Ukrainian Citizens and Strangers
Queens Nails Annex, in conjunction with Outpost for Contemporary Art, is proud to present Ukrainian Citizens and Strangers. Organized by renowned Four Walls (1995-2000) founder Julie Deamer,Ukrainian Citizens and Strangers will present a selection of work from seven artists involved in Outpost for Contemporary Art’s current program of sending art professionals to and from Eastern Europe to produce artistic programs that illuminate the complex socio-cultural transformations happening in the region today.
Julie Deamer founded Outpost or Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 2004. Currently, Outpost’s programming is focusing on the Ukraine, and in June 2007 the organization sent U.S. artists Jeff Cain, Adam Frelin, and Angie Waller to Kyiv to discuss their practice and respond to the experience by creating new work. Currently Outpost is hosting two artists-in-residence from Ukraine, Lesja Zajac & Olexander Gnilitsky (February 18 – March 31, 2008). Ukrainian Citizens and Strangers will function as an opportunity to bring these and other artists together and mark where the program currently is in its process.
Adam Frelin spent three weeks in Kyiv shooting a new video entitled The Faction. In this piece, five members of a military marching band brake away to wander and perform in self-governed succession. The video offers a visual tour through old and new Kyiv, and seeks to reflect present-day experience in this city-in-transition.
During his time in Kyiv, Jeff Cain learned of numerous visionary projects that function outside dominant hierarchical power structures prevalent in Kyiv. The subjects of his documentation range from a large outdoor gymnasium comprised of hand-built exercise machines reminiscent of constructivist sculptures, to hand made windmills that generate power for a homeless shelter, to handcrafted electric vehicles. For Ukrainian Citizens and Strangers, Cain will present his documentation of these Kyiv “ReConstructivists”. In addition, Jeff Cain will discuss his project at Queen’s Nails on Friday, April 4 at 8 pm.
Angie Waller spent one week in Kyiv laying the groundwork for her project through conversation, documentation, and research, all of which circled around the Orange Revolution, which was used as a jumping off point for her inquiries. Her resulting video travelogue weaves through mini-narratives to convey a striking contrast between generations and an underlying political engagement that is masked by indifference to a singular event. In addition to the video travelogue, Angie will show photographs from her installation in progress “The National Museum of the Orange Revolution,” a combination of abstracted images from Historical collections and photographs collected from her interviews– an exploration of the relevance of the past in an accelerated present.
Tim Hyde has traveled extensively in the region and will be presenting his video The Keeper, a work Hyde describes as "an inverted portrait in which the traditional function of figure and background are reversed." The video is a single shot of an anonymous elderly woman framed by the monolithic architecture of a fast-food restaurant that was once the local office of the KGB in Kyiv.
In addition to the American artists, two Ukrainian artist teams, Yuriy Kruchak & Yuliya Kostevera, and Lesja Zajac & Olexander Gnilitsky (a.k.a The Institution of Unstable Thoughts) will also be included in this exhibition.
Yuriy Kruchak & Yuliya Kostevera will present one pair from a series of untitled photographs of Chairs. The collaborative’s untitled chair series function as objective studies of chairs before and after they have been repaired, objectifying the old chairs as a metaphor for the fluidity of time and history.
Lesja Zajac and Olexander Gnilitsky (a.k.a.The Institution of Unstable Thoughts) will be in residency at Outpost for six weeks starting February 18. They will travel to San Francisco to install a new media work for the show entitled, The Plate Aria, which uses digital technology to morph together hundreds of found decorative plates to create a historical index of civilization in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Maya Hayuk is a New York-based artist with strong San Francisco roots, who emigrated from Ukraine with her family as a teenager. In Hayuk’s words the paintings in Ukrainian Citizens and Strangers will “flex (her) Ukrainian muscle with a little more intention than normal.”
Additional programming for Ukrainian Citizens and Strangers includes a one night video exhibition featuring 12 videos by 10 artists selected by Julie Deamer and Jordan Biren. This program will screen on Saturday, April 5 at 8pm.
ABOUT OUTPOST FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
Outpost for Contemporary Art promotes cross-cultural exchange by developing international artistic projects that stimulate social interaction and emphasize process over end result. Outpost’s international reciprocal residency program focuses on nations and cultures that offer provocative, comparative perspectives on artmaking, politics, and socio-cultural transition.