Pearl, Jen Mazza
November 17-December 3, 2006
Curated by Evonne M. Davis and Emma WilcoxOpening Reception November 17, 6-9:30
Performance by Sarah Kipp at 8
November 18- December 31
Second Floor Project SpaceOpening Reception November 18, 6-9
Marco Munoz Jaramillo
Zachary Simon Wilson
Joann Kott Hughes
Images from reception
In The Country of Last Things 4-Ever
October 20-November 11, 2006
Curated Annually by Emma Wilcox Opening Reception:
October 20, 6-9:30 PM
as part of the Newark Arts Council Gallery Crawl
Eric Harvey Brown and Lori Baker
Bradley Lucas Hyppa
Sreshta Rit Premnath
Christian Marc Schmidt
and Claritas PRIZM Demographics
Historian Thomas Gallagher, writing in Paddy’s Lament: Prelude to Hatred, described the wave of land evictions that occurred during Ireland’s great famine. These evictions were “…so legally impossible to prevent, that tenants whose homes were marked for destruction often helped to tear them down themselves on the promise that they would receive some gratuity for their labors.” This money almost never appeared.
In assembling a disparate collection of artists, many of whom explore Sisyphean tasks or the suggestion of inorganic fecundity that discarded urban objects hold, this re-curation* is an attempt to own painful experiences of urban life, to tear the house down before anyone else can.
Eric Harvey Brown and Lori Baker compiled photos of hand-made signs that appeared on houses, refrigerators and boards after the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina began to recede. The privileging of urgency has a long tradition in photography, but all profits from the sale of their book of these images, Signs of Life, go to relief organizations still working in New Orleans.
Maxmilian Goldfarb’s installation couples transmissions from a police band radio scanner with video footage of discarded objects, suggesting a “fragmented narrative of infinite messages…a petrified superstructure of public grammar.” Recent press clippings from down the block from Gallery Aferro utilized the phrase “ceremonial demolition.” The object of this phrase was a bus shelter. Dozens of people now wait for the bus in the rain because of this phrase’s intentions towards a public structure.
Bradley Lucas Hyppa’s film, house (home) takes the site of the home within the location of the house, and finds conflicts between these seemingly congruent spaces. Hypnotic and vividly colored, the looping, jerking images suggest thermal surveillance filtered through loving memory.
Reuben Lorch-Miller has made flags, plaques, films, clothes and other conceptual objects that express an end-time worldview that somehow suggests abundant new possibilities. Writing about Lorch-Miller’s work, ArtForum’s Glen Helfend described a black hooded sweatshirt with the word “nowhere” embroidered on the front, which “…taps into the popular sartorial trend of “shouting out” to one’s ‘hood, to one’s home, which in this case is a void.”
Sreshta Rit Premnath’s film A Thousand Apologies depicts the artist attempting to swim across a river while tied by a rope around his ankle to a large rock on the shore. Premnath has stated that his intention was to express that “The I is constructed through exclusion. The I is all that is not the Other.” Whether near rivers, as in the case of urban North Jersey, or far, the denizens of cities know this statement to be truth.
Similarly, selections from Christian Marc Schmidt’s Adaptive Landscapes series depict “community fragments,” arranging the shapes of community space as existent chronologically in New York and Chicago. Usage and ownership are described by boundaries, by edges.
Frightening and hilarious, Pascual Sisto’s film takes an inanimate object potent with desire and power-the basketball-and creates a depopulated night world where space is dominated by a herd of them.
*In The Country of Last Things (Gallery Aferro, 2004) was structured around notions of perception and reality in the urban setting, around the possibility that every city has a hallucinatory “double,” a shadow thrown by distorted TV news coverage of crime, video games set in sensationalistic pastiche locales…The possibility that we see each other through and in these mirages of urban life.
Jerry Gant/Sebastian Patane Masuelli
New Works in Progress
October 20th-November 11
Second Floor Project Space
Opening Reception October 20th, 6-9:30
The two yearlong artists-in-residence at Gallery Aferro divide one floor.
See the results.
September 7-October 1, 2006
Curated by Emma Wilcox and Evonne M. DavisOpening Reception:
September 7, 6-9 PM
Your comprehension of the marks on this page is not voluntary. Gallery Aferro asked 30 artists based worldwide if the breakdown of language makes it more visible. Glossolalia presents selections from bodies of work that can be read as the answer to this question. This examination of the struggle to exchange ideas with words and sounds did not yield Babel, but a coherent and engaging survey of strategies employed by contemporary artists to understand and relate the world around them.
The function of language both written and spoken is an automatic and thus often invisible process. As Steven Pinker writes in The Language Instinct, “Simply by making noises with our mouths, we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each other’s minds.”
Utilizing everything from pidgin to academic jargon to cocktail chatter, each artwork in Glossolalia has to be approached with a fresh eye, <insert idiom> as the artist may be attempting to invent a new language, commenting on or refusing to participate in an existing mode of speech, or exploring the creative possibilities of nonsensical tones or marks. Many artists are working in a language that is not their mother tongue, or working simultaneously in several languages. The significance of wordplay to radical political movements worldwide, like the religious/scientific phenomenon of “speaking in tongues,” are interpreted differently depending on one’s perspective.
Perhaps only visual artists can approach language this freely. Some examples:
The Gallery’s front window has been filled with 4,000 hand-cut vellum letters: the entire text of Gallery Aferro’s call for submissions, and the artist’s response to the call. Two monitors run a code that gives displayed words a kind of nervous system that responds to sound. Responding to ambient noise or the speech of the viewer, the letters deform until they are both illegible and expressive. A man writes calligraphy in five different languages with an ink dipped beef tongue held in his mouth. A man walks into a bar, and stoppeth one of three…
You are reading this text, interpreting it, and judging it.
Glossolalia: Speaking in a language that one does not understand. .
Uttering a series of sounds that resemble language, but are not.
A state of grace.
Aferro: (Portuguese, idiomatic) Bound or chained to an insane idea, or an idea that is difficult to achieve.
The Triumphal Arch of Maxmillian
September 7-May 2007
After researching disposable plaster arches manufactured for special occasions in the 18th century, artist Will Corwin proposed to build a “temporary monument” over two months on the second floor project space, created out of more than 150 handmade plaster panels, made on site. The panels are to be reinstalled in the basement.
July 13-August 6, 2006
Curated by Evonne M. Davis
Opening Reception July 13, 6-9 PM
See images from the reception
In Light was inspired by the way that light defines form for us. 17 artists–from Newark, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, the UK, Korea and elsewhere–take over two floors of Gallery Aferro’s new building with work ranging from the subtle to the oversized, from moon light to red light. On the second floor, 9 individual large-scale projection booths–a modern nickelodeon–will be showing cutting-edge film work. There is always a faith-based component to vision: humans have favored it among the senses for so long that it can be difficult to question the veracity of its input.
Seongmin Ahn creates meticulous, oversized installations dealing with scientific theory on matter out of mulberry paper and ink made from ash, evoking the absence of light with black circular shapes. Dianne Arndt’s Fire in The Bronx and Armed and Dangerous light boxes assemble a linear display of civic unease. Javier Cambre’s film combines red light, a staircase and a woman walking on the ceiling with hypnotic effect, as powerful as Michael Cousin’s shimmering celluloid universe of…glowing pigeons. Erika DeVries honors the natural world with lenticular (3-D) prints in soft color. Using nothing more than an old camera and a smudged aquarium, Dru Fereday evokes the pathos of a relationship in its entirety. Paul Gabel’s long “video surveillance of a cast shadow” is stunning in its beauty and simplicity. Asha Ganpat installs a “soul detector” in Gallery Aferro’s lobby. Susan Graham’s landscapes are created with cyanotype chemicals and sugar, depicting a vaguely dystopian place that doesn’t look too far from Coney Island. Erik Guzman’s steel sculpture allows the viewer to create a highly convincing simulated eclipse, controlled by foot pedal. Jesse Houlding’s installation Cone of the Known and Unknown” offers the didactic reassurance that for “every sphere of known elements exposed to us, we are simultaneously subjecting ourselves to a wider sphere of unknown elements.” In that vein, Rebecca Major’s dinner party of shadows looks inviting. Robert Silverman premiers an interactive display running code written by the artist. Frightening and hilarious, Pascual Sisto’s multi-channel film installations are short glimpses of inanimate objects dominating a depopulated world of parking lots and highways. Exposed with six straight hours of moonlight, Benjamin Tiven’s large C-prints are lovely modern analogs to photography’s earliest era, while Shawn Towne explores the continuing possibilities of video feedback.
No Money Down
June 15-July 9, 2006
Curated by Emma Wilcox and Evonne M. Davis
Opening Reception June 15, 6-9 PM
Limited Engagement is a yearlong project in a 20,000 sq ft building making explicit the usually unspoken relationship between art and real estate. The building’s former use, and the entire city block are defined by furniture sales on lay-away, by six piece sets that are not fried chicken. The block, like much of downtown Newark and other American cities, is layered densely with the signage of decade’s worth of promises and exhortations.
Andrew Y Chan, seen most recently in Killing me Softee, contributes a paper-mache vending machine, while Peter Kreider reproduce iconic objects such as fireworks with malevolent accuracy. Molly Blieder probes economic anxieties with her depictions of “running in the red.” Richard Garrison offers us the constrained aesthetic choices of suburban homeowners, and Vandana Jain was commissioned to drive out retail spirits in the gallery with veves derived from her “logomanadalas.” Matthew Gosser merges the fine New Jersey practices of recycling and labor investigations with pieces from his celebrated Pabst series. Hellin Kay’s photography contrasts youthful beauty with a collapsed and evolving Russian economic order. Nick Kline and Niki Lederer each take on a ubiquitous and coveted item: beloved pets and black SUVs with series of multiples. Noah Klersfeld’s film loop A Couple of Seconds creates a hypnotic portrait of intimacy’s costs. Kent Rogowski’s neon signage advertises anxieties and their possible antidotes.
We have borrowed (or stolen) a phrase from the former tenants of the building. Used as a title, it is meant to both honor and exorcise the previous history of our gallery, and our new space.
No Money Down considers bargains, exchange, rewards and/or losses. Bad credit ok.