Lecture by Christine Hill

Presented as part of the Grad Fine Arts Satellite Lecture Series
February 15, 2012, 7:00–9:00 pm

Volksboutique Small Business, Berlin Prenzlauer Berg (2011)

Timken Lecture Hall, San Francisco Campus
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When Christine Hill presented her Volksboutique in Kassel, Germany as part of Documenta X, she had already begun to develop a form of art practice that reflected on the condition of being an artist. Hill’s reappraisal of the artist’s role was based on a variety of other minor parts she adopted (she is listed in the Documenta catalogue as a masseuse, a concessions girl, a rock singer, a shoe shiner, a striptease dancer). Each new temporary identity is a service provider through which Hill investigates their potential as an art presence – an exploratory ground upon which Volksboutique was founded as a site where she could ‘deal with service, interaction, the portrayal and assumption of roles, the generation of conversation between individuals and the information therein.

Working out of the legacies of the ‘Happenings’ environment and its theatricality, Pop Art’s commodification of the art object and its space of consumption, and Joseph Beuys’ unification of art and life through his model of'social sculpture', Hill exceeds each. In the process she proposes new roles for viewers (as consumers, tourists, members of a television audience), redefines exhibition spaces (as stores, studios, catwalks) and reinvents a mobile artistic identity (whether as a show host, store owner or tour guide).

Hill has exhibited and lectured widely. Recent solo exhibitions include Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York; Galerie EIGEN+ART, Berlin; the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig; the MigrosMuseum in Zurich and the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. She was included in documenta X in 1997, and has participated in numerous international group exhibitions. Her work has been reviewed extensively in publications such as Artforum, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Art in America and in significant international publications. The Volksboutique Style Manual is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Volksboutique project Minutes was included in the 2007 Venice Biennale under the curation of Robert Storr. A forthcoming review of Volksboutique sculptural work will be shown at the New Museum in Weimar, Germany in April 2012.

Brought to you by the Social Practice Workshop