CLOSING CEREMONY | KATJA LOHER & TANSY KASCHAK
Contemporary Istanbul took place a few weeks ago. Nilbar Gures was exhibited there at the stand of the New York C24 gallery.
Nilbar Güres is a Turkish artist, born in 1977 in Istanbul. She first studied art in Istanbul then in Vienna where she passed an MA at the Academy of Fine Arts. She moved to New York Ciy in 2011. Today, she lives between Vienna and Istanbul.
She questions the construction of gender in patriarchal cultures in a multidisciplinary work : videos, photographies, installations, collages... She uses her own experience to show what is hidden, to point out the contradictions of rigid traditions.Read More
September 23, 2018
I first “met” Regina through Facebook. Her posts of her paintings kept popping up in my feed and grabbing my attention and I was so happy to finally meet her in person last year. Her work sits in that really lovely space between abstraction and representation where at first glance it can appear one or the other, and you’re left spending time visually navigating the space, enjoying each brushstroke for just that, in addition to how it has created this alternate world for you to get lost in. Really beautiful, I hope you enjoy learning more about her and her work as much as I have!
I believe I had read somewhere that at some point in your early career you had sold work on the sidewalks of NYC, is that true? What did you learn from that experience or do you have a great story to share? Do you remember your first art sale? Can you share a little about that experience?
I like to remember that experience metaphorically as an important step in saying to the Universe that I wanted my paintings to be out there and to be seen. The best part about it was meeting other artists on the street and talking and getting to know them throughout the long day. It was a lot of work. I was a temp agent 9-5, Monday through Friday, and I’d go out one day a weekend with this huge heavy wooden folding screen that I built, along with all the paintings, all wrapped in a big drop cloth and tied with string. I attached some wheels to the bottom and would roll this thing down into the subway from Brooklyn to Prince and West Broadway. Sometimes I made a sale but overall, I don’t think I made any money doing it. The best experience was when I met an art teacher from the Midwest who had been sent by her school to check out the art in NYC and report back. She’d been given a little cash to bring some small things back with her and she bought a 15 x 15-inch painting for $65. We talked for a while about how important art is in the school system, and it was pretty uplifting.
Did you grow up in an artistic family? What was or has been your experience with support from your family on your choice and career as an artist?
I grew up in a mostly artistic family. My mother and sister are both writers and my other sibling, my brother, is a musician. My father is a chemist, but he’s pretty creative and loves art. I’m grateful to have grown up with support. When I was five, my parents were still starting their careers and didn’t have much money but they could see how much I loved art, so my Mom would drive me down to the YMCA on Saturday mornings for my first drawing class. I still vividly remember learning about perspective and being fascinated when my teacher drew train tracks in my sketchbook and showed me how they became smaller in the distance until they reached a point.
Your work can feel both effortless, speedy and in the moment as well as well thought out and planned, each brushstroke having a purpose and intention. Can you describe a little about how you typically work, do you finish in one sitting, or build over time? Piece by piece or on multiple works simultaneously?
I’ve always admired the way a great tennis player or a strong violinist, or anyone with an in and out knowledge of their craft, can make it look so easy. I want it to look effortless so that the eye can flow and feel confident in following the labyrinths within the painting. If there is an area of struggle, it would be intended as a place where one has the opportunity to reflect on the struggle, though I have not done this before. Everyone knows there is struggle beneath the appearance of ease, but the ease allows the eye to dance through the painting. The paintings take a long time and I work on a number of them at once. This allows me the choice to work on the pieces I am drawn to that day, while I can turn the other ones around and get a fresh perspective a few days later. Over a period of months, and in some cases, a year, each painting grows, evolves, and takes on more and more life and its own particular personality.
Your work undoubtedly has a contemporary take on landscape, how do you battle the relationship of abstract to representational in your work? Do you begin by leaning one way or the other, or does it come together organically?
I usually begin the paintings abstractly, with mark-making or washes, in all different ways, to get the surface initially activated with color and paint. In essence, things start to appear, and I bring them out and mix them with what I like and want to see. It is a process of conjuring and editing and creating transitions between the different elements. If something in the painting feels too real and starts to take on a hierarchical stance in the painting, I turn the canvas upside down and work on it this way for a while. By the time I turn it back, things have shifted enough that I have both excavated new material to work with and gotten rid of the object or face in question. I think a well-structured strong painting can be turned different ways and still work, so I also like to do this for the purpose of seeing which areas are weak and need to be looked into.
Your work to me has an exploratory vibe, it feels like a travelers experiences into the new, different, exciting, confusing all at once. Are you a big traveler? Does this play a role at all in your work? Or does everything come from your imagination?
I traveled in Europe when I was a child because of my father’s job. It was an impressionable time and sometimes I think I am still pulling out objects and atmospheres from those memories. As an adult, however, my trips have been to other countries to explore different plant medicines, which involve lots of inner journeys. I like to imagine myself as a big traveler, but not in the physical sense. You can travel anywhere and everywhere in the mind while sitting in one room, and painting is the perfect vehicle to record and reflect on this type of exploration.
I love your pallet. Your works have a vibrancy and excitement in them that feel youthful, energetic and almost urgent. What is your approach and relationship with color when you begin a new work? Is color equally important in other aspects of your life? (home, wardrobe etc?)
I love strong color. And yes, I have color in my life, but it is like with my dreams. People say to me, you must have fascinating dreams, but I don’t always remember my dreams a lot and when I do, I’m often actually doing some kind of organizational task. I suppose these parts of life unfold in my paintings and when I am painting, that is when I experience my dreams and vibrant colors.
In terms of process, as the painting progresses, color becomes more and more important and specific. I may have an inclination toward one color when starting a piece, but this is pretty arbitrary usually. In fact, the colors can look quite awkward at the beginning and as the piece evolves, the colors come into their own. About a third of the way in, I will mix a set of very specific colors and enough paint for that painting and record it all in a color journal. For one painting, there may be three different grays used for different areas and two or three different blacks, a specific red only for that piece, etc.
You are primarily a painter, have you always been that way? Have you ever explored other mediums or do you have any desire to grow your work in that way? Or if you could learn any new skill, what would it be? (for instance your work seems perfect for printmaking or even textiles, any interest in other mediums?)
Along with some drawing and painting, I primarily did sculpture until I was 17, (ceramics, metalsmithing, and sculptures made of wood, paper mache, wire, found objects, fabric, etc.). At RISD, I went into painting, because the idea of creating my ideas in two-dimensions, after years of seeing them 3-dimensionally, both fascinated and daunted me. While studying painting as an undergrad, I also took classes with the metalsmithing/jewelry majors. Sometimes, I would work on a large painting in the afternoon, then find myself at night bent over a one by one-inch piece of silver, filing, cutting and soldering. Each medium informed the other, and I enjoyed the difference in scale and perspective. I have always thought of painting as a three-dimensional space within the two-dimensional surface where I am building worlds the way I would with wire, paper, paint, glass, wood, fabric, etc.
Do you have any favorite female artists?
Lisa Sanditz, Julie Mehretu, and Genieve Figgis who are living, and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Remedios Varo, and Hilma Af Klint who are no longer alive.
Do you have any current or upcoming events and shows that you'd like to share?
I’ll be going to the Hermitage Artist Retreat Residency during the first two weeks of October where I will also have a small exhibition and give a talk about my work. In December my paintings and paper pieces will be featured along with three other artists at Scope Art Fair in Miami with Octavia Art Gallery. I am also working throughout these projects on an upcoming solo exhibition in New Orleans in April/May 2019.
Read the article in full, here.
Katja at C24
By Jake Goldbas
Katja Loher has a new exhibition, What is the color of Scent? at the C24 Gallery in Chelsea, going on from September 6th to October 27th, 2018. Like the transcendent synesthesia implied in the exhibition’s title, Loher has ambitions for her viewer to take new insights and perspectives based on the ecological crisis. The viewer of the works will walk away empowered and inspired.
In the days that followed seeing the new Katja Loher show I had a dream. In the dream a friend and I had a cart with a hose and we dutifully sprayed a weird green algae everywhere. When I asked my friend what it was, he explained he wanted to protect everything and he wanted everything to grow. I realize now the metaphor from the algae is love, one of the elements in Loher’s exhibition. I had dreamed the symbol in my memory from working on an organic farm for a few months in 2015, where we used a similar contraption to spray fish emulsifier. Farming takes engineering, botany, and designs, but after that it’s faith and love. Love has to do with letting go of control, and so very often there are odd tics and charms about one’s beloved, stuff that seems abnormal or off-putting to an outsider. In my dream it was that neon green algae.
Like that green algae, conceptual art famously challenges its viewers to see the deliberations and intentions of its pieces. So, Marcel Duchamp’s works re-contextualize everyday objects, such as a snow shovel, in order to interrogate the viewer’s perceptions of art. French Marxist movement the Situationist International used Conceptual Art as a way to thwart capitalist programming, which has present-day lineage with graffiti artwork by Banksy. Katja Loher’s works have intense deliberations and decision-processes, and are always intricate and beautiful. The concepts (re-contextualizing) are how the audience will take these messages in their own lives – about ecology and wonder at the world. In line with this, the conflict is about covenant and inspiration. Katja Loher has extreme connotations of large scale agreements with engineering collaborators who have to manifest the schematics and the ideals; and to her audience who must work to understand the significance of her works in their own lives; and to Nature itself needing care and consideration.
Take for example Katja Loher’s “Earth” area from this exhibit. Here, Loher has built LCD screens, with choreographed dancing in them, within glass bubbles that look like pollen. Katja Loher is going for big game here, and the reason she formed her works in the shape of pollen is symbolic of the destruction of the habitats for flowers and bumble bees. Ambient music plays out of the sculptures.
In the exhibition’s entrance dedicated to love, Loher made “nests,” of twigs and straws to look like bird’s nests, and the artist made glass shapes with light displays in the middle. The results are uncanny, such that they look like authentic cyborgs one might find in nature. In these nests, Katja Loher makes the decision of calling love one of the fundamental elements – the others in the gallery include fire, earth, and water. The work in this section reminds one of Bruce Conner’s “May the heart of the Tin Man always be with you,” which itself is a mixed-media work. Conner’s work also had an eerie feeling, with the basic point that the United States is good at making robots and technology, but what is missing is the heart, which is the patience and dedication.
Loher’s works take time, skill, and patience. They also take a dreamer with a lockstep iron vision to put them together. Any given piece at this exhibition took choreography of dancers; assembly and fabrication of the screens, installations, and mounts; glassblowing of intricate and boundary-pushing designs; ambient music; and colored lights. These feats come after an artistic vision. This concept-before-materialization can be likened to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. The great philosopher’s insight was a person’s reality has conceptual filters on it. Nevertheless, the most empowering and inspirational idea in Kant is one might be able to make her own concepts and then create these works of imagination in physical life.
Saint Augustine, in On Free Choice of the Will, said if you do not believe, you will not understand. Perhaps an analogy can be made to improv comedy. The egregious error in improv is to shut down the scene, because awkward silences can be milked for laughs, or dead ends can be used as premises for a later joke. In addition to her work fabricating the mixed media sculptures, Katja Loher’s vision makes her a truly powerful artist of courage and strength. This artist physically works to see firsthand the devastation of land from pollution and climate change. This makes the art works political, and turns the symbols of the works into hypnotizing charms and mantras. In a way, just like her Earth section, Katja Loher seeks to turn her viewers into bumble bees, with her artwork as conceptual pollen, and the final outcome of honey -- as awareness and true change of behaviors. Loher’s works are a benediction, and a kiss on the viewer. Like the best teachers, she knows any fear or violence isn’t going to motivate anyone toward meaningful change. The bizarre truth of 2018 is how little knowledge of the current perspectives connect, and art can help bridge the space between knowledge and action with unique inspiration. Walking around in blistering heat in the winter, hearing about hurricanes and forest fires – these are harrowing catastrophes. What these disasters require is new, day-to-day commitments for substantive change. Katja Loher delivers. After experiencing her works, it’s up to the audience to take meaningful actions.
Read the full article here.
By Ania Szremski
Science fiction flourishes in the “great whirlpool periods of history,” according to Darko Suvin, a pioneering theorist of that critically disdained genre. The Czech intellectual Karel Čapek wrote during one of those traumatic times—just after the unspeakable devastation of World War I, just before the ascension of the Third Reich, and during the rise of communism (a philosophy he virulently opposed). Čapek’s 1920 play R.U.R.: Rossum’s Universal Robotsis a drama about a cheap workforce of manufactured humanoids who murder their human creators. It’s now best remembered for introducing the word robot, derived from the pan-Slavic word for “labor.”
Tommy Hartung is also working during a great whirlpool period of history, so it makes sense that he would turn to this early sci-fi classic as the loose inspiration for his exhibition at C24 Gallery, eponymously titled “R.U.R.” Almost a century after it was written, Čapek’s piece eerily reflects our tortured present through the anxieties that inform it: the fear of automation, the soul-crushing domination of work over life, technological progress run amok. While these concerns were also undercurrents in Hartung’s three-part, mixed-reality installation (comprising elements that slide between the virtual and the physical), he primarily, and weirdly, focuses on the least remarkable aspect of the play: its sexist depiction of women, as represented by a ditzy robot and an Eve-like character, the latter of whom accidently ensures the destruction of the human race.
Hartung rolls Čapek’s cruel treatment of women into a condemnation of the abuses that gave rise to the #MeToo movement. The exhibition began with R.U.R. Act One: The Viewer, 2017, an eight-minute animation that features, in a voice-over, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman reading a statement denouncing her abuser, Dr. Larry Nassar. Two handmade doll heads were mounted on poles in front of the screen. Cameras installed in their hollowed eye sockets captured the viewer, incorporating that person into the animation—an obvious comment on the complicity of the passive spectator. The focal point of the show, R.U.R. Act Three: Silent Siege, 2018, also surveilled. A dummy partially shielded by branches stands in front of a collage-like projection, its creepily emptied eyes also fitted with cameras, absorbing and projecting the viewer’s image into the video (which the artist can manipulate remotely). The piece continues the Nassar storyline, which unfolds with an actual recording of an angry phone call from an unidentified woman accusing Nassar’s wife of knowing about the abuse. The artist then placed it alongside images and texts pertaining to real-life pedophiles and assailants with whom he’d had direct unwanted contact. These were mixed in with textual allusions to Čapek’s play.
There was nothing particularly transformative about this on-the-nose performance of “the male ally.” I would probably dismiss the project altogether if it were by the hand of a less dexterous artist. Yet, despite Hartung’s intentions, there were certain formal elements that cast an undeniable spell: disturbing little handmade puppets and their jerky movements; rhythmic patterns of hallucinatory color; sudden peaceful footage of sky and ocean; humorous, robot-like GIFs frenetically layered on top of jittering, discordant images. A quietly entrancing moment happened in the show’s second act, made up of three touch-screen monitors that the viewer could manipulate. Each displays a 360-degree video collage, partially shot in the garden of the artist’s former Connecticut home. In the first (They’re Less Than Grass, 2018), a hawk stares cautiously, curiously, into the camera, then emits a plaintive screech. The other two (Humans are too expensive but their behavior is priceless and Imitating Nature Without Pity, both 2018) are layered with animations of snails, ants, and hatching butterflies. As you swirled the images around, they split and fractured into whorling abstractions.
These shifting perspectives were the keenest part of the exhibition. The artworks watch the viewer watching them; they resist being completely seen; they come apart at the seams. This is another connection between Hartung and Čapek—two artists working in harrowing times, witnessing things falling apart, holding the broken pieces up to see.
Read in full here or in the September 2018 issue of ARTFORUM.
A nerd’s tour of the Seattle Art Fair: Fighting robots, animated neurons, and flying art debris
By Frank Catalano
You might be forgiven if you thought the fourth annual Seattle Art Fair would have a lot of expensive, big-name art. Yes, there is sculpture by Pablo Picasso, lithographs by Joan Miró, silkscreens by Jacob Lawrence and even an original Norman Rockwell.
But you’d be mistaken to assume that any event founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen would not have glimpses of geeky goodness throughout.
The 2018 Seattle Art Fair, which opened Thursday and runs through Sunday at CenturyLink Field Event Center, tucks all kinds of technological and science-fictional nods into the artworks from more than 100 galleries in ten countries. And you don’t have to be a collector of contemporary or modern art to appreciate them, either.
Consider this your quick visual tour of Seattle Art Fair, from a nerd’s perspective.
Yes, that’s a neuron on the wall. Swiss artist Katja Loher, who lives in Brooklyn, represented a blue neuron in white acrylic with an embedded video screen and hand-blown glass sculpture for How does the rumor of the sky smell when the blue of water sings?.
The more than seven minutes of multi-channel looping video that runs inside the art is even more colorful in a companion work, Who will paint the white canvas of the bleached corals?.
Read the full article here.
By Jennifer Congdon
1. Brian Tolle’s ‘Eureka’ in Federal Hall
Brian Tolle's Eureka is a towering 40-foot sculpture inside Federal Hall. This piece pays homage to New York’s Dutch colonial history by featuring a tall brick facade of a canal house in the style that was common in 17th century New York. However, there is a twist: instead of featuring a flat replica of a typical facade, Tolle choose to create one that appears to be rippling and distorted. When asked about this artistic decision, Tolle states that the piece is a nod to New York’s “fluid, but troubled, transformation from a Dutch seat of power to British colony, to an American platform for diversity and democracy.”
Federal Hall serves as a fitting location for this installation in that in the 1700s, the Federal Hall site was used as a city hall, a site where numerous historic events like court cases and political meetings took place. Tolle’s piece is reminiscent of this monumental, turbulent history.
Read the full article here.
From Dirty-Joke Theory to True Crime Classics, Here Are 17 Books That Have Inspired Some of Today’s Leading Artists
From a philosophy of dirty jokes to a true-crime classic, artists share the surprising titles that have influenced them.
It’s officially the dog days of summer, and a perfect time to catch up on our reading lists. To get inspired for the fall, we asked a group of leading international artists about the books, old and new, that have influenced them most. From a book about dirty jokes to artist biographies to true crime—here are 16 books that have made a lasting impression on some of today’s top artists.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1966)
“As a young boy in the 1970s I first saw Truman Capote on the Dick Cavett Show and was mesmerized. The next day I started to read every book I could find of his. What resonated with me was how he embodied the journalist, novelist, biographer, and autobiographer, blurring the lines between these writing conventions. Informed by Capote I begin each project with intensive research, which results in a cross-wiring of fact and fiction.”
Read the full article here.
‘From the Cradle to the Boat’ at C24 Gallery, New York
BY The Editors of ARTnews
Pictures at an Exhibition presents images of one notable show every weekday.
Today’s show: “From the Cradle to the Boat” is on view at C24 Gallery in New York through Friday, August 24. The group exhibition, curated by Tommy Hartung, includes work by Tamy Ben-Tor, Miki Carmi, Justin Cloud, Clark Filo, Michael Guardiola, O.K. Fox, Reagan Holiday, Monilola Ilupeju, Bahareh Khoshooee, Jeremy Olson, Lynsey Peisinger, and Tommy White. The show also hosts performances by Linda Fletcher, Lynsey Peisinger, Reagan Holiday, and Tamy Ben-Tor.
View the full article here
By Julia Morgenstern
The Peekskill Film Festival and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) are teaming up to present BLACKOUT a screening of cutting edge short films, on July 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. This work blurring the distinction between art, film, and theatre questions the conventions of film screenings in art galleries. While film is prevalent in the art world, this event takes a new spin on that connection. BLACKOUT will take place on the big screen in a dark theater, instead of in a traditional white box gallery space on smaller screens shared with other art. This exciting twist should shake up the way audiences take in the series of short films, which seems to fit with the goal of this screening.
“These videos were made for both the small personal screen and the large cinematic screen,” says Sarada Rauch, artist behind the “short” music video Topple, which plays with ideas of scale. “There are three main points of interest to me when seeing my music videos on a large screen with seated viewers: perspective, object and narrative.…The screen itself can be considered an object that has the ability to shift perspective."
The title of the series, BLACKOUT, comes from the theatrical convention of turning off all of the lights between scenes to allow for a transition. “In this moment of media blackouts, political corruption, and widespread violation of human rights; revealing hidden narratives through the arts continues to be of the utmost importance,” says Michael Barraco, curator of BLACKOUT and Director of Education for the HVCCA.
Read full article here.
Tommy Hartung and R.U.R.
By Patrick Rolandelli
July 9, 2018
Last June Eazel attended the private closing reception for R.U.R., Tommy Hartung’s inaugural exhibition at C24 Gallery in Chelsea. Several times that month we had passed by the ominous display in the gallery’s window featuring colorful masks reminiscent of the 1980s horror movie genre. The display had piqued our curiosity and we were surprised when we learned the exhibition was addressing power relations in society and related issues of male dominance.
Upon stepping into the gallery we turned to look closer at the vinyl masks, set at eye-level atop two black tripods—one painted bright yellow with dayglo orange hair, the other with pastel purple skin and blueberry hair—they stood before a screen showing a series of new media figurations amid the likeness of our faces as captured by cameras inconspicuously observing us through the eyelets of the masks. In the background we could hear Olympic Gold medalist Aly Raisman reading her court statement to recently convicted former USA Gymnastics National Team doctor, Larry Nassar—the pitch of her voice downshifted slightly. The experience had this DIY surrealist aesthetic to it—to borrow language from the exhibition’s press release.
After checking in with the front desk we wandered around the gallery taking in the broad range of the exhibition’s featured artworks—from traditional sculptures, to painted theatrical props, to interactive digital screen art featured on a row of monitors down the center of the gallery.
As Hartung would later explain, the themes of Karel Čapek’s 1921 play, R.U.R., served both as the inspiration, as well as the conceptual basis for his exhibition in three acts—The Viewer, Touch, and Silent Siege—with the front, center, and back sections of the gallery dedicated to exploring these themes, respectively.
We were in the back of the gallery where Silent Siege consisted of video feeds embedded around a large viewing area as part of a performative work about data collection and the nature of consent when we noticed one of the gallery assistants beginning to gather the group and direct us toward Hartung near the entrance of the gallery where he was to begin his talk.
During his presentation we learned the imagery of the exhibition was meant to counter the modern era’s romanticized concept of technology—that it was alluding to a dystopian future disillusioned with modernism. And true to Čapek’s play, Hartung unpacked how through his use of multiple mediums—from stop-motion animation, to digital photography, to traditional sculptures—he was seeking to question the degree to which the spirit of modernism has truly served the greater good.
There wasn’t enough time to sit down with Hartung after his talk, so we arranged for a follow-up conversation with the gallery director and catch up with him a week later.
Read the full article here.
Irish Hunger Memorial Renovations Completed
By Mary Gallagher
The Irish Hunger Memorial was re-opened in late July 2017 after a year-long, $5.3 million renovation. The structure had suffered extensive water infiltration, particularly from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, which it had not been equipped to handle in its original state. The restoration cost $4.5 million more than the initial placement of the structure, which was unveiled to the public in 2002 in an evocative launch by former Irish president Mary McAleese.
The memorial is a reconstruction of a cottage painstakingly transplanted from Ireland set amidst a structure reminiscent of a passage tomb and covered with Irish flora. The cottage, dating back to the 1820s, originally belonged to the Slack family of Attymass, County Mayo, one of the first areas to be struck by the tragic potato blight of the mid-1800s. The edifice stands in Battery Park City and the landscape it rests on was designed by artist Brian Tolle, a relative of the Slacks.
Read the full article here.
40-foot Sculpture Inside Federal Hall Nods to NYC’s Dutch Colonial History
By Nicole Saraniero
Towering over the grand lobby inside Federal Hall is a 40-foot reminder of New York City’s Dutch colonial history. The massive sculpture, Eureka by Brian Tolle, is of the brick facade of a canal house reminiscent of those that would have been found in 17th century New York.
The surface of Tolle’s piece appears warped and distorted, giving the brick the appearance of rippling water. The artist described the illusion as “a facade of a facade,” intending the piece not to be a replica of a building itself, but the building’s reflection in water. Tolle noted that the visual fluidity of the piece represents New York’s “fluid, but troubled, transformation from a Dutch seat of power to British colony, to an American platform for diversity and democracy.”
The name of Tolle’s sculpture is inspired by the exclamation made by Greek polymath Archimedes when he discovered buoyant force, the upward force exerted on objects submerged in fluids. Eureka was originally created for an exhibition in Belgium, but it’s re-presentation at Federal Hall is meant to evoke reflection upon the site’s transformative architectural and political history. Federal Hall has been the site of many landmark political events, such as the trial of John Peter Zenger which laid the foundation for the freedom of press; the signing of the Northwest Ordinance which prohibited slavery in new territories; and the drafting of the U.S Bill of Rights, all instances that required leveraging of different ideas and political forces.
Eureka will be on display inside Federal Hall until September 8th, 2018 and is being exhibited in conjunction with another integral part of New York City’s Dutch past.
Read the full article here.
Nilbar Güreş: The search for hidden leeway
The showcase of the artist in Lentos shows a poetic and radical visual world.
"Ayşe loves Fatma", is written in Turkish in large, pink letters on a wall. Before that, in back view two not very young women are visible, one is wearing a headscarf. The two hug each other.
It is one of those productions typical of Nilbar Güreş. The artist, who has already won two of the most important domestic art prizes with the Otto Mauer Prize (2014) and the BC21 Art Award (2015), is shaking all sorts of taboos, but she does it in a quiet, poetic way.
Many of Güreş 'photographic stagings, which are only visible as a facet of a multi-faceted work in the exhibition in Linzer Lentos (until Sept. 10) , can at first glance pass through as simple everyday scenes: A beekeeper takes care of her bees, of one Holzhütte hangs colorful laundry - and behind kiss two.
The artist, who was born in Istanbul , studied in Vienna and now lives in both cities, had once peeled herself out of a mess of headscarves for a video performance (2006). But she has not begun to rip off the cloth in a superficial gesture of liberation: her works speak much more of an interest in the boundary between the visible and the hidden drawn by objects such as (head) cloths, and respect for that Life "behind".
Dignity and resistance
The characters appearing in Güreş ' paintings all radiate dignity and strength - this is true of the old woman hiding behind the box in a red-washed room with a huge water pistol, as well as the transsexual prostitutes standing in front of the chest Skyline of São Paulo posing with a cactus between the legs. The interest in the agency of persons invisible or treated as invisible by dominant forces in society appears as a connecting element.
The series of works transcend both geographical boundaries and those between genres of art: the patterned fabrics, which already play an important role in Güreş 'photographs, develop their own lives in collages and spatial installations - belt buckles become the mouths of a two-headed snake symbolizing "queer desire" The sewing and embroidery tools become weapons.
"Self-defloration" is perhaps the most radical of a series of embroidery images that express their explicit motifs in simple simplicity. For the installation "Hairy Fire" - a kind of fire in a corner of a room, with balls of wool instead of coal - the wall was slightly singed, you can still smell the intervention: the person who keeps the hearth fire at home, also has the power to light the hut.
Read the full article here
Editors’ Picks: 7 Things Not to Miss in New York’s Art World This Week
Here's what you need to see in the art world this week.
By Sarah Cascone
7. “Brian Tolle’s Eureka” at Federal Hall
Artist Brian Tolle’s show is inspired by the narrow “canal houses” that were popular in the 18th century in New York, which feature the gabled Dutch facade. The 40-foot sculptural facade is on view to the public throughout the summer. (The exhibition was organized in conjunction with the artist’s gallery, New York’s C24 Gallery.)
Location: Federal Hall, main entrance 26 Wall Street
Time: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Read the full article here.
By Sam Roberts
If you think the Flushing Remonstrance is a homeowner’s complaint to a plumber, think again. The frayed petition from 1657 is one of the foundational documents of American freedom — and for the first time in three decades it is on display in Manhattan, through Monday at Federal Hall on Wall Street.
The Dutch were known for tolerance — or indifference — to most immigrants to New Amsterdam who didn’t jeopardize the Dutch West India Company’s commercial agenda. Still, the Dutch Reformed Church remained paramount, and Peter Stuyvesant, the Calvinist director-general of the colony, was committed to enforcing its supremacy.
His order penalizing anyone who harbored Quakers provoked 31 residents of Flushing on Long Island — none of them Quakers themselves — to sign a remonstrance, a collective appeal to redress their grievance.
While it wasn’t successful at first, a further appeal directly to the company’s directors in Amsterdam upheld the Dutch principle of “liberty of conscience, not just for Christians, but for everyone.” The legacy of the remonstrance reinforced the right to petition the government, established the rule of law and provided the foundation for freedom of worship, which the Founders enshrined in the Bill of Rights at Federal Hall more than a century later.
The Remonstrance is displayed there in an anteroom off the rotunda, which is dominated by a timely and towering backdrop that evokes its provenance: a 40-foot-high facade of a 17th-century gabled Dutch canal house. The one-ton hand-painted sculpture is by Brian Tolle, who designed the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City and other works. It will be on display through Sept. 8.
Mr. Tolle named the facade “Eureka” for the exclamation of discovery often attributed to Archimedes. The exhibition is a collaboration of the New York State Archives, the Archives Partnership Trust, the National Park Service and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy.
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Brian Tolle, presents his site-relevant 40-foot tall sculpture, EUREKA, at Federal Hall, alongside rare presentations of the Flushing Remonstrance, the 1657 petition for religious freedom, and Washington’s Inauguration Bible
The National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, is pleased to announce the presentation of Brian Tolle’s EUREKA, on view June 27 - September 8, 2018, in Federal Hall, the iconic memorial to democracy on Wall Street. EUREKA is part of a new art initiative, curated by Bonnie Levinson, inviting contemporary artists to investigate themes that resonate with the history and legacy of Federal Hall, melding the past and present, to serve as a catalyst toward the reinvigoration of civic life and a platform for free expression.
For this presentation of EUREKA, Tolle has chosen to exhibit his work alongside a rare viewing of The Flushing Remonstrance, the 1657 New Netherland petition for “liberty of conscience” that served as the precursor to religious freedom, as cemented in the First Amendment written at Federal Hall over a century later. Not seen in Manhattan in over 30 years, the Remonstrance will share a room with the Bible from President Washington’s 1789 inauguration at Federal Hall.
Tolle’s 40-foot tall sculpture, reflecting a rippling and distorted facade of a 17th century Dutch canal house, pays homage to the legacy of 40 years of Dutch rule in New York. Originally created for Jan Hoet’s city-wide exhibition, Over the Edges, 2000, in Ghent, Belgium, its re-presentation in Federal Hall blurs the site’s architectural and political history with the contemporary in the conceptual artwork.
Brian Tolle describes the work: "EUREKA is a sculptural play with illusion—a facade of a facade. Its Dutch inspired form points to New York’s early history and its fluid, but troubled, transformation from a Dutch seat of power to British colony, to an American platform for diversity and democracy. The sculpture is an apparition, a mirage of a building that has been displaced and no longer exists. Like the Dutch buildings of lower Manhattan and the canal that was once Broad Street-—erased with only the street names lingering as a reminder of their existence—EUREKA serves as a marker of Federal Hall’s complex history. Its thin veil floats upwards, into the neoclassical dome of Federal Hall, evoking the strife between form and object, as well as the tension between political volley and social action.”
The artwork’s title is inspired by the brilliant Greek polymath Archimedes exploration of displacement. After finding the upward pressure on a submerged object created buoyant force, Archimedes ran through the streets of Syracuse, Sicily, shouting, “EUREKA! EUREKA!” or “I found it!” I found it!” Tolle envisioned EUREKA as a metaphor for Archimedes’ principle of leverage. With the right tools, Archimedes believed all was possible. “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to stand," he said, "and I shall move the world.”
The nation’s Founders leveraged principles as powerful as Archimedes’ when they codified the historic events that occurred at Federal Hall, including: the acquittal in 1735 of the newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger for libel, after he exposed government corruption, which established the foundation for freedom of the press; the 1765 Stamp Act Congress, which protested taxation of then British colonies without representation, and sowed the seeds for the union to come; and the passing of the first amendments to the Constitution, which cemented in perpetuity individual rights.
“The National Park Service is honored to host Tolle’s magnificent edifice EUREKA and the Flushing Remonstrance, a transformational document to establishing the governing principles of the United States,” said Shirley McKinney, Superintendent for Federal Hall National Memorial. “As the site where George Washington took the oath of office as our first President and the site of the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices, Federal Hall is the appropriate venue to bring the two together to spark conversations about history through a contemporary lens.”
“As we embark on a new day for Federal Hall, this installation highlights this historic site's potential as an ever-evolving arena for public discourse through the arts," said Marie Salerno, President of the Harbor Conservancy. "Federal Hall must be steeped, but not stuck in the past. This will be a place where artists with diverse perspectives will be invited to interpret the ideas, ideals and flaws of our democracy forged here.
Highlight: Flushing Remonstrance
It is particularly relevant that Tolle’s EUREKA is paired with the rarely displayed Flushing Remonstrance. On view in Manhattan for the first time in three decades, the Remonstrance, a petition to the Dutch West India Company, for “liberty of conscience” was signed in 1657 by 31 residents of the town of Flushing — which became part of Queens, New York. Director-General of the New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant’s ban on all religious practice in the colony outside of the Dutch Reformed Church, led to the persecution of Quakers, among others. The Remonstrance petition for an exception to this ban, is considered by historians to be a forerunner to the first amendment’s freedom of religion clause and is sometimes referred to as the Magna Carta of the New World. Read the text of the beautifully crafted document in The Flushing Remonstrance Revisited, an online exhibit from the New York State Archives Partnership Trust.
EUREKA at Federal Hall is organized by the Harbor Conservancy with the artist, Brian Tolle; National Park Service; Curator for Visual Arts Bonnie Levinson; Performance Designer Angrette McCloskey; and C24 Gallery. The Flushing Remonstrance presentation is made possible by the New York State Archives and the Archives Partnership Trust. Major sponsorship for the installation was provided by American Express.
About the Artist:
Brian Tolle sculptures and installations emphasize a formal and iconographic dialog with history and context. Using a variety of media, his work draws from the scale and experience of its surroundings, provoking a rereading by cross-wiring reality and fiction. Drawing ideas from a broad-based conceptual analysis, Tolle blurs the border between the contemporary and the historical. His approach involves in-depth research, which is then distilled and directed creating an intuitive personal response. Tolle is acclaimed for his major permanent public artworks including the “Irish Hunger Memorial” in Battery Park City, New York; “Miss Brooklyn” and “Miss Manhattan” at the entrance of the Manhattan Bridge, Flatbush, Brooklyn; and his recent appointment as the lead artist of the East Midtown Waterfront Project, an esplanade between East 53rd and East 59th Streets along New York City’s East River. Tolle's works have been exhibited in the Whitney Biennial; the Tate Modern; the S.M.A.K.; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Queens Museum of Art, New York; and the Invitational Exhibition at the American Academy of Arts. The artist is currently represented by C24 Gallery.
About the Curator:
Bonnie Levinson, Curatorial and Cultural Consultant for the Visual Arts at Federal Hall and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, curated Brian Tolle’s EUREKA, 2018, and Mel Ziegler’s A Living Thing: Flag Exchange, 2017. Levinson’s career spans over three decades working in the arts with cultural institutions. She served as Deputy Director for External Affairs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Vice President for Development for the New York Public Library, Associate Director of The Hudson River Museum and Assistant Curator of Education at the Delaware Art Museum. She works with cultural institutions creating public arts programming, and consults in development and marketing, and strategic planning. Currently she works with the Making Waves Academy in Richmond CA developing an arts education and artist residency program.
About Federal Hall National Memorial:
Federal Hall is the birthplace of American government. It is where George Washington took the oath of office as the first President and where the first U.S. Congress invented a system of governance that still guides the country today, including enactment of the Bill of Rights. The current building, a former U.S. Customs House and later U.S. Sub-Treasury, is one of America’s finest examples of Greek Revival public architecture and memorializes the first President and our nation’s founding.
About the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy:
Founded in 2005, the Harbor Conservancy is the primary nonprofit partner of the National Park Service’s sites on New York Harbor, including Federal Hall National Memorial. The Harbor Conservancy works to restore and activate treasured monuments, conserve historic collections, and connect communities to opportunities for exploration and recreation in treasured natural habitats and landscapes.
Visitor Information: EUREKA on view: June 27, 2018 - September 8, 2018
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
Main entrance: 26 Wall Street, New York, NY.
Wheelchair accessible entrance: 15 Pine Street, New York, NY
NILBAR GÜREŞ: "Overhead," at LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz
What is fascinating about Nilbar Güreş’s art is the unique poetic and humorous inventiveness that always also has a critical and political underside. In her photographs, collages, objects and videos, Güreş explores clichés of the social visibility of women in different cultural fields, whether in Turkey, her country of origin, or in Brazil. She sketches out and stages humorously challenging counter-images and -figures, in which she subverts conventional role attributions. At the same time, she subtly brings into play the defensive attitude of western society toward the dress codes of cultures influenced by religion. Her pictures and objects evince a high degree of sensuous materiality, are strangely puzzling, often charged with eroticism, and lead into a multifaceted, contradictory reality that prompts reflection. The retrospective is comprised of works dating to the period between 2006 and today and includes four productions created especially for this exhibition.
Nilbar Güreş was born in 1977 in Istanbul, studied at the Department of Fine Arts at the Marmara University in Istanbul and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She lives in Vienna and Istanbul.
Curator: Silvia Eiblmayr
Read more about the exhibition here
"'In Pursuit of the Present' at Istanbul Modern's temporary space"
Istanbul Modern, which will continue its activities in Beyoğlu until the new museum building in Karaköy is completed, opened their temporary space with a new collection titled "In Pursuit of the Present." Istanbul Modern can be visited during Eid al-Fitr except the first day of the Eid.
In the exhibition, Istanbul Modern focuses on human conditions in today's world. The exhibition features works that explore the relationship between humans and cities, nature, and between their own selves and their physical environment in historical, social and personal contexts.
Identity, body, gender politics, construction and destruction periods, nature and human relations are examined through the works at the exhibition, created by various intersecting and interrelating thematic strands.
Thirty three artists from different regions:
In the exhibition, 42 works of 33 artists comprising of paintings, statues, installations, videos and patterns take place. They focus on the dynamics of human relationship with the physical environment. The self-searching of people who struggle with the destructive dimensions of different changes and their relationship with their subconscious are an important axis of the exhibition.
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Art in the Parks program kicks off throughout the borough
By Julia Moro
With warm weather approaching, it is the perfect time to visit local parks. Further adding to the fun is the city Parks Department’s public art program, Art in the Parks, which announced new outdoor exhibitions at Forest Park, Lewis H. Latimer House and MacDonald Park.
Amanda Long and Tommy Hartung’s work, “Rainbow Mural,” is on display at the Greenhouse Playground off the Woodhaven Boulevard entrance to Forest Park. This piece runs along about 800 feet of retaining wall located across the playground and skate park near the historic carousel.
“The public interacting with my work has always been a central focus. Often the work is less about my intent and more about the public feeling,” Long said.
It was important to the two artists to make a collaborative piece with the community to show that art can be a social gathering. The making of this mural was, in part, the artists’ work; but it was also painted by local volunteers and children who enjoy the park.
The work the two artists and the community have done shows a painted, pixelated rainbow pattern. A portion of the mural is in colorful chalkboard paint so children in the park can continue to add to it.
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