Before I was born
I saw six eyes dancing
in the darkness of
my mother's womb
Now I see those eyes
Everywhere I go
« Let's trace the invisible luminous,
the eternal silhouette of transience,
to kiss the middle of my mind. »
Antony's artworks open up dream landscapes: often fragmentary in appearance, these images map Antony's dreams and liminal states; polymorphic realms give way to indicated spirits; pen marks and scratches conjure archetypes and invite conscious and unconscious elements to emerge. Raw materials are often "eroded" in many stages - drawn on, burned, soaked in the rain, thrown away and reclaimed, drawn on again, stained or dried over a fire. These private spells are then arranged under a light and recaptured to be presented in their final form of a photographic portrait. Antony's works describe the arc of a dream atlas in which each diverse aspect is unified through the desire for healing. For this exhibition, Antony has collaborated with performance artist Johanna Constantine, model Dr. Julia Yasuda Ph.D, photographer Don Felix Cervantes, and artist Joie Iacono. Together they have created a series of prints and images deriving from Antony's world of muse, mythology and awareness.
Peter Hujar (1934-1987), one of America's most important, if unsung, photographers, created a body of work in New York City during the 70s and early 80s, an environment that was financially impoverished but artistically rich. Most associated with his black-and-white portraits of Manhattan's underground artistic community, Peter Hujar's subjects also included nudes, animals, and the streets of night-time Manhattan. During his life he assembled a seminal exhibition and catalogue entitled "Portraits in Life and Death" in which he juxtaposed soulful portraits on his friends in various states of recline and introspection with arresting images of the petrified human corpses taken in the Palermo catacombs. Hujar's unerringly classical sense of aesthetics and composition combined with his haunting and courageous vision of the world has inspired generations of artists and photographers from David Wojnarowicz and Robert Mapplethorpe to Nan Goldin, David Armstrong and Alice O'Malley. Hujar's portrait of "Candy Darling on Her Deathbed" was used by the group Antony and the Johnsons as cover for their album "I Am a Bird Now".
Barbara Cummard is an English photographer and visual artist, who has lived in Minnesota for the last 16 years. She has worked extensively as a designer and producer of community based art works. She has used her photography as a tool to enter worlds that might otherwise be inaccessible, to question the underlying essence of what is there, and to further explore what it is to be fully human. In one recent project, "Inside Out: Faces of Self", she combined collaborative mask-making and photography to create a composited photographic mural that stretches across 20 feet of wall space and has since been installed in various public spaces in the city of Minneapolis. For this exhibition, Cummard presents a new collection of images taken in County Donegal, Ireland in 1978. Home to many generations of her extended family through marriage, Cummard took this unique opportunity to document rural life in Donegal, as then still untouched by modern progress. These images capture the vanishing cultural landscape, inseparable from the natural landscape, of an older generation in the Ireland of the late Seventies.
Kiki Smith (born January 18, 1954, in Nuremberg, Germany) is an American artist classified as a feminist artist, a movement with beginnings in the twentieth century. Her Body Art is imbued with political significance, undermining the traditional erotic representations of women by male artists, and often exposes the inner biological systems of females as a metaphor for hidden social issues. Her work also often includes the theme of birth and regeneration, sustenance, and frequently has Catholic allusions. Smith has also been active in debate over controversies such as race, and battered women. Smith began sculpting in the late 1970s. She is best known for her sculptures; however, she creates pieces in a variety of media. She was an active member of the artist's group Colab. Her print collection is particularly extensive and began in the 1980s. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) has consistently collected her prints, and now owns over fifty of her print projects. Speaking of the quality of reproduction inherent to the medium, Smith has stated that «Prints mimic what we are as humans: we are all the same and yet everyone is different. I think there's a spiritual power in repetition, a devotional quality, like saying rosaries.» (1998) Since 1980, Kiki Smith has produced a myriad of work in media such as sculpture, prints, installations and others that have been admired for having a highly developed, yet sometimes unsettling, sense of intimacy in her works' timely political and social provocations. These traits have brought her critical success. For the exposition at the galerie du jour agnès b. She has created exclusive drawing that took direct inspiration from her friendship with Antony.
Alice O'Malley is an American photographer who has collaborated over the last nine years with scores of downtown New York artists to create an archive of, by and for those who inhabit the peripheries. Set against backdrops of what seem to be the last empty rooms in a neighborhood reeling from takeover, these portraits derive from the informal rituals of languid afternoon visits and unhurried conversation. While the choice of the silver gelatin print casts her unconventional subjects in enduring relief, O'Malley's unschooled process bears the marks of imperfection that lend to its intimacy. O'Malley's formal studio portraits of artists, performers, and friends depict untraditional people, whose defiant presence counterbalances the increasing obsolescence of such individuals currently being witnessed in New York City today. The Lower East Side has long been a place in which art and the avant-garde function as integral parts of urban life. O'Malley's portraits provide an intimate look at the people who give it this character.
James Elaine is an artist and filmmaker living in Beijing and Los Angeles. His films have been screened at numerous international experimental film festivals including International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Kill Your Timid Notion Festival, Dundee, Scotland; CinemaTexas, Austin, Texas; LA Freewaves, Los Angeles, CA.; Image Forum Festival, Japan, as well as museums and galleries around the world including Galerie fuer Zeitgenossische Kunst Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; Villa Croce Contemporary Art Museum, Genoa, Italy; Cite de la Musique, Paris, France and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. and are in the collection of the E-Flux video rental project which has toured internationally. In 2008 he was awarded The Ordway Prize in recognition of his profound contribution to the international contemporary art world during the past 20 years as a curator for the Drawing Center, NY, and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. He is currently living in Beijing, China, having received a grant from the Asian Cultural Council and a fellowship from The Studio for Metabolic Sculpture, curating and researching the contemporary art of China, and working to bridge the East and West through cultural exchange.
William Basinski is a classically trained musician and composer who has been working in experimental media for over 25 years in NYC. His haunting and melancholy soundscapes explore the temporal nature of life, resounding with the reverberations of memory and the mystery of time. His epic 4-disc masterwork, The Disintegration Loops received international critical acclaim and was chosen as one of the top 50 albums of 2004 by Pitchfork Media. Art Forum selected The River, his transcendental 2-disc shortwave music experiment on Raster-Noton.de, Germany as one of the top ten albums of 2003. His concerts and installations and films made in collaboration with artist-filmmakers have been presented internationally, most recently at The Venice Biennale of Music, Venice, Italy, Happy New Ears Festival, Belgium, Focus One Festival, Poland, Filosophia Festival, Carpi, Italy, Cite de la Musique, Paris, among others. Basinski's latest albums, 92982 and Vivian & Ondine will be released in Spring 2009 on 2062/USA and distributed internationally. Basinski has been a close friend and collaborator of Antony's for the last 15 years, and has often lent soundtracks for use in Hegarty's projects.