ISCP Talk
January 4, 2011

Salon: Birthe Blauth and Alban Muja

Birthe Blauth holds a doctorate in Chinese studies, Ethnology and European Art History from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany, specialising in iconography, mythology and religious ethnology. This month, she will receive the BundesGEDOK Kunstpreis, ‘Dr. Theobald Simon’ award in Bonn, Germany. Upon this occasion, she will also present a solo exhibition at the Artists’ Forum.

Alban Muja will present his video work, which investigates how the naming of people, places, and institutions affects our perception of them. Between 2004-2010 Muja has explored this idea with videos entitled Free your mind, Palestina and Tibet among others. He will also speak about two drawing projects that he created during residencies at Santa Fe Art Institute in 2006 and at ISCP in 2010. 

Alban Muja was born in Mitrovica, Kosovo and currently lives in Prishtina. His work covers a wide range of media including video installation, short film, documentary film, drawings, paintings and performance.

Participating Residents

Current and Upcoming Events & Exhibitions

Exhibition
November 5, 2010–February 4, 2011

Factory Makers

Opening alongside Open Studios, Factory Makers curated by Kari Conte initiates a four-part exhibition that takes ISCP’s site of production – a historic printing factory – as the starting point to reflect on the changing nature and idea of work in society and how we define labor today. Participating artists include Matei Bejenaru, Factory of Found Clothes, Cao Fei, Chen Chieh-jen, Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, Stephanie Syjuco, and Mladen Stilinović. This exhibition presents seven international artists who address the impact of the world’s rapidly changing economies on new social and cultural realities. Through various approaches, the included works consider the effect of globalization, new modes of ‘outsourced’ production and the blurring boundaries of material and immaterial labor. A 1978 work by Mladen Stilinović begins the exhibition and asserts non-productivity as critical to the creation of art.

Cao Fei’s video stills My Future is Not a Dream are part of a project in which the artist spent six months at a lighting factory in the Pearl River Delta, a region that has been an epicenter for China’s rapid economic growth. During this time, Fei set up workshops with the factory workers and asked them about their dreams. According to her, “most of the workers left their hometowns in pursuit of their ideal and dream in the Pearl River Delta area.” In the piece she focuses “on the innermost feelings of every individual in this globalized production chain, this giant and complex system of business, placing them at the center of attention, so as to let them rediscover their personal value which is often neglected during the process of creating huge business value.” The photographs show a worker holding an electric guitar and a group of the workers who formed a band as a result of the project.

Matei Bejenaru’s video Battling Inertia tells the story around the history of the ‘Fight Against Inertia’ poetry club which has been active since 1973 at C.U.G. – Industrial Platform for Steel Processing in Iasi, Romania. It is filmed at the club’s former and current site: the industrial platform in Iasi. Bejenaru attempts to memorialize an idealist way of living, where the workers from a communist factory bound poetics to everyday life. The video shows a melting point between the individual and the industrial machine while reflecting on the conditions of material and immaterial work.

Kazimir Malevich insisted that “There is no art without laziness”. Mladen Stilinović, following this statement, documented himself ‘lazily’ sleeping in 1978. Stilinović has continuously worked outside of market-driven art production by often exhibiting work that is not finished and by asserting non-productivity as critical to the creation of art. In his work, the artist questions the role of the artist within a Western capitalist art system.

Stephanie Syjuco’s The Counterfeit Crochet Project (Critique of a Political Economy) is a global collaborative project that looks at contemporary manufacturing and distribution channels. Visitors are encouraged to act as participants in the project by making crochet counterfeit versions of luxury designer handbags. As both a real and virtual collaboration, the project, according to the artist “parallels the idea of ‘outsourcing’ labor, but also adds a democratic and perhaps anarchic level of creativity – within the basic framework, participants have taken liberties with their translations. Makers are encouraged to keep and wear their bags, in an attempt to insert strange variants into the stream of commerce and consumption”.

It Can’t Last is a new installation for Factory Workers, and is a monument to impermanence. Jean-Marc Superville Sovak is interested in the idea of building with ruinous material in anticipation of the inevitable. The irony of the inscription of the word ‘Empire’ on the crumbling bricks is symbolic of how the world is being redefined by dramatic shifts in industrial production, which has created new global economic capitals.

Chen Chieh-jen attempts to revive the forgotten histories created by a consumerist society. The video Factory refers to the movement of labor markets in search of cheaper production and the dislocation of the employees left behind. Chieh-jen invited workers in Taiwan to their former place of employment, a textile factory that had been closed for seven years. The return of the women to their former jobs in a now abandoned and decaying building is shown together with images of protest at the time of the closing of the factory as well as government produced footage of the 1960s – a time when Taiwan was a major manufacturing center.

Scarlet Sails by Factory of Found Clothes (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya and Olga Egorova) begins with young girls sewing a sail that symbolizes their dreams. The girls engage in a fight with an older group of elderly women dressed in a typical Soviet-era style. The older women win the fight and take away the sail, which then turns red and is reminiscent of the red flag in Sergey Eisenstein’s revolutionary propaganda film from 1925 The Battleship Potemkin. 

Opening Reception: Nov 05, 2010, 7-9pm

Participating Residents

Current and Upcoming Events & Exhibitions

Open Studios
November 5–November 8, 2010

Fall Open Studios 2010

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6th, 2 – 6pm: THE NY ART BOOK FAIR – ISCP SHUTTLE
Departing every 30 min. from MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave) from 2 – 6pm, the ISCP SHUTTLE will go direct to Open Studios.

The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) is pleased to announce its Fall Open Studios, a four-day exhibition of international contemporary art. This event presents works by the 38 artists, collectives and curators from 26 countries currently in residence at ISCP and offers the public access to innovative contemporary art practices from around the world, seen for the first time in New York City. Open Studios also provides an exceptional opportunity to engage with the production, process and archives of artists and curators working with a diverse range of mediums, approaches and concepts.

On Saturday, November 6th at 4 pm, ISCP curator-in-residence Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva, will present different kinds of artistic engagements from the Bulgarian art community and will show works presented in her recent projects. On Sunday, November 7th at 4 pm, ISCP curator-in-residence, Elisabeth Byre will present her curatorial practice through two recent exhibitions: Everyone Got Something Great (2010) and Lessons in the Art of Falling (2009) focusing on performance art and time-based media. Extracts from video works by Trine Lise Nedreaas and Elna Hagemann will be screened during the presentation, as well as documentation of performances by Nils Bech and Tori Wrånes.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS AND CURATORS:

Ok-Hyun Ahn (South Korea), Sookoon Ang (Singapore), Bertille Bak (France), Birthe Blauth (Germany), Elisabeth Byre (Norway), Tania Candiani (Mexico), Chao-Tsai Chiu (Taiwan), Isabelle Cornaro (France), Dušica Dražić (Serbia), Marian Drew (Australia), F4(New Zealand), Christian Friedrich (The Netherlands), Peter Gregorio (USA), Nicolás Grum(Chile), Aihua Hsia (Taiwan), Claudia Kapp (Germany), Szabolcs KissPál (Hungary), Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva (Bulgaria), Jonggeon Lee (South Korea), Nadja Verena Marcin(Germany), Armando Mariño Calzado (Cuba), Renzo Martens (The Netherlands), Michael Jones McKean (USA), Eline Mugaas (Norway), Regine Müller-Waldeck (Germany), Maryam Najd (Belgium), Alexandra Navratil (Switzerland), Sungyeon Park (South Korea), Pietro Ruffo (Italy), Ana Santos (Portugal), Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen (Denmark), Marinella Senatore (Italy), Chaw Ei Thien (Burma), Magnus Thierfelder (Sweden), Loreta Ukshini(Kosovo), Christoph Weber (Austria), Jinny Yu (Canada)

Opening alongside Open Studios, Factory Makers, curated by Kari Conte initiates a four-part exhibition over the next year that takes ISCP’s site of production – a historic printing factory – as the starting point to reflect on the changing nature and idea of work in society and how we define labor today. This exhibition presents seven international artists who address the impact of the world’s rapidly changing economies on new social and cultural realities. Through various approaches, the included works consider the effect of globalization, new modes of ‘outsourced’ production and the blurring boundaries of material and immaterial labor. A 1978 work by Mladen Stilinović begins the exhibition and asserts non-productivity as critical to the creation of art. Artists include Matei Bejenaru (Romania), Factory of Found Clothes (Russia), Cao Fei (China), Chen Chieh-jen (Taiwan), Jean-Marc Superville Sovak (USA), Stephanie Syjuco (USA) and Mladen Stilinović (Croatia).

ISCP thanks the following sponsors for their generous support:

American-Scandinavian Foundation, USA; Anonymous; Artadia, USA; Asian Cultural Council, USA; Australia Council for the Arts, Australia; BMUKK, Austria; Canada Council For The Arts / Le Conseil Des Arts Du Canada, Canada; CEC Artslink, USA; Council For Cultural Affairs, Taiwan; CulturesFrance, France; Danish Agency for the Arts, Denmark; FONCA, Mexico; Fondart, Chile; Foundation for a Civil Society, USA; Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Portugal; Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation, South Korea; IASPIS, Sweden; IKEA-Stiftung, Switzerland; Dr. Elisabeth Salch-Klauser and Dr. Frank Klauser, Germany; Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, Germany; Landesregierung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany; Ludwig Museum Budapest – ACAX, Hungary; Ministère de la Culture, Luxembourg; Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur des Landes Niedersachsen, Germany; Ministry of Culture of the Flemish Community, Belgium; Ministry of External Affairs, Italy; Joan Mitchell Foundation, USA; National Arts Council, Singapore; Office for Contemporary Art, Norway; Singapore International Foundation, Singapore; Stichting Fonds voor Beeldende Kunsten Vormgeving en Bouwkunst, The Netherlands; James Wallace Trust, New Zealand

Opening Reception: Nov 05, 2010, 7-9pm
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