Douglas Paulson, contemporary art, social practice

Douglas Paulson

United States 1980

Douglas Paulson
Douglas Paulson
United States
July 1, 2015

Douglas Paulson is a New York City-based artist and art teacher, whose works can be seen as a part of the new Social Practice stream of contemporary art. Often collaborative and interactive, his work juxtapositions people, places and materials, whose final results and conclusions are determined by the participating acts.

Paulson’s Social Practice: Engagement, Collaboration and Community

Douglas Paulson was born in 1980 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 2001 and 2002, he attended Temple University in Rome, Italy. In 2003, Douglas got his BFA in Sculpture, with digital supplement from the Tyler School of Art in Pennsylvania.

Basis of Douglas Paulson’s work as an artist is an exploration of the relationships between social dynamics and physical spaces. Through his public, social, and cultural space work, he manages to convince strangers to throw themselves into bizarre, difficult, annoying, sometimes even scary commitments. Paulson describes himself as an “auto-interventionist” – he creates projects that intervene into his own life, creating ways to lose control of his own projects. Jumping from project to project, and always positioning himself in relation to others, he eliminates the usual routine of his own mind, which enables him to have an ever-changing perspective on the world.

Douglas Paulson, contemporary art, social practice
Douglas Paulson – Why is it important for the work to be in conversation with the history of art, 2014

Douglas Paulson’s Work at the Flux Factory

As a self-chosen collaborative artist, Douglas Paulson has maintained many enduring collaborations with individuals and different art collectives around the world. His continued collaborative practices include the ones with Rancourt/Yatsuk, Christopher Robbins, Kerry Downey, Eva la Cour, and Ward Shelley. Paulson also initiated and formed the expansive project-to-project collective named Action Club. As a member and organizer of the New York-based open art center called Flux Factory, Douglas helps run a collective environment, plan various events, and set up foundations for artists to collaborate. Some of the projects at the Flux Factory that Paulson co-organized or co-curated include Kitty City, Congress of Collectives, M4MSC, The Flux Death Match series, Public Trust, The Typhoon Continues and So Do You, among others.

Douglas Paulson, contemporary art, social practice, Kitty City
Douglas Paulson’s Kitty City project at the Flux Factory (detail), 2013

Parfyme Art Collective

Douglas Paulson is one of the members of the Copenhagen-based Parfyme (pronounced “perfume”) collective. As a four-person art collective, Parfyme is focused on developing and taking actions in projects regarding public space in cities such as Copenhagen, Bergen and New York. The group was created thanks to the similar ideas the four artist had in mind – practical research and immediate actions. The main idea behind Parfyme is that art can be a very useful tool, in a way that it can be a catalyst for personal contributions and improvements on surroundings and environment, but also a way to explore and investigate serious social and political issues.

Menu for Mars Kitchen – Project with Heidi Neilson

Douglas Paulson’s most recent project, titled Menu for Mars Kitchen and Menu for Mars Supper Club, was created in a collaboration with fellow artist and activist, Heidi Neilson. The idea that lies behind the project is an investigation and discussion on how the circumstances on Mars would affect some future-colonists’ food – and their physical, cultural, and psychological needs. The Menu for Mars project lives on a monthly basis, in a space of the Flux Factory art center.

Douglas Paulson, contemporary art, social practice, Menu for Mars kitchen supper club
Douglas Paulson’s Menu for Mars Kitchen project with Heidi Neilson, 2015

Douglas Paulson at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

Through his career, Douglas Paulson has been an Artist-in-Residence at important art institutions, like CAT Cologne, Build It Green! NYC, DIVA in Copenhagen, Seoul Art Space _ Geumcheon, and The Israeli Center for Digital Art. His work has also been awarded many times, including Gianni Caproni Art Prize in 2002, Edith Weil Hecht Memorial Award in Sculpture, and DaNY Arts Cultural Exchange Grant, in 2006.

Douglas Paulson’s work has been presented in venues such as P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, Queens Museum of Art, The Sculpture Center, Toronto Free Gallery, Museum Moderner Kunst, Dumbo Arts Center and Pierogi Gallery. In addition, Douglas participated in many notable biennales and festivals, including Athens Biennial, Bonn Biennial, UTURN Quadrennial, and The Sequences and The Conflux Festivals.

Douglas Paulson is currently living in New York.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Menu for Mars Kitchen (with Heidi Nelson)The Boiler, Brooklyn, New YorkDuo
2015Counterfeiting For CashFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2014Menu for Mars Supper ClubFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkDuo
2014Chronicle of Placealte feuerwache - Projektraum - Galerie, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2014Flux Hospital (collaboration with Rancourt – Yatsuk)Flux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2014It Never Happened (with Eva la Cour)Noordkaap, Dortrecht, NetherlandsDuo
2014HomecomingFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2013A Necessary Shift (with Elizabeth Hamby and Hatuey Ramos-Fermín)EFA Project Space, New York, New YorkGroup
2013Fureur De Lire – NuitopieGeneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2013Untitled (As Of Yet) (with Christopher Robbins)Flux Factory, Queens, New YorkDuo
2013 Unten Am Havn (as Parfyme)Interpol+- , Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2013We (as Action Club)Jerusalem, IsraelGroup
2013Kitty CityFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2013We’re Not AloneThe Israeli Center for Digital Art, Tel Aviv, IsraelGroup
2012How to Dream Otherwise: Reanimating the PotentialitiesSeoul Art Space - Geumcheon, Seoul, South KoreaGroup
2012Conflux (as Parfyme)Barney Building Gallery, New York University, New York, New YorkGroup
2012Involver (as Parfyme)Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning, DenmarkGroup
2012Public Trust (with Christina Vassallo)Flux Factory, Queens, New YorkDuo
2012Visit Tingbjerg (as Parfyme)Tingbjerg Kunsthallen, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2012Death Match Debate Series (with Christina Vassallo)Flux Factory, Queens, New YorkDuo
2012Friday's Respite (with Jesper Aabille)Overgaden at The Armory Show, New York, New YorkDuo
2012Art Reach (as Parfyme)Nikolaj Kunsthallen, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2011Shifting Communities (as Action Club)Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, New YorkGroup
2011Congress Of CollectivesFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2011Temporary Structures: Performing Architecture In Contemporary Art (with Ward Shelley)DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MassachusettsDuo
2011Why Participate? (as Action Club)Flux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2011Double SessionBard Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, New YorkGroup
2011The Typhoon Continues and So Do YouFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2011Double Take Triple Give (as Parfyme)Museums of Bat Yam, Bat Yam, IsraelGroup
2010The Self-Destructing Art ShowFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2010Reanimation Library Hyde Park BranchUniversity of Chicago's DoVA Temporary, Chicago, IllinoisGroup
2010Collective ConsumptionDumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2010An Outsider's History Of Cologne (as Parfyme)Alte Feuerwache - CAT Cologne, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2010Tumult (as Parfyme)somewhere in the woods, Gedser, DenmarkGroup
2010Archive (with Ward Shelley)Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New MexicoDuo
2010Ex-Territorysomewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, International WatersGroup
2010Reusable CitiesQueens, New YorkGroup
2010Open EngagementPortland State University, Portland, OregonGroup
2010Exploitation on DemandSparwasser HQ, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2010Ides of MarchABC No Rio, New York, New YorkGroup
2010Ecstatic (as Action Club)the former convent of St. Cecilia’s Parish, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2010HousebrokenFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2010Decordova BiennialDeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MassachusettsGroup
2009Sequences Real-Time Festival (as Parfyme)Reykjavik, IcelandGroup
2009The Classroom - The New York Book Art FairPS1, Queens, New YorkGroup
2009Twin Twin IIIBig & Small - Casual Gallery, Queens, New YorkGroup
2009One after anotherThe National Gallery of Saskatchewon, Canora, CanadaGroup
2009Athens BiennialAthens, GreeceGroup
2009Faxlore (with Eva la Cour)Noordkaap, Dortrecht, NetherlandsDuo
2009Queens InternationalQueens Museum of Art, Queens, New YorkGroup
2009Creative CitiesToronto Free Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2008Uturn Quadrennial (as Parfyme)Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2008Living RoomFlux Factory, New York, New YorkGroup
2008Pancevo Biennial (as Parfyme)Pancevo, SerbiaGroup
2008Going Places (Doing Stuff)Flux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2008Zeitgeist Zeitgeist Everything Is So PreciousSecret Project Robot, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2008Minigolf (with Eva la Cour)Under Vand Skulpturpark, Copenhagen, DenmarkDuo
2008Everything Must GoFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2008Ides of MarchABC No Rio, New York, New YorkGroup
2008Slightly UnbalancedChicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IllinoisGroup
2007NYNYNY (with Marie Lorenz)Flux Factory, Queens, New YorkDuo
2007WHY + WHEREFOREonline from Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2007The Guy Debord Show (as Parfyme Deluxe)New General Catalogue, online from Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2007Von Heiner Bis Müller (with Eva la Cour)Labor-K1, Berlin, GermanyDuo
2007Deluxe - Flux Factory (as Parfyme Deluxe)Flux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2007The Tent Show (as Parfyme Deluxe)Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2007Analogous LogicTemporary Storage, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2007L.I.C., NYCSocrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New YorkGroup
2007Come One Come All (as Parfyme Deluxe)3rd Ward, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2007The Happiness Of ObjectsSculpture Center, Queens, New YorkGroup
2007Grizzly ProofFlux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2007Posters of Radiant Optimism (as Parfyme Deluxe)YNKB, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2006Archive (with Ward Shelley)Pierogi & Ronald Feldman, Miami, FloridaDuo
2006Exportable GoodsKrinzinger Projekte (a division of Galerie Krinzinger), Vienna, AustriaGroup
2006Playspots (as Parfyme Deluxe)School of Architecture, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2006Sequences Real-Time FestivalReykjavik, IcelandGroup
2006Down the Street And Around The Corner (as Smørrebrød)Flux Factory, Queens, New YorkGroup
2006Conflux Festival 2006Expedition to New Jersey, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2006KNOCK, KNOCK: PICNICJack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
2006Radio (as Parfyme Deluxe)Paris, FranceGroup
2006Work in Progress (with Ward Shelley)Dumbo Arts Center, Brooklyn, New YorkDuo
2006REALITY 10’55 (with Ward Shelley)Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, DenmarkDuo
2006Archive (with Ward Shelley)Pierogi 2000, Miami, FloridaDuo
2005Home at TentTENT, Rotterdam, NetherlandsGroup
2004Para Sites: When Space Comes Into Play… (with Ward Shelley)Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, AustriaDuo
2004ONE-OFFSuave Lavanda, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaGroup
2004Archive (with Ward Shelley)Bonn Biennial, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, GermanyDuo
2004Five into OneMoore College of Art, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaGroup
2004SimulcastSuave Lavanda, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaGroup
2004Open House: Working In Brooklyn (with Ward Shelley)Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New YorkDuo