Posts Tagged ‘performance art’

Faculty Updates

Monday, February 6th, 2017

What have SVACE faculty members been up to? We have exciting updates from course instructors Steve Brodner, Ruth Marten, Keren Moscovitch, and Tom Motley.

Steve Brodner follows the white rabbit into the shaky world of “Alternative Facts,” illustrating his own batch for The Washington Post.

Steve Brodner illustration via The Washington Post

Steve Brodner illustration via The Washington Post

Ruth Marten is featured in the New York Times for artwork exhibited in “Tattooed New York” at the New-York Historical Society.

(l) Ruth Marten, Marquesan Heads, 1977. Courtesy of the Artist. (r) Mike Bakaty, Big Panther, 1983. Photograph courtesy of Maury Englander.

(l) Ruth Marten, Marquesan Heads, 1977. Courtesy of the Artist. (r) Mike Bakaty, Big Panther, 1983. Photograph courtesy of Maury Englander.

Keren Moscovitch opens up about her new multidisciplinary project, “One More Way Files,” debuting this week at LABA, NYC! Keren writes:

“The way we tell stories and pass them between oral and written formats – is a collective erotic expression that works in concert with humankind’s intellectual and spiritual traditions.”

Keren Moscovitch image via LABA

Keren Moscovitch image via LABA

Tom Motley gets real in this drawing for The Brooklyn Rail, part of an ongoing series of drawings for that banner.

Tom Motley drawing via The Brooklyn Rail

Tom Motley drawing via The Brooklyn Rail

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Weekend Hot Links

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Happy Friday! We hope to keep you warm this weekend with recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community.

Image via Artnet

Image via Artnet

Stomp Sisters (Artnet): SVA alum Kate Gilmore gets us stomping toward a female future. (via SVA News)

Brand Leaders (Fast Co. Design): Can designers predict the future of branding? (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

Your Mirror (The New Yorker): When a photographer meets her muse – on the subway. (via SVA BFA Photography)

Power Players (Forbes): How video games can save the world. (via SVA Design for Social Innovation)

See more updates and stories on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages.

Faculty Views: Untitled (Gender Representation)

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

We asked SVACE faculty members 
Magali Duzant and Jeanette Spicer to attend and reflect on Untitled (Gender Representation) symposium, a day-long symposium presented by SVA and BFA Photography and Video, featuring leading artists and theorists addressing current conversations on gender in high and low culture and the ways representation has effected the discourse. We’re pleased to present their original thoughts below.


Untitled (Gender Representation) Symposium at SVA

In introducing the Untitled (Gender Representation) symposium, organizers stressed the deliberate choice of the word “Untitled.” Untitled, it was said, would act as a prompt to allow the audience to have their own take on gender. Over the course of the day’s presentations, this idea only grew more relevant.

Much like in naming an artwork, naming a wide-ranging series of talks and conversations is a challenge. Similar to art, conscious decisions are made in organizing a symposium, but so much is left up to chance interactions, sparks in conversations, and person-to-person connections. A through line across all of the day’s presentations was the power of community, coming together to share, discuss, and support; as well as the power of the artist to create. We create works of art that question the binary (the world?); we create our own definitions and identities. Art may not solve all of the world’s struggles, but it is a powerful force in asking questions, stressing alternatives, filling in gaps, building bridges, and most importantly, in creating safe spaces and empowered communities.

The day kicked off with a conversation between Kate Bornstein and Diana Tourjee who spoke about living beyond the binary and the importance of intergenerational dialogue.

Untitled (Gender Representation) Symposium at SVA, October 1, 2016

Untitled (Gender Representation) Symposium at SVA, October 1, 2016

As an artist and member of the queer community working in my practice specifically around the body, body representation, vulnerability, and fluidity in personal relationships, I was impressed and intrigued by Bornstein and Tourjee’s conversation that so eloquently discussed gender and transgender issues while keeping the discussion personal, yet accessible, informative, and hysterical. I specifically enjoyed the balance between Bornstein and Tourjee, both self-identifying transgender individuals, from entirely different generations, which created a wonderful dialogue that acknowledges the necessity for society to understand the struggles, the pain, and the beauty in the transgender and gender fluid communities, which has changed drastically over the last several decades. Bornstein focused frequently on the play and fun that can exist around gender, while also keeping a keen understanding and acknowledgement of the severity of the need for change in how society views the binary and gender, while Tourjee brought a younger generational outlook, and necessary seriousness about the lack of attention to the struggles and horror in the trans community. Bornstein said at one point, “I am both; I am neither,” which struck me. That comment was representative of the entire conversation, and what our society so desperately needs to understand. ( Jeanette Spicer )

Lia Gangitano presented the work of Greer Lankton and the series concluded with a screening of work from M. Lamar.


Untitled (Gender Representation) Symposium at SVA, October 1, 2016

As a working artist and photographer I was drawn to the presentations of Guggenheim curator Jennifer Blessing and artists and activists Zanele Muholi and niv Acosta. Zackary Drucker led a conversation between both artists that ranged across topics from working as an activist, educating institutions, and audience interaction. In Muholi’s work the power of the archive was a stand out. In creating an archive, one creates a record, proof of the people who have existed, loved, and defined themselves outside of society’s narrower constructs. In documentation comes permanence. Acosta works in performance and dance and spoke of the power of live performance and Afrofuturism as well as the reality of traveling as a Black trans identified person. In negotiating the presentation of the work, Acosta has included a mandatory educational aspect to the work, to provide a course in structural racism as a means of changing the systems that the work is presented within. ( Magali Duzant )

Untitled (Gender Representation) Symposium at SVA, October 1, 2016

Jennifer Blessing’s presentation on her 1997 Guggenheim exhibition, “Rrose is a Rrose is a Rrose: Gender Performance in Photography,” traced back the importance of representation and documentation, both fictive and candid. Blessing expounded upon the history of blurring the binary from Marcel Duchamp to Cindy Sherman and Catherine Opie to Lyle Ashton Harris. The exhibition came out of research that she was pursuing around the artist Claude Cahun.

Education again is key here, when we learn and explore, possibilities are presented and new ways of looking and understanding are accessible. At SVA, we see a desire to present these opportunities with courses such as #GenderSexPhoto: Queer Studies, Feminist Art and Art & The Everyday, examining how and why we look. In today’s media-saturated world, images are both imbued with a substantial power and tossed aside in favor of the newest and loudest. Learning how to be both visually literate and how to craft an image and a position is a powerful tool, and also an inherent challenge. With courses such as these, art in general, and language, we may not solve the ills of the world in one quick snap of the fingers but we can bring together communities, illustrate and then help build a more accepting world that allows for greater possibility, diversity, and understanding.
Magali Duzant & Jeanette Spicer

[All images by Magali Duzant and Jeanette Spicer. Read more about Magali Duzant and Jeanette Spicer at their websites.]


Faculty Updates

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

What have SVACE faculty members been up to? We have exciting updates from Jade Doskow, John A. Parks, Naomi Elena Ramirez, and Steve Brodner.

Montreal 1967 World's Fair, "Man and His World," Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic Dome With Solar Experimental House 2012. Image © Jade Doskow

Montreal 1967 World’s Fair, “Man and His World,” Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome With Solar Experimental House 2012. Image © Jade Doskow

Jade Doskow is featured at Slate and Smithsonian Magazine for her Lost Utopias project. Meanwhile, her successful Kickstarter campaign raised almost $15,000 to print a Lost Utopias monograph. Of Jade’s work, Smithsonian writes, “She has photographed the remnants of visions past, the architectural wonders and landscapes that celebrated human glory and potential.”


John A. Parks, "Union Square," 2014. Oil on Linen, 30 x 40

John A. Parks, “Union Square,” 2014. Oil on Linen, 30 x 40

John A. Parks was interviewed at Artists Network on the topic of painting New York City. Drawing from years of teaching wisdom, John observes that painting is “perceptual training, not the acquiring of a manual skill.” See our review of John’s recent solo show in Chelsea.

Naomi Elena Ramirez, "Detail of Choreography for Smartphone Gestures (score for solo performer)," 2016,

Naomi Elena Ramirez, “Detail of Choreography for Smartphone Gestures (score for solo performer),” 2016,

Naomi Elena Ramirez, a faculty member and alum of our Residency Programs, is a 2016-2017 A.I.R. Fellow.  The Fellowship is for underrepresented and emerging self-identified women artists and includes mentoring, professional development, and exhibition opportunities at A.I.R. Gallery. Naomi’s exhibition will open in July 2017. And more recently, her video, I Love You, was featured at Mountain Gallery in Bushwick.


Steve Brodner for the Boston Globe

Steve Brodner for the Boston Globe

Steve Brodner continues to chronicle the 2016 Presidential Election with his insightful illustrations. For the Boston Globe, he proposes a running mate and cabinets for Donald Trump. Are Brodner’s fictions any stranger than the truths?

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Help Desk

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Today’s guest blogger is Eric Sutphin, Residency Coordinator of SVA’s Summer Residency Programs:

It is a fact that pursuing a career in the arts comes with a wealth of anxieties. Art schools may offer students top-of-the-line facilities, renowned faculty, a marketable pedigree and an invaluable network, but a complaint that I have often heard (and have launched myself) is the deficit in practical training for art students at the beginnings of their careers.  The attendant ambiguity that comes with a life in art can seem daunting and alienating; how often have we been to an opening and looked around at the dealers, curators and artists, and thought, “Wow, these people really have it figured out, they’ve all made it.”


SVA’s Keren Moscovitch (r) in “Help Desk: Equity Exchange Marathon” at Equity Gallery

Help Desk: Equity Exchange Marathon was a performance event conceived and launched by multidisciplinary artist Ofri Cnaani, a current faculty member of SVA’s Continuing Education and Summer Residency Programs. The performance took place at the Artists Equity brick-and-mortar space, Equity Gallery, located in New York’s Lower East Side. Cnaani invited eight guests (most were arts professionals) to respond to questions submitted via Artists Equity’s online platform. Over the course of the performance, which was structured like a professional practices “clinic” and free and open to the public, the spirit of  generosity and an enactment of a kind of utopian sharing economy unfolded. A few of my personal highlights from the event are below:

Q: How do I navigate being an artist, critic curator?
A: Gean Moreno, Artistic Director of Cannonball Miami: “Why is this still a problem within art? It’s seems like a kind of masochistic line that we have gotten comfortable with as artists. In other disciplines, people often move freely between roles. Don’t  worry about it, just do it.”

Q: “Are studio visits worth it?”
A: Joey Lico, curator and Director of Programming at The Cultivist: “Yes!” People who visit your studio generally want others to succeed, so invite people who are interested in your work to visit. But be prepared, and show everything you have, even the things you have hidden away, turned against the wall. We want to see everything. Be careful of those people who want to just sit around and hang out with artists; they’re out there.”

Ofri Cnaani (center) listens at "Help Desk: Equity Exchange Marathon" at Equity Gallery

Ofri Cnaani (center) listens at “Help Desk: Equity Exchange Marathon” at Equity Gallery

The question of the livability of cities came up frequently. Leila Bozorg, Chief of Staff for the NYC Dept. of Housing and Preservation and Development noted that “It is a city’s responsibility to make accommodations for cultural producers. It’s what keeps neighborhoods and cities, in general, attractive places to live.”

As each respondent answered the questions (which were written on index cards), he or she put the card on a clear table under which a projector beamed the image of the amassed question cards onto a nearby wall. The ephemera from the performance is included in Cnaani’s solo exhibition File Under:?, on view at Equity Gallery through January 30, 2016. Additionally, the answers to the artists’ questions will be “transcribed, processed and made available through Artists Equity’s website as a service for the art community.”

Help Desk: Equity Exchange Marathon at Equity Gallery

Help Desk: Equity Exchange Marathon at Equity Gallery