On View from September 10, 2010 – October 09, 2010
A group exhibition featuring Colby Bird, Carla Edwards, Naomi Miller, Maia Palileo, Carlos Reyes, and Jim Zeske.
Curated by Nora Lawrence.
Opening Reception: Friday, September 10, 6pm - 9pm
Bronx Culture Trolley: Wednesday, October 6, 5pm - 9pm
*NEW Location: Bronx Art Space, 305 E 140th Street, #1A, Bronx, NY 10454
Bronx River Art Center is proud to present About Me:, a group exhibition guest-curated by Nora Lawrence, opening on September 10, 2010. The exhibition, which runs until October 9, 2010, is the first in a series hosted in our temporary location at the Bronx Art Space while we undergo a seven-million dollar renovation to our facility. This fall, the Center will break ground on a major Capital Program and enter a two-year phase of roving arts programming while the building is being reconstructed.
About Me: explores different ways in which contemporary artists are making use of the trope of autobiography in their work. The artists exhibited make reference to themselves—at times sincerely, subtly, ironically—and in so doing, ask us to question the relationship between personal history and memory, as well as the veracity of self-presentation.
Bringing the “self” to bear on an interpretation of a work of art has long been controversial. In 1967, Roland Barthes called on theorists and historians to move beyond biography, saying that to concentrate on an artist’s biography was to limit the interpretations possible for a work. However, feminist theorists and others have emphasized the continued importance of biography, arguing that all of our multiple and varied experiences have helped mold the art that we have produced, as well as our ability to interpret it. Artists, moreover, be they painters, novelists, or filmmakers, often pass seamlessly between their own life experiences and something imagined, often not committing or admitting to one over the other. For audiences, the question becomes: what stock do we take in the personal? How much of it guides us as viewers, and how much can we invest in it?
This exhibition will include work in various media by six artists, each of whom approach the idea of the personal in a different, provocative manner. Colby Bird uses a beautiful sky and city skyline as the backdrop for his video, F Books, and allows its sublimity to strip audience members of a healthy skepticism that they may well wish they had maintained. Carla Edwards points the camera onto herself in video work that communicates through hard-worn cultural symbolism, but obfuscates her motivations by remaining silent. Naomi Miller uses herself and her family as subjects of her art, drawing intimate, familial moments onto the stage of high art. Maia Palileo has created an ongoing suite of drawings that revisit formative memories with such a great level of detail that they slip into fiction. Carlos Reyes has created a body of sculpture that asks the viewer to question the truth-value of personal photographs and mementos, while also calling upon the viewer to become part of the work of art. James Zeske’s mixed-media installations create a personal symbolism by making use of idiosyncratic souvenirs of lived experiences: in this case, an extended stay in Argentina.
Visual art is able to communicate information indirectly, unlike the written word. In this exhibition, some artists begin from a personal event and work through it until it morphs from the biographical to the imaginative; others take their history as a starting point for free exploration, and still others question the very idea of the “authenticity” of the artist’s presentation of himself or herself. All weave in and out of the space of the self, creating works that variously intersect with their personal journeys.
ABOUT THE CURATOR:
Nora Lawrence is a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. She has helped organize several exhibitions at MoMA, most recently as co-curator of Ernesto Neto: Navedenga (2010). She has co-authored and contributed texts to several MoMA publications, including Modern Women (2010), Monet’s Water Lilies (2009), Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today (2008), and Armando Reverón (2007). She has previously worked at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she earned her MPhil degree, and holds a MA from the University of Southern California and a BA with honors from Pomona College. She is an adjunct faculty member at the School of Visual Arts, New York, and has also taught for MoMA Courses and at USC.
1. Naomi Miller, detail from On the Porch with Sandra, George, and Lachlan, Boston MA, 2008, chromogenic prints, 31” x 92”
2. Maia Palileo, The Note, 2009, ink on paper, 11” x 14”
3. Jim Zeske, Materials Nómades,2009, wood and shoes, 24” x 12’ x 36”
Opening reception, artist Carla Edwards and guest viewing the work of artist James Zeske.
Guest viewing sculpture by Carlos Reyes.
Mitsu viewing work by Maia Cruz Palileo.
Video by Colby Bird.
Artist's Talk on September 28, 2010.