History and theater both require a narrative. Both require a stage. But what happens when history becomes less a posthumously curated flow of events and more actively guided to a point? The work selected for this fall's New Artists Feature brings together four artists that lucidly examine history, exceptions and boundaries. We are honored to present the work of Noritaka Minami, marksearch, Regina Mamou and Susan Metrican.
In his series 1972, Noritaka Minami documents the Nakagin Capsule Tower through photographic techniques. Designed by the architect Kisho Kurokawa, the Tokyo-based building is a rare, almost extinct example of the post-war Japanese architectural movement Metabolism. The structure itself serves as a time capsule of an era that embraced what now appears to be unachievable ideals during a time of great economic success. Originally intended as a convenient weekday home near work for salarymen, some still exist as apartments. Others have a new life as offices, studios or vacant spaces waiting for their next incarnation. Minami finds a base from Kurokawa's execution of these concepts. His images are an iterative exploration of the aging, extremely small identical spaces that draw from ongoing relationships with capsule residents.
Bruce Douglas and Sue Mark, the husband and wife team who work together as marksearch, create projects that negotiate spaces between the public, governmental entities and arts organizations. Their practice finds inspiration from asking questions about a specific location or place. A recent California-based project, Walking the Invisible City, creates a tour of Oakland's downtown for pedestrians. Through a collection of some 30 markers, the audience is guided from one community to another. The markers are shaped to echo the Oak tree and provide haiku-like poems about the forgotten people, places and events related to their location. Following the archeological nature of the project, each marker was meticulously etched into the sidewalk.
One of several photographic works exploring the town of New Harmony — Regina Mamou's Chartres Cathedral points to the remnants of a historic utopian community in the state of Indiana. The Harmony Society, a group from Germany avoiding religious persecution, cut the original town from America's frontier wilderness in the early 1800s. A little over a decade after being founded, Harmony was sold to a wealthy Welch industrialist who had a great interest in experimental social structures. The town was quickly reborn as New Harmony. Mamou's Indiana images are a chapter in her recent series Unfortunately, It Was Paradise. For these works she traveled across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States in search of the environmental remains of former utopian communities that existed before the twentieth century. Each draws from historic or memorializing architecture as well as the cultivated lands where these villages and towns once stood.
Oscillating between humor, banality and drama, Susan Metrican's recent works seek a path beyond constraint. Many, like Closed-eye Theater, rely on the mechanics of painting but actively invade spaces as objects. Painted elements that extend the rectangle relentlessly attempt to convert abstraction. Possibly straying towards anthropomorphism, if allowed. At minimum these artworks become potential surrogates, echoing darkly tanned leather, rusted steel, and countless other tangible forms. Most exist on a scale that seeks parity with the viewer. A few are larger, often mimicking common architectural elements in scale and subject. Each asks the audience to become involved, to perform along side the works, as if being called to walk up the stairs of a stage.
David Andrew Frey is a New York-based artist, curator, and technologist. He founded Culturehall in 2008 as a new way for artists to connect with curators, gallerists, collectors, and other artists. David received an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000. He has also studied at the Camberwell College of Art in London, the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. He recently curated exhibitions in New York of work by Culturehall artists for Ligne Roset, the Big Screen Plaza, and Cindy Rucker Gallery.
Culturehall is thrilled to celebrate its fifth anniversary and the global community of artists and curators who have contributed to our growing online resource for contemporary art.
In the summer of 2008, David Andrew Frey founded Culturehall as a new way for artists to connect with curators, gallerists, collectors, and other artists. Tema Stauffer began working with David in 2009 to expand Culturehall's community of artists, develop its resources, and write curatorial essays. In 2010, she was awarded an AOL 25 for 25 Grant for innovation in the arts for her combined work as a photographer, curator, writer, and teacher. Tema has curated seven feature issues for Culturehall primarily focusing on themes in contemporary photography, and she and David have juried and co-written eleven New Artists Features highlighting work in various media by international artists.
Culturehall has been honored to witness the outstanding achievements of artists whose work has been featured in our issues during the past five years. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize some of the many remarkable accomplishments by artists within the community.
The 2009 feature issue Framed by Nina Büsing Corvallo brought together four female photographers, including LaToya Ruby Frazier and Tiana Markova-Gold, whose work examines theoretical, political, social, and personal issues. LaToya's documentary photography about her hometown, Braddock, Pennsylvania, received critical acclaim during the 2012 Whitney Biennial, and her solo exhibition, A Haunted Capital, is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. Tiana was a 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Photography, as well as a 2010 recipient, with writer Saran Dohrmann, of the Dorothea Lange — Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for their on-going collaboration about prostitution and the marginalization of women in Morocco. This work was recently presented in a solo exhibition at the Camera Club of New York as the culmination of Tiana's 2012 Darkroom Residency.
Kelli Connell and Debbie Grossman, two featured artists who digitally alter images to re-imagine gender roles and identity, were included in After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this past year. Also a recent MacDowell Colony Fellow, Kelli was featured in Other Places, an issue about different generations of international artists whose photographic work explores gender and sexuality. Other artists in this issue, including Doug Ischar, were part of a group show guest curated by Tema Stauffer at the Camera Club of New York in 2011. Doug's Marginal Waters series documenting a gay beach in Chicago in the mid-eighties was recently on view at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography in Toronto and featured in the Guardian Weekend Magazine.
Among a long list of gallery exhibitions of work by Culturehall artists in New York City, Higher Pictures included work by four featured artists — Artie Vierkant, Jessica Eaton, Letha Wilson, and Joshua Citarella — in the group show, Photography Is, in 2012. Artie, Jessica, and Letha also each had solo shows at Higher Pictures in the last two years. Letha's new series of photo-based sculptures examining the magnetic pull of the American West was recently exhibited in her solo show, Landmarks and Monuments, at Art in General. Cultured Stone, a solo show of work by another featured artist Ethan Greenbaum, was presented at Theirry Goldberg Gallery in 2012.
This spring in Chicago, conceptual artist Jason Lazarus's Chicago Works was installed in two separate areas of the Museum of Contemporary Art. His installation of work from Michael Jackson Memorial Procession is included in a group show, Love to Love You, at MASS MoCA, bringing together artists who explore the notion of being a fan as an opportunity for shared social experience and extreme personal obsession.
Constant Dullart's solo show Jennifer in Paradise opens at Import Projects in Berlin in September 2013. Featured in Being There by Jenny Jaskey, Constant also participated in an event at the New Museum in 2012 in which he released a series of works in response to the new Terms of Service conditions of several Internet services. Photographic portraits shot in Vietnam by Jamie Maxtone-Graham were shown at the Nooderlicht International Photofestival 2012 in the Netherlands this past fall. In Paris, featured artist Jo-ey Tang was selected to curate a group exhibition Forming Loss in Darkness at Praz-Delavallade as part of young curator season of Palais de Tokyo that opened in June 2013. The works in the exhibition set an alternative mise-en-scene of the rarely screened silent super-8 film Beautiful People (1998) by David Wojnarowicz, tracking the journey from slumber to death, with the history of material as a form of narrative.
Jesper Norda's recent video and sound piece, Right Hand-Left Hand, was installed in three adjacent rooms at the Gothenburg Museum of Art in Sweden. Culturehall highlighted The Centre of Silence, an earlier sound installation at the Kalmar Museum, in our New Artists Feature, Spring 2012. A Swedish artist living in Berlin, Erik Bünger will exhibit work in a group show opening at the Gothenburg Museum in September, Nyförvärv, displaying work the museum has purchased in recent years.
One of the artists selected for our New Artists Feature, Spring 2011, Sarah Palmer received the 2011 Aperture Portfolio Prize. A solo show of her photographic series, As A Real House, was presented by Aperture Gallery in Fall 2012. Featured in Traces along with three other women artists, Corinne May Botz was recently awarded a New York Film and Video Grant from the Jerome Foundation. The grant will fund an experimental video that will use the construction/deconstruction of a standardized patient simulation to explore empathy and the performative aspect of doctor-patient encounters.
Featured photographers Juliana Beasley and Christoph Gielen received Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowships in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Sasha Rudensky, whose work was included earlier this year in Scout by Jacob Rhodes, recently received one of six fellowships granted in 2013.
Part of what made it possible for Culturehall to feature the work of this diverse and accomplished community of artists were the insights of exceptional guest curators from around the world. Culturehall has reached out to dynamic figures who shape the arts — such as curators, writers, poets, educators, artists, and gallerists — to invite them to share artists with our audience and to write essays about their work based on a curatorial theme. We've collaborated with guest curators in over twenty cities including New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, Moscow, and Mexico City.
Culturehall would like to thank all of the guest curators who have contributed to the site: David B. Smith (28/73/91), Jordan Tate (32/62), Ruben Natal-San Miguel (34), Nina Büsing Corvallo & Candace Gottschalk (35), Erin Sickler (36), Ian Cofré (37), Leeza Meksin (39/49), Shane Lavalette (40), Zeina Assaf (41), Elissa Levy (42), Alex Ebstein & Seth Adelsberger (44/72), Matt Olson (46), Melissa Levin (48/64), Emily Carter (50), Tracy Candido (51) & Chelsea Haines (51/79), Allison Browning (52), Debora Kuan (53), Silke Bitzer (55), Jenny Jaskey (56), Ethan Greenbaum (57), Amy Fung (59), Jo-ey Tang (61), Howard Hurst (66), Oliver Wise & Eleanor Hanson Wise (67), Amy Elkins (68), Corinna Kirsch (71), Tucker Neel (75), Anna Knoebel & Tess Knoebel (76), Lauren van Haaften-Schick (78/82), Sean Justice (80), Gerardo Contreras (83), Helen Homan Wu (85), Yulia McCutcheon & Dasha Kutasina (86), Pauline Magnenat (88), Legacy Russell (89), Elly Clarke (92), Jacob Rhodes (94), Elizabeth White (95), Cindy Rucker & Brad Silk (97), Keri Oldham (98), and Abigail Smithson (100).
Thank you also to all of the artists who have shared their work on Culturehall and to our friends and supporters. We look forward to building new relationships and featuring more exceptional artists in the years ahead.