May 20, 2014

Brooklyn Commons: Ursula von Rydingsvard and Brett Graham

Brooklyn Commons, an occasional discussion series at ISCP, presents intellectual and artistic pairings between the established Brooklyn-based artist community and ISCP residents. This series puts artists in conversation who have not shared a dialogue in the past and focuses on cultural practitioners living and working in Brooklyn, both long- and short-term.

On May 20th, Ursula von Rydingsvard and Brett Graham will discuss monumental sculpture informed by cultural and personal history.

Ursula von Rydingsvard is a sculptor who has been working in Brooklyn, New York, for over 30 years. Von Rydingsvard is best known for creating large-scale, often monumental sculpture from cedar beams, which she painstakingly cuts, assembles, and laminates, finally rubbing powdered graphite into the work’s textured, faceted surfaces. Von Rydingsvard’s sculpture is included in numerous permanent collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art. She has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, three awards from the American section of the International Association of Art Critics, the International Sculpture Center Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2011, a monograph by Patricia Phillips was published on her work, and the Sculpture Center in NYC presented a survey of her sculpture, which was named “Best Show in a Non-Profit Space” by AICA-USA. Her bronze outdoor sculpture Ona was recently installed near the main entrance of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A major retrospective exhibition of von Rydingsvard’s work is on view at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England through 2015.

Brett Graham lives and works in Auckland and is a sculptor and installation artist. He abstracts complex historical and cultural ideas, which often explore his dual heritage as Maori/Pakeha, into sculptural forms and installations. Graham’s work engages ideas of both Indigenous and Western art, drawing on Maori culture but informed by contemporary art practice, embracing indigenous histories to critique and explore issues relating to cultural inequities of the past and present. There is usually a strong emphasis on materiality and surface within the formal simplicity of his sculptural pieces and predominant use of wood and stone. He completed a Doctorate of Fine Arts and has exhibited twice at the Sydney Biennale in 2006 and 2010 and at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. Last year, his work was part of Sakahan, an exhibition of Indigenous art at the National Museum of Canada. He has work in the collections of the Museum of New Zealand and the National Gallery of Australia.

Brooklyn Commons is organized by Kari Conte, ISCP Director of Programs and Exhibitions.

Participating Residents

May 16, 2014

Open Engagement at ISCP: The Curatorialization of Activism in Art as a Neo-Avant-Garde

Since 2008 demonstrations have taken place across North America, Europe and the Middle East. Although these protests occurred for different reasons, they are a resistance to neo-liberalism. Artists have responded by participating in actions and embracing calls for change – are they implicit in this process of Institutionalisation, how does this relate to the neo-avant-garde? Organized by Michael Birchall and Megan Johnston, with presentations from Gregory Sholette, Elissa Blount Moorhead and Arthur Jafa on the theoretical idea of the neo-avant-garde and the practical nature of social practice and the political exhibition.

Open Engagement is an international conference that sets out to explore various perspectives on art and social practice, and expand the dialogue around socially engaged art making. In addition to the panel, ISCP’s gallery and selected resident studios will be open to visitors.

Advance registration required. More information here.

May 6, 2014

Panel Discussion: Minding the Law: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Art

With Elaine Byrne and Soda_Jerk, moderated by Alex Villar.

Artists Elaine Byrne and Soda_Jerk, are participating concurrently in ISCP and the Art & Law Program and for Minding the Law: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Art, they will speak about how their work engages the doctrines and structures of law on both practical and symbolic registers.

The Art & Law Program is a semester-long seminar series with a theoretical and philosophical focus on the effects of law and jurisprudence on cultural production and reception. An examination of how artistic practices challenge, rupture, and change the apparatus of law completes The Program. 

Elaine Byrne’s work questions how we should live, which has led to socio-historical, site-related projects made over several years. Her methodology is grounded in research and conversations as a mode to action, demanding a building of trust. Elaine Byrne graduated from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin in 2010.  Recent solo exhibitions include Raum, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin; Feralis, The Belltable, Limerick; Irish King of Mexico, Atrio Cultural Space, Mexico City; Message to Salinas, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin and They Have Eyes, Leinster Gallery, Dublin.

Soda_Jerk is a two-person art collective that works with sampled material to trouble formulations of cultural history. Taking the form of video installations, cut-up texts and live video essays, their archival image practice is situated at the interzone of research, documentary and speculative fiction. Formed in Sydney in 2002, Soda_Jerk relocated to Berlin in 2010 to participate in the International Studio Program at Künstlerhaus Bethanien. More recently they have been based in the US, undertaking residencies at Flux Factory in New York, and LoBot in West Oakland.

Alex Villar was born in Brazil, and is based in New York. He holds an MFA from Hunter College, and was a Whitney Independent Study Program fellow. His work draws from interdisciplinary theoretical sources (Foucault, de Certeau, etc) and employs video-based, performative actions, installation and photography. His practice concentrates on matters of social space and consists in engaging situations where the codes that regulate everyday activity can be made explicit. Selected exhibitions include the New Museum, Mass MoCA, Drawing Center, The Menil Collection, Art in General, Apexart in the U.S.; and many others abroad.

Participating Residents