Archive for April, 2009

Aernout Mik Touch, Rise and Fall

Thursday, April 30th, 2009


Aernout Mik

Touch, Rise and Fall

Plywood Dwelling (in collaboration with Marjoleine Boonstra)

Dutch artist Aernout Mik returns to The Project for his third solo exhibition—his second in the New York gallery. Concurrent with his solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Mik will exhibit two multi-channel video installations. Characterized by their elaborate architectural structures and surreal content, the works display a profound and unforgettable presence. Devoid of linear narrative structure, the people that populate Mik’s bizarre psycho-dramas either act out a series of mundane actions such as walking, talking, and sleeping, or display extreme emotional states; often there is no real interaction between the individuals—each acts independently of the other as if in a vacuum. The actions are scripted within the close confines of the set and recorded within the strict framing and movement of the camera; slow tracking shots supply context and distance while close-ups provide detail and a more intense relationship with the image. The absence of any plot development, climax, or conclusion frustrates comprehension and compels viewers to question their own patterns of social behavior and sense of reality.

First exhibited in Prospect.1, the New Orleans Biennial in 2008, Touch, Rise and Fall (2008) is a two-channel video installation that examines the operations happening in and around the airport security check point. A continous cycle of degrading and upgrading of goods and people. Images of individuals shopping are juxtaposed with meticulous luggage searches, while fatigued passengers in the waiting areas are contrasted with rowdy security staff on their break. A sense of helplessness and desperation, as well as the dwindling of authoritarian control, looms over this scene. Plywood Dwelling (2009), which was made in collaboration with Marjoleine Boonstra, is an eight-channel video installation that was filmed in the sleeping quarters of a small Chinese factory. Carefully monitoring the events happening in the corridor and adjacent bedrooms which are constructed out of unfinished plywood, the individuals intermingle without any privacy. Moving through empty corridors and crowded rooms, Mik and Boonstra contemplate how the human body subsists in its architectural environment. This project was realized with financial support from the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam.

The Project

Gary Webb

Thursday, April 30th, 2009


GARY WEBB

Bortolami is pleased to present the second exhibition at the gallery of British sculptor Gary Webb– another daring exploration of color, material and composition.

Over the past decade, Webb has created a visual vocabulary that rearticulates cues from the history of sculpture in a voice that is distinctly suggestive, humorous and surprising. Brave choices in palette enhance a sense of volume and scale that is exuberantly exaggerated, nearly human but somehow askew. The forms are at once organic or biomorphic as well as wildly synthetic.

References are obvious without being superfluous or overarching. These span the twentieth century and include Henry Moore, Nikki de Saint Phalle, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Artschwager, Franz West, Richard Deacon, and others. Brancusi is profoundly present, as his attention to form, texture, balance and the boundary between abstraction and representation are clearly up for consideration, with both reverence and parody. What Webb brings to the conversation between these historic figures is decidedly contemporary: the gathering of these disparate forms and gestures verges on a Post Modern sense of appropriation. This position is underscored by materials that recall familiar objects from popular or consumerist culture-the Plasticine limbs of stop-animation characters; the slick and seamless molds of contemporary automobiles; or the cast-plastic curves of the Golden Arches.

Webb employs a vast arsenal of goodies to execute these forms: Perspex, metal, fiberglass, plexi, bronze, wood, marble, mirror, crystal, brass and other materials, both natural and man-made.

Gary Webb was born in Hampshire in 1973. He currently lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include: Revolution Oil in 2008 at the Approach, London; Mirage of Loose Change, a survey of work that traveled from 2005 through 2007 to: Kunsthaus, Glarus; Le Consortium, Dijon; and the Centre d’Arte Contemporain, Geneva; British Art Show, 6, BALTIC The Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2005, and It’s All An Illusion. A Sculpture Project, Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, 2004. Group exhibitions include: The Moderns, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Torino, 2003, Biennale d’Art Contemporian de Lyon, 2003, and Casino 2001, SMAK, Ghent.

Bortolami Gallery

Andreas Schulenburg

Thursday, April 30th, 2009


MOGADISHNI proudly presents new works by the German-born, Copenhagen-based artist Andreas Schulenburg (B.1975).

Andreas Schulenburg´s art is a mixture of black humour, comedy and seriousness. The straightforward expression is a cover-up for a critical comment where capitalism and everyday life is challenged. In his art Schulenburg doesn’t shy away from being political incorrect or to discuss current society related topics as well as social structures.

A poetic sensibility is seen in Schulenburg’s felt pieces. But the soft mode of expression is often used as a cover-up for more serious points. A tension is often found in Schulenburg’s felt art between the soft material with its innocent associations and the content.

“Konsum und bildstörung” consists solely of intriguing and disturbing felt works. Words and images are connected in order to construct new meaning and the ongoing theme “consume” is symbolised by references to shopping bags and television screens. The cold and slim surface of plastic bags & screens are in his works of art made in natural, soft wool and the images in the works changes our perception of everyday life and makes one think about the way we live and the way we react on commercials. Bildstörung refers on one hand to the small changes Schulenburg has made in for instance the well know plastic bag lay-outs and in general the artist is trying to disturb our normal perception and understanding of our selves and the world we live in.

Schulenburgs new publication ”Alles ist verkehrt” is available in the gallery.

Mogadishni

Banks Violette

Thursday, April 30th, 2009


Banks Violette

Team is pleased to present an exhibition of new drawings, alongside one sculpture, by the New York-based Banks Violette. The exhibition will run from the 7th of May through the 20th of June 2009. Team Gallery is located at 83 Grand Street, between Wooster and Greene, on the ground floor.

Sculptor Banks Violette has always referred to his drawings as “film cells from the world’s slowest movie.” As with the cinema, meaning does not adhere solely to individual images but rather to their accretion over time. Viewed singly, these exquisitely rendered pictures seem miraculous transfigurations of realism, but when seen in groups they form a continuous landscape of memory, regret and melancholy.

The iconography on which Violette built this show includes the ace of spades, a grinning skull from a B-movie campaign, a famous Vietnam-era image of human suffering, a roadside death shrine, discarded party balloons, a theater spotlight, and the Crimson Ghost from the 1940s Republic film serial. When taken together, the drawings touch on themes of redemption and faith, death and transformation.

Central to the exhibition is a portrait of Bela Lugosi as Jesus Christ. Before coming to the U.S. to make his name as the cinema’s most famous vampire, the Hungarian actor made his living playing the lead in passion plays. Violette’s Dracula/Christ manages to take the perceived goodness and suffering of the Jesus figure and “confuse” them with the monstrous evil that Lugosi would so successfully embody as the Count. Lugosi’s well-documented drug addiction and late-period decline into poverty and obscurity are also clearly a part of what attracts Violette to this image. A seemingly benign religious portrait, in Violette’s hands, becomes a container for Hollywood’s lies, America’s morbid fascination with disposable celebrity, and our constant need to construct mythologies of total success and absolute failure.

Violette’s drawings are also, at their very core, terribly American works of art, a fact foregrounded here by an eight by four foot drawing of the U.S. flag rendered in black and white and mounted onto a slab of aluminum which is then simply propped against the wall. This monolith helps underline the physicality of Violette’s drawings – images struggle to the surface from a dense mass of graphite applied sometimes laboriously and vigorously; sometimes with a gentle and persuasive sensitivity.

The show’s lone sculpture is a motorcycle that has been cast entirely in resin and salt. The stark white presence will be paired with a drawing of a shrine left at a scene where someone had died in a motorcycle crash. The way in which the image has been rendered makes the drawing seem to appear and disappear as one looks at it. A very strange sense pervades that you are both looking at something specific and looking at nothing at all.

Violette’s drawings are always coming together and falling apart in the eye of the spectator. Soft edges, hardened into image through cognition, vanish into nothingness and slip from legibility. Violette’s work, sometimes crushingly monumental and brutally hard-edged, always so present, is actually, delicately, about the “after” of things. It is not the photo-realistic clarity of the drawings that gives them their power but rather the way in which they remain vague and unreal impressions with a ghost-like presence.

The commemorative and the evidentiary, posed as poetry and prose, have remained central in Violette’s work. The contradictory and the elusive are the continent of his travels. If one looks for the development in Violette’s work one finds a movement towards abstraction: from his earlier works, which sprang from specific social, usually criminal, phenomenon to his most recent investigations of staging and the spectacular as vessels of oblivion.

Violette has been exhibiting his work for the past ten years. This is his fifth solo show at Team. His work has been shown at, and collected by, major museums around the world, and he has been the subject of numerous articles. Recent solos include the Kunsthalle in Vienna; the Modern Art Museum in Forth Worth, Texas; the Kunsthalle in Bergen, Norway; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He’s also participated in group shows at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst; the Andy Warhol Museum; the Museum of Modern Art; the Frankfurter Kunstverein; the Palais de Tokyo; the Royal Academy; the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen; PS1; the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, among others.

Team Gallery

IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009


IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW!

I am an immigrant. My ancestors left England and Scotland to come to this land to create a better life for themselves and their families. America is a land of immigrants. Ironically, the people’s who this land was inhabited by before “Americans” were Native Americans North and South American descent. I bring up this history not to stir up controversy or animosity, but to simply point out the complexity of who is entitled to live here. Something that is not complex and should not be controversial is the right of all humans to be treated like humans. People coming to America for the same reasons our ancestors did deserve human rights. The United States was created by immigrants and now our country needs immigration reform. I collaborated on this project with my co-worker Ernesto Yerena who shot the photos and helped with the graphics. Zack De La Rocha and Producciones Cimarron provided input and support. All the proceeds from these posters go to creating materials for the May Day marches and donations for immigration reform organizations. Thanks for supporting human rights!

-Shepard

MESSAGE FROM ZACK DE LA ROCHA:

There is nothing criminal about a families search for dignified work and housing. There is nothing illegal about the need to alleviate hunger and find peace and security for people in their communities, or find adequate health care. In my mind these are rights that are universal, transnational, and non negotiable. Displaced by corporate globalization and war, the more than 12 million undocumented workers within the U.S. in search of those rights are not only denied the fruits of their labor, but are beaten away from the tree of enormous wealth and services that their sweat has watered for generations.

No amount of hate filled rhetoric, unlawful racist detentions, or tear gas can mask these essential truths that were made so clear by the millions workers themselves. People whose courage in the face of repression, and the potential loss of jobs , continue to pour out from the shadows and into the streets. Not only to heroically defend their rights and dignity, but have also revitalized the historical relevance of May Day, in which migrant workers of years past fought and died for the rights of all workers as they helped established the eight hour work day.

Since the movement lead by the undocumented has re-emerged, the inaction and silence from congress has become deafening. Though the neo-fascist seinsbrenner bill was for the most part defeated, the inability of congress to draft a new more humane and sensible legislative solution has left an extremely repressive and violent vacuum. Most notably the arrogant abuse of power exemplified by Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputized vigilantes. His shame full application of the Homeland Security Departments ill conceived 287g agreements have forced entire communities of workers in Maricopa county to live in constant states fear and terror.

This series of prints designed by Shepard Fairey and Ernesto Yerena originated from photographs taken during the historic 2006 may day march and to me reflect some of that determination and dignity that is driving this most important assertion of workers rights in recent history. I want to thank both of them for they’re work thoughout the years. I also want to thank Marco Amador from Produciones Cimarron for his work and consultation on the project and for his work along side the communities themselves.

¡La Lucha Sigue! Hopefully see you in the streets.

-Zack de la Rocha

Obey Giant