Unconfirmed Makeshift Museum [UMM] is a flexible project space with a playful utopian sensibility, conceived as a cultural intervention in suburban Irvine, CA. UMM’s mission is to provide a shifting, creative platform for contemporary art through exhibitions and social practice events centered on art-making for the community. Inspired by the generative history of artist collectives and alternative spaces, UMM is artist and community-centered, bringing together hybrid conceptual and poetic strategies, abstraction and politics. UMM is sponsored and directed by Abstraction at Work, an entity created by artist Mariángeles Soto-Díaz.
The all media gallery [AM] is host to works using slow, old, new or news media, glitchy, error-driven work, experimental collaborative works, and analog-digital hybrids.
The fireplace gallery [F] has ashes of other F galleries, and is curated around ideas of affect and that which animates ordinary life, text as material, fire, hearth, wood/ash, and potentially incendiary issues, in no particular order.
The powder room gallery [PR] activates the spirits of Chicago, Duchamp, Manzoni and Sherrie Levine’s bathroom works by showing conceptual art based on detritus, found art and refuse, and works that use the bathroom as stage.
What is the Unconfirmed Makeshift Museum?
It’s an artist-run independent project space, part lemonade made with life’s lemons, part institutional critique, part suburban intervention, part resistance, part the director’s own idiosycrasies and sensibilities.
What do you mean by utopian, a hefty word used in your mission statement?
By utopian I mean a kind of systematic exploration of imagining a better future and new paths of resistance, using conceptual and ludic modes of critique of the status quo as igniting materials for creative praxis.
Why the name?
It came out of a need to re-imagine (and dethrone) the idea of the museum to make an artist-run, independent, neighborhood-friendly micro-museum (which the director understands as a kind of oxymoron), including art events. It is sufficient for the time being.
Who supports the Unconfirmed Makeshift Museum?
UMM has yet to receive any grants, but donations are welcome and tax deductible via the Pasadena Arts Council, a 501c(3) charitable organization. UMM has been selected for the Pasadena Arts Council’s EMERGE Fiscal Sponsorship Program, which offers emerging organizations the ability to seek funding through fiscal sponsorship, and supports participants during a crucial stage, with the guidance and oversight of an established nonprofit.
What type of artists does the UMM represent?
None. I only represent color and ideas, and organize participatory social practice projects focused around object-making via an entity I have called Abstraction at Work.
Where are you located?
Roughly, we are located 40 + miles South of Los Angeles County, in the middle of a county with a deceptively colorful name: