A while back, Elektra sent me a few images of other recent works, including some that are going to appear in the solo show at Allegra LaViola Gallery opening next week. I thought I’d share three of them here.
The upcoming show at Allegra LaViola (titled “The Cathara Insurgent Women vs. The Theocratic Republic of Gaia Beings”) will open on Wednesday May 29th. I will post more information about it as it becomes available.
There are several more VCS-related exhibitions coming up throughout the summer, including another group show at Allegra LaViola with works by VCS faculty member Amy Wilson, and a group show at Broadway Gallery in New York that will include art by current VCS student Andrea Garcia. I will post information about these and other events over the next few weeks.
Her BravinLee show titled “There Are Women at the Gates Seeking a New World…” opens this Wednesday, May 22nd, with a reception to take place at the gallery on Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. Here’s BravinLee’s press release, which also contains additional information about some of Elektra’s other recent and upcoming projects:
BravinLee programs is pleased to present an exhibition in the gallery’s project room by Elektra KB of new works on paper, photography, and a selection of cloth pages of her 20 page, hand-sewn artist’s book.
The pages of the book, each a sewn and embroidered felt collage, depict guerilla warfare in a mythological, semi-autobiographical world parallel to ours: a female rebel army revolting against the forces of a tyrannical police state. The women are primitivist and often uniformed and weaponized–most wear only short petticoats and veils or ominous balaklava. They pose brazenly with machine guns and chainsaws in photo ops, but Elektra KB has rendered these weapons more like toys, and according to her rule-set for this alternative world, they shoot rays of light not ammo.
As in Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange,” Elektra KB’s world subsists on a complex play of invented language and iconography; however, her protagonists are righteous. “The Cathara Insurgent Women”—dancing warriors, rebels, heretics—fight against the shadowy forces of “The Theocratic Republic of Gaia”. The Insurgents call to mind simultaneously today’s feminists and activists like Susana Chavez, Medieval heretics, and the Aztecs in the era of Spanish conquest.
Throughout the pages of the book, shadows leak and flow together representing the forces of Neo-colonization: mass scale and conspiratorial violence and murder, repression of free speech, and the oppression and alienation of women. Threads hang loosely from these shadows and war iconography, representing catharsis, repression, Barbarism, and physical emancipation à la Freud’s Death Drive.
The title of the show is a modification of text, “There are men at the gates seeking a new world,” extracted from an essay in the first issue of a magazine produced by the late 1960s art group Black Mask (later Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers). The group, formed by painter Ben Morea and poet Dan Georgakas, declared that revolutionary art should be an integral part of life, as in primitive society, and not an appendage to wealth.
Elektra KB is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts (2012). In 2013, her work has been exhibited in the group exhibitions “All The Best People” at 1 to 1 Gallery, New York, reviewed in Artforum (March 2013) by Carolyn Busta, and “Changing the World Through Art” at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York. She will also have a solo exhibition in New York at Allegra LaViola Gallery, “The Cathara Insurgent Women vs. The Theocratic Republic of Gaia Beings,” opening May 29th, 2013, and a monograph of her work published by Tangled Wilderness/Combustion Books is due later this spring.
For more information, please contact BravinLee programs at 212.462.4404 or email@example.com.
Some of the works that will be on display at BravinLee can be seen at this link on the gallery’s website, and you can also find more art by Elektra at her own site.
“There Are Women at the Gates Seeking a New World…” will be on display through June 28th. BravinLee programs is located at 526 West 26th Street #211 in New York City, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The reception will take place this Wednesday, May 22nd from 6 to 8 p.m.
I will post more information about Elektra’s upcoming solo show at Allegra LaViola Gallery in a few days.
An archived video of the SVA 2013 commencement ceremonies webcast is now available at this link on the SVA website. I’ve posted some VCS-related images from it below.
I will be back in a few days with posts about recent honors that some of our students have received at SVA, including Alumni Society scholarships and awards in a writing contest sponsored by the Humanities Department during the Spring 2013 semester.
This Saturday, May 11th from 4 to 8:30 pm, VCS alumnae Sofia Klapischak, Amy Kolenut, and Brooke Tomiello will present Random Musings, the first exhibition in a new space they’ve just launched named YOUME HAUS. In addition to Sofia, Amy, and Brooke, the exhibition will include works by several other artists, including VCS alumnae Courtney Linderman, Molly Nadav, and Ranya Asmar.
I e-mailed Brooke for some information about the space and the exhibition, and she sent me the following.
First, here is a brief mission statement for YOUME HAUS:
Because it feels deadening as an artist to show in a gallery or public venue, we wanted to open a space that would allow young artists to take part in a curated show and have the opportunity to show their work to an audience of their peers.
Unlike the stale routine of a reception before a long showing at a gallery, we’ve decided to have a one night curated celebration of the arts. We want to create a space that is welcoming and goes back to the roots of DIY. YOUME HAUS is dependent on communal participation, which will make it feel approachable and open.
She also provided this brief description of Random Musings:
Random Musings is a show that reflects the unmethodical rhythm of daily experience. The pieces chosen for Random Musings encapsulate the sporadic contemplative thoughts outside of our modern routines. YOUME HAUS is a time and place for communal exchange – and builds upon itself with every new curated idea.
The artworks themselves reflect the foundation of YOUME HAUS by inviting the viewer to dwell in a sporadic contemplative moment.
We really wanted to create a space for young artists (although this may change in the future) to show their work to their friends, peers, family, and anyone they wanted to invite. We also wanted the space to be a place for people to meet new and other artists or writers, etc. We’re showing salon style in our apartment because it’s semi a reflection of the economic hardships we’re all going through, and it’s a place of comfort and familiarity. We want the viewer to be able to feel comfortable and open in a place that invites you to discuss etc.
Finally, here are a few links for some of the artists who will be showing their work this Saturday:
Random Musings will take place this Saturday, May 11th from 4 to 8:30 pm. at YOUME HAUS, located at 99 Meserole Street in Brooklyn. For more information and some images of the installation, visit the YOUME HAUS Facebook page.
This Thursday, May 9th, The School of Visual Arts will hold its Commencement Exercises for the undergraduate and graduate classes of 2013 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. This year’s commencement address will be given by journalist, cultural critic, and Rolling Stone contributor Greil Marcus (you can read an interview with him on the SVA website here). The event is open to graduating students and invited guests only; however, a live webcast will also be available online at this link, beginning at 1 p.m. on the 9th.
This year, graduating VCS senior Romke Hoogwaerts has been selected to give the Bachelor’s Candidate Address during the commencement ceremonies. It’s a great honor to be chosen, and we’re very happy for Romke (and proud too).
The Visual & Critical Studies Department would like to extend its congratulations to our students in the class of 2013. Well done!
The Visual & Critical Studies blog has been idle for a few days while our Systems Administrator Justin Elm has been fine-tuning its new look. Justin has streamlined the layout and made it more consistent with the VCS Tumblr and Flickr, and moved some information around to integrate the blog more closely with the VCS website. He’s also streamlined our URL to visualandcriticalstudies.com (though the old URL at visualandcriticalstudies.wordrpress.com is still active, and will automatically redirect to the new address).
The 2012/2013 academic year at the School of Visual Arts ended early last week, and the class of 2013 is getting ready for the commencement ceremonies that will take place this Thursday at Radio City Music Hall. Over the next few weeks, I will gradually return to my usual summertime schedule of posting new updates to the blog every five or six days. I’ve got a lot of new material to present, including images from recent events such as the VCS open studios, updates on what some of our alumni are doing, and news about student and faculty exhibitions. I’ll be back in a day or so with my first summer post, with several more to follow over the course of the week as things wind down for the year.
This Thursday, April 25th from 5 to 8 p.m., the Visual & Critical Studies Department will present Mapping Thinking Spaces, a one-night-only exhibition of site-specific work by 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year VCS students, curated by VCS juniors Lily Lewis, Berny Tan, and Justine Wong. The exhibition will take place in room 404C on the fourth floor of 133 West 21st Street, at the same time as the 2013 VCS open studios, which I wrote about in the previous post.
Here is a little more information about Mapping Thinking Spaces, quoted from the show’s press release (you can download the entire document at this link):
One of the smaller classrooms on the floor, 404C presents specific spatial constraints unique to the classroom environment. As such, the curators have created an exhibition structure that allows the artists to respond to both these architectural characteristics and the knowledge production they accommodate. In doing so, they have chosen to eschew their conventional responsibilities of artwork selection and arrangement, and instead exert their authority through a form of legislation.
Each artist was asked to submit a proposal for a work that would allude to a larger space than that provided, as well as complete an accompanying questionnaire about their art school experience. The pages of the proposals were scanned and posted on the exhibition’s Tumblr in order of submission date, establishing a chronological map of the then hypothetical exhibition. This parallels the class syllabi each SVA student receives at the beginning of each class, which anticipates the entire semester but cannot possibly foresee how it will actually progress. Artists were encouraged to read and review each other’s proposals, perhaps modify their proposals in order to embark on any collaborative works, and work around cases where different artists proposed to use the same space.
The installation, taking place in a functioning classroom, naturally had to accommodate the scheduled classes. Thus, the artists were given a 24-hour window to install their work through an incremental schedule mirroring SVA’s process of class registration. The more senior the student and the better his or her grades are, the more time they had for installation. The artists also had to work around a class that was happening in the room on the day of the event. Through this staggered installation schedule, the classroom accumulated a form of creative spatial memory that the artists had to work around, suggesting the communal nature of the shared classroom environment.
This Thursday, April 25th from 5 to 8 pm, the Visual & Critical Studies Department will hold its annual open studios on the 1st, 4th, and 6th floors at 133 West 21st Street. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature artworks from over two dozen of our students, including members of this year’s graduating class.
Students participating this year include Savanna Barrett, Alex Belancourt, Luiza Cardenuto, Peter Dubecky, Nina Franzen, Maya Harder-Montoya, Lucia Hinojosa, Romke Hoogwaerts, Hallie Kruger, Ilana Kruger, Betty Laboz, Ingrid Li, Sam Lieberman, Angela Miskis, Amelia Modlin, George Mott, Audrey Nicolaides, Lauren O’Neill, William Patterson, Alyssa Rina, Courtney Spieker, Susanna Spieler, Erin Ward, Danielle Whalen, Megan Westgate, and Jan Zaloudek.
We hope to see you there.
To see some images from prior years’ VCS open studios, check out the following links:
Here’s one more short video from Amy Wilson’s Foundation Drawing class. This one comes from VCS student Taylor Baker; it’s a hand-drawn animation made with black and gray Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils, inspired by the Woodkid song and video “I Love You.”
Today I’ve got the second of three short animations from Amy Wilson’s Foundation Drawing class.
This one was made by VCS student Jennifer Keyes, a first year student from Chicago. It’s based on “Poem” by E. E. Cummings, originally published in the magazine Shenandoah in 1962 and later collected in the posthumous Cummings collection 73 Poems and the Shenandoah anthology Strongly Spent: 50 Years of Poetry.
what time is it? it is by every star
a different time, and each most falsely true;
or so subhuman superminds declare
– not all their times encompass me and you:
when we are never, but forever now
(hosts of eternity; not guests of seem)
believe me, dear, clocks have enough to do
without confusing timelessness and time.
Time cannot children, poets, lovers tell –
Measure imagine, mystery, a kiss
– not though mankind would rather know than feel:
mistrusting utterly that timelessness
whose absence would make your whole life and my
(and infinite our) merely to undie
I’ll be back in a few days with one more animation from this year’s Foundation Drawing class.