Annalisa Perazzi Elizabeth Orr
Kim Jong Il Ronald Reagan Carlos Reyes Matt Kleenex Claudia Weber Ramon Esquiverna Laetitia Ann-Saedler Geo Wyeth Camilla Perowski-Wittgenstein Edo Udo Rachel Minnesota
One Trace After The Longest curated by Alison Burstein Show Title of the Universe is Here From January 3 to January 31, 2014 Curated by: Opening reception: Friday, January 3, 7-9 and PM Franklin Delano Eric Sutherland NURTUREart Gallery 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206 From April 26 to May 28, 2012 Opening Reception: Friday, May 28, 7-9 PM NURTUREart Gallery 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn, NY 11206
My deepest appreciation goes to Emma Cohen, Desi Gonzalez, Debra Lennard, and my family, whose generous support and feedback made this exhibition possible.
“Every perceptual experience is always, at best, a work in progress” – Alva Noë, Varieties of Presence, 2012
Notes on Traces by Alison Burstein
As a complement to One Trace After, this publication rearticulates the exhibition’s central proposition in a different form. Where the exhibition suggests that a visitor’s encounter with an artwork or group of artworks in a gallery always results in a partial impression—limited by the physical and discursive contexts framing it—these pages explore how this condition of incompleteness impacts the project of documenting an exhibition. Recognizing that it is not possible to comprehensively portray the artworks and their relationships to one another as they exist in the exhibition, this publication instead brings together a series of traces that take the form of words and images documenting moments from One Trace After’s conception, development, and realization. The publication’s contents offer insight into these phases of the exhibition’s evolution from the perspectives of its contributors—the curator, the artists, and the writers. To shed light on One Trace After’s conceptual underpinnings, I have incorporated quotations representing the thinkers and theories that motivated my investigation of traces. The artists have selected materials that uncover aspects of their creative processes by directly or abstractly illustrat-
ing the research, ideation, or creation of their works. As reflections on the exhibition in its fully realized form, four unique press releases are included within: composed by me and three invited writers, these texts were released weekly during the exhibition’s run. And for the final element, images of the gallery installation and the individual artworks as they first appeared punctuate these pages. Between the publication’s covers, these components are fluidly mixed together: a flip of a page results in a shift in moment, voice, reference, or mode of representation. By compiling the traces without regard for chronology or typology, this publication prompts the reader to peruse it according to his or her interpretative sense, whether that means following or straying from the given order. In doing so, the reader can develop his or her understanding of the exhibition not only through the traces captured on the pages, but also through the connections that he or she makes between them. With each potential link offering a distinct perspective on the exhibition and its artworks, this publication invites visitors to multiply the meanings and narratives associated with One Trace After, turning the document’s incompleteness into an indication of its unfolding future rather than a product of its fixed origin.
Elizabeth Orr, Steak (detail), 2014. Digital video, a/v equipment, wood, wheels, digital prints, dimensions variable.
Geo Wyeth, Den (detail), 2013. Mixed trash, dimensions variable.
Claudia Weber, Take the Day Off (detail), 2013. Archival pigment print, 70 x 44 inches.
Claudia Weber, Take the Day Off, 2013. Archival pigment print, 70 x 44 inches.
Carlos Reyes Not Yet Titled (The Comebacks), 2013. Box fan, mirror, extension cord, dimensions variable. Not Yet Titled (Jackals), 2013. Box fan, mirror, extension cord, dimensions variable. Day Rate, 2013. Box fan, mirror, extension cord, dimensions variable. Not yet titled (Tomato)_clear, 2013. Box fan, mirror, extension cord, dimensions variable. Also pictured in the reflection: Not Yet Titled (Perfecto), 2013. Box fan, glass, extension cord, dimensions variable. Not Yet Titled (Romeos), 2013. Box fan, glass, extension cord, dimensions variable. Nite Rate, 2013. Box fan, glass, extension cord, dimensions variable. Not Yet Titled (Potato) _mirror, 2013. Box fan, glass, extension cord, dimensions variable.
“A work of art no matter how old and classic is actually, not just potentially, a work of art only when it lives in some individualized experience. […] As a work of art, it is recreated every time it is esthetically experienced” – John Dewey, Art as Experience, 1934
Steak (2014) is in the way— There are a number of stories about how the Tenderloin got its name. One says it is a reference to an older neighborhood in New York with the same name and similar characteristics. Another is a reference to the neighborhood as the “soft underbelly” (analogous to the cut of meat) of the city, with allusions to vice and corruption, especially graft. There are also some legends about the name, probably folklore, including that the neighborhood earned its name from the words of a New York City police captain, Alexander S. Williams, who was overheard saying that when he was assigned to another part of the city, he could only afford to eat chuck steak on the salary he was earning, but after he was transferred to this neighborhood he was making so much money on the side soliciting bribes that now he could eat tenderloin instead. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenderloin,_ San_Francisco) Steak is a symbol of food, protein, wealth, hierarchical power, ego, death, and capitalism, and a product of farming conventions that contribute to deforestation, drought, and other environmental damage. Steak (2014) is a video installation that shifts over the course of January during One Trace After’s run. The piece combines a few different looks: the look of low resolution color, black & white, precarious, and digital. The video piece is obstructed so you are unable to see a front and centered vantage point; the video is projected on the far wall and in front of it is
a wheeled vertical object. Glossy color, legal sized prints of repurposed internet images of steaks are collaged and taped to this frame on wheels, which is wrapped in white faux vinyl. The sculptural frame blocks the projection frame, divvying up the classic frontal vantage point of viewership. Behind the object, the same three steaks are black & white with ghostly shadows moving over them. These steaks move as the planets do, sped up enough to look slowed down, clocking five minutes forwards and backwards on the user interface timeline that remains on the screen. With Steak, I or a friend will periodically move the frame into a new position, continuing to obstruct the view of the video and messing with the narrative that comes from the proximity of the frame and the video. The only constant throughout these shifts will be that it is never easy to see the vantage point of the front and center. Steak reflects one of the main considerations in my work: the question of how the process of making a piece of art is part and parcel of the product. Influenced by the work of artist Emma Hedditch, I shy towards showing the candid and casual in my performances, which are staged within my less casual installations. Beyond this, the means by which a work is produced and how these means are reflected in the work itself have come to the forefront of how I think about my work and read any piece of art. For instance, in my piece A Moral Body at Bodega in Philadelphia, PA, I performed throughout a series of my video installations, dismantling and changing high hanging, large sculptures and altering the external lighting and projection planes of videos. The disruption of my video installation
and sculpture is increasingly becoming a large part of how I want to exhibit work. I am excited by the premise of One Trace After, as it gives an opportunity to do just that by making a piece whose elements shift over time and exhibiting it alongside other artists’ work that will also change. One Trace After for me is a conversation with the conventional gallery model of presenting a finished piece (to presumably be bought and sold). This critique of the capitalist model of showing “finished” work allows me to have my process readily apparent, and foregrounds how the viewing relation informs not only the subjects of my work but also the complexity and instability of representation and knowledge. —Elizabeth Orr
“Works live and remain important because their meanings change. They accumulate past views, and are affected by the resources each new viewer brings to them” – Rika Burnham and Elliott Kai-Kee, “The Art of Teaching in the Museum,” 2005
For my written contribution to One Trace After, I elected to forego the traditional gallery press release in favor of a different kind of interpretive material that might be found at a museum: a game. I have spent three years producing educational resources for art museums, most recently experimenting with games as a way to get visitors discussing works on view. Modeled after I Spy, Where’s Waldo, Hidden Pictures, and others, One Trace After: The Game asks visitors to find traces—items, ideas, essences— in the gallery (or, if a visitor so chooses, anywhere in the world). But there’s a twist: like works of art, words can have diverse meanings that change depending on the context or the personal knowledges of interlocutors. The traces listed in this game are often whimsical, intangible, layered, and ambiguous. Pairing these words to the physical becomes, itself, an exercise in imagination and subjective interpretation. – Desi Gonzalez
Elizabeth Orr, Steak (detail), 2014. Digital video, a/v equipment, wood, wheels, digital prints, dimensions variable.
Claudia Weber, Take the Day Off, 2013. Seres Enterprise LTD is a manufacturer located in Taipei, Taiwan; like many other Asian manufacturers, it provides cheap labor and goods for companies around the world. Seres makes cloth bags for clients including Clinique Laboratories, LLC, an upscale skin and cosmetics brand that markets products with ambitious label claims such as “Superdefense” and “Superprimer Face Primer Colour Corrects Dullness.” Clinique’s North American headquarters is located in New York City. Roughly a year ago, I found several discarded, outdated samples that Seres produced for Clinique in the inventory at Materials for the Arts, a reuse center that collects unneeded supplies and makes them available to arts organizations. Around this time, Alison Burstein invited me to take part in One Trace After at NURTUREart, and I began to research the history of the Bushwick building—56 Bogart Street—that houses this exhibition space, along with other galleries, studios, and creative businesses.
Upon learning that the previous occupants of this formerly industrial building were local garment manufacturers who had either moved locations or permanently shut down, I recognized the relevance of the Seres fabric samples to this context. My work for this exhibition, Take the Day Off, which borrows one of Clinique’s declarative product titles, appropriates these found materials in a way that seamlessly perpetuates the ongoing circulations and transformations that occur at the interstices between labor, fashion, and art. In doing so, my aim is to highlight what slips in and out of this cycle—the people, perspectives, and things—and what kind of narratives arise as a result of this local and global drive for production. —Claudia Weber
Import-Genius—a business that tracks the shipments of Clinique and other companies — features a short animation on its website that playfully illustrates how goods circulate around the globe. The videogame-like journey tracks trading routes along air, sea, and land so fluidly and alluringly that it doesn’t seem out of place when a passing submarine suddenly destroys an igloo-style factory.
“As soon as you trace something, the trace becomes independent of its source – that’s the structure of the trace. The trace becomes independent of its origin, and as soon as the trace is traced, it escapes. You cannot control the fate of the book totally. I cant control the future of this interview (laughter)...You record it, but then you’ll re-write it, re-frame it, build a new context, and perhaps, my sentence will sound different.” – Jacques Derrida, “An Interview with Jacques Derrida,” 1997
Geo Wyeth, Den, 2013. Mixed trash, dimensions variable.
Carlos Reyes Untitled (vs. Version 2), 2013. Laser etched dried mushroom, 10 x 8 inches. And (vs. V2), 2013. Laser etched dried mushroom, 10 x 8 inches. Same As (vs. V2), 2013. Laser etched dried mushroom, 10 x 8 inches. Not yet titled -And & _shroom, 2013. Laser etched dried mushroom, 10 x 8 inches.
NURTUREart Non-Profit, Inc is a 501(c)3 New York State licensed federally tax-exempt charitable organization founded in 1997 by George J. Robinson. NURTUREart receives support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, including member item funding from City Council Members Sara Gonzales, Stephen Levin, and Diana Reyna, the New York City Department of Education, and the New York State Council on the Arts. NURTUREart is also supported by the Harold and Colene Brown Foundation, Edelman, the Greenwich Collection, Ltd., the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Laura B. Vogler Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, No More Poverty, the Puffin Foundation, Urban Outfitters, and the Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation. We receive in-kind support from Brooklyn Brewery, Societe Perrier, Tekserve, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. NURTUREart is grateful for significant past support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Liebovitz Foundation, and the Greenwall Foundation, and to the many generous individuals and businesses whose contributions have supported us throughout our history. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the artists who have contributed works of art to past benefitsâ€”our continued success would be impossible without your generosity.
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56 Bogart Street Brooklyn, NY 11206 L train to Morgan Avenue T 718 782 7755 F 718 569 2086 E email@example.com www.nurtureart.org Directions: By Subway: L train to the Morgan Avenue stop. Exit the station via Bogart Street. Look for the NURTUREart entrance on Bogart Street, close to the intersection with Harrison Place. By Car: Driving From Manhattan: Take the Williamsburg Bridge, stay in the outside lane, and take the Broadway / S. 5 St. exit. Turn left at light onto Havemeyer St. Turn right next light onto Borinquen Place, continue straight, street will change name to Grand Street. Turn right onto Bushwick Ave, left onto Johnson Ave, then right onto Bogart Street. Look for our entrance at the corner of Bogart Street and Harrison Place.