An interview withTex Kershen regarding his pop-up exhibition Please Yourself:
Self Actualization is a group committed to repurposing commercial spaces and exploring them through new perspectives guided by the arts and meditative exercises. When they asked you to curate their inaugural event, what was your reaction?
Well it wasn’t hard to answer, since I always say yes. We had a few talks in which we discussed what they were setting out to do and what they wanted from me. Suffice it to say, it’s going to be a classy affair from start to finish. I’ve worked with a lot of nebulous organizations and ad hoc situations. You can make a lot of things happen with a little bit of good will: it all comes down to strategy.
I started off as a curator working for James Harithas at the Station. I used to show up for work hours early and stay hours late in an attempt to keep pace with him, Jesse Lott, Andy Mann, and a lot of other unnervingly talented people. It was an incredible experience for me and an intense education. I did more reading in my first years of working there than in all my years of school. He was committed to both artists and to ideas. We did exhibitions about Secret Wars. And traveled. We did anti-war shows that brought us some trouble. We went to Palestine to organize the first US museum show of artists from Palestine. We toured the hillside shantytowns of Caracas, meeting barrio musicians. Harithas is fearless. He doesn’t flinch.
Ultimately, I learned to trust my instincts, and my instincts follow convoluted paths. My central discipline is the intuitive application of confusion, mistakes, rushed efforts, and botched utopian schemes. It sounds stupid, but there’s an ecology at work. This world could loosen its tie. It begs to be deprofessionalized. That’s my calling these days. I’m a strict dilettante. Whatever team I’m on, that’s the B-team. I unbutton things and make messes. I work various jobs to stay alive and I keep my hands free for opportunities to do things like this show.