Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art

I attended The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends Is the Highest Form of Art, a social gathering hosted by Tom Marioni at SFMOMA. The gathering is an artwork that is part of a current exhibition The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now.

Tom Marioni, a Bay Area conceptual artist, pioneered using social situations as art and has hosted free beer salons as social artworks at his studio, in museums, and in alternative spaces for over 35 years. A sculptural installation related to Marioni's 1979 salon at SFMOMA is also on view as part of the exhibition.

The current Act of Drinking Beer with Friends Is the Highest Form of Art is taking place at the SFMOMA Koret Visitor Center every Thursday through February 05, 2009 (except December 25, 2008, and January 01, 2009) 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The beer salon features guest bartenders and readers- artists, writers and friends of the artist. Marioni kicked-off the series reading from his book, Beer, Art and Philosophy.

I had a lot of fun. The gathering was lively and there was free beer! Afterward, I walked upstairs to view The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now. The exhibition was engaging because unlike many other museum shows, it invites you to directly participate in the art-making process. It highlights the historical context of direct participation in art, covering nearly 60 years across a wide spectrum of genres and media: restagings of important installations, as well as new commissions that change as you and others participate.

Come drink, meet people, hang out with friends and be part of a social artwork. Then walk up to the fourth floor and participate in the exhibition, it's great.

-Javier Briones


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