Editor's Picks, ART HAPS, "Drawer", Deli Gallery, curated by Flat File, September 6th, 2017
"19 May 2015: The Earth Now Has A Flag For When We Reach Mars.", 2017
Sense: Dimensions of Radical Ecology
A day of eco-performance, lectures, workshops, and installations at La Plaza Cultural, urban amphitheater and permaculture garden in Alphabet City founded by Buckminster Fuller and Gordon Matta-Clark.
Saturday, 9/24, noon-10pm
La Plaza Cultural Community Garden
137 Avenue C, NYC
Staged reading of SENSE: 6–7pm
SENSE, a play written and directed by Chloé Rossetti, with costumes by Ala Dehghan, is an eco-performance about a permacultural intentional community, based in a homestead in Brooklyn, that receives and adapts to an invading family of primal scream therapists. It is also a play about how to live in the Anthropocene, where civilization as-we-know-it must change-or-die as the old way collapses. As always, the flavor is funnydark/darkfunny.
SENSE weaves Rossetti’s training as an artist, writer, performance artist, somatic workshop facilitator, permaculture designer and teacher, with Dehghan’s collage and assemblage environments to create a world in which we can critically and aesthetically examine the potential and necessity of living a life of regeneration and return.
SENSE is part of the 5th annual LUNGS (Loisaida Gardens Festival,) a large-scale civic event activating all of the community gardens throughout the Lower East Side.
12–1Wellness workshops w/Emerita Torres
1–4 PMPermaculture tours with Ross Martin, Executive Director of La Plaza Cultural
Workshop with Ross Schaner
4–5 PMLive performance: "BRIDE" by Theresa Byrnes
5–6 PMPanel Discussion: Art, Activism, Ecology
with Stewart Losee, Felicia Young, Chloe Rossetti* Anna Fitzgerald *Chloe Rossetti will be discussing the Radical Nourishment Manifesto
6–7 PM SENSE: A play, by Chloe Rossetti, with costumes by Ala Dehghan
7–9:30 PMDinner and performances by: Elisa Ghs of the Go Push Pops, Susannah Simpson, Jamie Buxton, Joro Boro, Athena LLewellyn & more / Installations by: Ross Schaner, Annie Doran, Cadillac Project
Founded in 1976, by Gordon Matta-Clark and Buckminster Fuller, along with local activists, La Plaza Cultural Community Garden is a unique, multi-space green space: an urban amphitheater/perfomance venue, permaculture site, and wilderness preserve.
Barracuda, a slick stick of a fish competing against sharks, dolphins, and porpoises larger than itself in the hot waters of the Caribbean.
Curated by Nicholas Cueva and featuring the work of
Andrew Ross Jesse Greenberg David Andrew Tasman
Elizabeth Tuburgen Ala Dehghan Clare Torina
Winslow Smith MacGregor Harp Elisa Soliven
Hermes Payrhuber Nick Farhi Jenna Rosenberg
Robin Kang Jessica Langley Zachary Seeger
Bob Recine Alex Sewell Brian Hubble David Wilson
Elias Necol Melad Zorowar Sidhu Maddie Reyna
Eric Aschcraft James Powers Patricia Brace
Opening reception: September 9th, 2016 - 6-9pm
" Neumann Leather Factory "
Open by appointment until mid October.
300 Observer Hwy, 2nd Floor, Hoboken, NJ 07030-2459, United States
* Ran Dian Magazine, on contemporary art in China and beyond, www.randian-online.com
Curated by Drea Cofield
Friday Opening, July 22nd, 6-9pm
1822 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11233
Bomb Pop-Up! is a three day three story art & music show curated with the intention of bringing front-line visual artists and musicians and their communities together in an exuberant & temporary space. The show has many parts including a group show in the main gallery, 14 project spaces, 2 art performances, 4 music performances, & one DJ. Participating artists also contributed “recipes” for a zine in spirit of the domestic nature of the building: The Bomb Pop! Recipe Book.
The theme of the show is inspired by the iconic American summer popsicle, the Bomb Pop®. It's all about LAYERS & MELTING. Layers of flavor, of color, of meaning, of materials, history, politics, and seasons. They're all melting together in our mouths, the sun, our music & art. The patriotic treat, designed to both seduce children and represent a symbol of war, is a not-so-innocent way to image this moment in our culture. It’s an election year. It’s the dog days of summer. This is America. There are distant wars, terror attacks, and drones, #makeamericawhateveragain, Trump/Drumf, gas-lighting everywhere, shootings on the reg, #Blacklivesmatter is still so necessary, the UK just left the EU, & kids are literally falling off cliffs trying to "Catch 'Em All!"; but we are still trying to make a good life, beautiful things, & spread love. Artists & musicians use layering in processes & concepts to varying aesthetic result, but ultimately have the same goal of communicating ideas that are altogether complex, succinct, aware of their roots, & alive.
Group Show Participating Artists:
Manal Abu-Shaheen, Williamson Brasfield, Caroline Chandler, Courntey Childress, Gaby Collins-Fernandez, Emily Davidson, Ala Dehghan, Florencia Escudero & Karen Tepaz, Mariana Garibay Raeke, Kati Gegenheimer, Mark Thomas Gibson, Ivy Haldeman, Matthew Hansel, Heidi Howard, Tommy Kha, Hein Koh, Gwendolyn Kurtz, Doron Langberg, Michael Marcelle, Lance Marchel, Steven Mayer, Dustin Metz, Alan Prazniak, Carlos Enrique Martinez Ramos, Rachel Schmidhofer, Thomas Shaheen
Project Space Artists:
Gaby Collin-Fernandez, Florencia Escudero & Karen Tepaz, Steven Mayer & Alan Prazniak, Ala Dehghan, Ivy Haldeman, Gwendolyn Kurtz, Kati Gegenheimer & Mark Gibson, Katie Vida, Tommy Kha, Courtney Childress, Rachel Schmidhofer, Doron Langberg.
Art Performances by:
Julie Rooney & Rebecca Hadley, Katie Vida.
Musical performances by:
Feral Foster, Ross Gallagher, Joanna Sternberg, Jonah Parzen-Johnson, & DJ Available For Parties
NEWS AND WEATHER
Curated by Gordon Hall and Brian Droitcour
Vox Populi Gallery
July 1 - July 31, 2016
Black Quantum Futurism (Philadelphia), Chenlin Cai (Philadelphia), Leo Castaneda (Miami/NY), Matt Coombs (Philadelphia), Ala Dehghan (NY), Delaney DeMott (Chicago), Katie Duffy (Baltimore), Mark Joshua Epstein (NY), Susan Fang (NY), Naomieh Jovin (Philadelphia), Sharon Madanes (NY), Julie Malen (Philadelphia), Marcella Marsella (Philadelphia), Megan McManus (Philadelphia), Mary Molony (Baltimore), Catherine Mulligan (Philadelphia), Heidi Norton (New York), Dana Oldfather (Cleveland), Anne Pagana (Philadelphia), Eunjung Park (Baltimore), Tim Quinn (Wynnewood, PA), Felix Quintana (Los Angeles), Alex Schechter (Jackson, WY), Meredith Sellers (Philadelphia), Qiaoyi Shi (New York), Ryann Slauson (Bronx, NY), Meg Stein (Durham, NC), Loring Taoka (Arkansas), Dave Tavacol (Philadelphia).
Gordon Hall is an artist based in New York. Hall has exhibited and performed at SculptureCenter, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Whitney Museum of American Art, Movement Research, EMPAC, Temple Contemporary, Night Club in Chicago, Kent Fine Art, Foxy Production, The Hessel Museum at Bard College, White Columns, and at Chapter NY, among others. Hall has also organized lecture and performance programs at MoMA PS1, Recess, The Shandaken Project, and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, producing a series of lectures and seminars in conjunction with the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Hall holds an MFA and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hall is currently visiting faculty in the department of Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University and part time faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Brian Droitcour is an associate editor at Art in America. His writing has appeared in Art in America, Parkett, Artforum,and Spike, among other periodicals, and he has contributed essays to books published by SculptureCenter and Cornerhouse. He edited The Animated Reader: Poetry of Surround Audience, a poetry anthology accompanying the New Museum’s 2015 Triennial. Curatorial projects include “It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information,” co-organized with Zanna Gilbert at Franklin Street Projects in Stamford, CT, in 2014, and Klaus_eBooks, a series of artists’ digital publications that culminated in “Thanks to Apple, Amazon, and the Mall,” a group exhibition at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, the series’ publisher, in 2015.
" PURPULE MAGAZINE " PURPLE FR. / PURPLE DIARY June 29, 2016
Memory Room at Outpost Gallery
Memory Room, Catalog, Curated by Andrew Ross Outpost Gallery, June 10-24, 2016
Memory Room curated by Andrew Ross
Ala Dehghan, Brandon Ndife, Don Edler, Devin Kenny, Victoria Campbell, Micaela Carolan, Katie Loselle, Kyla Chevrier, Kayode Ojo, Slinko, Milo Carney, and Pamela Council
On view June 10th to 24th, Wednesday through Sunday 12pm – 6pm
Opening reception Friday, June 10th, 6 – 9pm
Outpost presents the Spring installment of SeeThru program, Memory Room, a group exhibition curated by artist Andrew Ross, in which the gallery becomes territory populated by both obstructions and seductions. As you progress through the space, objects are obscured, revealed and then obscured again by the structure of the exhibit. Navigation yields unfamiliar relationships among commonplace objects. Redolent with memories, the familiar components of each work are altered by misuse creating strange, humorous, or in your face scenarios and the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts.
Memory Room is on view at Outpost Gallery, 1665 Norman Street in Ridgewood (Halsey stop on the L train) from June 10-24, Wednesday through Sunday, 1-6pm, or by appointment. Opening reception Friday, June 10, 6-9pm.
Curatorial Statement by Andrew Ross
Narratives can aid personal histories in superseding the historical establishment. Utilizing cultural signifiers associated with our own perceived and imagined histories, artists create blurred contexts. Attempts to obliterate the past by overlapping with present are important to the creation of new ideals based on the experiences of minds molded by diaspora and globalization. If we were to think of contexts as physical provinces the works would be on the border with one foot in each state. And perhaps for some we would have to build a time machine, or employ a quadruped, or even an octopus. We experience works like these with a similarly hybrid point of view; not just as artworks, but subversions of an infinite and unpredictable group of plausible encounters. The plausibility of course requires some familiarity with the cultural signifiers used, creating divisions between spectators and those who identify with the work, or those that have experienced similar narratives. This is not to say that some won’t understand the work, but maybe to suggest that the encounter is as large a part of interpretation as representation.
Curator Andrew Ross is a sculptor, image-maker and occasional performer, with a vested interest in the intersection of aesthetics, politics and storytelling. He believes that ideals are best expressed obliquely, through things rather than through language; attributing much of his work to an exploration of conflicted motives and intentions communicated by an inventive and idiosyncratic production process.
Ross holds a BFA from the Cooper Union and has been a resident of Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, LMCC’s Swing Space, Atelier Mondial, and Open Sessions at The Drawing Center. His work has exhibited at institutions including The Drawing Center, Artists Space Books and Talks, The James Gallery at CUNY Center for the Humanities, BHQFU, SIGNAL, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.
opening reception May 13th, 2016 6-9pm
17 Essex Street
On view through May 22nd
Gallery hours 11-7pm
Jake Borndal, Ala Dehghan, Susannah Liguori, Andrea McGinty, Katelynn Mills, Leyna Rowan, and Emma Strebel.
Cabinets of Curiosities were small, private rooms in early modern European homes that displayed collections of exoticized, pseudoscientific objects, fossils, (both real and fabricated) specimens, and artworks. These cabinets served as instruments for conveying one's intellectual control over the world by exhibiting their own preservation and collection of its objects. Often maximalist in their display—with objects covering the walls and ceilings—these modern world microcosms became subjects of both wonder and genuine scientific, geological, and ethnographic study. These cabinets were precursors to Western museums and exhibition making.
Curiosities takes an interest in the memory and ontology of objects, engaging in the process of collecting while putting into question its anthropocentric traditions. The included artists deploy methodologies that both utilize and critique practices of preserving, fabricating, and displaying objects of curiosity. The displayed art-objects experiment with the ways in which institutions collect, people collect, and objects collect. Out of practices such as fossilizing one’s own body or using films to collect dust and humidity from the air emerge the sculptural forms that crowd the small, second story room.
Chaeri Lee, Grace Gurley Linderholm, Dillon Petito, Hannah Strauss, and Valentina Van de Weghe.
Fruit of the Forest
Artist Interviews: Ala Dehghan, March 2016, by Federica Tattoli
Ala Dehghan, Post-war Silhouettes, installation view at The Armory Show 2016.
** Art F City
“We Went to The Armory Show: How To Spend It.” -March 4, 2016.
by Michael Anthony Farley and Molly Rhinestones.
"THRU THE RABBIT HOLE"
Sideshow Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. January 9th March20th, 2016.
by Matteo Bergamini, 01/17/2016.
by Elena Bordignon. 12/21/2015
ALA DEHGHAN -“Jump-Cut to Eyeline Match: Forgetting the Sound of Her Voice."
by Ginevra Bria. 12/18/2015 -Ala Dehghan. Mappe mnemoniche a Milano
by Andrea Lacarpia. 12/09/2015
-Ala Dehghan alla Galleria Otto Zoo . recensione di Andrea Lacarpia
Otto Zoo Gallery is pleased to announce “Jump-Cut to Eyeline-Match: Forgetting the Sound of Her Voice”, a solo exhibition of recent work by Ala Dehghan. Composed from the media, detritus, and organic matter of Brooklyn, Tehran, and many places in between, Dehghan’s collages exhibit an impetus to dissect—physically, theoretically, and psychologically—a select collection of extant materials in order to provide a channel through which the sociopolitical, cultural, and mimetic forces that produced them may be projected outward through their own destruction, reconstruction, and reconfiguration. As ephemeral as they are translucent, these works present an elusive complexity as the striations of paint, fabric, keepsakes, collected and found objects, and clippings from mass-produced paper media coalesce into collages and assemblages that, taken individually or as a series, are most succinctly described as a multidimensional gestalt.
Brimming with allegories of vision, violent disjunctures, and dexterous conflations of high fashion icons with militant combatants, “Jump-Cut to Eyeline-Match: Forgetting the Sound of Her Voice” presents the artist’s archive of found and inherited materials, anatomized and densely layered to manifest an aesthetic and philosophical meditation on loss and transformation. Each of her works necessitates destruction, as the sundry elements are extracted, transposed, or transfigured from their original state in order that they may take on new or additional meanings through their final rendering as montage. Formally, these works are not confined to the two dimensional space of the gallery walls; while they are primarily flat works, many are meant to be seen from multiple angles and implicate their setting through the strategic placement of acetate, mesh, and other transparent materials. Compiling inkjet prints, newspaper clippings, and myriad other images that she fastidiously paints, cuts, and otherwise reworks, Dehghan is unrestricted yet meticulous in the sourcing of her media. Her works are thoroughly historicized yet remarkably open-ended, and while one may discern a skein of significations from her carefully devised montages, Dehghan’s work incisively provides us with an array of continually unfolding fragments of thoughts, rather than conclusions. –Kathleen B. Langiahr
Ala Dehghan was born in Tehran in 1982. Other recent solo exhibitions include The Upside-down Scenery at Kalfayan Galleries in Athens, and I can explain everything at Thomas Erben Gallery in New York. She has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and The Delfina Foundation. She received her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale University in 2013. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
Kathleen B. Langiahr is a researcher and independent curator based in Brooklyn. She was awarded an MA in Art History from Columbia University in 2014.
Interview “The Landscape Changes 30 Times.", October 2015, by Pantea Bahrami
The Landscape Changes 30 Times.
Porsesh: The Institute of Political-Economic Studies/Anahita Gallery
Friday October 2nd, 2015
October 2nd to 21st, 2015
Beverly Acha, Doug Ashford, Colleen Asper, Janna Avner, Julia Bland, James Brittingham, Drea Cofield, Gaby Collins Fernandez, Ala Dehghan, Sara Dehghan, Carrie Dickason, Basia Drozdzik, Jessie Edelman, Hadi Fallahpisheh, Mark Gibson, Michelle Grabner, Jennyfer Haddad, Meena Hasan, David Humphrey and Jennifer Coates, Byron Kim, Eric Mack, Tavi Meraud, Ted Mineo, Sabeen Omar, Yupin Pramotepipop, Ronny Quevedo, Kristin Richards, Kenny Rivero, Chloe Rossetti, Eric Saudi, Alex Sewell, Cal Siegel, Mark Starling, Jeffrey Stuker, Brandi Twilley.
Curated by Ala Dehghan / Statement by Mazyar Eslami
What is the idea of “Group "Exhibition”? Is It a collection of works sharing commonalities, in which Lebanese, American, Iranian and others’ paintings which would, otherwise, have been scattered like pieces of clouds separate on the blue sky, have been brought together in an integrated whole? Is the “Group Exhibition” an orchestration of works, which suggests a novel conception of harmony, by allowing each work to play its own occasionally discordant tune? Fixing these scattered paintings, under the same ceiling, on the same eye-line of the same walls, under the glow of lights with a fixed voltage, beside the hum of the same soundtrack, waiting for eyes that watch these nomadic paintings, one after another, and strain to uncover narratives that emerge from this vagabond procession. Like an asylum that houses the dispossessed and the outsider, under the same roof, for a couple of nights, only to prolog their vagabondage: without the space or even the aspiration that they should eventually put down roots together, and no longer be lonely and vagabond? The potentialities of group exhibition owe a lot to the ways it reassembles an asylum: a collection of paintings as temporary and contingent, from a number of painters who would otherwise to allow them to languish in isolation.
But a painting always remains isolated if it truly is a painting. Isolated, not like Jonah in the belly of fish - constantly praying for deliverance and salvation. Isolation as a kind of destiny that takes shape the on canvas of the soul. A nearly living body, which emerges through a performance of figures and colors. A painting is always isolated - in the painter’s attic or basement, in a pile of junk, or hanging beside broken and dusty furniture on the wall of a relative’s house, on hotel walls to welcome guests, in restaurants, beside a small table, so impersonal it might seat a guests in a short evening. Whether its final resting place is a museum wall, or a carefully ordered rack in a storage facility. No matter the form of a painting’s isolation it does not intend to view itself in the way others do. An impenetrable piece of warp in the weft of the living space that it occupies: a source of suspicion to the amateur and expert alike. Unable to be anywhere in particular if a painting is truly a painting, then no matter how hard it tries, it is always somewhere other than where it should be. Somewhere between here and there; no one can step into its solitude. In the spirit of good will, the group exhibition, to socialize the painting, to break down the isolation of multitude of isolated lonely paintings, and allow the audience to embrace it, and through the ornament of frame and light, allow it take its place in the festival of the gallery-goers’ eyes and words. Making it turn around the axis of life. But painting is never more than a small satellite turning around the axis of isolation and loneliness. Just beyond the event-horizon of life’s black hole, like a dissonant note, which threatens to distort a harmonious cord before the orchestra even begins to play. But if a painting.. Mazyar Eslami
“The Landscape Changes 30 Times.” was planned in consideration of Painting as a living tradition: one in which the artists are always-already in conversation with the habits of representation, which “painting as such” has acculturated, even as their practices encompass other media in the group show (to text, video, drawing and writing). The exhibition changes daily, in reflection of the contributing artists’ own fluid subjectivities, applying pressure to the boundaries between artistic practices. Works from a variety of mediums all reflect painting’s ontological engagement with “surface” in relation to public presentation. The works in the group exhibition are unframed, mostly on paper (a departure from the standard commercial presentation of art works) and small they often suggest handwriting and signatures. Everything that is part of a subject urges towards “painting’s” surface. The indexical quality of signs in these works, and painting more generally, suggest the immediate presence of the creator, and a physical bond between the artist and the medium. The subjectivity of the “painting” may appear more universal, but even as work suggests the artist’s own being and life, the installation of Group Exhibition still points to the interdependency of their subjectivity and the external conditions. Group Exhibition, in this context, forms a collective subject with its own life, independent of the individual artists. It has the ability to produce a sense of subjectivity: a collectivized-self, acting and living as an agent who’s knowing and thinking can effect change.
CAN A PAINTING THINK?
James Brittingham & Ala Dehghan
September 19th & 20th, 2015
opening: Saturday 19th,
The Gowanus Studio Space
166 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
I awoke from The Collage at the age of forty-five, calm and sane, and in reasonably good collage except for a weakened liver and the collage of borrowed flesh common to all who collage. Collages were as traumatic as they were common throughout the war, and Mr. Collage had documented them extensively. Most collages do not remember the delirium in detail. He is a collage expert and his car-bomb archives are presented in My Collage is Thinner than a Hair: Collages, 1996-2004 (2004.) I have no precise collage of writing the notes which have been published under the title Collaged Collage. This is a collection of 100 photographs taken by both amateurs and collages of the collage bomb engines. The title was suggested by Collage Kerouac.
curated by Leila Pourtavaf and Azar Mahmoudian
Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto, Mississauga
May 25 to July 27, 2014. The opening reception is on Sunday, May 25 from 3 to 6pm.
In photography, the term “incident light” refers to both the source emitting the direct light which illuminates a subject, as well as secondary sources which redirect light onto it to reveal unseen details. Incident Light features a group of Middle Eastern and South Asian artists whose works focus on traces of gender and sexuality within various archives from the region. The exhibit questions the authority that nationalist historiographies hold in relation to their subjects through a repositioning of the cultural artifacts from various historical depositories. Building new stories from fragmented knowledge, the exhibition harnesses generative forces that anticipate, foresee and fantasize about what was and could have been. - Leila Pourtavaf
click here for the full exhibition brochure.
"How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare"
Curated by Raúl Zamudio
May 15-July 9, 2014
Artists: Damali Abrams, Isaac Aden, Stefano Cagol, Gianluca Capozzi, Gordon Cheung, Ala Dehghan, Patricia Dominguez, Rainer Ganahl, Pablo Helguera, Lazaro Juan, Elan Jurado, Dominika Ksel, JT Leroy, Ferran Martin, Alex Nuñez, Joe Politt, Vidishi Saina, Edgar Serrano, Roi Vaara.
How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare is a group exhibition whose title cites Joseph Beuys’ watershed 1965 performance by the same name. Like Beuys’ performance in which he “explained” artworks to a dead hare in the gallery where he enacted his piece, the exhibition presents works that question the art object’s ontology and the politics of spectatorship via diverse media including photography, video, painting, sculpture, work-on-paper, installation, performance, and sound and olfactory works.
Dominika Ksel’s interactive Untitled (2012), for example, manifests in the interiority of the spectator. Similar to Lygia Clark’s Sensorial Mask (1967), which was worn over the spectator's head and blocked external perception in order to trigger self-awareness and reflection, Ksel’s piece is a kind of rave of the mind; for its optical and audio ecstasy of light and sound within the cranium proceeds from the inside to the outside rather than the other way around. Through this radical reconfiguration of art and its consumption, of object and subject, Ksel's work shares an affinity with what Antonin Artaud stated about his Theatre of Cruelty: “it is through the skin that metaphysics must be made to re-enter our minds.
Varna | Bulgaria 2014
International Contemporary Art Festival
25 april - 04 may 2014
Boris Georgiev City Art Gallery - 1 luben karavelov st
Curator: Raul Zamudio
Gordon Cheung, Ala Dehghan, Patrick Hamilton, Elan Jurado, Joaquin Segura, Despo Magoni, Emma Mccagg, Ferran Martin, Torild Stray, Sari Tervaniemi, Ruben Verdu, Koh Sang Woo.
** The American Reader
-TEMPLUM #2: I Have Never Been to Heaven/ Glacier/ Dugite/ Poltergeist
by Chloé Rossetti, April 2014.
I Have Never Been to Heaven (January 18th through Feb 8th 2014)
Kremer Pigments presents I Have Never Been to Heaven an exhibition that brings together an eclectic group of artists working in video, sculpture and painting. This collaboration uses the narrative from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's “Tale of a Shipwrecked Sailor” as a starting point. For some artists in the show this means reflecting on the transformative process that happens when objects are at sea, or the psychological state when faced with the possibility of death.
The installations and works by Ala Dehghan and Florencia Escudero link the historical and fictional narrative of the Shipwrecked Sailor with the memory of the basements affected by Hurricane Sandy in Chelsea. By exploring themes of death, seasickness, and the sailor's questionable retelling of the ordeal, they transform the space with texts, light, wooden shipping crates, metal sculptures, and a large work of fabric and netting into an uncanny environment that blurs the viewer’s perception of what is real and illusory.
It A Boy is a video piece by Alison Wilder and Monroe Street. The notion of fluidity and movement is addressed through the video’s editing style. The moving images act as torn sheets of paper soaking into each other. Bodies, fabric and music intertwine. Everything is in constant flux between male/female and landscape/figure. Even though the formats and ways of working vary there is a shared aesthetic character given by the acceptance of transience and imperfection.
Through his installation, Alejandro investigates the serendipity of death and human biology, reflecting on the artist’s own mortality and the humanity we share with the “shipwreck sailor” in Garcia Marquez’ story. He uses sculptural forms that remind us of tombstones, epitaphs of unnamed deaths, flowers and frozen pieces slowly melting and transitioning into a new state of form. Highlighted by the dim, eerie light of the room, it only adds to the seemingly magical, surreal space created for the exhibit completely free of natural sunlight.
I Have Never Been to Heaven is a two part show. Part One features Ala Dehghan, Alejandro Epifanio, Florencia Escudero and a video by Alison Wilder and Monroe Street. This Opens January 18th. Part Two will exhibit the sculpture and installations of George Heintz and Victoria Duffee. This opens Febuary 1st.
Ala Dehghan “My mother, my sister and I”, 2013. found image with peepholes, printed on paper and mounted on a black wooden pedestal, Laptop installed inside the pedestal, Video: a 2 minutes loop(Beirut, Lebanon).
Queens Museum of Art
Curated by Raúl Zamudio
On view: December 14, 2013 – January 18, 2014
December 14, 2013
4–5pm: Slide slam with participating artists (Queens Museum theater)
5–7pm: Opening reception (Partnership Gallery)
January 11, 2014
Public program TBA
January 18, 2014
4–7pm: Curator walk-through, artists’ talk, and closing reception
The exhibition’s title dovetails on the Surrealist André Breton’s famous remark upon encountering Frida Kahlo’s art: “a ribbon around a bomb.” His poetic description of Kahlo’s painting was based on its differentiation from her male Mexican artistic contemporaries, for almost half her oeuvre consists of self-portraiture where social and political questions were ciphered through her protean identity and personal history. Kahlo’s sense of self was so complicated and layered that it unquestionably shaped her artistic self-fashioning that included, among other characters, a male deer, a mother, a baby, androgynous woman, Parvati the Hindu Goddess, an indigenous bride, identical twins, and an invalid.
Breton’s descriptive will be used as curatorial foil in presenting works by South Asian women that metaphorically depict the self in personal, social or cultural guises that will be as attractive, unassuming, and pristine as a beautiful ribbon. Yet untying that ribbon triggers an explosion of subject matter that addresses contemporary conditions of globalization manifesting in politics, immigration, gender equality, sexuality, religion and so forth. Exhibited artworks include painting, work-on-paper, sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance. A publication will accompany the exhibition with reproductions of artists’ works, their bios and statements, and an essay by the curator.
PAINTINGWALL (Janus at 8:16)
January 2nd –February 2nd, 2014
Curated by Ala Dehghan
Beverly Acha, Julia Bland, Will Brasfield, Ali Chitsaz, Gaby Collins Fernandez, Lauren Comito, Ala Dehghan, Sara Dehghan, Victoria Duffee, Jessie Edelman, Maria Elvira Dieppa, Eric Mack, Florencia Escudero, Kati Gegenheimer, Jennyfer Haddad, Omid Hallaj, Meena Hasan, George Heintz, Taha Heydari, Maryam Hosseini, Jon Peck, Haley Josephs, Doron Langberg, Austin Lee, Carlos Martinez, Wayde McIntosh, Romina Meric, Katrina Mortorff, Kristin Richards, Amy Rinaldi, Kenny Rivero, Chloé Rossetti, Randi Shandroski, Vahid Sharifian, Cal Siegel, John Szlasa, Shabahang Tayyari, Emmy Thelander, Courtney Tramposh, David V Whelan.
Heralding the New Year is “PAINTINGWALL (Janus at 8:16),” a group show of paintings on a purpose-built central wooden wall, eight by sixteen feet, named, like the month of January, after the two-faced Roman god Janus. Each artist has contributed an even number of pieces—either two or four—to the wall, one or two on each side, back-to-back like those fabled godheads. To travel on foot around this wall is to embody Janus: As one walks around the wall, seeing first one side and then the other, one must use one’s figurative “second head,” looking back into memory, to recall the first works seen as the second ones come into view.
Janus, Roman god of beginnings, doors, gates, passages, transitions, endings, and time, was evoked at the beginning of most Roman ceremonies, regardless of the main deity to be honored. How fitting, then, to evoke Janus’ myth at the beginning of this year, during his namesake month, at the site of a wall, connoting Ianus geminus. The shrine, when closed during times of peace, formed a walled enclosure with gates at each end. Rarely, however, were the gates closed during the reign of the Roman Empire. Equally, the effect of this wall of paintings, though tranquil, is confrontational: to construct such a wall is to deny the existing white cube of the gallery space as structural support for the creative process.
Heightening this effect, the walls of the gallery itself are empty, numbered only with their dimensions in small black lettering on the center of each. Further, the wall of paintings is angled as such that the works cannot be seen through the gallery’s windows from outside, denying voyeurism. Indeed, the entire relationship between viewer and work is inverted; the paintings, crowded together in the center of the space, look back at the space, toward the white cube as well as the viewer, who is silhouetted against the empty walls.
Adding to this come-together effect is the lack of wall text for each work; though the works are from studios around the world (as near as Brooklyn and as far as Iran), in media as diverse as linen, yarn, bleach, oil, pastel, burnt canvas, glue, cement, sawdust, and clocks (moving anti-clockwise), and featuring imagery from angry Persian birds to pixels, roses to bees, snowflakes to sex, they gather anonymously; a faceless crowd of resistance.
The “PAINTINGWALL,” then, becomes its own entity, a roaming group show that points out the white cube as a site itself, a now-ubiquitous artworld structure initially created to negate site. As the wall could travel, moving in and out of different contexts, it no longer strictly needs the gallery space in order to function. “PAINTINGWALL” stands up for itself.
Chloé Rossetti is a New York-based artist, writer and filmmaker, a regular contributor to Artforum.com and The Brooklyn Rail.