MODEL HOME : ON VIEW JULY 1 – AUGUST 15, 2010. The 16th floor Solarium @ The Roger Smith Hotel
SUZANNE BROUGHEL | ANNA LISE JENSEN | ELAINE KAUFMANN | JODIE LYN-KEE-CHOW SANDRA MACK-VALENCIA | CARRIE RUBINSTEIN | ASYA REZNIKOV | YASMIN SPIRO
Model Home presents the interdisciplinary work of eight artists from the tART collective, a New York-based network of women committed to exploring the intersections of public engagement, education and activism through visual art. In Model Home, Suzanne Broughel, Anna Lise Jensen, Elaine Kaufmann, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Sandra Mack-Valencia, Carrie Rubinstein, Asya Reznikov and Yasmin Spiro foreground a heightened awareness of the role of objects in discussing cultural value, fetishization and identity. Through a broad survey of the domestic signifiers which simultaneously enable and oppress—mops, feather dusters, ovens, rubber gloves, kitchenware, and things-to-do-lists—this exhibition critiques the notion that there is a “model home” or “archetypal lifestyle” to which universal value can be ascribed and questions the governing political, lingual and cultural forces that write this Utopian yet heavily gendered vision into being. Model Home resituates household objects and actions outside of the diverse spaces we call home and within an exhibitory context to assert that meaning is derived from the intersection of origin and context. As global citizens, these eight artists highlight travel, tourism and routes of migration as major influences on the cultural vale of everyday objects and discuss individual agency—through what could be described as a Fluxist, visual rhetoric—as it relates to desire, self and otherness.
Dark Matter, Band-Aids, plastic, 7′ x 5′, 2004
99 and 44/100ths Percent Pure, Ivory Soap and African Black Soap, 3″ x 5″, 2004
Statement: As a white woman making work about racial issues, my sculpture and photo installations have an ideological content that is intentional. Yet my work is also autobiographical – growing up in Yonkers, New York, I was racially sensitized from an early age. Yonkers is a town steeped in defacto segregation. My family lived just within the borders of the predominantly black school district, which led my father to pull me out of the elementary school I loved and to later instruct me to lie about my address so I could attend the “white” junior high school. My work is concerned with issues of white skin privilege and white guilt, but also more personal levels of meaning – such as sexual desire, cultural desire, desire for identity. Developing my own visual language with which to enter the dialogue on race was fraught with starts and stops. I learned that I needed to look inward first, at self and family, as part of voicing larger concerns. My art materials became everyday household items – white sheets, Band-Aids, Ivory Soap, self-tanning lotions. The resulting objects and images are not without an awkward humor, which makes the serious subject matter more approachable to viewers.
ANNA LISE JENSEN
Swedish Housing #1, diptych, unframed, Ed. 10, archival pigment prints
Cluster 3, prints sold individually or as whole cluster, each print an edition of 10. Archival pigment prints, unframed.
Statement: My work is about the making of personal space: researching, finding, creating and sharing spatial pockets outside and within existing structures – in order to rest, facilitate interactions and bring about action. Swedish Housing, are diptychs of interiors from an aunt’s first and last residence in Sweden. Moving to Sweden in her 20′s, a textile industrialist provided her employment and a maid’s room inside his home – where his descendants now run a Bed & Breakfast. The Swedish government provided her the assisted living apartment that was her home at the time of her death. The images are a reflection on traces of the living and the dead, the mirroring of the two places as well as the intermingling of public and private spheres.
A Couple’s Bathroom (from the series International Design), 2008, graphite on paper, 12 x 9.5 inches
Island Getaway (from the series International Design), 2007, graphite on paper, 12 x 9.5 inches
Statement: Kaufmann’s work examines contemporary media in order to comment on social phenomena. By appropriating images and texts, she seeks to expose the ways in which newspapers and magazines disguise an unspoken agenda. International Design is a series of pencil drawings that appropriate the layout and text of articles about home design. In each drawing, she replaces the article’s original photograph with an image of housing in the developing world. By juxtaposing luxury with conditions stemming from rapid urbanization in the global south, she connects the fantasies of first-world affluence with the production of third-world poverty. This relationship reveals how newspapers and magazines promote the extremes of wealth and poverty as natural and unproblematic.
Duties’ Call, performance video, edition 1/5, 6 min 29 sec, 2005 (Sound score is a digital remixed version of the excerpt from the play, “Dead Man Walking” a 2002 play written by Tim Robbins)
Duties Call shows the protagonist, played by the artist, doing a chore and becoming the victim attacked by an ordinary household tool. The drama unfolds as a cynical and cathartic experience is exposed and reveals psycho-dramatic notions of desire and death.
Clean & Dry, performance video, edition 1 of 5.
Video footage is taken in Jamaica, West Indies and in Queens, N.Y. showing two perspectives of doing laundry. The clothesline of underwear is the foreground of a sunny country backdrop with an outhouse in West Jamaica. While this scenery plays, the position of each panty turns backwards subtlety, as a commentary on the modernized, capitalist way of doing laundry (in a place such as the United States), where machines are a substitute for the peaceful serenity that nature in a rural country-side provides. Sounds of each experience are interchanged and encapsulate the nostalgic feeling of being out of ones ordinary life routine, wishing that clothes would dry faster or daydreaming of being in a more peaceful place.
Mother Queen, transfer, flash paint and ink on paper, 2008, 14 x 17″ (unframed)
Domesticated Medusa, transfer and acrylic on wood panel, 2010, 36 x 42″
Statement: I grew up surrounded by the smell of oil paint, turpentine and linseed oil. I was taught to look beyond the basic colors and search for the subtle tones. A leaf was not just green; it could be yellow-green, red-green, or brown-green. This is how my father taught me to look at the world, and until today this is how I perceive it. I like to believe that I was born an artist; that it is my fate and that no matter what I do, I cannot deny it. I believe that there is a range of ways to approach a piece of art: From a strictly rational point of view, where we look for the signified, asking for answers or explanations, to a more emotional one that comes through sensations, with nothing to explain or understand, nothing to be interpreted, just open to the intensities that emanate from the work. My drawings should not be placed in either category, since they move back and forth between these two worlds. It took me a few years to realize that besides political, social or moralizing work, it was also possible to make art with a strong aesthetic component, work that obeys impulses and sensations. It is not senseless, since it comes from a process of thought like every creative act; but instead of trying to illustrate a concept or idea, it is the idea, it is the concept that comes through the hand in the form of a stroke, a color, a drip, a smudge.
Migration #2, 45-second stop animation, loop video with audio, edition of 8
Lists, ink, pencil, thread, tacks, paper, variable dimensions, 2009
Statement: Lists in the circle shape were written by the artist’s younger sister, Robyn, who unexpectedly died in 2008. They were found in her apartment shortly after her death. They are lists of the dogs in Robyn’s dog-walking business. The five center lists are a combination of found objects from the apartment and written by the artist. They document the time and days before and during Robyn’s death.
synthetic fur, plaster, synthetic hair, pins.
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