Rebecca Locke

Born in the UK, Rebecca Locke is based in New York City, a place which has proved formative in the development of her installation art, film, photographic, sound and performance-based artwork. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London, and has studied at the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR), Goldsmiths, University of London and an inaugural member of the Association of Urban Photographers. The City to Sea Project developed from Rebecca’s practice, exploring the relationship between urban centers and the coast, specifically her hometown, Bognor Regis. In 2013 the project broadened in collaboration with Magnum Photos for a workshop series and screened exhibition at Urban Encounters, Tate Britain. Rebecca exhibits internationally, and recent exhibitions include the Lab Film Festival, London, Visual Urbanism: Perspectives on Contemporary Research, The British Library, London, Festival de la Imagen, Manizales, Columbia and the first Bienal de Fotografía, Lima, Peru, which featured the video and sound series Lugares qui fui. The artist is currently working on a new film, E pluribus unum, and a self-portrait based series exploring narrative identity. Rebecca's website: www.rebeccalocke.com

From the Roster: Yanina Shevchenko

On periodic Tuesday afternoons, we are showcasing an individual artist recognized for his or her unique voice, ideas and process. Once a month, a featured artist will be selected by Rebecca Locke, a New York City-based artist and curator, who develops collaborative and artist-led projects. This week’s artist From the Roster is: Yanina Shevchenko.

Curator’s Introduction

For many photographers, making an image is a way of transcribing reality. Photographs appear as pieces of the world they take away with themminiature slices of reality. The action of making a photograph is described by Modelon Hooykaas as “taking a piece of somewhere with you.” Yanina Shevchenko’s series Vanishing is born from the artist’s desire to preserve the memory of a place that is close and important to her, a place that  will soon cease to exist.

Within the former USSR, two and a half hours from Minsk the capital of Belarus, deep in the forest is a small village called Ganchanskoe. Ganchanskoe is the birthplace of Shevchenko’s mother, and home to her maternal grandparents. But, as with many villages across this region, it is fast becoming a very different place as the old established village communities are emptying, draining village life of its vibrance.

The disintegration of traditional social and political structures following World War II caused a great movement of rural migration into cities. The fall of the Soviet Union precipitated the collapse of collective farms and state-owned enterprises across the region. With thousands of factories shutting down, millions of people became unemployed. In rural areas there were few opportunities to adapt to new circumstances caused by the lack of infrastructure and jobs.

Across the region, the number of villages considered ‘ghost villages’ continues to increase each year. In Ganchanskoe, the population has dwindled to less than 150, with mostly elderly villagers remaining, as the rest of the population migrates to the city. In 2013 there were 14 pupils in the local school, today the school has closed, and the decline of villages across Belarus is doomed to continue without intervention from government, investors, infrastructure and social services.

Shevchenko believes that photographs do more than refer to a place, they trigger emotions becoming “portable sites of remembrance”. Photographs treasure an experience, becoming a catalyst to re-tell and re-live moments or stories. Images from the series Vanishing can be considered an archival record of a place that is important for remembrance, particularly for the artist.

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Artist Bio

Yanina Shevchenko is a Russian-born photographer based in Barcelona, Spain. She has worked in New York, Moscow and Buenos Aires. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths University of London, MA in Photography and Urban Cultures. Yanina is a curator and member of the Association of Urban Photographers, an international group of photographers and artists with an interest in urban spaces and places.

Artist Statement

Yanina Shevchenko combines social research and visual practice. Over a number of years she has focused on issues related to social aspects of cultural identity, as well as rural and urban landscape. Most of her projects are personal. She uses photography as a visual language to talk about notions of interest, to tell stories of places and to learn or rediscover them through photography.

Yanina’s most recent curatorial work includes ‘Streetopolis’ an exhibition by the Association of Urban Photographers. The aim of this exhibition is to expand on notions of what constitutes contemporary street photography and to offer an alternative range of practices that link street cultures back to the wider context of urban life. It will be exhibited in New York, Barcelona and London:

Current Exhibitions

Streetopolis
W83 gallery, NY
September 10 – October 8, 2015
Opening Reception:
Thursday, September 10, 6-9pm, all welcome.
W83 Gallery, 150 W 83rd St.
(between Columbus and Amsterdam)
New York, NY 10024

The Folio Club, Barcelona
September 25 – October 8, 2015

71A Gallery, London
October 26 – 31, 2015

City to Sea Photography Workshop

Yanina Shevchenko will be participating in the forthcoming City to Sea Photography Workshop in Coney Island over the Labor Day weekend.

Coney Island, New York, NY
September 5 to 7, 2015

To register for the workshop please visit:

www.citytosea.org/ConeyIsland

http://urbanphotographers.org/

www.yaninashevchenko.com

From the Roster: Melissa Browder Beck

On select afternoons, we are showcasing an individual artist recognized for their unique voice, ideas and process. Once a month, a featured artist will be selected by Rebecca Locke, a New York City-based artist and curator, who develops collaborative and artist-led projects.

Curator’s Introduction

If you’ve been invited into anyone’s home, whether you’ve been there before or not, you’ll have a sense of the familiar. It’s a place that resonates, yet is unknown and private. Melissa Browder Beck’s practice is based on the familiar objects and space of the home. Through her work Melissa transforms everyday objects: dishes, towels, appliances and even food—bread for instance—into unique objects, infused with a sense of the familiar. The installation Caked On—a life size replica of her own family’s Californian suburban kitchen, was recreated by the artist with every surface and object coated in thick paint. From the stove top to tiled countertops, cabinets and the dishes in the sink—objects were frozen in place under a thick layer of nostalgic monotone green, and viewers were invited to feel the objects and experience the sense of space.

On moving from the West Coast to New York City, Melissa first encountered the thickly painted surfaces commonly seen in subway stations and old apartments—something she had not previously seen in interior spaces. This and her own home, her brownstone apartment in Brooklyn began to influence her practice. Her new works and sculptures utilize the physical elements of her apartment. In this way her home has become not merely a place where artwork is displayed, rather it has become part of the work. Browder Beck, as a proponent of experimental art, continues to develop a new and innovative style of site-specific art that she has named Graft Art. The essence of Graft Art is that the artist uses what is already there, something that already exists, to make new work.

After completing her first Graft Art piece, the installation Breadiator—a radiator stuffed with slices of white bread—Beck invited other artists into her home to create graft artwork using the features of her apartment. In this way, the artist’s hand and vision, their vein of work, has been grafted into the apartment space.

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Melissa Beck as artist/innovator has transitioned into artist/curator. The first exhibition of Graft Art, apARTment #1, a new concept, shown as recently as April 2015, featured six artists. Laura Hinely captured quiet light of everyday objects in domestic spaces. Yasunari Izaki—whose practice explores the urban dwellers relationship to nature—created an installation The Grass is Always Greener—a wooden side table on which fresh grass grew.

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And so, apARTment #1 was both home and gallery space, bringing the viewer outside of the white box—the gallery—and into a home. The next exhibition in the series: apARTment #2 will open in Brooklyn on July 10, further details at the bottom of this article.

Bio:

Melissa Browder Beck is an artist and curator based in Brooklyn, NY. She grew up in Los Angeles and San Diego and received her BA in Studio Art from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2008. She studied for her MFA in sculpture at Pratt Institute, and has exhibited work in San Diego at Sushi Gallery, Keller Gallery, and Art San Diego and in New York City at SOHO20 Gallery, Lorimoto Gallery, and with Storefront Art Walk 2013. In 2015 Melissa became a Spark and Echo Artist in Residence, creating a series of sculptural, video, and performative works exploring the human struggle around what she calls “Disposable Commitments”. She is the Gallery Coordinator at Redeemer W83, founder of Graft Art and curator of the apARTment exhibition series in New York.

Melissa Browder Beck with "Breadiator" piece for apARTment #1

Melissa Browder Beck with “Breadiator” piece for apARTment #1

Artist Statement:

Something about the home is fragile and fleeting but deeply foundational and essential. Melissa Browder Beck is interested in the objects and spaces themselves, but also the routine, comfort, and stability they represent to us. We can feel this through a familiar towel hung above the sink, the grooves in a countertop, or the smell of certain foods. Feeling comfort through familiarity and routine over years of engaging in specific activities is a universal human experience. We find comfort in their dependability. We have an innate desire for belonging and place, essentially for home, and home that will last. In some sense when we leave home or it leaves us, we are merely in search of another home. Yet even the homes we create here on earth do not last in both physicality and sentimentality. This is a fascinating conflict, that we seek the comfort of consistency but deal with the inevitability of change. It’s through the altering of familiar objects and spaces that Melissa is able to begin making sense of this.

More info

www.graftart.com

www.melissabrowder.com

www.sparkandecho.org/melissa-beck_air1/

 

The next graft Art show apARTment #2 is in July 2015:

apARTment #2
July 10-11, 2015

Fri 6-9pm reception
Sat 3-9pm

*performance by Julie Rooney at 7pm both days

171 Waverly Ave #1

Brooklyn, NY

G or C train to Clinton/Washington

Yasmeen Abdallah

Melissa Browder Beck

Jean Paul Gomez

Emily Hartley-Skudder

Rebecca Haskins

Maria Liebana

Rebecca Locke

Luciana Pinchiero

Julie Rooney*

Beatrice Wolert

From the Roster: Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo

Every Tuesday afternoon, we are showcasing an individual artist recognized for their unique voice, ideas and process. Once a month, a featured artist will be selected by Rebecca Locke, a New York City-based artist and curator, who develops collaborative and artist-led projects.

Curator’s introduction:

Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo’s work is marked by his craft as an architect, defined by his use of space, by his understanding of construct, lines and placement. He appropriates the environment right in front of him, just where he stands—buildings, steps, floors, walls—to create scenarios, and so doing, asks the viewer what they see?

He plays with scale, he plays with unexpected elements, and by using the insignificant—objects and toys—he appropriates the innocent to show the horror of war, of loss, of uncertainty. The series INVIS!BLES exposes the human cost of war, inviting us to consider displaced people, their ‘not knowing’, their ‘not fully living’. Through this series Escobar-Jaramillo draws attention to the suffering of those who have been affected by war over the last six decades in his native Colombia, and in this context the cold reality of his staged scenes is humanizing.

Hombresolo, kidnapping Utopia / Hombresolo, utopía de un secuestro from INVIS!BLES 35 mm C-Print, metallized paper, 2007 80 cm x 116 cm

Hombresolo, kidnapping Utopia / Hombresolo, utopía de un secuestro from INVIS!BLES
35 mm C-Print, metallized paper, 2007
80 cm x 116 cm

The forest of tools, for example, in Hombresolo, kidnapping Utopia, depicting a row of trees, symbolizes the coldness of the jungle, the image visualizing a utopian scenery which reflects the pain not merely of kidnapped individuals, but through their absence, the trauma suffered by their families and also society.

Under the sea, upside love / Abajo del Mar, Arriba el Amor from INVIS!BLES Digital print,  metallized paper, 2007 100 cm x 150 cm  

Under the sea, upside love / Abajo del Mar, Arriba el Amor from INVIS!BLES
Digital print, metallized paper, 2007
100 cm x 150 cm

Under the sea, upside love / Abajo del Mar, Arriba el Amor, an image made during an intervention outside the University of London’s Goldsmith College, through which the artist brought the brutal reality of war to viewers in London: a soldier, leg amputated by a mine, waits for the sun, for an answer to cancel out the grief and the cold of war.

He who invented this Nativity was sole / El que inventó esta Navidad estaba solo from INVIS!BLES Digital print, printed in metallized paper, 2008 90 cm x 130 cm

He who invented this Nativity was sole / El que inventó esta Navidad estaba solo from INVIS!BLES
Digital print, printed in metallized paper, 2008
90 cm x 130 cm

He who invented this Nativity was sole / El que inventó esta Navidad estaba solo’ explores the loneliness of Decembers for kidnapped people held in the Colombian jungle.

Through his practice Escobar-Jaramillo asks “what is more direct and crude than violence? What is more sad and terrible than injustice and poverty?” Zapatitos de Algodón: Right or left shoe? / ¿izquierda o derecha? reflects on how this violence and the displacement of refugees’ often happens in silence, under the world’s radar.

Zapatitos de Algodón: right or left shoe? / ¿izquierda o derecha? from INVIS!BLES Digital print, printed in metallized paper, 2007 90 cm x 130 cm  

Zapatitos de Algodón: right or left shoe? / ¿izquierda o derecha? from INVIS!BLES
Digital print, printed in metallized paper, 2007
90 cm x 130 cm

With his most recent work, Colombia, Tierra de Luz (Land of Light) Escobar-Jaramillo uses participatory practices to bring reconciliation, to throw light on the lives of those across diverse regions of Colombia to try to make sense of the past. His statement below outlines his process.

Alive Souls (Almas Vivas), Aguas Vivas-Córdoba, 2012 Digital print, Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl 290gr, 90 x 130 cm

Alive Souls (Almas Vivas), Aguas Vivas-Córdoba, 2012
Digital print, Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl 290gr, 90 x 130 cm

Bio:

Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo, is an architect and photographer, and graduate of the National University of Colombia, and Goldsmiths College, University of London where he gained a MA (merit) in Photography and Urban Cultures. His projects have been exhibited internationally in over 80 individual and collective exhibitions, including festivals and shows in Istanbul, Venice, London, Berlin, Beijing, Lima, San Salvador, Querétaro, Oaxaca, Montevideo, Bogotá, La Havana. His recent series, Colombia, Land of Light, has been exhibited and presented at the DRCLAS@Harvard University, MIT and Emerson College in Boston, MA, USA. Santiago has photographed for Villegas Editores, Revista Semana, UNHCR, MFO-Egypt, ICIPE- Kenya, Banco de la República, Colombia. He has been commissioned to run workshops for National Geographic Student Expeditions, Zona Cinco, Don Bosco Vocational Center, Fujifilm, CUCR, Goldsmiths, University of London, UNHCR. His published books include Solidarity In Colombia and London, Gap My Mind, he is a former Fujifilm’s X-Photographer, and member of the Association of Urban Photographers, La Hydra and Colectivo +1.

Artist Statement:

Colombia, Tierra de Luz (Land of Light) consists of a series of symbolic acts of support through the medium of photography and art, for victims of violence and those displaced across Colombia. Violence and forced displacement in Colombia has been one of the most worrying and most direct effects of the armed conflict for over five decades.

In 2013, the Colombian Historical Memory Centre released Enough Already! Colombia: Memories of War and Dignity. The report documents that between 1958-2012, armed militia were responsible for at least 220,000 deaths, 4.7 million internal displaced persons, 6.6 million hectares of land usurped and 27,023 kidnappings. Nonetheless, the Colombian Government and guerrilla FARC-EP are currently in La Havana, Cuba discussing the agenda to end the conflict and aim for a sustainable peace. A sustainable post-conflict process must be implemented if Colombians want to change their history and build a stable base for the future.

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During the interventions (artistic actions, poetry workshops, celebrations and testimonial records), villagers (peasants and indigenous people) expressed their thoughts and emotions through words, gestures and singing while they assisted Santiago in constructing and lighting sculptural objects and scenarios using consuming light, lanterns, mobile devices, candles and bonfires. The photographs made are indispensable as vessels for memory and imagination for children, teenagers and adults who participated in the actions. Thus, the photographs made of light (through the process of capturing light by the camera) are considered memorials when copies are given to each family, to be hung in their homes.

The selection of locations for the interventions (i.e. Amazonas, Guajira, Chocó, etc.) reflects Colombia’s rich variety of multicultural groups, regions, landscapes, climate, historical context, traditions and celebrations, geopolitics, as well as social problems and different armed groups.

www.colombiatierradeluz.org

www.colombialandoflight.org

www.urbanphotographers.org/members-santiago-escobar-jaramillo

www.fujifilm-x.com/photographers/es/santiago_escobar_jaramillo

From the Roster:  Konstantin Sergeyev

On Tuesday afternoons, The Curator is showcasing an individual artist recognized for their unique voice, ideas and process. Once a month, a featured artist will be selected by Rebecca Locke, a New York City-based artist and curator, who develops collaborative and artist-led projects. 

 

Curator’s introduction:

Konstantin Sergeyev’s practice explores subcultures and minorities. He looks for ways in which groups, consciously or unconsciously, assert their uniqueness and define difference in contrast to mainstream American culture.

No Knocking or Banging, Go Away! – A Portrait of C-Squat is Sergeyev’s ongoing work documenting one of the last remaining squats on New York City’s Lower East Side. The artist has photographed the building and the lives of its inhabitants over eight years, becoming accepted by the community in the process and allowed to live there for several months. His work is a glimpse inside a self-contained, insular community that functions within its own rules and culture. This series continues to document the changes to this community, particularly the transition of squatters becoming legal owners of their apartments. Approximately a dozen illegal NYC squats that survived the 80s and 90s (without burning down or eviction by the police) entered into a deal with the city to turn the buildings into low-cost co-ops.

A number of squats completed this process, but others such as C-Squat are still working towards this, still under pressure that the building might end up in a bank’s possession. C-Squat is considered to be the most radical of these squats, its residents punks and radicals (rather than the low-income residents of the many other squats and ex-squats); its basement serving as a performance space hosting underground punk shows. Sergeyev’s work explores how this now aging population is adjusting to this transition, to the changes and pressures that come with establishing legal residence, with paying bills and rent, and how this community not used to paying rent for years is adapting. To the artist, this project is about watching a squat enter into adulthood whilst still trying to keep its sense of rebellious, youthful identity. Through his work Sergeyev advocates for the squatters, for the absolute validity of the squat, where they have established home and community in this city.

Sergeyev’s work tells the stories of those fighting for their rights, standing up against police brutality, for the working class, for gender equality. His work, often depicting scenes in New York City, show marginalized people reclaiming symbols of this marginalization, appropriating them and using them to define themselves and to make their voices heard.

John & Vera tending to their rooftop garden, 2014 From <i>No Knocking or Banging, Go Away!</i> – A Portrait of C-Squat, 2007-2014

Untitled (C-Squat, John & Vera tending to their rooftop garden), 2014 From No Knocking or Banging, Go Away! – A Portrait of C-Squat, 2007-2014

Artist Bio:

Konstantin Sergeyev was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and moved to New York City at the age of twelve. In his early teens he began photographing punk rock shows, and has gone on to document life on the road with touring bands, residents of punk houses and squats, and members of other subcultures and minority groups. He graduated from Hunter College of the City University of New York with a BA in Studio Art, with a concentration in Photography. His images have been published and exhibited in the US and internationally.

Gedas, 2014 From No Knocking or Banging, Go Away! – A Portrait of C-Squat, 2007-2014

Untitled (C-Squat, Gedas), 2014 From No Knocking or Banging, Go Away! – A Portrait of C-Squat, 2007-2014

Artist Statement:

As an immigrant, Konstantin Sergeyev displays a fascination with American culture which he approaches as an outsider. His practice explores the personal and social dynamics of subcultures and minority groups and their relationship to mainstream culture. His approach is two-fold: he immerses himself in the cultures of his subjects in order to better understand the social microcosm that each group manifests, and at other times places himself as an observer in public actions, to see culture from the point of view of the public. Subcultures and minority groups bring to the surface the grievances each one has against society at large – state-sanctioned racist violence, an obsession with materialism, and attitudes toward sex – thus his work becomes a mirror to challenge the viewer. Sergeyev attempts to bring together the perspectives of these disparate groups to reveal the picture they collectively paint.

Untitled (C-Squat, Brett and Little), 2011

Untitled (C-Squat, Brett and Little), 2011

Untitled (C-Squat, No Knocking), 2007

Untitled (C-Squat, No Knocking), 2007

Untitled (C-Squat, House Member), 2007 From No Knocking or Banging, Go Away! – A Portrait of C-Squat, 2007-2014

Untitled (C-Squat, House Member), 2007 From No Knocking or Banging, Go Away! – A Portrait of C-Squat, 2007-2014

Untitled (C-Squat, O’Death), 2011 From No Knocking or Banging, Go Away! – A Portrait of C-Squat, 2007-2014

Untitled (C-Squat, O’Death), 2011 From No Knocking or Banging, Go Away! – A Portrait of C-Squat, 2007-2014

Untitled (West Indian Day, Bling), 2014

Untitled (West Indian Day, Bling), 2014

Untitled (Black Lives Matter, Not My Son), 2014

Untitled (Black Lives Matter, Not My Son), 2014

Untitled (May Day, Castrate The State), 2012

Untitled (May Day, Castrate The State), 2012

Fairground worker with machine guns, Ukraine, 2012

Fairground worker with machine guns, Ukraine, 2012

More of Konstantin Sergeyev’s work can be seen here:

konstphoto.tumblr.com
csquat.tumblr.com
Twitter: @konstphoto
Instagram: @konstphoto

From the Roster: Len Cicio

Every Tuesday afternoon, The Curator is showcasing an individual artist recognized for their unique voice, ideas and process. Once a month, a featured artist will be selected by Rebecca Locke, a New York City-based artist and curator, who develops collaborative and artist-led projects. 

Curator’s introduction:

Len Cicio’s practice hinges on color—and in defining his voice, the artist has embraced the media of color pencils and oil pastel. These are often used in traditional landscapes, of the rural and the natural, of lakes and trees, and yet Cicio depicts the urban, creating urban scenes and forging the structural forms of New York City in wax and color. An exhibition of Cicio’s work is coming soon to Next Door, 813 W. 187th St., Washington Heights.

Visions Under A Manhattan Subway, 2013 Oil pastel, colored pencil, wax

Visions Under A Manhattan Subway, 2013
Oil pastel, colored pencil, wax

Cicio’s forms echo his own background in textile design, and the artist cites Vincent Van Gogh’s use of strong, vibrant color in landscapes, and German expressionist artist Lyonel Feininger’s architectural works, as inspiration for his practice. Indeed, Cicio’s forms reflect Feininger’s vistas, aspects of which often appear to be viewed through cut-glass, or stained glass windows, highlighted by the sun. Yet, Cicio’s work is also reminiscent of the Futurists, with their regard for innovtion and the strength of the machine, their delight in the urban, and the man-made. A reverance for this aspect of the city (although these public structures depict twentieth century innovation) radiates through Cicio’s work. His spaces, found under the tracks of the city’s elevated Subways, drawn across bridges, structures, and cavernous, underground subway stations are illuminated and majestic. He creates a sense of a mystical urban space, formed by color.

In contrast to the city of the every day, the tedium of the overcrowded subway journey, the dirt and grime of mass transport, Cicio’s city—a city he knows well—is a city elevated.

The 1 Train To Riverdale, 2011 Oil pastel, colored pencil, wax

The 1 Train To Riverdale, 2011
Oil pastel, colored pencil, wax

Bio: 

Len Cicio lives and works in Manhattan, New York. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Cicio studied textile design; his career designing home furnishings and apparel spanned 20 years. He developed his practice, studying life drawing and techniques in oil painting at The Art Students League in NYC, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art’s Studio Program. Cicio’s work belongs to private collections, has been featured in The Manhattan Times, and is frequently exhibited in Manhattan. 

1904 Inwood NY, 2014 Oil pastel, colored pencil, wax

1904 Inwood NY, 2014
Oil pastel, colored pencil, wax

Artist Statement:

With a background in textile design, Cicio’s landscapes and architectural works reflect an understanding of pattern, texture and form. Cicio’s practice utilizes the mediums of colored pencils, oil pastels, and colored wax to depict the dynamic structural forms of New York City’s elevated subways.

More of Len Cicio’s work can be seen here:

www.lencicio.com

 

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From the Roster: Joyce Yu-Jean Lee

Every Tuesday afternoon, The Curator is showcasing an individual artist recognized for their unique voice, ideas and process. Once a month, a featured artist will be selected by Rebecca Locke, a New York City-based artist and curator, who develops collaborative and artist-led projects.

Curator’s Introduction:

Joyce Yu-Jean Lee’s work is full of surprises. It is both sublime, and mesmerizing. Were her work static it would constitute a focal point, a centerpiece, yet her moving and changing images beckon the viewer, imploring them to stay, to reflect, to think. Lee’s subject matter is the here and now, the world of our collective experience explored through her performance and video-based artworks which in part contemplate globalization, society, mass media, commercialism and labor inequality.

With the large-scale On the Brink, Lee projects a typhoon-like storm of matter she calls the “residue of everyday life”—cars, branded beer bottles, cell phones and material objects—onto a suspended custom-built circular screen. Through the movement of these seemingly valuable goods thrown through the air—weightless as Dorothy’s house in Kansas—the artist symbolizes the fragility of life and the instability of all in which humanity puts trust.

In the video and performance-based work Made In China the artist depicts both nameless laborers on a production line and the retailer, or ‘peddler’, of material goods. It is a work that references the plight of low-paid laborers, specifically Chinese factory workers producing high-end goods for Apple. With every transaction of the artist’s merchandise, consumers are confronted with visual imagery from the production line, contrary to our daily experience.

Made In China, 2012 (Video projection and installation based performance, duration and dimensions variable)

For Uneasy Peace: Mr. Technology is Your Friend, the artist sourced recent political, economic and news headlines from printed newspapers and journals, and projected juxtaposing cuttings of headlines on large, suspended black weather balloons. The words and phrases, animated and jostling for space, impose themselves into the viewer’s physical environment, and like weather—only in this instance weather made from alphanumeric characters—stimulate and determine the atmosphere.

Uneasy Peace: Mr. Technology is Your Friend, 2014 (Video projection onto black weather balloons)

Likewise, Water Wisdom: Miracle Workers, is based on printed text, borrowed here from Lifestyle magazines. Her projection, a composite of words, echoes the magazine’s tone in ‘projecting’ a perception of beauty. But here, these words are read from banks of sand, characteristic of the artist’s practice in drawing attention to fragility and vulnerability.

Water Wisdom: Miracle Workers, 2014 (Video projection onto sand on floor)

Two exhibitions of Lee’s work open in January 2015: A solo exhibition at Creative Paradox in Annapolis, Maryland, opening  January 17th from 7-9pm and on view until Feb 22nd; and TechNoBody, a group exhibition at Pelham Art Center in Pelham, New York, opening Friday, January 23rd from 6-8pm, on view until March 21st.

Artist Bio:

Joyce Yu-Jean Lee is an artist who works in video installation, photography and performance. She has a M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Before art school, she worked as the Programming & Art Director for International Arts Movement in New York, NY. She has shown at Connersmith Contemporary and Hamiltonian Gallery in D.C.; Arlington Arts Center, VA; Westchester Arts, White Plains, and has an upcoming exhibition at Pelham Art Center, NY which opens on January 23, 2015. Joyce teaches at Fashion Institute of Technology and New Jersey City University. She serves as a trustee for The Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, and Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA), and is the recipient of a 2013 Franklin Furnace Fund Grant.

First Light, 2012 (Single-channel video projected onto floor, approximately 4' x 6', 6:49 min looped)
Artist Statement:

The search for illumination—be it physical, intellectual, or spiritual—is a universal pursuit. In her search, Joyce Yu-Jean Lee creates video installations, photographs, and performances that examine how various societies have historically depicted concepts of enlightenment. She projects life-size video animations onto walls, floors, and into corners, transcribing pictorial space into three-dimensions. Currently, she is experimenting with various projection surfaces: mounds of piled sand on the floor, large inflated weather balloons, and a custom circular screen to project video in the round. Joyce integrates these materials with their architectural environment to produce an immersive viewing experience. Curious about how the act of seeing is transformed by technology, her video work slows down viewers causing them to contemplate quiet moments they might otherwise miss.

Joyce also makes digital photographs of illuminated spaces: cast light, shadows, and various light phenomena—both natural and artificial. These formal studies capture fleeting, visually arresting moments of physical light. Her performances are designed and choreographed around how technology mediates consumer behavior and worldviews. Often taking form as public research projects, this work sets up specific scenarios within which to interact and dialogue with live participants. These video installation-based performances function as visual ethnography—reconsidering traditional narratives in contemporary hybrid contexts.

First Light, 2012

First Light, 2012

Room to See; Shan Shui Sights, 2012

Room to See; Shan Shui Sights, 2012

Circle of Light, 2012

Circle of Light, 2012

 

More of Joyce Yu-Jean Lee’s work can be seen here:

www.joyceyujeanlee.com

From the Roster: David Kendall

Every Tuesday afternoon, The Curator is showcasing an individual artist recognized for their unique voice, ideas and process. Once a month, a featured artist will be selected by Rebecca Locke, a New York City-based artist and curator, who develops collaborative and artist-led projects. 

Curator’s introduction: 

Steeped in the tradition of the flâneur—one who walks to discover the city—David Kendall’s practice is defined by process rather than content, style or medium. His photographic series, video art and site-specific art projects are determined by these discoveries. They define his focus and frame a discourse about ‘the city’. The work asks how we engage with urban space, make sense of the city, and it highlights how walking through the city, a place of density of people groups and cultures, allows a glimpse into the lives of others. Kendall encapsulates his rationale through the declarative title Always Let the Road Decide, an ongoing series exploring the developing built environment of Dubai, UAE exploring the movement of migrant workers across a city where walking is discouraged.

Mobile City, 2008 Lambda C-Type print, 41cm x 30.5cm

Mobile City, 2008
Lambda C-Type print, 41cm x 30.5cm

 

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Kendall, traversing the urban environment (urban in this context defined as a densely populated area) draws attention to the hidden or forgotten. The series What is there will be there tomorrow, highlights the long working hours of migrant workers, with limited rights, not welcome in the public eye, who find a moment of rest from the extreme desert heat in the hidden corners and spaces of the city.

What is there will be there tomorrow, 2012 Cyanotype print on watercolor paper

What is there will be there tomorrow, 2012
Cyanotype print on watercolor paper

 

The series Gone but not Forgotten experiments with visibility, perception of the city and it’s people and places. Through Paris 19 / Mobility, Memory and Migration, a collaborative project with OpenVizor’s Abbas Nokhasteh, Moustafa Traoré and Andrés Borda-González, Kendall worked with French citizens of West and North African descent who had been excluded from the narrative history of Paris. The project encouraged participation from local people from this low-income area to generate a new inclusive narrative of Paris, defining stories and space, assembling oral histories and film narratives like ‘Paris 19: Mobility, Memory and Migration.’

Gone but Not Forgotten, 2007 Giclée Pigment print, 42cm x 62cm

Gone but Not Forgotten, 2007
Giclée Pigment print, 42cm x 62cm

 

Gone but Not Forgotten, 2007 Giclée Pigment print, 42cm x 62cm

Gone but Not Forgotten, 2007
Giclée Pigment print, 42cm x 62cm

Through such, the work engaged with issues of assimilation, integration, citizenship and migration in France. Kendall’s work formed the basis of Photography and the Practice of Walking, a symposium hosted by Goldsmith’s Art School and the Center of Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London, and University College London’s Learning to Walk panel at the Cities Methodologies Urban Laboratory, and can be listened to here.

 

Photography and the Practice of Walking, 2008 Lambda C-Type print, 2008, 41cm x 30.5cm

Photography and the Practice of Walking, 2008
Lambda C-Type print, 41cm x 30.5cm

 

Artist Bio:

David Kendall lives and works in London, UK. His practice utilizes visual archives, mapping, events and human experiences to inspire and generate his photographic, film and site-specific projects. He is a graduate of LCC, University of the Arts London, and Goldsmiths, University of London, where he studied urban photography, design and sociology. His photographs, spatial research and collaborative projects have featured in exhibitions, festivals and symposia at museums and academic institutions, including the British Library, London, UK; ETNOFilm, Ethnographic Museum of Istria, Rovinj, Croatia; Centro Cultural Manuel Gómez Morín, Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico; and Tate Britain, London, UK. Kendall is a visiting research fellow with the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

Artist Statement:

David Kendall explores how spatial, economic and design initiatives, as well as participatory practices, can combine to encourage social and spatial interconnections or reveal dissonance in cities. His photographic, film and site-specific works are generated through the practice of walking, experiential learning and reflection. Therefore, ‘temporality’ is an important structural component in practice development. In investigating the dichotomy of the seen and the unseen he aims to question notions of ocular transparency in geographical environments. Furthermore, Kendall is attracted to thresholds between private and public spaces, inside and outside cities.

His individual and collaborative projects combine photography with sensory techniques such as sound, touch and smell to ‘map’ urban and architectural environments. These works consider how collective memories form and influence contemporary visual and spatial realities and pictorial archives, and utilize audio-visual participatory processes and architectural spaces to trigger collective or public memory, thus activating new discourse about migration, spatial division, planning processes, social conflict and cohesion in world cities.

More of David Kendall’s work can be seen here: www.david-kendall.co.uk

From the Roster: Stephanie Imbeau

Every Tuesday afternoon, we are showcasing an individual artist recognized for his or her unique voice, ideas and process. Once a month, a featured artist will be selected by Rebecca Locke, a New York City-based artist and curator, who develops collaborative and artist-led projects.

Village, 2007

Village, 2007

 

Stephanie Imbeau

Curator’s introduction:

Our universal human need for home, for safety, weaves through Brooklyn-based Stephanie Imbeau’s large-scale installations and intimately-scaled sculptures.

Shelter, a large-scale installation commissioned by the British TV network Channel Four, exemplifies her practice. Five stories high, the work filled an entire courtyard in Central London, took two months to assemble off-site, then three days to install. Made completely from found, broken, or discarded umbrellas, she gave these useless objects a new lease of life. Despite their condition, damaged and busted, the umbrellas were strengthened and re-purposed, becoming part of this new, dynamic work of art. Lit from within at night and vivid in color, it was a work that could not be ignored, a temporary landmark, and an addition to London’s cityscape.

 

The recent series cover/uncover likewise toys with ideas of strength and vulnerability. The ‘shelters’ in this instance are ceramic houses, small tabletop sculptures symbolizing home, created from carefully draped forms; these shapes, whilst solid, look as though they are made from soft blankets, delicate and comforting. Through this contrast, the artist explores vulnerability, and our need for shelter and home.

Untitled (Covered/Uncover 9), 2013

Untitled (Covered/Uncover 9), 2013

Imbeau’s work is currently featured in the group exhibition Homeland [IN]Security: Vanishing Dreams at Dorsky Gallery, through November 16, in Long Island City, Queens.

Artist Bio: Stephanie Imbeau’s work articulates her interest in the search for community, shelter and home by exploring the familiar imagery of houses, umbrellas and boats using materials relating to shelter and domesticity. Working in Brooklyn, NY, Stephanie exhibits internationally. In 2007 she earned her Master of Fine Arts from Newcastle University, UK.

 

Artist Statement: Working in various media such as installation, sculpture and drawing, Imbeau’s practice explores community, isolation and built environments that contextualize every-day experience, often celebrating overlooked items or materials, both domestic and industrial. By using domestic materials the artist points to the importance of beauty and the significance of daily life. Much of her work consists of large composites of smaller parts, as a metaphorical reference to individuals within a larger community. Using imagery such as houses, roofs, boats, and other protective structures, she engages ideas of comfort and shelter, emphasizing the fragility of our individual state and our need for support, both physical and emotional. An approach which is both playful and explorative creates a balance of seriousness and levity, through art that is equally contemplative and celebratory. Maintaining a degree of lightheartedness and viewing the world with a sense of child-like wonder, her work affords a respite from the stresses and anxieties of life.

www.stephanieimbeau.com