The Intersectional Self on the DailyServing

600px_Bowers.jpg
Andrea Bowers. Throwing Bricks (Johanna Saavedra), 2016; archival pigment print; 77 1/2 x 57 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York.

The Intersectional Self at the 8th Floor is an exceptional and thought-provoking experience. I highly recommend attending the exhibition to get an example of an inclusive feminist art show. Read my review from the DailyServing:

http://dailyserving.com/2017/03/the-intersectional-self-at-the-8th-floor/

Advertisements

An Exercize in the Strength of Imagination: The Endless and Mobile Beautiful Collapsible Labyrinth

the-endless-and-mobile-beautiful-collapsible-labyrinth-8450
Image by the Flux Factory

The Endless and Mobile Beautiful Collapsible Labyrinth is a Willy Wonka factory of delights, substituting artwork for candy. In the industrial belly of the Flux Factory, this exhibition produces an edgy,  and times, dark, sense of pure imagination. The curation completely revitalizes the conceptual possibilities of how an exhibition can be inventively manifested.

The walls of the gallery are constructed in twists and turns of a labyrinth. However, they also move. The viewers are invited to slide the walls side to side, open and close them like doors, or swing them back and forth on their axis. This violates a boundary of comfort for how viewers usually interact with art. However, many of the works have been specifically created to stretch and contort between two walls such as one made out of an accordion of vibrant strings stretching and slumping as its environment alternated. Some are actually meant to be crushed and broken by the moving walls like the line of fragile bird’s nests which hold delicate eggs growing human teeth.

The execution of the many and varying surfaces imaginatively makes a home for a variety of artistic media. Screens picturing crawling beehives may be peered upon through ragged tears in the wall, a clothing rack of flesh-like jackets may be worn to fit the fashion of the scene, and a solitary paint-soaked nude performance piece quietly carries on in a partially-hidden nook. All the while, the space itself perpetually morphs in the hands of the new exhibition designers—the audience.

The EMBCL is a funneling of inspiration from Alice in Wonderland and David Bowie’s Labyrinth into an art exhibition. It dismantles and challenges the preconceived notions of even the most experimental art displays. It turns the viewer into a participant or, perhaps even further, to a conductor of the space. This imaginative approach is an example of how to shatter the confines of traditional exhibition making and generate an original means to benefit art in its presentation and make the viewer a partner in the process of experiencing art.

Link to event and artists included in exhibition: http://www.fluxfactory.org/upcoming/labyrinth/

Here’s a photo of me modeling the flesh jacket Dressing Room by Kelly Johnston :IMG_0790

(kellyjohnston.weebly.com)

Arte Povera: A Wealth of Work from Marisa Merz

merz-teaser-image
Image from the Met Breuer

The major retrospective of Marisa Merz: The Sky is a Great Space, on view at the Met Breuer, shines a spotlight on a prominent female artist in modernist art history at a time when it is especially vital. Merz was known for being the only female member of the Arte Povera movement in Italy during the 1960s and 70s. She was also married to another successful artist participating in the same movement, Mario Merz. Arte Povera translates to “Poor Art.” Its focus was to reject the affluence of upper-class Italian society and focus on “poor,” industrial materials such as metals, fibers, and natural materials.

Merz’s works play on the idea of “feminine” materials versus hard, industrial materials, often associated with “man’s work.” For example, she uses the process of knitting, primarily assumed as a female domestic hobby, but works with copper wire, a material associated with a stereotypical male occupation. In her piece, Living Sculpture (1966), the massive, hanging sculpture made of aluminum is draped from the ceiling in billowy puffs and trailing tails, as if it were made of bundles of cotton and strands of fabric. This is an excellent example of her mastery between soft versus hard, domestic versus industrial, and feminine versus masculine.

Through her application of the principles of Arte Povera, Merz reclaims the hard, industrial materials for the feminine perspective. She demonstrates that domestic practices aren’t inherently feminine, and concepts of skills and labor are not to be solely associated with the masculine. She asserts that all materials and approaches are genderless. At a time when women’s rights hang once again in palpable precarity, Marisa Merz is a timely exhibition to bring to the public, reminding us of how strong female role models of the past persevered through their own male-dominated worlds.

Marisa Merz: The Sky is a Great Space
Met Breuer
January 24–May 7, 2017

I felt compelled to see this show, not only because it’s fascinating, but also because I wrote a preview for it a couple months ago before I even had the chance to view it. So now, I wrote a retrospective review. To see how the two compare visit the article in Artspeak:
http://www.artspeak.nyc/home/2017/1/25/marisa-merz

 

Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy —Stimulating an Appetite for Culture and Art

 

mocaImage from the Museum of Chinese in America Facebook

 

Upon entering into the exhibition, Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories of Chinese Food and Identity in America, and gazing upon the expansive twenty-foot table, I immediately thought, “Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party.” The exhibition addresses the theme of how food is an important thread woven into the complex development of identity and culture in immigration. The curator created an environment that reflected the concept, stepping away from the traditional white-cube model in order to facilitate a physical experience and conversation around a dinner table. 

This exhibition spans two galleries in the Museum of Chinese in America. The museum is focused on history and culture more so than art. However, the curator holds a background in art making and curating and was keen to keep art present in this project. Two ceramics artists were hired to create pieces that reflected the cuisine referenced at each place setting. The place settings themselves are spaced at precise intervals, each presenting a booklet where a plate may be. The booklets contain stores of a particular chef including their immigration experience, their approach to cooking, and how the two intertwine. These stories are aided by three screens projecting a video interview and slideshows of a chef giving a verbal account of their stories projects along the walls.
Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy bridges the intention between historical and artistic presentation to tell its story, or rather, many stories. Rooted in an artistic predecessor, the platform of presentation affords a participatory experience for the viewer. The ceramic pieces complement the culinary stories and demonstrate the intentional integration of art into a historical-based institution. Although conceptually similar to The Dinner Party, it stimulates more of an appetite that its inspiration through its tantalizing culinary imagery.

Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories of Chinese Food and Identity in America
Museum of Chinese in America
Thu, Oct 6, 2016Sun, Sep 10, 2017