For the remainder of the COVID pandemic, Northern–Southern gallery hosts an ever-evolving installation by a series of artists working in turn.
An artist is given a key to the space, a baton. With it they may take their turn installing artwork in the gallery. An artist finishes their turn when they pass the key. The next artist will then have the run of the space. They will confront the work of the previous artists as the leave-behinds of a prior civilization: to honor, remove, build around, relocate, or cover up as they decide.
Baton began on the new moon of July 20, 2020 with Rachel Freeman and Phillip Niemeyer hanging each other’s work. Freeman also drew the BATON logo. Phillip Niemeyer passed the baton to Emily Lee. Stella Alesi held in late August. James Turner is running with it now.
Warming up: Jimmy Luu, Vy Ngo, Drew Liverman, Tyeschea West, Ryan Sandison Montgomery, Dawn Okoro, Transmountain, Matthew Steinke, Sev Coursen, Brad Tucker, Greg Foley, and …
VIEWING THE SHOW
Baton’s progress will be documented as it happens, posted on this page and shared on social media.
When Austin’s Risk-based guidelines reach Stage 3, the show will be open to private viewings by appointment. When we reach Stage 1-2, we will host limited open hours.
The show will conclude with a closing party when the pandemic ends. Until it closes, it will continuously change.
The COVID pandemic presents an opportunity to expand our conceptions of art spaces and art shows.
We cannot responsibly host crowds, but Northern-Southern gallery is safe for a single artist, or two, masked and distanced. BATON is a group workshop for a single participant at a time.
The participants’ intentions and actions may pile on top of each other as months pass, lacquers of successive nows. The overall show—for most experienced only as documentation—could encompass the walls in every way they are and as they were. Northern-Southern is an art time-space.
The participants in BATON will be encouraged to experiment, to push the parameters of their practice. They may use the space to install work that want to see in a gallery context, or ignore “art” and just do things. They may hang the work of another artist. They can rearrange what was there previous, or make work that reacts to it or re-contextualizes it. Or all the above.
BATON will never be, it will continuously become, until we drop the baton at the end of our run.
—Phillip Niemeyer, July 2020