Alumni Matt Whitman and Mark John Smith Exhibit at Volta

by Franklin Collective
VOLTA NY March 2-6
Pier 90, Booth C13


Franklin Collective views “The Gallery” 2016 as a living sculpture, one intended to offer a critical contemplation of the contemporary gallery model and the meaning of value in art. For our most recent iteration we move to the art fair.

Franklin Collective’s “The” series of works forms an ongoing project that continues to actualize through assumed online standard digital networks, assorted products, brick and mortar installations, documents, ready-mades, and continued examination of the human relationships formed within a larger structure.

“The Gallery” initiates discussion, while pushing for an informed and culturally engaged public. This is achieved by implementing an immersive, multi-faceted institutional critique dwelling in both offline and online realms. “The Gallery” aims to empower the viewer with the political and practical framework of gallery as institution. With documents and environment embodied, the viewer can confront, negotiate, and resolve significant issues in a familiar space, one that intends to inspire excitement in the examination of this system. Like any institution, “The Gallery” functions through a series of subsidiaries, reminding the viewer that the overall structure of any aspect of commerce remains the same – whether it is an art gallery, a department store, or a mobile phone contract. Through “The Gallery” products, value is considered in the aspect of aura, branding, and the ability to purchase access to culture.

In “The Gallery”, the viewer is placed at the highest level of importance. Franklin Collective provides a setting whereby the structure becomes human through the viewer’s engagement. The viewer is drawn out of a passive role and made active. Viewer as work. Work as viewer. Both, then, travel together.

Franklin Collective seeks to build a setting in which difficulty overpowers ease, bespoke overpowers automatic, signature overpowers autofill, touch overpowers gaze. “The Gallery” constructs its image by providing its shadow. This shadow exists both online and in brick and mortar installations. It exists in the specific language used in official documents, the interoffice correspondence, the public voice of “The Gallery” through its online identity, legally binding agreements, and the chatter around an electrical outlet. Franklin Collective believes that art should be used as a force for positive political, social, and economic change. “The Gallery” is dedicated to unpacking the various assumed rules and roles within the art world, thus identifying the non-negotiables of a contemporary art gallery and giving space to what can be reconsidered.

Guests of ‘The Gallery’ shred, charge, drink, spritz, tweet, share, cry, steal, leak, invade and become entangled in our network as sculpture. Its … “interesting”

Franklin Collective invites guest at VOLTA to look, flirt, and even touch*

*just not the interns.

But wait, there’s more!

Franklin Collective artist Mark John Smith joins Ben Davis for an Artnet panel discussion:
Why Art Collectives Now?
Saturday, March 5, 6:00 PM

Please join the conversation with “The Gallery” 2016 on Twitter (@thegallerynyc), Facebook (, Instagram (@thegallerynyc), Vimeo (@thegallerynyc), and via the hashtag #thegallerynyc.

Some helpful links:

Franklin Collective
The Gallery

Some useful information:

VOLTA Preview Hours

Wednesday, March 2nd
Press Conference and Preview
5 – 6 pm
Guest of Honor Preview
6 – 7 pm
VIP Preview
7 – 8 pm
Public Vernissage free and open to the public
8 – 10 pm

VOLTA Public Hours
Thursday – Saturday, March 3 – 5
12 – 8 pm
Sunday, March 6
12 – 6 pm