Revisions Jonathon Keats: The First Intergalactic Art Exposition
Jonathon Keats in conversation with revolutionary Russian-American conceptual artist Vitaly Komar on conceptual art, collaborative process and Jewish culture.
Concluding centuries of speculation about extraterrestrial intelligence, conceptual artist Jonathon Keats recently discovered that a radio signal detected by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico contains artwork broadcast from deep space. Initially dismissed by researchers as meaningless, the transmission is now claimed to be the most significant addition to the artistic canon since the Mona Lisa, or even the Venus of Willendorf. Painstakingly decoded by Keats, the artwork is exhibited for the first time ever at the Magnes. "This is the ultimate outsider art," notes Keats. "Historically our culture has ignored extraterrestrial artistic expression. Given the size of the universe, this is no small oversight." The First Intergalactic Art Exposition introduces the public to art on loan from elsewhere in the cosmos, and also reciprocate: From the Magnes, Keats is broadcasting his own artwork out into deep space. Keats is represented by Modernism Inc. in San Francisco. His work has appeared in The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Wired, and he has written columns for Artweek and San Francisco Magazine.- The Judah L. Magnes Museum
Terry Pink Alexander
Executive Director, Judah L. Magnes Museum
Alla Efimova is the Chief Curator at the Judah L. Magnes Museum.
Jonathon Keats is a conceptual artist, novelist, and critic. He is creator of Atheon. For his most recent exhibition, at Modernism Gallery in San Francisco, he customized the metric system. He has also attempted to genetically engineer God in a petri dish, in collaboration with scientists at the University of California, and petitioned Berkeley to pass a fundamental law of logic â€“ A=A â€“ a work commissioned by the city's annual Arts Festival.
He has been awarded Yaddo and MacDowell fellowships, and his projects have been documented by The San Francisco Chronicle, KQED-TV, and the BBC World Service.
Emigrating in 1977 from the Soviet Union to the United States, Vitaly Komar became known in New York City as a cynical Social Realist. In Spring, 1998, he and Alexander Melamid had a special exhibition of their work at Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York. Called "American Dreams," the two explored the cult of George Washington and compared it to Lenin.
He is a graduate of Stroganov Art Institute in Moscow and in the early 1970s initiated in Russia the SOTS movement, which is the Soviet version of Western Pop Art.