If Only a Wave

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Participant Inc.
If Only a Wave
Curated by: David Everitt Howe

253 East Houston Street
10002 New York
January 11th, 2015 - February 21st, 2015
Opening: January 11th, 2015 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Wed-Sun 12-7


PARTICIPANT INC is very pleased to present Emily Roysdon, If Only a Wave. The first solo exhibition of Roysdon’s work in New York since 2011, it will feature new sculpture, photograms, screen prints, neon works, and performance.

Uncounted experience, unseen in time. If only a
wave in proximity to other waves. If only a wave that made
a texture of a surface of a top of the line. If only a wave
expressing the contour of a bottom, its bottom, the under.
If only a wave a rhythm. All potential to break. Crash. hit.
rock. wander. If only a night wave, peaking. If only a wave
never counted. Measured if a threat.

For the exhibition, Roysdon has created a new symbol for other kinds of time: a stylized motif of an upside down triangle, a row of waves lining its widest width. Broken down, built up, and reiterated throughout If Only a Wave, it forms an abstract lexicon for ways to think through – elliptically – relationships between time and queer activism, space and the body, writing and performance. Both a surface and a shape, Roysdon’s wave is manifest as clocks, photograms, and sculpture. These works are joined by a series of photogram “calendars” where a butt plug, used like a sundial in the darkroom, makes covert appearance as a light bulb. A neon constellation lights up the room with a diagram for movement.

If Only a Wave also presents Roysdon’s new text UNCOUNTED. Proposed as both poetics and practice, the writing serves as a loose framework for the exhibition as a whole, asking questions about the unseen in time – alive time, authority, trespass – and develops Roysdon’s performative philosophy “to discompose.” Throughout the exhibition, UNCOUNTED is used as a script for live performance, both planned – on February 19 – and incidental; unannounced actions will happen while PARTICIPANT is open.

Emily Roysdon (1977) is a New York and Stockholm-based artist and writer. Her working method is interdisciplinary and recent projects take the form of performance, photographic installations, printmaking, text, video, curating and collaborating. Roysdon developed the concept "ecstatic resistance" to talk about the impossible and imaginary in politics. The concept debuted with simultaneous shows at Grand Arts in Kansas City, and X Initiative in New York. She is editor and co-founder of the queer feminist journal and artist collective, LTTR. Her many collaborations include costume design for choreographers Levi Gonzalez, Vannesa Anspaugh and Faye Driscoll, as well as lyric writing for The Knife, and Brooklyn based JD Samson & MEN. Recent solo projects include new commissions from Performance Room, Tate Modern, London; If I Can't Dance, Amsterdam; PICA's T:BA festival, Visual Art Center, Austin; Art in General, New York; The Kitchen, New York; Konsthall C, Stockholm; and a Matrix commission from the Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley. Roysdon's projects have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the 2010 Whitney Biennial, New York; Greater New York at MoMA PS1; The Generational, New Museum, New York; Manifesta 8, Murcia and Cartagena, Spain; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Power Plant, Toronto; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. In 2012 Roysdon was a finalist for the Future Generation Art Prize exhibiting in Kiev and the Venice Biennale. Roysdon completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 2001 and an Interdisciplinary MFA at UCLA in 2006. Roysdon's work is in the public collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and The New York Public Library's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, New York.

David Everitt Howe (1983) is a Red Hook, Brooklyn-based independent critic and curator. He received his B.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2005 and an M.A. in Modern Art from Columbia University in 2010. His recent curated performances, exhibitions and screenings include ANTIFREEZE at Abrons Arts Center (2014), for NYPAC; Julie Zando and Abigail Child at MoMA PS1 (2013) and Derek Jarman's Blue at Judson Church (2013), both for Dirty Looks, NYC; Einat Amir and Jonathan VanDyke for Performa 09 and 13, respectively; Yve Laris Cohen's Duet and Bryan Zanisnik's Every Inch a Man at Abrons Arts Center (2011); and Chancing It at 47 Canal (2011), all in New York. His writing has appeared in The Village Voice, Art Papers, Art in America, Flash Art International, Modern Painters, Paper Monument, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, Mousse, Afterall and ArtReview, where he is a contributing editor. He also maintains a blog, Baudrillard’s at Bergdorf. Howe is a Curatorial Advisor for Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation; Curatorial/Development Associate at PARTICIPANT INC; and a curator at NYPAC.

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