Stephen Truax

Museums

Drones, Data, and Deletion

by Stephen Truax on April 21, 2014

Post image for Drones, Data, and Deletion

BERLIN — Two autonomous drones shaped like miniature tanks a little bigger than a kid’s Fisher-Price Power Wheels truck roam the cavernous white hall of the Berlinische Galerie. They have been programmed to sense and approach visitors.

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Post image for Seeing the Invisible in a Humanitarian Crisis

BERLIN — In a visually stunning multichannel video installation, “The Enclave” (2013), Richard Mosse has created an immersive environment that plunges the viewer into the heart of the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The installation in the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale consists of multiple screens positioned throughout the center of the room; they are transparent scrims, so you can see the projection simultaneously from both sides.

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Post image for The Impossible Desire of the Encyclopedic Palace

VENICE — After all of the seeing and being seen, it was a huge relief to enter Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the youngest artistic director of La Biennale in 110 years. This museum-like exhibition featuring work from over 150 artists from 38 countries made throughout the past century is split between two massive locations: the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, and the Arsenale, which is roughly twelve times the size of an American football field.

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Post image for Shock of the View: Seeing and Scene at the Venice Biennale

VENICE — Nothing quite captured the absurdity that is the vernissage of La Biennale better than Ragnar Kjartansson’s fishing boat, the S. S. Hangover, floating through a barrel-vaulted and colonnaded boat parking structure carrying six horn players performing British composer Gavin Bryars’ “White’s SS” (1977) as Tilda Swinton looked on elegantly from a grassy beach at the end of the massive Arsenale. Yes, I actually saw Tilda Swinton. I died.

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Post image for New Art Spaces in the Bushwick Area, Part 1

The bewildering number of new galleries opening in Bushwick in late 2012 and early this year continues to grow (even while this article goes to press). Counts now, depending on who you ask, are above 45. Growth seems to be nothing short of exponential as virtually every major studio building in every micro-neighborhood that’s part of Bushwick is now home to several artist-run exhibition spaces, and naturally, apartment shows abound. Here’s the first five on our list.

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Artist Andrew Ohanesian (at left)

“This is the biggest dumb idea I’ve ever had,” Andrew Ohanesian told me late one night over Budweisers at Pierogi gallery’s massive auxiliary space, The Boiler Room, in North Williamsburg. “There’s nothing I hate more than a good idea.” Ohanesian often selects “really stupid” ideas for his art that are, in reality, incredibly complex and expensive to realize. For his two-month-long solo engagement with Pierogi opening this Friday, he has made his most outlandish project to date.

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Peter Krashes

This September, every gallery in Bushwick is opening with some of the strongest shows the neighborhood has ever seen. Here, we outline the best shows to see (which, oddly enough, is almost all of them), and when and where to see them. Bushwick has certainly grown into its own as New York City’s youngest art district, and this powerhouse lineup of September openers proves it.

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Galleries

Flying Solo at Volta

by Stephen Truax on March 9, 2012

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Big art events in New York are often set up in opposition to the “establishment.” In reaction to the Whitney Biennial, there is now the New Museum Triennial and the BHQF Brucennial. The Dependent responds to the Independent. In this sense, I would compare Volta to the Armory — they are sister fairs who share VIP access cards and shuttle vans. Sort of the Lower East Side versus Chelsea. Note, the Armory was the first hotel art fair in the 1990s and, at the time, the upstart, up against the big bad and very establishment ADAA — how times have changed — is Volta an attempt to return to that kind of authenticity?

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Post image for New Monuments on the Lower East Side

Entirely new work was made for New Monuments. “Artists were selected for the show, not specific works,” says show-organizer and participating artist Ben Godward, who basically commissioned the other four participants. They all have deep ties to the Bushwick art scene, and are all transplants from the Midwest.

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Post image for Sculpting with Ruins or Imposing Force on Matter

For her second solo exhibition at Klaus von Nichtssagend, Empty is Run About Freely, Bushwick-based sculptor Joy Curtis has created several large sculptures comprised of casts she made of interior moldings and architectural details of 77 Water Street, an unused downtown Manhattan bank building, which the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council employed as studio space during Curtis’ residency in 2009. She has been working with the material collected during this residency almost exclusively for the past year. Speaking to the work on display, Curtis told me, “[As artists] we mine the world for materials, and then we impose a force on that matter. I am interested in showing the evidence of imposing force on matter, and showing the evidence of the passage of time.”

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