Please stop by KN: Space for Art in Context to see the solo show I co-curated with Carleen Coulter. Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens features work by artist (and friend) Elizabeth McTernan. Elizabeth created several site specific works for the exhibition, which all relate to her use of the grid and which refer back to the black square. See the exhibition now before it closes on Saturday, December 9th. Our closing party is from 14 to 18 and will feature a curator walk through, glühwein and holiday treats. Please check out the text I wrote : Betray the Grid: Elizabeth McTernan and the Black Square
It’s been almost 2 months my artist’s residency in Iceland, the Ágúst Residency. Hosted by the artist Hallveig Ágústsdóttir, I was there with artists Pieter Geenen, Reg Carremans and the writer Lotte Brown. Tucked away in the cozy summerhouse, built by Hallveig’s father, it was a special week with plenty of site research, hiking, rain, sunshine, time in Reykjavík and lively discussions. Words can’t do the experience justice, so I’ll share few highlights here.
My first impression of Iceland was of space. The landscape is vast and impressive, with few trees to block the view. The sense of young geological time pervades the place, and there’s an air of the inhospitable that is completely contradicted by the friendliness of the locals (two- and four-legged).
My great-grandfather, Guðjón Jónsson, was born in Iceland. His birthplace is listed as Öxney, a tiny island near Brokey in the Western Region (Vesturland). I drove to the coast and scoped the island binoculars, and took a few drawn and frottage impressions of the landscape, in an attempt to document the homeland of an ancestor. He was born in Iceland, emigrated to Canada and then to the United States, and is buried in Inglewood, California. He is buried next to Stefania, his Icelandic descent Canadian wife. I thought about his life trajectory and the parallels with my own peripatetic life.
Hallveig was kind enough to search my great grandfather on the Íslendingabók, an online compendium of Icelandic geneology, where I was astonished to learn Hallveig and I share common ancestors on both her mother and father’s side, going back to the 1700s. I take it as a sign I was destined to go to Iceland this year and take part in this residency. In the words of T. S. Eliot “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
Please keep checking back as I post more pictures and drawings from my time there.
I have drawings in the current exhibition Refractions at KN: Space for Art in Context. Please stop by, gallery hours are 5-7 pm Thursday and by appointment. The exhibition closes October 14.
When one translates, one refracts an idea, one replaces the mother-tongue, eroding the sense of belonging our first language provides. The exhibition Refractions intends to further these thematics by introducing narratives of diaspora, trauma, and commemoration bracketed under the lens of data permutations and loss of “source” imagery.
Refractions is KN’s second exhibition in the series “Translations”, a programming cycle using the concept of translation as a takeoff point. Refractions engulfs a wide range of praxes and includes video, drawing, literary translations, and performance. The series thematically aims to showcase the project space’s commitment to literary development as well as its support of emerging artists. KN Space for Art in Context members Carleen Coulter, Vanessa Gravenor, and Kika Jonsson have all developed artistic outputs around the theme, and have invited three additional contributors from outside of KN: Hallveig Ágústsdóttir, leo, and Anne Posten. The aim is to showcase the community surrounding KN as well as the members who help make its programing possible.
Refractions is on view September 14th – October 14th
Thursdays 5-7pm and by appointment. KN is located at Skalitzerstr 68, in the 2nd courtyard behind Motto Bookshop.
This July, KN: Space for Art in Context, opened it’s first juried art exhibition. A diverse group of artists answered our call to address the problem of translation. I was very happy to co-curate this exhibition with Carleen Coulter. The exhibition is up from July 6 through August 5, 2017. Please join us on August 5 for a curator talk and walk through at 11 am.
From Google Translate to the Emotional Translator™ app, data-driven automated translations render instantaneous what was formerly a laborious process of “carrying across” (from the Latin translatio) from one language to another. Such programs remain rife with error and miscommunication, and it is unclear if translation can ever approach theoretical perfection. Participating artists were asked to consider the possibilities and limitations of translation.
This show is part of KN’s : in Context Exhibition cycle. The exhibition and event calendar at KN is organized around biannual themes, culminating in juried exhibitions distinguished as : in Context. By grouping performances, artwork, lectures and discussions around a single multiple meaning word, KN: Space for Art in Context acts a laboratory for critical analysis and a space for discourse.
The following artists participated:
So happy to participate in 48 Stünden (48 Hours) Neukölln this year. The theme was Schatten (Shadow) and I was in a group exhibition with seven other artists, six of them also from the Frauenmuseum Berlin. For the first time, I framed one of my largest drawings. I chose Plattenbau Romantik, (226 x 168 framed) a graphite on paper drawing I completed in March.
A pastiche of the Plattenbau buildings in Berlin, Plattenbau Romantik is an exploration of the closest thing in Berlin to mountains, the behemoth housing estates that exist in and on the exterior of the city. The concrete slab construction buildings enjoyed a boom period post WWII, when there was a housing crisis in Berlin. With modern amenities and previously unavailable things like private bathrooms and elevators, they symbolized the perfect marriage of progression and modernism. Years later, I walk among these man made mountains, and think about the thousands of lives in each window that this building contains. Did it work, where architects able to reverse engineer a community? The Großwohnsiedlungen are designed to house everything, from day care centers to doctors’ offices to grocery stores. What happens when a single person or persons in the form of architects dictate the development of a community?
My favorite reaction to the piece is several people were convinced they depicted apartment blocks in places like Colombia or Korea. The anonymity and scale of apartment blocks is universal.
Finally set up a work space where I can make drawings in my favorite size, a meter and a half tall by two meters. Nailed an overly large piece of wood to the wall, and can work very comfortably on paper clipped to it. Here is a large drawing of several Plattenbaus, will post the finished product when I’m done.
Happy to announce in October 2016, the Frauenmuseum Berlin e. V. added me as a new member. A professional organization of women artists, the Frauenmuseum exists to support members and non members alike, through exhibitions, talks and actions. Founded in Berlin the 1990s, the Frauenmuseum has existed since 2007 without a fixed location. In June 2016 it became part of the International Association of Women’s Museums.
My first event as a member took place in January, 2017, at KN: Space for Art in Context. We held a Neujahrsempfang Exhibition, featuring the works of seventeen members of the Frauenmuseum. I exhibited my first ink drawing of 2017, Plattenbau #4, pictured here, in the black frame. Thanks to everyone who stopped by.
On Dec 3, 2016, I had a drawing in the exhibition entitled “The Making of the Unrealised” at Kreuzberg Pavillon, a project space on Naunynstr in Berlin. Kreuzberg Pavillon describes itself thusly: “In 2016 Kreuzberg Pavillon focuses on short term open calls that explore the functional requirements of space and organization of exhibitions. Every week a new open call is launched with a specific condition. There is no longer a selection of professionals / non professionals, everyone who fulfills the requirements may participate. This practice turned the weekly exhibitions into weekly excercises in reference to the idea of what a project space could be today.”
The open call for this exhibition included titles of unrealized projects by artists. I submitted the following drawing as a realization of the title “Replaced to be.” The image of the Palast der Republik, a building that was torn down in 2008, is drawn from images I found online. In place of that building, a replica of the Berliner Schloss (destroyed in WWII) is being built, to the chagrin and anger of many Berliners. I’ll let you sort out the irony the center of the German Democratic Republic being torn down, sold in parts to the U.A.E. to build the Burj Khalifa, and being replaced by a replica of Germany’s monarchical past.
Thanks to all who visited the group exhibition KunstBoulevard. The drawing featured, Saudi Arabia, is still available for purchase, please contact me via my contact page if you are interested.
Please stop by Boulevard Berlin, 1 OG Schloßstr 10 to see my drawing Saudi Arabia on display. Opening is June 28 at 6 pm, and the exhibition is on view from June 29th until September 18, 2016.