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TRADING PLACES 1.0
PRIVATE VIEW: 3rd DEC 15 18:00-21:00
ALL WELCOME
Exhibition Open:
4th -6th DEC 15
11:00-16:00
(appointment available on request)
Open Crit/ Roundtable discussion: 5th Dec 15 13:00-14:30

As part of 12ø Collective’s A/W 2015 Residency, artist Joshua Parker will be curating an exhibition from entries from an open submission to explore possibilities of how emerging art practices could survive continuous austerity measures while maintaining critical reflection of the contemporary.
Trading Places will work as a projection of an impending landscape, when art follows business models, corporate strategies or corporate aesthetics to sustain and fund art practices, as this could soon to become the only feasible way progress in an austerity lead environment.

Selected Artists:
Tom Camm – http://www.thomascamm.com/
Rachael Davies – www.rachaeldavies.co.uk
Hannah Dickinson – http://www.hannahdickinson.com/
Sarah-Joy Ford – http://sarahjoyford.com/
Sid and Jim – www.sidandjim.com
Hannah Taylor – http://cargocollective.com/hannah-taylor
Charles Verni – http://www.charlesverni.com/
Dickie Webb – http://www.dickiewebb.com/
Alice Woods – http://www.alicewoods.co.uk/

12ø Collective – http://www.12ocollective.com/

Open round table, critic, discussion with some of the featuring artists on Saturday 5th Dec 15 13:00 – 14:30, all welcome to join in, (refreshments served)

Adress:
12 Orpen Walk
Stoke Newington
London
N16 8HG

*we do apologise but wheelchair accessible isn’t possible for this location although we will do our best to make the exhibition accessible through other means.

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My work “Concept Of Since – 24 Options”, is currently part of an exhibition curated by Robert Montgomery.  The exhibition is at the Lights of Soho gallery in London.

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London’s home of creative neon and light art formats is opening its doors for its inaugural open submission show entitled “Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say…” Lights of Soho will be accepting submissions from new and established light artists for a show that will be guest curated by artist Robert Montgomery.

Taking inspiration from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Lights of Soho is inviting young artists who use light as a medium in their work to exhibit alongside established names in light art. Lights of Soho curator Hamish Jenkinson states, “Lights of Soho is more than an art gallery – it is a window of opportunity for young artists to get involved in the art scene. With this show, I’m hoping that we can reach artists who are well into their craft or just discovering it. I’d like to show young artists that art is a democratic experience and that they too can be featured in a London gallery.”

Having started his career off by vandalising billboards and bus stops with his poetry, Robert Montgomery directly communicates with his audience through text and light. Inspired by Roland Barthes and Guy Debord, Montgomery has paved the way for young artists to write their own story. Creating large LED light pieces with his poetry, Montgomery has seen his works showcased around the world including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India and a current project which hijacks an entire city block in Seattle.

Montgomery says, “When Bruce Nauman made his seminal artwork in neon “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths” in 1967 it represented the beginning of a kind of democracy. Artists, for the first time could now hijack a medium previously only the domain of commercial and corporate voices, and begin to say much more interesting things. When I was a teenager I was obsessed with the pure form of commercial signs. I would fill rolls of film on the family holiday camera photographing the neon signs on abandoned petrol stations in France, and endure the blank looks of my father as he returned from Boots later with far fewer smiling family portraits than he expected, “why would you take so many pictures with no one in them son?…. Jeez, what a waste of money.” I knew that as soon as I had any money of my own I would make my own signs saying the most whimsical things possible. Perhaps even something as whimsical and useless as poetry.

In 1992 Gillian Wearing made the important piece, “Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say”. This was a lovely and delicate artwork about democracy, and the idea of an open exhibition of light art takes its inspiration from Wearing as much as from Nauman. In an ideal world we would give the billboards back to the people and everyone could write their dreams in neon. “

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City Among Nations: Los Angeles at the Venice Biennale

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The Propeller Group, The AK-47 vs M16, 2015. AK-47 and M16 bullets fused and encased in ballistic gel, on metal support and LWS platform, 128 x 43 x 17 cm; single-channel HD video, color, no sound, c. 12'. 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, All the World's Futures. | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo. | Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

The Propeller Group, The AK-47 vs M16, 2015. AK-47 and M16 bullets fused and encased in ballistic gel, on metal support and LWS platform, 128 x 43 x 17 cm; single-channel HD video, color, no sound, c. 12′. 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, All the World’s Futures. | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo. | Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

What’s notable about “We Must Risk Delight” is precisely that none of the artists included are international luminaries, of which Los Angeles undoubtedly has its share. Rather, the exhibition presents the city’s immeasurably talented working-artists, ranging in age from 30-70 and representing a broad range of ethnicities, as well as a slight majority of female artists. “Our participation in art conversations on an international level can not be reserved only for superstar names: not if our interests as a community are to keep growing and keep relevant,” curator Elizabeta Betinski explains. “Too few of us get the kind of opportunity we just experienced at the Venice Biennale and I truly hope to see that change for Los Angeles artists within my lifetime. ‘We Must Risk Delight’ was created in an effort to affect that change.” The exhibition has been a labor of love for the curator and the artists, who continue to seek financial support for their endeavor. “Democratization is, to me, an issue that needs to be addressed,” says Betinski. “We can either complain about — and thus contend with — the ‘art market’ and its inherent elitism, or we can give effort to expanding the playing field and creating opportunities for more than just a select few.” She continues, “L.A. has one of the most vibrant and exciting contemporary art scenes in the world — yet, our perspective on being a part of a larger world is still very myopic and out-of-sync with the amount of creative talent and diversity L.A. has to offer.” Such diversity, while not the cause of the show’s success, is important because it reflects the progressive values of a city that is increasingly hailed as a crucible for working artists, as well as being notable for its multicultural and gender-balanced community and presence of multiple generations of artists all supporting one another.

Walead Beshty, 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, All the World's Futures.  | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo.  | Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

Walead Beshty, 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, All the World’s Futures. | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo. | Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia.

Thematically, the exhibition’s focus is transcendence of real-world limitations, and the art on view speaks to the possibilities of fantasy and imagination to lift us above our daily challenges. That utopian spirit is also typical of Los Angeles, a city that is in many ways an impossibility, wrested from the desert that perpetually threatens to reclaim it. The artworks on view take a variety of forms, from Tanya Batura’s surreal ceramics suggesting organic growths made of eyes, to Robbie Conal‘s nostalgic portraits of 1960s pop icons Bob Marley, John Lennon, and Jimi Hendrix. Kenturah Davis’ contribution, four large-scale drawings depicting African-American subjects whose images are comprised of written text describing their aspirations, speaks to both the challenges and the ambitions of L.A.’s creative class.

"We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles." Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Panorama view of installation with works by (L-R) Ben Jackel, Frank Ryan, Tony de los Reyes, Jamison Carter, Amir H. Fallah, Sherin Gurguis, Alexis Zoto, Carolyn Castaño.

“We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles.” Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Panorama view of installation with works by (L-R) Ben Jackel, Frank Ryan, Tony de los Reyes, Jamison Carter, Amir H. Fallah, Sherin Gurguis, Alexis Zoto, Carolyn Castaño.

Painting is everywhere, most of it boldly colorful. Amir H. Fallah exhibits two paintings from a recent series in which he reconstructed the lives of a married couple based on diaries and objects procured from an estate sale in East Los Angeles. Alexandra Grant and Sherin Gurguis, two artists currently featured in the COLA award exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, are represented with exuberant works on paper that dazzle against the brick walls of the magazzini space. Grant shows two works from her “Century of the Self”series, proclaiming “I was born to love not to hate,” and Gurguis contributes intricately patterned cut-paper works that riff on traditional Islamic screen work. Gurguis also contributes a large, ornamental cut-out sculpture alongside sculptural works by Ben Jackel, Margaret Griffith, Rebecca Niederlander, and Jamison Carter. Carole Silverstein, Mark Licari, and Shizu Saldamando also dazzle with color, though on a smaller scale. These three artists each embody a distinct Los Angeles vernacular in their very different bodies of work: Silverstein working with pattern and landscape, Saldamando in figuration to describe local archetypes, and Licari bringing the psychedelic perspective.

"We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles." Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Works by Kenturah Davis, Carole Silverstein, Margaret Griffith, and Shizu Saldamando.

“We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles.” Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Works by Kenturah Davis, Carole Silverstein, Margaret Griffith, and Shizu Saldamando.

Despite L.A.’s international stature as a film capital, the moving image is less prominent in the show, although animations by Stas Orlovski and Carolyn Castaño, and Natasha Prosenc Stearns’ sculpture and video installation, ensure it is not left out of the discussion. Photography is also less visible, though well-represented by Brandy Eve Allen’s intimate portraits. Alexis Zoto is the only artist to respond directly to Venice as a site, creating an installation in dazzling gold around a large chandelier that evokes the ersatz Baroque aesthetic of Venice’s many palazzos, while incorporating pre-Columbian geometries that speak to the contemporary hybridization of culture across place.

Charles Gaines, "Notes on Social Justice: Dey's All Put on De Blue," (1880), 2013. Each 86.4 x 71.3 cm. Detail. | Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

Charles Gaines, “Notes on Social Justice: Dey’s All Put on De Blue,” (1880), 2013. Each 86.4 x 71.3 cm. Detail. | Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

Reflecting that hybrid reality and the broadest possible scope of geographies, the 2015 Biennale encompasses pavilions from 87 countries as well as 42 collateral exhibitions. Still, no other city occupies a footprint comparable to L.A.’s this time around. In addition to “We Must Risk Delight,” L.A. artists figure prominently in Okwui Enwezor’s main exhibition. The Giardini’s Central Pavilion features legendary Angeleno artist and CalArts faculty mainstay, Charles Gaines, with an installation of his recent “Notes on Social Justice” and plexiglas ‘Librettos’ works (the latter also on view at Leimert Park’s Art + Practice until May 30). The Biennale’s live program – one of three key thematic areas or “filters” – also features monthly live performances of Gaines’ master composition based on five “Notes on Social Justice” texts. The first of these featured a male and female vocalist in duet, accompanied by a string quartet. Future performances over the course of the exhibition will layer and multiply texts and compositions from the five source texts. Both the installation and the live performance use canonical documents from the history of social justice movements as their basis, building on a body of work that has incorporated the words of Susan B. Anthony, Stokely Carmichael, and Malcolm X. By appropriating these texts whole and treating them with visual and auditory lyricism, Gaines defuses the oft-leveled criticism of political art as aggressive or alienating, instead drawing viewers in with beauty and warmth while allowing the eloquence and commitment of the original speakers to come through with clarity.

Charles Gaines, "Notes on Social Justice: Dey's All Put on De Blue," (1880), 2013. Each 86.4 x 71.3 cm. Detail. | Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

Charles Gaines, “Notes on Social Justice: Dey’s All Put on De Blue,” (1880), 2013. Each 86.4 x 71.3 cm. Detail. | Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

Adjacent to the Gaines installation is a gallery of recent works by L.A.-based Walead Beshty, whose works include a number of “Aggregate” sculptures (2013) constructed from production discards from Guadalajara’s Cerámica Suro, a long-established industrial ceramics producer and exporter. The sculptures, covered in thick, drippy paint, are as vulgar and chaotic as Cerámica Suro’s wares are precise. These works, accompanied by collaged sculptures made from cut-up Guadalajara tabloid newspapers draped over metal poles, respond to the official and unofficial economies of globalization by foregrounding the commoditization of human bodies and folk cultural traditions for casual consumption by Mexico’s elites and their wealthier neighbors to the north.

Additionally, CalArts graduates Matt Lucero and Tuan Andrew Nguyen are included at the Arsenale with their collective, The Propeller Group, whom Angelenos may remember from their humorous video installation commenting on global corporate culture at 2012’s Made in L.A. Biennial at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. In Venice, they are represented by a block of ballistic gel containing an AK-47 bullet and an M-16 bullet shot at one another, which upon fusing come to represent a merger of American and Soviet military histories in the aftermath of the Cold War — think Afghanistan or Syria for some real-world examples of how this plays out. The AK-47 vs M16 (2015) also includes a slow-motion animation of the bullets passing through the gel, which creates an abstracted forensic map of contemporary global conflict.

Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia. Walead Beshty, "¡La Voz de Jalisco El Periodico Que Dice Lo Que Otros Callan Más Noticias Más Deportes! (Miércoles, 7 Agosto 2013: Metro, La Prensa Jalisco, Express Guadalajara)," 2013. Daily newspapers, dimensions variable.

Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia. Walead Beshty, “¡La Voz de Jalisco El Periodico Que Dice Lo Que Otros Callan Más Noticias Más Deportes! (Miércoles, 7 Agosto 2013: Metro, La Prensa Jalisco, Express Guadalajara),” 2013. Daily newspapers, dimensions variable.

Another notable Angeleno at the Biennale is Vanessa Beecroft, an Italian-born artist whose installation “phantom limb stone garden” at the Italian Pavilion made up of figurative sculptures in bronze and shades of stone reminiscent of the range of human skin tones. One of her most ambitious and successful sculptural installations, the work cannot be viewed in its entirety as it is intentionally blockaded by large, rough-sided marble slabs. The fragmented viewpoint of the observer and the truncated female bodies within make reference to Marcel Duchamp’s final work, Étant Donnés (1946-66), a Surrealist-inspired tableau referencing both theater and early cinema, which prefigures Beecroft’s more than twenty years of work responding to the tropes of contemporary high fashion.

Los Angeles’ emergence within the international contemporary art landscape speaks to the city’s position at the forefront of worldwide trends. While the Biennale’s pavilions appear to celebrate nationalism, increasingly one finds within them artists from many countries (Spain and Belgium being notable examples this time). Los Angeles exemplifies a future in which metropolitan areas are in direct dialogue with one another, around the globe, through cultural as well as commercial exchange. Comprised of residents from all parts of the planet, Los Angeles boasts a majority-minority demographic that other European and American cities are destined to share. The city is shaped by its national context, but also shapes it, and acts as a hub for international cultural exchange. L.A. is uniquely positioned to serve as a model for the world’s cities going forward, being already invested in seeking ways to develop more equitable, sustainable, and liveable conditions for its citizens. Given how the city’s contemporary artists reflect and promote those concerns, it’s no surprise that they are so prominently represented at a global exhibition focused on the future.

"We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles." Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Installation view.

“We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles.” Collateral Event of the 56th la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015. Curated by Elizabeta Betinski. Presented by bardoLA in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Installation view.

Top Image: Walead Beshty, 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, All the World’s Futures. | Photo: Alessandra Chemollo. 

Anuradha Vikram is a curator, critic, educator, and Director of Residency Programs at 18th Street Arts Center.

Elín Hansdóttir
SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e.V.

Auguststraße 69
D-10117 Berlin

15. 3.– 25. 5. 15
Exhibition / 1+2
Opening: Saturday, 14.3.15, 17–22 h

For SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF Elín Hansdóttir produces a site-specific work, which uses the architecture of the former margarine factory as a starting point for a spatial and filmic installation.

Hansdóttir places the viewers in the spotlight of her cross-genre installations. Over the past years, her artistic practice has shifted from sculptural concepts to dynamic spatial arrangements, which incorporate sound and light, but also address the changes in the viewers’ perception through their own movements as essential elements. SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF is the first work by Hansdóttir in which the filmic experiment plays a key role. Employing acoustic and optical effects as well as architectural elements, her works explore the potentials and limitations of spatial experience.

SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF is funded by Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg. With additional support from the Icelandic Visual Arts Fund, the Icelandic Art Center, the Embassy of Iceland, and the Muggur Travel Grant.

Elín Hansdóttir, SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF, 2014, Working model, detail, Courtesy Elín Hansdóttir and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik

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Here are some recent photos from Beyond Tinted exhibition which took place between the 19th-23rd of November 2014 at the Modern Art Museum, Yerevan MAMY.  These works I created after participating on the ACSL artist residency here in Yerevan.  Through the support from the residency as well as ECF Labs which helped fund my time here in Yerevan.

Beyond Tinted consisted of four series of work incorporating past and present processes and mediums.  The works developed on previous themes and new concepts researched whilst here in Yerevan.

U – DYS – HET
(Audio/Visual Digital Collage)

Watchers
(Digital Prints)

Folded Control
(Mixed Media)

Contained Spaces
(Mixed Media Sculptures)

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These last few weeks have been spent exploring all parts of Yerevan some intentionally and others purely by accident.  One day this week even was comparably to my days on my snowboard.  Using the bus like a chairlift to take me to a point in the city with a line back to house which I walked capturing many elements that I had over the weeks hope to experience.

These random wanderings and planned excursions have allowed me to interact with architecture and accidental sculptural objects.  They have created conversations within my practice that I am now exploring and will continue post residency here.  I spend time photography and field recording the sounds I encounter not always for later work but to use the process of recording as a way to explore the moments that I have experienced.  Some of these elements naturally appear in the work but sometimes it is me focusing on something that i see a metaphor amongst or pausing just so the brain absorbs and allows the senses to filter completely.  Though the sounds and visual elements are important it is all senses that inform my thoughts.  If only to have a machine to record the smells both pleasant and not so.  The aromas here are strong and really striking.

Certain themes are constant within my travels such as looking through but seeing behind in reflective moments or the attraction to controlled and protected spaces.  Here especially where traffic cones are not so common the ways in which people mark space is intriguing.  One thought that is common with my travels here though is to do with vacancy as a positive.  The building of vacancy, i.e. in the sense of building glass and marble buildings that seems to be for something that only they know about.  With these buildings not necessarily fitting into the landscape rather standing alone amongst the tower blocks of Soviet era.  I see these new buildings a positive in one sense and nod to a new era or at least optimism.  This in comparison in other cities that I have lived recently where new construction has stopped.

As for work I am currently working on a new digital work, a step on from the Athens Arrival work I made in Greece last year and also some new photo and sculptural works.  These are all due to be exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art here in a couple of weeks.  So for now the walks and excursions are more precise and studio time has increased.  I will update from the studio in a few days prior to the show.

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Re:post from Hyperallergic, written by Thomas Micchelli on August 16, 2014

The exhibition takes its title from a poem by Susan Howe, and its subject is aphasia, described in the gallery’s press release as “a cognitive disorder causing an inability to understand or produce speech.” The curatorial intention, drawing on concepts developed by the Russian-American linguist and scholar Roman Jakobson, is to present aphasia “as a cypher with metaphoric and metonymic implications.”

An intriguing concept: how to create an art exhibition about the inability to communicate? That is what curator Rachel Valinsky has set out to do in Itself Not So, the current group show at Lisa Cooley on the Lower East Side, and for the most part, her selections neatly vault past the inherent paradox of the proposition.

Typically (though not necessarily) caused by a stroke, aphasia ranges in severity from an inability to find the correct words for things to the complete loss of the capacity to use or comprehend language, whether spoken, written or signed. At the same time, it does not interfere with the patient’s mental faculties, which only increases the frustration of those suffering from the disorder.

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The exhibition, according to the gallery statement, has assembled a selection of artworks that “taken together, form a polyphonic response to the fundamental rupture between thought and expression that aphasia engenders.”

The metaphoric implications of aphasia’s “fundamental rupture between thought and expression” can be readily applied to the creative process, where the rupture between subject and form, idea and object, can often feel unbridgeable — and yet the connection must be made if the artwork is to hold together. And so how does one develop such a concept in the context of an exhibition? The curator’s answer is evidently to present works in which deliberate omissions and obfuscations are major components, as if they are confronting us with their own unmaking.

This idea is at its most conspicuous in a work like Michael Dean’s “Analogue Series (tongue) On the pronunciation of the letter L” (2014), which features a straight-back chair with a black (aphasic?) tongue in the place of one of its four legs, rendering it unusable. In a piece by Ryan Gander, which bears the impossibly long title, “Associative Template # 23 – (And all that chatter around your career) *Debit and Credit by Dan Fox, first published in Frieze, Issue 119, Nov-Dec 2008” (2009), aphasia’s gaps in comprehension are suggested by the holes left in a large, handprinted photograph from which sizable sections have been laser-cut and placed on the floor beneath it.

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The sensation of halting, unclear thoughts is visualized to striking effect in Fia Backström’s “An-alpha/pet-isms…” (2014), an installation consisting of sheets of clear vinyl film hanging from five standing steel frames, upon which letters of the alphabet float like obscured, distorted ghosts amid inky clouds, blurs and blots.

And there is “I Hate” (2007), a hi-def video by Imogen Stidworthy that focuses on a middle-aged man, presumably afflicted with aphasia, and his attempts to try and speak. All of these works walk the tightrope between clarity and unintelligibility in ways that are by turns visceral, heady, sensuous and whimsical.

The reason behind including some of the other works in the show is not as clear-cut, but that makes them no less engaging. There’s artist/musician Ben Vida’s “Slipping Control (pink/green/blue)” (2013-2014), an elegantly designed triptych comprised of three framed digital prints employing patterns of letters laid out in the spaces between pink, green and blue rectangles. The work is the basis for a vocal piece performed by the artist, whose repetitive, percussive soundings could be likened to aphasic stammering, but without the loss of control experienced by the patient.

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Rick Myers’s “Either side of the eye” (2010) offers two steel squares covered in lubricating flake graphite, one featuring a concave depression and the other with a matching convex protrusion. A quick glance can fool the eye as to which is which, but such visual ambiguity doesn’t seem to touch on the communicational handicaps stemming from the disorder.

Another work by Myers, “Study with BEFORE following AFTER” (2010), more successfully conveys the idea of expression held captive. The piece couldn’t be simpler — five black, vertical bands running the length of a narrow sheet of paper — but there is something compellingly dense, even layered about it. It is tempting to think that this impression is related to the work’s materials and process, which are described on the checklist as “Alcohol sealed sooted paper with etched soundwaves of the words AFTER, BEFORE, AFTER, having been spoken aloud and transcribed using a phonautograph.”

There are two other abstractions in the show, both by James Hoff, though they look like the work of two different artists. “Concept Virus #1” (2013), in enamel on aluminum, looks like hyper-pixelated video snow, while “Stuxnet No. 5” (2014), a red, white, blue and black Chromalux transfer on aluminum, is a Gerhard Richter-like smear of color. Neither seems to fit under the exhibition’s umbrella, which is also true of a conceptual piece by Julien Bismuth called “A train of thought” (2011), consisting of four sticks painted different colors on each of their four sides. In the notes for this work we are told, “The sticks are rotated daily so as to go through all 24 permutations of the four-color sequence.” Perhaps the piece’s daily evolution is meant to correspond with the slow, frustrating grind of rehabilitative therapy?

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According to its wall text, another conceptual work, Research Services’ “If You’re Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me” (2014), takes the subject of aphasia “as a social phenomenon triangulated by politics, aesthetics, and technology.” The artists, soliciting phone numbers from the viewing public, plan to interview participants via “robotic avatars” and broadcast the conversations in the gallery.

The exhibition’s remaining pieces, all text-based, perhaps have the most tenuous connection to aphasia, but they point in some interesting directions. Sophia Le Fraga’s video, “W8ING” (2014), consists of scrolling cellphone text messages chockablock with abbreviations and emoticons — which, in their disuse of language, may or may not be signs of aphasia. “W8ING” is supposedly a riff on Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, at least according to Karen Rosenberg’s review in yesterday’s New York Times, but the triteness of the dialogue makes the connection murky at best. (Le Fraga’s other video, “TH3 B4LD 5OPRANO; or, English Made Easy,” 2014, apparently applies the same treatment to Eugène Ionesco, but the piece was not available the afternoon I visited the gallery.)

Both Sue Tompkins and Christopher Knowles use typewriters to create their works. Tompkins’ handsome, 18-part “The Lost Weekend” (2014) runs in a horizontal line across two sides of a corner of the room. Incorporating typewritten designs and enigmatic phrases on letter-size sheets of newsprint, the piece’s mystery-shrouded words could be considered stand-ins for the confusion over precise meanings that aphasia can cause.

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Knowles, who received a diagnosis of autism when he was a child and came into prominence at the age of 17 when his poetry was included in the libretto for Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach(1976), has contributed two of his pattern-based, black-and-red typewriter pieces, “Designs” and “Butterfly Blocks,” both from the 1980s. At the top of “Designs,” he has repeated the words “black” and “red” in their corresponding colors. The self-evident meaning of those marks, which soon give way to complex streams and patterns of a single letter — the lowercase “c” — embodies a poignant literalism in search of human connection. There is no abstraction, no chance of a mistake: red is red and black is black, a simple truth that marks the first step in the stairwell toward a sense of surety and understanding.

The poets Susan Howe and Aram Saroyan employ their own poetry as works of art in very different, very potent ways. Howe uses another obsolete technology, letterpress, to create drifting, squeezed and fragmented shapes out of excerpts from her poems; we don’t know what to respond to first, the elegance of the designs or the music of the words (some of which are illegible). But this is an instance of neither/nor — the physical beauty of the objects creates a doubled meaning, with each element dependent upon and inseparable from the other.

Aram Saroyan, a pioneer of Minimalist poetry, is showing “Lighght” (1989), the yellow-on-white silkscreen he made from his famous (or, for some, notorious) one-word poem, “lighght,” which was first published in 1965. Like the orders of significance in the pieces by Knowles and Howe, the image in Saroyan’s print is suspended between, and compounded by, what constitutes a word and the indefinable visual resonances carried by its semiotic representation. These poets, rather than falling into the rupture between thought and expression, bring to their visual works an understanding of the limits of language and the tools — from the metrical to the symbolic to the typographic — needed to traverse them. To make art out of their poems is just another step along the continuum.

Itself Not So continues at Lisa Cooley (107 Norfolk Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan) through August 29.