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This past Every 2:ND Friday in Williamsburg was subdued, perhaps everyone is resting before this weekend’s Northside Arts Festival, but there were still quite a few shows galloping from crisp paintings to detritus-based installations.
I started at Pierogi’s The Boiler for Our Cult’s Classic, an exhibit by twelve recent MFA graduates from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Sculpture and Extended Media. The most interesting art used the former factory boiler room’s industrial characteristics to its advantage, like Jennifer Lauren Smith’s video on the top of the 40-foot ceiling synced with headphones below, or Oscar Santillan’s blurred video of horse running in the fog screened in a low, brick-lined room off the main gallery. The smaller work was a bit lost in the crowd and the space.
Ian McMahon’s plaster piece coated on one side with yellow pigment that descended down one wall also gave the exhibit some visually scalable height, and Will Machin’s “Thicket” (2011), a makeshift ferris wheel built from natural and manmade debris, was a nice kinetic focal point in a corner. “Thicket” had two projectors at its base that made the jumble of turning materials into a shadow kaleidoscope on the wall, which my friend described as “like running through the woods.”
With the only connection between the artists in Our Cult’s Classic being their graduate school, the exhibit was haphazard in its themes, like almost all student shows. Half of the artists graduated in 2010, the other half this year, so rather than a cohesive presentation, the exhibit was more interesting in thinking about where each artist will go from here, and what they each might do if given an exhibit of their own.
My next stop was Causey Contemporary for a solo show by Alan Binstock entitled Way Stations II. We seemed to have just missed a dance performance, which would have made good use of the space and mosaic structures that were begging for some interaction. I feel like these colorful glass works would be more interesting out in the sun of a garden, where their vibrant colors would be less muted and their forms less empty.
Violet Times was presenting Foggy Notion over at Live With Animals, which is hosting music performances along with the exhibit. It was an odd mix of sinisterly scrawled drawings reminiscent of what kids might sneakily do inside their math books, and standard oil paintings. Even if none of the art particularly grabbed me, the show had an endearing DIY aesthetic and, from the curator’s statement, it seems the artists are also musicians and will be performing in Live With Animals during the exhibit, which is a cool concept.
At Ventana244, we saw what was my favorite exhibit of the night: Intensity, a “fresh selection of interactive projects that use code to experiment with sound, poetry and movement.” When we first entered the gallery, I thought I was mistaken on the date and that there was no art. But suddenly the unassuming lights by Mimi Yin hanging on the wall came to life in an abrupt, swinging dance, and I realized the desk in the back of the room was the staging area for “Illumination” by Jack Kalish and Yonatan Ben-Simhon. Their piece “discovered poetry” in a block of text by using an optical script to find words, locations and poetic structures. Around the corner was the “Skittish Tree” by Martín Bravo, where a little tree that looks to be made of light acts like a nervous creature, cowering at loud noises, or relaxing at gentle sounds. It was all very charming, but also well-executed.
Fuse Works had a solid showing with its Alarums and Excursions exhibit at Front Room Gallery. Not as frantic as its title suggests, it instead had thoughtfully done editions like John O. Smith’s currency books and Glen Einbinder’s “Dreamcards” based on news stories from 2000 in the Science Times section of the New York Times, making a modern mysticism out of technology and scientific curiosity. The piece with the most “alarums and excursions” was Chuck Jones’s “Send A Traveling Band To Stay With Your Friend” (2011), which offered exactly that. You can ask Jones to send a package to anyone that will contain photos, a CD and a letter saying that a “group of itinerant musicians” will be coming to their home. After listening to the exuberantly off-key CD, that could be alarming.
Our last gallery was Graphite. to see Fascination, a solo show by Lisa Alisa. Whimsy and horror mixed in paintings of nude young women (I read that they are mostly self-portraiture), where glimpses of fierce animals lurked. The sharp, clean paintings by Alisa reflecting her fascination with the beauty and grotesqueness of life and nature were a good way to end the night, a sweet digestif tinged with a whiff of sharp bourbon.
Every 2:ND Friday takes places, as the name suggests, every second Friday at various galleries throughout Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Participating galleries stay open late and welcome visitors, who wander the streets of the hippest neighborhood on earth to explore art.
Editor’s Note: This endorsement is part of a special edition that Hyperallergic published on the ongoing legal case to return the photos of Renty and Delia Taylor to their descendants. * * * Your Honour — On April 11, 2018, The New York Times published a report on the differential outcomes for maternal and infant…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…