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Elisabeth Smolarz, Encyclopedia of Things, April 2017 – October 2017

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ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THINGS is my latest portrait series in which I collaborate with individuals in their home environments. Each participant selects personal objects as portals to memory that are both precious and meaningful, they are then arranged for the camera in a temporary installation. The installations of the participants’ most treasured objects embody their sense of self-hood and identity, and tell the story of each individual. Since starting this long term project in 2014 I collaborated with individuals in North America, Europe, the Middle East and most recently in East Asia. The final result is series of intricate non-concrete portraits consisting of a prevalent vocabulary made out of ubiquitous objects that echo the universality of the human condition.

Immigrating from Poland to Germany, Elisabeth Smolarz grew up on the cusps of two different cultures affected by a communist and democratic system. Consequently, she became involved in the idea of how consciousness and perception is formed by one’s surroundings. Since then her work has been shown nationally and internationally – in venues such as The Bronx Museum, New York, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, New York, Galeria Aleksander Bruno, Warsaw, Oberwelt e.V, Stuttgart, Kunsthalle Galapagos New York, Baden Württembergischer Kunstverein, Photography Triennial Esslingen, Carnegie Mellon, Independent Museum of Contemporary Art (IMCA) Cyprus, Brooklyn Arts Council, Reykjavik Photography Museum, Espai d’art contemporani de Castelló, the Sculpture Center and the 3rd Moscow Biennale among others. Awards and residencies include the LMCC Work Space Residency, New York, AIM Artist Residency, Bronx Museum, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen Travel Grant, Karin Abt-Straubinger Stiftung Grant, Sarai Artist Residency, New Delhi, India, Capacete Artist Residency, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Red Gate Gallery Artist Residency, Beijing, China and more. Elisabeth Smolarz received her BA and her MFA from the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart.

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Amy Khoshbin, The Myth of Layla (TMOL), January 19 – March 19, 2017

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The Myth of Layla (TMOL), 2016
HD Video, TRT- 5:43, color, sound

The Myth of Layla (TMOL) is a participatory multimedia performance and installation about political ideology, celebrity-obsessed media, and an Iranian-American activist named Layla based on Khoshbin’s personal history. TMOL is set in a near future when a big-brother media conglomerate called The Network runs the US government and is at war with Iran. The leader of The Network is a reality show host, similar to our President-Elect, who employs media-manipulation tactics such as fear of the Other, violence, and propaganda as reasonable safety-measures. The Host of The Network invites Layla and audience members to participate on their new reality show, Activists in Sexy Solidarity (ASS), which is the set for the performative installation. Taking satirical cues from the absurd structures of reality TV, Khoshbin presents a backdrop of projected videos and outrageous color costumes and banners. Viewers become part of the piece as audience members on ASS: they are captured by running cameras, screened during the performance, and edited into reality show videos afterwards. TMOL creates a parallel universe that—vividly demonstrating the dangers of media control and the necessity of questioning content production and consumption—echoes America’s contemporary socio-political state.

TMOL has been exhibited as a solo exhibition and series of performances at Mana Contemporary, NURTUREart and The Watermill Center, and is a recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Artist Community Engagement Grant and Creative Capital’s On Our Radar. At Mana Contemporary, the piece was Directed by Morgan Green, Dramaturgy by Yuliya Tsukerman, Performed by Amy Khoshbin, Maxwell Cosmo Cramer, Ryann Weir, Kenny Rivero, and Kristianne Molina, Cinematography by Jessica Gardner, Videography by Azikiwe Mohammed and Matthew Kohn, Lighting Design by Tuce Yasak, and Sound Design by Michael Clemow.

For more information, visit tinyscissors.com.

Amy Khoshbin is an Iranian-American Brooklyn-based artist merging performance, video, collage, costume and sound to examine our individual and collective compulsion to create, transform, and sometimes destroy the stories of who we are, who we think we are, and who we think we should be. She produces media and mythologies using humor and a handmade aesthetic to throw a counterpunch at the high-definition, profit-generating codes and signals that American audiences are trained and accustomed to consuming. She has shown her solo and collaborative work at venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Abrons Arts Center, Mana Contemporary, NURTUREart, National Sawdust, The Invisible Dog Arts Center, and festivals such as River to River and South by Southwest. She is currently in residence at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency 2016-17, and has completed residencies at The Watermill Center, Mana Contemporary- where she curated a group of 12 artists for the BSMT Residency, LMCC’s Workspace Residency 2014-16, Banff Centre for the Arts, Team Effort! in Glasgow, Scotland, and at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has received a Rema Hort Mann Artist Community Engagement Grant and is on Creative Capital’s On Our Radar for her recent project, The Myth of Layla. Khoshbin has bachelor’s degrees in Film and Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. She has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Karen Finley, Tina Barney, and poets Anne Carson and Bob Currie among others.

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Seline Baumgartner, One and Others, September 2016 – January 2017

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Seline Baumgartner
ONE AND OTHERS, 2011
HD Video 8min., color, sound

The artists work moves within an area of tension resulting from movement and stagnation, retardation and éclat. At the same time a playful element is a leitmotif in the artist’s oeuvre. It expresses the “other” space, in which social codes and structures of action might be absorbed and turned around. The artist confronts the seriousness of her chosen topics with a certain lightness of being. For us, the viewers, she opens up an imaginary “possibility-space”, mysterious and enigmatic, that leaves us with the substantial question: Why is it the way it is? And: Couldn’t it be different?

Seline Baumgartner (b. 1980) is a New York-based artist born in Zurich, Switzerland. Baumgartner uses video, sound installations, and sculptures to carefully observe the patterns and grammar of individuality and group dynamics. Baumgartner’s solo exhibitions include “One and Others” Kunst 11 Zürich, with Gallery SCHAU ORT, Christiane Büntgen, Zurich, Switzerland (2011); Not Yet, Gallery SCHAU ORT, Christiane Büntgen, Zurich, Switzerland (2010); and Trial 1-3, Final Fish, Videotank, Zurich, Switzerland (2010). Group exhibitions include The Movement, Kolumba Kunstmuseum des Erzbistums Cologne, Germany (2013); Alternativa, Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk, Poland (2013); and What Happened 2081, Goethe Institute, New Delhi, India (2013).
Baumgartner received the Dance Movie Commission from Experimental Media and Performance Arts Center (2014) and residencies from Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, New Delhi, India (2011-2012) and City of Zurich, Switzerland, New York (2009-2010). Publications include Aargauer Kunsthaus (2012) and Museum of Fine Arts Bern. Baumgartner received her B.F.A. from Zurich University of the Arts (2005).

For more information, please visit http://www.selinebaumgartner.com/.

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Art 212, Broadway(Storefront/Forefront), September 2016 -February 2017

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In the 1970s David Hockney, a British artist primarily known as a painter, became fascinated with Photography and gave up painting for a decade or so while he experimented with photographic techniques. During this time he developed groundbreaking methods of photographic collage. Hockney explored using the camera to collect fragments of scene, that could then be pieced together. He was interested in splitting up an image in time and space, getting away from capturing only a moment, and trying to capture a collection of moments, a sequence of time, analogous to perhaps a scene in a film.

Because the photographs were taken from different perspectives and at slightly different times, the result is imagery that has an affinity with Cubism, a painting style developed and favored by Picasso and George Braque in the early 20th century, 1910’s and 20’s. Fascinated by Cubism’s investigation of multiple perspective Hockney’s major aim was to explore this through photography. As He saw it there was a relationship between cubism and the way human vision works, in that we see things simultaneously in multiple perspectives and in pieces. We see multiple viewpoints that are then pieced together by our mind.

Seeking to replicate the way we see through photography Hockney began these photo collages, which he called “joiners”, working with different subjects from portraits to still life, and from representational to abstract styles. He did this because he was interested in how we see and depict space and time. He is interested in how we turn a 3 dimensional world into a 2 dimensional image. Upon looking at the final compositions of these “joiners”, he realized it created a narrative, as if the viewer was moving through the room. These images layer time and space, the multiple angles convey a strong sense of movement. Hockney points out that “a single photo expresses a single instant, and so cannot represent time or narrative: “Cubism was total-vision: it was about two eyes and the way we see things. About his collage technique, Hockney said: “I realized that this sort of picture came closer to how we actually see, which is to say, not all-at-once but rather in discrete, separate glimpses which we then build up into our continuous experience of the world.”

In Art 212 we appropriated Hockney’s method and created a homage to his photographic collage technique.

Sujin Lee, “Ah Ahk Ahk Aht Ahn”, February 26 – April 26, 2016

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Sujin Lee

Ah Ahk Ahk Aht Ahn

Ah Ahk Ahk Aht Ahn  – Kiyuk
HD video, B&W, 10:20, Sound
2015

Ah Ahk Ahk Aht Ahn  – Ssang Kiyuk
HD video, B&W, 09:25, Sound
2016

11172 is the number of possible consonant-vowel combinations in Korean language (my mother tongue), which can be displayed in Unicode. They are theoretical combinations for a written language; therefore, many of them are not used in actual speaking and writing.  Ah Ahk Ahk Aht Ahn is a series of 19 single channel videos in progress.  The videos are organized in groups by their first consonant from ㄱ(kiyuk) to ㅎ(heeut). There is a voice prounouncing each consonant-vowel combination shown in the screen. I began this project wanting to focus on the sounds and shapes of the letters and also to contemplate on the physical act of reading aloud. While working on this project, I re-experienced what I felt when I was learning to speak English – being very aware that I am making sound through my body and organs.

Sujin Lee uses text, video and performance, exploring the way in which different cultural and linguistic systems affect the actions of language. Lee has been awarded residencies from Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, I-Park and Newark Museum and participated in the AIM program at the Bronx Museum of Art and the Emerge program at Aljira. She was a 2012-2013 A.I.R. Gallery Fellow in NYC and a 2014-2015 artist-in-residence at Kumho Art Studio in Korea. Lee earned her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art.  She holds an MFA in Studio Art and an MA in Performance Studies, both from New York University. She has exhibited internationally.

For more information, please visit http://www.sujinlee.org.

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Walton Fields, Dumitru Gorzo and Molly Stevens, February 19 – April 19, 2016

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Manhattan Project(s) is pleased to present Walton Fields, a photo-collage installation at Manhattan College’s Riverdale, NY campus that documents the site-specific sculptural painting installation by Dumitru Gorzo and Molly Stevens in Walton, NY.

See the Installation live through August 2016 at 218 E. River Road, Walton, NY 13856

DUMITRU GORZO
b. 1975, Ieud.
Lives and works in Bucharest and New York.

Co-founder of the artist group and movement Rostopasca, the most influential artist group in Romania in recent decades, Gorzo has had solo shows in museums such as MNAC, Bucharest; NJ MoCA, New Jersey; Brukental Art Museum, Sibiu; as well as in art galleries and not-for-profit art institutions across US and Europe. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions at prestigious art venues such as the Istanbul Biennial; Marina Abramovic Institute, San Francisco; Kunsthalle Budapest (Mucsarnok); MODEM Modern and Contemporary Art Center, Debrecen; MKM Museum Kuppersmühle, Duisburg; Kultur.
http://www.SlagGallery.com

MOLLY STEVENS
b. 1972, New York
Lives and works in New York City and Walton, NY.

Molly has exhibited her paintings, drawings and videos across the United States, in Europe and in Mexico. She has had solo exhibitions at the Smudajescheck Galerie (Ulm, Germany), Slag Gallery (Bushwick, NY), Living Arts of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK) and Highways (Santa Monica, CA). She received her MA in Art in New Media from NYU, and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
http://www.MollyStevensVisualArt.com

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How do you feel about the diverse approaches to the shapes?

DG: It’s probably one of the strongest aspects of the project. Remember, we’re outside, so whether we like it or not, we’re forced to compete with nature. And nature is powerful, diverse and well composed. So the diversity is one of the few things that makes an art installation in this kind of environment possible.

MS: Plus, I think it’s important to be expansive, not reductive; to be wide, not narrow.

Why is outside important?

MS: I love the way paintings look outside. It has to do with the contrast and complement of nature and the hand. I like seeing a tree and an image of tree side by side, for example. But you can’t compete with the actual landscape; you can’t copy it either. They are two different vitalities in an unequal relationship. You can only complement or contrast them. The landscape can easily dominate an outside work, crush it. Artwork could colonize the landscape, but that’s not the goal here.

For how long will be the project up?

DG: Well, we’re planning on one year. It could be less but probably it will be more, at least parts of it. Or, who knows, maybe it’ll became something else.

Is the number of the pieces important. Is there a certain number you are aiming for?

MS: Being spare is precious. Numerousness is more generous; it’s more to look at, and it’s more complex to look at. Numerousness in this case provides many levels of seeing and interpreting. It creates a world. Numerousness in this case also is a way to not be dominated by the surrounding landscape.

How did this project start? Are there any sources of inspiration?

MS: I had worked with Gorzo on smaller projects. I had also been working in a small studio in NYC. When I began working upstate, everything got bigger. If you work in a rural area, you have to deal with what’s outside. In the city, you have to get away from outside when you work.

Do each or some of the pieces have a particular meaning?

MS: Certain themes have emerged. I have a series of portraits of artists, often with plants growing from their heads. That’s about fertility. Two of the pieces that I consider important are the narcissists, people looking at themselves. That’s about image and self-reflection. Then I have words, which I’ve been working with for many years, both as shapes and for their sound and meaning.
DG: If by particular meaning, you mean something literal, then some have a story behind them. Others are like promises and probably many of them are visual constructions independent of words, psychology and myself.

How do you feel about them being outside exposed to the elements?

DG: In a way, the elements function as an age accelerator and that’s part of the process. Who knows, with some luck, some may look better in the end.

Will the work be deteriorated by the end of the project?

DG: Not too much. They’re quite well protected.

How do you think the local community will react to this installation? Is there any reaction you want from the viewer?

DG: We’re not looking for a specific reaction, we’re not entertainers. If somehow we can break the routine of the accidental viewer – which is the most common kind -,  if the question marks in somebody’s head create a story, a need for a story, that’s a good start.

How do two artists work together? How does the fact that there are two artists working together influence the project?

DG: A good part of working closely with somebody during a project is that you sometimes do things that aren’t necessarily part of your usual practice. You move forward, you push and you’re pushed. And sometimes, when you least expect it, you might see the other person coming with a solution for something that you’ve also been searching for.

MS: Sometimes we were working right next to each other, using the same colors and mixtures; and then there are works that were done when we were on different continents. All this time we were moving in the same direction. The target was a field with art. The project was fragile and faceless in the beginning, then it got better, then it broke, then it became alive again.

Are these paintings or sculptures or is it a single installation?

MS: I don’t consider this public art; I don’t consider this land art; I don’t consider this a sculpture park; I consider this an outdoor exhibition of paintings on wood forms. They are sculptural, and together they make an installation. But I don’t want to be strident with definitions.

Can these pieces be shown elsewhere?

MS: These works can be shown in different configurations, on or off the stick.

How does this project correspond to your other work?

DG: This project is part of what we’re doing, a natural continuation our work. There are aspects that are new for each of us and that’s one of the things that makes it worthwhile.

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Sujin Lee, Sound Film, November 15, 2015 – February 4, 2016

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Sujin Lee

Sound Film

‘this landscape
Who Saw What’s on the Top Shelf?
Text to Speech (Statement)

Single-Channel Videos
2012-2013

Sujin Lee uses text, video and performance, exploring the way in which different cultural and linguistic systems affect the actions of language. Lee has been awarded residencies from Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, I-Park and Newark Museum and participated in the AIM program at the Bronx Museum of Art and the Emerge program at Aljira. She was a 2012-2013 A.I.R. Gallery Fellow in NYC and a 2014-2015 artist-in-residence at Kumho Art Studio in Korea. Lee earned her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art.  She holds an MFA in Studio Art and an MA in Performance Studies, both from New York University. She has exhibited internationally.

For more information, please visit http://www.sujinlee.org.

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