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VISUAL ARTISTS NETWORK Exhibitions 2012


VISUAL ARTISTS NETWORK Exhibitions 2012


Publication © 2013 National Performance Network. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner in any media or transmitted by any means whatsoever, electronic or mechanical (including photocopy, film or video recording, internet posting or any other information storage retrieval system), without the prior written consent of NPN. ISBN-13: 978-1484147474 ISBN-10: 1484147472 Design & Production: Big Tada Inc with Ian Hewitt-Woods Editor: Alec De León Additional copies of this publication may be downloaded in PDF from www.npnweb.org/resources/ or printed bound copies ordered from Amazon.com. National Performance Network PO Box 56698 New Orleans, LA 70156 504.595.8008 // telephone 504.595.8006 // fax info@npnweb.org

on the front cover Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle The Hondoru from Northern Kentifrica, 2012 wood, paint, metal made in collaboration with Kevin Robinson and Eugene Moon for The Kentifrica Is: An Ethnomusicoloy Concert photo: Thom Carroll


Contents

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8.

14. 24.

essay:

Thoughts about the world, artists, and other concerns by Alec De Le贸n

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artist:

68.

artist:

72.

artist:

76.

artist:

78.

artist:

82.

interview:

interview:

Artistic Perspective: A conversation with Theaster Gates and Shelley Spector interview:

Catching up with Wura Ogunji, Parts I & II interview:

Emily Bivens and Steve Lambert

2012 Exhibitions

86.

Steve Lambert Gregory Michael Hernandez Tom Torluemke Felici Asteinza

Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle and Ryan N. Dennis artist:

Leticia Bajuyo

artist:

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artist:

Dollie Eaglin-Monroe

NPN/VAN Annual Meeting Exhibitions

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artists:

94.

artist:

48.

artist:

98.

artist:

54.

artist:

102. artist: Colette Fu

60.

interview:

106. artist: Benjamin Volta

Eric Gottesman

Marina Zurkow Ryan Griffis Ryan Griffis and Christopher Lynn

112. VAN Partners the 115. About Visual Artists Network the 115. About National Performance Network

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

36.

Tad Beck and Jennifer Locke

VAN 110. 2012 Partners & Artists Map

Leticia Bajuyo Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

116. NPN & VAN Staff 117.

Thanks

117.

Support


Essay

Thoughts about the world, artists, and other concerns. by Alec De LeĂłn, Program Specialist, NPN/VAN

As always, the world is changing. That goes without saying. I could list a number of recent national and international events and crises that would help formulate a sense of these times, but in another few months, everything would be different. There would be new developments, new challenges, different atrocities. But one thing that has continued to have a long-lasting impact on this part of the century is the global financial crisis of 2008. It still lurks in our collective consciousness, five years later. It has destroyed investments, caused people to lose their jobs and homes and made folks hunker down, conserve resources and cross their fingers, waiting for it all to blow over. There will be semesters of macroeconomics devoted to studying it and numerous books written about its causes, intricacies and ramifications.

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Ok, maybe I’ll mention just a couple of recent developments, because they are noteworthy, and I think they will be discussed for some time: There is a new Pope from South America and a new round of histrionic saber-rattling from North Korea. A meteor exploded over Siberia. And Iran has launched a monkey into space, although there is reasonable doubt that Iran has actually harnessed 1950’s primate-launching technology. It could just be a hoax. But, let’s set aside these fascinating tidbits.

But what has been learned? Perhaps it’s time to reflect on recent events and figure out the next steps, come up with a new plan? It is wise to prepare for another disaster, because there is likely another on the way, natural or manmade. Hurricane Sandy merged with a frontal system and blasted 24 US states, as well as a number of countries in the Caribbean, causing incredible damage and killing more than 200 people. The Fukishima Daiichi nuclear meltdown has caused nations all over the world to re-consider the safety of nuclear power.

There are a number of indicators that the world is slowly creeping out of the global recession. The German economy is predicted to exhibit modest growth in 2013. Unemployment is shrinking across the US, averaging less than 8%, with states like Louisiana and New Hampshire reporting less than 6%, lower than it has been in four years. Housing prices are beginning to stabilize and retail sales are bouncing back. These are just a few examples, but economists are cautiously optimistic. And rightly so; it could be years before the economy is on sturdy ground.

I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but I think it’s time to take stock and prepare for the inevitable. We would be fools to ignore the events we’ve just experienced. However, I don’t suggest building underground bunkers and stocking them with rations, water, ammunition and gold bullion. But maybe this is a reasonable conclusion: It’s time to trim the fat, tighten your belts, reduce, reuse, recycle and make a plan. It’s not revolutionary, but don’t count your chickens until the check is cashed. And maybe, just maybe, it’s time to start looking for new leaders. The Republicans hope to recover lost ground and the Democrats hope to hold onto their narrow lead. — >

Thoughts about the world, artists, and other concerns

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Ok, but why is this being mentioned in a visual arts catalog? What do artists have to do with anything? What have they ever done for anybody? Let’s face it, public opinion does not favor artists. Artists are often maligned as slackers and dropouts. But I would posit that artists are actually pretty valuable members of society with a diverse set of skills. First of all, artists are creative thinkers, seeking original solutions to complicated problems. Artists work with different audiences and must be both sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of these communities. They must be able to collaborate with others to reach mutual goals and compromise when necessary. They have to be information gatherers who can then synthesize multiple points of view into a cohesive perspective and then communicate that vision in a universal way. Although artists may not have the financial expertise of Wall Street bankers, they frequently display the acute fiscal skills necessary to squeeze every cent out of a tiny budget. On top of all that, they work within the confines of tight deadlines. They do not have the support structure of corporations or large financial backers. But, being small has its advantages – you can move quickly and nimbly. This may seem like an idealized, generalized list of skills, but the artists featured in this catalog have these traits and are using them to pursue multi-layered, dynamic projects.

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To mention just a few: Marina Zurkow’s work explores the story of petroleum, from its biological origins, to the environmental impact of the oil industry and the products on which we rely. Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is creating the history and artifacts of a fictional continent to tell the story of her life and the lives of others who have been dispossessed of their past. Ryan Griffis proposes that we use geographic boundaries that are marked by ecosystems, not convoluted political delineations like gerrymandering. Could an artist be useful on the board of a corporation, in local or national government, or as a diplomat to another nation? They may offer solutions to problems from a fresh perspective. Currently there is a growing movement that wants to oust establishment politicians in favor of those without political experience. The theory is that career politicians are too preoccupied with re-election campaigns and appeasing lobbyists to be the honest, fresh-faced optimists that they claimed to be when they originally sought out public service. But who answers the call to be the new kid in Washington? Lawyers and businessmen. Not that there’s anything wrong with lawyers and businessmen, but it’s always another lawyer or businessman.


If real change is sought, bring in the physicists, teachers, firemen, poets, artists. Let’s try something new. I am not recommending any particular political viewpoint, but active participation from new thinkers. There are many issues in the headlines today that need a nuanced, comprehensive discussion. The conversation is more substantive when there are more people at the table. Artists have the skills to determine their own fate, and help others do the same. It’s time to prepare for the future and make plans for the worst with help from voices that have not yet been heard. 

Thoughts about the world, artists, and other concerns

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Artistic Perspective

A conversation with Theaster Gates and Shelley Spector The Visual Artists Network asked Shelley Spector, a Philadelphia-based artist and writer, to speak with Theaster Gates about the development of his practice and career. They also discussed his experience at the 2012 NPN/VAN Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, where Gates gave the keynote address.

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Theaster Gates’ mother thought he was going to be a preacher. Instead he is a spirited force in the art community. He is an artist with his hands deep in diverse communities — an artist who builds things both literally and conceptually by joining together unlikely mediums like people, buildings, culture and reclaimed materials. Gates has risen through the ranks of the high art world and is featured in major museums, international arts fairs and magazines, and he does this while retaining a deep commitment to his community-based projects and his roots. One is the well-known Dorchester Projects, where he bought and renovated a cluster of buildings on the south side of Chicago, birthing a cultural and energized community in a less-than-likely place. He has stayed on a focused path to use his skills and resources to bring deeper meaning to people, places and things. Spector spoke with Gates at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia during his current installation, Soul Manufacturing Corporation — To Make the Thing that Makes the Things.

theastergates.com Shelley Spector is an artist, curator and teacher. Her multidisciplinary works, which explore common themes like money, relationships, tools of measurement and the environment, are part of many private and public collections. She founded SPECTOR Gallery/Projects in 1999, working to champion emerging talent and new concepts. An offshoot of the program is Artjaw.com, an online anthology of first person stories from the Philadelphia art community.

shelleyspector.com — > A conversation with Theaster Gates and Shelley Spector

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Shelley Spector (SS): It looks like from what I can see that you have been at this for a long time and about five years ago you went from being someone who is doing things less well-known, working at your studio practice, to being someone who is very well-respected and celebrated in the art world. Was there a tipping point for that? Theaster Gates (TG): Before five years ago, all of those years of doing things, it felt like I was making a series of nothings. I couldn’t have arrived at this moment without accumulating a shitload of frustration at the state of the arts in Chicago, the inability to have certain kinds of opportunities happen for you, the anxiety around New York for success, the anxiety around the coasts for a certain kind of success.

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The Midwest seems to produce a particular kind of artist: humble, super Christian (sometimes), and self-effacing. The way that comes out in the work is that it can’t aim to be big because big might imply ambitious, and ambitious might imply ego, and ego might imply something that is not Midwestern. While I do think that people in the Midwest are extremely ambitious and offer a lot to the artistic landscape, the valence is coded to reflect humility. The Midwestern way is not the New York way. I think that there was a moment when I thought I should expect a lot of myself in my artistic practice. This frustration was born, in part, out of a belief that I just needed to be purposeful about the things that I thought needed to get done. It had nothing to do with ambition or ego or whatever. It’s just I think that I’m wired to do this kind of thing. So once I was tapped into what I felt like “oh this is my territory,” then I just opened that up. And I just kept going on and on and on.


SS: And so is there a project attached to this time? TG: The creation of Yamaguchi [Gates’ narrative of a fictional Japanese ceramicist] was a big deal to me. It was the creation of a character that could embody all of the things that I needed in order to feel that I had the right to do big things. I needed to create a third person and Yamaguchi had to tell me what to do. It was like I needed to cast a voice and then give the voice the attributes that I didn’t feel that I had.

“Make it the best thing you’ve ever done and really commit whatever heart and soul and resources you have to make it work.” — Theaster Gates

SS: Then moving forward you stepped into that role? TG: I needed Yamaguchi for two years to tell me what to do: make the pots, build the space, make the website, have the show. It was bigger than anything I’d ever done before. It also has a lot to do with religion, in a way. During my youth, I had been trained to believe that this third person who is loaded with attributes could tell me what to do and my spiritual charge, my life’s work, was to believe it. So the muscle for believing in something outside of myself was already very strong. I just had to load it with other attributes and that was really helpful. Then I could believe until I didn’t need Yamaguchi anymore. — >

A conversation with Theaster Gates and Shelley Spector

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SS: How do you gauge the success of a project? TG: Well, it’s getting more complicated and it’s a moving target. What feels really most important now is that success has to do with my ability to think intelligently through a process. Success is our ability to be reflexive, to be the opposite of sure and absolute and have predetermined measures that would define the success. I am constantly looking for our ability to adjust and be flexible to make a good thing better. So far the mantra is: Make it the best thing you’ve ever done and really commit whatever heart and soul and resources you have to make it work.

SS: The National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network had their Annual Meeting in December and you were the keynote speaker. What are things to be gained from that opportunity, from the people at the meeting? Also, what do you think it means to bring artists and curators and presenters together like that? TG: I think all industries, but especially marginal industries like ours, marginal communities like ours – marginal in the sense that it’s easy to be alone, it’s easy to feel underrecognized, under-paid – I think it’s really important that people convene, that we gather and that we bitch; that we have some gripe sessions and we get to talk about the problems of our industry. Additionally, it’s important that we hear who is pushing and who is innovating, and to hear from the leadership in our industry, and that keeps us going. It makes us want to go back to our studios and back to our labs and back to our computers and do something, go back to our communities. I think that environments like the NPN/ VAN Annual Meeting help do that. I think in a strange way that any number of convening moments have the potential to help us, as artistic practitioners, to move our practices forward. What I hope for in those moments is that we make room for all kinds of people and that the empowerment is really about gaining capacity from the position that we are in, doing the thing that we believe in and making it the most solid, simple or complicated, good thing. I also think that there is a way in which the conferences challenge us to come out of our silos and get to know a couple of other people.

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SS: Do you think that there is anything that is a universal necessity for artists who want to maintain and develop a practice? TG: If you are going to invest in a practice, you should know the history of that practice and you should know your peers in your practice and you should believe that you can help move the practice forward. Then move it forward by playing with the field, poking holes, and asking questions.

SS: You are a preacher. You’re talking to a different audience. TG: I think this is the better sermon. It’s a little different. 

I do think that what can keep you charged up in those moments of lull is the constant question, “Am I doing the best work that I can? Does this have any significance to anyone outside of me?” They are simple and personal questions and you never have to answer them publicly, and the answer never has to be evident in the work, necessarily. We live in such complicated times where much of the rest of the world will not experience a life of human kindness, of generous acts. I think artists have the charge and the capacity to be really generous and generative. I just hope that we take that charge seriously. And I have a feeling people are going to have to care for other people more. We are going to have to care for our families, friends. We are going to have to really figure out how to make things happen. I think that artists are really good at that, being generous.

A conversation with Theaster Gates and Shelley Spector

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Interview

Catching up with Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Part I

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Wura-Natasha Ogunji Idumota Market, Lagos, Nigeria, 2012

Wura-Natasha Ogunji is an Austinbased artist who has participated in international residencies from Spain to the Dominican Republic. Her work has been shown in New York, Austin, Palestine and Australia. In April 2012 she was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. In June 2012, Alec De León spoke with Wura about her process, recent artwork and her upcoming trip to Nigeria. — >

Catching up with Wura-Natasha Ogunji

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Alec De León (AD): Hi Wura. It’s nice to catch up with you again. You first came into contact with the Visual Artists Network in the summer of 2009 when you had a VAN Exhibition Residency at Diaspora Vibe in Miami, and then I had the opportunity to meet you at the NPN/VAN Annual Meeting in Knoxville, right? Wura-Natasha Ogunji (WNO): Yes. AD: I see that you just performed at Women & Their Work (Austin, TX), and that you just received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Congratulations! WNO: Thank you.

AD: It sounds like you’ve been quite busy. What else has been going since we last spoke? WNO: Well, about a year and half ago I went to Nigeria for the first time with a travel grant from the Dallas Museum of Art. When I was there I started building the work that I did at Rosie’s (Gordon-Wallace) space, Diaspora Vibe. While in Miami, I made paintings as well as a performance piece called Soundings, which was about the presence of black women and personal gestures and movements related to power. In Nigeria I started making performances that arose from questions I had about the presence of women, especially in public space. People would ask me if I was married and if I had kids. These questions were how they started to understand who I was as a person. Being an artist was out of the realm of possibility for a lot of people, especially being a performance artist. I created a piece called, Will I still carry water when I am a dead woman? I had two water kegs – square containers for carrying water – and I filled them up and tied them around my ankles. Then I crawled along a dirt road in Lagos, for about 10 minutes, among the townspeople. I was trying to pose this question: “When do women have time to think and talk about politics? What does it look like for women to change society when so much of their time is consumed with daily work – work that extends from early in the morning to late in the evening?” The work that I’m going to do with the Guggenheim grant was inspired by this experience. I will explore what it means to have lots of women performing and moving through public space, interrupting space to talk about relevant issues.

Wura-Natasha Ogunji Will I still carry water when I am a dead woman? 2011 Lagos, Nigeria photo: Jelili Atiku

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AD: Many of your videos feature a solitary figure in a natural setting, such as a field or desert landscape or in a lagoon, as in the case of Ife head walks on water. But, Will I still carry water when I am a dead woman? takes place on a busy street in Lagos, Nigeria, with people all around. At one point in the video a motorcycle drives by. All the while, the people of Lagos are watching intently, curious about what you are doing. How did this change in setting develop? Did they know what you were working on? Did they know you were an artist? WNO: Performance art, as we know in it in the U.S., is a very new genre in Nigeria. There is a deep history of performance, of course: theater, festivals and traveling theater, not to mention daily life being very performative, but performance art is not something that people are very familiar with. Still there are a couple artists who are doing it in Nigeria. One of them is Jelili Atiku and a lot of his work is very political. I met him in Lagos and he asked me if I wanted to make a performance in a town on the outskirts of Lagos. It’s a place where he, as well as a few other artists, has performed before. The people there have seen performance art and they know that it’s kind of different, so there’s a generosity from the audience. They are starting to become familiar with the vocabulary, as much as any person can be familiar with the vocabulary of performance art. Anyway, he helped me choose that site and the street I performed on. I can’t remember the name right now, but it means something like “the place where an idea manifests.” He picked this particular place because of that deeper meaning as well as its physical location. He thought it would be a good place for me to crawl on the road. It’s actually a little side street because there is so much traffic on the main roads.

AD: So, your new work is going to continue to incorporate these kinds of public settings? WNO: Yes, it’s definitely going to include more public settings because of the questions I’m asking, and because I’m interested in working with other women performers and I’ll be working in Lagos. I’m really interested in this kind of interaction. The reason the videos changed in Nigeria, from those I made previously in the U.S., was because my questions changed. When I was here in the U.S. and I started making the Ife head series, I was thinking about the concept of “homeland” and wondering: “Does homeland long for us? And how would it look if our ancestors came from West Africa to look for us in the Americas? How would they get here?” They would have to fly. Fly across water, fly across land. So when I went to Nigeria, those questions were answered for me in many ways. The people in Nigeria were interested in what I had to say as a person and as an artist. So there wasn’t only the longing I had for them. They also had, in a sense, this longing for me. Being there, in the real physical space, the relationship changes…being connected to the ground and crawling on the ground, it makes more sense in that context. There is no need for me to fly because I’ve already arrived in this place. Also, there is a very different sense of community. I did a couple of solo performances while I was in Nigeria and people begin to interact and interrupt. So, performance art doesn’t happen in Nigeria in the way it happens here in the U.S. — >

Catching up with Wura-Natasha Ogunji

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AD: It is interesting to note that your work is based on Ife heads, which are archeological artifacts. I noticed that you have a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in photography, and I thought to myself, “Wow, that makes perfect sense,” because you are mining this really rich territory and it seems to me that you are merging these two disciplines in your artistic practice. Can you tell me a little about that development? WNO: I studied anthropology because it allowed me to connect these seemingly disparate histories. I studied African history, African American history, Mexican and Mexican American history and art history. I felt like all of these worlds I occupied in California could come together in this way – in anthropology. I was also very interested and obsessed with artifacts, and these ritual objects as they are presented in the West. When you find them in a museum in London, for instance, these precious, ceremonial objects are completely taken out of context. I would look at masks and objects and think, “Wow, they are just so beautiful.” I would also think about the history of these materials and the life that preceded them. During that time as an undergraduate, I was also studying photography and taking a lot of portraits. When I went to graduate school, I started to think about the power of photographs and the absence of people of color in the history of photography, and what that meant to my own conception of the world, and my own understanding of history, as well as my personal history. During that time I took a history of photography class and there were very few pictures of people of color at all. When I asked my professor about this, his response was, “Well, they just don’t exist. I can’t show them because I don’t know where to find them.” But, I knew we existed. And I also knew that people have been seeing the world photographically for thousands of years. You know, you could observe a camera obscura effect from the light coming through a small opening under the trees or into a cave…without technology as we know it today. Then I started to think about photography as way to access lost images and how I could use my own body to invoke these pictures and this history. I wondered if I could take a photograph of someone who existed before the invention of photography and what that would look like? And could I create a mask that would invoke that person and that spirit?

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AD: So you are almost making up an alternate history… filling in the gaps? WNO: Yes, it’s an alternate history but it’s really just another layer, in a sense. Another way of understanding what the narrative is when you are told that there is no narrative. How do you conceptualize that history in your head? What does it look like in your imagination? How does it affect how you move through the world? And then how do you create those physical documents that can use visual power to convey these ideas? The body is a powerful archive not only for information, for history, but also for the visual. I really started to access something when I was living in Spain in 2007. I was reading about people crossing the Strait of Gibraltar from Africa to get to Europe. I started to think about what those people carried with them when they crossed over. In many cases, all they had were their bodies, no possessions. In the body there is everything, the history of the world, it is not only the archive of our individual, lived experience. We carry our ancestors in our bodies, their gestures, memories and knowledge. Performance allows us to access this information. AD: It’s a fascinating set of ideas that you are working with. What’s next for you? You’ve been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship which is going to give you some time and space and energy to make work. As a result you are going to Nigeria again. How long are you going to be there and what’s the plan? WNO: I’m going to be there for nine months. I’ll be making performance videos that focus on the presence of women in public space. There’s a Yoruba phrase mogbo mo branch which means “I heard and I branched myself into the party.” It describes a party-crasher but also the party itself. And as a party crasher you arrive looking fabulous. I found this phrase really amazing. It captures the boldness of Nigerians, particularly Lagosians, people who live in Lagos. The series of performance videos is going to be entitled Mogbo mo branch because I’m thinking about what it means to boldly insert oneself into a place, what it means for women to take up space – both physically and via how we think about the world. The performances, the videos will then be screened/ projected back into/onto the city at various sites, so that people have the experience of seeing the images in the spaces they occupy on a daily basis.


Wura-Natasha Ogunj Radio Kaduna (Osun, Ogun and Shango), 2013 featured in photo: Ife Durojaie, Veronny Odili and Wura-Natasha Ogunji production still Lagos, Nigeria photo: Tentheory Olaoluwa Adebayo

AD: That sounds really great. I’ve noticed that your blog (http://goldeniron.blogspot.com/) is comprehensive. Are you going to blog about your work in Nigeria as it progresses? WNO: Yes, I’m definitely going to blog and post images and video about the experience and the work itself. It’s going to be a very rich experience because Lagos is such a mythic mega-city of over 12 million inhabitants. So yes, I will be blogging.

AD: Wonderful. I’ll be sure to check it out. Thank you, Wura, for taking the time to talk with me. And good luck in Lagos! WNO: Thank you, Alec. — >

Catching up with Wura-Natasha Ogunji

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Catching up with Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Part II In March 2013, Alec De León spoke with Wura-Natasha Ogunji again to see how her work in Nigeria was faring.

Alec De León (AD): When we last spoke you were heading back to Nigeria, to “crash the party” again. What is your experience like this time and how is your work building upon the work you began in 2011? Wura-Natasha Ogunji (WNO): Being in Nigeria has been amazing. I am living in Lagos and these first few months have largely been about research. I am interested in the collective and, in particular, the presence of women in public space. This requires looking at how women occupy space in society and then in the physical landscape. Several things are happening right now. I am developing two performance works. One piece is about women and leisure. I’ve observed that men have spaces to enjoy leisure activities in public. The most obvious is the watching of football games which happens in public places including bars, restaurants or on the street where DVD vendors set up televisions. Women are rarely in attendance. I imagine they are at home taking care of children and running the household. Public gatherings are not only a place to relax and enjoy life, but they also provide a collective space for discussing daily happenings, politics, etc. This “non-work” time is also a place where the imagination expands, where philosophizing happens and where new ways of being are birthed, played with, enacted. And because these public spaces are witnessed by a collective they hold a certain amount of power. I’m thinking very consciously about how to engage a collective of women to interrupt and hold claim to public space. This is a change from many of the performance works that I created in the United States (with the exception of one hundred black women, one hundred actions) which make use of the single black female body, my own. — > Wura-Natasha Ogunj Untitled (Ships), 2012 Lagos, Nigeria Catching up with Wura-Natasha Ogunji

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Wura-Natasha Ogunj Radio Kaduna (Egungun), 2013 production still Lagos, Nigeria photo: Tentheory Olaoluwa Adebayo

Coupled with this interest in the collective body, in engaging the bodies of many performers, I have also been confronted with an unexpected question, dilemma, challenge. This fall, I created a performance piece with video called Radio Kaduna (which I performed recently at The Menil Collection in Houston). I worked with a couple of performers in Lagos and filmed it in Idumota Market on Lagos Island. One character in the piece is an Egungun, which is an ancestor. In Egungun festivals the ancestors visit via the body of the dancers. Men, who are part of a secret society, are the only ones allowed to dance Egungun. Traditionally, there are serious consequences for women who even see the dancers. When it came time to film the Egungun in the marketplace a few men saw the actor putting on the dress. 22

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They began to comment, “Since when are women allowed to dance Egungun?” It’s a serious question because there are rules and expectations. And to embody Egungun is very powerful. People do what the Egungun asks; they cross the street to get out of the way. They defer without question. It’s understood. You must do what the ancestor asks. For me, as an artist and a Nigerian and a feminist, it brings up a lot of questions: “Who can occupy the body of the ancestor? Can a female body house an ancestor? What is the role of art in pushing and challenging these rules and expectations?” The performance piece that is about women and leisure is also about our connection to history and ancestors.


AD: In many cases, I think it is the role of an artist to pose questions but not necessarily come up with the answers. It sounds like this is what you are doing, setting up situations where traditions are questioned, causing people to think about themselves and others in new ways. Are your experiences in Nigeria changing the way you think about the way you live in the United States? WNO: Living in two (or more) places requires ongoing translation, but not necessarily in terms of language itself, but translation of experience. Being of two places is powerful. Even when I am critical of how people do things – both in the U.S. and in Nigeria – that critique comes with the knowledge that I am also implicated. So my questions arise from my deep desire to find answers. The process of understanding and misunderstanding is then embedded with integrity and humanity. I cannot fall back and say: “This is not me so I don’t need to understand.” Because I, too, embody that strangeness, the misunderstanding, belief system, the way of doing things. On my return to the U.S. and also when coming back to Nigeria it is at times arresting. Sometimes I feel like, “Wait, I don’t understand this at all, my body does not understand this at all.” But there is something very powerful about being an artist, something which allows us to traverse different terrain with a kind of ease and familiarity. I would even say that if we can get over the initial shock, we actually thrive in these discomforting situations because we know that the work itself will provide answers, more questions of course, but also infinite ways of seeing, rethinking and imagining what we wouldn’t have arrived at otherwise. This is powerful because it is the process itself that answers questions. There was a moment this past fall when I was talking with some colleagues in the U.S. about work we are doing at the University of Texas [Austin], related to performance and justice. We are developing curricula for a performance art course that questions the concept of justice and that looks at gender, race, class, ability, and sexuality, among other themes. I had this moment of thinking, “This is so irrelevant to the world I live in here in Nigeria.” My body moves through space in a totally different way in Lagos. For example, race is not a defining paradigm. This is not to say that the effects of colonization are not present, but concepts of race and racism as we know it in the United States do not exist. This is difficult for people to even imagine unless they

live here. I live in a place where I rarely see white people. It is even different from other places in West Africa, particularly those countries colonized by the French where you indeed see and feel the presence of Europeans, but we don’t have that here in Nigeria. To add to this, I am considered white in Nigeria, oyinbo. It’s a term used to name foreigners but also white people. It’s ironic. I am black in the U.S. and that experience has been such a formative one. Then I arrive in the motherland/my fatherland to be called “white.” I have to laugh. The term here doesn’t carry the baggage that it does in the U.S. People may call me oyinbo, while simultaneously declaring: “You’re still one of us. You’re my sister. I knew you had us in you.” Back to your question about how my experiences in Nigeria are changing the way I think about the way I live in the United States: How do I translate that experience of being different but also belonging upon returning to Austin? How do I explain the way that my body feels fundamentally rearranged in each place? My ability to observe those fundamental differences, my ability to allow the discomfort to exist is very powerful. And this informs and shapes the work I create in each place. I have recently been looking at the work of the photographer Rotimi Fani-Kayodé [1955-1989] who grew up in Nigeria, left as a refugee to move to Brighton, England, studied in the United States and finally returned to the U.K. In his essay Traces of Ecstasy [1987], he says:  n three counts I am an outsider: in matters of sexuality, O in terms of geographical and cultural dislocation, and in the sense of not having become the sort of respectably married professional my parents might have hoped for. Such a position gives me a feeling of having very little to lose. It produces a sense of personal freedom from the hegemony of convention. For one who has managed to hang on to his own creativity through the crises of adolescence, and in spite of the pressures to conform, it has a liberating effect. It opens up areas of creative inquiry that might otherwise have remained forbidden. At the same time, traces of the former values remain, making it possible to take new readings on them from an unusual vantage point. The results are bound to be disorienting. I feel what he writes about here. Disorientation brings fearlessness. 

Catching up with Wura-Natasha Ogunji

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Artist Dialogue

Emily Bivens and Steve Lambert

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The Visual Artists Network invited artists Emily Bivens [of The Bridge Club] and Steve Lambert to chat with each other and discuss their work and careers. They shared laughs and their perceptions of the Visual Artists Network [VAN] and the National Performance Network [NPN].

Steve Lambert is an artist who lives and works in Beacon, NY. For more information about him and his recent VAN Residency, see page 64 or visit his website visitsteve.com

left The Bridge Club Medium, 2012 live performance Art Palace, Houston TX above I will talk with anyone about anything Lambert sets up this table near other individuals and organizations tabling for political, religious and other causes. When people approach he offers to talk to them about whatever they would like. multiple cities

The Bridge Club (thebridgeclub.net/) is a contemporary visual and performance art collaborative comprised of artists Annie Strader, Christine Owen, Emily Bivens and Julie Wills. The Bridge Club’s interdisciplinary installation, video, live performance and digital media works have been included in exhibits and festivals throughout the U.S., incorporating and responding to sites such as a hotel room, a city bus or an abandoned storefront, in addition to the traditional gallery or museum space. The Bridge Club has recently been awarded an Idea Fund Grant, through the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, to support their traveling project, The Trailer (bridgeclubtrailer.com). — >

Emily Bivens and Steve Lambert

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From a phone conversation recorded March 8, 2013.

Emily Bivens (EB): [Laughter] I hope that laugh was recorded.

SL: So your idea for a project came out of attending VAN and NPN meetings?

Steve Lambert (SL): Yeah, brackets laughter. That’s how it starts. First line: Go!

EB: Well, it [The Trailer] was an idea that we thought about in the past, so the idea itself didn’t come from the Annual Meeting*, but the approach for touring it came from a model that is more akin to dance or theater. And the way we ask for funding changed, too. It wasn’t just what we were doing, but how we went about doing it. That really was influenced by being able to be at an Annual Meeting that focuses on different ways art is seen and funded.

EB: What are you going to be doing in Africa? SL: Working with healthcare activists and how they can use creativity in their work. EB: You have a list of questions for me, so I’ll just start with those. The thing that is most significant for us [the Bridge Club] is the way VAN has given us different opportunities. Our background is in performance and installation, so, most of the places that we’ve shown or people we’ve been exposed to have been visual artists, visual art curators, galleries, etc. The opportunity to interact with NPN and performing artists, with different backgrounds in dance or theater, allowed us to see our work in a different way. It directly informed our trailer project [The Trailer] and started us thinking about a touring model for our work. It’s something we had never considered. It was a huge advantage for us to be in a situation where we got to see other artists’ work, talk to curators who thought about work in that way. And it revolutionized the way we thought about our work, and what we actually made next. So I am curious about what you think about VAN or NPN and the relationship between the two, and if that affects your work or the way you think about future projects?

SL: So do you consider the trailer project a different kind of work? Do you think of it as performance and you’re bringing it to performance spaces? EB: We see it as an extension of the work that we were already doing. We see it as an installation that tours, which, I think, is more like a theater production: You have a set. You have events. The performance and the set are equally important. That is a bit different for our previous work, but we are still highly influenced by our visual arts background. And we see it as marrying these ideas, both performance and visual arts.

* T he NPN/VAN Annual Meeting is held every December

in a different U.S. city. The meeting brings together artists who have participated in NPN and VAN programs, Partners, curators, and colleagues.

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The Trailer, ongoing installation and mobile series of live performances by The Bridge Club touring the U.S. beginning March 2013

It’s also very responsive in the way that it is tailored to the people and the sites that we go visit. Is there anything in your work that was influenced in a similar way? Was there anything distinctive about VAN or going to the NPN/VAN Annual Meeting that struck you? SL: Well, I walked into it by coincidence. I happened to be doing a residency in Cleveland [at SPACES] and a VAN [Mid-Year] meeting was happening in Cleveland. The folks at SPACES said: “You should go over and show them your work.” I literally road my bike to the meeting and just kind of showed up. I didn’t know a whole lot about it beforehand, but I met people and talked to people. And I told them about the project that I was planning.

EB: What was that project? SL: It was the Capitalism Works for Me true-false sign, which at the time I was planning. So I went in and I showed them what I had been working on. And sure enough, people came up and wanted to talk to me about it. I ended up showing at Real Art Ways in Connecticut from that encounter. As far as a touring model goes, it always amazing me what goes into a theater production. You know, shipping sets and all the people involved. You’re there for two months as a group? That’s crazy. How does that even happen? So it gave me the idea that I can do something a little bit more ambitious and it wasn’t totally bonkers. So yes, I think that I do share that idea. And it reassures me that I’m not asking for too much trying to get one piece moved from one place to another. — >

Emily Bivens and Steve Lambert

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Steve Lambert Capitalism Works For Me! True/False, 2011 Aluminum and electrical 9 x 20 x 7 feet exhibition/tour to multiple cities photo: Steve Lambert

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Emily Bivens and Steve Lambert

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EB: Something else that I have appreciated about NPN is that they provide resources for artists, in any disciple, to be paid for what they do. I have found it helpful to see their models and how they work. It gives you the confidence to say: “This is an established model. This is what I need.”

EB: And you’re saying Texas is sort of like another country? Is that what you are saying? [Laughter]

SL: Going back to that ‘hybrid’ thing. I think that as time goes on, the barriers between different forms of art have eroded. At the Annual Meeting this year, the boundaries between a stage and an installation, or performance art and theater, are slowly breaking down. And it makes a lot of sense to me that there is some conversation about the infrastructure between the two.

EB: I am. Well, I’m not from Knoxville, but I do live here, though.

EB: Right, I agree. Another thing that we really value as a collaborative was when we were invited to be a part of the Annual Meeting when it was held in Knoxville, TN [in 2009]. We were invited as representatives of the local visual art scene there. And this idea of moving around the country and incorporating artists in the host city, it reflects a value on place and people. That’s how we became involved, and they can’t quite shake us now. [Laughter] “Time to rethink that decision.” But that is something that we value in our work and is reflected in our work. And I wonder if that sort of emphasis is reflected in your work? SL: Yes, I’m going to Africa next week and I think it does inform my work. EB: Where in Africa are you going? SL: I’m going to Nairobi. We reviewed all the work we were doing on this project and we asked ourselves, “Is there anything that’s just too American or too much about where were from?” And, of course, the answer is “Yes.” But we’ve already done a lot to take out things that are too specific, because we have travelled all over the country. You can’t just show up in Texas and pretend you know everything that is going on there. They will call you out on it. And the same thing would happen in another country.

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SL: I’m saying everywhere is like another country. You’re from Knoxville, right?

SL: Where did you grow up? EB: I grew up in Louisiana. SL: Ok. So that’s kind of like Mississippi. [Laughter] EB: I think the closer you get to things the more the details stand out from… [laughter]… People from Mississippi are going, “What? No, way. Come on.” SL: Well, I figured this out a long time ago. I grew up in this town called San Mateo in the Bay Area. Across the bay is a place called Hayward. I was with a friend that was from Hayward, and someone asked us, “San Mateo, that’s kind of like Hayward, right?” And we both said, “No, those people are fucking horrible.” [Laughter] So you know, I figured out very early on that no matter where you are it’s a very special place. EB: Yes, it’s special, and it’s specific. And I think that’s what’s really exciting for us, especially with our trailer project that we’re launching next week in Texas. What’s really interesting about that is experiencing a place and incorporating that place into the actual project. We get to see both the specificity of the place and things that make that place uniform or similar to other places. SL: I think it takes a certain combination of bravado and ignorance to just roll into a place and say, “Yeah, we know what’s going on here.” [Laughter]


The Trailer, ongoing installation and mobile series of live performances by The Bridge Club

EB: The premise that we are working on is that we are coming in and kind of collecting. We’re saying, “We don’t know. Tell us.” SL: Exactly! Yeah, yeah, yeah… EB: Tell us what’s going on here and then we adjust it and incorporate it into the project. SL: For me, the sign [Capitalism Works for Me] is like a prompt. What really makes the piece work is how people react and respond to it. EB: Are there other ways? I feel like there are a number of ways that these organizations are helpful but are there ways that you think VAN has been influential or helpful that perhaps, we haven’t encountered?

SL: I like the idea of a network. When I worked with artists in the past and we asked, “How many people in this room ever got an opportunity from another artist?” And everyone’s hands go up because that’s how things work. Merit is a part of it, and the quality of the project. But… EB: It’s the merit of your networking. SL: Well, yeah. [Laughter] That makes it sound sleazy. But, it’s not the merit of your networking but…things happen because people talk to each other. They say, “ You’ve got to see this really amazing work.” Or “Have you heard about his project?’ Or ‘I’m working on curating such-n-such topic.” So if we don’t isolate ourselves and try to find out about other places and discover what the possibilities are…being in communication makes exciting things happen. That’s how partnerships form, more work gets made, more work you care about becomes part of the culture and that’s what we are all trying to do. I think that part is great. — > Emily Bivens and Steve Lambert

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EB: Right. I agree. What other questions do you have? SL: I don’t know if I have a question but, well, I think Alec [De León] described me as a newbie. I don’t have as much experience, as probably you do, with VAN and NPN but I didn’t know you could get a residency with one organization then then do another one with a different organization the next year. I just found that out. It makes a lot of sense. EB: Yeah, right. SL: So, how long have you guys been involved with NPN and VAN? EB: I have to say we fell into it very luckily. In 2009, NPN/VAN held their Annual Meeting in Knoxville, hosted by Carpetbag Theatre, one of their performing arts Partners. The host committee recommended a bunch of local artists and arranged studio visits. When they came to my studio, I knew very little about VAN but they invited artists to apply for a hotel room installation. And that seemed right up our alley. Something that is very specific, that’s outside of a typical gallery exhibition. That was really exciting for us. So the piece that we designed for that situation was very much about the theme of a hotel. That was our first time. And now one of us has gone to the Annual Meeting every year and we’re working with a number of VAN Partners to exhibit this work that we’re now touring. Each year that we go, we get a new opportunity to talk to other artists, talk to other presenters and talk to curators. So that’s something that we’ve done each year, with one of us representing the group. SL: And how many years has it been? EB: The Philly meeting [2012] was our fourth year. SL: That’s great.

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EB: Yeah. It’s an invigorating couple of days. It’s exciting. You’re talking about your work, about other people’s work, getting to see people’s work. And it’s great having presenters there in the room… you are really able to talk to them. It’s been really exciting to be involved in it. SL: Sounds really nurturing too, you know? EB: It is. And we’d really like to give back. In fact we’re going to auction off one of our retired wigs, if you are interested, next year. We’re trying to drum up as much support for it ahead of time and donate the proceeds to NPN. SL: Yeah, um, you’ve seen my hair. [Laughter] EB: Yeah, well, I’ll send you a picture of it. SL: Yeah, it could work. EB: It’s a wig but it has a strong resemblance to a squirrel. I think you could work it…but, you might get in a bidding war with Alec because I think he really wants it. [Laughter] I can’t be sure, but I think he was interested. Well, best of luck in Nairobi this summer and have a great trip. SL: I’m scared actually, but thanks. EB: Are you? SL: Well, there’s election violence. EB: Oh. I travelled with my one-year old to Swaziland a couple of years ago. It was a very peaceful time, but I will say any border crossing can become quite intimidating. But, best of luck and have a great time. Good talking to you SL: Thanks. And good luck with your launch. 


above Steve Lambert Sand Ocean Sky – The Commons, 2009 commercial roadside sign Los Angeles, CA coastline left The Bridge Club The Trailer, ongoing installation and mobile series of live performances

Emily Bivens and Steve Lambert

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Exhibitions

Colette Fu Axi Fire Festival, 2011 archival inkjet pop-up book 17x 25 x11 inches installation view photo: Thom Carroll  34

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Exhibitions

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Eric Gottesman

Cambridge, MA  www.ericgottesman.net

Tindae

August 15 – 19, 2011

Real Art Ways Hartford, CT

In 2011, Real Art Ways presented an exhibition by Eric Gottesman exploring the life of an Ethiopian teenager, Tinsae Muluneh, whom the artist has known since 2004. Gottesman wrote about the project, “The process of communication takes the form, here, of a series of concentric circles. In the center is Tinsae’s neighborhood, the cultural context in which Tinsae and I make images together. At the core is the Sudden Flowers Archive, a custom-built DJ cabinet filled with photographs. This object provides cultural context by sampling the experiences of the people who surround Tinsae. Surrounding the archive is a circular gallery wall inspired by the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, a local ritual that gathers people in conversation and social problem solving. In this space, viewers can sit, make themselves a cup of coffee, and pore over the archive at their own pace as they learn about Tinsae’s environs. Gottesman continues: “Surrounding the circular wall is the outer wall of the gallery, where viewers encounter Tinsae through my selection of his images, and through my conversations with him. Viewers hear Tinsae’s voice through me, and can explore his experiences as a child whose parents died of AIDS, and then later as a creative, resilient young person emerging from the aftermath of trauma. In this show, I transformed the gallery walls into conduits for intimacy; viewers enter from the outside, invited to spiral toward the core, observe first my encounters with Tinsae and eventually arriving at a sample of the world that surrounds him.” — > Eric Gottesman Tinsae, 2011 installation view (interior circle) photo: John Groo

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left Awassa, Ethiopia, 2008 inkjet print 13 x 19 inches

top A History of Sudden Flowers, 2008 HD video 12 minutes

below Sudden Flowers Cabinet of Tools, 2011 custom portable PVC DJ case, inkjet photographs, self-powering amplifier, coffee machine 28 x 15 x 24 inches

Eric Gottesman

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top Eric Gottesman Tinsae, 2011 installation view (exterior circle) photo: John Groo My family without me; I want to learn to be a karatist; I want to fix thing, 2005 inkjet prints (framed) 30 x 40 inches each left Eric Gottesman Weight (what Tinsae wanted to call “I Dreamt I Was Strong”), 2008 still from HD video 11 minutes

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Gottesman was one of six artists selected from a pool of 300 applicants as part of STEP UP, Real Art Ways’ annual series of juried exhibitions of emerging artists. In addition to his 2011 solo exhibition and opening events, Gottesman’s weeklong residency gave him the chance to create a short film with Haleluya Eshete, a visiting Ethiopian boy from the village featured in Tinsae. Gottesman also engaged with the participants of Real Art Ways’ ParkArt program, which has been offering free summer workshops to neighborhood kids for the past 23 summers. Gottesman and Eshete talked with the neighborhood kids about their collaborative process and experiences in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, sharing how their cross-cultural dialogues sparked new ideas and motivated them to develop a creative new media project. Their film, Out of my Country (on the occasion of Haleluya Eshete’s first journey to America), was screened as part of Gottesman’s exhibition and was visited by the ParkArt kids.

above Eric Gottesman Laughing Competition (Tinsae), 2006 HD video (projection) 8 minutes

Gottesman is a collaborative artist and teacher working with photography, video, installation and performance. He studied law and politics, working for a time in the office of the Chief Justice of the United States of America. Beyond his work with Sudden Flowers, Gottesman has held solo shows at TPW Gallery in Toronto, Canada, (as part of the 2011 Contact Photo Festival) and the Addison Gallery of American Art with Wendy Ewald in Andover, Massachusetts. Works by Gottesman are held by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Johnson & Johnson Collection and various universities. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Apex Art Franchise Award (2011), a Fulbright Fellowship in Art (2009-10), the Artadia Award (2009), a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship (2009) and an Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship (2008-09). Gottesman’s work in the documentary studies program at Duke University garnered support from the Open Society Institute and the Opportunity Fund. Gottesman was recently an artist-in-residence at Amherst College (Spring 2012). His first book, Sudden Flowers: May the Finest in the World Always Accompany You, is forthcoming.

Weight (what Tinsae wanted to call “I Dreamt I Was Strong”), 2008 HD video (on monitor) 11 minutes Eric Gottesman

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Dollie Eaglin-Monroe Crowley, LA January 30, 2012 – February 4, 2012

Ashé Cultural Arts Center New Orleans, LA

Dollie Eaglin-Monroe (director of The Big Easy Classical Arts award-winning production The Origin of Life on Earth) is presently an arts educator in Lafayette Parish Schools. She taught as a dance educator at Audubon Charter School for twenty years, and was chosen by her peers as Audubon Charter School’s Teacher of the Year in 1998 and 2007. In addition, she has presented arts integrated/comprehensive arts education workshops for teachers at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Acadia Parish Schools, and the New Orleans Ballet Association’s classroom teachers and dance professionals. Dollie Eaglin-Monroe creates figurative portraits and landscapes in acrylic. For this residency, Eaglin-Monroe focused on placemaking and how her work connects with the late artist Douglas Redd, co-founder of Ashé Cultural Arts Center. Viewing the works of both artists (one living, one deceased) gave students the chance to experience versatility of craft and style in different genres. Ashé was able to engage and activate the community around artist Douglas Redd and how his work influenced the work of many other community artists, including Eaglin-Monroe. This residency culminated in Redd Linen Night, a group exhibition of artist and student work.

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This Visual Artist Network residency enabled Ashé to continue to embrace art as a tool for community development and an opportunity to partner with other area institutions. Eaglin-Monroe led a week of workshops with students from Audubon Charter Middle School and taught them about the elements and principles of art. In addition, students from Southern University’s museum studies program, Shawndrika Reed and Dawn Redd, assisted with the installation of the exhibition and the show’s opening. Eaglin-Monroe received her B.F.A. with a major in dance and a minor in visual art from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and earned an M.A. from the University of Houston/Clear Lake City. She has traveled throughout the United States and Europe as a teacher, performer, and choreographer. Eaglin-Monroe received the University of New Orleans Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Community Service in 2004. In January 2011, she had her first onewoman exhibition in Crowley, LA, titled Nature’s Dance. This also marks her second year serving as a Visual Artists Network artist-in-residence.


above Dollie Eaglin-Monroe Share Croppers Juke Joint, 2004 acrylic 23 x 33 inches photo: Karel Sloane-Boekbinder below Students creating work inspired by the art of VAN Artist in Residence Dollie Eaglin-Monroe photo: Dollie Eaglin-Monroe

Dollie Eaglin-Monroe

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Tad Beck and Jennifer Locke

New York, NY / San Francisco, CA  www.tadbeck.com / www.jenniferlocke.net

Capsize March 4 – 11, 2012

LACE / Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Los Angeles, CA

The first collaborative work by artists Tad Beck and Jennifer Locke, Capsize was developed on an island off the coast of Maine where Beck had spent many summers both as a child and adult. The two artists generated this body of work utilizing objects, landscape and models from the island, incorporating Locke’s approach to action/ performance and the camera. Both artists have worked with the male body, each in their own way. For Beck, the erotic potential of the body is coupled with absurdist/humorous activities, utilizing eros as a springboard for looking at more abstract notions of repetition, failure, exertion, voyeurism, and the masculine subject. Locke’s utilization is similarly focused on exertion and the dynamics of looking. She is also particularly concerned with how bodies animate and inhabit a space. Her work grapples with how the presence of a camera and/ or viewer transforms that body’s way of occupying physical space, and in so doing explores architectural themes. Capsize incorporates an unorthodox utilization of materials through performance, upending the normal order of symbolic relations. The elements of each discrete piece (boat/body/water/camera/model/artist) are shuffled and reshuffled into various permutations and thus function as a matrix supplying terms for the invention of activities and their positioning within the camera’s frame.

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Tad Beck received a B.F.A. in photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1991, and an M.F.A. in fine art from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, in 2003. After relocating to Los Angeles from New York City to attend graduate school, Beck was full time faculty in the Intermedia Department at the Roski School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, for many years. In 2011, Beck returned to New York City, where he now lives and works, in addition to maintaining a summer studio on Vinalhaven, Maine. He is represented by Samuel Freeman Gallery. Beck was recently the subject of a solo exhibition, Tad Beck: Palimpsest, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2010, for which an artist’s monograph with texts by Brian T. Allen and Michael Ned Holte was produced, and the artist had another solo exhibition at Samuel Freeman Gallery in Santa Monica, California in 2011. Beck’s work has also been exhibited on the West Coast at Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles; Krowswork, Oakland, CA; the Sheppard Gallery at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles. His work is represented in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Fisher Landau Center for Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, among others. More at tadbeck.com — >


Tad Beck and Jennifer Locke Capsize 5, 2011 36 x 36 inches Ultrachrome print

Tad Beck and Jennifer Locke

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Tad Beck and Jennifer Locke Capsize, 2012 installation view photo: Joshua White

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Tad Beck and Jennifer Locke

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Jennifer Locke composes physically intense actions in relation to the camera and specific architecture in order to explore the unstable hierarchies between artist, model, camera, and audience. Her actions focus on cycles of physicality and visibility, and draw from her experiences as a professional dominatrix, champion submission wrestler, and artists’ model. Locke often creates a separation between her live actions and the audience through the use of material barriers, live video feeds, multiple camera perspectives, wireless microphones, and mini-cameras. These audiovisual reiterations produce a ripple effect, flattening, repeating, echoing, amplifying, and displacing the action by turning it — as well as the audience performing its own spectatorship— into an image of itself.

Locke has exhibited in venues such as the 2010 California Biennial; 48th Venice Biennale; Air de Paris, Paris; the 9th Havana Biennial; La Panaderia, Mexico City; Palais de BeauxArts, Brussels; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the Berkeley Art Museum; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has curated for Artists’ Television Access and Queens Nails Annex, co-produced a cable access show, sung in punk bands, and given a variety of workshops. Locke received the 2006 Chauncey McKeever Award, a 2010 Goldie, and was recently awarded a 2012 Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship. She lives and works in San Francisco and teaches at the San Francisco Art Institute. More at jenniferlocke.net

left Tad Beck and Jennifer Locke Untitled (Buoy), 2012 video installation above Keel Haul, 2011 video installation

Tad Beck and Jennifer Locke

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Marina Zurkow Brooklyn, NY  www.o-matic.com

Necrocracy March 11 – 17, 2012

DiverseWorks Houston, TX

Necrocracy is a meditation on geology, time, nature and petrochemical production. First exhibited at DiverseWorks, Necrocracy featured newly commissioned works including video animation, drawing and sculpture. Questioning the inherited, Romantic-era division between the natural and the human, the works navigate between human manufacturing of petroleum-based products, ecology, and the geological chronology of oil.  The DiverseWorks show marked the debut of seven animated works and included a labyrinth of fifty 10-foothigh banners depicting a wide variety of things made from petroleum plastic: IV bags, flip flops, rubber chickens, artificial flowers, nylon umbrellas, gas masks, cell phones, condoms, diapers, and more. The animations (some video, some software-driven) look at the petroleumrich landscape of West Texas through a series of lenses: geological time, the larger ecosystem, and the interdependence of resources like water and oil. — >

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Marina Zurkow Installation view of NeoGeo I – IV, 2012 and HazMat Suits for Children, 2012 In collaboration with Daniel Shiffman Single-channel animation, color, silent Unique Quicktime renders of processing sketches, custom computers, speedrail, mirror 12 minutes each

processing development: Dan Shiffman, technical assistance: Paul Hester Tychem® TK fabric, acrylic , Velcro, rubber, mannekin fabrication : Lara Grant Tychem® TK fabric courtesy of DuPont(tm) Approx 45” tall Edition of 5 suits photo: Paul Hester

Marina Zurkow

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Marina Zurkow The Thirsty Bird, 2012 Edition 1/5 two-channel animation, black and white, silent 5 min, 12 sec loop animation assistance: Lindsay Nordell installation view photo: Paul Hester

above Totes created by Dennis Nance from one of Zurkow’s Petroleum Manga banners photo: Dennis Nance right Marina Zurkow Necrocracy, 2012 Installation view photo: Paul Hester

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Marina Zurkow

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In January 2011, Zurkow researched the Permian Basin during a residency hosted by DiverseWorks. From Marfa to Midland, the artist met with geologists, naturalists, cattlemen, oilmen, and activists. She traversed the high southern plains of the Llano Estacado – the ecosystem stretching from Lubbock to the Edwards Plateau – a landscape so subtle most people call it The Big Empty. In her words, “We, all of us, who live on the grid of the US, are soaking in petroleum and wouldn’t know how to live, feed, shelter, clothe, or express ourselves without oil-based products.” In the Permian Period 250 million years ago, the geological riches were formed as marine microorganisms accumulated in sediments on the floor of a vast saline sea. Over millions of years, the seas dried out, the landmass itself moved to its present location, and the marine creatures transmuted into hydrocarbons. In the past century, we have pumped over 100 billion barrels of oil and a hundred trillion cubic feet of gas from these Texas hydrocarbon reservoirs. Zurkow’s exhibition asks us to think about how we disturb, worship and are dominated by these long-dead beings: Necrocracy, or the rule of the dead.

As part of the exhibition and VAN residency, Zurkow developed a collateral materials lab to engage audiences around issues of oil and landscape. The lab featured a library, movie clips, a blog, video interviews and a kiosk to capture vistors’ views on petroleum. At the end of the exhibition, Zurkow encouraged visitors to take and repurpose the banners. Marina Zurkow makes media works that explore humans’ relationships to animals, plants and the weather. These reconfigured and inclusive notions of our environment have taken the form of animated videos, customized multi-screen computer pieces, installations, prints, and participatory public art works. Zurkow has exhibited at The Sundance Film Festival, The Rotterdam Film Festival, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Seoul Media City Biennial, Ars Electronica, Creative Time, The Kitchen, Walker Art Center, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Eyebeam, and DiverseWorks. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and has been a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellow, a Rockefeller New Media Fellow, and a Creative Capital grantee. Zurkow is on the faculty at NYU’s Interactive Technology Program.

top Marina Zurkow The Petroleum Manga, 2012 50 banners (10 x 3 feet each) solvent ink on Tyvek research: Miriam Simun, drawings assistance: Ellen Anne Burtner, printing: Vista CRC Lab, NY installation view photo: Paul Hester bottom Mesocosm (Wink, Texas), 2012 installation view photo: Mark Francis Marina Zurkow

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Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office Chicago, IL  www.yougenics.net/griffis

Right to the Riparian City May 7 – 13, 2012

SPACES Cleveland, OH

Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office produces a variety of services relating to tourism and technology aimed at exploring the non-rational connections existing between public and private spaces. Its mission is to investigate the potential of tourism as a critical activity, i.e. one able to generate imaginative and analytical perspectives on our surroundings. Towards these ends, the Temporary Travel Office produces guided and self-guided tours, as well as research documents and proposals for rethinking monuments and parks.

Right to the Riparian City was later exhibited in Lake-Effect: Rurality & Ecology in the Great Lakes at (Scene) Metrospace, East Lansing, MI from September 11, 2012 - October 2, 2012.

Temporary Travel Office’s Right to the Riparian City addressed Doan Brook, a waterway that flows from Shaker Heights, OH, through Cleveland and into Lake Erie. This project proposed that the boundaries of the Doan Brook Watershed be recognized as both a political and ecological territory. The project was manifested as a temporary embassy for the Riparian City located in SPACES — complete with flags, maps, passports, time zone clocks and visual markers of the watershed’s boundaries. These documents positioned visitors and residents in relation to the watershed.

— >

The Temporary Embassy to the Riparian City (exhibited at SPACES) was relocated to the Salon des Refuses, 1387 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio where it will be indefinitely headquartered. More information at: http://temporarytraveloffice.net/ripariancity/

Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office Right to the Riparian City, 2012 mixed media photo: Jerry Mann 54

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Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office

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Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office Right to the Riparian City, 2012 mixed media photo: Jerry Mann

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Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office

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Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office Right to the Riparian City, 2012 mixed media photo: Jerry Mann

Ryan Griffis visited Cleveland months prior to executing the project in an effort to understand the city and the Doan Brook Watershed better. He met with leaders at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, citizens who lived within the watershed, and city officials. On May 10, 2012 (the evening before the project opening reception), Griffis spoke to a group of 30 individuals from the Contemporary Art Society of the Cleveland Museum of Art to discuss his practice and the Right to the Riparian City project. Many attendees were enthusiastic in their response to the project and Griffis’ unique practice as Temporary Travel Office.

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Ryan Griffis received his M.F.A. from East Carolina University 1999 and his B.F.A. from the University of North Florida in 1996. His work has appeared at the Agency for Small Claims/Bureau for Open Culture, Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH; Smart Museum, University of Chicago; Gallery 400, UIC, Chicago, IL; Freewaves Festival, Los Angeles, CA; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA; The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Los Angeles; Rhizome. org; YNKB (Ydre Nørrebro Kultur Bureau), Copenhagen; Mess Hall, Chicago, IL; PS122, New York, NY; Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, MA; and Thailand New Media Festival, Bangkok, Thailand. He is also the recipient of a Graham Foundation Research Grant; Illinois Arts Council Finalist Award; and he was nominated for a Renew Media 2008 Media Arts Fellowship.


Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office

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Interview

Ryan Griffis and Christopher Lynn

Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office Right to the Riparian City, 2012 mixed media photo: Jerry Mann 60

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Ryan Griffis and Christopher Lynn

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Christopher Lynn, Executive Director of SPACES, Clevland, OH, talks with artist Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office. From May 11, 2012

Christopher Lynn (CL): I contacted you a while ago about doing a project with SPACES and you came out to visit late last year (2011). Did you already have some ideas in mind, or did you come to scout and let the project emerge from that visit? Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office (RG): I talked to you initially in 2011 and I was involved in a large project in Pittsburgh that summer…

CL: You were at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, right? RG: Yes. There were two things I knew about this region from my research. I teach new media in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Because of my interest in new media, I knew a little about this early internet service provider called the Cleveland Free Net which came out of Case Western Reserve University. It was basically a project to link the medical community and the research community, and it expanded into being a more widely accessible internet service provider, more or less. It provided people access to the early web and things like email addresses. It became a model for the world, in terms of early community internet service providers. It is something that is still referenced when people talk about community freenets. So, that was something I knew about, that I was very interested in. I didn’t know very much about it, I just knew that it existed. I also knew about this battle to block freeways in Shaker Heights, OH. I knew about that from my research into parking, and the relationship between parking and the development of highways. I knew very little about both of these, but they were my starting points.

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So, I started looking into those two historical instances, and I started finding other stories that were tangents to those while looking through archives. I knew that I wanted to have some political connection between humans and nonhumans, and thinking about what that could mean. As I researched boundaries, one of the boundaries that came across in a watershed map was the Doan Brook Watershed. It contained most of the historical instances that I was most interested in. As a boundary that is not well-recognized by the majority of the people that live within it (in fact, most watershed boundaries are not well-recognized), it got me interested in issues of bioregionalism, and some of the problems and benefits that arise from reorganizing political communities differently. Rather than thinking about county boundaries and municipal boundaries and state boundaries, I proposed thinking about other ones that exist, like watersheds. Those are some of the most readily apparent ones that people who are interested in bioregionalism consider. CL: What do you mean when you say, “bioregionalism”? RG: Bioregionalism is a set of ideas. I don’t know that there is a definitive way of understanding it, but my understanding is that it is looking at relationships that exist spatially that are defined by environmental conditions — things like watersheds, which are landmasses that are understood by how water moves through them. Water collects in a certain amount of land, and then that water is funneled somewhere else. If you look at a map of North America, one of the largest watersheds would be the Mississippi River. I don’t know the exact proportions, but the vast majority of the United States drains into the Mississippi River at one point or another.

CL: Describe how the project now looks and how it functions beyond the gallery as well. RG: Our primary way of thinking of the aesthetic presentation was in terms of political boundaries, and how the watershed can be seen as a political boundary. So, we quickly started amassing and designing visual elements that would help present that as a speculative proposal. We produced a passport-sized booklet that has some of the historical narratives embedded in it. We produced flags with some symbols based in elements of our research. We also produced a tour map to solicit input from people who might have personal stories about the watershed. There is a desk that houses the passports for people to take, and small flags that are about the size of utility flags that we also encouraged people to take—to use as place markers especially if they live within the watershed. Those who don’t live there, if they take forays into the watershed, would place the flags in areas they find interesting. There are blank maps that delineate the boundaries of the watershed and we encourage people to make itineraries for their own tours. There is also a large wall map where we’re soliciting responses or ideas for places where people should visit. It all is part of what we are calling a Temporary Embassy to the Riparian City of the Doan Brook Watershed. The idea of the Riparian City comes from the ecological definition of a riparian corridor, or terrain that is riparian. “Riparian” describes the condition of where land meets a moving body of water, like a river, stream or brook. CL: Thank you for bringing your project to Cleveland and addressing the city so directly. 

Bioregionalists are typically interested in getting human communities to think about themselves in terms of environmental processes like water, but also other ecological principles.

Ryan Griffis and Christopher Lynn

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Steve Lambert Beacon, NY  http://visitsteve.com/

Defeat the Ghosts May 12 – 18, 2012

Space One Eleven Birmingham, AL

Steve Lambert was a senior fellow at New York’s Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology from 2006-2010, developed and leads workshops for the Creative Capital Foundation, and is an assistant professor at SUNY Purchase. Defeat the Ghosts consists of two letterpress poster campaigns that appear to have originated in the 1960s but address contemporary issues. The project re-connects Alabama’s civil rights history to present day immigration issues. The project is very specific to Alabama, its history and present day politics. Alabama has a deep and vital history in the Civil Rights movement. While the struggle for civil rights is ongoing, in many ways the idea of civil rights has culturally receded. Seen through the lens of mainstream culture, the fight for civil rights in the 1960s is often portrayed as though it was simply history and is not currently relevant. However, this is not the case. Civil rights is an ongoing contemporary issue. In 2011, Alabama adopted the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act (HB 56), one of nations’ strictest anti-illegal immigration laws. There are many events that are significant to Alabama’s civil rights struggles, yet Alabama voters do not seem to connect the dots to today’s struggle over immigrants’ rights. In our collective effort to put the shameful parts of our past behind us, we are also losing some of the lessons. — >

Steve Lambert Defeat the Ghosts, 2012 letterpress poster 24 x 14 inches installation view near Greyhound Bus Station photo: Binx Newton 64

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Steve Lambert

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The poster, Re-elect Bull Connor’s Ghost, communicates the idea that if Bull Connor were alive today, he would be on the side of politicians that have pushed retrograde laws like HB 56. The project also highlights the legacy of anti-integration politics and its connection to today’s antiimmigration policies. Defeat the Ghosts is the more hopeful poster of the pair, addressing the legacy of racism that continues to haunt Alabama. The main message is that we must “defeat the ghosts” and overcome fear and illusions. It also illustrates the concept that the dead ideas of the past continue to prevent Alabama, and society as a whole, from moving forward. The prints were posted simultaneously around Birmingham, Alabama, just prior to the fall 2012 election. Lambert visited numerous historical civil rights sites, including the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, A.G. Gaston Hotel, the Greyhound Bus Station, Jefferson County Courthouse and Birmingham City Hall. Lambert also met with local press members, and presented his work and held a community discussion at Space One Eleven. Lambert’s project concluded with the installation and display of 100 posters throughout the city.

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Steve Lambert’s projects and artworks have won awards from Prix Ars Electronica, Rhizome/The New Museum, the Creative Work Fund, Adbusters Media Foundation, the California Arts Council, and others. Lambert’s work has been shown everywhere from museums to protest marches nationally and internationally, featured in over fourteen books, four documentary films, and is in the collections of the Sheldon Museum, the Progressive Insurance Company, and the Library of Congress. Lambert has discussed his work live on NPR, the BBC, and CNN, and been reported on internationally in outlets including the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The Believer, Good, Dwell, ARTnews, Punk Planet, and Newsweek. Steve is a perpetual autodidact with (if it matters) advanced degrees from a reputable art school and respected state university. He dropped out of high school in 1993.

above Steve Lambert doing research around Birmingham photo: Binx Newton right Steve Lambert Defeat the Ghosts, 2012 letterpress poster 24 x 14 inches installation view near 16th Street Baptist Church photo: Binx Newton


Steve Lambert

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Gregory Michael Hernandez Los Angeles, CA  www.exilechild.com

Compound Projections: The Monastery, The Fortress and The Exile May 30 – June 16, 2012

MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana San Jose, CA

Gregory Michael Hernandez is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work mines the complex history of place and landscape, and how we visually and physically perceive it. He weaves together painting, photography, sculpture and installation. Hernandez looks at space, our place in it and the political, historical and philosophical implications that have defined it. Hernandez’s work included in the exhibition pulls from the differing architectures of the San Francisco Bay Area, leaning towards architecturally prominent spaces broken up into categories he has defined as: homestead, monastery, fortress and exile. Hernandez challenges the viewer to consider the history of these individual spaces.

The residency allowed Hernandez the opportunity to facilitate a series of community engagement activities, including a workshop for the general public and youth, based on ideas found within his work. As a result of research conducted by Hernandez during his visit to San Jose, he created photographic panoramic collages from existing Bay Area architecture. These photos were then cut, folded and formed into 3-dimesional spherical images. Hernandez also worked with MACLA’s summer youth program, Qué Onda, and Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy. The resulting collaboration between the artist and youth was a freestanding sculpture. Created in three parts, light was projected through globes with architectural elements selectively cut away. Hernandez worked with the youth to capture or record the resultant shadows in paint, on the surface of a convex canvas and wood support. The works were constructed by the youth with the guidance of the artist. — >

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Gregory Michael Hernandez Compound Projections, 2012 installation view photo: Aimee Santos

Gregory Michael Hernandez

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Gregory Michael Hernandez was born in West Covina, CA and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Hernandez holds a B.S. degree from Biola University (2009). Hernandez’s work has been exhibited throughout the greater Los Angeles region, including LAX Airport, LAX Art, Torrance Art Museum, and Light and Wire Gallery. Hernandez is also the recipient of the Emerging Artist Fellowship, California Community Foundation (2011).

top Gregory Michael Hernandez Compound Projections, 2012 community art activity photo: Aimee Santos left Compound Projections, 2012 photo: courtesy of the artist

Gregory Michael Hernandez

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Tom Torluemke Dyer, IA   www.tomtorluemke.com

You Know... We’re All In This Together June 4 – 10, 2012

Legion Arts Cedar Rapids, IA

Tom Torluemke is a contemporary American artist. His practice spans 30 years and includes works in painting, drawing, sculpture and installations. He is known for his honest, no-holds-barred approach to difficult subject matter relating to socio-political and socio-sexual themes. In June 2012, Torluemke was invited to Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for an artist residency. The week-long residency included the creation of a 9 x 21 foot mural on canvas. During the residency, Torluemke lived and worked in a restored firehouse next to CSPS Hall, the century-old meeting space Legion Arts operates as a contemporary art center.

The drawings were then transferred to a giant canvas. This was followed by three days of painting and an exhibition that featured the finished mural, paintings, sculpture and dozens of the daily, felt drawings Torluemke makes for the web. The mural, titled You know, we’re all in this together…, depicts life and culture returning to Cedar Rapids after the devastating flood of 2008, through the participation of local residents in the arts. Local, state and regional media documented the process of the mural making and more than 1,000 people came to the galleries during the two-month-long display of the work.

Throughout three intensive days filled with 15-minute sittings, Tom Torluemke interviewed and made drawings of over 70 area residents on tissue paper. According to Torluemke’s request the volunteer models included people of all ages and body-types, and represented the class, opinion and racial diversity of Cedar Rapidians.

top Tom Torluemke, his models, gallery visitors and print and broadcast media were present at the opening reception and community event celebrating Torluemke’s exhibition at CSPS. photo: Mel Andringa/Legion Arts bottom Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett poses for a portrait by Tom Torluemke as a part of Torluemke’s VAN residency in the Firehouse at CSPS. photo: Mel Andringa/Legion Arts 72

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Tom Torluemke

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Tom Torluemke You know, we’re all in this together…, 2012 acrylic paint on canvas 9 x 21 feet photo: Mel Andringa/Legion Arts

Tom Torluemke

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Felici Asteinza Gainesvlle, FL

Big Girl Problems and MILAGROS: Portal Culture June 10 – 16, 2012

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator Miami, FL

The paintings of Felici Asteinza reflect the bizarre Florida landscape through the lens of a psychedelic, tropical, Catholic guilt trip. These layered collages navigate the internal, ritualistic world that lies in between intuition and control. Asteinza has used teeth as a theme in her newest body of work, Big Girl Problems. Using known and numbered iconography allows for a deeper investigation into the collective distortion of bodies and cultural greediness. Elaborate lines and patterns become the connective tissues between re-discovered objects, images, gestural marks, and color.

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Asteinza’s work is also a personal journey through color. By utilizing a wider range of neutral colors she has been able to harness color in ways that allow for individual colors to shine bolder and brighter. Asteinza is aiming to create a more nuanced color palette embedded with evocative elements. The web of elaborate patterning becomes the connective tissue between the diverse components of this body of work. The tick lines develop movement and rhythm within the composition and activate the work in a brand new way. This small attention to detail within large, gestural marks, and opaque color become the crux of the work, creating a larger surface pull and details that keep the viewer engaged.


In conjunction with the exhibition of her artwork, musical/ art collective Milagros performed an evening of music at Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower.

Felici Asteinza Milagros: Portal Culture performance June 28, 2012

In 2009 Asteinza was selected as Leon County’s Hispanic Heritage artist and exhibited in the Mary Brogan Museum of Art in Tallahassee, FL. Felici has always been heavily engaged with her communities; from 2009 - 2010 she ran the collective space Milagros, where monthly events and workshops were open to the public with attendance ranging in the thousands. She also co-founded The Church of Holy Colors in Gainesville, FL with Joey Fillastre and Evan Galbicka. The Church continues to the present with the love and help of an always-expanding network of Floridian artists and musicians. Asteinza is currently attending the University of South Florida where she is a candidate for an M.F.A. degree.

Felici Asteinza

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Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle Los Angeles, CA  www.kenyattaachinkle1.com

Kentifrican Museum of Culture Project Row Houses Houston, TX

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle was born in Louisville, KY and is a descendant of Kentifrica, “a contested geography, identity and existence.” She is an interdisciplinary visual artist, writer, performer, teacher and arts administrator currently living and working in Los Angeles. She received her M.F.A. in art and critical studies/creative writing from the California Institute of the Arts. For the past thirteen years, she has worked with various community arts partnerships and nonprofit arts organizations in Kentucky, Maryland, New York, and Texas. Her work and performances have been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly and The New York Times. Hinkle also exhibited her work in the Fore show at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle Kentifrica Is: Messages from the Mamaland, 2012 dimensions and media variable Installation view from Round 36 at Project Row Houses photo: Eric Hester

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Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

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above Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle Kentifrica Is: Messages from the Mamaland, 2012 dimensions and media variable installation view from Round 36 at Project Row Houses photo: Eric Hester top right Kentifrica Is: Messages from the Mamaland, 2012 projection installation view from Round 36 at Project Row Houses photo: Eric Hester bottom right Kentifrica Is: Messages from the Mamaland, 2012 dimensions and media variable installation view from Round 36 at Project Row Houses photo: Eric Hester

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Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

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Interview

Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle and Ryan N. Dennis

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On February 1, 2013, Ryan N. Dennis, the Public Art Director of Project Row Houses, spoke with Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle about her recent VAN Exhibition Residency during Project Row Houses’ Round 36.

Ryan N. Dennis (RND): In 2012 you participated in Round 36 at Project Row Houses (PRH) from March 31 – June 24, 2012. Can you speak to that experience and how you came to be presented through a VAN Exhibition Residency? Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (KACH): Round 36 gave me the opportunity to create the world’s first Kentifrican Museum of Culture. This was a huge feat because the museum is dedicated to building an educational and research platform for a contested geography, culture and existence. It was really important for me to build this museum at PRH because it represents issues of visibility, shape shifting and manipulating historical markers of identity. I previously collaborated with Kevin Robinson (performer and composer) and Eugene Moon (visual artist) on the ethnomusicology of Kentifrica, in which we re-created Kentifrican instruments based upon research that we had conducted over the course of a year. We performed with eight other individuals at the Hammer Museum and the Barnsdall Art Park in Los Angeles, which was a part of the Made in L.A. 2012 Biennial.

The experience of the ethnomusicology project and performing at festivals made it clear that there was a need for a dedicated space to share more of Kentifrican culture with various communities. When I was asked to participate in Round 36, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to create a space that featured hairstyling from Kentifrica, musical instruments and storytelling. Kevin, Eugene and I all share an interest and experience working with youth. We thought it would be amazing if the museum could provide instrument-building workshops in which the participants could create their own instruments that had healing powers and functions that expanded and executed ideas from their imagination. I currently am a resident of Los Angeles and could only participate in the two weeks of install, so I expressed to PRH that I would love to come back and do some programming. They loved the idea of instrument workshops so they linked me up to the VAN Residency and the rest is Kentifrican history! — >

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle Pictured with the birthing instrument called the Hondoro, from Northern Kentifrica, 2012 mixed media photo: Kevin Robinson

Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle and Ryan N. Dennis

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RND: Upon being selected for the VAN Residency, did you have previous knowledge of it? If so, how? If not, once selected how did the VAN Residency serve as a tool for elevating your practice? KACH: Yes, I had knowledge of the VAN Residency through my participation as a project coordinator in Ashley Hunt’s Communograph project that was featured at PRH in Round 35. Manuel Acevedo, who also had work in Round 36, spoke very highly of his experience working with NPN and VAN and also encouraged me to attend the NPN/VAN Annual Meeting. RND: What about the VAN Residency was most compelling to you?

Visual Artists Network 2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition installation view photo: Thom Carroll

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KACH: The ability to focus on sharing skills, resources and materials with unrestricted funds. I was able to have the participants draw their instrument ideas and then Kevin and I were able to retrieve the materials based on their individual designs instead of having standard materials that they had to re-shape. We were able to get materials as we went along instead of having to set strict parameters on how we spent the materials funds. It opened up opportunities for more creativity. I was also so amazed at how the needs of the artist – as a professional – were taken care of, from housing, transportation, per diem and materials. It was an experience that I wanted to share with the community – feeling valued and appreciated – and it gave me confidence and reassurance that what I wanted to do mattered and was worth funding.


RND: Do you feel you were able to invest more in community engagement because you were a recipient of the VAN Exhibition Residency? KACH: Yes, because of the financial support that was provided. Oftentimes artists who work in communities are limited by the budget constraints of the organizations that they are working with, competitive grant applications, and the limitations within the artist’s own ability to fund their ideas. As a VAN resident I was able to have a full network of support that engaged with my ideas and the importance of what I wanted to achieve in collaboration with the Houston Third Ward community. I also want to add that initially time and geography did not allow me to be able to invest in the project, because I live in Los Angeles and could only come to put the museum together for two weeks. I felt really sad that I could not have more community engagement and programming in the Third Ward community on behalf of the museum. By seeing Kentifrica through various lenses that have an importance to the viewer, the Kentifrican identity is constantly re-shaped, and re-imagined which further feeds its existence. Having one-onone engagement with the community allowed the Kentifrica Project to become a model for questioning history and empowering each individual to re-write their own creation. I am so thankful to have received the financial support that allowed me to come back and conduct workshops and present food and artifacts from this special place. RND: How has your career developed since the VAN Residency at PRH?

RND: Did the VAN Residency create new opportunities for you? KACH: Yes, the residency allowed me to develop new collaborations with people. Kevin Robinson and I worked together on teaching Kentifrican instrument building workshops with youth for the first time ever. I also collaborated with CeCe Isadore, a young mother in residence at Project Row Houses who got the chance to see her hairstyling practice contextualized as an art practice. I also got the chance to work closer with PRH’s programming and the afterschool students at Project Row Houses. They are some of the smartest kids I have ever worked with!! RND: What advice would you give to future VAN residents? KACH: Of course I stretched myself thin, rarely gave myself breaks and had events every hour in the day because I was so excited about having the support and uninterrupted time to do the workshops with the kids. I felt spoiled and a need to give 300%. If I had it to do all over again I would have paced myself and made sure I had more down time to reflect and build upon each day’s work. Overall it was absolutely amazing and I would say to cherish the time and have fun!  For information about Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle’s Exhibition Residency at the 2012 NPN/VAN Annual Meeting, see page 98.

KACH: Since the VAN residency I have been included in a major exhibition for emerging artists at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The work featured in this show gave me my first write up in The New York Times. Objects from the Kentifrica Museum of Culture are now traveling nationally to various alternative spaces to spread more info about Kentifrica. I have also been able to travel to Minnesota for my first solo show at a space called The Bindery Projects. I had a miniresidency there that featured a lecture, exhibition, and panel discussion all housed under the theme Kentifrica Is Or Kentifrica Ain’t. I have also been invited to speak about Kentifrica for Art & Activism courses at the California Institute of the Arts and at Otis College of Art and Design. Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle and Ryan N. Dennis

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Leticia Bajuyo

Madison, IN  www.leticiabajuyo.com

Event Horizon June 25 – July 1, 2012

Women & Their Work Austin, TX

Leticia Bajuyo creates, lives, and teaches in Southern Indiana where she is an associate professor of art at Hanover College. In the dustbin of technology, what happens to player piano rolls, vinyl, cassettes, and CDs when the companion machine is broken, missing, or forgotten? The originally intended experience of information is lost, but the memory and nostalgia live on. In Event Horizon, Leticia Bajuyo combines cable ties, hula hoops, and thousands of CDs into a large site-specific horned sculpture. Reflecting our transient consumer values back to us, Bajuyo creates a cornucopia of whim, desire, and purchasing trends, transforming yesterday’s media hits and today’s detritus into a disco vortex, a material and technological Event Horizon. The evolution of technology and its machines produces an insatiable appetite for the next shinier, faster, easier mode of experience. Thus, the desire to acquire and to satisfy this appetite becomes a machine of desire that desires a machine. Each new generation in the history of automated devices for recording sound, communicating thoughts, or reproducing experience, was once cutting-edge technology that everyone wanted, but societal desires have moved on to newer, shinier machines. — >

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Leticia Bajuyo Event Horizon, 2012 8000 compact discs, monofiliment, washers, screws, wood, speakers, theremins dimensions variable, 8 x 60 x 80 feet installation view photo: Rino Pizzi for Women & Their Work


Leticia Bajuyo

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Leticia Bajuyo Event Horizon, 2012 8000 compact discs, monofiliment, washers, screws, wood, speakers, theremins dimensions variable, 8 x 60 x 80 feet installation view photo: Rino Pizzi for Women & Their Work

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Leticia Bajuyo

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This exhibition Event Horizon builds on Bajuyo’s previous works Entropy and Rewind. Both are site-sensitive installations constructed of thousands of donated CDs. These discs were at one time useful, functional, desirable objects. Rather than letting the discs end up in landfills or continue to sit unused on a shelf, Bajuyo collects these discs of digital memory and combines them into a shiny fabric that can become walls, vortices, and horns in her installations. Although the CD is still a functional medium for holding information, they are becoming increasingly passé. But when combined into a quilt of digital memory in the shape of a Victrola horn, the texture and scale of the visual result offers an alternative experience of desire; an experience that thrives on the traces left by what once had been “next best thing,” creating new memories that fall outside technological economies of desire and acknowledging the overlooked complexity of, for example, buying next month’s new cellphone. During Bajuyo’s residency, area students created sketchbooks with paper and used CDs. Students stitched through pre-drilled CDs to create round booklets full of blank pages. These shiny little books can be used for notes or as a summer sketchbook. The artist also engaged the community in a wide-ranging discussion stemming from ideas proposed by her artwork. Topics included “green” art, up-cycling, re-cycling, repetition of units and how creative ideas can transform ordinary materials into something impressive and fantastic. Bajuyo also talked about sourcing materials for artworks through donations and other affordable art-making strategies. Participants also discussed how we consume music and how those forms have changed over the years.

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After earning a B.F.A. in 1998 from the University of Notre Dame and an M.F.A. in 2001 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she moved to Hanover College to join the Art and Art History Department. Recent solo exhibitions include Pre-fab(ulous) Environments at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, and Divertissement at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. Recent two- and three-person exhibitions include Wow and Flutter at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Values at The Cressman Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and 3x3 at Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana. Special Thanks to End of an Ear, Half Price Books and all of the CD donors and the many volunteers who assisted on this project. For information about Leticia Bajuyo’s Exhibition Residency at the 2012 NPN/VAN Annual Meeting, see page 94.


above Leticia Bajuyo Event Horizon, 2012 8000 compact discs, monofiliment, washers, screws, wood, speakers, theremins dimensions variable, 8 x 60 x 80 feet installation view photo: Rino Pizzi for Women & Their Work left the artist addressing students from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired photo: Lisa Choinacky for Women & Their Work

Leticia Bajuyo

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2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition

Visual Artists Network 2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition December 14, 2012 – February 1, 2013

Hosted by Asian Arts Initiative Philadelphia, PA

This multi-disciplinary group exhibition was held in conjunction with the 2012 NPN/VAN Annual Meeting — a national gathering of artists, curators, presenters and colleagues. The exhibition featured artists who have participated in the Visual Artists Network Exhibition Residency program and Philadelphia-based visual artists. It was generously hosted by Asian Arts Initiative, both a VAN and NPN Partner, in Philadelphia, PA. Participating artists were engaged under a VAN Exhibition Residency contract and served a week-long residency at the NPN/VAN Annual Meeting.

Visual Artists Network 2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition installation view photo: Thom Carroll

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2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition

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2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition

Leticia Bajuyo

Madison, IN  www.leticiabajuyo.com

Singularity December 10 – 16, 2012

For the NPN/VAN Annual Meeting Exhibition of 2012, Leticia Bajuyo designed and installed Singularity to fit the street front window of the Asian Arts Initiative gallery. This installation of Singularity is part of a series of sitespecific installations constructed from Bajuyo’s collection of unwanted and donated compact discs. Bajuyo has been creating these ‘disco vortices’ since 2009, yielding recent installations such as Event Horizon in Austin, Texas and Dual Wielding in Georgetown, Kentucky. The installation of Singularity at Asian Arts Initiative featured a 16-foot wide curved wall with a 6-foot vortex opening in the center of the wall. To form the vortex, the opening tapered down into a 17foot long tail that was suspended from the ceiling and was connected to a black base and a theremin.

Leticia Bajuyo Singularity, 2012 4000 compact discs, monofiliment, washers, screws, wood, speakers, theremin dimensions variable, 8 x 16 x 17 feet detail photo: Thom Carroll 94

visual artists network  exhibitions 2012

In contrast with the originally passive experience of listening to a CD or watching a DVD, Singularity welcomed interaction through the theremin – a musical instrument invented in 1928 that is played without physical contact. Audience members could actively and directly affect Singularity without touching it. By waving one’s arms, the viewer became the musician and the vortex became a horn for live, interactive music. During the opening reception, musician Laura Baird performed and played Singularity for the audience. For information about Leticia Bajuyo’s Exhibition Residency at Women & Their Work, see page 86.


2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition: Leticia Bajuyo

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Leticia Bajuyo Singularity, 2012 4000 compact discs, monofiliment, washers, screws, wood, speakers, theremin dimensions variable, 8 x 16 x 17 feet installation view photo: Thom Carroll 96

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Annual Meeting Exhibition: Leticia Bajuyo

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2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle Los Angeles, CA  www.kenyattaachinkle1.com

Kentifrica Revealed: Messages from the Mamaland December 10 – 16, 2012

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is developing an educational and research platform for Kentifrica — a contested geography/ continent. By re-creating artifacts and sharing narratives and customs from her research archives, Hinkle reconstructs a Kentifrican identity that invites a critical engagement of the following: collective vs. personal histories, diaspora, migration, immigration, cross-culturalism and issues of geography. Hinkle embodies various voices and modes of address to examine what happens to bodies in transit and how they are contextualized culturally depending upon historical hegemonic signifiers of race and culture. The project exists as a multi-layered living and breathing organism that thrives off of collaborations with various individuals and communities who come from multiple social, cultural, geographical, and artistic experiences. The Kentifrica project allows the opportunity for collaborators to shape and express their own consciousness in lieu of interpretations that have already been shaped and defined for them.

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle The Hondoru from Northern Kentifrica, 2012 wood, paint, metal made in collaboration with Kevin Robinson and Eugene Moon for Kentifrica Is: An Ethnomusicoloy Concert photo: Thom Carroll 98

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Kentifrica is both a physical and theoretical space that is constantly shifting and open to various forms of interpretation. Many people do not know that Kentifrica exists or refute its existence, while some are fascinated by this unknown continent and have devoted their lives to research its culture and inhabitants. Seven artifacts were on loan from the Kentifrican Museum of Culture for the NPN/VAN Annual Meeting Exhibition. Curatorial emphasis was put upon healing communal problems, mapping conception and departure from the Earth and objects created from descendants of Kentifrica. Through the presentation of these artifacts the public was able to learn about Kentifrican customs, rituals and cosmology. Many of the artifacts had never been seen by the public before. This display of Kentifrican culture allowed viewers to challenge assumptions about the validity of history and culture, as well as its production and preservation. — >


2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition: Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

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above Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle Map to show the possible scale of Kentifrica, 2011 8.5 x 11 inches photo: Thom Carroll left Noteetoko West Kentifrican Garment for Healing Ceremonies, 1992 and 2012 dyed and printed cotton cloth, and leather 6 x 5 feet photo: Thom Carroll  

The Kentifrican Museum of Culture was first featured at Project Row Houses in the Third Ward community of Houston TX. The museum presented instrument making workshops, map making workshops, hair braiding workshops, and a communal potluck featuring Kentifrican cuisine. The museum is diasporic in nature and can change forms and locations appearing in communities that have no official museums of culture to celebrate their identity. The Kentifrican Museum of Culture often hosts panel discussions that are centered on the mythology and visibility of Kentifrica. In conjunction with the Made in L.A. 2012, Biennial Hinkle passed out free Kentifrican food at the Venice Beach Biennial for three consecutive days and performed the Kentifrica Is: An Ethnomusicology Concert with 10 performers who were well versed in Kentifrican instrumentation at the Hammer Museum and The Barnsdall Art Park in Los Angeles, CA. For information about Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle’s Exhibition Residency at Project Row Houses, see page 78.

2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition: Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

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2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition

Colette Fu

Philadelphia, PA  www.colettefu.com

We are Tiger Dragon People December 10 – 16, 2012

Colette Fu has bachelor’s degrees in French language and literature from the University of Virginia and another in photography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her M.F.A. in fine art photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She creates most of her work at artist residencies such as the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Instituto Sacatar, Bemis Center, Visual Studies Workshop, and the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity. Fu has received awards from the Fulbright Program, the Independence Foundation, Sovereign Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts, Constance Saltonstall Foundation, En Foco, Photographer’s Forum, Nikon, the Puffin Foundation and the Society for Photographic Education. Her work is in many private and public collections including the Philadelphia Athenaeum, Library of Congress and many university archive collections. She has worked as a paper-engineering consultant for award winning stop-animation commercials, has made commercial work for clients Louis Vuitton, Vogue China, Canon Singapore, and teaches pop-up courses and community workshops internationally. Pop-up and flap books originally illustrated ideas about astronomy, fortune telling, navigation, anatomy of the body and other scientific principles. This history prompted Fu to construct her own pop-up books, reflecting ideas on how our selves relate to society.  Fu’s exhibition included work from her ongoing series of photographic pop-up books titled We are Tiger Dragon People. The books were accompanied by a stop-motion animation that demonstrates their movement. With a Fulbright fellowship, Fu began photographing for We

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are Tiger Dragon People in 2008. 25 of the 55 minority tribes of China reside in Yunnan Province yet comprise only 8.5% of the nation’s population, with the Han ethnicity representing the majority. These various ethnic groups have customs, histories, religious practices, languages and lifestyles that greatly differ from their Han majority neighbors. Fu’s mother is a member of the black Yi tribe; her grandfather was Lung Yun, governor of Yunnan from 1927-1945 and commander-in-chief of the 1st Army Group. Fu frequently works and volunteers for organizations that assist marginalized populations. Shortly after the NPN/VAN conference, Fu invited men from the Sunday Breakfast Mission, a homeless shelter in the same neighborhood as the Asian Arts Initiative exhibition space, for a tour and discussion of the exhibit. She is fascinated by how the creative process of making and looking at art can be used as a therapeutic means to reflect on an individual’s development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns and conflicts. Fu’s pop-ups are a way for her to speak and inform; the real and implied motion in the pop-ups link to a temporal element and an inevitable corollary is to awe and unsettle. Constructing pop-ups allows her to combine intuitive design and technical acuity with her love of traveling, as she tries to understand the world around her. With her pop-up books Fu seeks to eliminate the boundaries between book, installation, photography, craft and sculpture.


Colette Fu Dai Food, 2011 Archival inkjet pop-up book 17 x 25 x 11 inches installation view photo: Colette Fu 2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition: Colette Fu

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top Colette Fu Red Hat Yao Woman, 2011 archival inkjet pop-up book 17 x 25 x 13.5 inches installation view photo: Colette Fu below We are Tiger Dragon People, 2011-2012 archival inkjet pop-up books installation view photo: Colette Fu right Yi Costume Festival, 2011 archival inkjet pop-up book 17x 25 x 5.5 inches installation view photo: Thom Carroll

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2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition: Colette Fu

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2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition

Benjamin Volta

Philadelphia, PA  www.benvolta.com

Historical Catalysts December 10 – 16, 2012

The Historical Catalysts initiative began with students drafting reports on the achievements and biographies of nineteen distinguished individuals listed on the website of the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of the Sciences, African American History Program. Using these reports, students then searched online for imagery to help visualize each distinguished individual’s achievements in science, engineering and medicine. These images were then printed and used to guide the group to create a collection of drawings representing each person. From these drawings, each student created a digital self-portrait that contains drawing explorations from everyone in the group. Since 2007, Benjamin Volta and Jerry Jackson have worked with students to transform the entrance and hallways of Grover Washington Jr. Middle School in North Philadelphia, PA. The academic classroom has become a studio where they experiment with activities that integrate art into math and science curricula. These activities encourage students to think critically, develop their own creative voice, and work together as a collective. The artwork created is an expression of this collaborative method. On December 12, 2012 they dedicated their first Percent for Art project, Tectonic Quilt, in Terminal C at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Benjamin Volta Historical Catalyst — Rashelle B. for Warren M. Washington, 2011 archival pigment print on museum etch 9.5 x 7 inches photo: Benjamin Volta

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Benjamin Volta works with public school teachers and community leaders, creating methods that link art to specific areas of learning. Students and participants learn how to recognize the importance of their own ideas, as well as how to appreciate each other’s differences while merging them into a collective focus. Projects combine academic learning and life skill development with an audacious aspiration to create great art within an unexpected context. Volta has worked extensively with museum education departments at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts to create artworks with youth within the museum galleries and in public spaces. Many of his public school projects, including Historical Catalysts, have received generous support from the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Current collaborations, outside of his ongoing work in public schools, include three large artworks created with patients and families for a new hospital wing at The Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Long Island, NY, fostered by The Rockwell Group and Museum Editions, NYC. He is creating multiple murals within the historic Richard Allen Homes in North Philadelphia with patients at the Eleventh Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, supported by the Porchlight Initiative: The Department of Behavior Health and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. He is also participating in The Social Practice Lab with Asian Arts Initiative, which is a yearlong creative engagement with the Chinatown community. — >


2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition: Benjamin Volta

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Benjamin Volta received a certificate in sculpture from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and a B.F.A. with graduate work in Art History and Curatorial Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2001 he has worked with the historic collective Tim Rollins and K.O.S. and contributed to the research and production of artwork exhibited at Gallery Eva Presenhuber in Zurich, Galleria Raucci Santamaria in Napoli, Galerie Xavier Hufkens in Brussels, Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York as well as exhibitions at Frieze Art Fair in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Basel, Switzerland.

above Benjamin Volta Historical Catalyst Portfolio, 2011 Grover Washington Jr. Students working on Historical Catalysts photo: Benjamin Volta left Historical Catalyst Portfolio, 2011 archival pigment prints on museum etch 9.5 x 7 inches Grover Washington Jr. student Ebony R. pointing to her work for George Carruthers at the NPN/VAN Annual Meeting Exhibition photo: Benjamin Volta 2012 Annual Meeting Exhibition: Benjamin Volta

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2012 VAN Partners & Artists Map VAN Partners

2012 Residency Artists

Residency Locations

PICA (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art) Portland, OR

Jennifer Locke San Francisco, CA page 42

MACLA (Movimiento de Arte Cultura Latino Americana) San Jose, CA

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle Los Angeles, CA page 78 & 98

Gregory Michael Hernandez Los Angeles, CA page 68

RedLine Denver, CO

LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) Los Angeles, CA

516 Arts Albuquerque, NM

Dallas Contemporary Dallas, TX

Women & Their Work Austin, TX

DiverseWorks Houston, TX

Project Row Houses Houston, TX 110

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Legion Arts Cedar Rapids, IA

Ryan Griffis/Temporary Travel Office Chicago, IL page 54

SPACES

Tom Torluemke

Cleveland, OH

Dyer, IN page 72

Real Art Ways

Leticia Bajuyo

Hartford, CT

Madison, IN page 86 & 94

Eric Gottesman  Cambridge, MA page 36

Steve Lambert Tad Beck

Beacon, NY page 64

New York, NY page 42

Marina Zurkow Brooklyn, NY page 48

Asian Arts Initiative Philadelphia, PA

Colette Fu Philadelphia, PA page 102

Hammonds House Museum Atlanta, GA

Benjamin Volta Philadelphia, PA page 106

Space One Eleven Birmingham, AL

Felici Asteinza Coleman Center for the Arts York, AL

AshĂŠ Cultural Arts Center / Efforts of Grace New Orleans, LA

Gainesville, FL page 76

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator Miami, FL

Dollie Eaglin-Monroe Crowley, LA page 40

2012 VAN Partners & Artists Map

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VAN Partners 516 Arts 516 Central Avenue SW Albuquerque, NM 87102 505.242.1445 info@516arts.org www.516arts.org Suzanne Sbarge  Executive Director suzanne@516arts.org Rhiannon Mercer  Assistant Director rhiannon@516arts.org

Ashé Cultural Arts Center / Efforts of Grace 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard New Orleans, LA 70113 504.569.9070 ashecac@gmail.com www.ashecac.org Karel Sloane-Boekbinder  Programs Assistant, Theatre, Visual Art and Education karel.sloane@gmail.com Tammy Terrell  Programs Manager tcterrell@gmail.com

Coleman Center for the Arts 630 Avenue A York, AL 36925 205.392.2005 info@colemanarts.org www.colemanarts.org Shana Berger  Co-Director shanaberger@gmail.com Nathan Purath  Co-Director npurath@gmail.com

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Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator 686 NE 56 Street Miami, FL 33137 786.536.7801 rogwall3@yahoo.com www.diasporavibevirtualgallery.com Rosie Gordon-Wallace  Founder / Director rosiegordonwallace@yahoo.com Patricia Roldan  Program Director diasporavibe@yahoo.com

Asian Arts Initiative 1219 Vine Street Philadelphia, PA 19107-1111 215.557.0455 info@asianartsinitiative.org www.asianartsinitiative.org Gayle Isa  Executive Director gayle@asianartsinitiative.org Nancy Chen  Program Assistant nancy.chen@asianartsinitiative.org

Dallas Contemporary 161 Glass Street Dallas, TX 75207 214.821.2522 info@dallascontemporary.org www.dallascontemporary.org Peter Doroshenko  Director peter.doroshenko@ dallascontemporary.org


DiverseWorks 4102 Fannin Street Suite 200 Houston, TX 77004-4808 713.223.8346 info@diverseworks.org www.diverseworks.org Elizabeth Dunbar  Executive Director elizabeth@diverseworks.org Rachel Cook Assistant Curator rachel@diverseworks.org

Hammonds House Museum 503 Peeples Street Atlanta, GA 30310 404.752.8730 info@hammondshouse.org www.hammondshouse.org Myrna Anderson-Fuller  Executive Director myrna.fuller@hammondshouse.org

LACE / Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions 6522 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90028-6210 323.957.1777 carol@welcometolace.org www.welcometolace.org Carol Stakenas  Executive Director carol@welcometolace.org Robert Crouch  Associate Director / Curator robert@welcometolace.org

Legion Arts 1103 Third Street SE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-2305 319.364.1580 info@legionarts.org www.legionarts.org F. John Herbert  Executive Director john@legionarts.org Mel Andringa  Producing Director mel@legionarts.org

MACLA / Movimiento de Arte Cultura Latino Americana 510 S. First Street San Jose, CA 95113-2806 408.998.ARTE info@maclaarte.org www.maclaarte.org Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez Executive Director anjee@maclaarte.org Joey Reyes  Curatorial Coordinator joey@maclaarte.org

PICA / Portland Institute for Contemporary Art 224 NW 13th, #305 Portland, OR 97209-2644 503.242.1419 pica@pica.org www.pica.org Kristan Kennedy  Visual Art Curator kristan@pica.org

VAN Partners

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Project Row Houses

Real Art Ways

RedLine

PO Box 1011 Houston, TX 77251-1011

56 Arbor Street Hartford, CT 06106-1228

2350 Arapahoe Street Denver, CO 80205

713.526.7662

860.232.1006

303.296.4448

info@projectrowhouses.org www.projectrowhouses.org

info@realartways.org www.realartways.org

info@redlineart.org www.redlineart.org

Linda Shearer  Executive Director lshearer@projectrowhouses.org

Will K. Wilkins  Executive Director wwilkins@realartways.org

P.J. D’Amico  Executive Director pdamico@redlineart.org

Ryan N. Dennis  Public Art Director rdennis@projectrowhouses.org

Valerie Garlick Visual Arts Manager vgarlick@realartways.org

Louise Martorano  Deputy Director lmartorano@redlineart.org

Space One Eleven

Women & Their Work

2409 Second Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203-3809

1710 Lavaca Street Austin, TX 78701-1316

205.328.0553

512.477.1064

www.spaceoneeleven.org

info@womenandtheirwork.org www.womenandtheirwork.org

Anne Arrasmith  Co-Founding Director annearrasmith@spaceoneeleven.org Peter Prinz  CEO, Co-Founding Director peterprinz@spaceoneeleven.org

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Chris Cowden  Executive Director cowden@womenandtheirwork.org Lisa Choinacky  Operations Manager choinacky@womenandtheirwork.org


About the Visual Artists Network

About the National Performance Network

The Visual Artists Network (VAN) is a national network of visual artists, curators and exhibitors providing opportunities and subsidy support for under-recognized visual artists. VAN nurtures the creation of experimental artwork and supports the touring of contemporary visual artists and their work.

MISSION STATEMENT

Modeled after the National Performance Network’s (NPN) performing arts program, VAN was launched in 2007 as a pilot program, and in 2009 the program was formally established through the induction of the VAN Partners, leading contemporary arts organizations from across the United States. Selected in a rigorous application process, the VAN Partners join the Network for the life of their organizations, thus guaranteeing them subsidy support and services as long as their work and commitment to the Network’s values remain consistent. VAN’s dedication to long-term relationships serves the greater goal of nourishing creative communities where artists may thrive. NPN/VAN Partners make all curatorial decisions and the national office does not maintain a roster of artists. Artists who are interested in touring through a VAN Exhibition Residency, should review the VAN Partner websites and initiate direct contact with the VAN Partner(s) that seem well suited to your work.

The National Performance Network (NPN) is a group of diverse cultural organizers, including artists, working to create meaningful partnerships and to provide leadership that enables the practice and public experience of the arts in the United States. As an artist-centered, field-generated network, the National Performance Network is unique in its structure. Its active and engaged network of presenters forms an interconnected web of relationships through which support and services are strategically designed, effectively distributed and successfully leveraged. The National Performance Network’s goal is to support artists and the creation of new work in the context of community engagement. NPN/VAN’s structure is also designed to leverage resources and support to artists. NPN/VAN Partners collectively distribute more than $2.9 million annually in presenting and community engagement activity, matching NPN/VAN’s national funding of $1 million, resulting in more than $4 million to support creative artists across the country. For more information about NPN, please visit: www.npnweb.org

For more information about VAN, please visit: www.npnweb.org/van

About VAN & NPN

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NPN and VAN Staff

MK Wegmann npn president & ceo

Steve Bailey

chief operating officer

Stephanie Atkins

resource development specialist

Thérèse Wegmann

senior operations & data specialist

Stanlyn Brevé

director of national programs

Mimi Zarsky

senior program specialist – convenings

Alec De León

program specialist – visual artists network & national programs

Jenny Howell

program associate – convenings

Will Bowling

program associate – national programs

Renata Petroni

director of international program

Elizabeth Doud

program coordinator – international program

Bryan Jeffrey Graham it/design

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Thanks

Support

NPN wishes to acknowledge the many people and institutions who have contributed to the success of the Visual Artists Network, including VAN Partners and their staffs. Special thanks are offered to all the artists who have participated in the VAN Exhibition Residency Program.

The Visual Artists Network is generously supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Lambent Foundation — a project of the Tides Center, the William Penn Foundation and Southwest Airlines. The VAN Partners also make a significant contribution to the program through their matching dollars and annual dues.

Staff, Thanks & Support

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Colophon

Typeset in Worn Gothic by Nathan Williams, 2011 and TheSans, part of The Thesis font family by Lucas de Groot, 1994. design and production by: Big Tada Inc (www.bigtada.com) with Ian Hewitt-Woods (www.ihwdesign.com) editor: Alec De LeĂłn

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address: P.O. Box 56698 New Orleans, LA 70156-6698

phone: 504.595.8008 fax: 504.595.8006

email: info@npnweb.org web: www.npnweb.org

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle The Hondoru from Northern Kentifrica, 2012 wood, paint, metal made in collaboration with Kevin Robinson and Eugene Moon for The Kentifrica Is: An Ethnomusicoloy Concert photo: Thom Carroll

Visual Artists Network Exhibitions 2012  
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