Pepe & Puntar's Lucid Dream Lounge with Special Guests

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© Courtesy of Participant Inc.
Pepe & Puntar's Lucid Dream Lounge with Special Guests

253 East Houston Street
10002 New York
April 29th, 2012 - June 3rd, 2012

Wed-Sun 12-7
installation, performance, sculpture


From April 29 – June 3, 2012 PARTICIPANT INC is proud to announce Participant Inc presents Pepe & Puntar’s Lucid Dream Lounge with Special Guests… For their first collaborative installation, Sheila Pepe and Diana Puntar build a field of operation incorporating light, shadow, drawing, and multiple sculptural elements. They will launch their built environment into real time by inviting a select group of performers to activate, inhabit, and re-contextualize the space.

Upon entering the gallery, visitors are greeted by a ‘70s era television relic--a prop chandelier made of plastic cups, suggesting a lobby. Just beyond, a porous wall with a portal-like entry divides the space, formed from black rope and rubber bands stretched across space, comprising a web that continues up and hovers overhead like a drop ceiling. Through the divide, one enters a cave-like set, also informed by period variety shows. A mostly black and gold environment, crocheted tendrils sprawl throughout, attaching themselves occasionally to fixed objects--intermittent rain walls, rain columns, and an oversized rain lamp. The opportunity to lounge is suggested by modular seating, floor coverings, and sit-upons brought to human scale, placing focus on the affect of entertainment. Including a sculptural stage, this scripted environment is activated by frequent guest performances, and personalized with idiosyncratic shadow drawings.

Participant Inc presents Pepe & Puntar’s Lucid Dream Lounge with Special Guests… was conceived after long-term discussions about the adjacencies and incongruities the two artists share. Having closely followed each other’s working methods and frames of reference, they moved to marry their respective praxes. From discreet sculptural works to full-scale modular installations, Puntar examines imagined frontiers from the living room to outer space, juxtaposing real and fake materials to demand a dismissal of high and low as categories of quality. Pepe makes monumental structures out of domestically scaled handcrafts. Both are eager to flatten existing hierarchies and reconstruct them to announce a more imaginative and humane zeitgeist.

Sheila Pepe lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions including Sue Scott Gallery, NY; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX; He Said She Said, Oak Park, IL; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; Testsite/Fluent-Collaborations, Austin, TX; Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim, Germany; MoMA/PS1, NY; L.A.C.E., Los Angeles, CA; The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; and Thread Waxing Space, NY; among others. Her work is in the collection of the Harvard University Arts Museums, Smith College Museum of Art, and the Rose Art Museum. She received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and an Art Matters Grant. She is currently Acting Assistant Dean, School of Art & Design, Pratt Institute.

Diana Puntar holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has had solo exhibitions at Participant Inc., NY; MoMA/PS1, NY (project room); Oliver Kamm Gallery, NY; Rowland Contemporary, Chicago; and Small a Projects, Portland. Selected group exhibitions include Luhring Augustine, NY; Foxy Productions, NY; Stefan Stux, NY; and The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA. She was a 2009 recipient of a Pollock Krasner Grant; a 2005 NYFA Fellow; and has been an Artist in Residence at Yaddo, ArtOMI, The McColl Center, and The Millay Colony. Puntar has been teaching sculpture at Pratt Institute since 2007. She will be starting a new position as Assistant Professor of sculpture at California Polytechnic State University in fall 2012.

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