"Near & Dear" and Material Culture: Artists as Researchers
Oct
25
7:00 PM19:00

"Near & Dear" and Material Culture: Artists as Researchers

 Image: Brian Zegeer,  The Golden Hour  (detail), 2017. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Anqi Peng

Image: Brian Zegeer, The Golden Hour (detail), 2017. Courtesy of the artist.
Photo: Anqi Peng


"Near & Dear" and Material Culture: Artists as Researchers

A Conversation with Glenn Adamson and Sheila Pepe

Wednesday, October 25, 7 PM

Using the exhibition Near & Dear as a starting point, Glenn Adamson and Sheila Pepe discuss the amorous connections artists make with signifying materials and objects. Participating artists Jennifer Paige Cohen, Rachel Stern and Brian Zegeer will also take part in the conversation.

PARTICIPANT BIOS 

Glenn Adamson is a curator, writer and historian based in Brooklyn, who works across the fields of design, craft and contemporary art. Currently Senior Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, and Editor-at-Large of The Magazine Antiques, he has previously been Director of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Head of Research at the V&A; and Curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee. His publications include Art in the Making (2016, co-authored with Julia Bryan Wilson); Invention of Craft (2013); Postmodernism: Style and Subversion (2011); The Craft Reader (2010); and Thinking Through Craft (2007). His next book, Fewer Better Things, will be published by Bloomsbury in August 2018.

Sheila Pepe is a cross-disciplinary artist employing conceptualism, surrealism, and craft to address feminist and class issues. Solo exhibitions include the Smith College Museum of Art and Weatherspoon Art Museum. Group exhibitions include the first "Greater New York” (PS1/MoMA); "Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art & Craft," Contemporary Art Museum Houston; "Queer Threads." Leslie Lohman Museum of Lesbian and Gay Art as well as commissions for the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, and “Artisterium," Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.“Hot Mess Formalism,” a mid-career survey, with a book distributed by Prestel, is currently on view at the Phoenix Art Museum. The show will travel to the Everson Museum and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in 2018.

This event takes place in conjunction with Near & Dear (September 15 - October 28, 2017).

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An Anarchy: Reading in Pavilion for Red Emma
Oct
20
7:00 PM19:00

An Anarchy: Reading in Pavilion for Red Emma

 Image: Paul Legault and Joseph Kaplan

Image: Paul Legault and Joseph Kaplan

An Anarchy: Reading in "Pavilion for Red Emma"

Friday, October 19, 7 - 8 PM

Emma Goldman was a radical anarchist and social revolutionary leading international movements during the first half of the 20th century. For Near & Dear, artist Rachel Stern created Pavilion for Red Emma as a memorial installation to reflect on Goldman's life and ideas. Stern focuses on Goldman’s belief in beauty as an essential tool for revolution. Goldman cherished fresh flowers and opera, practiced free love, and was captivated by the poetry of Walt Whitman. Paul Legault is a poet whose work often plays with the concept of translation. He will read his translations of Walt Whitman’s poetry (some of which are included in the installation itself) alongside the original texts. Rachel Stern will read selections from Goldman’s autobiography Living My Life.

PARTICIPANT BIOS

Paul Legault is the author of The Madeleine PoemsThe Other PoemsThe Emily Dickinson Reader, and Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror 2. His writing has appeared in Art in AmericaVICE, and The New Museum’s Surround Audience anthology. Paul was born in Canada. He's here.

Rachel Stern (b. 1989, NYC) is a photographer whose work challenges conventions of beauty and promotes escapist, constructivist fantasy. Her work images a world that might be, built out of the world that is. It is a kitsch paradise, a queer-washed history, and an attempt at hope. She received her BFA in Photography and the History of Art and Visual Culture in 2011 from the Rhode Island School of Design, attended Skowhegan in 2014, and graduated from Columbia University in 2016 with an MFA in Visual Arts. Her work has been featured in BOMB, ArtFCity, Hyperallergic, and Matte Magazine.

This event takes place in conjunction with EFA Open Studios and the current exhibition, Near & Dear (September 15 - October 28, 2017).

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The Artist as Culture Producer
Sep
21
6:30 PM18:30

The Artist as Culture Producer

 Image: Zoë Charlton, Fort Mose, 2014 Courtesy of the artist Photography by Greg Staley

Image: Zoë Charlton, Fort Mose, 2014
Courtesy of the artist
Photography by Greg Staley

The Artist as Culture Producer, a conversation with Paddy Johnson, Kat Kiernan, Sharon Louden, Carrie Moyer, and Austin Thomas

Thursday, September 21, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
RSVP via Eventbrite

Paddy Johnson, Austin Thomas, Kat Kiernan and Carrie Moyer join Sharon Louden in a conversation centered around issues from her book, The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts on September 21st from 6:30-8:30pm. As part of Louden's 94-stop conversation tour, discussion will focus on how contributors in the book have impactful, artistic activities as change agents in their communities. Their first-hand stories in the book show the general public how contemporary artists of the 21st century add to creative economies through their out-of-the-box thinking while also generously contributing to the well-being of others. Although there is a misconception that artists are invisible and hidden, the truth is that they furnish measurable and innovative outcomes at the front lines of education, the non-profit sector, and corporate environments. The event is presented in conjunction with EFA Project Space's exhibition Near & Dear, curated by Carrie Moyer and on view from September 15 - October 28th, 2017. Space is limited. Please RSVP via Eventbrite to reserve your seats: www.eventbrite.com/e/the-artist-as-culture-producer-tickets-37886430333.

This event takes place in conjunction with EFA Project Space's current exhibition, Near & Dear, on view from September 15 - October 28, 2017.

PARTICIPANT BIOS

Paddy Johnson is the Founding Editor of the blog Art F City. In addition to her work at AFC, she has been published in magazines such as New York Magazine, The New York Times and The Economist. Paddy lectures widely about art and the Internet at venues including Yale University, Parsons, Rutgers, South by Southwest, and the Whitney Independent Study Program. In 2008, she became the first blogger to earn a Creative Capital Arts Writers grant from the Creative Capital Foundation. Paddy was nominated for best art critic at The Rob Pruitt Art Awards in 2010 and 2013.  In 2014, she was the subject of a VICE profile for her work as an independent art blogger. Paddy maintains an active presence as a curator as well, most recently curating Geographically Indeterminate Fantasies for Providence College. 

Kat Kiernan is the Editor-in-Chief of the photography magazine Don’t Take Pictures, as well as the Director of Panopticon Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts. Her writings have appeared in numerous publications including Art New EnglandBig, Red, and ShinyFeature Shoot, and most recently in Norm Diamond's monograph What Is Left Behind: Stories From Estate Sales (Daylight Books, 2017). Kat received the Griffin Museum of Photography’s Rising Star Award in 2015 for her contributions to the photographic community. Her photographs have been exhibited across the United States, and Photoboite Agency named her one of 2012’s 30 women photographers under the age of 30 to watch. Kat divides her time between Brooklyn, New York and Boston. She holds a BFA in photography from Lesley University College of Art and Design.

Sharon M. Louden is an artist, educator, advocate for artists, and editor of the Living and Sustaining a Creative Life series of books. She graduated with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Yale University School of Art. Her work has been exhibited in numerous venues including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Drawing Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Weisman Art Museum, National Gallery of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Louden's work is held in major public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Arkansas Arts Center, Yale University Art Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others.

Carrie Moyer is a painter and writer. Most recently, her paintings were included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Moyer has been showing her work in the US and Europe for over twenty years; she was the subject of two solo museum exhibitions, “Carrie Moyer: Pirate Jenny,” Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY (2013) and “Carrie Moyer: Interstellar,” Worcester Museum of Art, MA (2012). Between 1991-2008, Moyer and photographer Sue Schaffner collaborated as Dyke Action Machine!, a public art project that humorously dissected mainstream advertising through the insertion of lesbian imagery. Moyer’s writing has appeared in Art in America, Artforum, the Brooklyn Rail and various monographs. She is a professor and the Director of MFA Program at Hunter College. Moyer is represented by DC Moore Gallery in New York City.

Austin Thomas is an artist, curator and community builder. Her work has been exhibited at The Drawing Center, Murray Guy, The Sculpture Center, Art in General and at White columns (all in NYC) and internationally in Singapore, Australia, and Hungary and at the Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna. From 2007 to 2014, she directed the influential Pocket Utopia gallery. She is a graduate of NYU and in the Summer of 2016 her permanent public sculpture for a new park in Brooklyn was unveiled. She has also done public commissions for the Public Art Fund and Grinnell College. Thomas's work is featured in the book titled Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists and will also be featured in that book’s sequel The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, which were both edited by Sharon Louden.

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Setting 1880-1920 / Dinner Party
Jul
19
7:00 PM19:00

Setting 1880-1920 / Dinner Party

 Image: courtesy of Liliana Dirks-Goodman

Image: courtesy of Liliana Dirks-Goodman

Setting 1880-1920 / Dinner Party

Wednesday, July 19, 7 - 8:30 PM

This dinner party and lecture performance led by Liliana Dirks-Goodman will focus on the utopian design visions of seven first-wave white feminists who fought for the betterment of womens lives during late 19th and early 20th century North America. 

The dinner party plans to present both domestic and architectural models of what cooperation and interdependence might've looked like through an examination of historical precedents including the Columbian Exposition of 1893. It seeks to continue a conversation around envisioning a model of feminist solidarity that embraces all women without the cooptation of patriarchal, capitalist norms. 

Dinner will be prepared by chef Kristin Worral, who will use recipes from Rumford Kitchen's cookbook. Artistic direction by Mayfield Brooks.

Please note that a ticket is required for entry. Please visit brownpapertickets.com/event/3034205 to purchase your ticket.

This event takes place in conjunction with Past Live (June 22 - July 22, 2017), the SHIFT Residency exhibition. 

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Rubbertime, performance by Zavé Martohardjono & closing reception
May
13
4:00 PM16:00

Rubbertime, performance by Zavé Martohardjono & closing reception

 Zavé Martohardjono,  Rubbertime , 2016. Still from video used in performance. Image taken at The Shandaken Project at Storm King, 2016. 

Zavé Martohardjono, Rubbertime, 2016. Still from video used in performance. Image taken at The Shandaken Project at Storm King, 2016. 

Rubbertime, performance by Zavé Martohardjono & closing reception

Saturday, May 13, 4:00 - 6:00 PM

A queer and trans artist of color, Zavé Martohardjono incorporates mindfulness, Butoh, and releasing techniques into their choreographic practice. These approaches inform the artist’s performance Rubbertime, which will occur at EFA on May 13th to mark the closing of the show. Martohardjono’s related Liminal Bodies workshop shares these improvisational movement practices to help participants heal from socio-political crises. As part of the exhibition’s Warp and Weft of Care satellite programs, the workshop will be offered privately to groups at Project Row Houses and Angela House, and also publically in Houston.

Based on an Indonesian phrase that describes time as malleable, stretchable, and adaptable, Rubbertime is a performance that investigates assimilation, disorientation, and Martohardjono’s fractured relationship to Indonesia as a mixed-race person raised in the West. Martohardjono developed the workshop and performance in response to the dissonance they felt while at an artist residency in a peaceful pastoral setting (the Shandaken Project at Storm King), during the turbulent weeks following the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Through improvised choreography that explores the disorientation and reorientation they experienced at that time and place, Martohardjono attempts slowness and investigates what has been erased by colonial frameworks of time within their own body. By exploring decolonization through movement, Rubbertime endeavors to slowly tap into buried and ancestral knowledge and to ultimately undo the damage of assimilation.

BIO

Zavé Martohardjono
(Brooklyn, New York) works across disciplines, making performances, theater, videos, and audience-interactive installations. Their work takes interest in geopolitics, social justice, queer glam, embodied risk-taking, and healing. They often draw from their mixed-race Asian, multi-national, queer, and transgender perspective.

Martohardjono has shown at galleries and theater venues including Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Bowery Poetry Club, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Bronx River Art Center Gallery, Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Chashama 540, Dixon Place, La MaMa E.T.C., Grace Exhibition Space, Gibney Dance, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts, Rats 9 Gallery, SOMArts, the Wild Project, and Winslow Garage. Their videos have screened at film festivals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Montréal, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Jakarta. They’ve also collaborated with or performed for Mariangela Lopez/Accidental Movement, Ximena Garnica, Vanessa Anspaugh, Lawrence Weiner, devynn emory, J. Dellecave, as well as the collectives Theater Transgression and Into the Neon.

ABOUT THE WARP AND WEFT OF CARE PROGRAM

A satellite programming series, Warp and Weft of Care, takes place between New York and Houston, Texas during the course of the show. It includes public performances as well as closed-door collaborations between artists from the EFA show and groups focused on the health of communities disproportionately facing violence. This includes Angela House’s Whole and Healthy Program (transitional housing and support for women immediately following incarceration), Project Row Houses Young Mothers Residency Program (a residency for low-income single mothers in the historically black neighborhood of Houston’s Third Ward), and Project Row Houses Young Mothers Employment Placement Program (a job training program for low-income single mothers). The aim is to support creative exchange between communities of care in varying contexts, particularly those in red and purple states where poor institutional support has long synced with a prevailing “maverick” ideology of independence and entrepreneurship.

This event takes place in conjunction with Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying (March 31 – May 13, 2017) at EFA Project Space. 

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Survival Creativity, artist talk by Carrie Schneider
May
13
1:30 PM13:30

Survival Creativity, artist talk by Carrie Schneider

 Carrie Schneider and Alex Tu,  The Human Tour,  2013. Photograph by Lillie Monstrum.

Carrie Schneider and Alex Tu, The Human Tour, 2013. Photograph by Lillie Monstrum.

Survival Creativity, artist talk by Carrie Schneider

RESCHEDULED: Saturday, May 13, 1:30 - 3:30 PM

As part of Sick Time Sleepy Time, Crip Time satellite programs, Houston-based artist Carrie Schneider is acting as a field reporter and advisor to the artists participating in Warp and Weft of Care in Texas. She will give an artist’s talk at EFA that draws from her exchange with these artists and own research, which will be followed by a group dialogue.

Warp and Weft of Care’s focus on supporting the health and wellbeing of communities through creative acts runs parallel to Schneider’s ongoing work and current research. As Project Row Houses and University of Houston College of the Arts 2017 Fellow, she is investigating the concept of “survival creativity.” By looking at acts of personal creativity that were made to move through hardships, particularly ones that were scaled up to also produce public catharsis, she suggests how intimate rituals might add to a vocabulary of collective ceremony. Schneider proposes that there are differences between the tactics and urgencies behind creative practices across degrees of hostile environments (such as a far right state like Texas) by citing examples from her work with communities, artists in Houston, and the Warp and Weft of Care programs. Schneider will share strategies of care and creativity formed in the belly of the beast—a city shaped by a deregulated, hyper-capitalist extractive economy in a state dominated by racist and misogynist politics. Attendees will also be asked to share their own examples from difficult contexts in breakout groups.

Schneider’s inquiry into the concept of “survival creativity” aims to amend the adage that “the greatest creativity comes from the most dire circumstances” by pointing out that it overlooks that certain resources—time, systems of support, witnesses—are necessary for this to occur. In Survival Creativity, Schneider will share some of the accounts she’s collected from individuals via interviews and surveys on what it’s taken for them to turn a traumatic experience into a creative expression, and then, to go one step further, for those personal coping strategies to get shared and scaled up into forms of collective relief. From there, she asks how one might transform a process of creating that was formed in order to survive under crisis into one that is driven by pleasure.

BIO

Carrie Schneider (Houston, Texas) is an artist interested in the collapse of moments across time and the ability of people to re-imagine their space. Informed by a family history that tracks intimately with the oil industry, Schneider’s projects often collage architectural and affectual artifacts of boom and bust cycles. Her projects include Hear Our Houston (2011), a collection of public generated audio walking tours in the world’s largest petrochemical hub; Care House (2012), an installation in the house she grew up in that considered the roles of caregiving/caretaking and the bodies of mother/home through the medical-industrial experience of cancer; and Sunblossom Residency (2009-2015), a skill exchange between artists and middle school students who are refugees resettled in Houston.

She is currently Project Row Houses and University of Houston College of the Arts 2017 Fellow. Her work has been featured in Houston by the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Project Row Houses, Diverseworks, Alabama Song, Labotanica, and many other places outside of arts institutions. She has organized numerous public conversations such as Art of Equity for the Rothko Chapel’s Confronting Inequality Symposium and Current Conversations, dialogues between artists and experts in a range of other disciplines, for the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. Her visual work and writing have been featured in Gulf Coast, Temporary Art Review, and Cite Magazine. She earned her BFA in Fine Arts and Culture and Politics from Maryland Institute College of Art and has engaged in a self-constructed MFA program by auditing courses at universities in Houston.  

ABOUT WARP AND WEFT OF CARE PROGRAM

A satellite programming series, Warp and Weft of Care, takes place between New York and Houston, Texas during the course of the show. It includes public performances as well as closed-door collaborations between artists from the EFA show and groups focused on the health of communities disproportionately facing violence. This includes Angela House’s Whole and Healthy Program (transitional housing and support for women immediately following incarceration), Project Row Houses Young Mothers Residency Program (a residency for low-income single mothers in the historically black neighborhood of Houston’s Third Ward), and Project Row Houses Young Mothers Employment Placement Program (a job training program for low-income single mothers). The aim is to support creative exchange between communities of care in varying contexts, particularly those in red and purple states where poor institutional support has long synced with a prevailing “maverick” ideology of independence and entrepreneurship.

This event takes place in conjunction with Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying (March 31 – May 13, 2017) at EFA Project Space. 

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Secret Chakra: Feminist Economics Yoga
May
12
6:30 PM18:30

Secret Chakra: Feminist Economics Yoga

 Image courtesy of Cassie Thornton

Image courtesy of Cassie Thornton

Secret Chakra: Feminist Economics Yoga, a workshop with Cassie Thornton

Friday, May 12, 6:30 - 8:45 PM

Secret Chakra teaches the practice of feminist economics through the format of a yoga class. As part of the Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time exhibition's Warp and Weft of Care programs, this workshop will be offered privately to groups at Project Row Houses and Angela’s House, and also publically at EFA and in Houston.

Based in the idea that energy, security, and prosperity are the products of social solidarity and interdependence (instead of individualism and competition), this workshop asks participants to embody the idea that “my” health, and “my” liberation is bound up in yours. By partnering visualization and embodiment exercises with radical financial literacy, Thornton aims to help people identify and begin to chip away at the seemingly infinite wall of financialization that transforms humans into financial instruments. Financialization is the process wherein profit becomes the motivation behind healthcare, housing, and education and it forces most people in the US to enter into financial debt in order to live. This ubiquitous social form is not natural, eternal, or personal, and it may be lodged in your body somewhere.

Using a combination of deep breathing, yoga, visualization, writing, demolition, and discussion, participants are invited to explore and transform their relationship to money and to the natural value that lives in each person. In order to remove the wall of financialization and move past symptoms that come with surviving under capitalism—alienation, competition, fear and depression—participants will be guided through a process of collectively breaking through an actual wall. We will use crowbars. In addition to demolition, the workshop will include a playful exercise series that stimulates the nervous system and moves energy through the body, alongside conversations about self worth, work, and the value that exists outside of money.

REGISTRATION

Registration required. Please email Meghana Karnik at meghana@efanyc.org and include information about your experience doing yoga and any physical needs you experience that we should take into account for the somatic exercises. Also, please specify if you have a yoga mat that you can bring. Optional response: What would a feminist form of revenge on the economic system would look like?

BIO

Cassie Thornton (Thunderbay, Ontario and Oakland, California)

It is a normal day, everyone is bored, everything good seems impossible. A small white woman has a tantrum in your school’s cafeteria about her for-profit education at a “public institution,” the way her school has colonized the city and her zero-sum future of shallow work, un-payable debt, and constant eviction. It is Cassie Thornton, or one of her agents. Cassie produces perversely hard-hitting social situations that result in unexpected transformations on the streets, in workplaces, and at schools. She stops time to summon up the unknown unknowns that reside in the silences between people, institutions, and economies. Also referred to as the Feminist Economics Department (the FED), Cassie’s work investigates and reveals the impact of governmental and economic systems on public affect, behavior, and unconscious, with a focus on debt and security. She is a feminist economist and artist who uses dance, writing, visual art, hypnosis, experimental research, tours, and radio to reveal debt as a source of solidarity.

ABOUT THE WARP AND WEFT OF CARE PROGRAM

A satellite programming series, Warp and Weft of Care, takes place between New York and Houston, Texas during the course of the show. It includes public performances as well as closed-door collaborations between artists from the EFA show and groups focused on the health of communities disproportionately facing violence. This includes Angela House’s Whole and Healthy Program (transitional housing and support for women immediately following incarceration), Project Row Houses Young Mothers Residency Program (a residency for low-income single mothers in the historically black neighborhood of Houston’s Third Ward), and Project Row Houses Young Mothers Employment Placement Program (a job training program for low-income single mothers). The aim is to support creative exchange between communities of care in varying contexts, particularly those in red and purple states where poor institutional support has long synced with a prevailing “maverick” ideology of independence and entrepreneurship.

This event takes place in conjunction with Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying (March 31 – May 13, 2017) at EFA Project Space. 

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Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time
Mar
31
to May 14

Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time

 Image: Amalle Dublon and Constantina Zavitsanos, Caduceus, 2016.  From the series “Crip Time,” in the Canaries broadsheet publication "Notes for the Waiting Room," 2017.

Image: Amalle Dublon and Constantina Zavitsanos, Caduceus, 2016.  From the series “Crip Time,” in the Canaries broadsheet publication "Notes for the Waiting Room," 2017.

Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism's Temporal Bullying focuses on how the body is articulated in various discourses oriented around health and proposes that better incorporation of the states of debility, disability, and rest into society (particularly their temporalities) would be resistive to forms of oppression. Recognizing that the failures of public health and biomedicine are felt by some disproportionately due to race, class, gender, sexuality, etc., this project provides a platform to explore collective forms of healing to deal with structural processes of exclusion.

Opening Reception: Friday, March 31, 6 - 9 pm

Please visit the Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time page for more information about the exhibition and concurrent public programs. 

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Surrounded by Me
Mar
18
to Mar 19

Surrounded by Me

Surrounded by Me
Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, 2017

Organized by: Tyler Coburn and Robin Simpson

Saturday, March 18th, 5:00 pm: Presentations by Felix Rietmann, Judith Rodenbeck, and Robin Simpson

Sunday, March 19th, 2:00 pm: Screening of video psychotherapy training tapes from the 1970s, as well as works by Richard Serra & Nancy Holt, Howardena Pindell, Kate Craig, Ulysses Jenkins, Sadie Benning, Jennifer Montgomery, Mike Crane, Tyler Coburn, and Sidsel Meineche Hansen

When video emerged in the 1970s, its simple camera and closed-circuit monitor setups were quickly diagnosed in art criticism. Rosalind Krauss, writing in the inaugural issue of October, argued that the ease of video feedback suggested the medium to be psychological by default, asking: “Yet, what would it mean to say, ‘The medium of video is narcissism?’” For Krauss, though video had the possibility of being a means of reflexive observation, the artists of her generation appeared to be trapped in a reflective loop. 

Outside the art world, video was developing a parallel life in the clinic. From the start of the 1970s, psychotherapists—including New York-based Milton M. Berger—employed video feedback techniques as an adjunct to the therapeutic process. Where Nancy Holt utters, “I am surrounded by me” in Boomerang (1974), as she negotiates the echoes of her voice fed back through a headset, so a colleague of Berger’s, facing a fleet of cameras and monitors, remarks, “I feel surrounded by myself.” The studio and the clinic thus functioned as staging grounds for narcissism, a term fast becoming paradigmatic of what Tom Wolfe called the “Me” decade. In this era, narcissism expanded beyond the constraints of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, coming to play a central role in post-industrial, service-based societies that valued individuation and self-encapsulation above all else.  

Comprising two evenings of presentations and screenings, Surrounded by Me interlaces clinical practice and critique, through an encounter between early video art, video psychotherapy, and the work of contemporary artists and scholars. While narcissism is a starting point, this program also considers the influence on art and psychotherapy of a number of disciplines that emerged contemporaneously and often interdependently, including behavioral therapy, neuroscience, cybernetics, and corporate pharmacology.

ORGANIZERS

Tyler Coburn is an artist and writer based in New York.  Coburn received a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University and an MFA from the University of Southern California. He also served as a fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program from 2014-2015. His work has been presented at South London Gallery; Kunstverein Munich; Kunsthalle Wien; CCA Glasgow; Western Front, Vancouver; Grazer Kunstverein; UCCA, Beijing; and Sculpture Center, New York. Coburn participated in the 11th Gwangju Bienniale and the 10th Shanghai Biennale. His writing has appeared in e-flux journal, Frieze, Dis, Mousse, and Rhizome.

Robin Simpson is an art historian and curator based in Montreal where he is Public and Education Coordinator at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University. PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia, his research investigates the intersections between clinical and critical discourse and practices in early video art of the 1970s through to the early 80s. Select writing includes contributions to A Play to be Played Indoors or Out: This Book is a Classroom (Ed. Corinn Gerber et al. Passenger Books, 2012), Heteropolis (Ed. Adaptive Actions, 2013), Oh, Canada (ed. Denise Markonish, MIT Press, 2012) and Sarai 9: Projections (Ed. Raqs Media Collective and Shveta Sarda, CSDS, 2013). Frequently collaborating with artists, he recently co-realized Missives with Patrick Staff, a video program and broadsheet for the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver on direct address and communication in Canadian queer and trans video production. 

PRESENTERS

Felix Rietmann is a German-Swiss medical doctor trained in pediatrics, and a PhD candidate in the History of Science and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton University. Before coming to the USA, Rietmann studied and worked in Germany, France, the UK, and Switzerland. His scholarship focuses on the history of film and video in child psychiatric research and practice.

Judith Rodenbeck is a cultural historian and critic specializing in art and intermedia of the 1950s and 1960s. Her current research examines the intersections of artistic practice and visual anthropology, read through the imaging of the bipedal; a second project examines the multimedia work of key women artists in the 1960s and 1970s. Rodenbeck is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media & Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside.

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