In Practice Winter '07

    In Practice Winter '07

    Jan 7–Mar 25, 2007

    Alex Arcadia, Fia Backström, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Amy O'Neill, Lucy Raven, Garrett Ricciardi & Ross Cisneros, Karin Schneider, and Karen Yasinsky
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    The works in this exhibition are commissioned through SculptureCenter's In Practice project series, which supports the creation and presentation of innovative work by emerging artists. The projects are selected individually and reflect the diversity of approaches to contemporary sculpture.

    Alex Arcadia defines his namesake iconography through the creation of selected signs and relics, offering a view into a cosmology defined by objects and images. Stories, symbols and relics emanate from this system, revealing spectacular and miraculous projections based on a parody of capitalism - a vision he ironically calls BRIGHTSHINYFUTURE (BSF). Throughout his work, Arcadia mines and mimes pop culture, corporate architecture, and ancient religions, integrating them into the Arcadian lexicon. He superimposes Arcadian symbols onto a broad range of objects, including signage, taxicabs, jumbo jets, lecterns, obelisks, and currency, in addition to his body of paintings and sculptures. By referencing totalitarian aesthetics, Arcadia effectively manipulates differing forms of address to propagate a universal, critical-idyllic domain, rooted in the matriarchal cosmology of Arcadia.

    The parameters of what defines a program and an audience are highlighted in Fia Backström's mode of operation. The generative logic of her work unfurls across a stretch of situations, usually of her own design, encompassing activities and their documentation, environments, gatherings, performances, artworks by other artists, writing, prints, readings, audio recordings and ephemera. Through a development of format and display methodology, Backström engages peers and visitors in her textual excavations of the shifting faces of ideology, politics, advertisement and propaganda.

    For SculptureCenter, Backström will set up a display system that includes work by Roe Ethridge and Eileen Quinlan that crystallizes her multi-faceted approach. To be observed is the relationship between the items/objects and the activities, the footnotes and the texts. A DVD of Backström's introductory performance for HERD INSTINCT 360º will be released for the occasion, together with the complete DVD box set containing talks by diverse participants such as Liam Gillick, Arthur Jafa and Sylvère Lotringer. HERD INSTINCT 360º was a three Sunday afternoon situation during the winter of 2005/06 at Andrew Kreps Gallery, centered around the darker sides of community, in a shifting theatrical environment, including a careful selection of artworks and communal refreshments.

    Gardar Eide Einarsson constrains SculptureCenter's only white-box gallery by creating a chain-link fence using spray paint and a stencil. Einarsson continues his study of regimes of paranoia and easily mis-identified symbols from underground sub-cultures across the globe. In the center of the gallery, Einarsson places an ambiguous piece of furniture - a sterile steel sculpture that references both a bench and table, specially commissioned by SculptureCenter. A photograph of the back entrance of a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, adds another layer to the intervention and highlights the opacity of certain forms of representation - of insider and outsider - versus demagogic appropriations of branding and style.

    Amy O'Neill's Forest Park Forest Zoo is an installation that memorializes an abandoned park located off a rural country road in Gallitzen, Pennsylvania, which combined a petting zoo and a storybook forest. Today the original snack bars, barn sheds, performing ramps, rusted cages and shoe house have been invaded by wild brush and are on the verge of disappearance. In the underground exhibition space of SculptureCenter, a maze of silhouettes refers to the original park's novelty architecture, while enlarged postcards of petting animals recall simultaneously its heyday and decline.

    Lucy Raven intersperses objects and videos in the nooks of SculptureCenter's long, narrow, lower-level corridor lined with pre-existing white porcelain insulators, originally used to fasten wiring for electricity when SculptureCenter was used as a power station. Based on her accumulated research on copper mines in western America, the artist creates analogies between the distribution of electricity and the dispersion of mediated information - and frames the space with items from our daily environment, following a code based on the modalities and labor involved in copper extraction.

    Etheric Projection, a collaboration between Garrett Ricciardi and Ross Cisneros, is an amusement ride and experience simulator. Sitting within an interior web of support truss and steel track, a roller coaster simulator becomes the medium for a terminal and thrill-based amusement ride. Passengers are projected through a film of improbable landscape and encounters that build networks between inert familiarity and active impossibilities. Corporate barons, art history's environmental activists, and the Cyclops commingle to shape a terrain somewhere between thrill ride and pulp fiction.

    Karin Schneider breaks down the conventional separations within the demarked areas of SculptureCenter's exhibition space with an allegorical impure piece. An acrylic wall substitutes the original wall that separated the exhibition space and the storage space. The visual incorporation of the storage space into the piece follows the artist's primary insistence (currently articulated at Orchard gallery) in forms of non-separation and hierarchy of exhibition and storage space - subjects contemplating work and work being done.

    Two oil paintings by the artist, relocation of gravel from SculptureCenter's courtyard and a projector displaying a daily change of information complete the piece, all under the effect of a strobe light. The everyday activity of the storage space will be illuminated. The devices she adds create a surprisingly psychedelic and perceptual experience for the viewer and create a case study of what are the boundaries of an institution, space swapping, as well as a structural analysis of film and perceived dimensions of time and spatiality. The analysis goes beyond an examination of the art institution, to dive at the very heart of what is film, what is a wall, what is a painting, what is to look at a painting, and what is an established location.

    Known for her stop-motion puppet animation, Karen Yasinsky presents a video installation developed specifically for SculptureCenter's space. The animated video is based on Jean Vigo's romantic and surreal cinematic masterpiece L'Atalante from 1934. The story depicts the love affair between Jean, the owner of the barge L'Atalante, and Juliette, his wife. Yasinsky takes as a starting point the sequence where, following Juliette's flight to Paris to escape life on the barge, the two characters restlessly long for each other during a night of forced separation.


    SculptureCenter's exhibitions and public programs are supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and The Lily Auchincloss Foundation.