June 26–October 12, 2018

Hikaru Fujii: The Primary Fact

Opening Reception: Tuesday, June 26, 6–8pm

The International Studio & Curatorial Program announces The Primary Fact, an exhibition of work by current ISCP resident Hikaru Fujii. The artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States, The Primary Fact features an expansive new seven-channel video and photography installation based on the artist’s extensive research into a recently excavated mass grave in the southwest of Athens dating from the 7th century BC.

Across the seven videos in The Primary Fact, Fujii adds an artistic and performative approach to the archaeological and anthropological analysis of the eighty shackled skeletons from the Classical Age unearthed during the construction of a park two years ago. Fujii’s interest in the history of democracy led him to document a multitude of inconclusive scientific viewpoints on the grave. The skeletons left several important forensic clues that can be used to draw a fragmentary picture of their life and death: they were all healthy young men with excellent teeth, the victims of an execution, and were buried with their clothes on, showing respect by their executors. The date and location of their death is connected to an attempted coup in first half of the 7th century BC, and it is possible that the men—who may have been members of the aristocracy—resisted the emergence of democracy, although we can never definitively know this.

Adding to the complex, yet still perplexing knowledge produced by the scientists, Fujii has reenacted the moment of the mass execution in the key element of the exhibition. Performed by Greek men, the actors fully embody the most precise details of the last moments of the victims’ lives, through an anguished and visceral choreography. Fujii’s investigation of movement adds a critical layer not only to the story of the deaths, but also to the rise of democracy.

Artist and filmmaker Hikaru Fujii (born 1976) lives and works in Tokyo. Fujii studied at École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs, Paris, and obtained a MA from Université de Paris 8. He undertakes extensive research and fieldwork to investigate existing systems and structures, based on the idea that art is produced from a relationship between society and history. Rather than presenting his research matter-of-fact, his work attempts to reinterpret past events from contemporary perspectives. His recent art works have garnered both international and domestic acclaim. Fujii has had exhibitions at Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; and Sendai Mediatheque, among others.

This exhibition is curated by Kari Conte, Director of Programs and Exhibitions.

The first iteration of The Primary Fact was commissioned and produced by Onassis Fast Forward Festival 5 – Athens in May 2018.

This program is supported, in part, by, Greenwich Collection Ltd., New York City Council District 34, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Nissan Art Award – Arts Initiative Tokyo, and Onassis Cultural Center.

Opening Reception: Jun 26, 2018, 6–8pm
Open Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 12–6pm, and by appointment 
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Participating Residents

June 12, 2018, 6:30–8pm

Artists at Work: Ludovica Carbotta and Sara Enrico

Ludovica Carbotta will introduce her ongoing project Monowe, an imaginary city for one person only. Since 2016, the project has evolved into a multitude of complementary forms, including architectural fragments, the publication of historical documents on the origins of the city and the public manifestation of its only inhabitant. For Artists at Work, she will present the project’s episode Monowe (an interview) where the only inhabitant of the city appears, and questions her own existence in this fictional context. A reading based on the episode will take place and feature script contributions by Carlo Fossati, Gian Antonio Gilli, Orizzontale and Matteo Alis Respino.

Sara Enrico will give a live reading based on her ongoing project à terre, en l’air, which is based on the rhetoric of dance and is an attempt to work with surfaces, shapes and archetypal gestures in a humorous and rhythmic way. For this presentation, she will collaborate with Turin-based artist Andrea Alis Respino and Brooklyn-based artist and musician Byron Westbrook who have contributed a short story, Children’s Games (Possible drafts for a tribute to Bruegel), and abstract sonic textures animated in space, respectively.

This program is supported, in part, by Farnesina Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Italian Academy at Columbia University; Italian Cultural Institute of New York; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


Participating Residents

May 22–July 31, 2018

Sonia Louise Davis: Sound Gestures

Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 22, 6–8pm

Sound Gestures is a solo exhibition of work by Sonia Louise Davis, recipient of The New York Community Trust’s Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund residency at ISCP. Davis will present a new site-specific installation in ISCP’s Project Space, drawing from her multi-year focus on improvisation, with considerations of music, movement, struggle, assembly and transcendence. Informed by her musical training as a jazz vocalist, collaborative community-based projects, and readings of critical race and feminist theory, Davis incorporates mediums ranging from works on paper, fabric and glass, to collaborative writing, to live performance. Often working from the generative form of the score, the artist states, “I understand improvisation as a responsive and rigorous practice of active engagement with the world around me.”

A solo performance by Davis featuring live vocals and movement will take place at 6:45pm on July 31.

Sound Gestures includes a limited edition poster with text by Davis and Greta Hartenstein, Senior Curatorial Assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Sonia Louise Davis (born 1988, New York City) has performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art and published in Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory. Residencies and fellowships include the Laundromat Project, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and ACRE. Recent exhibitions include Visitor Welcome Center, Los Angeles; and Sadie Halie Projects, Minneapolis. An honors graduate of Wesleyan University (BA, African American Studies, 2010) and an alumna of the Whitney Independent Study Program (2015-16), Davis lives and works in Harlem.

Sound Gestures is coordinated by Juliana Cope, Director of Development and Programs Manager.

This program is supported, in part, by The New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Participating Residents