Monuments: on location Montclair Quarries, NJ (Right: Redmond Entwistle)
Post-Minimalism and B-Cinema Ethics in New Group Exhibition,
January 22-March 20, 2010
Mary Billyou, Redmond Entwistle, Suzanne Goldenberg,
Rafael Sánchez & Kathleen White
New York, NY
Reception Art in General
Friday, January 22, 2010 6-8 pm
The community that Blanchot refers to as the "ideal community of literary
communication" was therefore not a self-conscious organization, but rather a
changing network of friends who gathered, every now and then, around a table,
everyone with different motives, not necessarily recognizing the full significance of
the moment, and not making any lasting commitments.
“Textual Communities: Nancy, Blanchot, Derrida”
Art in General presents “Double-Bill”, a group exhibition curated by Redmond Entwistle and organized around the premiere of his New Commissions film Monuments, a retelling of the story of Post-Minimalism's relationship to the landscapes of New York and New Jersey. “Double-Bill” includes works by Mary Billyou, Suzanne Goldenberg, Rafael Sánchez and Kathleen White that share B-cinema’s ethics of independent production and its achievement of magical and critical effects using minimal means. These New York-based artists approach to making art can be thought of as a record of their navigation through the urban landscape, and in the context of “Double-Bill” it is also the basis for assembling a transitory community.
Entwistle’s new film Monuments likewise depicts a transitional encounter, but between three influential Post-Minimal artists of the sixties and seventies. Robert Smithson and Gordon Matta-Clark are revived from the dead and ejected from their makeshift mausoleums in New York by the forces of redevelopment. Led through New Jersey by a young Dan Graham, they debate their artistic positions with the ‘non-actors’ they encounter at the sites of their work in New Jersey. Monuments re-enacts the narrative subtext of Post-Minimalism with some of the crude poetry of the American B-movie, drawing on the treatment of the figure in the landscape in North American cinema. What at first seems to be a film about art history, becomes a portrait of the areas of New Jersey that were once the industrial belt of New York, and a second story emerges of the demise of industry in the region and the changing position of North America within a globalized economy.
Presented around a makeshift cinema are the works that complete "Double-Bill"; Mary Billyou’s text paintings, Suzanne Goldenberg’s delicate paper-and-fabric constructions, and Rafael Sánchez and Kathleen White’s long-running situational project BOOKS RECORDS TAPES. These works reflect and refract themes introduced by Monuments: the questioning of site’s relation to production, the logic of urban space, and the experience of shifting economies.
On crudely gessoed canvases, Billyou’s compositions of stacked words function like wheat-pasted posters or stenciled commands in urban spaces. Informed by her parallel practice of filmmaking, often with found footage, the paintings employ editing techniques of sequence and collage in their re-ordering of language. Through the almost-intimacy of their scale, Billyou diminishes language lifted from authoritative media texts to a personal mode of address.
Using materials found in and around the city, Goldenberg transforms what might be considered detritus and of no apparent value into sculptural compositions that suggest the architectural, the emotional, and the tragicomic. Poised somewhere between growth and collapse, the delicate materials retain their histories as the waste by-products of consumer society, but through their model-like scale and a sensitivity to their other possible uses, Goldenberg transforms them into precarious structural analogies.
Started by Sánchez in 1999 on the sidewalk in front of his apartment, and continued in colla- boration with White since 2004, BOOKS RECORDS TAPES is a year-round street sale in the tradition of event art such as Happenings and Fluxus. Not limited to the simple curating and exchange of cultural material, the project incorporates a number of publishing and archiving projects, including the self-published magazine alLuPiNiT, now a non-profit organization. BOOKS RECORDS TAPES has at times been referred to by Sánchez and White as ‘TABLE project’ or ‘The Table’ because it functions as a support or proscenium for sculpture, architecture, music, performance and conversation. The many facets of this project share an imperative of reclamation and redistribution in relation to the City.
Monuments will be presented twice-daily in a makeshift screening space alternately reminiscent of a micro-cinema and a drive-in theater, along with a series of double-bill screenings by pairs of New York-based artist-filmmakers including; Raha Raissna & Stom Sogo, Mary Billyou & Jenny Vogel, and Marianna Ellenberg. In an effort to further open up the cinema as a site for exchange and to expand on Monuments reflections on location and representation, Entwistle will interview film critic and writer J. Hoberman on the subject of how cinema, a geographic art of space and displacement, is being defined by the logics of globalization in the 21st century.
Mary Billyou, Home Movie, 2004, acrylic and enamel on canvas
Suzanne Goldenberg, Trap, 2009, mixed media
Rafael Sánchez & Kathleen White, BOOKS RECORDS TAPES, 1999-ongoing. (photo: 2006)
General support of Art in General is provided by General Tools LLC; Abraham and
Lillian Rosenberg Foundation; Starry Night Fund of Tides Foundation; New York State
Council on the Arts, a state agency; National Endowment for the Arts; Carnegie
Corporation of New York; Ralph E. Ogden Foundation; public funds from the New
York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; Jerome
Foundation; AG Foundation; Miller-Sweezy Charitable Trust; Lily Auchincloss
Foundation; Bloomberg; ConEdison; Cowles Charitable Trust; Foundation for
Contemporary Arts; The Liman Foundation; NYU Community Fund; and by
The New Commissions Program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of
Museum and Library Services; Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Jerome
Foundation; and Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. Additional support for
Monuments has been provided by Arts Council England, London with the support of
Film London; Artists' Moving Image Network; Independent Features Project; and
Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto.
The Eastern European Residency Exchange is made possible by the Trust for Mutual
Understanding. Additional support has been provided by the Polish Cultural Institute
and the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.
Art in General's A/V Elevator Program is made possible with public funds from the
New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
About Art in General
Founded in 1981 in Lower Manhattan, Art in General is a nonprofit organization that
assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. It changes in
response to the needs of artists and engages the public with their work. Since it was
established, the organization has emerged as one of New York City’s leading
nonprofits devoted to supporting and stimulating the creation of contemporary art,
providing an environment in which artists may exhibit unconventional work and
exchange ideas with their peers.
Location: 79 Walker Street, NYC, at the southeast corner of Cortland Alley. One block
south of Canal Street, between Lafayette and Broadway.
Subway directions: take the 6, A-C-E, N-Q-R-W, or J-M-Z to Canal Street.
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12-6 pm.
Admission: Always free.
Art in General's 6th Floor Gallery and restrooms are wheelchair accessible, and we
can provide assistance to visitors with disabilities as requested.
79 Walker Street
New York NY 10013
T_ 212 219 04 73
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