ArtSlant - Contemporary Art Network http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/show en-us 40 Piecing It All Together: Nathaniel Mary Quinn Transfigures a Shattered World <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Nathaniel Mary Quinn&rsquo;s fragmented portraits recall his childhood growing up in the Robert Taylor Homes, a notorious housing project in Chicago. His new series <em>Highlights</em>, now on view at M+B in Los Angeles, features highly personal works that reflect on his upbringing and the people he knew who were able to escape the violence and poverty so many experienced in the now demolished project.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Though his pieces resemble collages, they are in fact improvised paintings. Quinn does not do initial sketches of his works, preferring to paint using a process of free association based on internal visions and emotions that arise when thinking about a particular subject matter. He uses combinations of charcoal, pastel, gouache, and oil paint on vellum to create a pastiched style that is truly his own.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160531150012-M_B-Quinn-Lamont.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Nathaniel Mary Quinn, <em>Lamont</em>, 2016, Black charcoal, gouache, soft pastel, oil pastel on vellum.<br />&copy; Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Courtesy M+B Gallery, Los Angeles</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The abstract, distorted figures encompass both grotesque and innocent imagery reflecting many facets of the human experience. The works are intimate and embracing of binaries: good and bad, male and female, past and present. Quinn&rsquo;s work gives reverence to all aspects of the individual experience. &ldquo;The journey of those living in difficult communities like that of The Robert Taylor Homes is reflected in all of humanity. No human is impervious to pain and loss, to despair and grief, to suffering and longing. Such a disposition does not exist, and all experiences are, indeed, relative to one&rsquo;s own unique set of circumstances,&rdquo; the artist told me.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Quinn was the youngest of five brothers born to illiterate parents. His father provided for the family with gambling earnings from pool halls. His brothers were all high school dropouts, many of who succumbed to addiction and alcoholism. Quinn, a precocious artist, received a scholarship in eighth grade to a prestigious boarding academy in Indiana. His mother, who was crippled from two strokes, died soon after he left, and when Quinn returned home from school one Thanksgiving, he found his entire family had abandoned him. He was 15 then, and he hasn&rsquo;t talked to his family in the two decades since. He says he believes now their abandonment may have been a blessing in disguise. After graduating high school, Quinn received a BFA from Wabash College and an MFA from New York University. He is now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160531150427-M_B-Quinn-AntoineJackson.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Nathaniel Mary Quinn,&nbsp;<em>Antoine Jackson</em>, 2016, Black charcoal, gouache, soft pastel, oil pastel, oil paint, paint stick on vellum.<br />&copy; Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Courtesy M+B Gallery, Los Angeles</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The specter of childhood runs through Quinn&rsquo;s work, with cartoon fragments spliced into many of his pieces. Quinn first began making art by copying comic books in his youth. He infuses superhero illustrations into his portraits because he thinks people he knew who were able to escape the projects are superheroes in their own right, saying:</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One&rsquo;s escape from a community akin to the Robert Taylor Homes is predicated on a mutant-like feat, where the psychological barrier and its very purpose were deconstructed and, somehow, rebuilt. The shapes and forms in my work, the works&rsquo; marriage of that which is beautiful and that which is grotesque, of a Frankenstein-like framework of cut parts and components by means of intense rendering and painting, all give rise to the journey of such a difficult, yet necessary, human transformation.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One subject who made it out of the housing projects cycle is &ldquo;Rosy,&rdquo; a nickname for the artist&rsquo;s best friend, who won a scholarship to the same boarding school he attended. &ldquo;It was rather strange meeting a chap like Rosy; most of the boys in the Robert Taylor Homes were incredibly tough and, at times, rather dangerous, although, obviously, they were not born this way: the interlacing factors of the community were efficient enough to bring about a certain conditioning that made empty the sanctity of life and optimistic prospects of one&rsquo;s future. Rosy never succumbed to such conditioning, which could, perhaps, be attributed to a collective set of influences: the love, compassion, and discipline of his mother,&rdquo; Quinn said of his friend. Rosy now enjoys a successful career in the Midwest.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160531145601-M_B-Quinn-Rosey.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Sans, 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Verdana; font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <div class="page" title="Page 3"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px;">Nathaniel Mary Quinn, <em>Rosey</em>, 2016, Black charcoal, gouache, soft pastel, oil pastel, oil paint, paint stick on vellum. <br />&copy; Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Courtesy M+B Gallery, Los Angeles</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Though these portraits are singular depictions of people Quinn knows personally, they relate to larger universal themes of human resiliency. The collagist structure conveys the fragmentation inherent in an individual&rsquo;s collective experiences. Influenced by Cubism, Francis Bacon, and Neo Rauch, Quinn is drawn to artists who meld seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive whole.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;My aim is to, firstly, create, but to also reflect human capacity for all that exists,&rdquo; says the artist.&nbsp;&ldquo;The various structures in my work&mdash;the layering of shapes and forms, of color and tone, of lines and that which may be described as decorative&mdash;are reflections of the complexity of human existence, of presenting such reflections on the same plane, all at once, to be fully embraced by the viewer, and by which the viewer will be confronted.&rdquo; &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/452094-sola-agustsson?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Sola Agustsson</a><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/452094-sola-agustsson?tab=REVIEWS">&nbsp;</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Sola Agustsson is a writer based in Los Angeles. She studied at UC Berkeley and has contributed to&nbsp;</em><em>Bullett</em><em>,&nbsp;</em><em>Flaunt</em><em>,&nbsp;</em><em>The Huffington Post</em><em>,&nbsp;</em><em>Alternet</em><em>,&nbsp;</em><em>Artlog</em><em>,&nbsp;</em><em>Konch</em><em>, and&nbsp;</em><em>Whitewall Magazine</em><em>.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;Nathaniel Mary Quinn, <em>Elaina</em>, 2016, Black charcoal, gouache, soft pastel, oil pastel, oil paint, paint stick on vellum.&nbsp;&copy; Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Courtesy M+B Gallery, Los Angeles)</span></p> Tue, 31 May 2016 16:23:11 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list Jonathan Horowitz Takes on Liberalism, Because It's a Person Too <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Occupy Greenwich</em>, Jonathan Horowitz&rsquo;s current exhibition at the Brant Foundation in Connecticut, delves into the gnarly path of politics&mdash;or being political per se&mdash;from its pun-intended title to its promotional poster espousing we all &ldquo;Go Vegan!&rdquo;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Billed as an era-specific retrospective, the exhibition largely unfolds into the various bodies of works the artist has created since Obama entered the White House, and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Horowitz swiftly maneuvers around issues that may or may not intersect in any public debate or referendum&mdash;from gay rights to environmentalism to U.S. presidential politics.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With signature deadpan humor, Horowitz flips the coin on topics typically deemed solemn or serious, while at other times he offers more earnest attention to subjects considered faddish.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">During the walkthrough before the exhibition&rsquo;s unveiling, Horowitz&rsquo;s calmness only emphasized the sharpness of his humor. His audience&mdash;mostly composed of members of the press&mdash;giggled at the incisive sarcasm that bore <em>Anthony </em>(2016), a gigantically blown-up print of the infamous image of naked Anthony Weiner at the House Members Gym, or <em>We the People are People Too </em>(2008), a shelf full of plastic novelty figurines the artist remembers from the &rsquo;70s. Testing the audience&rsquo;s limits for empathy, these cutely kitsch collectibles commemorate the likes of drunk drivers, Sarah Palin, and terrorists&mdash;all bearing their unique version of the trademark &ldquo;so-and-so&hellip;is a person too&rdquo; quote. Enlarged into an almost life-sized doll is Hillary Clinton (<em>Hillary Clinton Is a Person Too</em>, 2008). This statue, along with the immersive 2008 work,&nbsp;<em>November 4, 2008</em>, cannot be viewed without considering the current presidential primary campaign in United States.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160528073950-1-BFO_HorowitzInstalls_051016_071_canonical.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Jonathan Horowitz, Installation view of&nbsp;<em>Hillary Clinton Is a Person Too</em>, 2008<br />All images:&nbsp;Photos: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, CT</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Blurring the line between artistic commentary and political reportage, the installation presents two flat screens reporting 19 hours of 2008 election coverage from the clashing perspectives of Fox News and CNN. The screens are flanked by perfectly hung C-print portraits of all the American presidents except Obama, whose visage leans on the wall awaiting his victory. Reds, whites, and blues frame the installation in the form of netted balloons on the ceiling and wall-to-wall carpeting. A portrait of Clinton&mdash;<em>I, Hillary </em>(2016)&mdash;resides in a separate room, speaking to the presumptive nominee&rsquo;s notorious ambition and public persona&mdash;and conceivably foreshadowing the outcome of the current election cycle, just as <em>November 4, 2008</em> once presaged Obama&rsquo;s presidency.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Horowitz&rsquo;s bold introduction of his candidate for presidency&mdash;particularly considering the range of vocal criticism Clinton receives within left wing groups, which include many artists&mdash;aligns with his handling of other themes around the exhibition. The New York-born and raised artist&rsquo;s strengths come from the uncompromisingly offbeat methods he employs: particularly humor and his poker-faced use of mimicry&mdash;you can never be certain whether the artist is advocating for the subjects he depicts, like Hillary Clinton, or simply describing them as contemporary phenomena. While risking coming off as frivolous, Horowitz draws out the absurdity beneath some of the last decade&rsquo;s most compelling issues (the current presidential race certainly makes his task a bit easier), and problematizes the hierarchy of values and ideologies that we expect artists should have and be inspired by.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160527213818-editBFO_HorowitzInstallsTP_050516_628_canonical__1_.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Jonathan Horowitz, <em>Go Vegan! (200 Celebrity Vegeterians Downloaded from the Internet)</em>, 2002-2010</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Politics, for Horowitz, tread beyond our governing bodies and personalities, and onto the personal choices we make as citizens of the world. The artist&rsquo;s long-term interest in environmental issues, particularly in vegetarianism, diverges somewhat from the overt socio-political tone of the majority of the exhibition, though he treats the subject seriously, albeit with his signature pop cultural and consumerist lens. Installed along a staircase we find an installation of photos downloaded from the internet, representing two hundred famous vegetarians throughout history. The artist makes an uncompromising call for dairy- and meat-free lifestyle, and his collection of portraits, including Karl Marx, Natalie Portman, and Franz Kafka, suggests distinctive alternatives for social and political engagement. As Horowitz underlined during his talk, a topic deemed too trivial to make art about here emerges in high pitch (guests were served vegan food at the opening reception), initiating arguments about the subjects often underestimated in the arts. Akin to his approach to heavy politics, he merges solemnity with levity, as evidenced by his bringing together weighty thinkers and entertainment figures under one umbrella.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160527213848-brant_horowitz-192__1___1___1_.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Jonathan Horowitz, </span><em style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Occupy Greenwich</em><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">, Installation view with&nbsp;</span><em style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Crucifix for Two</em><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">, 2010</span></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Indeed, through droll acts of appropriation across his oeuvre, the artist merges his activism with irony. <em>Crucifix for Two </em>(2010), two cedar crosses joined as one, pays subtle homage to the twinned clocks in Felix Gonzalez-Torres&rsquo; <em>Perfect Lovers</em>, yet does not skip the spot-on opportunity to satirize the unsettled encounter between religion and gay rights. <em>Tennyson, Jasper &amp; Bob </em>(2013) builds on the allegorizing of Robert Rauschenberg&rsquo;s <em>Bed</em>, believed to embody the bed he shared with his lover and peer Jasper Johns, who in response created his drawing titled <em>Tennyson</em>. Horowitz reimagines this history, repurposing its myths and facts adding &ldquo;Bob&rdquo; and &ldquo;Jasper&rdquo; to where the pillows would be, scrutinizing the familiar convention of the public&rsquo;s interference into the private and vice versa.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Horowitz speaks instrumentally through his work&mdash;be it in the language of art history itself or the visual surplus generated by media and technology today&mdash;mimicking the characters, imagery, and circumstances he celebrates, or critiques. Remodeling such excess, the artist holds towards his audience a mirror elaboratley framed by sharp wit and poignant determinism.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160525105454-Installation_view_of_Jonathan_Horowitz__Occupy__Greenwich-2.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Jonathan Horowitz,&nbsp;<em>Occupy Greenwich</em>, Installation view with&nbsp;<em>Tennyson, Jasper &amp; Bob</em>, 2013</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/216750-osman-can-yerebakan" target="_blank">Osman Can Yerebakan&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Osman Can Yerebakan is a writer and curator based in New York.</em></span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Jonathan Horowitz, <em>November 4, 2008</em>, 2008.&nbsp;Photo: Tom Powel Imaging, Inc. Courtesy The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, CT)</span></p> Sat, 28 May 2016 07:40:11 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list The Sublime Delinquency of Barbara Rossi’s Poor Traits <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is nothing reductive or insignificant about Barbara Rossi&rsquo;s </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="mailto:http://museums.depaul.edu/exhibitions/"><em>Poor Traits</em></a><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">,</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> a collection of paintings under the homophonic title that refers to the artist&rsquo;s portrait-like compositions, currently on view in the DePaul Art Museum&rsquo;s second floor galleries. In a series of graphite drawings from the late 1960s and reverse Plexiglas paintings from the early 1970s, Rossi&rsquo;s works are some of the more enigmatic examples of the Chicago Imagists. As this exhibition makes clear, Rossi&rsquo;s twentieth century contributions were less Pop in their registration; other than the gestalt effect of the abstractions, they feature almost no conventionally familiar material, brand, object, or otherwise. Rossi&rsquo;s illustration of form approaches instead the limits of the Imagist movement&mdash;with a certain inscrutable, mysterious, and sphinxlike effect.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Whereas the portrait is often outward facing by nature&mdash;a central configuration that depicts the subject looking toward the viewer&mdash;Rossi&rsquo;s paintings develop inward, as if their series of overlapping gestures, marks, and ornamentations were woven into a visual fabric, presenting the viewer with a knot, rather than a ribbon. For most artists, this quality would make the work withdrawn and impenetrable. Though for Rossi, this is one of the virtues that makes her works unlike anything else that exists in the world: they produce their own image, bound in the conflation of realism and abstraction, in a method that undoes the conventions of the genre at hand.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In a series of three works, whose titles unfold like absurdist, cartoon-like alliterations&mdash;<em>Quick-N-Quack</em> (1975), <em>Knot-N-Knob</em> (1974), and <em>Gnat-N-Gnaw</em> (1975)&mdash;the tangled collection of curved and angular forms results in anthropomorphic characters. In <em>Knot-N-Knob,&nbsp;</em>the composition echoes the outlines of nineteenth-century Japanese Oiran woodblock prints, though the impression of the insinuated figure is treated no more or less importantly than the passages of light blue, deep burgundy, and ochre yellow pattern surrounding it. While the figure is clearly demarcated against the camouflage-green background, the flatness of the painting&rsquo;s treatment renders the portrait anonymous, unspecified, and unknown. In the lower section of the image, robot-like hands spindle and intertwine, imperfectly mirroring the quasi-symmetry of the work&rsquo;s overall structure. The negative space within the central configuration of marks, untouched by the sinuous ornamentation of shapes alluding to hair or textile elements, becomes a stand in for a face&mdash;or perhaps &ldquo;mask&rdquo; is a better term&mdash;adorned, almost ceremoniously, with accessory. The paintings resist the historical qualifications of their genre; while the portraits are built out of these &ldquo;extras,&rdquo; they are hollow of the figure itself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This is the first mark of delinquency of these <em>Poor Traits</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160524170034-INSTALL-VIEW-6.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Installation view of <em>Barbara Rossi: Poor Traits</em>, 2015, Courtesy New Museum, New York. Photo: Maris Hutchinson</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The second is born out of their defiance to the singular. Instead, the paintings favor multiplicity&mdash;an image that lets you know how much there is within the picture through its visual experience. The portraits&rsquo; ambiguity suggests that there are countless faces to be found within the labyrinth of gestural forms, while at the same time, each of these actions is meticulously and laboriously embellished with line work and dot patterns to create a frenetic tessellation across their entire surface. The overwhelming detail in each of the <em>Poor Traits</em>&rsquo; compositions forces you to study the entire picture slowly. In <em>Rose Rock</em> (1972), a corporeal mass of blushing pinks, rare flesh tones, and enflamed scarlets presses up against cool bands of verdant greens, and desaturated hues of riverbed blue. Within the composition&mdash;an exquisite, pulsating reservoir of endless forms&mdash;each of the demarcated parts ebbs and flows into one another to create myriad combinations. In an interview with Natalie Bell, Associate Curator at the <a href="http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/barbara-rossi-poor-traits" target="_blank">New Museum</a> in New York, where the DePaul exhibition is travelling from, Rossi alludes to this concept as a fascination born out of her relationship to Indian Miniatures. The same conceit, of scenes within a scene, allows for the portraits to work against their rigid illustrative structure, transforming them from a subject into a setting. In Rossi&rsquo;s omniscient landscapes, their gaze usurps the viewer&rsquo;s.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The conquest of Rossi&rsquo;s portraits is that they defeat the certainty of a subject that stares back.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160524170126-Rossi_Eye_Deal_1974_med.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Barbara Rossi, <em>Eye Deal</em>, 1974, Acrylic on Plexiglas panel and frame. Courtesy of the DePaul Art Museum, 2016</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Their third offence is against time. There is something persistently anachronistic about Rossi&rsquo;s paintings&mdash;they belong to the future as much as they appear timeless, forever bound in their own moment. Their peculiar and fantastic treatment of the figure in space makes them hard to chronologically pin down. Just as Indian Miniatures were painted for a god, without shadows&mdash;timeless, and unaffected by the degradation of history&mdash;the historical functions of portrait painting cannot be separated from its once-religious purposes; icons were painted for saints commissioned by the Church, nobility was rendered according the divine right of Kings. While the formal tenets of Rossi&rsquo;s compositions may exist outside of time, they are not without gravity&mdash;this is their cardinal sin. Their folds indicate movement, a simultaneous compression and progression of form developed through evolution, rather than stasis.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But of course, the moral suggestion of <em>Poor Traits</em> is that the paintings are beholden to (if not validated by) their transgressions. To be sure, they are corrupt&mdash;though their crimes are as premeditated as they are permissible. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>&mdash;</strong><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Stephanie Cristello</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Stephanie Cristello is a Senior Editor at ArtSlant.</span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Barbara Rossi, <em>Rose Rock</em>, 1972, Acrylic on Plexiglas panel and frame, 27 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches. Courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago)</span>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 25 May 2016 09:14:58 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list In Conversation with Metalsmith Artist Tiff Massey <div id="block-yui_3_17_2_10_1463588302660_11883" class="sqs-block image-block sqs-block-image" data-block-type="5"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_117" class="sqs-block-content"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_116" class="image-block-outer-wrapper layout-caption-below "> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_115" class="intrinsic"> <div class="image-block-wrapper has-aspect-ratio" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-description=""><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>This interview was originally published on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.arts.black/in-conversation-with-metalsmith-artist-tiff-massey" target="_blank">ARTS.BLACK</a>,&nbsp;a journal of art criticism from Black perspectives.</em></span></div> <div class="image-block-wrapper has-aspect-ratio" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-description=""><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div class="image-block-wrapper has-aspect-ratio" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-description=""><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Tiff Massey, a Detroit-based metalsmith artist, has been a pioneering figure in Detroit&rsquo;s contemporary arts community in recent years. Massey, one of the few, if not only Black female metalsmith artists in the city, was awarded the&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.kresgeartsindetroit.org/portfolio-posts/tiff-massey/" target="_blank">Kresge Visual Artist Fellowship</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">in 2015. In the same year, she&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.knightfoundation.org/grants/201599926/" target="_blank">garnered the support of the Knight Foundation to implement</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;a one-month residency program for national and international metalsmith artists, and is now gathering matching funds to make this a reality in the city. A Cranbrook Academy Alum, and Detroiter, born and bred, she is known for creating metal work&mdash;hand, and neck jewelry&mdash;reminiscent of the large gold jewelry hip hop artists used to wear in the 1980s. She also creates&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.kresgeartsindetroit.org/?attachment_id=7584" target="_blank">large-scale public installations</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, that you can find throughout the city.</span></div> <div class="image-block-wrapper has-aspect-ratio" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-description=""><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div class="image-block-wrapper has-aspect-ratio" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-description=""><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">My first interaction with Massey was not necessarily a warm one. Similar to the hard dark exterior metal pieces she creates, Massey is stoic and hardly affable unless she considers you a close acquaintance. She and I met shortly after I moved back to Detroit in 2014. I came back aware of all of the disparities and appropriating happening in the city, but unable to speak first hand to the things that had happened while I was away for several years. Massey, along with other artists who have stayed in Detroit, have watched people come and go over the past several years to use the &ldquo;new Detroit&rdquo; brand to their benefit, much to the exclusion of the greater Detroit (arts) community.</span></div> <div class="image-block-wrapper has-aspect-ratio" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-description=""><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="block-573c969bf8baf3591b05219d" class="sqs-block html-block sqs-block-html" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-block-type="2"> <div class="sqs-block-content" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Massey and I found ourselves in some debates shortly after meeting. In retrospect, I believe she wanted to see if I was returning to Detroit with an agenda, much like the people who visit for a short period of time to appropriate the City&rsquo;s brand and despair. I knew why I came back home and it wasn&rsquo;t to co-opt the city for personal gain and then leave. So, it was puzzling to me that I, a born and bred Detroiter, could be looked upon as a gentrifier of my own city. While I never agreed with Massey, it made me consider the intentions around my role in engaging and working in this &ldquo;new Detroit.&rdquo; Even as a native of a city, you could easily become a fixture in gentrification, if you are not sincere in engaging with the existing community.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For some time, I have wanted to talk with Massey unguarded, to discuss her experiences as an artist in the Detroit proper, specifically during the years that I was been away. I think Massey and I are both in very unique positions as minorities in our respective industries, and I was interested in exploring this commonality. It&rsquo;s now been well over a year since our first encounter, and I think we have moved beyond that space of speculative acquaintances to allies. A few weeks ago, we sat down and had an unfiltered conversation at my<a href="http://trinosophes.com/" target="_blank">&nbsp;local coffee shop</a>, to discuss socio-politics in Detroit, '80s bling, and Massey&rsquo;s rigorous art practice.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Taylor Renee Aldridge: Who are some of the artists in Detroit that have informed your artistic practice?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Tiff Massey:</strong> Iris Eichenberg informed my artistic practice. She exposed me to the world of contemporary art jewelry and has helped shape the way I use and view materiality. Richard Bennett showed me that through metalsmithing you can have longevity. Nick Cave is influential in how I aspire in my creative practice to move and travel. The scale and the community involvement imbedded in his projects left lasting impressions. All of these experiences have shaped the way my creative practice operates and all of this has happened in Detroit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160520152220-download.png" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Photograph of Tiff Massey. Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TRA: I recall you mentioning that you were the first Black woman to graduate from Cranbrook's metal department. Can you tell me about this pioneering experience and how that influenced your perspective of the greater art industry?</strong></span></p> </div> </div> <div id="block-yui_3_17_2_10_1463588302660_17647" class="sqs-block html-block sqs-block-html" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-block-type="2"> <div class="sqs-block-content" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TM:</strong> My experience at Cranbrook was enlightening and very informative to my practice. Cranbrook was a defining moment in my life. It&rsquo;s where I discovered my creative language and I realized I was no longer limited to body-jewelry. I could make everything. &nbsp;To me that&rsquo;s powerful and with that power I hope to share with the world on a larger scale, hence the sculpture. Yes, as far as I know I am the first Black woman to graduate from the metals department. In this experience I knew it was important that my story was told from the medium in which I choose to translate my ideas and to the fine art world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TRA: I&rsquo;m curious about your studio process, which as a metalsmith artist, can be quite labor intensive. Do you like working in solitude? What inspires your creative process most?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TM:</strong> Color has been a big thing in my previous work and I just started to totally take it away and just concentrate on the form, and more on the color Black. I&rsquo;ve been particularly working on Black and Blackness, signifiers of Black, and materials that suggest Blackness. It&rsquo;s really nice and refreshing to experiment and write down visually what it is I&rsquo;m trying to convey to my audience. I keep going back and forth to the use of the mirror, the cameo, this oval shape [points to massive rings on her fingers], and these distortions within the reflections which are ongoing themes with how the audience is included in the work. There&rsquo;s this distortion of history, distortions of Blackness. So I&rsquo;m adding all these elements together, and whoever the viewer is will also be incorporated in the work.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Right now, [my practice is] pretty much deadline driven. I haven't, for a while, felt like making a new body of work on my own that wasn't designated to a deadline. Usually, time was never an issue, especially with the labor that&rsquo;s included in a lot of the work, but being that I have so many exhibitions lined up, the time has become an issue, so I&rsquo;m really not trying to short-change or cheat the possibilities of where the work can move, but I have interns now [smiles] so hopefully I can make all of these things happen. But usually depending on what I&rsquo;m doing, I start with paper, because whatever I can do with paper, I can translate to other materials, specifically metal, and I can get a quick model. I don&rsquo;t usually sketch a drawing, I make physical sketches. But now I generally don&rsquo;t have time, I just go in my studio and make the work; whatever comes out, that&rsquo;s just how it comes. I&rsquo;m starting to just trust myself a little bit more in that regard.</span></p> </div> </div> <div id="block-yui_3_17_2_10_1463588302660_22172" class="sqs-block image-block sqs-block-image" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-block-type="5"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_152" class="sqs-block-content" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_151" class="image-block-outer-wrapper layout-caption-below " style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_150" class="intrinsic" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_149" class="image-block-wrapper has-aspect-ratio" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" data-description=""><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160520152323-download__1_.jpeg" alt="" width="700" /></span></div> <div class="image-caption-wrapper" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <div class="image-caption" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Tiff Massey, <em>I Do I Do I Doooo,</em>&nbsp;Outdoor installation. Courtesy of <a href="http://www.tiffmassey.com/pages/ido.html" target="_blank">the artist</a></span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="block-yui_3_17_2_10_1463588302660_22390" class="sqs-block html-block sqs-block-html" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-block-type="2"> <div class="sqs-block-content" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TRA: I want to return back to this labor that is required for metalsmithing. I&rsquo;m curious as to how exactly you got into jewelry making. Making jewelry can be interpreted as a feminine practice, however, the labor that goes into working with metal to create jewelry is very rigorous and could be associated with masculine work, or men&rsquo;s work. What got you into making your own jewelry?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TM:</strong> I remember specifically having my first jewelry class [in high school] and it wasn&rsquo;t like, "oh this is it." It was just something that I really liked doing. Getting custom jewelry made with my father, and then there was '80s hip hop jewelry and lucite rings that had all the colors in between them. I was really obsessed with the shape and form, so I knew I wanted to translate that design into metal. I became really obsessed with making hollow constructions, lightweight forms that look visually heavy. And yes, the work that goes into it, most people wouldn&rsquo;t do. I tried to have some of my friends help me out and they tap out real quick.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TRA: In Detroit, we see foundations providing support enabling artists to be more autonomous. Particularly, the Kresge Fellowship, which you are a recipient of, has allowed for more opportunities for this professionalization and agency of artists to happen. What has your experience as a Kresge Fellow been like, and how has it informed your practice as of late?</strong></span></p> </div> </div> <div id="block-yui_3_17_2_10_1463588302660_30688" class="sqs-block image-block sqs-block-image sqs-col-6 span-6 float float-left" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" data-block-type="5"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_168" class="sqs-block-content" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_167" class="image-block-outer-wrapper layout-caption-below " style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_166" class="intrinsic" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <div id="yui_3_17_2_1_1463755691701_165" class="image-block-wrapper has-aspect-ratio" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" data-description="&lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;Facet (2013), by Tiff Massey,&nbsp;&lt;/em&gt;image courtesy of the Library Street Collective&lt;/p&gt;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160520152355-download__2_.jpeg" alt="" width="700" /></span></div> <div class="image-caption-wrapper" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <div class="image-caption" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Tiff Massey, <em>Facet</em>, 2013.&nbsp;Courtesy of the Library Street Collective</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="block-yui_3_17_2_26_1463588302660_14394" class="sqs-block html-block sqs-block-html" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" data-block-type="2"> <div class="sqs-block-content" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TM:</strong> The fellowship is life changing, really. The fellowship provides you with the tools for you to have longevity in the game and it's also like a punch to the gut all at the same time. You never really see the aspect that this [the art industry] is a business. You know, it&rsquo;s a business. It functions as one; there&rsquo;s buying, selling, and making. But I feel like now I&rsquo;m doing more business than I am making, and so I&rsquo;m just trying to find a balance. More opportunities are just coming in since winning the fellowship.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TRA: You have sort of become an unofficial watchdog, on people looking to penetrate the art ecosystem here with some integrity. Do you think there is a way for non-Detroiters to become a part of the landscape without looking like a clueless gentrifier?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TM:</strong> I feel like there is a way to do it. The most effective way? I&rsquo;m not really sure. But this commercialized way, where people are really here for ulterior motives, where they only participate in the re-branding of the city; I feel like this is a disservice to actually what&rsquo;s going on here. That&rsquo;s really what I have a problem with&mdash;people trying to use the name to elevate themselves when they&rsquo;re really not trying to elevate or help with the issues that are happening around them. Or, they are just totally aloof and subscribe to this "Captain Save-'em" mentality; none of these people [in Detroit] need to be saved. We just need more resources and that doesn&rsquo;t necessarily translate to a damn art installation or a fucking mural [laughs].</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 120px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=2029559782/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/">&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://tiffmassey.bandcamp.com/track/detroit-is-black" data-mce-href="http://tiffmassey.bandcamp.com/track/detroit-is-black"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Detroit Is Black by Tiff Massey&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;</iframe></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TRA:&nbsp;</strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>You collaborated with Jeedo from Complex movements recently to produce a song and video &ldquo;Detroit is Black&rdquo; which is ironically revolutionary even though it&rsquo;s a factual statement. In the&nbsp;<a href="http://tiffmassey.bandcamp.com/track/detroit-is-black" target="_blank">text that accompanies the video</a>&nbsp;you wrote:</strong></span></p> <blockquote style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>I wanted to comment on what was truly taking place in Detroit at that particular moment, which unfortunately are current events. There's a cover story, and then there's the real thing; what happening on the ground. Everyone is talking about Detroit, but no one wants to talk about the real issues surrounding the city. The Detroit native narrative is missing. The native tongue is lacking in the conversation. What makes a city? What nurtures a city?</em></span></blockquote> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Can you share what issues in particular you are&nbsp;referring to in that text?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TM:&nbsp;</strong>We need schools. We need recreation. We need food that is healthy. We need lights. We need water. You know? &nbsp;Detroit is like a &ldquo;Hot &amp; Ready&rdquo; for individuals who come here to basically exploit the land; people who feel like it&rsquo;s cheap and can just make some money real quick&mdash;I&rsquo;ve never seen property values go up so quickly in my life. It&rsquo;s basically to exclude the people who have been living here. How do we [long-time residents] fit into the equation to become business owners, entrepreneurs, or start a small business? Where are all the Black people, where do they fit in?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TRA: I want to refocus on the arts community here end on a positive note. Can you tell me what artists in Detroit you are following now?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>TM:</strong> I am following&nbsp;<a href="http://blackartinamerica.com/profile/RashaunRucker" target="_blank">Rashaun Rucker</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://sydneygjames.com/" target="_blank">Sydney James</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tylonn-j-sawyer.com/" target="_blank">Tylonn Sawyer</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://cuppetellimendoza.com/" target="_blank">Cuppetelli and Mendoza</a>.</span></p> <p class="text-align-center" style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p class="text-align-center" style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>The complete transcript of this interview with Tiff Massey has been edited for clarity.&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p class="text-align-center" style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/457734-taylor-renee-aldridge">Taylor Renee Aldridge</a></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Taylor Renee Aldridge&nbsp;is co-editor of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.arts.black/" target="_blank">ARTS.BLACK</a>.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;The artist's clinched fist, adorned with her signature metal hand candy, is featured in the album artwork for her album&nbsp;<a href="https://tiffmassey.bandcamp.com/track/detroit-is-black" target="_blank"><em>Detroit is Black</em></a>,&nbsp;2015.)</span></p> </div> </div> Mon, 23 May 2016 10:40:20 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list Offscreen, On the Wall: Remixing States of Matter at the Film Festival <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Film festivals are increasingly viable <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/41809">platforms for film and video artists to show their work</a>, and much attention has been drawn recently to the developing trends of both visual artists working in film and filmmakers exhibiting and selling work in galleries. If the negotiation between these two worlds needs careful brokering to assure mutually beneficial symbiosis, then the interests of experimental film will find no better representation than that offered by the 2016 Oberhausen Short Film Festival.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The festival&rsquo;s 62nd edition, held May 5 through 10, presented the institution&rsquo;s first exhibition of non-moving image work in a gallery environment, offering an experimental platform where the meeting of these worlds could be further examined.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Of course, there&rsquo;s always been crossover between art and film&mdash;indeed, the results have been seen in short films and programming at Oberhausen <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/43054"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">in the past</span></a>&mdash;but what sort of work would the festival&rsquo;s first white cube exhibition feature? Would the inclusion of a gallery environment operate as a Trojan horse sent from the art world, affecting the way work is chosen and presented at future festivals?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Alarmists need not have worried. The festival did not cede territory to gallery culture or the art world. Nor was the exhibition a referendum on, or interrogation of, the position of the fine arts within film&mdash;or vice versa. Rather, curated by the artists themselves, the exhibition functioned as a productive medium that acknowledged the fluid, creative spaces art and film practitioners operate within today. The artworks were not simply still images, plucked from a film to be sold as discrete objects&mdash;another item for the gallery to monetize. Instead, the presentation revealed process&mdash;filmic and otherwise&mdash;showing how object and material-based film practices can be, and opened onto the fundamental questions about narrative structures, aura, remixing, and even what a completed or &ldquo;finished&rdquo; artwork is or can be.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The exhibition was located in Zentrum Altenberg, an industrial site that had been developed into a cultural center some years ago. The vast, airy space was occupied by two visual artist filmmakers, Josef Dabernig and Sun Xun, who were featured in the festival&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.kurzfilmtage.de/en/festival/sections/profiles/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Profiles</span></a> sector&mdash;a special programming sector that includes screenings of multiple works, and in the case of Dabernig and Sun, a presentation of still artwork.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160520153418-Magician_Party_and_Dead_Crow_7__1024_x_768_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="bodytext" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Sun Xun, <em>Magician Party and Dead Crow</em>, 2013. Courtesy:&nbsp;62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Sun Xun: Bringing the gallery into the film</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sun Xun describes himself as visual artist rather than an animator or filmmaker and this wasn&rsquo;t the first work where he&rsquo;s explored the incorporation of gallery work into film&mdash;or film work into a gallery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The film <em>Magician Party and Dead Crow</em> (2013), shown at Oberhausen, is partly a document of <a href="https://www.shanghartgallery.com/galleryarchive/exhibition.htm?exbId=6109" target="_blank">a multimedia event</a> in ShanghArt Gallery's Beijing space. The exhibition space was totally filled with props and overrun with giant puppet-like sculptures animated and brought to life by his team; the film creates the impression of his animated films expanding into installation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Myself and my team lived inside the space for six months" he said of the ShanghArt experience, "and changed the white box into the theatre."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">His work for the Oberhausen exhibition was also created in-situ, referring directly to its environment. One huge painted image depicts a turbine that sits rusting just outside the post-industrial space. Local newspapers were crushed into balls that fill a whole corner of the gallery. This appears to be an ongoing process for Sun: he creates material&mdash;woodcut work and 3D elements are recent developments&mdash;that feed into film, then returns the filmic into the installation. At a festival Q&amp;A he said, &ldquo;the job of animation is very boring&mdash;you need to keep changing things or you&rsquo;ll become a slave.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The exhibition demonstrated Sun&rsquo;s approach and offered an opportunity to step inside his process. If he believes the magician, a reoccurring character in his work, is a liar then there appears to be much effort on his part to lay open his own process. Indeed, distinguishing the relics of his process from any resulting final object proves difficult.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Everything is a sketch for something yet to come; Sun&rsquo;s practice is less linear than traditional paradigms of art or film production. Origins become lost and, it seems intentionally, clear histories and provenances become subverted. &ldquo;It's like the famous game,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;stories go from the beginning to the end and become totally, totally changed&mdash;history is also like this. It's his-story, not the truth.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160520153508-Sun_Xun2.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="bodytext" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Xun Sun, Installation view of <em>Josef Dabernig &amp; Sun Xun,</em> exhibition at Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen, 2016, 62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Photo: the author. Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p class="bodytext" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Also striking about Sun&rsquo;s exhibition, perhaps more then any critique of gallery-based convention, is the impact it may have on the way his screened films were viewed and experienced. The pathway of the short filmmaker can be solitary, that of the animator is deeply isolationist. Sun&rsquo;s practice of making the gallery space his animation studio, as seen in <em>Magician Party and Dead Crow</em>&nbsp;and at Oberhausen, opens up that process not just in a sort of <em>open-studio day </em>sense but as something akin to the live feedback of video used by early video artists. It offered the chance for visitors to step into the creative loop and to view it from inside.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The impact of this may be more radical than it seems. The material of the white cube becomes also the material of film. The production of the art object is demystified as it is incorporated into a continuous happening without start or end.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Josef Dabernig: The remix and the aura</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Austrian filmmaker Josef Dabernig has been making films since 1994. For the exhibition he installed series of still photographic prints shot as preparatory images in preproduction for films, some of which were featured in his Profiles film program. They accurately depict much of the mise-en-sc&egrave;ne of the corresponding films, but on the gallery wall, their structure and narrative were reinterpreted, perhaps even deviating from their original intended meaning.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">His foregoing of the original narrative and opening up of the material is more daring than first meets the eye; this isn&rsquo;t so much a &ldquo;director&rsquo;s cut&rdquo;as a potential undermining of the original work&rsquo;s integrity&mdash;by the artist himself. It suggests that thefinished piece is still open to negotiation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Dabernig described his series of images as &ldquo;a quasi-text. A text [free] of semantic, however, referring to the structural implications of the filmic form.&rdquo; This repurposing of filmic artifacts within a new context raises an interesting question underlying any crossover from film to gallery object: what to bring and what to leave behind? Formally, his simulation of the filmstrip could be interpreted as a somewhat on-the-nose, visual reference to &ldquo;filmic form&rdquo; that might not have needed reiteration. Yet they seem like remnants generated while transferring material between two positions. The iconography of the filmic process leaves an indelible mark on the material. It might be interesting to view these works alongside other artists&rsquo; attempts to express film in the gallery space, such as Fiona Banner's <em>Apocolypse Now</em> (1997) or Douglas Gordon's <em>24 Hour Psycho </em>(1993), works that question what is essential to the filmic form.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160520153924-jogging_film.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Josef Dabernig, <a href="http://www.dabernig.net/film/jogging" target="_blank"><em>Jogging</em></a>, 2000, 35mm, Farbe, 11 min. Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160520153832-jogging.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Josef Dabernig, <em>Panorama (jogging)</em>, 1999&nbsp;Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna and Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam.&nbsp;&copy; VBK, Vienna 2013. <a href="https://www.museum-joanneum.at/kunsthaus-graz/ausstellungen/ausstellungen/events/event//josef-dabernig-2" target="_blank">Via</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For Dabernig we see a part of his process of planning and structure. When I asked him why he still used 16mm film and a professional cinematographer/camera operator he said he could afford to because of his process. He described a system where every shot was planned in advance to the extent that the shooting becomes methodical and doesn't run the risk of overshooting or exceeding budget. Some of the still images faithfully represent compositions and camera angles in the final film, but were not actually filmed until a year later. For <em>Jogging </em>(2000) Dabernig took 35mm photographs of stray dogs living around the San Nicola-Stadium in Bari, Italy, one of which he later decided would be the onscreen representation of himself, a sort of selected familiar. It was a year before he returned with his cameraman. "I was a worried he might not be there anymore," Dabernig said, but luckily stray dogs seem as much creatures of habit as filmmakers. They found the mutt sat in exactly the same spot as he had a year previously.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Like the stray dogs of Bari, or Sun's description of history, works such as these wander the garden along forked paths. They break away as sketches, spin-offs, remixes, but find their own momentum, sometimes travelling in lockstep with their source, sometimes overtaking, diverting, superceding.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Within mainstream film, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/24/arts/television/game-of-thrones-seven-kingdoms-two-narratives.html?_r=1" target="_blank">and now, quite notably, television</a>, disparities between preconceived values&mdash; the movie adaptation of the novel, novelizations and video game versions of movies, movie versions of video games&mdash;continue to break down. What might have been considered derivative or inferior is now often awarded the same value as that which preceded it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Remixing does occur to an extent in artists&rsquo; film and video. Grahame Weinbrun and Roberta Friedman's <em>Post Future Past Perfect</em> (1978/2004) was shot on 16mm film and reinterpreted via digital transfer and interaction some 26 years later. John Smith's <em>Regression</em> (1999) was a remaking of a film also first made in 1978. But these works are about time and process, and reflect development of the original concept, rather than an opening up to reinterpretation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For a medium born out of the age of mechanical reproducibility, artists&rsquo; film and video could be said to remain somewhat precious, protective of its own authenticity and integrity. The cut negative or the video master, traditionally never see the light of day, remaining in the archive experiencing only the gloved hands of the technician, the electric light of the printer or scanner.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It is hard to imagine that the gallery space has anything to truly offer or teach film in this area and yet the exhibiton at Oberhausen does seem to expand the works and offer new and interesting interpretations of screened films.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160520153631-Dabernig3.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Josef Dabernig, Installation view of&nbsp;<em>Josef Dabernig &amp; Sun Xun,</em>&nbsp;exhibition at Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen, 2016, 62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Photo: the author. Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sun and Dabernig&rsquo;s images are at once autonomous artworks, preparatory works, and remnant artifacts, represented in cinematographic terms, both pre- and post-production. Is this work a sort of ectoplasmic residue left on the wall when the flickering magic has ended and lights have been switched back on? Within mainstream cinema, items associated with celebrated productions are considered to have a near auratic value drawing not on the item&rsquo;s producer or handler but seemingly just evidence of something that has made transition from the world captured on the recording media into the physical. A quick look at movie prop websites reveal an airline ticket prop made for <em>Fight Club</em> (1999) listed at five hundred dollars, a filthy looking stretcher used in <em>Fury</em> (2014) for roughly the same money. These are examples of star-driven productions, that involve another source of aura, but there is also a sense of authenticity, a qualitative value awarded because they are items that exist in two separate worlds. Of course, collecting, fandom, and memorabilia are aspects of another culture, but there are some parallels and similarities.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In creating an exhibition that explores material that passes into, through, and out of the film gate&mdash;the screen&mdash;the artists have raised questions about where the process begins or ends: at which point is any sense of the finished work located?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>A Curator-Free Zone</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The exhibition had no curator, perhaps not just because that somehow weather-proofed it against the any perceived osmosis of art world culture, but also because it was equally about establishing a connection between working processes and the films shown as it was about the objects on display. If the art world came to Oberhausen as a Trojan horse, the stable boys would remain behind. The artist-filmmakers selected and assembled their own work, displayed it and then directly presented it, often in person, to the visitors. It suggested the possibility that in the merging of art and film practices there remained the potential for film to state its own terms, to find what&rsquo;s best for itself rather than every film simply defaulting to being just another saleable art object.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Oberhausen Director Lars Henrik Gass told me that &ldquo;there is no curatorial logic between the artists or works presented. There is, if you like, curatorial logic in how they refer to the film programs we have dedicated to them.&rdquo; The absence of wall texts or titles, accompanying texts or documents, save a rudimentary layout diagram of Dabernig&rsquo;s stills, makes one wonder if there isn&rsquo;t reason to think this was a case of film subverting the art world rather than vice versa.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Short film may not necessarily require curators, when the film-programmers have managed that task for so long, but it continues to require support and care. Gass told me, &ldquo;it is important to have places not previously defined, in a role, in a specific social system, where names, rankings, and values are already established in either the film business or the art world. A place in which you can see and experience things, works, art&mdash;in different way.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/372591-guy-parker?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Guy Parker</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Xun Sun, Installation view of <em>Josef Dabernig &amp; Sun Xun,</em> exhibition at Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen, 2016, 62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Photo: the author. Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> Fri, 20 May 2016 17:15:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: Sam Rolfes <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.samrolfes.com/" target="_blank">Sam Rolfes</a> makes work that feels like it appeared through a wormhole from another dimension. He reveals a parallel universe that is both unnervingly familiar and utterly alien. Recognizable, organic shapes and textures morph, mutate, and melt into living, breathing organisms born of flesh and technology.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Rolfes is one of the few artists working with 3D software to use it in a way that is genuinely unique. He firmly rejects all of the sculptural tropes and clich&eacute;s that are usually associated with the form. There is an uncommon painterly beauty to his work that gives it an unexpectedly emotional and unsettling resonance.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I spoke to Rolfes about recent projects as well as the origins of, and influences on, his unique aesthetic.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160518132147-Rolfes-Kingdom-SHOX-cover-small.gif" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Christian Petersen: How did you first become interesting in using a&nbsp;computer to make art?&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Sam Rofles:</strong> As I'd imagine with most people, it was mostly just a matter of the computer being the most available thing at hand when I was young. My mother was and is a designer/developer so we had Macromedia Flash and Corel Photo-Paint laying around on the big tower PC we had in her office, and out of boredom when I was something like 8 or 9 I started teaching myself to use those programs to kludge together logos, comics, violent stick figure animations, etc. and began experimenting with Blender for a short amount of time until I gave up on wireframe meshes being too inexpressive and boring to bother sticking with. I still kinda feel that way.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: Were there specific formative influences?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SR:</strong> Dirtstyle Skratch dj records with xeroxed graff writer scrawl margins; climbing into burnt-out grain silos and semi collapsed houses in Texan ghost towns to paint ugly characters on the walls with my friends; pining after a faded Dallas hip hop scene at graffiti jams in suburban parks; Jet Set Radio; burlesque figure drawing classes (haha). I got submerged past my nose in those scenes, and after seeing many of them buckle and collapse, I&rsquo;ve been running away from my direct influences for years to attempt to cultivate something more nuanced and individual than just being the logical progression from all that. I'm probably deluding myself through.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160518131531-ello-xhdpi-42c44ff6.jpg" alt="" /><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160518133206-Rolfes_ArtF_City_small3.png" alt="" width="455" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: Your work has a living, organic quality. Is it a challenge to create that digitally?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SR: </strong>It&rsquo;s only a challenge in searching out the tools that accomplish the vision I&rsquo;m trying to execute&mdash;there&rsquo;s a very particular set of goals I&rsquo;ve been obsessed with when it comes to making imagery: performative, figurative, sensual, upsetting, responsive things that only a few platforms can kind of do properly. Lately, the challenge is becoming actually figuring out how to stitch all the tech and logistics together, somehow learn it all and pay for it by the deadline and under the budget. It's more crucial that the essence of the platform fits those principles than it, like, does shiny renders really well or something.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: Why is it important to you to achieve that?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SR:</strong> It&rsquo;s mostly a function of viscerality&mdash;if you&rsquo;ve ever been to an intense music show and had the shit beaten out of you and felt like your insides were torn to shreds (figuratively), and come out the other end born again, it&rsquo;s a deeply affecting thing that I&rsquo;m trying to approximate. The obsession with skin and organic forms partially stemmed from my background as a portrait painter that used a wide range of oil media, solvents, and other liquids to approximate the depth and ruddy complex beauty of the substance wrapped around us. That, and a religious upbringing that challenged the reality of the body left me, I think, with an unusual fixation on it.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s also just a relatable touch point for an audience to grab onto&mdash;something that deals with the body in a very physical and tangible way. Plus, for whatever reason, people go completely mouth frothy over pink gooey things, to a point that kinda annoys me honestly. If I had the stomach to just make hollow gooey eye candy for the rest of my life and cash that check I could probably make career strides faster than I have been. Some might say that&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;m already doing, but I think there&rsquo;s a level of nuance that my best projects attain that the random goo shots don&rsquo;t, and I prefer those.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160518131654-Rolfes7small.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: Would you say your work is analogous with the concept of &ldquo;body horror&rdquo;? Do you feel an affinity with people like Chris Cunningham and David Cronenberg?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SR:</strong> That whole body horror thing is actually an issue for me; I&rsquo;m rarely trying to gross people out or be overtly gory&mdash;it&rsquo;s just that when you use the body as a mark-making medium and contort it as an artistic device, that visceral connection people have to it that I mentioned comes into play and the result is something that some label as scary or intentionally horrific.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I&rsquo;m not gonna sit here and front that Cunningham wasn&rsquo;t a big influence early on, because he was&mdash;but I shy away from that comparison because I think we approach the use of the body differently. I wish I had a different way of putting it because it&rsquo;s completely insufferable, but at this point my influences are structured like dispersed scattershot mood boards; just wide swaths of images and film and literature that I&rsquo;m trying to pull from rather than sitting within the echo chamber of the art world. Lately I&rsquo;ve been trying to dig into film editing, framing, and storytelling in literature to give some of the projects I&rsquo;m pitching right now more depth and substance than being an extended .gif orgy.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/02k126v3Zu4?rel=0&amp;controls=0&amp;showinfo=0" frameborder="0" width="640" height="360"></iframe></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: What are your current biggest aesthetic influences?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SR:</strong> I'd say lately I've been really fixated on everything animated by Masaaki Yuasa&mdash;the frenetic editing, insane stylistic jumps, approach to relationships, and intimacy of the human form in each of his films and shows left a big mark on me.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: You recently collaborated with the fashion label <a href="http://www.nicopanda.com/pages/fw-2016">Nicopanda</a>. How was that experience?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SR:</strong> Yeah all of a sudden I&rsquo;ve fallen into the fashion world and I&rsquo;ve been breathing that air for a while and feeling it out&mdash;it&rsquo;s partially what you'd expect,&nbsp;but it&rsquo;s also packed with severely passionate, talented and fascinating, if sometimes contrived, people who approach visuality, performance, promotion, and commerce in an entirely refreshing way from the art world&rsquo;s facade of purity.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.samrolfes.com/86221/8780467/update-soon/fashion-illustration" target="_blank">My collaborations with Nicopanda</a> this year on fabric print design and promo design for their SS16, PF16, and FW16 seasons have been a pretty transformative experience; it's unlocked a completely new community with its own principles and processes that has made me reconsider a lot of my own.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Also they're killing it right now so it&rsquo;s pretty rewarding to be a small part of that.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160518131449-Rolfes-Limp-Body-Beat-1-small.gif" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">from Limp Body Beat</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: You also collaborated with developer/artist <a href="http://www.larsberg.net/">Lars Berg</a> on </strong><strong><a href="http://www.adultswim.com/etcetera/limp-body-beat/?s=aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,b=240,a=1,c=0">Limp Body Beat</a>, a very popular (and defiantly experimental) visual music creation tool for Adult Swim Games. How did that come about?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SR:</strong> Well, I lucked into getting on their radar and started pitching a bunch (haha)&mdash;less romantic of a start than my initiation with Nicopanda but still very positive.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Limp Body Beat was my first foray into attempting to harmonize some of these different practices I've been messing with for so long. It's basically a drum sequencer, which is traditionally a 2D grid that you can click on and off to setup drum rhythms, but expanded into a 3D space and using&nbsp;slapstick ragdoll figures flinging violently into things as the actual percussive part of the instrument. Part novel music experiment, part art project, and something I plan to keep exploring in the future.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160518132933-Struggle_Sessions_w_Tim_Saccenti_1.png" alt="" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160518133027-Struggle_Sessions_w_Tim_Saccenti_3.jpg" alt="" /></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: What are your views on the current state of new media art in general?&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SR:</strong> (Haha) I see where you&rsquo;re leading me with this&mdash;it&rsquo;s a little hard for me to say honestly because I pay less attention to that very specific scene anymore. We&rsquo;re referring to a niche community of academically-leaning digital artists that gets passed around on a bunch of niche shows and generally hooks each other up, but I don&rsquo;t really see anything different happening from the last few years that I can tell, outside of a few really solid animators and experimental game makers getting coronated by the bigger media companies.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">To be frank, I&rsquo;d like to think that the current state of new media art is slowly getting the hell out of the regimented art world and moving into anything that doesn&rsquo;t purport to have its ideal environment be a white box. I'm sure it already has, and the academics are just starting to catch up.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160518133107-Squarepusher-collab-with-Saccenti.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160518133507-Rolfes-5small.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/441718-christian-petersen?tab=REVIEWS">Christian Petersen</a></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>We run an online magazine, so of course, we're interested in what's happening with art on the web. We invited online gallerist, founder, and curator of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.digitalsweatgallery.com/">Digital Sweat Gallery</a>, Christian Petersen, to write a bi-monthly column for us. Every other Wednesday he'll be selecting a Web Artist of the Week.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of Sam Rofles)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 18 May 2016 17:13:59 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list The Fascism of Recent Art History: A Conspiracy of Hysterical Importance <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">History, it is said, is written by the victors. But consider who they were and the probability that the annals of human experience have been accurately recorded becomes mired in doubt. Maniacal emperors, murderous zealots, and despotic psychopaths have connived their way to power for millennia. Even those rulers who were moderate or beloved were not immune to vaingloriously tilting the scales of perpetuity in favor of their accomplishments, or those of their favorites, for that is human nature.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">And what of the vanquished? What of their stories: those who were present, who contributed, but were suppressed: the talented but disconnected, the brilliant but bypassed? For every <strong>Telford</strong>, <strong>Hume</strong>, or <strong>Watt</strong> inscribed for eternity as the discoverer of this or the inventor of that, how many more will we never know, who were just as close, no less visionary, but lacked the glint of timing, the benefactors, or the fateful stroke of fortune?</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">And so it is in the field of art where we are prescribed by those in power, the proletariat&rsquo;s tidy cultural diet of laws, from which we mustn&rsquo;t err for fear of being thought the ignorant carriers of aesthetic pestilence. In a perverse and reverse alchemy, art history is written around the golden careers of certain artists who are promoted as shorthand motifs for various styles, eras, or movements, with all others edited out or retained as footnotes, orbiting dust in the dark peripheral clouds of obscurity.</span></p> <table width="400" align="right"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: #1f1f1f;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>...at some point someone would have dripped and poured their way to renown in place of Pollock...</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Imagine that <strong>Picasso</strong>, <strong>Pollock</strong>, <strong>Rauschenberg</strong>, <strong>Stella</strong>, or <strong>Rothko</strong> had not lived. Were they the only ones doing what they did with paint? Geniuses? A ludicrous assertion; they and all others of canonical repute were simply&hellip;there. Noted by a gallerist, hinted at in a review, or assisted by a supporter. Picasso and <strong>Braque</strong> were not included in the first exhibition of Cubist work at the 1911 Salon des Ind&eacute;pendants, but they are considered the founders of the style. Sometimes politics, nepotism, race, sexism, or geography are factors, so that for every <strong>Jacques Louis David</strong> there are many more unknown <strong>Gabrielle Capets</strong>; for every <strong>Andy Warhol</strong>, there is a <strong>Carol Rama</strong> and dozens like her whom we may never know, as the painter <strong>Annie Kevans</strong> <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/may/19/why-female-artists-airbrushed-history-annie-kevans" target="_blank">explores in her work</a>.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">The most famous artists known to us are so because the public has been deluded into believing that they were unique, by the unrelenting process of mythologization which roils around them, furiously maintained by collectors, auctions, retrospectives, museums, and critics. Art history may have had different players, alternative firsts, but at some point someone would have dripped and poured their way to renown in place of Pollock&mdash;it was hardly nuclear fusion&mdash;as every artist we are aware of today would have had their replacements. The names don&rsquo;t matter; it&rsquo;s the sociopathic recording of so few of them for easy posterity, and for commerce, that does.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">That process continues unabated as art world influencers promote the arrant nonsense that star artists are uniquely important, not because they are&mdash;no artist is, or ever was&mdash;but because too much has been invested in them to permit any other reading. The art world&rsquo;s Stasi mustn't allow its house of cards to collapse.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Such critical fascism is dangerous because it denies the true representation<strong>&nbsp;</strong>of what is <em>actually </em>happening in any given period, and prevents more reasoned and fuller discussion of a greater number of artists. It also petrifies contemporary art discourse within either the carcasses of a few artists who are long dead&mdash;whether literally or creatively&mdash;or the rising suns of younger, often, mediocre artists, swaddled in the invisible new clothes of their galleries&rsquo; press machines.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160517142941-16386124818_25749b03dc_o.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">One of 12 pieces from Richard Serra's <em>Sequence</em> arriving at SFMOMA. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sfslim/16386124818/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Aaron Muszalski</a><br /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Of the former, such oxygen thievery is exemplified by <strong>Richard Serra</strong> and the ubiquity of his titanic manufacturing conglomerate. Nary does this McDonald&rsquo;s of the art world miss an opportunity to dictatorially stomp his jurassic footprint across the globe on the grounds of any museum that will house one of his insufferable metal tantrums. Concurrently the slobbering industry around him&mdash;headed by Zwirner and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/416529-above-below-betwixt-between-every-which-way-silence-for-john-cage-through" target="_blank">Gagosian</a>&mdash;proceeds with a napalming program of international exhibitions and unnecessary retrospectives that do little more than highlight the utter bankruptcy and irrelevance of his work in 2016, while frantically beating the expired horse into one more hopeful critical shiver. The staggering arrogance and incomprehensible expense of his output beggars belief, but no doubt the money involved in the Serra industry will ensure that it survives. Imagine the vast spaces&mdash;literal and critical&mdash;that would yawn open to interesting, lesser or unknown artists if he were consigned to history&rsquo;s scrapyard. No amount of scouring could produce anything of note to write or discuss about him that hasn&rsquo;t been said, other than this suggestion. And business is brisk: the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has predictably calcified itself with a 214-ton Serra colossus, touted only by its measurements and stats. With Serra&rsquo;s output accompanied by fawning press releases <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/13/arts/design/review-from-richard-serra-steel-behemoths-that-get-into-your-head.html?_r=0" target="_blank">in the<em> New York Times</em></a> declaring him &ldquo;certainly today&rsquo;s greatest living sculptor of Minimalist abstraction,&rdquo; is anyone even considering alternatives?</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160517140736-4358851233_4dc11a7545_b.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="FreeFormA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Felix Gonzales-Torres, Installation view of&nbsp;<em>Specific Objects without Specific Form</em>, Wiels, Brussels, February 2010. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcwathieu/4358851233/in/photolist-7DbfBt-7Dfzqh-7DfhMS-7DfQqm-4TtYnF-7DfdDf-7DcB7t-7DbXwR-7DeVgC-7Dd7ja-7DbKnM-7Ddg2z-7Df8y9-7DcWpc-7Dgr19-7DgPy3-7Db32T-7DcPUD-7DeKs5-7Db4Vz-7Dg6rW-7Dgkyy-4TybJh-7DcgWt-7DcHBn-7DfVkS-7DeZZ9-7DgiCG-7DckWz-7DeXpS-7DbmYV-7DbA4T-7Dgcgd-7DeNt5-7Dd5dB-7DddMr-7DgtGf-7DfEPh-7Dc63t-7Dby4p-7Df5JY-7DaQqx-7DeLRY-7DdbKe-7Dce6p-7DeBbw-7DaMqv-7DaBzX-9neWg1-oPRAjX" target="_blank">Marc Wathieu</a></span><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcwathieu/4358851233/in/photolist-7DbfBt-7Dfzqh-7DfhMS-7DfQqm-4TtYnF-7DfdDf-7DcB7t-7DbXwR-7DeVgC-7Dd7ja-7DbKnM-7Ddg2z-7Df8y9-7DcWpc-7Dgr19-7DgPy3-7Db32T-7DcPUD-7DeKs5-7Db4Vz-7Dg6rW-7Dgkyy-4TybJh-7DcgWt-7DcHBn-7DfVkS-7DeZZ9-7DgiCG-7DckWz-7DeXpS-7DbmYV-7DbA4T-7Dgcgd-7DeNt5-7Dd5dB-7DddMr-7DgtGf-7DfEPh-7Dc63t-7Dby4p-7Df5JY-7DaQqx-7DeLRY-7DdbKe-7Dce6p-7DeBbw-7DaMqv-7DaBzX-9neWg1-oPRAjX" target="_blank"><br /></a></span></p> <p class="FreeFormA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="FreeFormA" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>Felix Gonzales-Torres</strong> is an example of how one person&rsquo;s disproportionate presence as a go-to motif for a particular moment suffocates the reputations of equally deserving artists. As the Princess Diana of art he will never grow old, his work will not decline, his oeuvre redacted to perfection. Given what the art press, and the gatekeepers of his legacy have decreed of his talent one might be forgiven for thinking that artists stopped living with HIV, or reflecting upon its influence, immediately after his death in 1992, such is the dearth of coverage on the subject since. Gonzales-Torres&rsquo; cultish disciples have successfully positioned him as a one-man industry with a monopoly on deathly sympathies, trauma and romantic loss. From his feathered position at the De La Cruz Foundation to his crass, corrupt selection as the United States posthumous representative at Venice in 2007, his reputation has been burnished and distorted beyond all reason. How did anyone living know how he would have wanted his work represented at Venice? He was a fine artist, but not more deserving than many others working in a similar vein, or of lesser privilege. His works were simply better connected. How many are as familiar with the work of <a href="https://johnwilcoxart.com/about/" target="_blank"><strong>John Wilcox</strong></a>, who lived long after his diagnosis, until 2012? How interesting to know where the story went for artist chroniclers like him who survived beyond the holocaust of eighties New York. But perhaps survival isn&rsquo;t tragic or melancholy enough? Similarly, <a href="https://www.visualaids.org/artists/detail/robert-blanchon" target="_blank"><strong>Robert Blanchon</strong></a>&rsquo;s work is as elegiac, heartbreaking and potent as Gonzalez Torres&rsquo;. Both Wilcox and Blanchon were contemporaries of at least commensurate perception yet they remain woefully under known. And today, who is aware of the vital intergenerational resource that is <a href="https://www.visualaids.org/" target="_blank">Visual AIDS</a>, where younger artists living with today&rsquo;s HIV-related challenges are forging new ideas?</span></p> <p class="FreeFormA" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160517135541-P1190644.JPG" alt="Jeff_Koons" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Jeff Koons, <em>Tulips</em>, 1995&ndash;2004. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">And on it goes; tired relics retain bloated art world real estate, from column inches to floorspace. If you like words, <strong>Barbara Kruger</strong> or <strong>Jenny Holzer</strong> are still obscenely, the textual standard, despite all&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/45138" target="_blank">these new artists</a>; see those Faberge Follies <strong>Jeff Koons</strong> and <strong>Damien Hirst</strong> for outdated ostentation and pointless pop trinkets that no other <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">artists</span>&nbsp;producers could afford to make. For a refutation of such opulence note the gesture of British artist <strong><a href="http://www.kyoland.com/" target="_blank">K Yoland</a></strong> who walked out of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas with half a million dollars, impressive and useless, shredded as they were. </span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Note <strong>Marina Abramovic</strong> for media saturation and Jersey Shore-style <a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/59629-marina-abramovic-says-cruel-jay-z-completely-used-her-for-picasso-baby-stunt/" target="_blank">star-gazing antics</a> in performance art. If all performance artists were required by law to see <strong>Larry Kramer</strong>&rsquo;s <em><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Normal_Heart" target="_blank">The Normal Heart</a></em>, the discipline would be less populated and better for it. <strong>Richard Prince</strong>&rsquo;s primary auction activity comes in the form of desperate bids for attention through stealing from younger artists; <strong>Rachel Whiteread</strong> still casts space emptier than her ideas. Last year at Luring Augustine, the gallery was &ldquo;pleased&rdquo;&mdash;not excited&mdash;to present her show <em><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/399018-looking-in" target="_blank">Looking In</a></em>. We might look to <strong>Rob Mulholland</strong>&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.robmulholland.co.uk/cloud-catcher/4568727580" target="_blank"><em>Cloud Catcher</em></a>, or &ldquo;<strong><a href="https://news.artnet.com/art-world/news-scandal-erupts-over-fake-invisible-art-stunt-120088">Lana Newstrom</a></strong>,&rdquo; for some fresh thought, especially considering that the latter artist herself was cast in empty space.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">See </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Cindy Sherman</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> if you are </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">James Franco</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, Pace Gallery, or you like masked portraiture rendered obsolete by every enhanced selfie on the internet. </span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Ai Wei Wei</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> garners continued accolades as the art world&rsquo;s biggest victim&mdash;despite stiff competition from </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Tania Bruguera</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, who at least is </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-tania-brugueras-cuba-20150108-column.html" target="_blank">aware of her privilege</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. Is it brave of her to protest in Cuba as politics and normalizing relations with the west overtake her? Meanwhile, lesser funded, more vulnerable artists attempt to fight government abuses unheralded, and often die for it with </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petr_Pavlensky" target="_blank">Pyotr Pavlensky</a></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/writing-on-wall-for-street-artist/story-e6frg6so-1226028339330" target="_blank">Kais al-Hilali</a></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/05/02/151852095/a-syrian-graffiti-artist-defiant-until-death" target="_blank">Nour Hatem Zahra</a></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, and </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/apr/12/voina-art-terrorism" target="_blank">Voina</a></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> among them. In their seriousness and anguish such activists do rather expose </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Banksy</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&rsquo;s artistic wardrobe as all fur coat and no knickers.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Still other artists are promoted as stand ins for their race or cultural background at the expense of critical rigor. After the precision, wit, and social surgery of&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://observer.com/2013/08/do-you-recall-when-david-hammons-peed-on-a-richard-serra/" target="_blank">David Hammons</a></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/articles/show/44350" target="_blank">William Pope.L</a></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, today the hackneyed use of racialized sexual clich&eacute;s by&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Kehinde Wiley</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Kara Walker</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;are still overly revered, as well as the art world&rsquo;s slavish adoration of the latter and hypersensitivity&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://flavorwire.com/482585/kara-walker-knew-people-would-take-dumb-selfies-with-a-subtlety-and-that-shouldnt-surprise-us" target="_blank">on her behalf</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. Of the newer generation, it is to be hoped that interesting artists such as&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.samvernon.com/" target="_blank"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sam Vernon</strong></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.allisonjanaehamilton.com/" target="_blank"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Allison Janae Hamilton</strong></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;will have careers as illustrious as&nbsp;</span><a href="http://jacolby.com/home.html" target="_blank"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Jacolby Satterwhite</strong></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&rsquo;s.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160517141611-20141015104018-COLEN_2013.0101.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Dan Colen,&nbsp;<em>The Sorcerer's Apprentice</em>, 2013. Installation view at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/41065" target="_blank">Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2014</a>. </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&copy; Dan Colen. P</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">hoto: Christopher Burke</span></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">A reason for younger artists being whipped up by the maelstrom even though the work lacks, is that they are perceived as embodying rebelliousness, or social cache, or prodding controversy&mdash;the vacuous <strong>Terence Koh</strong>, or <strong>Dash Snow</strong> and their ilk for example, mere flecks in comparison to the substantive <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/oct/06/william-mortensen-photography-master-macabre" target="_blank"><strong>William Mortensen</strong></a>, or even <strong>Wolfgang Tillmans</strong>. Galleries are always looking for the new, the next rising sun, and quality is secondary. Here, <strong>Dan Colen</strong> is of note. His career with Gagosian Gallery <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/10/arts/design/10colen.html?_r=0" target="_blank">began in the toilets there</a>, where he first showed his work. The only pity is that it found a way out. His <a href="http://www.dallascontemporary.org/" target="_blank">current exhibition</a>&nbsp;at Dallas Contemporary is a rueful example of how effective a big name gallery can be in presenting visual gibberish as worthwhile art. Colen offers three groups of totally unrelated paintings: the first made with gum; the second consists&mdash;without apparent irony&mdash;of garbage; and the third is a group of paintings derived from Disney&rsquo;s <em>Fantasia</em>. This schizophrenic display seems to be made by three separate artists, and intrigues as to how many painterly personalities Colen needs? As one guest at the opening commented, &ldquo;how can he be trusted?&rdquo; And yet, the stage magician-ship of press and promotion is how people gain traction, market value, and a veneer of legitimacy that sets them on the road to historical resonance. <em>If</em> he is aware of such smoke and mirrors Colen&rsquo;s usurping of Disney&rsquo;s fantasy is quite smart. Currently Dallas Contemporary&rsquo;s series of exhibitions&mdash;including one by a fashion designer&mdash;constitutes nothing more than a billionaire&rsquo;s showroom, as the bewildered institution stumbles ahead in its process of artistic falsification. It is an appalling and financially motivated debacle that the board should be ashamed of, not least for the traitorous disloyalty they show to Dallas artists, in presenting such a cynical set of exhibitions as culturally valuable.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160517140433-4631342905_1459db3a06_b.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Josh Smith,&nbsp;<em>On the Water</em>, 2009. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sixteen-miles/4631342905/in/photolist-84iUB5-84fQTK-84iUCo-5ZRzAZ-5ZVMrW-akn6GR-5ZRzG8-84fQRD-84fQQ2-84iUE9-u7dCDJ-tcwSth-tS6S4R-tcwSc5-tRXtfu-u9HgMi-u9b2sE-u7dEco-tRXUtN-tRXUKu/" target="_blank">Andrew Russeth</a><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sixteen-miles/4631342905/in/photolist-84iUB5-84fQTK-84iUCo-5ZRzAZ-5ZVMrW-akn6GR-5ZRzG8-84fQRD-84fQQ2-84iUE9-u7dCDJ-tcwSth-tS6S4R-tcwSc5-tRXtfu-u9HgMi-u9b2sE-u7dEco-tRXUtN-tRXUKu/" target="_blank"><br /></a></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Luhring Augustine describes&nbsp;<strong>Josh Smith</strong> as being &ldquo;distinguished&rdquo; by his &ldquo;<a href="http://www.luhringaugustine.com/artists/josh-smith/bio" target="_blank">mastery of multiple mediums</a>.&rdquo; Upon viewing, Smith&rsquo;s drooling mark-making and painterly drivel exposes this online <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/why-its-time-for-galleries-to-dump-the-jargon-8480622.html" target="_blank">biographical marketing tool</a> for the outrageous lie that it is. What arrogance is it that imagines such literary lunacy to be effective in the face of stubborn evidence to the contrary? And yet, seemingly, it is working. Smith has a career that most artists won&rsquo;t know. It is to be marveled at whether gallery or artist have even a twinge of discomfort at peddling such Trumpian fraudulence. So many are the superior alternatives for those whose work ought to get such exposure that it is meaningless to mull over, but the English painter <a href="http://www.jowilmot.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Jo Wilmot</strong></a>&rsquo;s complex union of bold yet nuanced color, seen in works of knowing, tropical decadence, and faded glitz are a solitary example of the general style.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <table width="400" align="left"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: #1f1f1f;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>The totalitarian propagandizing of art history to the benefit of so few leaves out, and behind, too many more.</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This cavalcade of examples whether well-known names of yesteryear constantly rammed down the throat of the collective viewership as being unquestionably vital to understanding art, or newer artists churned out and disproportionately promoted beyond their talent, the totalitarian propagandizing of art history to the benefit of so few leaves out, and behind, too many more. Of course there will never be room for all those deserving of exposure. Taste is mercurial as to defining who they are, and occasionally artists who enhance social dialogue </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">do</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> find their way to attention among the fray of powerbrokers&rsquo; agendas. But otherwise it is time to switch off the life support of exhausted careers, to render established names arrested and to engage in expansive research of as many practitioners as possible who are working today, so that in the future a more honest&nbsp;bathymetry of what artists are doing, and saying, in the early twenty-first century might be recorded.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/16357-darren-jones?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Darren Jones</a></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Darren Jones is a Scottish, US-based critic and artist. His forthcoming book,</em><em>&nbsp;</em><em>with David Carrier,</em><em>&nbsp;</em>The Contemporary Art Gallery<em>&nbsp;</em><em>will be published in 2016.</em></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at top: Richard Serra,&nbsp;<em>Seven</em>, 2011, Installed at the Museum of Islamic Art Park, Doha, Qatar, 2012. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/7631852742/in/photolist-cCpeVY-dzqsNH-2z9xCV-kdDhh-4APQR-6g5j1Y-5Hnn29-9RF8Mq-4S8tax-8aPUsm-k9UHgi-anDJTX-c7rANw-6seZvp-9qa4gf-axK7Hn-kf7CX2-cEyfjE-axKaMe-29WLPT-6g1aGK-cCphHN-si38jR-5Jqw99-cCpvb5-78DjKs-5JqxxQ-29WLxx-dd6mFk-cCoSzA-6g5k35-aaZD5k-5HTASx-5JmioF-cCp2f5-2SpnYx-6g5hxy-cCpjL1-cCpsXG-cCpnLU-cCppWs-2M8gjx-8jdfsY-31Lx1z-5JqtBs-cCpAro-qd1APq-2a2azo-69ewSM-cCoYaw" target="_blank">Sarah Ackerman</a>)</span></p> Mon, 23 May 2016 19:41:17 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list The Shipwreck and the Beehive: A Sculpture Park Claims a Space for Itself, and Others <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the coming days, Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign off on (by not vetoing) a Uniform Land Use Review Proposal that will officially add Socrates Sculpture Park to the city park system and literally &ldquo;put it on the map.&rdquo; On this plein air exhibition space&rsquo;s 30th anniversary, a more fitting symbol of acceptance could hardly be more encouraging.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For a place that has shifted from ferry slip, city landfill, illegal landfill, and finally appropriated&nbsp;<a href="https://vimeo.com/79493549" target="_blank">into a sculpture park</a>, transition and symbiosis is integral to the identity and mission of Socrates Sculpture Park. Began by sculptor Mark di Suvero with a coalition of local residents and artists, Socrates has progressed through the decades with a clear program that remains loose enough to engage symbiotically with the totality of its environment.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160513171657-Opening_Meg_Webster_Nate_Dorr_5_Cropped.jpg" alt="" width="700" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Meg Webster, <em>Concave Room for Bees</em>, 2016, Earth, steel, pollinator plants, 6 x 70 feet. Courtesy of Nate Dorr&nbsp;and Socrates Sculpture Park.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The current exhibition, <em>LANDMARK</em>, curated by <a href="http://www.artnews.com/2016/01/07/jess-wilcox-named-director-of-exhibitions-at-socrates-sculpture-park/" target="_blank">new Director of Exhibitions</a> Jess Wilcox, presents a mission of stewardship and symbiosis both with nature and the neighborhood. Abigail DeVille&rsquo;s <em>Half Moon</em> is an envisioning of Henry Hudson&rsquo;s eponymous,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">wrecked</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">ship (</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halve_Maen" target="_blank">Halve Maen</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">). Bringing together the detritus of urban life, bark construction techniques used by the Lenni-Lenape tribe, and the history of New York City, Deville&rsquo;s shipwreck serves as a poetic allegory&mdash;a broken ship, makeshift, bricolage of cultures, trade, knowledge, resources. The birds have it now, rustling in the broken masts amongst shanghaied bottles and straw. Deville&rsquo;s work presents a cultural ecology of loss &ldquo;as is.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160513210850-Deville_by_Nate_Dorr_20161099.jpg" alt="" width="700" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Half Moon</em>, 2016, Abigail DeVille. Courtesy of Nate Dorr and Socrates Sculpture Park. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the last year, 44 percent of bee colonies <a href="https://beeinformed.org/2016/05/10/nations-beekeepers-lost-44-percent-of-bees-in-2015-16/" target="_blank">were lost</a> in the United States. There is no shortage of reasons&nbsp;(probably&nbsp;<a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13592-016-0431-0">mites</a>) as to why this is happening, but no matter the cause, shit&rsquo;s bleak. Two works in <em>LANDMARK</em> take on this fact directly. Jessica Segal&rsquo;s <em>Fugue in♭</em>consists of an upended piano that&rsquo;s been mic&rsquo;d up and made home to a colony currently working on reestablishing itself in its new, harmonic home. Two speakers around the perimeter of the piano drone on in a low buzz.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One can imagine the droning harmonies to come&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">as the bees acclimatize. <em>Fugue</em> will end up at Anthony&rsquo;s Honey in upstate New York this fall, the 10,000 bees completing their journey from Georgia, recalling the nomadic experience of the majority of hives used in commercial pollination.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160513210945-Webster_by_Nate_Dorr_2016_0641.jpg" alt="" width="700" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Concave Room for Bees</em>, 2016, Meg Webster. Courtesy of Nate Dorr and Socrates Sculpture Park.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Meg Webster&rsquo;s <em>Concave Room for Bees</em> is an earthen installation comprised of 400 cubic yards of topsoil constructed in a round. The interior slopes are filled with Spanish lavender, butterfly weed, catnip, echinacea, and other flowers beloved by pollinators. Planted only two weeks prior, by mid-summer, the "room for bees" is expected to be full of its namesake, its brightly colored interior the inverse of a prairie, a closed expanse, a bubble of nature with a view of Manhattan.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The works on view in&nbsp;<em>LANDMARK</em> as well as the park's mission stress an interrelated ecology. &ldquo;Socrates Sculpture Park partners with several local public high schools to provide holistic, sequential arts education for teens and youth,&rdquo; related John Hatfield, Executive Director at Socrates. Nearby Long Island City High School&rsquo;s arts curriculum is developed in cooperation with Socrates and their visiting artists. Students take on horticulture, engineering, design, art history, and anything else practicality and Socrates require. &ldquo;These artist-driven programs explore the subject matter&mdash;whether concept or material or form&mdash;of artists who have previously exhibited or have artworks currently in the park, and then align those goals with objectives in the school's curricula (e.g., critical thinking, math, environmental sciences).&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160513172031-unspecified-5.jpg" alt="" width="700" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Chairs designed by Jonathan Odom,&nbsp;<em>Open Seating</em>, 2016, CNC cut plywood, 30 x 24 x 24 inches. Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The park also has a long relationship with Employment Works, a public program that trains young adults for the workforce. Through a partner organization, <a href="http://plantspecialists.com/" target="_blank">Plant Specialists</a>, successful participants find steady jobs with benefits. Plant Specialists also supplies Socrates with plants removed from Manhattan rooftop gardens.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">These partnerships Socrates has cultivated are indicative of their approach to both art and public space. Units within complex systems must be engaged in multiple ways. A park, a museum, a school, a garden, a forest, a waterfront&mdash;Socrates Sculpture Park is one of those rarities that tries to do a bit of everything and succeeds.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/153044-joel-kuennen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Joel Kuennen</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image at top:&nbsp;<em>Fugue in♭</em>, Jessica Segall, 2016, piano, bees, sound, 67 x 56 x 12 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Socrates Sculpture Park.</span></p> Fri, 13 May 2016 21:28:27 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: Daniel Temkin <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://danieltemkin.com/" target="_blank">Daniel Temkin</a> is currently showing new work from his <em>Glitchometry </em>series at NADA with the new media powerhouse, <a href="http://transfergallery.com/" target="_blank">Transfer Gallery</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Although <em>Glitchometry</em> could be described using the fashionable phrase &ldquo;glitch art,&rdquo; it bears little resemblance to what we have come to associate with that genre. Temkin&rsquo;s talents in programming have given him ability to create his own unique systems for manipulating imagery through code. Although the technical aspects of <em>Glitchometry</em>&rsquo;s creation are deeply fascinating, they never overwhelm the works&rsquo; pure hypnotic beauty.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I spoke to Temkin about the origins of his interest in glitch art and why this unconventional method of artistic creation continues to fascinate and inspire him.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504101908-Stripes_co8_2016.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Christian Petersen: How did you first become interested in glitch art?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Daniel Temkin:</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> I began my MFA program (at the International Center of Photography) as someone with a programming background and found that my photography kept becoming new media works. My </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://danieltemkin.com/DitherStudies" target="_blank">Dither Studies</a></em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> project began accidentally, when I was editing an image in Photoshop and generated a crazy pattern when messing with color palettes; I was curious about how these complex visual patterns were generated from very simple dithering algorithms. From there, my work became more focused on simple algorithms creating seemingly irrational patterns, [with] the computer as a place that dramatizes our inability to think logically or let our compulsions run out of control. I've continued to create work that engages with both photography and new media such as my recent </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://danieltemkin.com/StraightenedTrees" target="_blank">Straightened Trees</a></em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102059-Trees_Summer-Island_2016.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Summer Island</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">from <em>Straightened Trees</em>&nbsp;series,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016, 54 x 60 in.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: What, in particular, interests you about it?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DT:</strong> There&rsquo;s a freedom in experimenting directly on the data behind an image, in bypassing the safety of image editors like Photoshop that prevent you from breaking images. Working closer to the machine gives access to something less structured, what Hugh Manon and I called the &ldquo;<a href="http://www.worldpicturejournal.com/WP_6/Manon.html" target="_blank">wilderness inside the machine</a>.&rdquo; Image editors tend to reinforce certain approaches and visual styles through the set of tools they offer. Glitch practice bypasses these to manipulate data directly or to apply algorithms designed for entirely different purposes to images. This experimentation allows me to come up with patterns I would never be able to design on my own.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Richter has talked about a sort of trance he puts himself in while he paints, to bypass having too much conscious control of his process. This makes sense to me; if I were to sit in front of Photoshop and try to consciously design an abstract pattern, I would end up making similar work each time. However, looking at sound waves while I work, instead of the image, and using what I&rsquo;ve learned through experiments over the years, applying different sound algorithms on image data, leads to something new each time. I could never create exactly the same piece twice; the process is too unstable. Curt Cloninger describes it as &ldquo;painting with a very blunt brush that has a mind of its own.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102204-Circles9_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry&nbsp;Circle #9</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2013, C-print in lightbox, 72 x 36 in.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102246-Triangles6_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Triangles #6</em>, 2013,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">C-print in lightbox</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: How would you describe your personal glitching process in simple terms?</strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DT:</strong> In my early glitch days, I probably tried using every program I have to see how it transforms image data. Sonification (the method I use for <em>Glitchometry</em>) is not an unusual glitch technique; there are a few tutorials for the approach <a href="http://danieltemkin.com/Tutorials" target="_blank">here</a>. The problem I ran into using this technique on photographs early on is how entropic the process is. You apply one sound effect, and it corrupts the image; try a second one over that, and it quickly approaches a grey-brown mud. With <em>Glitchometry</em>, I decided to eliminate the photograph entirely and instead begin with simple geometric shapes which more easily maintain some semblance of their original forms. It makes the work process-based; everything in the final image now is evidence of the sonification process, no longer complicated by details of the initial image. It means I can work on the image longer, which takes it past the initial entropic process, allowing new forms to crystallize as well.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In <em>Glitchometry</em>, I work within a tight set of constraints to make sure all the significant manipulation of the images comes from sound editing. At NADA, I&rsquo;m premiering a new set of <em>Glitchometry</em> pieces called <em>Off by One</em>, which use a far tighter set of constraints. For these, which I began during a residency at <a href="http://signalculture.org/" target="_blank">Signal Culture</a>, I gave up the sound editor entirely and I also work in a single channel, meaning the work remains black and white. Again starting with simple shapes (here a triangle and a circle), I open and close the files in the wrong size and resolution, manipulating them only through this process&mdash;it pushes the pixels across from one line to the next. The result is cropped and printed at huge pixel resolution (around 7 ppi) on a long strip of canvas; the longer of the two is 25&rsquo; long.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102359-Triangle_OffByOne_2016.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Off By One: Triangle</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016, Pigment print on canvas, 36 in. x 15 ft.</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: How do you feel about the glitch art scene in general?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DT:</strong> There&rsquo;s a mythology in glitch art around the glitch itself: the initial error that causes the work to manifest. In reality, what we&rsquo;re doing is introducing noise into a system, or often something more like algorithmic art, using algorithms stolen from other programs. Whether or not the failure of a system is important conceptually to glitch, it doesn&rsquo;t necessarily lead to an image with a glitchy appearance&mdash;many glitch artists produce image after image using glitch techniques and throw away the ones which don&rsquo;t appear glitchy, thus reiterating a similar glitch aesthetic. As I put it in my paper &ldquo;<a href="http://nooart.org/post/73353953758/temkin-glitchhumancomputerinteraction" target="_blank">Glitch &amp;&amp; Human / Computer Interaction</a>,&rdquo; there isn&rsquo;t much glitch in glitch art.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Glitchometry</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, I'm doing the opposite: using glitch techniques to produce images that break away from a glitchy visual style. In the </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Glitchometry Stripes</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> images (appearing at NADA), the visual effect has more of a Bridget Riley/Op Art style, something which I get by using a subset of sound effects (dynamic delay and flanger) that tend toward more graphic results.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102545-Stripes14_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes # 14</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2013,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">C-print in lightbox,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">36 x 36 in.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102719-Stripes14_detail_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes # 14 </em>(detail)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: How did you get involved in Transfer Gallery?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DT:</strong> I met Kelani [Nichole, Director of Transfer] in 2012 at one of my favorite conferences, GLI.TC/H (which is fabled to return&mdash;perhaps some time next year) in Chicago. Transfer was in the planning stage, but I was intrigued by the list of artists, many whose work I&rsquo;d admired. That community aspect is key to Transfer, with a group of artists and writers Transfer has brought together, who have remained close-knit. There are few spaces in NYC devoted to net art/digital art that really know the form&mdash;Kelani has been fearless in inventing new approaches to bring this work to the physical space.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102916-Stripes_co11_2016.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504103004-Stripes20_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes # 20</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2013, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504103129-Stripes20_detail.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes # 20 </em>(detail)</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You can find Daniel Temkin&rsquo;s work this week in <a href="http://transfergallery.com/daniel-temkin-nada-ny/" target="_blank">a solo presentation with Transfer Gallery</a> at NADA New York, May 5&ndash;8.</em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/441718-christian-petersen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Christian Petersen</a></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>We run an online magazine, so of course, we're interested in what's happening with art on the web. We invited online gallerist, founder, and curator of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.digitalsweatgallery.com/" target="_blank">Digital Sweat Gallery</a>, Christian Petersen, to write a bi-monthly column for us. Every other Wednesday he'll be selecting a Web Artist of the Week.</em></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at top:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes&nbsp;</em>(detail),&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016. All images: Courtesy of the artist)</span></span></p> Wed, 04 May 2016 13:20:40 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list How Does Frieze Select Its Projects? "Focus" and "Frame" Advisor Jacob Proctor Explains <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Special exhibition programming and the curatorial wing of an art fair play an essential role as feeder programs for bringing emerging artists and galleries into the world of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/45779" target="_blank">high retail</a>. To learn more about how Frieze selects exhibitors for its project-driven sectors, we caught up with Jacob Proctor,&nbsp;Curator at the <a href="http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a> and Co-advisor for <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/45784" target="_blank">Frieze's 2016 Frame and Focus</a> sections. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This year, the popular sectors comprise 18 solo presentations from galleries founded in or after 2009 (Frame) and 32 one-, two-, or three-person curated booths from galleries 12-years-old or younger (Focus). Proctor gets into just what the advisors look for during their selection process, and helps us get a feel for the trends&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">emerging</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">at Frieze New York this season.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160504021942-ha-vkf16-05.jpg" alt="Valerie Keane, Kazu X, 2015" width="450" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Valerie Keane,&nbsp;<em>Kazu X</em>, 2015, acrylic, stainless steel, polyolefin, rubber, neon, electronic transformer, 157 x 23 x 5 cm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Exhibiting with High Art, Paris, for </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Frame</strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>ArtSlant: What was your role as advisor to Frame and Focus? &nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Jacob Proctor:</strong> There are two curators who advise on Frame and Focus. This year I am working together with Fabian Sch&ouml;neich, who is based in Frankfurt. As advisors, we help the selection committee to decide which galleries to include in those sections. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AS: What's the process? Is the sector application-based?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>JP:</strong> We&rsquo;re not commissioning or curating as such, rather we&rsquo;re helping the committee to select from the proposals they receive. However, we also encourage galleries who we personally feel are strong to apply, often discussing in advance the artists they might consider applying with, or helping them to develop a proposal that works for both the gallery and for the fair.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160504022954-PLB1.png" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Patricia L Boyd, still from <em>1:1</em>, 2015.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Exhibiting with Jan Kaps Gallery, </span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Frame</strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AS:</strong>&nbsp;<strong>How did you shape or influence the selection?</strong>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>JP:</strong> We both travel a lot and pay close attention to the young galleries that are relevant in their local or regional context, identifying galleries that have an energy and are setting the agenda in their own scene, but who also have international ambitions. It&rsquo;s not necessarily an easy thing for a young gallery to do, to come to an international art fair and stand out.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AS: What's the importance of a solo section like Frame in the context of a larger fair like Frieze?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>JP:</strong> Solo presentations encourage young galleries to focus their efforts and resources, while at the same time encouraging audiences to focus their attention on works by artists that may well be unfamiliar. A strong solo presentation is like a miniature exhibition, and the memorable ones can really help artists to gain visibility with curators and collectors. It&rsquo;s also an important way for young galleries to establish themselves in the international market. Obviously it&rsquo;s important for the galleries to sell work, but I think that in the long run it&rsquo;s often more about the connections made and the relationships that develop out of their participation in the section.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20160504025204-sheshe_1.jpg" alt="Ben Peterson" width="450" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Ben Peterson,&nbsp;<em>She-She</em>, 2015.&nbsp;Ceramic, paint,&nbsp;13 1/2 x 7 3/4 x 4 in.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Exhibiting with Ratio 3,&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Focus</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AS: Did you notice any trends emerge from the gallery proposals or the final roster? &nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>JP:</strong> It&rsquo;s reflective of larger tendencies in contemporary art, but I&rsquo;m noticing a lot of experimentation with new kinds of production technologies, acknowledging the virtual while at the same time being very attentive to the specific materiality of a given work. At the same time, there&rsquo;s a fair amount of re-examination of natural materials, especially in sculptural practices.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AS: What should we be keeping our eye on?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>JP:</strong> I think you will see a resurgent concern with identity, especially with the articulation of gender identity and the fluidity thereof. It&rsquo;s something that can be felt in a number of projects this year, both by young artists but also historical work that people are now becoming interested in.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image at top:&nbsp;Phillip Zach, Untitled Properties &chi;, 2016 (detail), Powder coated expanded steel sheet, polyurethane foam, sand, pigments, 96 x 48 in. (243.84 x 121.92) cm. Courtesy of Freedman Fitzpatrick.</span></p> Wed, 04 May 2016 12:39:04 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list Frieze Week 2016: Your Guide to the New York Fairs <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Frieze Week in New York isn&rsquo;t holding any punches this year. Upping its game from eight to eleven (plus) fairs, the week will have you zigzagging up Manhattan and beyond&mdash;from Brooklyn to the LES, Wall Street to the Hudson Piers, Park Avenue to Harlem. And when you think you&rsquo;ve had enough, don&rsquo;t forget to save half your day and all your lunch money to get over to Randall&rsquo;s Island Park for the main event.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">To keep you zigging and zagging in the right direction, we present our annual guide to the Frieze Week art fairs in New York. Here&rsquo;s what you need to know:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=1qLG1QuA2by3PyiNfyvDOkKNQ-YQ" width="640" height="480"></iframe></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Frieze New York</span></strong></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 5&ndash;8</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening: May 4, preview (invite only)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public days: Thurs &amp; Sat 11am&ndash;7pm, Fri 11am&ndash;8pm, Sun 11am&ndash;6pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Randall&rsquo;s Island Park<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$45 one-day pass<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://friezenewyork.com/">friezenewyork.com</a></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For Frieze New York&rsquo;s fifth birthday, some 202 exhibitors will camp out under the Randall&rsquo;s Island tent. As ever, the fair&rsquo;s overwhelming bounty is thankfully divided into exhibition sectors like Frame, Focus, and Spotlight&mdash;for emerging artist solos, young gallery presentations, and 20th century solos, respectively. Part of the Frieze&rsquo;s non-profit wing, Frieze Projects and Sounds are curated projects and new commissions, realized on-site. Check out our gory convo with 2016 <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/45779" target="_blank">Project artist Heather Phillipson here</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This year&rsquo;s <a href="http://frieze.com/fairs/frieze-new-york/programme/all/Talks" target="_blank">Talks program</a> has some stand outs. We&rsquo;ll be lining up for &ldquo;The Technological Body and Its Discontents,&rdquo; a panel moderated by Omer Kholief with Zach Blas, Andrea Crespo, and Jacolby Satterwhite (Friday, 4pm); Hal Foster and Ben Lerner&rsquo;s convo &ldquo;On Hating On&rdquo; (Saturday, noon); &ldquo;Version Control,&rdquo; a group talk on the latest in ownership, circulation, and copyright; and a panel on the evolving (un)professional backgrounds of curators today (Sunday, 4pm).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Dining at an art fair is often a perfunctory necessity, but <a href="https://www.frieze.com/fairs/frieze-new-york/visitor-information/restaurants" target="_blank">Frieze catering</a> is not to be outdone: you&rsquo;ll find us anxiously trying to choose between Roberta&rsquo;s pizza and Frankies Spuntino, or maybe Superiority Burgers, but probably the pizza...</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">(And because inquiring minds want to know: we&rsquo;ll be getting to the fair via poncho+bicycle.)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160502170912-Dale_Lewis_Edel_Assanti.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Dale Lewis,&nbsp;<em>Sunset</em>, 2016, Oil, acrylic, and spray paint on canvas, 200 x 400 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Edel Assanti. Solo presentation at NADA New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">NADA New York</span></strong></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 5&ndash;8</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening preview: Thurs, 12&ndash;4pm (invitation only)</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: Thurs, 4&ndash;8pm, Fri&ndash;Sat, 11am&ndash;7pm, Sun 11am&ndash;5pm</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Pier 36 | Basketball City, 299 South Street, Lower East Side<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$20 one-day pass, $40 multi-day pass<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://newartdealers.org/Fairs/2016/NewYork" target="_blank">newartdealers.org</a></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">NADA is one of our favorite fairs for getting up to speed on the latest trends from emerging contemporary artists. These are the artists and galleries who will be vying for coveted spots in the Frieze tent in the next 5 years&mdash;mark our words. The fair&rsquo;s 5th edition boasts 105 exhibitors from 18 countries, including 28 project spaces. Nearly a third of the booths will be solo presentations.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Programming tips: <a href="http://newartdealers.org/Events?event_id=46" target="_blank">Day one</a>, we&rsquo;re looking at a convo on &ldquo;Diversity in Practice&rdquo; organized by Artadia, with The Met&rsquo;s Ian Alteveer and Amanda Hunt of the Studio Museum (Thurs, 5pm). This will be followed by performances out on the pier. We devoured Daniel S. Palmer&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.artnews.com/2016/03/09/go-pro-the-hyper-professionalization-of-the-emerging-artist/" target="_blank">recent essay</a> and can&rsquo;t wait to hear the <a href="http://newartdealers.org/Events?event_id=47" target="_blank">eponymous panel discussion</a>, &ldquo;Go Pro: The Hyper-Professionalization of the Emerging Artist&rdquo; (Friday, 3pm). </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Given its Basketball City locale, this year NADA will be hosting <a href="http://newartdealers.org/Events?event_id=50" target="_blank">3-on-3 streetball pick-up games</a>, starting Thursday, plus a tournament on Saturday, on a court designed by artist Michael Genovese. Will fair-goers hit the courts in their art-watching attire? (Prediction: nope.)</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Practical heads-up: Don&rsquo;t turn up without your wallet this year. A newly instituted entrance fee will go toward establishing a new initiative to support first-time exhibitors traveling internationally to New York.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Oh, and there might be <a href="https://www.etsy.com/listing/278923984/the-nada-spiders-for-change-fund-donate?ref=shop_home_active_1" target="_blank">wolf spiders</a> running around. So, there's that.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160503140236-WEB_Victor-Diop.png" alt="" width="450" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Omar Victor Diop, <em>Art Comes First</em>, (from the series Le studio des vanit&eacute;s), 2016, Inkjet pigment print. Courtesy of MAGNIN-A</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">1:54</span></strong></span>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 6&ndash;8<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: Fri&ndash;Sun 12&ndash;8pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$20 one-day pass<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://1-54.com/new-york/" target="_blank">1-54.com</a></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The city&rsquo;s first and only fair dedicated to contemporary African art returns to Red Hook&rsquo;s&nbsp;Pioneer Works for its second NYC edition. 17 galleries from Africa, Europe, and the US will present over 60 artists from Africa and the African Diaspora.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Programming highlights include the <a href="http://1-54.com/new-york/forum/" target="_blank">1:54 FORUM</a>, a discussion and panel series curated by Koyo Kouoh. 1:54 PERFORMS, curated by Adrienne Edwards, will feature an ongoing text-and-sneaker-based performance by Dave McKenzie, set throughout the Pioneer Works campus. Talks include a roundtable on &ldquo;repats,&rdquo; artists and creatives from the Diaspora who are moving back to the continent (Fri, 1:30pm). Growing the network and infrastructures promoting African art seems to be a key theme, with panels on media platforms (Fri, 2pm) and social entrepreneurship (Sat, 2pm). Be sure to check out the work of Senegalese photographer Omar Victor Diop, the 2016 Pioneer Works artist-in-residence. He&rsquo;ll be in conversation on the topic of &ldquo;Reframing Beauty&rdquo; with Professor Deborah Willis from Tisch (Fri, 6pm).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Ace culinary tip: Chef Pierre Thiam, whose acclaimed cookbook <em>Senegal</em> was released last fall, will host a pop-up restaurant in the Pioneer Works garden.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160502162832-j._fauerso_guadalupe_video_image.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Joey Fauerso, <em>Guadalupe-After Images</em>, 2014, Single channel video, 55:00. Exhibited in <em>:Digits to Digital:</em> at Art New York</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Art New York<br /></span></strong></span><strong style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">CONTEXT New York</span></strong></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 3&ndash;8<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Preview: Tues, 2&ndash;5pm (VIP and press)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: Tues 5&ndash;8pm, Wed&ndash;Sat 12&ndash;8pm, Sun 12&ndash;6pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Pier 94, 55th Street and West Side Highway, Hell&rsquo;s Kitchen<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$40 one-day pass, $75 multi-day pass (includes admission to booth fairs)<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artnyfair.com/" target="_blank">artnyfair.com<br /></a><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.contextnyfair.com/" target="_blank">contextnyfair.com</a>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The fair ever so briefly known as Art Miami New York returns to Pier 94 this year with new branding as Art New York (presented by Art Miami). Its sister fair CONTEXT, established in Miami in 2012, also heads north this season for its NYC debut. Between them, the two fairs will showcase over 150 galleries representing nearly 1,200 artists. Art New York will showcase art from both the primary and secondary markets, while CONTEXT features work by emerging and mid-career artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The fairs boast extensive <a href="http://www.artnyfair.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=51" target="_blank">special exhibition programming</a> this year. Highlights include <em>:Digits to Digital:</em> curated by Regine Basha. This presentation of video works considers the traces of hands-on practice in the digital and moving image today.<em> Art in Public Spaces</em> recalls Art Basel&rsquo;s&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Unlimited sector, with large, site-specific installations throughout. And <em>Sound Positions</em>, curated by Christoph Cox, presents audio work by 12 emerging and established sound artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As we&rsquo;ve come to expect from the frachise,&nbsp;the fair&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.artnyfair.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=22" target="_blank">lectures and panels</a> are collector-focused, with a pragmatic approach to the art market and collecting; they include subjects like art world trends &ldquo;from an Investment Perspective&rdquo; (Fri, 3pm) and &ldquo;The Habits of Successful Collectors&rdquo; (Fri, 4:15pm).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160503203439-flux.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">BOLO (Qinza Najm &amp; Saks Afridi),&nbsp;<em>The Defiant Shadow</em>, 2016. Courtesy Flux Art Fair</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">FLUX Art Fair</span></strong></span>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 3&ndash;31<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Vernissage: May 13 (Press and VIP preview)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: Tues 6&ndash;8pm (free), 8&ndash;10pm (opening celebration $25)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Multiple sites in Harlem centered on Marcus Garvey Park, at 5th Ave between 120th and 124th Streets<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free admission<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://fluxfair.nyc/" target="_blank">fluxfair.nyc</a></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Check the forecast and save the day with the best weather for FLUX. The fair&rsquo;s second edition won&rsquo;t look like an art fair at all. Instead, it comprises an expansive public art program, transforming Harlem&rsquo;s Marcus Garvey Park and the surrounding neighborhood into a sculpture park. The year&rsquo;s curatorial theme is &ldquo;Changing Landscapes,&rdquo; and <a href="http://fluxfair.nyc/quick-look-calendar/" target="_blank">throughout the month</a>, over 40 artists (over 50 percent of whom are women) will present performances, large-scale installations, and subtle artist interventions across Harlem.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160502162755-8100628145_340ddc8558_b.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Federal Hall National Monument. Photo: Flickr User&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to John Wisniewski's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/johngonefishing/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="29">John Wisniewski</a></span><span style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Portal</span></strong></span>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 4&ndash;10<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Inaugural reception: Thurs 6&ndash;9pm (free and open to the public)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: Wed&ndash;Tues 10am&ndash;5pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Federal Hall National Monument, 26 Wall St.<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free admission<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.4heads.org/portal-2016/" target="_blank">www.4heads.org</a></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Organized by 4heads, Inc. (the non-profit behind September&rsquo;s Governor&rsquo;s Island Art Fair), and in cooperation with the National Park Service, the inaugural edition of Portal will see artists installing work over the three floors of the Federal Hall National Monument on Wall Street. The fair will feature <a href="http://www.4heads.org/portal-2016/portal-art-catalogue-and-price-list/" target="_blank">nearly 30 artists</a> who will keep 70 percent of their works&rsquo; sales&mdash;no galleries or exhibitor fees here. We think this will be one of the more unique fair experiences this week: a chance to sightsee at a New York monument while discovering the work of young and emerging artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160503143657-principals_collectivedf-web.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">The Principals,&nbsp;<em>Glacial Drift</em>, 2016, Site-specific installation realized for the entryway of Collective Design Fair</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Collective Design Fair</span></strong></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 4&ndash;8<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: Wed&ndash;Sat 11am&ndash;8pm, Sun 11am&ndash;5pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Skylight Clarkson Sq, 550 Washington Street, West Village<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$30 General Admission<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://collectivedesignfair.com/" target="_blank">collectivedesignfair.com<br /></a><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://nycxdesign.com/" target="_blank">nycxdesign.com</a></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Collective Design is the week&rsquo;s premier fair dedicated to design and designed objects. 31 galleries are exhibiting at the 5th edition, presenting jewelry, textiles, lighting, ceramics, furniture, and all manner of covetable objects.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This year the Collective Influence exhibition (the fair&rsquo;s equivalent of a lifetime achievement award) honors Japanese firm nendo, which will create an immersive, site-specific installation. Another must-see is the exhibition of graduate work in 3D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, <em>Fine Design for the End of the World</em>, with projects focusing on ways to address social and economic inequality and environmental degradation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Spring Masters NY</span></strong></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 6&ndash;9<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">VIP Preview: Thurs 5&ndash;9pm (invite only)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: Fri&ndash;Sat 11am&ndash;7:30pm, Sun&ndash;Mon 11am&ndash;6pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$30 ($25 online) one-day pass, $50 ($40 online) multi-day pass<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.springmasters.nyc/" target="_blank">www.springmasters.nyc</a></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Spring Masters joins the Frieze Week lineup this year (after preceding it by a week for the past two years). Unlike most of the week&rsquo;s other fairs, Spring Masters does not focus on contemporary art. Instead, it offers up art, design, and antiquities from the secondary market. Expect an eclectic mix of historical periods and disciplines presented by dealers from Asia, Europe, and the US.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Salon Z&uuml;rcher</span></strong></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 2&ndash;8</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: Mon 5&ndash;8pm, Tues&ndash;Sat 12&ndash;8pm, Sun 12&ndash;5pm</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Z&uuml;rcher Gallery, 33 Bleecker Street, SoHo<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free Admission<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.galeriezurcher.com/salon-zurcher/96/" target="_blank">galeriezurcher.com</a></span>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Held in SoHo&rsquo;s Z&uuml;rcher Gallery, Salon Z&uuml;rcher has been plugging away for over a decade. The 11th edition of this &ldquo;mini-fair&rdquo; features six galleries from New York, Paris, and Brussels, including ArtSlant favorite, A.I.R. Gallery from Brooklyn.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Fridge Art Fair</span></strong></span>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 7&ndash;9</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening Gala: Sat 8&ndash;11pm (proceeds benefit Angel Orensanz Foundation)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: Sat 4&ndash;8pm, Sun 11am&ndash;11pm, Mon 10am&ndash;5pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Angel Orensanz Foundation, 172 Norfolk St<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$20 one-day pass (suggested)<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.fridgeartfair.com/" target="_blank">fridgeartfair.com</a></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The irreverent Fridge turns four this year with new digs at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts. Founding artist and director Eric Ginsburg is calling it &ldquo;The Big Freeze&rdquo; edition. Pun very much intended.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Want to stick with the alternative-to-Frieze model? Check out Frontrunner Collective&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1760186080934406/" target="_blank">An Annual Affair</a>, a group show curated by Edward Syms calling itself a &ldquo;D.I.Y alternative&rdquo; to Frieze and its satellites.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">SEVEN</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">April 30&ndash;May 22</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Public hours:&nbsp;Thurs&ndash;Sun, 12&ndash;6pm, and by appointment<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Boiler, 191 North 14th Street, Brooklyn<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Admission is free<br /><a href="http://www.pierogi2000.com/2016/04/seven-at-the-boiler-presents-seven-ish-seriously-funny/" target="_blank">www.pierogi2000.com</a><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Seven galleries&mdash;or rather, eight this year&mdash;join together to present one artist each at the 5th edition of this mini-fair/exhibition, hosted by The Boiler/Pierogi in Brooklyn. The exhibition&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">SEVEN-ish, Seriously Funny</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> will present &ldquo;the jokers, the tricksters, the comedians, the cartoonists, and the just very, very funny serious artists.&rdquo; Think we&rsquo;ll all need some of that comedy action by the week&rsquo;s end :)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Frieze New York 2015.&nbsp;Photograph by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze)</span></p> Wed, 04 May 2016 17:01:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list At Frieze Projects, a Corporeal Rumination on the Art Fair's Nervous System <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">At Frieze New York, look out for livestock this year&mdash;Maurizio Cattelan is putting&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://news.artnet.com/market/frieze-new-york-live-donkey-cattelan-478394" target="_blank">a donkey in a room with a chandelier</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, while Nick Bastis is doing&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.papermag.com/frieze-new-york-2016-returns-to-randalls-island-1747552593.html" target="_blank">an installation with snails</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. If you smell dog food, it just means you&rsquo;ve reached the artwork of British artist and poet&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.heatherphillipson.co.uk/" target="_blank">Heather Phillipson</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, who has created a giant &ldquo;spinal cord,&rdquo; as she calls it, which connects throughout various outposts throughout the fair.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening&nbsp;May 4, Frieze Projects, curated by Cecilia Alemani, features&nbsp;Phillipson&rsquo;s<em> <a href="http://frieze.com/article/heather-phillipson-100-other-fibres" target="_blank">100% OTHER FIBRES</a></em>, a piece marked by all things canine which sparks a conversation about terrorism, media consumption, and the art fair ecosystem.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Phillipson is no stranger&nbsp;to addressing commercial bling and the social systems that develop around it. She recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/44507" target="_blank">transformed a gallery</a>&nbsp;into a bizarre e-commerce warehouse selling underwear. Armed with a colorful pop aesthetic, her work seamlessly merges video, installations, and poetry, like one project where she screened a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/articles/show/39353">video for viewers sitting inside of a birthing pool</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For this piece, the London-based artist takes a stab at the art fair. &ldquo;It would be very hard for me to make a project for the fair that doesn&rsquo;t somehow acknowledge this context,&rdquo; she said via email.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;The fair is, to put it crudely, a shop&mdash;just contemplate all that looking and spending that goes on. And that gets me thinking about consumption more broadly&mdash;desire, penetration, exchange, ingestion. Not only of products, but also of each other.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160502112258-100__OTHER_FIBRES_Heather_Phillipson_30.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Heather Phillipson, <em>100% OTHER FIBRES</em>, 2016, Still from video. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Unpredictably, her project for Frieze New York all started last fall, when Phillipson was reading about the Paris terror attacks. &ldquo;In one report, there was a bizarrely brief account of a suicide bomber&rsquo;s spine blasting through a window and landing on a police car,&rdquo; she said.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s a reference to 26-year-old&nbsp;<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/12004720/Paris-attacks-female-suicide-bomber-shouted-Help-me-Help-me-to-police-during-Saint-Denis-raid.html" target="_blank">Hasna Aitboulahcen</a>, dubbed &ldquo;Europe&rsquo;s first female suicide bomber,&rdquo; who blew herself up as police raided the Paris apartment she was hiding in with other Islamic State terrorists. The report never left the artist&rsquo;s mind. &ldquo;The potency of that image, especially in contrast to the flippancy of the reporting, came to haunt me,&rdquo; said Phillipson.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;Similarly, the account of a police sniffer dog which had been killed when sent ahead into the apartment, the dog&rsquo;s use was a kind of &lsquo;collateral damage,&rsquo; and all this bound up with labor, hierarchies and value.&rdquo; The dog, a Belgian Shepherd named Diesel, got&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/35189099/dickin-medal-for-diesel-the-police-dog-killed-in-paris-attacks-raid" target="_blank">a prestigious bravery medal</a>&nbsp;for dying from gunshot wounds while hunting out the apartment where the terrorists were holed up (Diesel&rsquo;s story sparked the Twitter hashtag #JeSuisChien).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160502112117-100__OTHER_FIBRES_Heather_Phillipson_12.jpg" alt="" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160502113613-100__OTHER_FIBRES_Heather_Phillipson_26.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Heather Phillipson, </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">100% OTHER FIBRES</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">, 2016, Still from video. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Phillipson wanted her project to re-enact a haunting by creating something that keeps coming back. &ldquo;Once I started thinking of the fair from an aerial viewpoint, it was only a brief leap to think about the bodies that populate it as maggots feasting on flesh,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Then, when the feasting is done, the bones, so there ended up being a lot of food, sex and waste where everything goes down the toilet, anything goes.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>100% OTHER FIBRES</em> is a series of four HD videos shown in different locations across the fair. &ldquo;When I saw the fair, its linear &lsquo;S&rsquo; with an exit at either end, it was immediately a body, a spinal cord filled with nervous tissue, a conduit for muscle control, brain activity and impulses,&rdquo; she said.&nbsp;The artist has also made a fifth piece in the fair, an audio and sculptural installation that sits outside the tent, right by the exit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The videos are under wraps until they launch at the fair, but the teaser (below) is a digital collage of a white poodle with dog bones, plastic coats, and palm trees. In one scene a dog is eaten up by the flames of an explosion, calling to mind the terror attacks that first inspired the project.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/163535151?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" frameborder="0" width="700" height="394"></iframe></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/163535151" target="_blank">100% OTHER FIBRES - tease</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user2806103" target="_blank">Heather Phillipson</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Food, such as bagels, sausages, and ground beef float alongside images of naked people, which look as if they&rsquo;ve been lifted from sex films.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;Personally, I find the fair a highly stressful environment&mdash;full of want, hope and competition, waste and disappointment,&rdquo; said Phillipson. Frieze New York booths have been said to go for $30,000, but gallerists have anonymously complained that it&rsquo;s a &ldquo;<a href="http://blogs.artinfo.com/artintheair/2015/05/21/fair-cost-a-post-frieze-week-query/" target="_blank">mentally expensive</a>&rdquo; art fair.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The video are set inside of sculptural pieces that include fiberglass dogs, trampolines, dog food, plastic dog poo, and party hats. &ldquo;Entering at one end, spat out the other, it&rsquo;s like matter through a digestive system,&rdquo; described the artist.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160502111925-Heather_Phillipson_Frieze_Projects_press_image2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Heather Phillipson,&nbsp;<em>100% OTHER FIBRES</em>, Artist&rsquo;s sketch, installation view. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;The genesis of the idea had a lot to do with the physical and conceptual context of the fair,&rdquo; said Phillipson, noting politics, shopping, and the fair&rsquo;s location as contributing factors. She sees Frieze&rsquo;s Randall&rsquo;s Island setting as &ldquo;an off-shore site of asylums, hospitals and cemeteries, as what gets tidied away is put &lsquo;elsewhere.&rsquo;&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;Surely, I imagine, this seeps into its atmosphere,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m interested in how the location impacts behavior, it being accessible only by boat, the impetus to&nbsp;get to it&nbsp;and&nbsp;get away from it.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;The fair appeared to me as something that just blows in&mdash;comes crashing down on the island&mdash;like that spinal cord blasted through the window and is then swept away again, leaving no traces.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160502111807-100__OTHER_FIBRES_Heather_Phillipson_14.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Heather Phillipson, </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">100% OTHER FIBRES</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">, 2016, Still from video. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/241816-nadja-sayej?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Nadja Sayej</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Nadja Sayej is an arts reporter based in Berlin and the founder of ArtStars*, check out her website at&nbsp;<a href="http://nadjasayej.com/" target="_blank">nadjasayej.com</a>.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Heather Phillipson, <em>100% OTHER FIBRES</em>, Artist&rsquo;s sketch, installation view. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016)</span></p> Wed, 04 May 2016 10:53:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list Exposing Visual Rhymes: An Interview with Mario Ybarra Jr. <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><em><strong>This interview was <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/artists/rackroom/450" target="_blank">originally published</a> way back on ArtSlant Chicago, in May, 2008, on the occasion of&nbsp; Mario Ybarra Jr.'s exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. The LA-based artist is known for his installations drawing from pop and street culture, including a recent solo show examining the mythos of Scarface at LA's Honor Fraser Gallery. Right now his work can be found <a href="http://nomadicdivision.org/exhibition/mario-ybarra-jr/" target="_blank">on a billboard in Mobile, AL</a>, part of Los Angeles Nomadic Division's Manifest Destiny Project.</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"> Mario Ybarra, Jr. is a LA-based visual and performance artist who has created room-sized installations all over the world and most recently right here in Chicago for the Art Institute of Chicago. This year Ybarra was also selected to participate in the Whitney Biennial. Beneath Ybarra's friendly demeanor lies a keen observer who is quick to expose visual rhymes in seemingly unrelated sources and to expand and build upon those connections until a cohesion is reached, or as he might say, a story. Ybarra graciously met with ArtSlant's Abraham Ritchie while putting the finishing touches on his installation at the Art Institute. Ever the raconteur, Ybarra talked about his native LA, baseball and King Arthur. Below is an excerpt of our conversation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img style="margin: 10px auto; vertical-align: middle; display: block;" src="/userimages/3151/PICT0018.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Abraham Richie: I think a lot of Chicagoans, and everyone, might want to know what the connection is between Southern Los Angeles, Catalina Island and Wrigley Field? It&rsquo;s kind of funny to think that Wrigley Field had a &ldquo;secret brother&rdquo; or something like that on the West Coast, because I am not sure that many people remember or know about this other Wrigley Field.</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Mario Ybarra, Jr.:</strong> Well that&rsquo;s where this whole project started for me. About a year ago Lisa Dorin, the Assistant Curator in the Contemporary Art Department, asked me if I wanted to come up with a proposal to do a Focus project here at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I said I would think about it a little bit. The way that I try to work is that I try to make some kind of relationship between a personal experience, or my personal understanding or knowledge and the place that I show. I don&rsquo;t like the idea of coming in and claiming an expertise on a place that I know nothing about. I&rsquo;ve found that doing something that starts in the realm of the personal and then taking it out to another place and trying to make relationships between those two places is the most successful tactic for me. . . I try to make bridges, so to speak.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">As a kid we would take trips out to Catalina Island, which is part of the Channel Islands, about 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. I remember part of the tour was the local history. They&rsquo;d always tell us that William Wrigley, Jr. owned Catalina Island and he had famous movie stars of the time going out there, like Clark Gable. His Chicago Cubs would go out and have their spring training there. The main town there is called Avalon and it gets its name from [Wrigley&rsquo;s] niece, who told [Wrigley] to name it that after the Avalon of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and those stories. So it has this mythological side of it too. It has real histories, the local histories, of it being owned by Wrigley, and it has this mythological history through the King Arthur association. My studio back in LA is on Avalon Boulevard and they named [the street] that because that&rsquo;s where the boats used to take people out to Avalon Harbor on the island. I started doing research about that, I&rsquo;m like a de facto historian, and I found that Wrigley, along with owning the island, owned this other Wrigley Field that was in South Central Los Angeles on Avalon and 66th street. So we had the Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island, my studio on Avalon, this field that Wrigley owned was also on Avalon, I just kept following the line. I thought I could take this story from Avalon, to Avalon Boulevard, to my studio, to Avalon were the stadium was, to all the way down Highway 66 to Chicago and the Art Institute.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I&rsquo;m figuring out ways to make these relationships between historical figures like William Wrigley, who was important to historical cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, and bring these stories together somehow, make bridges between the stories. Between what I know and my experiences and the places that I go.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AR: Sports are the site of an obvious physical conflict and throughout the exhibit are interesting juxtapositions: the Mexican flag and the U.S. flag, the sword and the baseball bat, the fist of the Revolution and an image of a capitalist&rsquo;s private island. The history of the island reflects conflict as well, in the seventies it was occupied by the Brown Berets. How are sports, especially baseball, viewed both literally and metaphorically for this project, and the issues it raises?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>MY:</strong> Well I have always thought of the history of baseball as particularly related to the United States. It&rsquo;s billed as &ldquo;the American Game;&rdquo; it&rsquo;s not really played around the world at all other than some Latin American countries, like the Dominican Republic where all these new players are coming from and where young people are specifically groomed to be ball players. But in relation to the United States, and this comes from the different things that I have watched or read, the developments of social movements in the United States almost always came ten years later than in the ball game itself. Baseball has been very slow to change, and it hasn&rsquo;t changed really over the few centuries its been played here. But it still has these kind of leading edges. Let&rsquo;s take for example the story of integration and civil rights. Jackie Robinson starts playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950's and certain places, like schools, weren&rsquo;t integrated until the early sixties or late sixties. Baseball reflects a little bit in advance the kind of social movements that will happen in the United States.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Another thing that I think is very interesting in terms of conflict and it being a spectator sport, even though there are rival teams and most big cities have their own team, [there is a sense of unity]. Before professional baseball, each little town would have a team, even though there was a sense of rivalry or competition, the people were brought together as spectators to cheer on their team. So even though there was a site of conflict, it wasn&rsquo;t like it was Rome and gladiators were getting fed to lions [laughter]. There is a sense of sportsmanship [. . .]</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Related to issues of capitalism and revolution, or acts of civil disobedience, there is a sense of teams. I play off that with the posters, we have here a baseball with two bats crossed, but instead of a regular team you have the Brown Beret guys who tried to occupy the island in 1972 so they&rsquo;re like &ldquo;the team.&rdquo; The idea of &ldquo;the team&rdquo; is important too and the metaphor of a team. The idea that everyone has their positions but also act as a unit is very important and is a metaphor for myself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="/userimages/3151/PICT0019.JPG" alt="" width="338" height="443" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br /><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AR: The idea of teams is also apparent in this wall of flags you have installed. What are the flags we have here?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>MY:</strong> This is the state of Illinois&rsquo; flag. The flags are also stadium-esque, they always have them. The other thing, again about making relationships, is this is the state of Illinois&rsquo; flag, which has an eagle perched on a rock holding a shield and in his mouth is a banner. I thought that is very interesting, because over here is the Mexican flag, and again we have the eagle, this time perched on the cactus, and the snake in his mouth pretty much mimics the banner in the Illinois flag. Those kinds of aesthetic relationships and symbolic choices are very interesting.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img style="margin: 10px; vertical-align: middle;" src="/userimages/3151/PICT0015.JPG" alt="" width="430" height="328" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br /><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AR: Even looking at the Illinois flag, that&rsquo;s more of an Aztec style eagle than a typical American-style eagle.</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>MY:</strong> Yeah. Those are the kinds of things I noticed in my visits to Chicago to prepare for this show, last year and earlier this year. I started seeing these kinds of relationships, like the Illinois flag&rsquo;s similarity to the flag of Mexico.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">This row of flags will start off with the U.S. flag, the state of Illinois flag, Chicago flag, Los Angeles flag, state of California flag, and the Mexican flag. We have these different relationships between these two places starting with the cities and then going to the states. We have the state of Mexico flag, even though California is not part of Mexico, it used to be part of Mexico, but it&rsquo;s related to the histories that we have here. Catalina Island was occupied by the Brown Berets because in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which separated the Southwest from Mexico after the Mexican-American War, the island wasn&rsquo;t specifically mentioned. This is why the Brown Berets tried to occupy it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">There are interrelationships between the two places [Chicago and LA]. I thought that was another kind of metaphor for the show, in terms of Wrigley being this character and starting with him, saying no man is an island, or no city, or no country or land is an island. They&rsquo;re all in relationship, in context, to their neighbors. Imagine if we thought that we could do everything, under our own power, we&rsquo;d get ourselves in trouble. We can talk about it in relationship to land, in relationship to people. Or no island is a man, we could even switch it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I wanted to draw these kinds of relationships together, one between Los Angeles and Chicago, two between Mexico and the States, three between baseball and mythology. Different symbolic orders, things like ships or bubble gum.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>ArtSlant would like to thank Mario Ybarra, Jr., Jenny Gheith and Lisa Dorin for their assistance in making this interview possible. Additional thanks to the Anna Helwing Gallery and the Art Institute of Chicago</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">-<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/16747-abraham-ritchie?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #000000;"> Abraham Ritchie</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Top image: <strong>Mario Ybarra Jr</strong>, Manifest Destiny Project billboard, 2014; Courtesy of LAND. All other images are installation views of <em>Take Me Out. . . No Man Is an Island</em>, 2008; Courtesy of the Artist)</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 21:52:42 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ind/Articles/list