Monday, October 08, 2007

IMA Requesting Proposals for Street Spectacular!

(Francis Alys)
Are you interested in parades, art walks, and other street spectaculars? Have you ever wanted the opportunity to participate in a project along with the IMA? Well, now is your chance. The IMA, as part of an exhibition scheduled for next year, will be conducting a large street parade with artists and musicians, etc. It sounds as if it could be quite a sight. Be sure to check out the web site they set up regularly for continued updates.

From the IMA Press Release:

"Indianapolis – (October 5, 2007) – The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced today that it has released a request for proposals for individuals and groups to participate in Street Spectacular!, a parade that will be produced in conjunction with the upcoming IMA exhibition, On Procession. The parade is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2008 at noon in Indianapolis. The exhibition will open at the IMA May 2 and will be on view through August 10, 2008.

The exhibition examines contemporary artworks that address parades and street pageantry, drawing upon themes of religious ritual, propaganda and civic celebration. The parade, which will stretch from downtown to Fountain Square, is conceived as an extension of the exhibition and will forge a new model for an exhibition in the streets and be a catalyst for new art production and engagement. Street Spectacular! will be documented and presented in part in the coinciding IMA exhibition, online at and in an exhibition catalogue.

“The parade is a one-of-a-kind platform for presenting artwork in the public sphere, and it’s a unique way to engage the community,” explained Rebecca Uchill, assistant curator of contemporary art at the IMA. “We’re hoping the parade provides engagement with the public through interactivity, collaboration, and social relevance,” Uchill added.

Individuals or groups may generate content for the parade such as floats, marches or dances, or portable artworks. All content should be respectful of the diversity of the residents of and visitors to Indianapolis. Entrants should register their project information for inclusion in Street Spectacular! by submitting a name and contact information, the project title and description, and no more than five images that depict either past projects or an idea of the planned parade project (jpg format, less than 1 MB) to the IMA via an online form at or via postal mail by Monday, March 17, 2008. Submission materials received by fax or email will not be considered.

A team of arts and parade professionals may select a limited number of projects to receive nominal funding for materials. This is not a grant award. To be considered for this limited funding, interested parties must submit project information by Friday, November 2, 2007.

IMA staff members have developed a series of opportunities for those interested in developing projects for Street Spectacular! IMA educators will work with certain selected projects to assist in their development, and IMA staff members may pair community groups with working artists. Open workshops, held throughout April 2008, will enable individuals, families and groups to develop a project for the parade. Further details about the workshop schedule, and specifications about the project and its submission requirements are posted online at . New content will be added to this web site on an ongoing basis.
Street Spectacular! is made possible with the Support of the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission."

11 Responses to “IMA Requesting Proposals for Street Spectacular!”

Anonymous said...
October 9, 2007 at 11:56 AM

The IMA should be more concerned about being a ART museum. I know there is so much more out there that needs to be exhibated, than putting together a show of whats left over from a parade.

The parade is the art
not after the parade

Anonymous said...
October 11, 2007 at 7:55 AM

Hmmm.... is that an art museum over there? I didn't think that art museums created art, but rather displayed it.

Whose running the show there?

Mona said...
October 11, 2007 at 8:18 PM

Our news media has already become corporate "Info-tainment".

This IMA project is a harbinger of "Art-o-tainment".

"Floats, marches or dances, portable art...." ????


Anonymous said...
October 11, 2007 at 10:58 PM

Agreed. Lame at best.

Scott said...
October 12, 2007 at 5:42 AM

Wow some harsh thoughts about a show that is still months away. I am personally awaiting the show and the parade as I am unsure what to expect from the experience.

As for museums "creating art", I don't think that hosting an art parade can be confussed with the creation of art. Museums, particularly contemporary art museums often facilitate the making of new works by artists and this parade will include works, performances, etc by artists from all over. It may seem odd to you, but some artists do this sort of thing as a part of their art practice. Francis Alys, the artist whose image I used above is a perfect example. He often performs these "walks" as his art and often it is the photos, videos, and artifacts left over from these performances that make it into the galleries and the museums.

I for one typically hate parades, more so because they tend to cause traffic jams when I need to get somewhere and all the roads are closed down. I have never been to an official "art parade", so I do not know what to expect. Perhaps it will be bad. Perhaps parts will be fabulous.

Anonymous said...
October 12, 2007 at 12:00 PM

Art practice alright
Lets see some real art
We know it's out there and it doesn't
take a parade to find it.

Scott said...
October 12, 2007 at 12:22 PM

Have you been to a First Friday Gallery Tour? Now there is a parade with no set course. Large masses of people in search of some good art. Tightly packed and rubbing elbows. And though good art is out there somewhere, you can not be sure of when or where you will come across it...


The Dude said...
October 12, 2007 at 2:08 PM

I think the question here is what's the difference between a person or a group within the community presenting an art parade, and an institution presenting such a thing.

I believe that most art parades (or such events) have been led primarily by artist(s), but this one is led by a curator. Does this then make the "curator" the "artist" in this case?

Does it matter? Yes.

While the museum is a non-profit organization it certainly has a great potential for having a different concept of commodity than an artist(s) would. That is to say, the museum (curator) is trying to get people to come to the museum, and the museum is trying to get you to by a membership, coffee mug, book, lunch, or just straight give them cash money and etc., etc. By participating in this parade you are "buying" into the museum, you are buying into what the museum is doing, and that is a lot more than just making contemporary art. This event is being run by the IMA.

Where as if you are ‘buying’ from an artists, the buying is more direct and focused.

I think it's only natural that this parade gets turned in on itself and therefore the institution hosting it. No doubt others have thought about this and perhaps some will make a big flote that amounts to a middle finger being flown at the IMA.

And while I don't think it "odd," it is a clear example of how the role of the artist and the museum and the curator are changing.

I think Scott's analogy to a gallery walk is a bit of a stretch. There is no over-arching theme, concept, or person. First Firday is a bunch of loosely affiliated galleries coordinating their events to one night. Now if the galleries in town bought into the idea and all had shows about parades, and made the whole city a big art parade (not unlike the Colts’ “Blue Friday” that the city supports wildly), well that would be something different. Not a bad idea, though. Maybe the IMA should call the Mayor and IDADA, of course giving "The Dude" full credit.

Frankly, though, I prefer fire engines and parade queens (of all sorts). I like my art on wheels and tranies.

troubled child said...
October 12, 2007 at 3:21 PM

I apologize to those reading who are NOT political junkies for the following analogy :

When I read about the IMA "Street Spectacular!" (gag!), the first thought that came to me was, this has the same smell of a public relations campaign ala the Bush Administration. Like the one they sent Karen Hughes on to improve America's image in the Muslim world. She had never been there, didn't speak the language and knew nothing about the culture. She was just a spin doctor with a corporate agenda and some really upbeat ideas about promoting "democracy" (read: "capitalism")

Now, putting that ilk of politics aside ......... Do artists have to win the hearts and minds of the public? Does art have to serve the appetites and wallet sizes of shoppers, like WAL-MART does? Is art so guilty of past crimes against the public that it has to grovel and beg to be allowed back into the good graces of a marketplace which, by its very nature, is nothing but a poisonous environment for true Art?

(If "true" Art is that which does not conform to the past, cannot be anticipated and defies mass production.)

So what is the link in this analogy? I would say it is the ever present force of corporatization, which will try to co-opt and devour anything that can be used to further its driving purpose of profit-making.

I refuse to comply. Shame on the IMA.

Humans desparately need to preserve a place that presents an alternative to the corporate pseudo-experience. Even if most people stumble into it accidentally, they will recognize it as real. Kind of like walking into a forest.

Sorry to be so "cynical", Scott.
Now you can wag your finger at this post like a school marm reprimanding her kindergarten class for not behaving like "good" little children.

I love the idea about the giant finger float flipping off the IMA.

Scott said...
October 12, 2007 at 3:57 PM

LOL, I do not think I have ever been refered to as a school marm before. Must say, that cracked me up.

If you want to stand up and say Fuck You to the IMA, so be it, that is cool with me. My previous analogy is certainly a stretch, it was intended as a joke.

I do disagree with a couple of Troubled Childs analogies though.

"She had never been there, didn't speak the language and knew nothing about the culture. She was just a spin doctor with a corporate agenda and some really upbeat ideas about promoting 'democracy' (read: 'capitalism')"

To say the curators of the IMA do not understand the language of art and culture or the culture of Indianapolis is a bit ridiculous. And the assumption that they have a corporate agenda trying to promote capitalism, is equally far fetched. For one, we are talking about a parade, which costs the public nothing and the IMA itself is FREE to the public as well. While some corporations may endow money to the IMA, the IMA is in no way a corporation. It is not as if we see the IMA doing a pro drug company exhibition because of Lilly endowments. The do have a restaurant and a gift shop but does anyone seriously think that they make any significant part of their operating budget from either of those endeavors? I have been going to the IMA for more than 15 years and have never purchased a thing from the gift store, well maybe a postcard or two many years ago.

"If 'true' Art is that which does not conform to the past, cannot be anticipated and defies mass production."

Doesn't a parade equal of those, a parade by its nature has nothing to do with the market, art parades do not really conform to any sort of past, I can not anticipate what to expect, and can you really mass produce a parade experience.

Seriously, I too am cynical and often play devils advocate here for the sake of discussion. I do love a good art debate. Thanks for your well expressed point of view.

troubled child said...
October 13, 2007 at 9:29 AM

And thank you, Scott, for the fair response. Sometimes a flamboyant rant with broad analogies is just plain fun....

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