Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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

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.

MLamar1

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.]

 

Weekend Hot Links

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Happy Friday! Might we suggest recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community?

Image via NPR

Image via NPR

Big Press (NPR): Indie comics take the stage at the Small Press Expo. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

Pastel Power (Fast Co. Design): Making sense of pastels saturating the market and culture. (via Lisa Lordi)

Snap Trap (Advertising Age): Snapchat dangles new carrots. (via Mark Burk)

Queer Things (TIME): A photographer queers food p*rn on Instagram. (via SVA News)

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

Bushwick Beat

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

For this installment of Bushwick Beat, we visited the 56 Bogart St. building to see the latest exhibition at Life on Mars gallery.  The reason we focused our visit entirely on Life on Mars was the news that it would be closing its doors with a final show. This comes as a surprise, as Life on Mars has been responsible for hosting talented and relevant painters throughout its brief history, many of which are synonymous with the art scene in Bushwick.

"An Occasional Dream" at Life On Mars Gallery

“An Occasional Dream” at Life On Mars Gallery

The gallery put on a group show titled An Occasional Dream.  As is befitting for a gallery named Life on Mars, the title is derived from a David Bowie song of the same name, and featured a number of the artists they have shown over the years.

Work by Paul D’Agostino

Work by Paul D’Agostino

Most of the artists featured here have been the subject of shows at the gallery before, making each work in the exhibition feel like a song on a greatest hits album, each standing in for the rich and exciting shows it has held in the past.  We covered many of these artists in Bushwick Beat in the past, including Paul D’Agostino’s here, whose work is pictured above.

Farrell Brickhouse at Life on Mars

Farrell Brickhouse at Life on Mars

Farrell Brickhouse, an SVA instructor regularly featured at Life on Mars Gallery, contributed a thickly worked silver painting for the show.  Its most distinguishing feature was a crater cut out of the center that strikingly resembles the moon, complete with craggy stucco surface and silver sheen. The painting perfectly captures the moon – both its perpetual presence in the night sky and its intangible distance in space.  The dingy-bound figures accumulate at the very bottom of the canvas giving gravity to the scene so that the moon hovers in contrast.

Daniel John Gadd at Life On Mars Gallery

Daniel John Gadd at Life On Mars Gallery

Continuing the motif of irregular, moon-like circles, Daniel John Gadd contributed a large painting with blue glass on plywood.  The piece is rich with weathered subtlety – a clear result of the artist’s process and the fragile sense of care he brings to it.

Todd Bienaveau at Life on Mars Gallery

Todd Bienaveau at Life on Mars Gallery

Todd Bienaveau’s paunchy paintings usually depict slovenly figures drinking beer, getting tattoos or attending rock concerts.  In this piece, the artist shows a painters supplies, brushes in an empty gesso bucket and a paint tube with the cap twisted on.  By the mute blue green of the setting, they look quietly pushed aside after a day’s work.

Brenda Goodman at Life on Mars Gallery

Brenda Goodman at Life on Mars Gallery

Brenda Goodman’s piece reads like a strange surrealist play.  She draws together associations with Tim Burton films and 2-D side scrolling video games in a way that manages to feel fresh and unbeholden to influence.  Her limping, wooly-black figures are barely animated abstract shapes, and are given breath by nothing more than an occasional delirious eye.

Fran O’Neil at Life on Mars Gallery

Fran O’Neil at Life on Mars Gallery

Since the closing of the show, it has been announced that with Life on Mars gallery closing, a new gallery will take its place.  David&Schweitzer Contemporary will carry over a majority of the artists and management from Life on Mars.  The re-formed gallery will be opening in the same space with its first show opening for the upcoming Bushwick Open Studios taking place on October 1st and 2nd.

Even as it turns out that the closure of Life on Mars is not so final as it seemed, its final exhibition in its current form was a great occasion to reflect on art in Bushwick throughout the gallery’s tenure, and to consider where it might be headed as the neighborhood ceaselessly continues to change.  In any case, the exhibition was an occasion to dream.

-Will Patterson

Friday Hot Links

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Happy Friday! Might we suggest recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community?

Image via Carl Schlesinger Archive

Image via Carl Schlesinger Archive

Fit to Print (New York Times): How a Linotype master kept apace. (via Ilene Strizver)

Road Trip (FastCo.Design): Google’s fast-tracks its Spotlight Engine in a new VR film. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

User Friendly (PSFK): Designers take on discrimination of all stripes. (via Robert Stribley)

Massimo’s Memorial (Quartz): Designer Massimo Vignelli took his vision to the grave. (via Jess Mackta)

Fish Forms (Design Milk): What 3D printing means for goldfish. (via Jess Mackta)

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

Friday Hot Links

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Happy Friday! Might we suggest recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community?

Image via Hyperallergic

Image via Hyperallergic

Protest Projection (Hyperallergic): Artist activists illuminate the Guggenheim’s impasse over migrant workers’  rights. (via Robert Stribley)

Hello Dolly (CNET): Drone photography recreates Alfred Hitchcock’s “dolly zoom” technique. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

Mini Museum (Print Mag): Tribeca treated to a museum in an elevator. (via Steven Heller)

Branding Brew (FastCo. Design): Design titan Milton Glaser has branded Brooklyn Brewery since it began. (via SVA News)

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