The Miller Gallery Presents Major Exhibition of The Yes Men,
"Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism With The Yes Men"
PITTSBURGH—The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University will present the first major exhibition of the renowned artist group The Yes Men. "Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism With The Yes Men" will run from Nov. 14 through Feb. 15, 2009.
The Yes Men will conduct a workshop and lecture, titled "How To Be A Yes Man," from 5 to 6 p.m., Nov. 14 on the gallery's second floor. Their presentation will include clips from their upcoming feature-length film to be released next year. Following the workshop, a business casual-themed reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the gallery's third floor.
"The Yes Men are among the most visible and effective activist-artists of our time, reaching countless people through Web sites, newspapers and television broadcasts," said Astria Suparak, director of the Miller Gallery. "Over the past decade they have fearlessly taken on the world's biggest corporations and bureaucracies. Infiltrating the elite realm of the influential and the moneyed, cloaked in the sheerest layer of authority — thrift-store suits, quick-print business cards and forged press releases - these social activators urge us to question where ethics belong in our capitalist-driven society."
The Yes Men have gained international acclaim and notoriety for exposing dehumanizing business practices and helping to keep critical issues in the international spotlight. They do this through impersonating representatives of powerful corporations and government organizations. The Yes Men's famed hoaxes include a phony George W. Bush Web site celebrating the unsavory details of the then-presidential candidate, and the false announcement of the World Trade Organization's dissolution to shift focus on helping the poor.
Co-organized by the Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Miller Gallery, "Keep It Slick" exhibits the Yes Men's practice with elaborate costumes, slapstick videos, outrageous posters and selections from their personal collections. Though their sociopolitical pranks at conferences, on television and on the Web have been widely publicized, they have never been presented on such a large scale.
"This survey represents the first-ever solo exhibition of The Yes Men. Here you can walk into a recreation of their past exploits in the conference area, witness a comically apocalyptic future, and pay your respects to a janitor who generously donated his body to satisfy our insatiable energy needs. In the Executive Board Room you may browse through The Yes Men's personal office items and orate along to their absurd PowerPoint presentations," Suparak said.
"Keep It Slick" appears at the Miller Gallery as part of a national tour extending through 2010. The Yes Men workshop is part of the Carnegie Mellon School of Art Lecture Series. Workshop participants will get an inside look into their methods and learn how to make a difference.
The Miller Gallery is located in the Purnell Center for the Arts on Carnegie Mellon's campus. The gallery, free and open to the public, is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Visit www.cmu.edu/millergallery for more information.
Pictured above is "Rona McRiveter," by the Yes Men.