to further activate the city’s latent potentials with an eye open to the future. Participating artists include Kaj Aune (Porto, Portugal), Jozef Bajus and Jeff Higginbotham (Buffalo, NY), Tra Bouscaren (Buffalo, NY), Oreen Cohen (Pittsburgh, PA), Neil Coletta and Lisa van Wambeck (Buffalo, NY), Conflict Kitchen (Pittsburgh, PA), Tom Fruin (Brooklyn, NY), Nicola Lopez (Brooklyn, NY), Heidi Norton (Chicago, IL), Alix Pearlstein (New York, NY), John Schlesinger (Philadelphia, PA), Tamara Suber (Philadelphia, PA), Sugar City (Buffalo, NY), Tim Whiten (Toronto, Canada), Johannes Zits (Toronto, Canada) and Kika Thorne (Toronto, Canada). My Future Ex is co-curated by Sandra Q. Firmin (Curator, UB Art Galleries) and Tra Bouscaren (PhD Candidate, UB Dept. of Media Study).