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Sean Miller, Director of JEMA

Sean Miller is a participating artist in the exhibition On Procession. His project, the John Erikson Museum of Art, takes the form of miniature, portable museum galleries which he uses as a platform to host rotating exhibitions of other artists’ works. JEMA, named after Miller’s great-grandfather, was marched through the 2007 Art Parade presented by Deitch Projects, Paper Magazine and Creative Time. The Art Parade, an annual SoHo event since 2005, combines artworks solicited from an open call, museum-sponsored floats, and all types of rock n’ roll spectacle.

JEMA has been presented in other contexts, including other museums’ galleries. Beyond its obvious humor, JEMA offers an alternative vision of what it is to make an exhibition. As a portable museum, JEMA’s open construction and minimized logistical operations allow for more flexible or experimental programming than other kinds of museum galleries.

Sean Miller wrote this entry during a residency in Belfast at Flaxart Studios. He took the invitation to be IMA’s guest blogger as an opportunity to share his newly begun Director’s Notes. I encourage you to check out his Web site at to learn more about Miller/JEMA’s activities and details, including a staff listing, opening events, and a more thorough explanation of the overall project. JEMA’s exhibition of Saya Moriyasu’s Audience (2007) is currently on view in the IMA’s Forefront Galleries.

Rebecca Uchill
Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

Sean Miller, Director of JEMA

As the Director of the John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA) I have graciously been invited to submit an entry for this IMA blog. This invitation comes on the occasion of JEMA traveling Saya Moriyasu’s installation “audience” (2006) to IMA to be included in On Procession. JEMA is a location variable museum and currently I am busy scheduling, exhibiting, and juggling a new wing of location variable galleries in several different countries. I coordinated these exhibitions from Belfast, U.K. where I was participating in Flaxart Studios Residency Program. Rather than describe the functioning of our museum I thought I would include three excerpts from my Director’s Notes. In addition, I invite readers to view upcoming solo exhibitions at JEMA by Gregory Green, Cyriaco Lopes, Charles Krafft, Kristin Lucas, Yoko Ono, and Andrea Robbins and Max Becher. Please visit JEMA’s Web site for more info.

Director’s Notes
John Erickson Museum of Art
A New Museum and Consulate Opens in Belfast

More High Art: A Museum Hurtles Through The Air
Thursday April 3rd, 2008, 5:10AM

As I write this entry myself, three galleries, and the video lounge from the John Erickson Museum of Art (JEMA) are 4175 miles from Atlanta and 37,037 feet in the air somewhere over the water between Ireland and Great Britain. Soon JEMA will begin its cultural and diplomatic mission when the museum opens at Flaxart Studios and Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast, United Kingdom. There is much work to do. JEMA was recently bestowed with the honor and duty of housing a consulate for the Free State of Caroline. When a new Caroline Consulate prepares to open, the state routinely requests an address to record the consulate’s location – but since JEMA is a location variable museum I was unable to provide the necessary details. Happily the Free State of Caroline granted the museum the ability act as a mobile consulate. This is a great relief to us because the museum is currently moving at 526 mph and it’s difficult to get a clear idea on a fixed position. In this situation, the museum may only discuss a possible trajectory and one that is of course entirely dependent on chance, weather patterns, and the proper functioning of navigational equipment.

On The Ground in Belfast: A Museum and A New Free State
Thursday April 5th, 2008, 11:33 AM

The Free State of Caroline is a nation founded by artist Gregory Green in 1997. Caroline is in Belfast recruiting citizens and offering promise of “a new future” but is not yet recognized by the U.N. One of JEMA’s galleries has been transformed into a mobile Caroline Consulate. Green writes, “The New Free State of Caroline is a haven for those individuals worldwide who are participating in alternative cultures and lifestyles that are not easily accepted by the current power structures within their respective societies.” Our diplomatic mission, in Belfast, includes a three-pronged effort to discuss Caroline, recruit new citizens for Caroline, find a Belfast citizen named Caroline, and issue her the first passport of the New Free State of Caroline. The search thus far has not located Caroline but Brendan at Flaxart has helped us locate the HMS Caroline (A British Naval Vessel) in dry dock in the harbor only two miles from the Flaxart Studios.

Yoko Ono and IMAGINE PEACE in Belfast
Thursday April 6th, 2008, 10:15 AM

The John Erickson Museum of Art is proud to travel Yoko Ono’s IMAGINE PEACE exhibition to Belfast, Flaxart Studios, and other venues. This exhibition includes her text-based work IMAGINE PEACE (2007) as well as WISH PIECE (1996). JEMA is also pleased to announce the completion of its new outdoor sculpture park. With a generous grant from Eleanor Phillips and Flaxart Studios JEMA has established its new sculpture park. The park proudly begins its collection with two of Ono’s interactive Wish Trees. Viewers are invited to participate by writing wishes on pieces of provided paper and adding the wishes to the branches of the tree.

Yoko Ono writes:

“Power works in mysterious ways.
You don’t have to do much.
Visualize the domino effect and just start thinking peace.
The message will circulate faster than you think.
It’s time for action.
And the action is peace.
Spread the word.
Spread peace.
I love you!”

-Yoko Ono, Excerpt from Statement for Imagine Peace Exhibition at JEMA, Spring 2008.

“Bavarian By Law” Is In Place
Wednesday, April 9th, 3:15 PM

Andrea Robbins and Max Becher e-mailed that they have completed installation for their upcoming JEMA exhibition Bavarian by Law. This exhibition photographically documents Maifest, an annual, May 11th, celebration in Leavenworth, Washington (a town that voted to arbitrarily adopt a Bavarian history). Leavenworth’s cultural make-over included drastic changes to the architecture, clothing, customs, and retail outlets. In May, JEMA will use its location variable abilities to return the Bavarian by Law exhibition to Maifest celebration.

Look for JEMA exhibitions at Golden Thread Gallery, (Belfast, U.K.), ACC Galerie (Weimar, Germany), Indianapolis Museum of Art, and “Cottage Industry” at the Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, MD.). Check JEMA’s Programs and Events for specific details.

See A Little Art… More or Less,

Sean Miller
John Erickson Museum of Art
A Location Variable Museum

Filed under: Art, Exhibitions, Guest Bloggers

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