Wednesday, May 28, 2008

June: Stephen Vitiello and Paul Thulin

June 6-28th = Stephen Vitiello and Paul Thulin
Preview opening: Thurs, June 5, 6-8pm
Public opening: Fri, June 6, 7-10pm

Stephen Vitiello (image above, "LFO Drawing")
will be exhibiting a handful of "LFO drawings"
(Low Frequency Oscillation) as well as a new stereo sound piece.
I asked him to describe the process he used to create them:
'The LFO Speaker Drawings were created after several years
of looking for a method of 'process drawings' that would
directly reflect my processes of working with audio.
Beginning in 2004, I created a number of installations with
suspended speakers, through which very low frequency tones
were played. The tones and patterns are below our (human)
threshold of hearing, therefore we can see movement on the
surface of the speakers but we do not actually hear the
sounds. The first piece of this series was installed at
SculptureCenter in NYC in 2004. Subsequent versions were
presented in Rome, Paris, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Seattle,
Sydney, Australia and Vienna. In 2006, after a
collaboration with the visual artist Julie Mehretu in
which she created a wall drawing in a shared space with
a suspended speaker piece, I was more determined than
ever to make my sounds draw. I found that filling those
same speakers with pigment, ink and other drawing materials
and subjecting the speakers to those low frequency
oscillations (LFO), the drawing materials would be projected
out onto paper in such a way that one had a visual work
that was also an artifact of the sound. The drawings were
first shown in a solo exhibition at The Project on W. 57th
Street in New York City and have subsequently been presented
in London and are now in the homes of a number of private

Stephen exhibited a sound piece titled "Slow Rewind" in
conjunction with the LFO Speaker Drawings.
Please go here if you are unfamiliar with Stephen and/or
his work. Over the last 20+ years, he has worked with
Nam June Paik, Tony Oursler, Pauline Oliveros, Scanner,
Andrew Deutsch, Yasunao Tone, Julie Mehretu and Eder Santos

to name a few. If you are interested in sound-based/-
influenced art, this is a show you must see.
*Stephen Vitiello appears courtesy of The Project, NY.

Paul Thulin (image above, "Document T")
will be exhibiting photographs from his series,
'Dissolving Boundaries of the Self:
A Rhizomatic Psycho-History'

Here, he explains this body of work:

"My defining project Dissolving Boundaries of The Self:
A Rhizomatic Psycho-History aims to explore the relation-
ship between photographic narrative and an ongoing auto-
biographical record of my life. The sequencing and plot
of this mythical narrative is thematically linked
to historical, psychoanalytical, and confessional self-

Dissolving Boundaries of The Self: A Rhizomatic Psycho-
History is a sequential archive of imagery that presents
an ever-evolving history of my psyche as photographic
artifact. Performance and improvisational play are essential
components of this project allowing for the transformation
of real world events and personal experiences into plot
driven character development, gesture, and aesthetic.
The images are metaphorical expressions of my everyday
thoughts, emotions, memories, cultural influences, physical
impulses, and other illusive subconscious desires. The
narrative is continually unfolding and sequentially re-
structuring itself in direct relation to my interpretation
of present and past personal experiences. " (continued below)

Below: Three of Paul's glass photo-based objects. These
are transfers on broken glass plates, backed with foil
and copper sheet. They really must be seen in person.
Each measures approx. 8 x 8 inches

The series is structured as a rhizomatic narrative
organized and presented by an imagined but systemically
real Institute of the Self (IOS). Utilizing psycho-
analytically based textual analysis, archeological
image structure, and the power of authoritative
authorship, this collection of images is archived
as a living collection of interpreted artifacts
discovered within the boundaries of an examined life.
The series attempts to expose the often contradictory
and relative nature of truth offered within any
documentary interpretation or examinationof the self
and/or culture as a whole."

Paul Thulin is an artist utilizing photography to
explore aspects of personal identity, memory, narrative,
and decay. He is a M.F.A. graduate from Virginia
Commonwealth University and an API National Graduate
Fellow. Presently, he is the Director of Graduate
Studies for the Department ofPhotography and Film
at V.C.U.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bret Payne / Nicole Andreoni - May at Transmission

Here are some images from the current show.
I have been researching honey bees. Pheromones,
systems, structures of class, their role in iconic
history, anthropomorphism, their role in a global
frame of mind. This body of work is much more
graphic than some of my other recent pieces. I've
also been getting back into drawing (with acrylic
ink). I hadn't drawn in years. Yes, I paint, sketch,
build, and print, but I felt like I needed to get a little
more intimate with my subject matter (which also
seems counter-balanced by the graphic quality of
the silkscreened honeycomb patterns that I've drawn
on top of). I'm thinking of going back into a few of these
if they don't leave the gallery walls to grace someone
else's environment.

A flower? Genitalia? No, this is the anatomy of a bee stinger. This print/drawing was done on 22 x 30 sheets of gray Rives. The yellow pops a bit more in person.The one on the right, "Black Currency" is a black silkscreen print on black paper
with a black acrylic ink drawing on top.

Below is "Heart of Darkness", inspired in part by the novel of the same name by Joseph Conrad. I highly recommend it if you have not read it. How many times and how many different ways has this myth been told? I had been looking at images of honeycombs made
back-to-back, and the semitransparent nature of the wax lead me into thinking about personas. Portions of the surface are cut out to reveal similar patterns, some slightly offset, creating
further systems/patterns/filters of personality.

Nicole Andreoni's work touches upon a fleeting innocence/purity. In this body of work, she has incorporated some printmaking into her drawings. Her flowers and semi-nude portraits (all of herself and/or her husband, Andy Kozlowski) are steeped in vanitas. Subtleties in skin tones seem effortlessly acheived with gouache and tasteful luminescent layers. The flowers are labored over with true appreciation. The mundane becoming sacred, or the sacred in the mundane is a familiar motif in Nicole's work. I appreciate the lack of smiles on these "Adam" and "Eve" portraits. She is taking us up past the poison apple, but the characters are still young (a recent past show of hers had titles incorporating "Boy" and "Girl"). This cusp to me is more precious. The sub-surface experiences are bleeding through to the surface, and I feel like these characters are currently (or have recently been) dealing with either fear, embarassment, shame, or a tragedy that I feel may never be "given" to us.

These portraits are done with graphite and gouache.

Below is an untitle self-portrait done with graphite and gouache.
The flowers are linoleum prints.

Come see this show!

Monday, May 19, 2008

three poems by Hoa Nguyen

These were also in "Brooklyn Rail":
If you can't read them, go here

Jeanette Winterson on art's role in affecting political and social change

Read this in a recent "Brooklyn Rail" (just found it's online as well - An interview with author Jeanette Winterson.
Just a small excerpt that I wanted to share with you:

Rail: Can you talk a little about the role you think fiction should play in affecting political and social change?

Winterson: Art, all art, protects imaginative space. Encounters with art open your mind because they force you away from your usual little world into spaces both meditative and challenging. It is a great mistake, the biggest mistake of all, to confuse a piece of art with its subject matter—what it says, what it’s about. We can’t do that with music, and we can’t do it with abstract painting, etc. That should warn us not to do it, full-stop. Of course a novel is “about” something, but its power is in its language and its image-making. When we turn to art, we are turning away from the clock-driven busy world into a reflective space that allows us to find our own meaning and our own beat. Change is impossible unless it starts with the individual. Art is always, always, always about the individual, the one-to-one experience. Change begins when our minds change—when our hearts change. That’s what art does, and that is why governments in the West don’t ban art—that would make it important and we would fight to keep it—no, they trivialize art, call it a luxury, call it elitist, quietly withdraw it from school study, and we go along with this, and soon we are just passive consumers of goods and news items, and we lose our spiritual muscle. Art keeps your mind fit, keeps your heart strong.