MF Exhibitions

James Giordani Monford

February 1 - July 31, 1999
Description
On October 10, 1998, the Mattress Factory received an envelope containing a one-dollar bill, mailed anonymously from Norwich, Connecticut. More mysterious bills continued to arrive each day. Each dollar bill had a different name written in its margin and was assigned a number between 1 and 365. The first bill received read, "2 of 365 Marlene Rogers." The bill of November 14 said , "1 of 365 Leonardo Drew," and so on. Mattress Factory staff soon determined that the names in the margins were African American artists and artists of color. James Montford ultimatley revealed himself as the anonymous sender and proposed his collaborative project to the Mattress Factory on October 22, 1998.

The 365 artist dollars are mounted on the wall in a pyramidal form under individual pieces of glass. On the opposing wall, slightly off-center, is another pyramid of dollar sized mirrors, reflecting both the dollar pyramid and its viewers. A quote by the late artist Romare Bearden, outlining the factors that have hindered black artists, is printed on a glass divider at the center of the exhibition space. A conference phone is set up for students and visitors to talk to artists of color, such as Howardina Pindell and Thaddeus Mosley, at prearranged times.

On the second floor, an entire room with students' submissions of dollar-bill-sized art works, each celebrating an artist of color. In an adjacent room, an archive created by staff, volunteers, and local students contains folders with information about the artists named on the dollar bills.
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