Archive for February, 2010

Rachel Frank- Studio Visit – February 17th, 2010

Studio Visit: Rachel Frank February 17th, 2010 Brooklyn

During her studio visit Rachel Frank presented scenes and preparatory materials from Sleep of Reason her upcoming performance piece which refers to the Abu Ghraib photographs through allegory à la Goya. This project takes on images that have become part of the contemporary lexicon of symbols for abuse and torture  and brings them out of the one-to-one arena of the internet, television, and newspaper into a literal theater with actors and patrons.

Studio visit participants discussed the gestural physicality of the set and costumes and how these details affect the narrative of the performance. The group also considered the place of allegory in an era and society where dissent is permitted and how allegory relates to the work of other artists who have referred to Goya and mined the Abu Ghraib photos.

Amanda Lechner

Discussion Links:

Goya – Caprichos

Folkert de Jong

Yinka Shonibare

Matthew Day Jackson

Paul Chan

UPDATE:  Images from the first performance:

Still from "Sleep of Reason" at March 6th performance at The Bushwick Starr

Still from March 6th performance at The Bushwick Starr


James Huang -Studio Visit- January 27th, 2010

Studio Visit: James Huang
Wednesday January 27th, 2010
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

"The Final Frontier" and Audra Wolowiec

Stephanie Lempert and "The Golden Age of Plaster"

"The Origin of the Things"

Left to Right - James Huang, Jonathan Peck, Courtney Tramposh

Left to Right - Michael Berens, Susie Hwang, Rachael Wren. James Huang

January 27th, 2010: James Huang presented a collection of recent work at his Williamsburg studio.

Often James’ sculptures employ narrative and decorative elements, which thematically imply different notions of time and makes tangential reference to architecture. During the discussion James mentioned the disconnect between two-dimensional representations of the third dimension and the actual visual and physical experience of objects and spaces. The group discussed the push that some 2-D artists feel toward working in 3-D, and that some sculptors feel toward a theoretical fourth dimension. This push seems to play out narratively in James’ sculptures, particularly in The Final Frontier, which makes reference to a sci-fi show’s stage set and to the idea of the non-corporeal body via teleportation. The physical surface of the sculpture is laden with finishing techniques made to look like venetian plaster, marble, and metal through faux finishes, lighting effects, and reflections encouraging the viewer to reflect on which materials are actual and which are implied. In The Golden Age of Plaster, a series of contemporary tools sculpted in plaster with hardwood details–a chain saw, a coffee maker–imagines a hypothetical archaic people envisioning the future though plaster.

Participants debated how the level of invention in James’ smaller works compared to the larger highly realized pieces, and whether the small sculptures serve only as drawings/proposals or if they also succeed as complete works on their own.

The group discussed the sculpture titled The Origin of the Things not only as rumination on the four elements (earth, wind, fire, water) but also as a study of evolutionary theory. The group posited the nature of the artistic creative process as “non-Darwinian” in that evolution in art work is determined by a cognizant force (the artist) and the variations on a theme are created whole. Simultaneously this sculpture plays with themes of myth, creation, science, humor and narrative – each theme eclipsing the next.

In many ways James’ sculptures are tableaux of subversion–indexical objects, that in their meaning or making transpose the response to the ideas or objects the sculptures refer to.

-Amanda Lechner & Rachel Frank

Discussion and Artist Links:

Kant – The thing in Itself

Dematerialization – Lippard

Dematerialization – Roddenberry

Jason Tomme

Indexical Modernism & Ethics

Ricci Albenda – Tesseract

Monika Sosnowska projecT 83 @ MOMA 2006

Nicole Eiseman – Jesus Fucking Christ

Dennis Oppenheim:

Device to Root out Evil 1997

Stage for a Film Set  1998

Performance Piece 2000

Grants & Fellowships Calendar

The calendar is undergoing maintenance and will return shortly.

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