[Local events] FWD: "Second Peoples" at Helm Gallery, Tacoma

David Abel passages at rdrop.com
Thu Apr 16 19:41:44 PDT 2009

Gretchen Bennett, Jenny Heishman, Heide Hinrichs, Matthew Offenbacher

April 16th - May 14th

The Helm Gallery
760  S. Broadway
Tacoma, WA

Saturdays 12:00 - 6:00 pm

and by appointment: 253.627.8845  info at thehelmgallery.com

Driving directions from I-5:

Take Exit 133 onto I-705
Take the A st. exit.
Follow A st. to 9th ave. and take a left.
Take a right on Broadway and we are 2 doors down on the left.

"It has always been a place of abundance. Long before the arrival of
European settlers, the area's resources allowed indigenous peoples to
develop uncommonly rich artistic traditions. Once settlers arrived,
these same resources---timber, fish, rich land---enabled economic
prosperity." (Alaska Airlines Inflight Magazine, October 2007)

We have coined the name 'second peoples' to describe the people who
arrive late on the scene, after the beginning, after the abundance,
after the traumatic event, after everything's been said and done,
after, even, the end. We are the second peoples. Chances are, you are

This is an exhibition dealing with what it means to be second. We
inhabit a landscape of iteration, reverb, elision, and generational
noise. Our corner of North America--these mountains, that timber, this
rich land--belonged to someone else. Our popular culture--those TV shows,
that movie sequel, this new band that is so retro they're cool--belonged
to some other time. Our art is that way, too: this gesture to Donald
Judd, that nod to Philip Guston, that Eva Hesse wink.

We are interested in locating the coordinates of this second position.
How did we end up here? What is our responsibility for what happened
before us? What is our responsibility for the things that happen now in
our names? Like Simone de Beauvoir argues in "Second Sex", we think we
should be free to transcend ourselves as subjects, to not be confined
to existential leftovers.

Contemporary art is concerned with this alchemy, trying to turn
second-handedness into first-handedness, reversing the flow of energy,
presenting not representing, creating value from valuelessness. We
think this is a worthwhile activity. We also think it is a fraught
activity. The work in this exhibition exposes some of the fractures
created by this ceaseless turning, and also dreams of a third position,
a reification of our desire to escape, a momentary place to stop.

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