PROJECT 13-Re: Place

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Catherine Richards Frame Haus, 2015 Structural steel, exterior mesh secured with magnets Mark Dejong Swing House, 2016, interior shot

Keith Benjamin Awning 2, 2016 Denim, broomsticks

Unsanctioned Sign Company, Murmur, 2013, aluminum street


In the instant that we define a portion of the environment with architectural assignment – be it a structure, street, park or lot – we endow “place” with a series of permissible actions, and implicitly prohibit a spectrum of others. When a sidewalk connects the houses of a new development, a restaurant opens its doors, or a greenway is carved out amidst the concrete and steel, these places constitute a social contract we implicitly enter simply by being present in their space. They are agents of instruction – quickly programmed into societal DNA by our almost automatic consent to their conditions. Like speedily clicking on the “I accept” button to launch a new piece of software without having any idea of the terms and conditions we’ve semi-consciously agreed upon, we live an endless number of places in the urban environment by outlawing the behaviors that would complicate their prescribed definition. But what happens when we exaggerate approved actions to the point of deviance? What are the symptoms when we introduce radical bodies into the urban bloodstream? This exhibition moves restlessly between the acknowledgment of the city as we know it and the wish to renovate; between the regard for built space and the desire to replace the tyranny of place in complex, performative gestures. In so doing, Re: Place becomes a sequel, foil and challenger to the 2014 exhibition I organized at the Contemporary Arts Center titled Buildering: Misbehaving the City. At that time, I approached Buildering as a term coined for the unsanctioned use of architecture – fusing the words “building” and “bouldering” to describe a rapidly growing movement that reformulates how we live the city. Beyond acrobatics, vandalism and occupation, this practice served as a metaphor for the creative misuse of built structure – denying the intended function of urban structures to re-open the possibility of alternatives. If we believe the premise that ideologies are implanted through the public's navigation of the city plan, then actions associated with Buildering break the hypnosis of ritual and cultivate new freedoms - both physical and psychological. The artists in Re: Place extend this course but do so in a post-urban, increas-ingly reflexive manner – questioning the implicit contract of place, as well as the corresponding gestures of artists, architects, activists and interventions that seek to redefine it. The Unsanctioned Sign Company (USCo. for short) produce and document guerilla public signage to surreptitiously present individual voices under the guise of commercial and/or institutional directives. In so doing, USCo. make modest attempts to playfully remediate what they believe to be “missing” markers in the urban environment – inserting anecdotal oases into the now heavily regulated (and branded) cityscape. For this exhibition they mobilize sandwich boards to trumpet the phrases of writers from Cincinnati and Chicago: rewriting the hegemonic text that is Louisville via a physical occupation of temporary slices of public space. Cleves, OH-based artist Keith Benjamin also seeks to offer a set of micro-sanctua-ries that bridge public and private space in the form of small, impractical awnings. Fabricated from re-purposed swaths of fabric, denim and broomsticks, Benjamin cobbles what he puckishly calls, “private architecture to provide inadequate cover in the public realm.” What these objects lack in size, however, they make up in symbolic currency. If clothing is our most intimate form of architecture, Benjamin manipulates its shape to amplify the intent – inserting the body’s second skin into the geometric language of the city. Hamilton, OH-based artist Tracy Featherstone also convenes an ambivalent sparring match between the human body and architectural edifice in what she calls “passively interactive sculpture.” By fabricating objects that require us as participants to mold ourselves into their cavities and shells, Featherstone initiates a dialogue that is equal parts performative and manipulative. In concert with her parking lot choreographies and symbiotic “building snuggles” she pushes the body into and out of communion with the cityscape – convening an “intimate space,” where, in her words, “individual[s] and environment can lay together and absorb each other’s feelings.” With every square equaling the size of his fist in the work 0065-0128, Cincinnati-based artist Mark Dejong employs architecture as both a measure and extension of the human body. Marrying his backgrounds in art and residential construction, Dejong’s practice pivots upon the unconventional restoration/renovation of old homes as artistic acts. From the Circle House, to the Square House, to his most transformative work to date – the Swing House (in which he removes the upper interior floors and hangs a 30 foot swing from what was the uppermost ceiling) – Dejong magnifies the histories and inherent geometries of his subjects to recast their futures. University of Cincinnati professor Vincent Sansalone also com-bines dual backgrounds in art and architecture to build prototypes, mock-ups and cross-disciplinary installations that simultaneously seduce and obstruct. For this exhibition he presents a pair of give-and-take works designed to, in his words, investigate the “perceptual idea of horizon.” The ensuing ring and peephole tantalize the viewer with glowing light and the thrill of voyeurism while stymieing the path of both – enticing and inhibiting the moth and the id with the same gesture. Cincinnati-based Catherine Richards is yet another participant in Re: Place that amalgamates work as an artist and architect to complicate built structure with the unwieldy kaleidoscope of human behavior. Much of her work in this exhibition revolves around Frame Haus – a network of elastic residential structures with translucent layers of mesh that both suggest and suspend passage. In the process Richards orchestrates a labyrinthine playground where natural elements, video projections and dancing performers collectively blur the walls, lines and order we habitually look to for direction. Artist and professor Mark Harris also works at the nexus of performance, projection, video, music and a number of other media – directing mischievous, but consistently cerebral challenges to the embedded ideology of built space. His newest video pushes the play of Richards’ Frame Haus to a psychedelic high, evoking the LSD trips of British-American philosopher Alan Watts as Harris swings a projector in circles to recast his home and garden in frenetic light. This disruption in the psychological and normative integrity of place is present in his accompanying video drawings and tribute to Robert Smithson’s Hotel Palenque as well: gently, but insistently unraveling what constitutes good behavior to cultivate the uncanny in the everyday. Louisville-based artist, tree climber and traceur (a practitioner of parkour) Todd C. Smith also seeks to de-familiarize the quotidian cityscape, but does so through the vehicle of athletic urban performance. As the founder of Louisville Parkour and the Free Tree Climbing Society, he enthusiastically declares, “What is often in our periphery are the very special spaces those who practice parkour yearn to inhabit, but only for a fleeting moment.” In the process, and in the fertile kernels of his Conic Sections photographs that stitch multiple actions and moments across the panoramic arc of his camera, Smith animates the spirit of Re: Place – temporarily interrupting the prescribed orders of place with the disruptive, and very necessary indulgences of the body.

- SM 2016


Tracy Featherstone and Krista Connerly Building Snuggle, 2011 Altered sleeping bag, fabric

Vincent Sansalone with Whitney Hamaker OJOS: MASK, 2016 Drywall, plaster, basswood, light

Mark Harris This Is It, 2016 Video


Exhibition Checklist Keith Benjamin Awning 1, 2016 Tee shirts, cardboard 9.5 x 11 x 9 inches Awning 2, 2016 Denim, broomsticks 22 x 48 x 20 inches Awning 3, 2016 Fabric, cardboard 10 x 21 x 12 inches Awning 4, 2016 Fabric, cardboard 8 x 13 x 16 inches Mark Dejong Square House, 2015 3- digital photos 11 x 18 inches each Restoration and furniture; wainscoting Joseph Winterhalter (Cincinnati, OH); wall painting Paige Williams (Cincinnati,OH) Swing House, 2016 Video by Jacqueline Wood (Cincinnati, OH) 0065-0128, 2015 Lathe from the Swing House, Camp Washington, (Cincinnati, OH) 15.5 x 15.5 inches Knelt, 2016 Toe molding from the Swing House, Camp Washington, (Cincinnati, OH) 56 x 26 x 8 inches Your Move, 2014 #2 of 2 Linoleum flooring from the Square House, Northside, (Cincinnati, OH) 68 x 80 inches Tracy Featherstone Passively Interactive Sculpture: Obstruction, 2013 Wood, table, foam, wallpaper 40 x 34 x 84 inches Passively Interactive Sculpture: Obstruction, 2013 Digital photo 18.5 x 23 inches Yellow Pod, 2010 Wood and fabric 48 x 72 x 48 inches Yellow Pod, 2010 Digital photo 24 x 19 inches Building Snuggle, 2011 Collaborator; Krista Connerly Altered sleeping bag, fabric 60 x 18 x 6 inches Building Snuggle: Tree, Factory, Basketball, 2011 Digital photos 24 x 19 inches each

Tracy Featherstone and Krista Connerly Parking Lot Line Drawing, 2011 9- digital photos 17 x 24 inches each Mark Harris Smithson on Broad Street, 2004 (Richmond, VA), 2016 Video, 2 min 30 sec This Is It, 2016 Video, 2 min 50 sec Video Drawings: Detroit Airport, 2003 Video, 1 min 37 sec

Chicago O’Hare Airport, 2004 Video, 44 sec London to Bournemouth Train, 2003 Video, 1 min 24 sec

Catherine Richards Frame Haus, 2015 Structural steel, exterior mesh secured with magnets Dimensions variable Catherine Richards and Anh Tran After ZAHA, 2016 Video, 3 min 8 sec Plait, 2016 Performance Vincent Sansalone with Whitney Hamaker OJOS: MASK, 2016 Drywall, plaster, basswood, light 120 x 96 inch radius OJOS: LENS, 2016 MDF, latex paint, mirrors, light 96 x 48 x 9 inches Todd C. Smith Conic Sections: Wall Walk, Tools for Success, Loading Dock, Building Physics, Field Hole, Spiral Tower, Hotel, Belle Rail, Water Tower, Gas Lamp, Arch, Under Case March 18-19, 2016 (Louisville, KY) Digital prints on aluminum 24 x 5 or 6 inches each Editions of 3 Christian Anderson- traceur Unsanctioned Sign Company, 2016 6- free-standing mobile signs, gallery kiosk, takeaway print materials Dimensions variable


Re:Place Place June 3 - August 21, 2016

Artist Biographies Keith Benjamin (b.1967, resides Cleves, OH) received an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1993. He is the Sculpture and Foundations Professor and MAAE Program Chair at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and a 2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors recipient.Benjamin’s studio process engages objects and materials that have served their purpose and whose value must be assessed. Through fragmentation and rearrangement, these materials and objects are reevaluated. keithbenjaminart.com

Mark Dejong’s (b.1966 The Netherlands, resides Cincinnati, OH) background includes a BFA from Alfred University followed by a career in residential construction. In 2014, Dejong married his art with his professional building career and began restoring old homes in a manner more likened to creating a piece of art. The restoration process became an opportunity for Dejong to express his own playful aesthetic sensibilities, re-imagine various elements of a house’s layout and finishes as well as preserve certain ‘clues’ of a home’s history. https://1407chase.com/

Tracy Featherstone (b.1975, resides Hamilton, OH) is a Professor of Art at Miami University,

Oxford, OH. She earned a BFA from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA from the University of Arizona. In 2013, she was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Award for Creative Excellence. Her current work explores the notion of landscape and interactive sculpture inspired by an Asian perspective. tracyfeatherstone.com

Krista Connerly- collaborator with Tracy Featherstone (b. 1974, resides in Portland, OR) works in a variety of media including the internet, photography, writing, performance, and video. She is interested in turning the art viewer into collaborator, provoking forms of interaction that through humor and poetry temporarily override the efficiency and rationality of everyday life. In 2001 she founded Project for Urban Intimacy— a project space and research initiative addressing issues of urban life. Connerly earned her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University.

Mark Harris (b.1954, resides Cincinnati, OH and London, England) is an artist, writer, curator

and a professor of art at the University of Cincinnati. His approaches to making artwork are linked by an interest in the imagery of intoxication as a form of utopian representation considered as alternative agency to militant strategies of the historical avant-gardes. Harris’s degrees include an MA in Painting from The Royal College of Art, London; MA in Continental Philosophy from University of Warwick, Coventry; and PhD in Philosophy from Goldsmiths College, London. http://markharrisstudio.com/

Catherine Richards (b.1983, resides Cincinnati, OH) teaches in the school of Design at

the University of Cincinnati. She has an M of Arch from the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Catherine is an architect and artist. Her work expands the understanding of architecture at different scales from art objects, sculpture and installations to citywide interventions. She works between mediums, exploring architecture and perception with materials, experimental photography and video. Catherine has worked in exhibition design and architecture and among other things was part of the design team for the Museum Plaza Skyscraper in Louisville. catherinerichardsart.com


Anh Tran- collaborator with Catherine Richards (b.1976, resides Cincinnati, OH) is a multi-disci-

plinary artist and designer who is involved with community art programming focused on creating new ways of imagining and seeing. Tran has also developed concepts for the designer toy market, and actively worked in the publishing field as art director, editor and art dealer both domestically and internationally. Tran received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Cincinnati.

Vincent Sansalone (b.1963, resides Cincinnati, OH) is an Assistant Professor of Architec-

ture at the University of Cincinnati. He holds a BA of Arch and BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is the Co-founder of DEPT7, a research studio in Cincinnati.

Whitney Hamaker- Vincent Sansalone’s annualized assistant (b. 1983, resides Cincinnati, OH)

is and a Professor of Architecture at the University of Cincinnati. He holds a BS in Architecture and MA in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati. He is the Co-founder of DEPT7, a research studio in Cincinnati.

Todd C. Smith (b.1981, resides Louisville, KY) is an artist, tree climber, and traceur

(a practitioner of Parkour). Smith founded Louisville Parkour in 2008 and the Free Tree Climbing Society in 2014. Smith spent the last two years in Buffalo, NY earning an MFA from the University at Buffalo. toddcsmith.com

Unsanctioned Sign Company

The Unsanctioned Sign Company is a project by Aaron Walker and Nick Swartsell. http://www.smallcraftadvisories.org/index.php/project/unsanctioned-sign-co/

Aaron Walker (b.1985, resides Chicago, IL) is a social practitioner, small press publisher,

and organizer whose projects often stem from engagements with local, autonomous artist-run communities and the unique systems of support formed within. He received his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Nick Swartsell (b.1981, resides Cincinnati, OH) is a journalist and musician. His writing on urban issues and his reporting on public affairs have been published in The New York Times, The Texas Observer, and Cincinnati’s Citybeat, among many other national publications.

Curator Biographies Steven Matijcio (b.1979, resides Cincinnati, OH) is the curator of the Contemporary Arts

Center in Cincinnati, OH. Prior to this position he served as Curator of Contemporary Art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, NC. Matijcio is a graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and has held positions in a number of important galleries and museums including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Power Plant, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada. Matijcio was honored in 2010 with a prestigious Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. In the fall of 2012 he curated the 4th edition of the Narracje Festival in Gdansk, Poland, and his 2013 essay “Nothing to See Here” was accepted into the RENEW Conference in Riga, Latvia.

Linda Schwartz (b. 1952, resides Covington, KY), a gallerist for over 20 years, raised and

educated in Urbana-Champaign, IL began her career with the completion of Master coursework in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Illinois. She was the owner and director of Linda Schwartz Gallery from 1989-1998 in Lexington, KY and from 1999-2004 in Cincinnati, OH. From 2004-2011 Schwartz worked as an independent consultant under the banner of Linda Schwartz Projects and in 2011 she became the Curatorial/Admin Manager for Cincinnati’s inaugural FOTOFOCUS. In early 2013 Schwartz accepted her current position with Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH.


Zephyr Gallery Artist Board

Patrick Donley Ken Hayden Peggy Sue Howard Chris Radtke Brenda Wirth

Artist Partners Matt Meers Robert Mitchell Joel Pinkerton Reba Rye

PROJECT 13 - Re: Place Steven Matijcio Linda Schwartz Jessica Oberdick Robert Mitchell Chris Radtke Peggy Sue Howard Patrick Donley

Curator Curator Project Manager Graphic Design Exhibition Co-Coordinator Exhibition Co-Coordinator Exhibition Preparator Image Credit

Front Cover: Todd C. Smith, Conic Sections: Arch Digital print on aluminum

The mission of Zephyr Gallery is to serve as a platform to incubate, advocate, and facilitate innovative ideas in art and artistic practices in the region. In 2014, Zephyr launched an ongoing Project series with curated proposal-based exhibitions as well as collaborations with universities, colleges, and cultural institutions. Project 13 - Re: Place is the thirteenth exhibition in this series.

610 East Market Street | Louisville, KY 40202 www.zephyrgallery.org | Thursday–Saturday, 11–6