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Trevor Shimizu: Performance Artist — ICA at Kunsthalle Lissabon, Portugal

November 20, 2019 - February 1, 2020


Image: Trevor Shimizu, installation view of Memoir, 2005, single channel video, color, sound, 6:23 minutes, 32” monitor, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal.

Evolving out of critical thinking and archival research initiated as part of ICA’s 50th anniversary, I is for Institute presents a timely opportunity to think broadly about the perceptions, definitions, and connotations surrounding contemporary art institutions. Forming collaborations with thought leaders and preeminent organizations in the art world, ICA has launched both online and physical manifestations of the project that further delve into these questions and provide access to ongoing conversations, examining how contemporary art institutions came to be, what they mean now, and how they might exist in the future. The launch of the new I is for Institute online portal, https://iisforinstitute.icaphila.org/,captures informal conversations with leading figures in the art world as they reflect on their work in institutional and local contexts, and aims to foster dialogue and offer resources on the breadth of contemporary arts organizations globally while highlighting the research and work underpinning their programming.

The digital element also runs alongside and offers critical support to forthcoming physical exhibition initiatives. The first is a pioneering partnership that will result in the physical and digital takeover of Kunsthalle Lissabon in Portugal by four distinct arts organizations, each occupying one season to test and examine how geographical and organizational differences challenge notions of institutional identity. As part of the unique cross-institutional exchange, the visiting institution will position their branding and visual identity on the exterior and interior of Kunsthalle Lissabon, as well as organize the programming, publications, logo, and website around the resulting show. This November, ICA inhabits and transforms the Lisbon institution into an extension of its Philadelphia building to present the first exhibition devoted to the video work of artist Trevor Shimizu, who was previously featured in the 2018 show Broadcasting: EAI at ICA. Primarily known for paintings and drawings that exude a wry sense of humor, this exhibition will feature an in-depth display of Shimizu’s video paintings, online interventions, and lo-fi videos dating from the late 1990s to the present, offering a prescient and poignant commentary on our socially mediated moment.

A fully-illustrated publication co-developed with Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) will accompany the exhibition. The exhibition and its corresponding events program is organized by ICA’s Dorothy & Stephen R. Weber (CHE’60) Curator Alex Klein.

I is for Institute is an ongoing initiative spanning an online portal, ongoing research, and physical displays spearheaded by Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE’60) Curator Alex Klein and ICA’s Spiegel-Wilks Curatorial Fellow Tausif Noor.


November 20, 2019
February 1, 2020
Event Category:


Trevor Shimizu