Travis Somerville employs painting, sculpture and installation in his practice, which is politically and socially motivated. He works organically in the sense that he usually starts with a central image and lets the piece evolve from there by using found items and ephemera.
Travis Somerville (born 1963) grew up in towns throughout the southern United States and along the eastern seaboard. He briefly studied at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, finally settling in San Francisco where he attended the San Francisco Art Institute. His large-scale oil paintings and collages present images of political and cultural icons associated with the history of the south. His painting, drawings, sculpture and installations explore the complexities of racism and serve as a point of departure for discussion about US oppression and colonial attitudes abroad. Somerville’s work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally and has garnered critical praise in publications including Art in America, Artforum.com and San Francisco Magazine.
Events & Exhibitions
Residents from United States
Gabriella Csoszó’s work explores the historical traces of the cold war, including the documentation of locations that have been lost or have changed meaning and the photographic exposition of objects and public spaces that do not hold the same value in the present. For Csoszó, there exist unanswered questions left by the heritage of the cold war period – an intellectual and material heritage that is waiting to be re-evaluated. Csoszó notes that while many questions have been brought up about the history of East and Central Europe, the process of reevaluating and reconsidering this history has not yet been completed; in some cases, it has not even begun.
Gabriella Csoszó lives and works in Budapest. Much of her research has focused on the history of Radio Free Europe. She has examined the periodical pause in its program and its restart in the recent past, analyzing the role of radio in democracy, as well as gradations in the communication of freedom and propaganda. Csoszó is currently working on a documentary photography project with curator Lívia Páldi from the Georg Lukács Archive in Budapest. Csoszó is focusing on the archive’s history, as it once was an internationally known research center, but has recently become a “non-space.”
Events & Exhibitions
Residents from Hungary
Astrit Ismaili’s practice is inspired by the urban landscape and sequences of urban life – human sadness, dreams and hyper-reality. For Ismaili, art is subject and object at the same time. The images of the body that Ismaili experiments with suggest a diffuse intimacy, while tending to dissuade a voyeuristic approach. Unlike most images we are faced with on a daily basis – images that treat the body like a commodity to be used and consumed, or an icon to adore at safe distance – Ismaili employs his body to initiate a dialog with himself. He places his body in familiar settings, though at the limits of our experience, presenting it as a symbol of receptivity, a meeting place between himself and the rest of the world, a communicative model in which information about his experience is presented and reflected upon. The portraits are stage-managed, with clothing, make-up, mise-en-scène and settings carefully conceived, resulting in highly sophisticated pictorial compositions. He uses his own body as a model to investigate his own vision and not the other’s vision of his body. Ismaili projects images and symbols, hopes and fears onto the male body. He uses it like a gesticulative vector not fully known to him, communicating to the viewer the novelty of his encounter.
Astrit Ismaili (born 1991 in Prishtina) is studying Theatre Directing at the Kosovan Art Academy. Recent solo shows include Artist of Tomorrow, The Kosova Art Gallery Prishtina, 2011; New Tear, Asma Sanat Gallery, Istanbul, 2011; Face the Reflection, KC Grad, Belgrade, 2011; Face the Reflection, Tetris, Prishtina, 2011; Right Turn, Turn Right, Traffic Gallery, Prishtina, 2010; Perspektiva 2010, Tetris, Prishtina; and B-Negative, The National Museum of Kosova, Prishtina, 2007.