New Signs, Old Goucher, 2017-2019
In collaboration with local community leader Kelly Cross, once a year del Pesco organized a series of temporary public artworks in the Old Goucher neighborhood of Baltimore. All three artworks served as textual monuments and each, in very different ways, invoked the social and poitical complexities and contradictions of the city.
EAT ASS PRAY LOVE, Badlands Unlimited and Paul Chan
Installed during PRIDE parade
at 24th and Maryland, Summer 2019
> BmoreArt Instagram
Ancient History of the Distant Future presented an international selection of artworks inserted into the historical galleries of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). The contemporary artworks made associations—critically or inspirationally—to nearby historical artworks, inviting reconsideration and reinterpretation in the present. Curated in collaboration with Jodi Throckmorton.
Pairing one seminal work of early video art with a contemporary international video work from KADIST’s collection, Double Takes was presented over 11 months at MoCA Cleveland. The videos were paired for subject, formal or procedural resonance—highlighting relationships that range from the urgent to the playful, spanning generations and borders. Curated in collaboration with A. Will Brown.
For the Counterpublic Triennial, Joseph del Pesco and artist Jon Rubin collaborated on a new commission, Monuments, Ruins and Forgetting, installed on Cherokee Street in St. Louis, Missouri. A three-part installation consisting of storefront signage, street posters, and musical performances, Monuments, Ruins and Forgetting inaugurates a new (and speculative) "National Museum" that—over the course of three months—presents a micro-narrative about historical progression.
"Del Pesco and Rubin consider, how does a nation, a city or a neighborhood decide what to collectively remember? Which histories are deemed worth saving and which are ignored, denied or forgotten? How long does it take for monuments to become ruins, or for once widely known stories to be forgotten?"
The first outdoor presentation of Piotr Szyhalski's entire series COVID-19: Labor Camp Report featuring 225 drawings, made one per day starting in March of 2020, and continuing until November 3, election day. The installation was printed on newsprint and wheatpasted on a purpose-built billboard, installed specifically for the project on Falls Road in Baltimore.
City of Disappearances dramatizes a resemblence between London and San Francisco by borrowing the title of Iain Sinclair's psycho-geographic "anthology of absence" written by and about London. The exhibition imagines a transposition and exchange of the living-imaginary of London conjured in Sinclair's book with the fictions and myths of San Francisco. A collaboration between the Zabludowicz Collection (London) and KADIST, the exhibition was curated by Joseph Del Pesco and Elizabeth Neilson.
Like the contributions to Sinclair's book, there are many "cities of shadows" that appear in the exhibition; recognizable as corporeal vanishings, filmic echoes from the past dissolving in the present, and contaminated memories. The photographs, videos, painting and sculptures evoke the personal experience of the individual in the city, cinematic fictions of the city as idea, and aesthetic distillations of the glow and texture of the urban. Whether we observe the formation of cities by their inhabitants or the formation of inhabitants by the cities in which they live, we recognize the city as a primary dilemma, a tension that informs all the works on view.
As part of processing and recovering from athe COVID-19 global pandemic, del Pesco and artist Liz Flyntz organized a free one-night screening in a public park of the unforgettable series 2 Lizards, by Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki. Using high-powered magnets to attach a canvas screen to an existing shipping container, and rotating nearby baseball bleachers, an outdoor cinema was created.
In 2013, del Pesco collaborated with the legendary experimental film institution Canyon Cinema, to present a pop-up shop and exhibition. Visitors were invited to browse and loan up to three titles from a selection of 190 DVDs by over 50 artists, a survey of Canyon Cinema’s histoically significant archive of 8 and 16mm film. Adjacent to the storefront was a micro-cinema that hosted a series of screening events. del Pesco also redesigned Canyon Cinema's logo, using a flyer made by the iconic Bay Area artist Bruce Connor as a starting point. They continued to use the logo following the exhibition.
Co-curated by Joseph del Pesco and Sergio Edelsztein, the exhibition Lives Between begins with a recognition of the growing number of international artists working and living between two places. Artists who were born in one country and, for a variety of reasons, have crossed oceans and borders to live in another. Because of this transition, their artistic practice and cultural identity is caught in tension between their country of residence and country of origin.
Some of the artists in the show migrated with their families as children, or were born somewhere else, but carry with them another culture through their parents, or through the color of their skin, and chose to make this paradox a aspect or impetus for their work. Others migrated later as adults, in a conscious move to improve their professional possibilities. Others simply move to survive.
In this way, these artists choose to live “in between” two places. Developing their personal and professional life in one place (working, raising a family), but when producing their work they address social and historical issues relevant “back home”. Many of them produce exclusively in their country or region of origin. Upon returning they realize they are both insider and outsider, and in a sense inhabit a third culture that exists between the two places. They come to learn the benefits and challenges of an interstitial identity.
The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh hosted an exact replica of artist-curator Sohrab Kashani’s apartment in Tehran and all of its contents. The installation was organized by artist Jon Rubin and built meticulously by a team of fabricators. What followed were a series of mirror prorgams presented in both locations, including a series of exhibitions and events... where every object, video, or performance appearing in one space was meticulously duplicated in the other. For the first program (appearing in both spaces), del Pesco collaborated with Kashani on a video program that combined the work of American and Iranian artists, titled Voice-over (in three parts).
18 protest posters by artists, letterpress printed at a 100 year old printshop, were displayed as placards alongside take-away stacks, In Protest was a one-night distribution event at the Berkeley Art Museum. Organized by Joseph del Pesco and Constance Lewallen in 2012.
exhibition images at PNCA, Portland OR. Exhibition design in collaboration with Scott Ponik
The Black Market Type & Print Shop Travelled from Articule in Montréal, to the gallery at PNCA, Portland Oregon, and the museum at UC Davis, California.
On Being an Exhibition at Artists Space in 2007, was inspired by Michael Asher’s “Situational Aesthetics” as a point of departure toward the development of an exhibition that thinks about this pre-conditioning of the viewer, the physical language of the gallery, and the packaging and promotion of its contents.