June 3 - July 23, 2010
Michael Paul Britto, Brendan Fernandes,Duron Jackson, Fabienne Lasserre,Jason Lujan, Rashaad Newsome, Min Oh, Roxana Pérez-Méndez and Carolyn Salas.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 2, 6-8 pm
Curated by: Felicity Hogan
Opening June 2nd at EFA Project Space, Word-Less presents work that purposefully denies established forms of communication.. Through performance, photography, video, sculpture, and installation, the artists in the exhibition seek alternative ways to articulate their narratives. With its deliberate disconnect, the title of the show emphasizes and plays on ideas of misinterpretation, and redefinition. The artists propose modes of abstract communication, both commenting on and circumventing the failures of hierarchical structure in language.
Some of these artists focus on veiling or abstracting symbols and text used to relay meaning. Carolyn Salas presents a series of cast memorial plaques that contain no inscription, and a sculpture series of busts without faces, declaring anonymous successes and questioning the traditional modes of honoring the individual.
Fabienne Lasserre’s Worldless and Inarticulates are abstract forms used to express the potential of the excluded and the innate power that exists in the margins of society. While Salas and Lassere employ formal aesthetics to examine communication and participation, Min Oh utilizes a logistical structure to generate her interactive performance A Dialog. In her work, the experience of naturally occurring dialog becomes abstracted to a diagram and the logic of exchange becomes open to interpretation.
Responding more directly to questions of identity, cultural assimilation, and race, Brendan Fernandes hired an acting coach to teach him how to speak in the accents of his own cultural heritage for his video Foe. Using his learned inflections, he recites an excerpt from the book Foe, J.M Coetze’s sequel to Robinson Crusoe. Rashaad Newsome’s Shade Compositions uses the female subject to deconstruct and reinvent stereotyped expression. Video documentary of a performance in New York shows black women perform an a capella composition of dismissive “ghetto” gestures, choreographed by the artist in collaboration with the performers. Also commenting on the correlation between gesture and preconceptions of race, Michael Paul Britto’s video Cool-Pose #1 projects cast shadows (a metaphor for blackness) as life-sized silhouettes enacting body movements associated with “gangsta-hip” behavior. In her silent video Siempre Hace Frio, Roxana Perez Mendez comments on the emotional effect immigration has on the women by morphing three stereotypical identities of women’s attire on a single figure.
Friday, June 18, 6.30-8.30pm: Roxana Pérez-Méndez Peformance and Conversation.