The Hatchery: Fortress, the third iteration of contemporary art exhibitions at this venue, will be organized around the theme of Fortress. Held in long-abandoned structures in Badger, in the Tulare County foothills, the event will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 6, 7, and 8, 2015, 11 am to 4 pm. This year’s exhibition will be linked to a worldwide, nearly simultaneous art event, and conceived of as an International City Tour by its founding organization, the Urban Arts and Media Organization, based in Munich, Germany (www.UAMO.info).
The Hatchery was chosen by UAMO as the sole USA site in the tour, one of ten alternative art venues on the International City Tour, along with Berlin, Sofia, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam, Zurich, Athens, Mexico City, and Dinslaken, Germany. Two artists from The Hatchery: Fortress will be chosen to have their work exhibited in UAMO’s culminating City Festival in Munich in April 2016 (along with selected artists from the other cities in the tour), as well as video and photo documentation of the entire Hatchery exhibition.
UAMO has chosen the theme of Fortress for this worldwide event. Curators Bill Doherty of New York City, Anné M. Klint of Oakland, and Bachrun LoMele of Pinehurst, California have chosen eighteen artists to participate. The artwork—videos, interactive projects, and installations, as well as photographs, drawings, and paintings—addresses the theme of Fortress by relating it to current concerns such as housing, homelessness, income inequality, prison reform, immigration policy, climate change, the recent Rough Fire in the nearby Sequoia National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park, and the drought. It is the intention of the curators to engage a non-art audience, as well as a contemporary art audience, who may be attracted by the peculiar history of the Hatchery and its current dilapidated state.
The Hatchery is situated in a rural, remote environment approximately an hour and a half from either Fresno or Visalia. The property’s natural beauty is compromised by the detritus of failed human endeavor, giving it an oddly decayed urban feel. The Hatchery is a large airplane hangar built as such and later used as a community center and school by Synanon, a drug-rehab organization which was progressive in its time for its culture of racial integration, but fell into disrepute as its founder became delusional and authoritarian. It was subsequently re-purposed as a Muslim religious community/boarding school for children from Oakland’s worst neighborhoods, but was abandoned after 9/11 amid accusations of fraud.
Recently, this area of the southern Sierra has been hard hit by the drought and the effects of pine bark beetles on the forest. Many thousands of dead ponderosas and cedars surround the property, and some have been logged. This summer, the Rough Fire in Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and Kings Canyon National Park burned over 150,000 acres and employed thousands of firefighters and support staff, who were successful in fortifying the area from the worst possible outcomes of this unpredictable and ferocious fire.
Since 2010, three contemporary art exhibitions have been produced at the Hatchery, including East of Fresno, which was noted in the Fresno Bee as one of Fresno’s twenty-best cultural events of 2011. Work by the following artists will be shown in The Hatchery: Fortress:
Dori Atlantis + Karen Frimkess Wolfe (Los Angeles)
Lexygius Calip (Phillipines / Chicago)
Rob Divers Herrick (San Francisco)
Elizabeth Dorbad (Bay Area)
Glen Farley (Canada / Norway)
Greg Fraser (Scotland / Oakland)
Rebecca Gourevitch (Bay Area)
Nasim Hantehzadeh (Chicago / Los Angeles)
Max Buck Henri (New York City)
Phillip Andrew Lewis (Chattanooga, Tennessee)
Bachrun LoMele (Pinehurst, California)
Muriel Montini (Paris)
Shana Moulton (Oakhurst, California / Münster, Germany)
Stefan Riebel (Berlin)
Byron Russell (Fresno)
Mayuko Russell (Fresno)
Nicole Shaffer (Oakland)
Bob Thornburg (Badger, California)
Rachel Van Pelt (Reno, Nevada)
Yurt City — Sheila Ross and Laura Ten Eyck (New York City)
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