2012 > Come here, I need you.

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Curated by Amanda Thackray + Raine Vasquez


Come Here, I Need You explores the shifting relationships between artist, viewer, and artwork. Derived from the message of the first telephone call, made by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, the title suggests a longing for connection, a search for an open dialog inherent in the work presented. Departing from authoritative modernist theories of the dominant maker and object and from viewer-centered theories such as relational aesthetics, this show embodies the contemporary artistic imperative that emphasizes and embraces the varying degrees to which artists engage their audience. Some works privilege the viewer through participatory methods—as with musical instruments or take-away ephemera; more traditional works maintain their authorship; yet other works aim to level the relationships between the artist, viewer, and object through collaborative and open-ended practices.

This show takes as its horizon the need for relationships. Bringing together the works of twenty-six artists from various departments at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, both graduate and undergraduate, Come Here, I Need You explores the depths of RISD’s immediate community. However, the extended public also informs these works; as a space for artistic investigation, this exhibition offers a unique opportunity for these artists to engage with a diverse audience in experimental ways. In navigating this space, the viewer’s tone and tempo become implicit, an integral part of the configuration of the show—always an accomplice.

amanda + raine