Collecting and Collectivity

Collecting and Collectivity - Lefcourt video still

Collecting and Collectivity
Curated by Noah Simblist and Charissa Terranova
Conduit Gallery
Dallas, TX
February 16, 2008 – March 22, 2008
Reception – February 16, 2008
CAA event – February 22, 2008

Collecting and Collectivity PDF Brochure

Collecting and Collectivity is an exhibition about two seemingly opposite ideas. Collecting, the gathering of objects, is usually associated with the marketplace. It is a materialist drive by one individual or institution to amass objects and to organize them based on their beliefs. On the other hand, collectivity, the gathering of people, is often thought of in reaction to the marketplace. It is about a group of people constructing a set of shared values and acting accordingly. Politically, collecting is associated with capitalism and collectivity is associated with communism. After the fall of the Berlin wall, is there a new paradigm for collectivism that can be informed by collecting? How independent is the avant-garde, traditionally thought of as independent from the market? If art can be made by more than one individual, how does that affect the trend of the art star as a lone genius?

This exhibition brings together seven artists and collaborative teams that challenge the separation between collecting and collectivity. The artists include Danica Phelps, Team SHaG (Amy Sillman, David Humphrey and Elliot Green), Daniel Lefcourt, Michael Smith and Joshua White, Basekamp, Julie Ault and Martin Beck, and Ottabenga Jones and Associates.

This exhibition is part of a series of events connected to the themes of collecting and collectivity including a symposium that was held at SMU on October 13, 2007; a panel at the College Art Association Conference in February, 2008; a graduate seminar at SMU in the fall of 2007; and a series of lectures held at SMU throughout 2007-2008 academic year. For more information on these events including biographies of the artists and information on related events visit

Noah Simblist is an Assistant Professor of Art at Southern Methodist University. Charissa Terranova is an Assistant Professor of Aesthetic Studies and the director of the Central Track Residency Program at the University of Texas, Dallas.

This exhibition has been generously funded by SMU Meadows School of the Arts and the UTD Central Track residency program.

Artlies magazine will co-sponsor the opening reception to help celebrate their newest issue on the theme of collectivism and collaboration, co-edited by Noah Simblist and Michelle White, Assistant Curator at the Menil. The issue, the second that Artlies has begun to distribute nationally, also features a curatorial spread about the exhibition.


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