ExhibitionThrough November 17
Alchemyverse: Messa in Luce
The International Studio & Curatorial Program presents Alchemyverse: Messa in Luce, an installation of work developed in and about Chile’s Atacama Desert by resident collaborative artist duo Alchemyverse, curated by Jess Wilcox. The installation’s centerpiece is a cascade of hanging ceramic tiles produced from wild clay sourced, shaped and pit-fired during a 2022 research trip.
Alchemyverse probes the region’s reputation as the driest, sunniest place on Earth and host to large-scale scientific and technological infrastructure such as astronomical observatories and solar energy farms. Each ceramic tablet bears the measurement of solar irradiance in kilowatts per square meter on the date of its making and is sonified by conducting transmitters emitting field recordings of the dried river Rio San Pedro and abandoned mine, Mina Victoria. The artists invite exhibition goers to walk onto an elevated floor that vibrates with desert audio and houses artifacts from their field work, which can be viewed from above.
True to the title’s meaning, Messa in Luce, brings to light what is typically beyond sight. With this immersive scale-shifting installation, Alchemyverse amplifies the universe’s “background noise” to promote an understanding of the Earth as an accumulation of particulate matter in a state of constant flux.
Alchemyverse was founded in 2020 in New York City by artists Bicheng Liang (b. 1994, China) and Yixuan Shao (b. 1996, China/United States). They combine their respective knowledge bases and skills in print-making and sound studies with intensive field research to form their collaborative practice. Focusing on the intersection of geologic time and contemporary human experience, Alchemyverse uses a tactile, multisensory approach to foster empathy in humans towards mineral systems in the landscape and beyond. Their collaboration began at the MFA Program at Columbia University, where they met.
Alchemyverse has presented work at museums and galleries across the United States including Asia Art Archive in America, Brooklyn; The Bishop Museum, Honolulu; The Catherine Fosnot Art Gallery and Center, New London; and Lenfest Center for the Arts, Columbia University, New York, among others, and the artists’ work has been featured internationally. Residencies include LMCC Governors Island, New York; Desert 23′ S, La Wayaka Current, Chile; AAA-A Zine Residency, New York; International Studio & Curatorial Program Ground Floor Residency, New York; and the Rabbit Island Residency, Lake Superior (Summer 2023).
Jess Wilcox is an independent curator focusing on ecocritical, socially engaged and public art. From 2016 to 2022, she was Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park. There she curated dozens of projects including Helio Oiticica Subterranean Penetrable Projects: PN15, Sink or Swim: Climate Futures, Guadalupe Maravilla: Planeta Abuelx, MONUMENTS NOW, Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again, and the Socrates Annual exhibitions among others. During her tenure, she organized the first single-artist exhibitions in the Park’s 33-year history and initiated a program of traveling commissioned works to other venues. From 2011 to 2015, she worked at the Brooklyn Museum’s Center for Feminist Art where she co-curated Agitprop!, a 60-artist exhibition of historical and contemporary activist art. She has a BA from Barnard College and Master’s degree from Bard’s Center for Curatorial Studies.
Alchemyverse: Messa in Luce is supported by Alice and Lawrence Weiner; Danna and Ed Ruscha; Hartfield Foundation; Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso; New York City Council District 34; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; James Rosenquist Foundation; and William Talbott Hillman Foundation.
Accessibility information: Please note that the entrance to ISCP has seven steps and a ramp, which is ADA compliant. There are seven artist studios and one exhibition space which can be accessed on the first floor of ISCP. There is an accessible bathroom on the first floor at the end of the hallway, up one step, where the artist studios are located. To access the second floor there is a
A staircase with a grab bar installed on the right side with 22 steps. The second floor has 22 artist and curator studios, one exhibition space, and a lounge where remarks by our guest speaker will take place. To access the third floor there is a staircase with a grab bar installed on the right side with 24 steps. The third floor has five artist and curator studios. ISCP can access a freight elevator to bring visitors between the first and second floors on request.
ISCP can offer two reserved parking spaces on request for people with disabilities. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a parking space and/or freight elevator usage.