Archive for November, 2009

Yuka Otani – Studio Visit – November 18th, 2009

Yuka OtaniNovember 18th, 2009 (Bushwick)

“My work creates a membrane that shifts viewer’s perception in physical and cognitive spaces.Through the lenses of phenomenological and sociological studies, I explore clear materials; primarily glass, water, melted sugar, and light. Those materials are indeterminate and elusive. They are poised for change.”
—Yuka Otani

Yuka Otani

Brian Zegeer, Dustin Dennis

Brian Zegeer, Andrew Prazner, Rachel Frank, Niels Cosman

Jeanne Jo, Christopher Martin

Yuka Otani’s practice comes from a conceptual approach to the ideas of glass, reflection and impermanence. Her projects combine these ideas with social issues resulting in physical interactions with the ephemeral. Lately Yuka has taken a “not glass” approach to glass ideas and processes to expand her understanding and outlook. The projects that Yuka presented during her studio visit were a collection of glassware tumblers and flutes cast in hard sugar candy, photographs of blown sugar vessels as they deformed and dissolved, and a video that combined shots of Yuka blowing glass and sugar. During the visit Yuka invited all the participants to drink from the sugar glasses. Some glasses dissolved and sprung leaks while others stayed intact long enough to be eaten.The group discovered that the sugar-glasses will change over time depending on the atmospheric exponents in their exhibition space. The glassware may slump, become opaque, liquefy or become otherwise volatile. The group discussed the poetic, practical and conceptual implications of this volatility and what may be involved in the use or exhibition of the sugar-glass objects. The specific shapes of the glasses were also discussed in tandem with glass history and commodity as it pertains to art objects. Participants questioned whether the form should be more specific to the sugar material and function or whether generic forms are more appropriate so as to focus attention on the ideas behind the project.-Amanda Lechner

Discussion Links:

Otani 01

Otani 02


Ivin Ballen Studio Visit – November 4th, 2009

Ballen_01image courtesy of Ivin Ballen and Winkleman Gallery

“The artist Ivin Ballen’s buoyant renderings of networks and global production systems express a bracing, “thoroughly modern” sensibility and an interest in the existing, and potential, links between consumption and well being.”

—Lynn Crawford, The Brooklyn Rail, February, 2008

Ballen 04

Jeanne Jo, Audra Wolowiec, Ziad Naccache, Rick Siggins

Ballen 03

Ziad Naccache, Kaveri Nair

Ziad Naccache, Kaveri Nair

Ballen 01

Ballen 05

Stephanie Lempert, Ziad Naccache, Meghan Petras

Ballen 02

Discussion of Ivin Ballen’s work took place at Ivin’s second solo exhibition “Sleepless in Seattle” at Winkleman Gallery in Chelsea. Ivin’s relief sculpture/paintings occupied the walls. A hand-built stage and a PA system, with a surface treatment similar to the wall pieces, filled the center of the room. Over the course of the exhibition, Ivin invited several emerging New York bands to perform on his stage.

While never absolutely answered, the question, “Is this Painting or Sculpture?” was voiced early in the discussion and seemed to linger just under the surface of the discussion throughout. Also debated was the link Ivin’s project promotes between visual art and music performance and the issues engaged by turning a commercial gallery into a live music venue.

Painted casts of negative space were viewed and discussed across the empty stage. Participants in the conversation talked about how the work engages absence through the process in which it is made and presented. The work in the show prompted discussion of several divided themes, some almost diametrically opposed: improvisation and permanence, object-hood and trompe l’eole, absence and performance, sarcasm and genuineness, optimism and negation, homage and critique, symptom and reaction.

-Amanda Lechner & Rachel Frank

Discussion Links:

Relational Aesthetics

Relational Art

Unmonumental ::

Jason Rhodes

Bruce Nauman

Jessica Stockholder

Liam Gillick

Robert Rauschenberg

Dario Robleto

Sleep in it – “Cardboard Box” Duvet Cover

(A collaborative piece with Mayen Alcantara)

Plexiglas, water, pump, wood, video



yuka otani

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