Acting Out

Acting Out

On View from December 03, 2010 – January 08, 2011

**The gallery will be closed December 23rd @5:00pm through December 25th and December 31st through January 1st in observance of the Christmas and New Year's holidays**

Opening Reception: Friday, December 3, 6pm - 9pm

Temporary Exhibition Location: 305 E 140th St., #1A Bronx, NY 10454

An Exhibition Featuring Danielle Abrams, Shana Moulton, Jill Pangallo, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, and Maya Suess.

Guest Curator: Erin Riley-Lopez

Opening Night Performances By: Shana Moulton, Danielle Abrams, and Karina Aquilera Skvirsky

Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) is pleased to present Acting Out, a group exhibition guest-curated by Erin Riley-Lopez, opening on December 3rd, 2010. The exhibition, which runs until January 8, 2011, is the second in a series hosted in our temporary location, "On the Block", at 305 E 140 St. #1A, Bronx, NY, while we undergo a seven-million dollar renovation to our West Farms facility.

There is an extensive history of museum, not-for-profit, and gallery exhibitions devoted to video and performance by women artists, especially in recent years, since feminist art is once again at the forefront of contemporary art discussion. Acting Out is positioned within this history to further the discussion of feminist art.

Acting Out features: Danielle Abrams, Shana Moulton, Jill Pangallo, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Karina Skvirsky, and Maya Suess. The exhibition focuses on these women artists, all based on the east coast, who have worked in video and performance since the 1990s. Each of the artists embodies characters in order to discuss personal or collective histories. This work finds its historical precedents in much of the performance and video art produced in the U.S. during the 1970s, including consciousness-raising methods used by Judy Chicago at CalArts and Fresno State, as well as the work of Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershman, Martha Wilson and Jacki Apple, Linda Montano, and Adrian Piper. Utilizing techniques such as role-playing and dress-up, the artists in this exhibition construct personas and narrative, in some cases creating elaborate lives for their characters, in order to comment on race, gender, identity, and representation.

The artists deliberately perform—in front of a camera, before an audience, or both— acting out their narratives and characters. Costuming, location, and props, among other elements, play an especially important role in these videos, as they provide the foundation for the entire scenario that is performed by the artists. Regardless of their strategies—which range from quiet interior reflection without monologue or dialogue, to more assertive questioning and discussion—they all share a keen interest in tackling normative societal structures, traditional hierarchical roles, and what it means to be a woman. Using strategies of monologue and comedy in her performances, Danielle Abrams often channels relatives, such as her grandparents, or versions of herself, as a way to discuss her gender and biracial heritage. In the episodic Whispering Pines, Shana Moulton’s character, Cynthia, negotiates the domestic sphere. Jill Pangallo interacts with an identical "My Twinn" doll, commenting on the commodification of identity. Chuleta is Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz’s stereotypical Puerto Rican character, who explains art historical terms and movements. Reciting a poem that her mother read her as a child, which warned of the issues regarding miscegenation, Karina Skvirsky embodies a 1960s female persona. Maya Suess—evoking classic 1960s Motown girl groups in her music video—uses the power of a spell to question the male gaze.

ABOUT THE CURATOR:

Erin Riley-Lopez received her M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (2005) and her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College (2002). Erin was a curator at The Bronx Museum of the Arts from 2005-2009, where she curated collection-based and annual Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) exhibitions. Her exhibitions include Collected: Working Space 10 at Cuchifritos, New York (2010); Untitled at The Center for Worker Education, CUNY, New York (2010); There Goes My Hero, at The Center for Book Arts, New York (2009); and the forthcoming Privacy Please! at AIR Gallery, New York (2011). In addition to writing exhibition essays for Bronx Museum publications, her articles and reviews have appeared in might be good… a project of fluent ~ collaborative in Austin, Texas and Bootprint, a publication of Boots Contemporary Art Space, in St. Louis, Missouri. Erin has also served as a guest blogger for art:21 and her essay appeared in the Joan Mitchell Foundation's 2009 MFA Grant Recipients exhibition catalogue. Erin is currently an independent curator and lives in Los Angeles.

Image Captions:

1. Jill Pangalo, Note to Self, 2008, video, 4:00 minutes

2. Maya Suess, I’ve go you under my spell 1: Radical Judgement Transmutation Forcefield Song, 2010, video, 3:52 minutes

3. Danielle Abrams, Routine, 2010, documentation form live performance

4. Shana Moulton, Whispering pines 7, 2006, video, 4:43 minutes

5. Karina Skvirsky, Antojo/Desire, 2009, video, 4:15 minutes

6. Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Ask Culeta: Contemporary Art, 2001, video

 

Performance by Shana Moulton.

Performance by Karina Skvirsky.  Video by Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz.

Performance by Danielle Abrams.  Background videos by Maya Suess (L) and Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz (R).

Guests of the Acting Out opening reception.