Art & Development

Gallery Jaunt: New Museum, Brooklyn Museum, ICP, John Jay

I’m trying to take advantage of the access to art afforded by living in New York. But there are so many art spaces here, even now when many institutions are closed in preparation for Fall shows, it’s still overwhelming. I’ve been here 2 weeks and visited a few spaces, with not nearly enough time at most of them.

Rivane Neuenschwander: A Day Like Any Other
New Museum
Thru Sept. 19

I really like the contemporary Brazilian artist’s videos; this is a chance to see new and prior works in installation, participatory/social practices, works on paper, paintings and actions. I think the most coherent is the fourth floor, where the central focus is an installation of buckets hung at head-height which slowly drip water into buckets on the floor. On the walls are dilapidated maps of New York counties painted and mounted in design-y hues. A video of an egg clattering in a spoon, shot as if the spoon were tucked into the viewer’s mouth, and the viewer were rambling through a wooded forest, runs in a corner. Flip clocks whose numbers have been replaced with zeros (recalling a flip-clock project by San Francisco artist Chris Bell) are placed throughout the museum, but the chance that you’d be looking at the clock when its zeroes flip is infinitesimal, so the clocks appear static and unchanging; in effect, it’s a largely conceptual piece. Perhaps it was the discreteness and completeness of the projects that appealed to me; the third floor, dominated by a space in which narrow swathes of carpet were ripped up, and sectors of a gridded wallpaper were stripped from the walls—not so much. The demolition was the result of a site-specific project involving the artist finding microphones hidden by the museum staff at the artist’s request. Is it viable to complain that the chance operation seemed a bit preconceived? Other projects in the space captivated: a 10-minute video of a single bubble traveling around a house (at the same time that it frustrated any sense of resolution); a calendar made of punched circles of text scattered across a black ground, creating constellations on a night sky; portraits of first loves described by public participants and drawn by courtroom artists.

On the first floor, in the odd, narrow glass-enclosed space, Neuenschwander’s I Wish Your Wish project continues.

Strangely, I left the show rather disappointed that I experienced no major revelation. But in retrospect, perhaps my expectation to be surprised or enchanted was misinformed. To displace the work—to find it in social exchanges and participatory actions, as her Tropicália predecessors did—seems to embrace an experimental approach to the practice of art. The results need not be revelatory. I experienced this same unapologetic unevenness in Damián Ortega’s work at the Boston ICA, where the works were pervaded with a sense of generosity and experimentation, and between stunning perceptual experiences were lackluster results that didn’t add up to more than their component parts.

Kiki Smith: Sojourn
Brooklyn Museum
Thru Sept. 12

There’s an unimpeded quality to this new work by the irrepressibly prolific symbolist printmaker and sculptor. Dozens of large drawings and prints of female figures on very light, wispy paper appear in the show, as do large silver figurative sculptures, installations with light bulbs and birds, and a simple coffin with a breathtaking surprise inside. Because many of the images were prints, more or less with the same figure, and set of materials, there was a sense of iterative generation. Clearly she’s interested in, and quite faithful to, the authenticity of the expressive line.

A suite of dozens of Photoshopped advertisements by Hank Willis Thomas is a joy to see if you’ve seen some, but not all as a collection.

For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights
International Center of Photography
Thru Sept. 12

A historical show concerning the photographic and filmic image and its impact on the Civil Rights movement. Don’t expect a photography exhibition; it is rich with reproductions—including some shockingly retrograde attitudes exposed in the captions in Life magazine—and artifacts.

Also at ICP:
Perspectives 2010: Carol Bove, Lena Herzog, Matthew Porter, Ed Templeton, Hong-An Truong
Thru Sept. 12

The lighting in Lena Herzog’s room was brilliant. Black walls, black-and-white photographs, the illumination of each photo extending only to the four edges of the frame. Very fitting for the spine-chilling, Wunderkammer-inspired content.

Nyeema Morgan: Like It is
John Jay College, third floor art gallery
Thru Sept. 17

My friend and CCA cohort Nyeema modestly described her show as “four drawings and a video.” The drawings, however, were impressive 38×50″ photo-realist graphite renderings of photocopies of title pages. They brought to mind Washington DC-based Molly Springfield‘s drawings of theory readers, replete with the black bars that are photocopiers’ perceptions of depth. While Ny’s practice often involves text, it isn’t solely concerned the drawn reproduction of it. Nyeema was attracted towards books with the word “extraordinary” in them, and her obsession also manifested in a video comprised of clippings of people saying that word. I thought the show was accomplished and tight, and I left feeling quite proud of my friend.

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Art & Development, This & That Mail Art Swap, News

Involved, Socially and This & That opens

Thanks to Dina and Joyce at Triple Base, Michelle Blade for having me in the show and compelling me to go one step beyond only exhibiting a work, M for love and support despite my week-long installation myopia, and the countless friends, supporters and mentors who attended, the opening reception for Involved, Socially seemed like a success.

It was well-attended, with a constant flow of people, and lots of time spent looking at art, reading texts and having good conversations.

I feel like both projects that I contributed, This & That International Mail Art Swap (a curatorial project in the back room featuring 32 artists) and Unlimited Promise (an installation in the basement) were strong, so I’m content.

Sandwich board typography by Mylinh Nguyen, via Michelle Blade. Window: project by David Horvitz. You know it's San Francisco's Mission District by the taqueria and bicycle.

Sandwich board typography by Mylinh Nguyen, via Michelle Blade. Window: project by David Horvitz. You know it's San Francisco's Mission District by the taqueria and bicycle.

The main (front) part of the storefront held several artist's projects; This & That was in the back room. Yuen Fong Ling's fluourescent posters, commanding JOIN US, are visible from the street.

The main (front) part of the storefront held several artist's projects; This & That was in the back room. Yuen Fong Ling's fluourescent posters, commanding JOIN US, are visible from the street.

Amanda Curreri's and Sally Elesby's project - a line of iridescent glitter is drawn across the gallery. amandacurreri.com

Amanda Curreri's and Sally Elesby's project - a line of iridescent glitter is drawn across the gallery.

Left, works by Mark McKnight. Right, t-shirts by Amanda Curreri.

Left, works by Mark McKnight. Right, t-shirts by Amanda Curreri.

Photographer Seth Lower (far left, sethlower.com) inspects This and That; Jeronimo Roldan and Marcella Faustini and friend inspect Amanda Curreri's/Sally Elesby's correspondence (center). Jessica William's art (right). Not pictured: David Horvitz' letters about the Indian Ocean.

Photographer Seth Lower (far left, sethlower.com) inspects This & That; Jeronimo Roldan and Marcella Faustini and friend inspect Amanda Curreri's/Sally Elesby's correspondence (center). Jessica William's art (right).

This and That, with works by Crowe and Rawlinson, Tan, Chavez-Dawson, Churchill, Hongisto, Blackmore, Chen, Staincliffe and Hall.

This & That, with works by Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson, Tattfoo Tan, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Joshua Churchill, Eric Hongisto, Simon Blackmore, Susan Chen, Daniel Staincliffe and Antony Hall.

This and That, works by same artists as previous photo, plus Anading, Bell, Payot, Brumit and Wagner, the Bloors, and Carollo. Lower corner, a moment for our sponsor.

This & That, works by same artists as previous photo, plus Poklong Anading, Chris Bell, Laurence Payot, Jon Brumit and Sarah Wagner, Simon & Tom Bloor and Michelle Carollo. Lower corner, a moment for our sponsor.

Scott Oliver's Lake Merritt walking tour.

Scott Oliver's Lake Merritt Walking Tour.

Verity-Jane Keefe's project on a housing estate in Barking, East London.

Verity-Jane Keefe's project on the estate in Barking, East London.

Works by Oliver, Keefe, Hattori, Glover, Pest.

Works by Oliver, Keefe, Taro Hattori, N. Sean Glover, Pest.

Works by Ryan, Woff, Sherry, Griffiths, Ma, Kabot, Kaplan, Yu.

Works by Anthony Ryan, Jenifer K Wofford, David Sherry, Mary Griffiths, Ivy Ma, Sarah Kabot, Scot Kaplan, MM Yu.

Works by O'Malley and Ling. Below, the spread.

Works by Susan O'Malley and Yuen Fong Ling. Below, the spread.

This & That artist Anthony Ryan takes home court advantage to inspect potential swap selections.

This & That artist Anthony Ryan takes home court advantage to inspect potential swap selections.

Joshua Churchill, looking uncharacteristically dodgy, powers N. Sean Glover's cardboard record player.

This & That artist Joshua Churchill, looking uncharacteristically dodgy, powers N. Sean Glover's cardboard record player.

Churchill also tries out David Moises' Ego Shooter, but he's too fast for the camera.

Churchill also tries out David Moises' Ego Shooter, but he's too fast for the camera.

Mik Gaspay -- mikgaspay.com -- sports a This and That-like cardigan.

Painter/photographer Mik Gaspay -- mikgaspay.com -- rocks a This & That-like cardigan.

Taro Hattori and Scott Oliver discuss amongst themselves.

This & That artists Taro Hattori and Scott Oliver discuss amongst themselves.

Naomi Vanderkindren -- vanderkindren.com -- browses MM Yu's Book of Sleep.

Naomi Vanderkindren browses MM Yu's Book of Sleep. (Naomi's photographs can be viewed at vanderkindren.com.)

A visitor inspects Antony Hall's Hele shaw cell experiment.

A visitor inspects Antony Hall's Hele shaw cell experiment.

Yuen Fong Ling's posters in background.

Yuen Fong Ling's posters in background.

MJ-jacket sporting Vice leans in to hear Joshua Churchill's sound project.

MJ-jacket sporting Vice leans in to hear Joshua Churchill's sound project.

A viewer reads N. Sean Glover's instructions for the cardboard record player.

A viewer reads N. Sean Glover's instructions for the cardboard record player.

Back room. Painter Marci Washington and mixed media artist Justin Hurty, and others. marciwashington.com. justin.hurty.com

Back room. Painter Marci Washington and mixed media artist Justin Hurty, and others. marciwashington.com. justin.hurty.com

Main gallery.

Main gallery. This & That artist Chris Bell talks shop with Naomi.

Amanda Curreri's glitter line, a few hours later...

Amanda Curreri's glitter line, a few hours later...

My installation, Unlimited Promise, in the basement.

My installation, Unlimited Promise, in the basement. Produced during the Breathe Residency at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK.

Spillage.

Spillage.

Thanks to all the artists in This & That for being such interesting artists and exhibiting professionalism, generosity and flexibility. Big thanks to Chris Bell, Joshua Churchill, Taro Hattori, Ali Naschke-Messing, Anthony Ryan, and Scott Oliver (who helped tremendously by installing his multi-part work) for coming to the opening. Thanks also to Susan Chen, who dispatched patience and editorial advice.

Involved, Socially runs through September 6th. Gallery hours are Thurs-Sun 12-5pm. For more info visit basebasebase.com. To learn more about This & That International Mail Art Swap, visit mailartswap.christinewongyap.com.

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This & That Mail Art Swap

Welcome to This & That

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I’m pleased to announce a new curatorial project, This & That, an invitational mail art swap among international artists. Initiated in July 2009, This & That is a grassroots exchange by artists for artists.

32 artists/collaboratives are from 7 countries are participating:

Poklong Anading (Manila)
Chris Bell (Austrailia/San Francisco)
Simon Blackmore (Manchester)
Simon & Tom Bloor (Birmingham/London)
Jon Brumit (Chicago)
Michelle Carollo (NYC)
Mike Chavez-Dawson (Manchester)
Susan Chen (San Francisco)
Joshua Churchill (San Francisco)
Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson (Berlin/Manchester)
N. Sean Glover (Pittsburg, Penn., USA)
Mary Griffiths (Manchester)
Antony Hall (Manchester)
Taro Hattori (Oakland, Calif., USA)
Eric Hongisto (San Francisco)
Sarah Kabot (Ohio, USA)
Scot Kaplan (Ohio, USA)
Verity-Jane Keefe (London)
Yuen Fong Ling (Manchester)
Ivy Ma (Hong Kong)
David Moises (Vienna)
Ali Naschke-Messing (San Francisco)
Scott Oliver (Oakland, Calif., USA)
Susan O’Malley (San Francisco)
Laurence Payot (Liverpool)
Pest (Rebecca Chesney, Robina Llewellyn & Elaine Speight) (Preston, Lancs, UK)
Anthony Ryan (San Francisco)
David Sherry (Glasgow)
Daniel Staincliffe (Manchester)
Tattfoo Tan (NYC)
Jenifer K. Wofford (Oakland/Prague)
MM Yu (Manila)

Submissions will be exhibited in “Socially, Involved,” an exhibition at curated by Michelle Blade, at Triple Base Gallery, San Francisco, California, USA from August 7–September 6, 2009.

See the entries at exhibition, or at the opening reception — Friday, August 7, 7-10 pm — or check mailartswap.christinewongyap.com.

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