A Review of “Reality Check” at the Ukrainian Institute ofModern Art
What do Ukrainian artists do when liberated from Soviet oppression and freed to connect to Ukrainian history as well as international contemporary art? Artists associated with the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art have been addressing this query for more than four decades. Although often referencing ethnic and religious traditions, they have proclaimed the individual freedom and high spirits of a secular new world—they have held fast to Modernism.
The current exhibition, “Reality Check: Directions in Contemporary Art since Ukrainian Independence,” also involves artists who live far from Eastern Europe. But having recently checked “reality,” they decided that a brave new world isn’t so credible any more.
Yulia Pinkusevich, a California artist with both Russian and Ukrainian parents, has created a massive image of destruction and conflagration. Its wall-size cinematic fury recalls the twenty-five-feet Kamakura scroll “Night Attack on the Sanjo Palace.” It stands alone as a powerful painting, but to invoke “the aesthetics of protest,” it was stretched directly on the wall and connected by cables to sandbags stacked in the corner.
Natalka Husar, an American-born Canadian, has applied a cold, flat style of newspaper photojournalism to illustrate the covers of a proposed series of noir pulp-fiction about those who “behave like Russians. They represent an urban nightmare of gangsters, glaring lights and dead-end lives.” Raymond Chandler would feel right at home in these paintings.
Explanatory signage accompanies both of the above, though it’s not really needed. The work eloquently presents dystopia all by itself. Explanations are, however, required for the rest of the show. Visuality has taken a backseat to concept, even when that concept is to “celebrate the balance and harmony found in nature.” Anna Bogatin’s geo-forms may be repetitive and tedious enough to participate in contemporary abstract discourse, but they lack the formal tension to evoke what she calls “beauty’s ability to evoke happiness.”
Other works may be of interest only to those engaged in contemporary art theory, as formal power is never allowed to distract the viewer from epistemological investigation. Ukrainian-American artists are apparently losing their visual idealism, just as the young Ukrainian state stands at the brink of dismemberment. (Chris Miller)
Through November 27 at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, 2320 West Chicago
How Freedom Shaped Ukrainian Art, At Home and Abroad
B. David Zarley — Aug 28 2016
Silencing The Cacophony, 2015, Yulia Pinkusevich. Acrylic, spray paint, oil, vinyl, marker on linen. 69 x 161 inches. Photos courtesy of the artist
With Reality Check, exhibition curator and SAIC lecturer Adrienne Kochman seeks to explore the effect a quarter century of Ukrainian independence has had on artists both from the country and its wider diaspora. On display at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village, of course) in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Ukrainian independence, the works, including sculptures, paintings, and installations, demonstrate the dramatic impact of the nation’s sovereignty on the work of both its native born and émigré artist communities.
The immigrants who fled the Soviet Union were for the most part prohibited from returning to their home country. In their new homes, many were raised in communities that “worked very actively to keep Ukrainian culture and tradition alive,” Kochman says. “Including language, schooling, music, a lot of really cultural endeavors. Because those were the aspects of Ukrainian culture that were Sovietized and Russified, were forcibly changed.”
Communication with Ukraine was tightly policed; this, in combination with the vibrant but insular Ukrainian communities the immigrants raised in, created for artists a strong sense of place for a place they had never been.
“They had certain ideas about what is was like in Ukraine,” Kochman, whose mother was a Cold War Ukrainian immigrant, says. “Virtually immediately, [they] went to Ukraine once independence was declared, and wanted to witness it themselves. They were interested in different aspects of Ukrainian culture and what has changed, and maybe what was retained. It really was a reality check, which is why I named the exhibition the way I did, because you are testing your belief system. You are trying to ascertain, is it accurate? Has it changed? How do I reconnect to this culture that I’m very attached to, that kind of feels like home, but you never stepped on the land, because you couldn’t?”
Bear (T)hugs, 2015, Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak. Felted bear, 5 painted wooden nesting dolls. 10 x 14 x 6 inches
Émigré artists created works related to what they found when their idea of Ukraine met the real thing, incorporating traditional aspects of Ukrainian culture and addressing the impact of Russia and the Soviet Union. Cleveland-born Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak’s Bear (T)hugs features a plush bear—symbol of Russia—holding nesting dolls of Putin, Stalin, Lenin, Rasputin, and vermin, while her In The Nests series use animals to explore socio-political and economic themes, for example a baby bird being fed a Russian coin. New Jersey native Natalka Husar’s paintings of Ukrainian men dressing like Russian gangsters calls to question identity, both culturally, politically, and as it pertains to masculine gender roles.
The opening of borders and communication worked both ways, however. “The artists from Ukraine were interested in branching out into styles or developments that were developing in the West, and have gone with that in their careers,” Kochman says.
Aurora, 2015, Anna Bogatin. Acrylic on canvas. 48 x 48 inches
Anna Bogatin had lived in numerous parts of the Soviet Union before moving to America in 1992, a cultural shift reflected in her practice’s blending of the high and low tech. Picture of nature are subjected to digital studies, before being painted painstakingly by hand. The end result is a prismatic abstraction, an infographic of the natural. Yulia Pinkusevich, born in a part of eastern Ukraine that is currently contested, created the massive and mesmerizing Silencing The Cacophony as she witnessed the upheaval of her homeland from California; the drone and media sourced images, in combination with dazzle camouflage and smoke which pours off the canvas and onto the walls, attests to the modern vision of war as an aesthetic event, while sandbags sit on the gallery floor, physical remains of Euromaidan and the revolution.
Natalka Husar, Why They Behave Like Russians, 2015. Oil on book cover. 8.5 x 12 inches
The 25th anniversary of Ukrainian Independence is a tense one; Reality Check is opening in a world wherein a great swath of the country have been invaded, and the dormant sabres of the Cold War are beginning to rattle again. Signs in the windows of the Ukrainian businesses around the UIMA, blue and yellow and declaring a stand for a united and free country, are a reminder of how fragile the freedom that inspired Reality Check can be; the art itself, a reminder of how important it is.
Find more information on the full Reality Check exhibit, here.
A repository of artistic tributes to Rosetta, Philae & Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko created by artists across the world: Music, Paintings, Sculptures, Poems, Installations, Performances, and more. Maintained by ESA on an unofficial, best-effort basis.
Recently I was a part of a discussion on Place and the Future of Urban Living. Set in the stunning Oakland Old Train Station. A short video capturing our night and Rimma Boshernitsan, CEO speaking about the mission.
The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art is pleased to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence with the exhibition, “Reality Check,” curated by Adrienne Kochman, one of North America’s foremost scholars of contemporary art of Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora.
For Ukrainian professional artists, the collapse of the Soviet Union created an opportunity to learn and engage with current artistic developments occurring in the west, as well as delve into those of the past from which they had been excluded. “Reality Check” explores the work of eight contemporary artists affected by Ukraine’s 1991 independence: Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak, Anna Bogatin, Yhelena & Michael Hall, Roman Hrab, Natalka Husar, Yulia Pinkusevich, and Valya.
In 1991, Cleveland-born, Ukrainian-American artist Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak visited Ukraine for the first time; the trip, and subsequent visits following, reignited the artist’s concern for the human condition, resulting in works that liken Ukraine’s ravagement by the Soviet Union with the ravagement of nature by the Chornobyl disaster. Anna Bogatin, too, finds inspiration in nature; the artist, born in Ukraine, draws from the forms and colors of nature, using new technologies to create compositions that suggest the quest for peace and harmony.
Roman Hrab’s works deal with the way that images documenting a given place, like Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains or the Green Zone in Baghdad, inevitably become more unrecognizable the more one attempts to digitally enhance them; finding this an apt metaphor for experiencing a landscape, he translates these images into multimedia installations. Conflict zones also feature in the work of Yulia Pinkusevich, who was born in the USSR with both Ukrainian and Russian heritage; her installation, Silencing the Cacophony, references the Euromaiden resistance in Kyiv as well as protests that occur globally.
Born in New Jersey to Ukrainian Displaced Persons, Natalka Husar examines issues of persona in her works, Why They Behave Like Russians; here, the figurative artist captures the trend amongst men in post-Soviet Ukraine to dress like Russian mobsters, reflecting a need to intimidate to survive. Valya, too, addresses notions of identity in her figurative works, but to a much different end; with repeated images in her textile pieces of an aged ‘Mother Eve,” the artist reinforces the commonality that all humans share in their biological ancestry.
Ukrainian-born, Chicago-based artist, Yhelena Hall and her collaborator, Michael Hallcreate works that look to the past, but reinvigorate the outdated with the contemporary. In Bullafolis Cylinder, the artists appropriate the outmoded function of a bellow, reimagining it as a large scale, interactive bubble blower.
The Ukrainian Diaspora: Women Artists, 1908-2015 is the first major exhibition to examine the relationship between Ukrainian identity and women artists beyond the borders of geographic Ukraine. It features over 100 works by 43 artists, primarily from North America, where the largest artist population resides, but also from Europe. A majority of the artists belong to the third wave of immigration, after World War II, when the loss of childhood home and country had to be negotiated in a new host land, and where cultural identity, community, and gender roles were redefined and transformed. These artists were either born in Ukraine before the war or born abroad into the 1960s. Also included are artists predating the third immigration wave whose work had matured or was already emerging by the time of World War II, as well as several artists of the post-Soviet-era fourth immigration wave.
Among the artists represented, adherence to their Ukrainian cultural identity is paradoxically simple and complex. While they would arguably agree that they are tied to it, the depth of that connection and its relevance to their personal lives, work, and relationships manifests itself in profoundly different ways, and is influenced as much by life circumstances as it is by the audience for whom they are creating their art. It may also change over time. The Ukrainian Diaspora: Women Artists, 1908-2015 thus endeavors to present a broad range of works, illustrating multiple pathways with which artists have chosen to articulate, transform, hybridize, or seemingly disengage from this sensibility.
Some works directly assert a connection to Ukrainian themes, representational forms, and historical events. These include Yaroslava Surmach Mills’ reverse glass paintings of Ukrainian folk life and ritual traditions, and Christina Kudryk’s painting The Promised Land (2011), from her Heritage series, addressing one’s past immigration experience, as well as her Maidan (2014), expressing shock and anguish at the protests and massacre in Kyiv’s Maidan Square during the winter of 2013-2014, just as Yulia Pinkusevich re-created its chaos in Silencing the Cacophony (2015). Sonia Delaunay’s memories of the beautiful colors of nature in her childhood home in Ukraine are a personal reference contributing to the development of her color theories and fashion design practice, as seen in the two untitled etching and color aquatints.
Many more works resist such clear relationships, occupying a realm of visual engagement rich with multiple cultural associations, including (but not exclusively) Ukrainian. Those familiar with Ukrainian embroidery and its history would likely recognize a link between the hunter green, black, orange, and red color palette commonly used in regions of Western Ukraine and a similar color range in Lialia Kuchma’s small tapestry, Extract(2010), although clear references between the Ukrainian association and its final manifestation are not explicitly put forth within the artwork itself. Nor would viewers be aware that Extract previously existed in the shape of an oblong ritual cloth – similar to a Ukrainian rushnyk – and was later changed to meet new aesthetic interests. Midsummer by contemporary artist Inka Essenhigh is escapist and fantasy-like, composed of a narrow range of color, and emphasizes the environment rather than the central figure. Essenhigh’s surrealistic style is a decisive departure from clearly defined narratives, an exploration into an internal world where ambiguity prevails.
The purpose of the exhibition is to expand notions of “Ukrainianness” in art beyond its typical associations with traditional folk art as a woman’s practice. The majority of the artists in the exhibition are over the age of 50 and experienced a number of the issues that many women artists faced during the women’s liberation movement. These issues included mediating a masculinized art mainstream that diminished or excluded ethnics just as it did women, and making a conscious decision to pursue the contemporary aesthetic agendas traditionally associated with male art practice, such as welded sculpture and formalist painting. In addition, many artists had to reconcile personally the diaspora’s emphasis on traditional art as the most effective way of preserving Ukrainian identity.
Multiple types of artwork are included in the exhibition, illustrating the range of media and subjects, styles, and aesthetic ideas with which these artists have worked. These include icon painting; the traditional academic genres of still life, portraiture, and landscape; figurative sculpture; abstract painting; tapestry; and mixed-media works. In an effort to communicate aesthetic flexibility and the individualized nature of identity, artworks illustrating an engagement with dual identities – Ukrainian and western modernist – are also represented. Their diversity is intended to widen the narrative of what it means to be a woman artist of the Ukrainian diaspora, and not simply a woman artist who happens to be a Ukrainian diasporan.
Roxolana Luczakowsky Armstrong, Liliana Berezowsky, Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak, Christina Debarry, Sonia Delaunay, Maria Dolnytska, Inka Essenhigh, Anya Farion, Slava Gerulak, Adrianna Tytla Henkels, Motria Jackewych Holowinsky, Natalka Husar, Nina Klymovska, Alexandra Diachenko Kochman, Alexandra Kowerko, Kateryna Krychevska-Rosandich, Jaroslava Lialia Kuchma, Christina Kudryk, Sophia Lada, Marta Huley Legeckis, Halyna Mazepa, Yaroslava Surmach Mills, Olia Mishchenko, Liudmyla Morozova, Chrystya Olenska, Arcadia Olenska-Petryshyn, Irma Osadsa, Aka Pereyma, Christina Pereyma, Vaka Pereyma, Lidia Piaseckyj, Yulia Pinkusevich, Natalia Pohrebinska, Romana Rainey, Christina Saj, Tamara Skrypka, Ilona Sochynsky, Halyna Tytla, VALYA, Marta Hirniak Voyevidka, Patricia Zalisko, Sophia Zarytska, Iryna Homotiuk Zielyk.
The exhibition The Ukrainian Diaspora: Women Artists, 1908-2015 is made possible with major support from The Ukrainian National Women’s League of America and numerous private donors.
Adrienne Kochman, PhD is an art historian, curator, and writer. She has published and lectured nationally and internationally, and taught art history for twenty years. She is currently lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and most recently curated Artists Respond to Genocide (2013) for the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago.
A softcover, color illustrated catalogue titled The Ukrainian Diaspora: Women Artists, 1908-2015 accompanies the exhibition. The essay written by guest curator Adrienne Kochman and the checklist are bi-lingual (English and Ukrainian).
About the Museum
The Ukrainian Museum acquires, preserves, and exhibits articles of artistic or historic significance to the rich cultural heritage of Ukrainian Americans; its collections include thousands of items of folk art, fine art, and archival material. At its founding in 1976 by the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, the Museum was hailed as one of the finest achievements of Americans of Ukrainian descent. Since then, and particularly since its move in 2005 to a new, state-of-the-art building in Manhattan’s vibrant East Village, it has become known as one of the most interesting and dynamic smaller museums in New York City. Each year, the Museum organizes several exhibitions, publishes bilingual (English/Ukrainian) catalogues, and presents a wide range of public and educational programs, including concerts, films, lectures, courses, workshops, and special events.
* * *
The Ukrainian Museum
222 East 6th Street (between Second and Third Avenues)
New York, NY 10003
Wednesday–Sunday, 11:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Gift Shop * guided tours * school and family programs * reduced admission for students and seniors
AUTODESK PIER 9
I’m honored to be a part of the Fall 2015 cohort at Autodesk’s, Pier 9 Artist in Residence. I’m going to be learning a lot while working in this state of the art shop. If you wish to learn more about this program here is a short video about it below.
210 Eleventh Avenue, Second Floor, New York, New York 10001
The point of departure for Fasnacht’s installation, created for this show, deals with the demise and demolition of Las Vegas’ Frontier Casino, host of Elvis Presley’s first Vegas appearance (1956) and The Supremes last (1970). The structure, built in 1942, was thought to be secretly owned by Anthony Joseph Zerilli and Michael Polizzi, and later by Howard Hughes (1967) before closing on July 16, 2007 and demolished by implosion on November 13, 2007 as filmed for the National Geographic Channel, Blowdown: Vegas Casino. Here is a 2 minute video showing the bizarre spectacle of the implosion of the building.
Fasnacht has been the subject of over twenty-five solo exhibitions since her first at P.S. 1 in New York (1979). She has been the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, notably the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship, and several awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. Simultaneously to the presentation here, Fasnacht has created a monumental outdoor project for Socrates Sculpture Park opening on May 17 and continuing through the Summer.
Born and raised in the USSR and relocating to New York City at age 9, Pinkusevich’s world view has been rooted in change. Her ability to adapt and observe has served as a central tool for harnessing a unique and fluid vision. With some authors claiming that Malevich’s Suprematism is rooted in traditional Ukrainian culture, Pinkusevich follows the footsteps of Malevich defining his “additional element” as the quality of any new visual environment bringing about a change in perception with a series of aerial views rendering the familiar landscape into an abstraction.Presenting an immersive visual environment that stays true to an architectural design methodology is an ongoing pursuit for Pinkusevich. It is ever present in her installations using salvaged everyday materials and it is how she guides her examination of the intersection of urban and rural economies. With Global Utopia of Futures Past originally executed for an exhibition at Stanford University, along with Silencing the Cacophony specifically created for this show, the juxtaposition of these ephemeral materials forces us to see time as a construct, ultimately reminding us of the fragile, intimate relationship we hold with the Earth.Pinkusevich holds a BFA from Rutgers University and an MFA from Stanford University. Following her time as a lecturer at Stanford, she has recently joined the faculty of Mills College. Yulia Pinkusevich currently lives and works in Oakland.Utopia of Futures Past Installation Video.
Born into a family of steamfitters in Upstate New York, Dannielle Tegeder‘s first visual education was at the kitchen table while her father and uncle drew mechanical diagrams of jobs they were contracting in New York City. These pragmatic bare bone renderings of architectural systems anchored Tegeder’s interest in utopias, urban planning, modernism, and the history of European abstraction. Today, Tegeder’s wall drawings and paintings comment on infrastructure of the locales she’s invited to engage, and compositions are coded with a personal palette of symbols that become embedded into each work.To be executed in the main gallery, Tegeder will be constructing a large-scale site-specific wall drawing using acrylic, graphite, and inks into an elaborate network of fictional language, coded maps, and mechanical systems. Adjacent to the wall drawing will be a hive of framed drawings that gather into one tableau made for this exhibition.Accompanying the larger works, we will exhibit a selection of Tegeder’s drawings in the project space referencing the dialogues of the Russian Constructivists and El Lizzitsky’s Prounenraum, 1923. This collection of drawings has been selected from a larger body of work entitled The Library of Abstract Sound.
Tegeder’s work has recently been the subject of a monograph and mid-career survey by the newly inaugurated Wellin Museum at Hamilton College, New York:
Dannielle Tegeder: Painting in the Extended Field
Texts by Barry Schwabsky, Tracy L. Adler, Claire Gilman and Xandra Eden
130 pages, 102 illustrations
Copyright: 2013 ISBN: 978-0-9892394-0-0
May 27 thru June 27: Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10am to 6pm June 29 thru July 24: Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 10am to 5pm
For further inquiries, please contact Katrina Neumann at firstname.lastname@example.org Douglas Walla at email@example.com
Open to the public December 19th Opening reception: January 2nd 5-9 PM with special performances by Henry Kaiser, Kadet Kuhne, Elia Vargas and Jason Wyman. Find out more here.
Everybody’s Ocean works just like our relationship to the ocean: it constantly evolves. The ocean represents anything from womb to tomb. We personify it as a wrathful god, a seductive spirit, or an indomitable force. The four oceans of the world cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and link us to primordial pasts. The ocean is a living, shared space and one of the greatest unexplored mysteries of the world. Everybody interprets the ocean in different ways. Your work has unique inspiration. Let’s share it with each other.
ALTER SPACE PRESENTS
Thresholds: Shadow Self
March 15 – 29, 2014
OPENING: March 15, 2014 from 7-10pm
Thresholds: Shadow Self, is a site-specific installation by Yulia Pinkusevich, located in the
basement of the gallery. Pinkusevich has embedded an architecturally scaled structure into the
existing space that explores notions of shadow, light, barrier and threshold. Utilizing 30+
reclaimed doors that she collected during her time at RecologySF (SF Dump), this immersive
environment aims to evoke personal inquiry and examination, prompting visitors to embark in an
act of investigation as they navigate the maze-like arrangement through its series of doors.
Pinkusevich’s Thresholds is inspired by the Jungian philosophy of shadow, that which hides in
the subconscious darkness of the human psyche. Even though the shadow exists in the psyche,
waiting to reveal itself through human action, it seldom manifests in real life. This installation
creates a dialogue with the body that is aimed at prompting a deeper awareness of the journey
into one’s self, shining light on dark corners of the psyche while playing with the viewers
perceptions of space.
“Art’s not psychology, some art can be psychological but I don’t claim to be able to solve
people’s problems through an installation. I do hope it makes you ponder a bit or think about
why- I think art is meant to be an experience, I control certain aspects of it but I can’t control
how it’s perceived, that belongs to the audience.”
Yulia Pinkusevich is an interdisciplinary visual artist. Born in 1982 in Kharkov, Ukraine she holds
a Masters of Fine Arts from at Stanford University and Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rutgers
University Mason Gross School of the Arts. Yulia has been awarded residency grants from
Recology (SF Dump), Cite des Arts International in Paris, Headlands Center for the Arts, Redux
in South Carolina, Goldwell Open Air Museum and The Wurlitzer Foundation. She received The
San Francisco Foundations 2011 Phelan, Murphy & Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts as well
as Stanford University SiCA’s Spark and ASSU Grants. She currently lectures at Stanford
University and resides in East Palo Alto, California.
Stephanie Syjuco: Modern Ruins ( Popular Cannibals)
For a ringside view of consumption and its discontents, there’s no better place than Recology, the arts program at the San Francisco city dump. Each year, a handful of artists-in-residence gain access to a seemingly limitless supply of commercial and residential debris which they transform during four-month residencies into plangent installations, many of them dealing with environmental woes and their underlying causes.
The bad news is that these exhibitions are up for only a few days. The good news, if you act quickly, is that you can still see this one on Tuesday, from 5 to 7 p.m. It’s definitely worth the effort.
Stephanie Syjuco, an artist with a rich history of such undertakings, offers a two-part installation called Modern Ruins (Popular Cannibals). The idea, she says, was to portray – without using figures — notions of “class, consumption and wealth” that were once conveyed by court painting. With cast-off construction materials, textiles, carpet scraps, plastic refuse and e-waste, she fills a room with replicas of high-end designer furniture that, at distance, look like pages out of Elle Décor. (Up close they’re way funkier, but are, nevertheless, ingenious examples of trash turned into minimalist treasure.) If you’re among those who pine for the latter, you’ll recognize Eames, Mies van der Rohe, Noguchi and many other well-known brand names. Sapien’s famous floor-mounted bookshelf, for example, Syjuco replicates for use as “a materials library.” It holds swatches of everything that went into the installation, and stands a kind of mock how-to guide for people saddled with desires they can’t afford.
Yulia Pinkusevich: The Glory of a Tool is Seldom Judged by its Handle
Lowbrow tastes also receive critical examination. Behind a screen, Syjuco points to a primer-gray “cornucopia” of bottles, cans, wicker baskets, flags, bric-a-brac and obsolete electronic devices and says: “That’s the flipside, the reality check.” It’s a carefully assembled trash pile that could be taken for a survivalist’s rummage sale. Together, the two parts of the installation call up basic questions of value. What is garbage? What is wealth? And how are our ideas of it determined by class and circumstance?
Yulia Pinkusevich’s installation, The Glory of a Tool is Seldom Judged by its Handle, examines how urban and rural economies intersect. It contains several parts. In one, a needle-less sewing machine drives a large fabric wheel round and round without inserting a single stitch, a cycle of fruitless motion that mirrors the plight of workers in corporate-run sweatshops. Nearby, a dozen shovel handles embedded in concrete blocks allude to the gobbling up of
Stephanie Syjuco: Modern Ruins (Popular Cannibals)
farmland by cities: plowshares into skyscrapers. Most compellingly, there is the shadow image of city projected onto a large wall. It arrives there by the artist’s placement of heat sinks — the fluted metal boxes that cool electronic devices – in front of light bulbs. The angle of the light makes the silhouettes of some appear crumbling and ancient, while rendering others as geometric monoliths, echoes of the towers that now populate cities like Shanghai. Lastly, there is a wall sculpture made from capacitors, which the artist painstakingly extracted from several dozen discarded computers. Shorn of rubber sheathing they resemble shell casings, and are here arrayed by size to represent the shape and population density of Silicon Valley, which, until the 1960s, was largely farmland. It was called the Valley of the Heart’s Delight.
Not anymore. Progress, the artists tell us, always carries a price.
Recology San Francisco, Artist in Residence Exhibition
The Glory of a Tool is Seldom Judged by Its Handle
The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Yulia Pinkusevich, Stephanie Syjuco, and student artist Brittany Watkins. This exhibition will be the culmination of four months of work by the artists who have scavenged materials from the dump to make art and promote recycling and reuse.
Curatorial Statement by Sharon Spain
An important part of Yulia Pinkusevich’s practice involves the creation of large-scale monochromic paintings and drawings, often made directly on walls that engage with architecture and play with spatial perception. While at Recology she has continued this practice, but has also “drawn” with the duality of light and shadow, constructing projection boxes that contain objects that cast images on the walls of the studio’s back room. The results are visually complex cityscapes—large darkened outlines of high-rises and other familiar urban forms. While it is obvious this is a city, exactly what city this might be is less clear, as the architecture seems a cross between the futuristic and the familiar. It is no wonder that these forms are a bit enigmatic; they are created using capacitors and heat sinks pulled from common electronic devises—devices we interact with every day, but whose working components are far less familiar.
Pinkusevich examines the role of architecture in our daily lives and how it frames, transects, and obscures the world around us, affecting our spatial perception and cognitive understanding. Her use of components from computers and televisions—technologies that also shape our perception of the world—is an apt metaphor. Her work also addresses broader issues related to global urbanization and labor. The fabrication of electronics and other consumer goods increasingly has societal and environmental consequences when formerly rural areas become sites of rapidly built factories and worker housing. The long-term impact this instant architecture will have is only beginning to be understood. Pinkusevich’s working process also provided a more direct connection to labor. She discovered that there was a specific order to disassembling the electronics and realized that she was actually reversing the process of the people who put these components together. Other sculptural works speak to this more personal view of labor and tie what is built to the anonymous builders, people whose labor—whether used for the construction of an apartment block or a pair of jeans—is increasingly taken for granted along with the resources used to fuel our disposable lifestyles.
Born in Ukraine and raised in New York, Pinkusevich holds a BFA from Rutgers University and an MFA from Stanford University. She has been the recipient of a Headlands Center for the Arts Graduate Fellowship in Sausalito, a Cite Des Arts International Studio Residency in Paris, and a Helen Wurlitzer Foundation Residency Grant in Taos, New Mexico. Yulia is currently Lecturer of Drawing at Stanford University.
Art Studio at 503 Tunnel Ave.
Environmental Learning Center Gallery at 401 Tunnel Ave.
Reception-Friday, January 24, 2014,5-9pm
Reception-Saturday, January 25, 2014, 1-3pm
Additional viewing hours-Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 5-7pm
Artist panel discussion- Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 7pm
Present Tense: 2012-13 Graduate Fellows Exhibition at Headlands Center for the Arts
Headlands Center for the Arts is only one part of the multifaceted, convoluted history of the Marin Headlands. Legends of the Miwok Native Americans to the archived histories of the seacoast fortification Fort Barry perhaps known by many will also tell just one fraction of the land’s entire story. ”Present Tense,” guest curated by Christian L. Frock, whose past interests include art in atypical settings and presenting works exploring histories within contemporary art, examines the upending of conventional studio practices at Headlands by its 2012 – 2013 Fellowship artists to produce narratives concurrently told within contemporary and traditional voices. New works featured in the galleries and in a series of site-specific projects staged inside and around the main building created by Fellows Joshua Band, Kyle Austin Dunn, Liam Everett, Michael Koehle, Kari Orvik, Jordan Perkins-Lewis and Yulia Pinkusevich showcases how each of the artists’ artistic practice parallels and differs from the multifarious histories found within the unique, varied Headlands landscape.
Many of the participating artists explore these themes and investigate the ideas within two disparate mediums or approaches, in many ways a powerful metaphor of the difficult task to illustrate to these multiple layers of history by just one means. Kari Orvik comments upon the continued construction of the landscape among these various chronologies as well as the at times tenuous historic relationship with Headlands’ human incursion and its environs in her series, Exercise for Moving in Between through a spectrum of approaches: a suite of tin-type photographs of Orvik tight-rope walking inside the Headlands’ historic military gymnasium, a filmed iteration of this precarious performance at an ocean bluff rope barrier nearby, and some quite effective etched mirror panels placed circularly in front of an West Gallery window. Yulia Pinkusevich’s breadth of mediums is perhaps the most commendable; her explorations of the surrounding landscapes through salt block sculptures (judging by their delicate curves, they were carved by water or some other delicate instrument) tackles both the rolling hills as well as the undulating ocean waves nearby. The large, fantastical, and heavily geometric two-dimensional painting that looks as if it implements topographical mapping completes this broad range of both the real and imagined, and the human and natural markings upon the land. Michael Koehle’s digitally created sculptures alongside digital prints upon traditionally wrought encaustic panels sways the past and the future back and forth, creating an obfuscation of historical and contemporaneous narratives, acutely paralleling Headlands’ histories that is at times follows the same patterns.
In addition to multiple mediums and assorted artistic approaches, “Present Tense” also unveils how some subversive techniques that deeply challenge the space can also call attention to the particular richness of Headlands’ environment and history. This fracture between the artwork’s inherent qualities and its surroundings can throw an audience’s gaze while calling attention to the elements of its presentation, prompting awareness of the modes of seeing contextually and how meaning is constructed from this relationship. Kyle Austin Dunn’s sculptural installation in the stairwell, Bunch of Heavy Lines remains blatantly defiant of the historic building by its very plasticity as well as its placement, stripping the stairwell of its utility for persons to gain access to and from the attic. Blocked from hitherto accustomed perambulations of the space, audiences are confounded to achieve any possible amelioration to the unyielding physical and aesthetic confrontation. They become deeply aware of their surroundings once rendered inaccessible by such a brazen obstruction. Joshua Band’s, Scenic Overlook, constructed by hundreds of photographs from not only the Headlands landscape but also the artist’ national road trips is at first a delightful and engrossing Arcadian installation wherein the viewer becomes to some degree an omnipotent presence among all Band’s travels. But, upon closer inspection the diorama’s haphazard photographic compilations from multiple travels and experiences as well as its miniature scale creates more of a disjointed, dizzying contemplation for audiences that leaves this woodland diorama and the outer-lands it represents with a fabricated feeling that rather than pulling one into the scene, progressively pushes one out.
Headlands Center for the Arts’ Graduate Fellowship program is unique in the country for addressing the critical juncture from an academic to a professional career. These fellowships give post-graduates from Bay Area academic institutions opportunities for professional development and a chance to define their practice outside the academic context. In addition to private studio space and public presentation opportunities including participation in this annual curated exhibition, Graduate Fellows are active participants in Headlands’ creative community including engagement with the local, national, and international artists participating in Headlands’ various artist programs.
Ina Archer Joshua Band Laurel Braitman Jefre Cantu-Ledesma & Paul Clipson Steve Carr Sohyung Choi Luke Damiani Kyle Austin Dunn Liam Everett Victoria Gannon Brett Goodroad Jesse Hewit Cynthia Ona Innis Michael Koehle Sara Kraft Marya Krogstad Jennie Lin Mikael Lindahl Ali Naschke-Messing Tucker Nichols Kristian O’Hare Kari Orvik Jordan Perkins-Lewis Yulia Pinkusevich Meghann Riepenhoff William Rockwell James Sansing Erica Lorraine Scheidt Christina Seely Samantha Senn David Shrigley Scott Vermeire Emily Meg Weinstein Hazel White Will Brown
Pinkusevich uses everything from ink to salt to create massive murals that mess with viewers’ perception
Opening reception Fri. March 29, 6-8:30 p.m.
On view through May 4
Redux Contemporary Art Center
136 St. Philip St. Downtown
(843) 722-0697 Reversion reduxstudios.org
Imagine the incredible: A giant man with a giant hand spontaneously grabs our densely populated downtown. He rips up King, Meeting, and East Bay streets from the ground and turns us upside down. The Holy City is practically hanging on marionette strings. Yet the layers of concrete, dirt, and buildings remain.
“The city is so prevalent. It feels like we’ve always lived this way,” Yulia Pinkusevich contemplates. “But I’m interested in looking at a much grander time frame … is this type of city obsolete? How permanent is this environment? Why does it exist and what is its influence?”
From the soaring steeples of King and Broad streets, to the pristine porches South of Broad, Charleston’s architecture defines us. Amidst the hustle and bustle of tourist season, Pinkusevich will make you stop and look up with her transformative exhibition Reversion, opening at Redux Contemporary Art Center on Friday.
Pinkusevich’s show is less commentary and more a question. A world turned upside down is the focal point of her site-specific installation at Redux, but also of her work as a whole. “Architecture is transformative,” she says. “It’s an icon and a symbol of whatever a city wants to put forth, and it affects how we live. I’m curious as to how long our cities will last. I think that my drawings try to ask this same question.”
Born in Kharkov, Ukraine, in the former U.S.S.R. and influenced by a life of international and domestic travels, Pinkusevich is a self-described city girl. Moving to New York City at eight years old was a pivotal moment in the young artist’s conscious understanding of architecture. “Being a Soviet kid, the Twin Towers held a symbolism,” she explains. “You identify a city through its architecture, like the Eiffel Tower or Golden Gate Bridge. I wasn’t old enough to understand everything then, but I had that visceral feeling — these structures are amazing, and they were made by humans.”
Using simple components, like chalk and salt, Pinkusevich helps audiences to see the wonder of our world in a different light. This interdisciplinary artist definitely looks up. A lot.
“We’re creatures of habit, and some of the most exciting moments in life for me are discovering something new or a realization when you think about something in a different way,” Pinkusevich says. “I like the idea of making you think about the impossible — visions of the mind that don’t exist in reality.”
On a more literal level, Pinkusevich is creating a large wall drawing at Redux that envelops the gallery’s entrance with a series of small salt sculptures. “Reversion” also includes a lens that reverses the optics of the wall drawing and plays with perception.
“My exhibit will be interactive,” Pinkusevich explains. “I want to engage with the viewer physically and with his or her perceptions as well. A lot of my work is of a scale meant to place the viewer within the image.”
When you first step into the gallery, the wall image is the first thing you see, but as you get closer, your gaze is drawn to other observers in front of you as you continue looking. “Everyone becomes a part of the piece,” Pinkusevich says.
The lens on the opposing wall adds another visual layer, reducing the size of the wall image and turning it upside down. “So you’ll see the city right side up — and tiny. That’s the paradox.”
Like most of Pinkusevich’s work, the title of her show has multiple meanings. The wall drawing is inspired by a drawing Pinkusevich did in 2009 that never came to fruition. This first solo exhibit also fully fleshes out concepts she intended for her MFA thesis at Stanford last year.
“It’s like going back to something I never fulfilled,” she explains. “In addition to looking at the shifting landscape of the city and the visual reversion provided by the lens, I feel like I’ve been able to marinate and really process my whole experience over the last year.”
Pinkusevich, who claims a diverse array of artistic influences (French symbolist Odilon Redon and German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, among others) works in many mediums. “I do a lot of tests and play with concepts to see what comes of them,” she says.
Charcoal and chalk are freeing to the boundary-pushing artistic philosopher. Sculpture brings with it increased cost, engineering problems and takes a lot of logistical time. “Drawing frees me of mundane burdens,” Pinkusevich explains. “Wall drawing is a really pure form of art for me. You can’t sell it or reconstitute it. In that way, it frees me and allows me to make mistakes. My art exists in the moment. For me, that’s really rewarding.”
Unless you’re talking salt, of which Pinkusevich has 3,000 pounds in her Palo Alto, Calif. driveway. “Working with salt goes back to love to temporal materials,” she explains. “I’m trying to use something familiar and shift it into the sublime.”
Pinkusevich’s fragile salt sculptures are created through erosion using water. “You can control certain things, but other things just happen … it’s a really delicate science experiment,” she says. “Salt has this gorgeous quality — it kind of looks like marble and goes well with my monochromatic theme.”
Light and dark, heavy and weightless, the attrition of time — these ideas are essential for Pinkusevich and her viewers. “We are all creatures of habit, and in my work and in life I try to break out of particular habits,” she explains. “Allow yourself to think about time not through the human lifespan, but through a grander timeline. If you detach yourself from your ego and kind of pull back, looking out … you’ll see that our human civilization is just a speck on the trajectory of life on our planet.”
Yulia Pinkusevich is a multi-disciplinary visual artist whose work is based on site-specific installations and immersive environments. Her art is very distinct and she expresses it to convey deep philosophical concepts (the artworks ultimately deal with questions that she has about life in general.) There is no one overarching concept that Pinkusevich is always delving into and exploring. Each project is unique and has a basis in a particular idea or question. One thread that has been running through her work in recent years, however, is concerned with global urbanization – a relatively new trend that Dubai understands far too well. Pinkusevich questions how this recent trend towards massive urbanization affects humanity and the planet as a whole. And how, if at all, this trend will affect the human psyche.
There is a haunting thread of morbidity or melancholy that interweaves your art-pieces. There is also a sense of loss and confusion. Do you agree with this perception?
Yes and no. My work can be perceived as melancholic, because I am interested in form, composition and materiality in my art but less interested in colour and the individual experience. Thus, my recent body of work has been devoid of people and largely monochrome. To some, art that is lacking colour is perceived as austere. But for me, it gets to the essence of form without the distraction of another element – colour! The haunting perception can come from the concepts, which intrigue me.
For example, throughout my recent work I make images, which envision a world where contemporary architecture and modern cities are seen as relics of the past – long abandoned and in a state of reverting to its elemental forms. Envisioning a place like this implies a post human planet – an idea that can make some people feel very uncomfortable. But to me, this idea is wonderfully intriguing, because I am interested in exploring time through a different perspective – one that does not measure itself against a period of a human lifespan but instead thinks of time on a much grander scale.
Perhaps some see this as confusing. But my intention is not to make people feel bad about the world but to allow their minds to expand beyond their normal way of thinking about time, space and architecture.
Are you a sci-fi fan? It is as if a sci-fi feel permeates through many of your artworks.
Last year, a professor of mine at Stanford [Paul DeMarinis] said to me that he finds that artists from the Soviet Union naturally gravitate towards sci-fi aesthetics and concepts without doing so consciously. It must be in our heritage. Perhaps my personal history and background attracts me to the unexplainable things in life. I am intrigued by looking at things from a different perspective and imagining a world through alternate realities. To be frank, I am not a huge sci-fi movie fan. I don’t like space adventure or horror films at all. Though I do like the films of Andrei Tarkovsky; many of which are quite strange and out of this world. I also love several fantasy and sci-fi writers such as Mikhail Bulgakov; his novel ‘The Master and Margarita’ is one of my favourite books, along with ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley. I’ve also been into Philip K. Dick novels recently, so I guess I am a sci-fi fan after all!
Had you not been an artist, would you have been an architect today?
I have pondered this question before and the short answer is yes. I seriously considered getting a Masters in Architecture several years ago; I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take a summer course in Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. This Career Discovery course was intensive and taught me a lot about architectural design methodology. I loved the program and did quite well in it. But throughout my time there, I realized that I did not really want to be an architect as much as I wanted to acquire the skills of an architect in order to push my art to a new level.
I deeply respect great architects, because to me good architecture can be the highest form of art. It is a structure for the public, which is experienced by people from all occupations. It finds a perfect balance between form and function – it can be striking, complex, sophisticated yet humble or seemingly simple at the same time. Throughout my study of architecture, I realized I wanted to make art that possessed these qualities – to create work that presents people with an immersive visual environment. I am still working towards this goal in my art. And I hope to pursue some larger scale, multifaceted installation-based projects in the near future.
How much time and effort did you expend in refining your unique artistic style? And what were the major challenges in developing it?
It’s hard to answer this question, because I did not set out to create a “unique artistic style”. When I was quite young, I realized that the work I was making then was not at all like the work I was attracted to when I went out to galleries and museums. I started to ask myself a simple question, “If I saw this piece in a museum and didn’t know it was mine, would I like it?” This stirred up many emotions in me, because I realized that the answer at that time was no.
So I made a list of the qualities in the artworks, which made me stop dead in my tracks. The list ignored all superficial aspects such as popularity, price point, gallery affiliations etc. Instead, it focused on something undefined – a personal gut reaction. After practicing this for some time, I found that there were very particular qualities that I was attracted to. With this in mind, I attempted to distil my own work down to its essence and consider the aesthetics, which I found myself drawn to. What resulted was this linear, architectonic, monochrome work. I cut out all excess – no figures and no colour in order to concentrate on what I was concerned with: Form, space, concept and composition.
Redux Contemporary Art Center is proud to present Reversion: Work by Yulia Pinkusevich. Reversion is a site-specific installation that examines the urban city as a relic. It observes the urban structures of the 20th Century from a distant future gazing back at our moment in time. This installation questions the validity of skyscraper architecture and the impetus for the ever-growing density and rigidity of the contemporary built environment as well as its deployment within future systems. Imagine a world of densely layered urban dwellings. Skyscrapers and labyrinths of tunnels fill this vision. This world is disconnected from nature and unaware of its ambient environment. Humans are stacked in layers, living atop one another in soaring structures. The aggregate map of their psychology is manifested in the form of their city… and then imagine it destroyed.
Artist Residency: March 19 – 29, 2013
Opening: Friday, March 29, 2013 | lecture: 5:30 pm | reception 6 – 8:30 pm
On View: March 29 – May 4, 2013
All of our exhibitions are free and open to the public. Although PARKING is not available at Redux, there is on-street parking throughout downtown as well as two parking garages in close proximity.
Redux is a nonprofit organization in Charleston, SC committed to the cultivation of contemporary art through diverse exhibitions, subsidized studio space for artists, expansive educational programming, and a multidisciplinary approach to the creative dialogue between artists and audience.
MicroClimate Collective presents our second fall exhibition dealing with time, X Libris. Joining MicroClimate as a guest curator for this exhibition is Sarah Ratchye. We hope you can join us for the opening reception this Saturday, November 10th, from 7-10pm.
Glenna Cole Allee and Victoria Mara Heilweil
Exhibition Dates: November 7 – December 1, 2012
3175 17th Street (at South Van Ness)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 7-10 pm
Cocktail Hour/Closing Reception: Friday, November 30th, 2012, 5-8 pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 2-6 pm (or by appointment)*
*Please note that gallery will be closed November 22nd-24th in observance of Thanksgiving holiday
X Libris is an exhibition exploring the book as a mode of communication in flux. As we transition from the printed page to digital communication, our relationship to print changes as we enter the literary realm of binary code and multi-directional referencing and browsing. Once valued as a solitary activity requiring deep concentration, perusing written language is incrementally measured, and our attention fragmented. X Libris explores the book as a vulnerable, ephemeral, morphing form, in this time of accelerated transition to digital communication and “real-time.”
Samuel Levi Jones
Kate Jordahl with Don Drake
Pantea Karimi Michael Kerbow
Steven Vasquez Lopez
Yulia Pinkusevich with Glenna Cole Allee
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Artwork Credit (left to right): Leah Rosenberg, Maria Porges, Alexis Arnold
Support for MicroClimate Collective and the publication accompanying the exhibition X Libris is provided by Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure Grant Program.
Featuring works by Yulia Pinkusevich, Adam Katseff, Rhonda Holberton, Andrew Chapman, Yvette Deas.
Curated by Enrique Chagoya.
Never Odd or Even opening reception is May 17, 5:00-7:30 pm, runs from May 17th-June 16th 2012. Second show will open at Root Division in San Francisco, on May 23 rd 7-10 pm See info below for more details!
The Cité Internationale des Arts is intended to provide short or long stays (2 months to 1 year) for professional artists who want to develop an artistic work in France.The Cité Internationale des Arts is a foundation directed to the public benefit since 1957.It is related to a vast network of partners and associates. Its founders include a large number of States, schools, institutes, universities and ministries from close to 50 countries all across the world. Three of its historic founders and key partners are the City of Paris, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The facilities of the Cité are divided between two locations in Paris :
– The site located at 18 rue de l’Hôtel de Ville includes 270 individual workshops in the heart of the Marais district, a dynamic quarter swarming with art galleries and a favourite destination for Parisians.
– The site located at 24 rue Norvins is composed of several buildings in a large garden in Montmartre and has 30 individual workshops. Montmartre was for many years a focal point for artists over the world.
Residents may practice their artistic discipline and develop their creative techniques for the duration of their stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts. The residence also houses an exhibition area where artists can display their works and an auditorium where they can perform concerts.
Since its opening in 1965, the Cité Internationale des Arts has accommodated more than 18 000 artists from all over the world.
There’s a certain house in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow Neighborhood. It’s not a particularly memorable home. But it is pretty old. It was built in the 1870s, and has withstood more than 140 years of remodel jobs. But its final facelift will certainly be its most dramatic.
Two years ago, Amir Mortazavi’s sister bought the house at 3020 Laguna. Mortazavi, a San Francisco real estate developer and art gallery owner, said the family planned to demolish the home and replace it with a new one. But before its date with the wrecking ball, Mortazavi envisioned one last chapter in the home’s long history.
“What we wanted to do was give this home a secondary life,” said Mortazavi, standing in front of the home’s curiously stripped down facade. “We’re giving it a secondary life by inviting these nine artists inside the building.”
Mortazavi gave nine artists free reign of the house with one stipulation: they had to create art inside using only things found in the home.
Artist Chris Fraser stripped the front of the home down to its wood slats. He removed three windows and replaced them with more wood. Inside the front room he painted stark white, light spills through the slats creating a ballet of dancing projections.
VIDEO COMING SOON
In the kitchen an artist carved a labyrinth in the linoleum. In a hallway, Artist Andy Vogt created a subfloor, almost like a wooden moat meandering toward a doorless doorway to nowhere. In the basement, Yulia Pinkusevich stripped the home’s wiring of its casing and then fashioned it into a colorful sculpture.
“When a house finally does come to the end of its time, it’s usually an unceremonious passage,” said artist Jesse Schlesinger. “This was a way of really giving depth to that lived experience.”
Schlesinger lived in the home for 28 days, becoming its final occupant before it’s torn down next month. He occupied a 10 by 12-foot room, fashioning furniture from base board and door frames. He even made a plaster cast of one of the home’s Victorian doors and hung it in his room.
“There was a kind of sadness or poignancy to that idea that this will be it,” said Schlesinger looking around the tiny room. “This space I got to know, this 10 by 12 room, will no longer exist.”
But any nostalgia for the home is tempered by the fact it will continue on in the art. Organizers of the project have photographed and videotaped the work and opened the home to visitors.
“This house otherwise probably would’ve only existed through blueprints in the city archives,” said David Kasprzak, who curated the project.
Mortazavi said the project will bring an unexpected twist to the home’s long history… “to give the building a sort of a wake and a funeral before it goes.”
The home will open this Saturday for the public from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
NEW VIEWING HOURS: SATURDAY February 11th,2012 2-7pm
Amir Mortazavi and David Kasprzak are pleased to present the opening of Highlight Gallery’s first project space, 3020 Laguna Street, a collection of sight-specific installations created in a residence in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow District, on Saturday January 28, 2012. Featuring a set of works formed solely from the materials of a residence sharing the same address as the title, the exhibition takes its inspiration from the works of artist Gordan Matta Clark. Matta Clark’s investigations into unused or forgotten residential spaces—calling them “nonsites,” a term he adopted from his mentor Robert Smithson. These liminal spaces included alleyways, median strips, and small portions of commercial and residential architecture. Matta Clark purchased these sites to become the medium of many of his works and as exhibition spaces for projects from his peers.
Working in this tradition, artists Jeremiah Barber, Randy Colosky, Chris Fraser, Christine M. Peterson, Yulia Pinkusevich, Jonathan Runcio, Jesse Schlesinger, Gareth Spor, and Andy Vogt were invited to inhabit a modest residential space built in the 1800s. This site has been home to a number of residents over the last 150 years—fulfilling the dualistic role as both a practical shelter and a symbol of dreams and ideologies, as written about by Roland Barthes. Now slated for demolition due to structural instability, the artists were invited to enter the space, to set entropy in motion with perhaps a more sensitive hand and a “tool belt conceptualism.”
The artists have responded to this specific history of the building through many forms, excavating the literal scars contained within its walls, investigating the history of the site’s residents and the craftsmen who create residential structures, projecting their own histories and identities into the space, and enacting these investigations through the purely cathartic act of destruction. Please join us on Saturday, January 28th, for the opening of the exhibition—or perhaps more accurately, the wake of this site.
Data Mass Projection
“Data Mass Projection” is an installation created out of telephone and data wires found throughout the Laguna Street house. The found wire was taken down and stripped of its grey outer coating to reveal the multi-colored inner strands, that comprise each telephone wire. The installation serves as metaphor for a spectrometer like visualization of digital data and information surrounding us at all times. This data is anchored in and released through a single point of projection, bouncing a wave like form throughout the space, redefining the parameters of the architecture. Color sequencing algorithm is applied to the pattern, which also account for digital noise or moments of interference.
SOMArts Cultural Center and The San Francisco Foundation present a focused look at the future of the Bay Area visual and media arts landscape. Frontrunners is a survey of new work from the recipients of the competitive Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fellowships and the Edwin Anthony and Adelaine Bourdeaux Cadogan Fellowships in the Fine Arts. The exhibition identifies young artists whose work connects directly to the pulse of emerging trends and showcases the work of promising visual artists from regional Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) programs working across disciplines.
The exhibition will include an accompanying artist talk & social, Lesser But Vital Practices (August 30th, 5:30 – 7:00PM). Moderated by SOMArts Curator & Gallery Director Justin Hoover, exhibiting artists will discuss the evolution of their artistic practice through the exploration of individual and cultural identity. A selection of these talks will be released on the SOMArts YouTube channel in early September.
The public is invited to celebrate with the Fellowship winners at a special closing reception (September 16th, 6:30 – 9:30PM) featuring food & DJs. During the awards ceremony at 7PM, Fellowship tuition awards, plus one additional Juror’s Choice tuition award, will be presented to all exhibiting artists.
EXHIBITING ARTISTS INCLUDE
Andrew Chapman, Stanford University
Li Chen, San Francisco Art Institute
James Coquia, California College of the Arts
Christine Elfman, California College of the Arts
Joel Frudden, San Francisco Art Institute
Stephanie Halmos, California College of the Arts
Joey Izzo, San Francisco State University
Adam Katseff, Stanford University
Michael Koehle, Mills College
Senalka McDonald, California College of the Arts
Kate Nartker, California College of the Arts
Toyin Odutola, California College of the Arts
Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, University of California, Berkeley
Kari Orvik, University of California, Berkeley
Maya Pasternak, California College of the Arts
Christine Peterson, California College of the Arts
Yulia Pinkusevich, Stanford University
Michelle Ramin, San Francisco Art Institute
Amy Rathbone, University of California, Berkeley
Helene Schlumberger, California College of the Arts
Sofia Sharpe, Mills College
Elia Vargas, San Francisco State University
Rachel Weiss, San Francisco Art Institute
ABOUT THE MURPHY & CADOGAN FELLOWSHIPS
The Murphy & Cadogan Fellowships, administered by The San Francisco Foundation, provide a varying number of annual tuition awards of $3,500 to MFA students in support of exploring and developing their artistic potential in digital art, illustration, film/video, hybrid practice, installation, mixed media, painting, photography and sculpture.
ABOUT THE SAN FRANCISCO FOUNDATION
The San Francisco Foundation is the community foundation serving the Bay Area since 1948, granting more than $800 million over the past ten years. Through the generosity and vision of our family of donors, both past and present, The San Francisco Foundation awarded grants totaling $76 million in fiscal year 2010. By focusing on policy, advocacy, community organizing, and systems change, the Foundation addresses community needs in the areas of community health, education, arts and culture, community development, and the environment. In response to the economic downturn, The San Francisco Foundation is focusing funding on safety net partners, job creation and training, and foreclosure response and neighborhood preservation for the next two years.
Saturday April 2nd, 2011. 5:00pm – 1:00 am Please join us for this incredible event!
The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) presents its annual Modulations festival in San Francisco: an 8-hour marathon of sound art installations and live electronic music. The event begins with interactive and kinetic sound installations by Trimpin and his students; evolves into a sit-down concert of electronic music; and ends with a dance party, with performances by CCRMA artists and guest performers Wobbly and Sutekh.
Michelangelo had the Medicis. Diego Rivera had Rockefeller. And Yulia Pinkusevich has Paypal, her trusty email list, and a large dash of inventiveness to propel her artistic vision forward.
On April 3, 2009, at 6 pm, Yulia will be suspended high above the lobby staircase of Warehouse 21, a community arts organization in the currently hot Rail Yard district of Santa Fe, New Mexico. There she will create a large-scale charcoal drawing covering much of the upper wall and corner of the 40-foot space. What makes Yulia’s project
especially intriguing to the wordARTist is the way she set about raising funds. A couple of months ago she sent out this email:
I will create a large scale drawing directly on the wall. The wall will be rigged for climbing and I will be suspended by a harness. The performance will consists of me negotiating the vertical space while drawing an image with charcoal and tape. The action of drawing and climbing will leave marks from my body along with marks
made by my hands, leaving a trace of physical struggle that will become an inherent part of the drawing and image.
I have begun rigorous training for the performance and am seeking sponsorship for this project. I need to raise money to pay for the space and equipment rental, setup, filming and production costs. If you, your organization. or any others you know of might find this idea interesting, amusing, or would simply like to see it realized, please take a minute to donate as much or as little as you can. Every dollar counts! I have set up a quick pay pal link for your generous donations!! DONATE NOW (via PayPal). The new piece will be a natural extension of some of Yulia’s past explorations, largescale charcoal drawings either directly on walls or suggesting walled enclosures: “This is the first fundraiser I have initiated,” she told the wordARTist. “Most of the people who donated are friends and know me personally–except one art organization from NJ and DC. This was a nice surprise! Yes indeed it is strange territories that I am sailing, since I am not into asking for money! But in the spirit of this project and knowing how difficult it would have been to realize it without the help of others, I decided to be bold and simply write an email. I figured people would just delete it if they are not into it.”
Yulia has also obtained help from Kevin Jaramillo, a world-class climber and filmmaker from New Mexico “who helped me with the rigging of the wall to be safe and climbable. Also he showed me how to use the various devices/equipment to help me move around. He was very kind to donate his time and equipment to the project.” Filmmaker Kristin ten Broeck, studio director and founder of New Media Films, is also donating time and efforts to collaborate with Yulia on a video of the performance, to be premiered in Cambridge, MA, on April 30. In addition to these in-kind donations, Yulia has raised some $1200.
Her whole enterprise strikes me as being so in keeping with the spirit of these times. As the old infrastructures crumble around us, more and more we are reaching out to community for support, as well as inventing new ways of accomplishing our goals. The wordARTist loves Yulia’s out-of-the-box thinking for raising funds, which puts her
squarely in the vanguard of a new breed of artist entrepreneurs that the New York Times recently identified in the article “Shifting Careers: Making Artistic Careers Lucrative.” Yulia says, “I am hoping, now that others are involved, that this project will be good enough to make people feel that it was a worthy cause to contribute to. It’s a fine line
between silly and serious.” I’d say it’s just plain inspiring
THE Magazine: JUNE 2008, Critical Reflections
by Anthony Hassett
While thumbing through a recent edition of Art#!*&% magazine I found myself becoming increasingly agitated. There seems to be a widespread timorousness in the art world these days, a need to express aggrandized ambitions, trivial confusions and gutless mysteries. Granted, the gouging careerism that powers the considerations of many artists (and the mandarins who support them) can lead to the production of something interesting. For the most part, however, what we find ourselves left with is a tremendous amount of skill undermined by impoverished imaginations. I am not bewailing the breakdown of some past artistic authority. My problem is in the fact that eternal sameness presents itself as the eternally new. In the recognition of that fact there is most certainly a way out.
From time to time one comes across an artist who refuses to be institutionalized by the assumptions of his or her mentors, by the transcendental nonsense of the art market, nor by the very weird over-therapized psychology of practicing artists themselves. In the contemporary art world, work featuring (or even originating from) the darkness and desperation of current “American” realities is about as popular as toenail parings. But imagine if, during one of your happy art-walks, you came across something with the power of Goya’s fitful creative explorations of violence, something that craved and succeeded in capturing the denied and willfully resisted underpinnings of your own prosperity. Such is the power in the work of Wurlitzer recipient Yulia Pinkusevich, now showing at the Loka Art Space in Taos New Mexico. In this series of charcoal and beeswax images on paper, the artist imagines the full force of institutional domination, both mental and physical, right at the point where it meets the oblique acquiescence of the outside world. Fear has never been absent from the human experience, and city building has always contended with the need for protection from danger. But this can be turned upside down to give us a glimpse of the dangers lurking in our midst, not only in urban institutional design, but also in the power structures that work as a lens for perceiving the world. In these works, we seem to be looking through and into a picturesque labyrinth, immersed ever deeper in claustrophobic ideas of captivity, incarceration, isolation, and a degenerative moral force masquerading as restoration, or some such utilitarian philosophy. Even so, the paradoxical substance of this work is that, on closer inspection, we realize each dark corridor possesses a door, or a structural alternative -a way out of what otherwise feels like confusion and despair.