November 8 – December 4, 2004
Opening Reception November 11, 2004
Curated by Evonne M. Davis
Project Room: Jen Grasso
See images from reception
Gender is not your body, or anyone else’s. There is biological capacity for five medically and legally distinct genders. Between a birth and death certificate, both of which acknowledge non-binary gender. You will have provisional use of a body. Provisions designed to maintain a particular set of definitions of gender. The cost of someone’s comfort, perhaps your own, will be paid, somehow.
When asked about the obsolescence of the body, Kathy Acker wrote back angrily. “There isn’t much in this world that I love, and what I canand do love is my own, and other people’s bodies.” That was before her death from breast cancer, the experience of which forces many women to reevaluate where, exactly, their gender identity lay, what it hinges on, its minimum operating requirements? Negation as identity: are you merely what you aren’t? Male, because not female? Female, because not male? This mode of thought ultimately does disservice to us all.
Are you most yourself when you want someone? Or when you are wanted? The body takes a limited number of forms. Desire is sharp, specific. Other times it is formless, but who would dare to question its veracity? Legitimacy is another matter, but XX XY is not about sex, orsex acts. Gender is the feeling of wanting to be a sexually expressive being. Gender is something one builds one’s self: prosthetic: Reach, Grasp, Manipulate.
Produced by Evonne M. Davis
Curated by Michelle Mumoli
In the Country of Last Things: The Relevance of Urbanism
October 8-November 4, 2004
Curated by Emma Wilcox
Artists: Thomas Torres Cordova, Roy Crosse, Thomas Mailaender, Tara Russo, Reed Slater and Emma Wilcox.
Project Room: Beata Pankiewicz
“Words tend to last a bit longer than things, but eventually they fade too, along with the pictures they once evoked.”
Apocalyptic imagery is difficult to purge from discussions of Newark, NJ.
One city by that name has postal codes and is built of concrete and electricity. It has history, complexity and future.
Another by the same name is a nonexistent place by the river, smudged with ash. Its only foliage is the ailanthus; its only automobiles long parades of white town cars. It is lit only with fire and the neon of all night churches. It has no history because it has no time. Reference to its existence is useful in real estate transactions, law enforcement budgeting and political machination.
There are no bricks in this city, because it is built out of words and pictures. This city is not Newark. It is every city, and none.
Certain words become loaded with various significances, often contradictory. The resident of a place that exists only symbolically to outsiders can take a certain pride in knowing that he cannot always be seen. But a continuing invisibility can be rightfully identified as a form of hostile indifference. Recent arrivals attempt to reconcile the sights of a new environment with memories of mass media referents.
Is referring to urbanism’s relevance itself a sign that it is irrelevant? A discussion cannot be continued if common language is not used. The artists featured represent a cross-section of native and outsider response to the city of words. They have been assembled together to survey a place, the significance of which is contested territory.