The Bruce High Quality Foundation: Ode to Joy, 2001–2013
- Dates: June 28, 2013 through September 22, 2013
- Collections: Contemporary Art
April 1, 2013: A retrospective of less than 17,000 works created by The Bruce High Quality Foundation—which takes its name from a fictional artist named Bruce High Quality who purportedly perished on 9/11—will be presented at the Brooklyn Museum from June 28 through September 22, 2013. The Bruce High Quality Foundation: Ode to Joy, 2001–2013 will include works across a number of mediums, representing the Foundation’s work in subversive and often humorous installation art, painting, photography, sculpture, live performance, video and social sculpture.
The stated mission of The Bruce High Quality Foundation is “to invest the experience of public space with wonder, to resurrect art history from the bowels of despair, and to impregnate the institutions of art with the joy of man’s desiring.” The foundation employs familiar materials and objects in their work, from cars and refrigerators to Play-Doh.
Among the works in the exhibition will be the Foundation’s paint and photographic interpretations of French artist Théodore Géricault’s iconic nineteenth-century painting The Raft of the Medusa. The group will also create a site-specific classroom installation called The Stag Glares Back, their version of a Stations of the Cross series, depicting the World Trade Center and featuring a photocopier that speaks.
The Foundation has developed new approaches to the creation and display of art, with the goal of democratizing traditional relationships between artists and the public. They view September 11, 2001, as a seminal moment in contemporary history, and the ensuing wars and economic and cultural shifts have become a recurring concern in their projects. Their writings and performance-based works often combine past, present, and future histories, blending fact and fiction to encourage and reframe cultural discourse.
The Foundation’s spirit of collaboration and community engagement is also apparent in its creation of The Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU) in 2009, an unaccredited and tuition-free alternative to traditional models of art education. BHQFU offers students free classes, promising “an education in metaphor manipulation.” The curriculum has included courses such as “Occult Shenanigans in 20th/21st-Century Art,” “What is a Metaphor?,” and “The B.H.Q.F.U. Detective Agency.” The Bruce High Quality Foundation has also produced numerous films, among them, Isle of the Dead , a send-up of Night of the Living Dead that chronicles the dead- and zombie-led revival of the art world.
The exhibition has been organized by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum.
Generous support for the exhibition is made possible by The Wall Street Journal and Absolut.
The L Magazine is print media sponsor.
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