The remarkably un-connotated and long-established space of the Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna was host to the the “in awe” exhibition which ran from October until November of this year. The exhibition spread throughout the museum with slacking shapes and lying limbs, hung from walls and in shelve systems. With excerpts from their current productions, some artists would let curator Melanie Ohnemus select the protagonists for her interrelational formations, others decided to make paintings or objects especially for this occasion, or intervened in performative ways.
In a general pull to one corner of the space, the assembly of the artworks disclosed an antagonistic development of figuration and posed questions towards ideas of refinement. Joining two important influences of her career, namely the art scenes of Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Vienna, Austria, the curator opted for being highly subjective in her approach. In terms of installation though the contributions were managed poignantly. The show offered a carelessness in spite of stylish or programmatic exhibition-making that might overwrite exhibits themselves by their thematic overburdening.
The Dissidents, a graphic piece on shrill yellow cotton paper by Lisa Holzer, the only item placed on the wall to the right seen from the entrance, set an intuitional tone with its abstract movement. Being a blown-up photographic image depicting the inside of a chips bag, it is accompanied by one of her quotes, this time around power and puke. Lena Henke’s black fiberglass figure, which was placed in a manner of welcoming the viewer into the left drift, introduced an almost undefinable drapery balancing precariously on three kinds of male deodorants. This horseless saddle turned it’s back on Josefin Granqvist’s crudely made tiny ceramic shelve holding a stone she had retrieved from a lake nearby her Swedish home. Being one of two shrines mounted to each short side of a wall-module in the middle of the room, they were inducing a kind of enchanted moment into the situation. Describing these three assemblages may outline a reluctance towards definition and an impulse against a binary mode of thought that was inherently felt in this balancing act of an art exhibition.
curated by Melanie Ohnemus
Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria
Währinger Str. 59, 1090 Wien, Austria
Set against the backdrop of Times Square’s towering video screens, Ivana Bašić‘s embryonic alien sculptures, fleshy pink humanoid creatures guarded by metallic shells, felt as if from a scene from Bladerunner. Stray, a group show curated by Tiffany Zabludowicz, on the 14th floor of an office building at W 43rd Street and Broadway, quite literally offers a unique perspective. Two-hundred feet in the air, the view of moving bodies and looping ads underscores the show’s themes of surveillance culture, consumerism, hypertemporality, and biosystems provoked by artists, Kelly Akashi, Bašić, Hayden Dunham, Marguerite Humeau, and Pamela Rosenkranz.
From Bašić’s blushing alien fetuses and rosy marble rocks (in metal vices gradually being pounded to dust) to Humeau’s translucent screen with a swirling salmon print (flanked by barbed totems of the same complexion), throughout the show, pink, oft-maligned as a frivolous girlish hue, is recast with sinister sci-fi significance. The pattern on Humeau’s screen is one the military uses to camouflage drones while the prevalence of “flesh-colored” hues in many of the works refers to another kind of violence, the flattening of human representation under white supremacy and the commodification of these biases from bandaids to concealers. Another gesture toward our ideas of healthy bodies and polluting entities: Dunham’s sculptures stage tableaux of discarded industrial guts sitting inert in puddles of medical silicone.
A nefarious future has already arrived. There’s an optimism, though, in the mutability of materials throughout the show. Akashi’s small fantastic sculptures in wax and glass especially are a quiet endorsement of imagining changeability. Nothing is forever, not even stone.
Now until January 30, Fridays and Saturdays 12pm to 7pm and by appointment.
1500 Broadway, (entrance on 43rd Street),
Times Square, NY 10036
Photos courtesy of Kyle Knodell.
Please join Topical this Saturday for a very special edition of Club Glow with Peaches!
“The moon is full, the night is black, and the witches in Bushwick have got your back.The femmes are in full force.. they’ve conjured a spell, the consequences of which no one can tell. All witches are equal there isn’t a head, but if there were the name PEACHES might be said! Please come in a full look, not just a mask or cape otherwise your picture for our Instagram we won’t take.” -Nightlife Expert
Doll Gang Massacre
Saturday, October 28
$25 Presale $30 @Door
52-19 Flushing Ave,
Maspeth, NY 11378
Images of Club Glow courtesey of Jose Girona.
Please join Topical Cream Thursday, October 19th for the closing event for our inaugural auction.
Topical Cream is a platform for women, femmes, and gender-nonconforming individuals in contemporary art. Since 2013, the New York-based not-for-profit has supported a community of artists, writers, designers, and technologists through digital publishing and public programming initiatives. With an advertising-free model, fundraisers like this one are vital to the digital platform’s continued growth.
Saturday September 23rd, the new Black-owned Bed Stuy gallery HOUSING, founded by Eileen Isagon Skyers and KJ Freeman, opened its doors with a group show titled Untitled Passage, on view until October 23 and featuring works by Khari Johnson-Ricks, Brandon Drew Holmes, Ginssiyo Apara, Kali Flowers, and Pastiche Lumumba.
Dedicated to supporting artists of color, last month, Skyers told ArtNews that “the gallery aims to de-gentrify the space,” previously occupied by American Medium gallery. With Untitled Passage, Skyers and Freeman have put together a show astute to layered narratives of displacement that feels poised to bring in a new audience. When they were installing, Freeman told me Lumumba’s painting, which reads “Drake is the light skinned nigga Kanye said he wouldn’t let come back in style” (in the font of Drake’s 2015 mixtape), was visible from the street. A guy walking by busted up laughing.
HOUSING has plans for solo shows by Keijaun Thomas, RAFiA Santana, and American Artist, in the coming months, as well as a group show with Parker Bright, Hamishi Farah, Sean-Kierre Lyons, and Bri Willians to open at the end of October.
Friday, August 25 is the culminating event of the Montez at Mathew 2017 Summer Program titled “The Only Thing That’s New is Us.” Following the exhibition, all work will be translated into an artist book to be released in 2018 in conjunction with next year’s summer program. Whitney Claflin will be presenting new sections of her infamous game Impulse. Montez is the London-based publisher of SALT among other books and magazines. For a full list of participants click here.
“The Only Thing That’s New is Us”
Whitney Claflin for Montez at Matthew
August 25 7-9pm
47 Canal Street
New York, New York 10002
Open now until September 16, “Prick up your Ears” is a multi-media enterprise exploring the “ontology of fake” through self-examination of the artists’ own role in the culture industry. Curated by Taylor Trabulus, the exhibition is not so much an inter-communicative presentation of artists working in different mediums as much as it is a pronouncement of their individualities, pasted over the art world’s marriage to the economy and identity. As a deliberate act of incohesion, “Prick up your Ears” appropriately introduces LA to many New York-based artists, and establishes their works as unique in relation to one another, but sharing in the common understanding of the culture-capital pipeline.
“Prick Up Your Ears”
Curated by Taylor Trabulus
4619 W Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Artist and mistress of ceremonies Juliana Huxtable is back this weekend for another installment of Shock Value! The badly needed summer party is sure to be a community function like no other. With all the strange news out there best to take a break and come hang with the dolls. We need each other more than ever. Come party with the girls, but do come correct. No H8 or front door desperation. They do it for us, so keep it QT. See you there!
Friday, August 18th
Brooklyn, NY 11221
Next Tuesday, August 15th, filmmaker Erin Grant will present scenes from her short film The Heart Must Become a Burial Ground. The film is an experimental narrative about the (im)possibility of self-help. It focuses on Echo, a celebrity country-pop singer-songwriter and recent divorcée. Taking the form of an exclusive TV interview, Echo discusses her latest album and comes clean about the highly publicized breakup. During the interview, she experiences a series of hallucinatory dream sequences that explore her emotional reckoning, fetishization of nature, and the psychological function / failure of faith.
Excerpts from the film will be screened, followed by performances by: MHYSA, Lily Saint James, Nar, and Nehemiah. Artist Alicia Novella Vasquez will be creating a unique installation for the event.
“The Heart Must Become a Burial Ground”
Secret Project Robot
Brooklyn, NY 11221
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
For the third consecutive year, under the auspices of their performance collective Buoy, New York-based Viva Soudan and Bailey Nolan brought together artists from across the country for a week-long residency in rural Connecticut, which culminated in an immersive performance in the forest.
Witchy narratives were central to this year’s performance titled I Am Your Itch which abstractly grappled with the anxieties of the current political moment as well as the historical traumas of womanhood.
Complicity was a theme. The performers role-played scenes of abuse directly asking the audience, “Why aren’t you doing anything?”
The residency’s participants applied in pairs, submitting a duo manifesto and a video of them moving together.
While there were choreographed sequences of the two-dozen-plus performers moving together in unison, the piece was founded in the relationships and movement vocabularies these duos developed.
A spirit of fierce resilience and manic frenzy pervaded the work, exemplified above by Jillian Goodwin’s gaze. During a talkback following the performance, Soudan explained a goal of the work was to “reactivate the energy to riot.”