Ephemeral Sprawl, and it will take place at The Print Centers’s Philadelphia gallery in a rolling fashion from September 2013 through May 2014. Critically the exhibition is a broad historical, cultural, and creative survey of the way printed ephemera has invisibly woven itself into our understanding of art and culture. The exhibition will feature historically significant objects, and collections of ephemera by noted critics, curators, and institutional archives, in conversation with contemporary artists whose work in some way intersects with printed ephemera. By placing historical, popular, and creative works in a close proximity we hope to complicate our audiences understanding of how value is generated and accrued within a cultural context. In researching this exhibition we were inspired by our discovery that Alfred Jarry, the author of the 1896 play, Ubu Roi, and considered by many to be a progenitor of the modern avant-garde edited a series of publications that sought to put populist mass produced printed ephemera in conversation with work of historical significance, and some of the leading graphic work of his day; a model that closely mirrors our own.
Ephemeral Sprawl has been organized in concert with the venerable Library Company of Philadelphia’s exhibition Remnants of Everyday Life: Historical Ephemera in the Workplace, Street, and Home (http://www.librarycompany.org/collections/exhibits/index.htm), and will coincide with the Ephemera Society of America’s annual conference, which will be held in Philadelphia.
More information on Ephemeral Sprawl can be found here