BREAKING GLASS- Solo Show Esther Boesche, June 30- July 10

Please join ICP Alumna Esther Boesche for her solo show “Breaking Glass”

Esther Boesche is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in Northern Germany and lives and works in Brooklyn. In her work she is observing influences and characteristics of social, political and anthropological systems. Esther Boesche has studied Design and Photography at the Muthesius School of Arts in Germany and received her MFA from the International Center of Photography in New York 2015. She has exhibited in various places in Germany and the United States. She was awarded with the DAAD Artist Grand for the year 2013 and the ICP Director`s Scholarship from 2013 to 2015.

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The title breaking glass is based on a German expression, that dates back to 16 year hundred where the fragility of human luck was compared to the fragility / breakabilty of glass. Somebody breaking too much glass means being a trouble-maker: interrupting everybody else’s peace or illusion

As a child, people would say to me “you are breaking too much glass”, or “don’t break too much glass

These images are about the relationship between myself and my upbringing in Germany. They examine the influences of cultural conditioning as well as the specific, family conditioning I received through my parents, who were (of course) also conditioned themselves. Household objects play an important role, as most of our family life was spent much more in the kitchen or doing other  house work. These  objects, (the tulips, the coffee cup, the iron) are related to strong German rituals of daly life, as I experienced it in my childhood…
 
BREAKING GLASS  is a way to make peace with my past, and to come to a deeper understanding of the emotions and conditioning I experienced in order to let go. 
Breaking Glass-Opening ESTHER BOESCHE
Scheduled: Jun 30, 2016, 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Location: SoAM Studio
35 Meadow St, Unit 205, Brooklyn, NY  11206, United States

Anna Ekros’s All Things Shining (Feb 20-22)

February 16, 2015, Long Island City, NY – Three days before Anna Ekros’s solo thesis show opening, I visited the ICP-Bard MFA studio to see the installation in progress. Two weeks earlier, I met her for an hour-long interview.  

A large portrait of a young man greets you on the other side of the glass entrance. His eyes are closed and small pieces of tissue are inside both nostrils. Is he sleeping or daydreaming? Was he bleeding just before the picture was taken? Only half of his upper body is visible and his white shirt is buttoned all the way up. A soft focused door in the background suggests that he is inside an apartment. Harsh light is coming from the left, creating a chiaroscuro effect between the subject and the background, resembling a movie still. Did the photographer construct the scene or is it a candid moment from real life? Throughout the show, Anna’s photographs provoke similar questions: who are they and what are they doing? After wandering around for a while, I realized that it is best not to ask these questions to Anna; mysteries are best when they remain unsolved.

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I remember meeting Anna for the first time. It was in the beginning of fall 2014 semester when the first and second year students gathered at our Long Island City studios. Our program chairperson, Nayland Blake, asked us to introduce ourselves by talking about the worst thing happened during the summer. I don’t remember all the stories but I remember Anna. She was very tall and wore vintage clothes. Is it a prejudice to assume all tall people are from Sweden? Well, Anna was and her Swedish-ness peaked when she showed sculptures painted in all white during her crit in the fall. She said Swedish people feel alright when everything is white. During that critique, she showed few photographic pieces. Now summing up her two years at ICP-Bard in her thesis show, Anna is mainly showing photographs. Perhaps, she needed a break from the constraints of the still image.

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Anna’s thesis show, All Things Shining, consists of small and large photographic prints, two short videos, and one large drawing piece (36×110 inches). She has been photographing her three roommates that she has lived with since moving to New York. In each photograph, there is usually an individual engaged in domestic activities, such as combing hair, taking a nap, or reading a book. Somehow these daily moments become eerie in Anna’s photographs. The presence of photographer is hardly felt. It is similar to having an experience of watching a movie in a movie theater. We are physically close to the movie screen yet we are far from the reality of the movie. We become voyeurs of someone else’s constructed life and as time passes, we start empathizing with the emotions of the characters.

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Anna’s depiction of domestic life and her daily observations continue in her drawing. Each section has its own story—a different facet of life—and small stories and events are integrated with lines. The drawing comes full circle when looking at all the little details. Her narrative starts from the left with the first day of moving into an apartment in New York City. The content is often biographical but with a fictional twist. For instance, Anna uses pseudonyms, which changes later on in the drawing. She sometimes comments on current issues such as Ebola or media hype on weather alerts. My favorite part is where she drew a group of birch trees that are commonly seen in Scandinavian countries. Underneath the tree drawing, she wrote that her grandmother is trying to learn Skype. It is a hint of nostalgia to her hometown.

Two videos are made in Sweden and New York. Scenes of Anna’s family in Sweden and her roommates in New York are interwoven with landscapes and domestic spaces. Both videos are crude and shaky from hand-held use of a simple video camera; they convey the feeling of home videos.

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Throughout the show, Anna is asking one main question: what is a family? This concept is relevant to contemporary society as more people travel far away from their biological roots and relocate to new places. While making a home in a new place, one may need the same kind of emotional security that one feels from his or her hometown and place importance on new acquaintances. The title, All Things Shining, refers to a book by the philosophers Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly. By reading the Western classics, from Homer to David Foster Wallace, Dreyfus and Kelly look for a new way to find meaning in a secular time, as philosophy alone could not answer this.

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One may notice large grain in Anna’s photographs. Colors are often desaturated, not having wide color gamut. She seems unconcerned with sharp focus. This disregard for perfection is consistent throughout her photographs. Anna was once a newspaper photographer back in Sweden; she knows advanced techniques but she is not interested in producing picture perfect images. Taking advantage of ICP’s equipment rental cage, Anna tried all kinds of equipment but she prefers using a twenty-dollar video camera that she bought at a local drug store and working with inexpensive films. While she has a casual approach to her photographic tools, Anna’s photographs are well composed. She is highly aware of what goes into the frame and is meticulous about the presentation of her work.

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Anna’s most recent works are two constructed images of family portraits: one is 40×40 inches and the other is 3×3 inches. The large print consists of three people and the smaller print consists of four people, including Anna. In the large print, there is a man standing and looking away, another man sitting and apparently in deep thought, and a woman sitting and bending at the waist while pressing her hands to the floor. There is a small painting on a wooden easel to their right. This is the only picture in the show that has a title: La Sagrada Família (a basilica in Barcelona that has been under construction since 1882). If these are family members, they seem to be a disconnected family. In the smaller picture, Anna sits on the chair while the other woman is standing. All of them have blank facial expressions. While they are physically close and one touching the other with hands, the rigid and formal quality of the picture suggests that they are forced to display evidence of being a “family.”

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All Things Shining touches upon and reflects on the meaning of family and what it demands of relationships. The intimate relationships that Anna has formed with her three roommates within the last two years inspired me because she was not afraid of giving her heart. This is a rare quality in a large, impersonal city like New York. During the opening reception, three artists will play music, which will complete the exhibition space that Anna has created for her solo show. Music is an important part of Anna’s life as evident by the instruments in photographs, the singing in the video, and musical notes in the drawing. The entire show is lyrical but it is up to the viewer to hear the music even if there is no sound playing.

-ML

ICP-Bard MFA Solo Thesis Show: Anna Ekros’s All Things Shining

Opening Reception: Thurs, Feb 19, 6-10pm

On View: Fri, Feb 20, 11am-2pm and 5-7pm. Sat-Sun, Feb 21-22, 2-5pm

Address: 24-20 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY (Subway E/M to 23rd St/Ely Ave, G/7 to Court House Square) photo

“Vanity” (online exhibition)

Sebastiao Salgado (Brazilian, b. 1944), Women of the Zo’é village of Towari Ypy, Brazil (2009). black and white photograph.

Sebastiao Salgado (Brazilian, b. 1944), Women of the Zo’é village of Towari Ypy, Brazil (2009). black and white photograph.

This exhibition is inspired by Sebastiao Salgado’s black and white photograph of nude women of the Zo’é village of Towari Ypy, Brazil (2009). The focus is on the seven women on the left who are engaged in body painting using urucum—seeds from a Bixa orellana tree—in a sheltered hut made of tree leaves. Applying urucum seeds to the body repels insects and protects the body from the harmful effects of the sun. The seeds may also serve as a beauty potion as women in Salgado’s photograph leisurely apply it to their bodies. The group of women, portrayed in different gestures, adds a rhythmic movement to the photograph. The left to right configuration creates a circular composition.

Self-indulgence of the body evokes vanity, which can be a natural inclination or socially developed rite. Whether it is to please oneself or others, vanity is a narcissistic ritual and a voyeuristic pleasure exists when exposing one’s body.

This exhibition examines the depiction of the female body and vanity over the last few centuries—both Eastern and Western—in an attempt to analyze how the female body and vanity are portrayed in different times and places. It is to question how a woman sees herself, how a woman is seen, and what it means to be a woman. The exhibition showcases a wide variety of mediums, including paintings, photographs, woodblock print, video, and performance art. Half of the selection comes from the 17th century to the end of the 19th century and the other half comes from the 20th century and 21st century. The last image is my own interpretation of the theme.

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, 1606–1669), The Toilet of Bathsheba (1643). Oil on wood, 22 1/2 x 30 inch (57.2 x 76.2 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.

1. Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, 1606–1669), The Toilet of Bathsheba (1643). Oil on wood, 22 1/2 x 30 inch (57.2 x 76.2 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.

After seeing her bathing, King David longed for Bathsheba who was married to Uriah. To take Bathsheba as a wife, King David sent Uriah to the frontline of a battlefield to get killed. In the painting, Bathsheba sits in the center surrounded by luxurious jewelries and fabrics while getting nourished by two people. Rembrandt’s use of light highlights Bathsheba’s flesh as if she is on the center stage of a theater. Her eyes slant towards the painter, her translucent cloth covering genitals, her left hand covering of right breast with a gentle touch, the scene provokes sensuality. Bathsheba sits passively as she is being prepared for King David. She is vulnerable to the male gaze and the temptation of a woman’s body and ensuing lust.

Yoonbok Shin (Korean, 1758-?), Dan-o-poong-jung (late 18th century). Color on paper, 28.2 x 35.6 cm. Kansong Museum, Seoul, South Korea.

2. Yoonbok Shin (Korean, 1758-?), Dan-o-poong-jung (late 18th century). Color on paper, 28.2 x 35.6 cm. Kansong Museum, Seoul, South Korea.

Yoonbok Shin’s painting depicts women’s typical activities on Dan-o Day—May 5th by the lunar calendar (about one month later than the Western calendar). After seed planting is done, on Dan-o Day, Koreans engage in ceremonies to pay respect to ancestors, offering well prepared foods. In return, they ask for a good harvest. There are activities throughout the day, such as swinging and wrestling. Other important activities include women washing their hair with boiled iris leaves and men carrying iris root in their clothes to get rid of bad spirits. Most of this tradition has been lost since the industrialization of the country.

Shin’s painting has a triangular composition. There is a diagonal line for the slope that divides the painting in half. Circular placement of women in the painting is similar to Salgado’s grouping of women in his photograph. On the right, there are eight women engaging in various activities and on the left, there are two young monks hiding behind rocks and watching them. On the bottom left are four women half naked. Three are washing their body and hair in a crouching position while one is standing up, holding her skirt. Perhaps she is looking at the approaching woman carrying a bag of merchandises on top of her head, wondering if there is anything good to buy. The monk on the right is looking at her revealing body.

At the middle of the hill is a woman who is about to swing. She wears the most colorful clothes in the painting and is watched by the monk on the left. The artist captures her in mid-motion and creates a sense of momentum within the painting. Behind her there is a woman with extremely long hair. The gentle brush strokes of streams and short grass on the hill together with a crowned hole in the curved tree symbolize vagina and connote sexuality. Women’s private moment of nourishing their bodies is interrupted by male gaze expressed by the two monks. The painting captures the male audience’s fantasies to watch women’s bathing.

Kubo Shunman (Japanese, 1757–1820), Two Women Looking in Mirrors (19th century). Part of an album of woodblock prints (surimono);  ink and color on paper, 8 1/8 x 6 5/8 in. (20.6 x 16.8 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

3. Kubo Shunman (Japanese, 1757–1820), Two Women Looking in Mirrors (19th century). Part of an album of woodblock prints (surimono);
ink and color on paper, 8 1/8 x 6 5/8 in. (20.6 x 16.8 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The mirror and vanity are inseparable. In this painting, there are two Japanese women with three mirrors. The shape of the mirror mimics their faces. A diagonal separation is created by the mirror in the middle that is between the woman that is seated and the woman that is standing. While woman who is standing is checking both the front and back side of herself, the sitting woman is looking up to see either her reflection on the back of the mirror or the reflection of the other woman. The ambiguous use of mirror makes this painting more interesting. These two women probably spent some time grooming themselves and they are in the final stage of checking on their appearance.

The poem written in the painting is translated as; “If you use a mirror which reflects ancient time, that will bring you the flawless virtue of the present emperor.” (Source: The Metropolitan Museum of the Art website) Here the mirror is used as a metaphor for time.

Francis William Edmonds (American, 1806–1863), The New Bonnet (1858). Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 1/8 in. (63.5 x 76.5 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

4. Francis William Edmonds (American, 1806–1863), The New Bonnet (1858). Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 1/8 in. (63.5 x 76.5 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

In this painting, a young woman is holding a newly purchased bonnet. She admires it by holding it high, while her parents make distasteful facial expressions from looking at a receipt. The little girl behind her is holding a bonnet case. Everyone is wearing plain clothes except the young woman who is wearing more refined and fashionable clothes. The small room with plain furniture and vegetables on the floor give hint that this is a modest income household. The young woman’s excessive desire for a commodity adds irony to the scene.

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 - 1906), Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses) (ca. 1894-1905). Oil on canvas, 127.2 x 196.1 cm. The National Gallery, London.

5. Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 – 1906), Bathers (Les Grandes Baigneuses) (ca. 1894-1905). Oil on canvas, 127.2 x 196.1 cm. The National Gallery, London.

Cézanne painted bathers from the1870s until his death in 1906. Although a long tradition of painting bathers pre-existed Cézanne’s works, his paintings of bathers strongly influenced Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), a breaking point for Picasso’s delving into cubism. Among many of Cézanne’s works on bathers, I chose this painting for the exhibition. Here, women are grouped into a circular shape and the lines connecting them create a visual rhythm. The bodies are submerged into the landscape of trees and sky, similar to Salgado’s women submerged into the background of tree leaves. Here, female bodies and sexuality are less attenuated and instead, the harmony of women’s bodies in nature is accentuated. The body becomes a formal element of the painting, rather than an object desired by men.

Hillary G. Bailey (American, 1894 - 1988), Vanity (c. 1932). Gelatin silver print, 13 x 10 1/16 in. (33.02 x 25.56 cm) (image)20 3/16 x 16 3/16 in. (51.28 x 41.12 cm) (mount). The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

6. Hillary G. Bailey (American, 1894 – 1988), Vanity (c. 1932). Gelatin silver print, 13 x 10 1/16 in. (33.02 x 25.56 cm) (image)20 3/16 x 16 3/16 in. (51.28 x 41.12 cm) (mount). The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

In this dreamy photograph, a young woman with a long necklace joyfully gazes at her own image in the water, which serves as a mirror. Still developing the body of a woman, she is pleased with what she sees in herself. In Staging this moment of self-love, the photographer took an inspiration from Greek mythology’s Narcissus, who drowned himself, enamored with the beauty of his own reflection.

Richard Avedon (American, 1923-2004), Dorian Leigh, mode. Hat by Paulette. Paris, August, 1949.

7. Richard Avedon (American, 1923-2004), Dorian Leigh, mode. Hat by Paulette. Paris, August, 1949. Image source: Richard Avedon Foundation.

Richard Avedon had the ability to transcend fashion photographs, turning them into personal portraits. In this picture, model Dorian Leigh is applying eyeliner as she sticks her tongue out to the same side of where she is putting her eyeliner, a natural body reflex when concentrating on an activity. The shape of her tongue mimics the hat that looks like rabbit ears. Dressed and accessorized with jewelries, Leigh is putting final touch to her face.

Putting makeup to beautify oneself has been a long tradition for women across different cultures. Some women never go out without applying it. Applying makeup is an act of vanity and way to control one’s self-image to the public. With this close up image of a woman putting on makeup, Avedon succeeded in portraying a woman’s most private of moments with a tongue-in-cheek playfulness. He was very close to the model but the presence of photographer is not felt as seen in Salgado’s photograph.

8. Carolee Schneeman (American, b. 1939), Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions for Camera (1963). Paint, glue, fur, feathers, garden snakes, glass, plastic with the studio installation “Big Boards”. Photographs by Icelandic artist Erró, on 35 mm black and white film.

In this performance piece, Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions, Carolee Schneeman transformed her loft and body into a medium for an expressive “happening”; her body became a canvas and/or a studio space. Schneeman materialized her body and let it become an artwork in and of itself. She covered her body with paint, chalk, grease, rope, and plastic and later let live snakes crawl on her body. Schneeman’s materialization of the female body is different from objectifying a female body, something she did one year later with Meat Joy (1964). The body functioning as a material or canvas for artwork is a protest against the notion of the female body as sumptuous flesh seen from the male gaze. Here we see a woman exercising her free will to dictate her body to make a bold statement.

(Note: Photos of Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions for Camera can be seen HERE. It is the third work from the top.)

Barbara Kruger (American, b. 1945), Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground) (1989). Poster for March on Washington. Image Source: Art History Archive, accessed November 27, 2014, http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/feminist/Barbara-Kruger.html (left). Image scanned from the book, Barbara Kruger (New York: Rizzoli, 2010) (right).

9. Barbara Kruger (American, b. 1945), Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground) (1989). Poster for March on Washington. Image Source: Art History Archive, accessed November 27, 2014, http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/feminist/Barbara-Kruger.html (left). Image scanned from the book, Barbara Kruger (New York: Rizzoli, 2010) (right).

Barbara Kruger’s Your Body is a Battleground converts the female body into a political debate; do women have rights to decide whether to carry pregnancy to a full term or not? Rather than showing the whole body, Kruger only shows part of the head, focusing on the cerebral side of decision-making. The conflict between the right to give birth and the right to have an abortion is portrayed in a half positive and a half negative image of a woman’s face, as if it is between good and evil. In the second poster, there is additional verbiage about a rally in Washington. It asks for support for “a woman’s right to choose.” The flip side of the coin is an unwilling pregnancy—in the case of rape. In such cases, the female body becomes a battlefield: women resisting unwanted sex and unwanted pregnancy. Ignorance of the issues or apathy towards the issues can no longer be tolerated, at least with an artist such as Barbara Kruger who believes in the power of speaking up rather than keeping silent. Kruger represents an artist as activist.

Joonsung Bae (South Korean, b. 1967), The Costume of Painter - W. House 060201 (2006). Oil on vinyl, vinyl on photograph (later made into lenticular). 243 x 154 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

10. Joonsung Bae (South Korean, b. 1967), The Costume of Painter – W. House 060201 (2006). Oil on vinyl, vinyl on photograph (later made into lenticular). 243 x 154 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Using photographs and paintings, Joonsung Bae plays with reality and imagination. In The Costume of Painter – W. House 060201, Bae combined three layers: a photograph of Sagrada Família in Barcelona as the background, a photograph of a nude woman sitting on a bench, and a painting on vinyl that is placed over the photograph. Using painting, Bae covered the nude woman with a shoulder bearing dress. Near by her, he painted a little girl holding a mirror, both sitting on the carpet and surrounded by flowers. Behind the woman are fully grown flowers and in front of the little girl is a single flower in a vase. Bae brought a domestic setting into an outdoor scene, evoking what was seen in the first painting by Rembrandt. The seated woman revealing part of her shoulder is seductively touching her hair while the young girl is smiling looking at her own reflection. Bae’s work depicts vanity in two stages: a mature woman’s self-confidence versus a little girl’s innocent interest in herself.

11. Minny Lee, Self-indulgence, 2014. Video, 1:10 min.

In thinking of vanity, I looked into self-indulging moment—applying oil to my body after taking a shower. It is a rare moment that I pay attention to myself, which makes me realize that indulging one’s body can nurture the soul as well.

Milagros’ Experience

Mami Putting on Makeup

For mami, the states was “la ultima coca cola en el desierto” (the last coca-cola in the desert). The best thing in the world. Her intentions were to come to the states and study medicine, but after a few months she realized not knowing the English language meant being stuck with the worst jobs. “Ni en la bodega se hablaba Español.” You wouldn’t hear Spanish, not even in the grocery stores.

She began the first 20 years in the states working in sewing factories, but once all those jobs were outsourced the next step was to become a home health aid.

Her morning routine always requires the same ritual. She gets up AT LEAST 4 hours before she needs to be at work. Then she leaves at least an hour and a half before her twelve hour shift. Even if it only takes her 30 minutes to get there, she still leaves way too early.

20 years after starting her new job, my mom is a 64 year old home health aid still working 12 hour shifts, considering if she should push her retirement in order to help make ends meet.

Theresa Ortolani, PDN Winner

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Incoming ICP-Bard MFA student, Theresa Ortolani, was chosen as a 2014 pdn FACES Portrait Photography Competition winner. This is the seventh time Ortolani’s imagery has been selected as winner of a pdn competition. Previous works have been included in pdn’s Environmental Portraiture, Sports, Documentary and Book competition categories, and have twice appeared in the pdn Annual. The complete group of 2014 pdn FACES images can be seen in the current print issue of pdn, and online, in the Winner’s Gallery.

A more explicit variation of Ortolani’s image will be included in her forthcoming monograph BOUND: The Corporeal Pleasure. The artist’s first monograph, Endurance, was published with powerHouse Books in 2010.
 
Ortolani is honored to be an incoming ICP-Bard MFA 2016 candidate. She received her BFA in sculpture from The School of Visual Arts at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.
 
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The New Beauty of Our Modern Life @ Higher Pictures

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Kate Steciw
Abstract, Animal, Art, BBQ, Black, Bokeh, Closeup, Comfort, Decoration, Flavor, Hot, Leather, Line,
Liquid, Material, Meal, Messy, Orange, Paint, Pork, Quality, Sage, Stain, White
2014
c-print, custom frame, mixed media
64 x 40 x 2 inches
edition 2 of infinite

The New Beauty of Our Modern Life, on view at Higher Pictures through March 1, was curated by the digital painter-of-modern-life Kate Steciw and delivers an annual report for contemporary avant-gardism.

For these artists, the Internet—encompassing all of modern culture and its technologies—is the primary support for their medium. Shall we call it Photography? I am not sure. Some would like to fit this type of image making under the rubric of photography, but perhaps we need new terminology?

In this self-reflexive or re-Modernist moment (the prefix re- dominates the plastic arts today) the Internet contemplates its own material essence. What Kate Steciw and the seven other artists turn up is an image that can only point outside itself. It is an allusionary space—relentless representations and cultural associations abound.

The obscure and rambling Suprematist text by Kazimir Malevich, which Steciw borrows her title from, calls for a creation of new forms from nature that are born of our impulse and intuition rather than objects of our knowledge. What this amounts to for the Suprematists is an abstract and geometric art free of ‘vulgar subject matter,’ but for the group at Higher Pictures their raw material—the Internet—is already always coded. In using culture to create a new nature, the artists must bump up against our cultural literacy; remove it from our realm of comprehension.

The work in the show is notable for its lack of humanism; the hand in these handmade readymades is surely not attached to any complex, thinking/feeling body. Even Rachel de Joode’s tear drops—universal signifiers of human emotion—are made solid, are pilfered and pedestaled. Nothing is sacred, it’s simply material. They sure are an industrious group.

Kate Steciw’s conglomerations of everyday imagery (laundry listed in her titles) are built up on her digital canvas in painterly swaths of color and pattern.  The sculptural frame, hung perpendicular to the wall with commercial, kitsch objects fixed to the surface, reasserts its physicality outside the digital sphere. The accompanying meta-data from the title allows us to dissect the image. The metaphors never gel, but the composition is harmonious and productive. The title also operates like an Internet tagging system, where any one of these search terms might spark our desire.

On the flip side, Yannick Val Gesto mines the discarded depths of the Internet—an accessible memory of fads and technologies. The resulting plexi-prints are primal in their mark making and legibility; however their idiocy points to the infancy of this new unnamed medium.

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Sara Cwynar
Our Natural World (Books 1)
2013
c-print
30 x 24 inches
edition 2/3

Sara Cwynar’s black-and-white photographs are an elegy to pre-digital memory. Her collaged compositions of encyclopedias, self-help books, photography manuals and literary tomes read like textbook illustrations, emphasizing the past they belong to. Rather than the possibilities her fellow artists see, Cwynar is lamenting the end of a kind of slow-life and knowledge, as our technology continues its invasion.

The show also includes a floor installation by LES It Boy Alex Da Corte. Handcut tiles in red, purple and mirror fill the space, which Da Corte has littered with plastic romaine lettuce leaves. The piece is full of art-banal references to M.C. Escher and Giovanni Anselmo’s eating sculpture. Besides being a David Scanavino rip off, Da Corte’s piece is merely decorative.

The same could be said for the remaining three artists. Ethan Greenbaum is represented by more-of-the-same pressed plastic sidewalk paintings (the problem with a really cool process is moving beyond it), and Asha Schecter’s ribbony web of stock and pop images overwhelm the frame, some even spit out into the gallery with the gimmick of placing stickers of the images around the space.

Finally, Harm Van Den Dorpel’s suspended plexi-print ball, which prominently features a nautilus—the many chambered shell whose spiral follows the Golden Ratio. However, the harmony between nature and form demonstrated by the beautiful and mysterious Phi is misplaced here, as culture (not nature) gives birth to these new forms.

-Kkory Trolio