Curated by Jessica Cochran for the Contemporary Arts Council.
Work by Alberto Aguilar, Pamela Bannos, Viv Corringham, Adam Farcus, Regan Golden, Bill Guy, Kirsten Leenaars, Daniel Mellis, Ryan B. Richey, Michael X. Ryan, Fred Sasaki, Allison Yasukawa and Mary Lou Zelazny.
In today’s content-starved society of the “24 hour news cycle,” it is not unusual to see reality shows and headlines hyper-focused on “unexceptional” people—but what about an art exhibition? Re-creating this model within the context of the art world, This is Paul Halupka is an exhibition of artworks about one person—a young man named Paul Halupka, a near stranger from the curator’s past. Though not legitimized by media or celebrity culture, Paul’s identity has been ushered into a spotlight and granted symbolic value in the form of an art exhibition.
Jessica Cochran,the curator, asked 13 emerging and mid-career artists to get to know Paul Halupka in order to create a portrait. Embracing a less directly representational type of portraiture, artists’ projects reflect poetic and discursive approaches to the depiction of Paul’s identity through painting, sculpture, video, photography and mixed media installation.
A full catalog has been published on the occasion of the exhibition, featuring texts by Jessica Cochran (exhibition curator), Karsten Lund (independent curator and critic) and Fred Sasaki (Associate Editor, Poetry). An extension of the show itself, the catalog, designed by Ryan Swanson, features graphic marginalia based on statistics culled from Paul Halupka’s virtual presence on Facebook, tumblr and Google searches.