Offsite Project
August 11–November 19, 2014

Itziar Barrio: I use people for what I write

El Museo de Los Sures and the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) are pleased to present the exhibition I use people for what I write by artist and ISCP alum Itziar Barrio. This exhibition is the outcome of Barrio’s three-month residency at El Museo, where she has initiated a series of works on desire and power.

I use people for what I write includes cement sculptures, silkscreens on latex and video work. The notion of value is intertwined throughout the works by varying and repeating the form of a trapezoid referencing diamonds and gold ingots. Using the same materials in a second set of sculptures alongside parts of an Ikea chair, Barrio addresses concepts of mass production and popular design. Another work , “I’m a Writer”, uses printed text on latex and reconstructed phrases from the movie Basic Instinct (1992). Here, words from the film’s dialogue are removed to create a quasi-monologue.

All the works presented in this exhibition relate to Barrio’s ongoing project THE PERILS OF OBEDIENCE that mixes performance, theater, film and live experience to confront established sets of rules and cultivate the conditions for unscripted consequences. Inspired by the findings of Stanley Milgram’s 1961 psychological experiments, THE PERILS centers on four characters immersed in power dynamics within the same scene in an endless conflict. THE MUSIC YOU WANT ME TO HEAR is a video created from the footage of the live audition/performance to cast the actors of THE PERILS iteration in New York City and will be included as a projection in I use people for what I write.

Itziar Barrio’s work has been presented internationally at: MACBA, Barcelona;Museum of Contemporary Art of Belgrade, Serbia; Abrons Arts Center, New York City; tranzit, Romania; (ENPAP) European Network of Public Art Producers;Galeria Adhoc, Vigo, Spain; ARTIUM Museum, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; Hudson Valley Center of Contemporary Art (HVCCA), Peekskill, NY; Festival of Ideas for the New City at New Museum, NYC; Havana Biennial 2009, Cuba; Storefront for Art and Architecture, NYC; acb Gallery, Budapest, Hungary; Rincón Projects, Bogota, Colombia; 404 Festival of Post-Electronic Art 2008, Trieste, Italy; PiST/// Interdisciplinary Project Space, Istanbul, Turkey; Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Poland; The Kunsthaus Tacheles, Berlin; LOOP, Barcelona; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain; and Galerie Thomas Henry Ross, Montreal. Barrio has received awards including the Basque Government First Prize Ertibil; Brooklyn Art Council, Spanish Ministry of Culture, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, NYC, and New York Foundation for the Arts Individual Artist Grant. Her residency awards include Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP).

El Museo de Los Sures was born by a partnership between Los Sures with Cornell University and Churches United for Fair Housing to preserve the history of the neighborhood’s residents. The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) is a nonprofit, residency-based contemporary art institution for emerging to mid-career artists and curators from around the world. This exhibition is the third collaboration between the two organizations.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Speaker Mark-Viverito and Antonio Reynoso, Council Member, 34th District and by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

El Museo de Los Sures
120 South 1st Street, Brooklyn, NY

Participating Residents

July 30–September 26, 2014

Foundland: Escape Routes and Waiting Rooms

Escape Routes and Waiting Rooms is the first exhibition by Foundland in the United States.

Foundland, initiated in 2009, is a collective of two artists: Ghalia Elsrakbi (Syria) and Lauren Alexander (South Africa). Along with artist Taysir Batniji, Foundland are the recipients of the first ISCP residency sponsored by Edge of Arabia in partnership with Art Jameel for artists from the Middle East.

In Escape Routes and Waiting Rooms, Foundland investigates personal stories of mobility and migration around Syria, a place where freedom of movement is strictly restricted due to its ongoing civil war. In two newly created installations, a Syrian family’s dinner table is restaged to depict a schematic map of a family where most of the members have migrated from the country over time. The work reveals intimate family moments and history set in a ravaged country where millions of people are displaced. Also included in this exhibition is a tent and video installation modeled on actual tents used in Za’tari camp in Jordan, one of the largest Syrian refugee camps in the world. Originally serving as a temporary living space, a refugee tent can be considered a “waiting room” for an unknown future. Foundland visualizes the potentiality of the tent as a symbolic transformative structure, which initially facilitates temporary, emergency landscapes, but could become the starting point for new communities over time.

This exhibition is curated by Kari Conte, Director of Programs and Exhibitions with Shinnie Kim, Programs Manager. A catalog accompanies the exhibition with a commissioned text by Nat Muller, an independent curator and critic specializing in media art and contemporary art in and from the Middle East.

Foundland’s work has been shown in exhibitions and festivals including Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2012), Impakt Festival, Utrecht (2011, 2012), BAK, Utrecht (2012), and Visual Arts Festival Damascus, Istanbul (2013). They have given master classes and lecture presentations at Studium Generale ArtEZ, Arnhem, de Appel for Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam and at the Athens Biennial 2013. They have contributed essays and visuals to international journals such as Open Magazine (The Netherlands), Krisis Magazine (Italy), Esse Magazine (Canada) and Ibraaz, Middle East online journal. In 2013, they completed an artist residency at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo.

The Edge of Arabia residency, in partnership with Art Jameel and ISCP is a critical component of Edge of Arabia’s multi-year tour across the United States.

Visualizing Displacement and other stories: Foundland in conversation with Livia Alexander: September 9th, 6:30pm

Opening Reception: Jul 30, 2014, 6-8pm
Download Exhibition Catalog

Participating Residents