On June 21, Knockdown Center presented a full spectrum look at the automobile as our nation’s long standing symbol of manifest destiny and superfluous ingenuity. Set amidst three acres of parking lot, gallery, blackbox, and warehouse, Maspeth’s World of Wheels took this undeniable American obsession to its illogical conclusion featuring an impressive array of high end custom and collectible cars in conversation with automobile inspired visual art. Complementing the landscape were the sights, sounds and smells typically associated with a state fair including: fried things, metal/psych rock bands, burnt rubber, sledge hammers hitting steel, charcoal grills, pirate radio and more!
A family oriented FREE event with 24′ tall inflatable slide, 40′ inflatable bouncy obstacle course, face painting, treats, Ms. Nina doing a sing a long for Kiddies, Jeff Picker and his Bluegrass Band, scavenger hunt, dunk tank, carnival games, and more!
An exhibition curated by the collectively run gallery, Regina Rex.
Taking on the notion that living quarters, work places, or exhibition venues such as the Knockdown Center could have their own agency and voice, James Cordas, Leeza Meksin and Jeff Williams worked with the building to generate works specifically for this occasion. Jeff Williams’ undulating wall piece made from expanded metal flocked with nylon fibers spaned a fifty foot wall, slipping from manmade material into the realm of natural phenomenon—a process that could be seen to mirror the building’s own arc over time. Leeza Meksin stretched sheer fabrics across an isolated section of the architecture, interrogating the structure by highlighting its mutability and permeability. James Cordas used the wind power from an industrial strength fan found on site to generate work that accepts the unpredictable character of the light, sound and body of the cavernous space. Together, the works featured in House, What is Your Crime? spoke to the possibility for placing authorship and active willpower in the hands of the building itself while in dialogue with its artists and inhabitants.
¹The title is borrowed from a line in the poem “House & Bernadette” by Bernadette Mayer from the book Scarlet Tanager. In this poem, the poet holds a conversation with her apartment. The poem begins with the question: “B: House are you anyone who could be doing anything at this moment? Are you a boy watching train tracks in the past standing in a big yellow field?”
Presented in four movements throughout Knockdown Center’s galleries and main spaces, TRANSIENT’S THEME was Bethany Ides’ month-long, soapoperatic document of the trans-temporal, polymorphic exploits of the work’s protagonist, The Transient.
The Transient is a restless spirit who flits between presences & poleis, perpetrators & victims of hysteria, histrionics, conspicuous communitarianism & tele-para-pseudo-phones. As the Transient attempts to blend in, its movements–– modal shifts–– become the only way to detect it. You might see a rustling in & among bodies, escaping & undoing things, in disguise as a gallery opening, an academic conference or a project fundraiser. It is sneaking, nobody suspects a thing until it’s been piped in through the air vents & it’s everywhere, this sudden strangeness. Whose shadow is this? Detective? For all I can tell there’s no such thing as repetition, only this insistent, persistent rhythm.
The month-long opera was presented in four movements:
ACT I: Causing It
An exhibition curated by Andrew Beccone & Pierre Alexandre de Looz
“MYMEOGRAPH” by Pierre Alexandre De Looz and Andrew Beccone and DEUX VACANCES by Tim
The work irrigates Knockdown’s accessible and inaccessible spaces, with no interest in productivity- babble and dribble.
ACT III: Conference is Transference
A conference organized w/ Mitchell Akiyama
ACT IV: Traumathon
A fundraising festival
Produced by Artists’ Association MUU, Performance Voyage is an annual tour of international video performances. The Performance Voyage 4 compilation from 2014 contained 14 video performances by artists from all over the world. The tour produced over 20 events in 14 different countries.
The theme of Performance Voyage 4 was SELF-PORTRAIT, offering a variety of possibilities for the artists as well as the audience: the works challenged spectators to reflect upon their own self as well. Jury members for the Performance Voyage 4 included Taina Erävaara, Leena Kela and Timo Soppela.
ARTISTS & WORKS:
Anastasia Ax & Marja-Leena Sillanpää: Scream to Scream (Sweden)
Alex Bodea: nine line poems of alex bodea (Romania/Germany)
Elina Brotherus: Francesca Woodman’s Aunts (Finland)
Cristian Chironi: Sticker (excerpt) (Italy)
Chun Hua Catherine Dong: When I Was Born (China/Canada)
Allison Halter: Salt Lick (USA/Germany)
Constantin Hartenstein: FIT (Germany)
Marja Helander: Trambo (Finland)
Marianne Myungah Kim: Remember everything (Korea/USA)
Verica Kovacevska: The Artist (Macedonia/Switzerland)
Julia Kurek: Message (Poland)
Marika Orenius: Talking about… (Finland)
Benas Šarka: Wall Soul (Lithuania)
Minna Suoniemi: Lullaby (Finland)
The Exhibition in MUU Gallery (April 2014) included also an Installation by Romulo Banares: Feed me back (Spain).
Showcased in an evening of performances presented by NYPAC, the New York Performance Artists Collective, past present futures was an experimental presentation curated by Samuel Draxler: over three performances, temporal borders were broken and the seam between times were blurred.
Pierre de Fermat, writing a note in the margin of Diophantus’ Arithmetica in 1637, claimed to have discovered “a truly marvelous proof… which this margin is too narrow to contain.” The historical record is insufficient to verify whether Fermat had actually solved the problem, or if the statement was pure bravado. Scientific methodology, like that of an archeological excavation, allows a form of history to be reconstructed — “now” being a fog that slowly overwhelms access to an unmediated past. The recovered materials, as relics of another time, yield certain information about their production. This information is recovered in spite of its present context. This friction between times is what happens when past and present speak at one another, when they misrecognize each other, when the borders collapse under extravagant claims and counterfactuals, when ghosts brag of feats and historians get their hands dirty. Fictive archeology, mysticism and the occult, ritualized action: these conflicting methods each connect with the present by narrating the past.
For past present futures, Meredith Neuman reprised Witch-hunting: What’s In It For Me?, guiding the audience through the identification and elimination of witches that hide amongst us (no previous experience necessary). Sara Grace Powell lead the audience on a paranormal walking tour along the site’s absent infrastructure. The evening culminated in Ashley’s presentation of an excerpt from KIDNAP ME, a mix of dance, performance, and live drawing that constitutes an “experiment in duration.”
past present futures was held in collaboration with And The Villagers Never Liked You Anyway, an exhibition and archeological survey conducted by Sorry Archive under the direction of Dr. Ulf Hueber.
In November of 2014, Knockdown Center proudly presented a group exhibition of painting, sculpture, video and installation by artists and their artist parents.
The works in this exhibition explored the ways in which a creative pursuit is inscribed and inherited throughout an artistic life. Emblematic of diverse processes and intentions, the works alluded to one another in subtle and overt ways and served as a non-verbal correlative to collected video stories presented amidst the installation. By portraying similarities and differences in styles and techniques of an artist and their artist parent, the pieces created a framework for examining the creative process as a life-long commitment that transcends the expectations of profession and audience.
What strategies are artists using to sustain a consistent and meaningful lifelong relationship with their work and in what ways could relatives participate directly in the creation of an art piece?
The exhibition was accompanied by the publication of the catalogue LEGACY. To request a copy, please email us here.
Lilian and Ulrike Feser
Lola Goeller and Mona Sommer
Constantin and Ulrich Hartenstein
Chelsea and Thurmont Knight
Rebecca and Lee Bamberger Leopold
Casey and Kurt Schultz
Clemens and Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm
Negative Space featured five artists whose works reference the domestic environment. Through various media, the artworks in this exhibition explored the temporal and spatial intervals between humans and the objects that most closely surround them; as the viewer encountered references to the emotional and psychological space of home, they were placed in stark contrast to the Knockdown Center’s vast industrial space. The artworks situated the viewer in a contemplative space, at once personal and claustrophobic. The comfort and security of home was juxtaposed with raw open space. This exhibition explored how works depicting the domestic can simultaneously convey an emotion of feeling exposed and vulnerable.
Jeremy Coleman Smith carefully built a 12 x 12 x 8 foot room in which interior paneling was made from hand-cut cardboard and exterior siding was formed out of soaked and embossed Stonehenge paper. Rachel Higgins exhibited two works, both read as domestic objects gone awry. Her sculptural work is often performative and participatory, bringing an unexpectedness to familiar objects. Cait Carouge’s large-scale photographs are unsettling and explore the uncanny in domestic interiors. Lauren Gregory turns the process of painting into an animation and creates a narrative that locates the viewer at home on the couch, comforted by face-painted pillows. Kevin Frances also uses a narrative form in his three Japanese woodblock prints, telling a story of a young woman moving into a new apartment.
In conjunction with the exhibition was a dinner event by Eric May, Chef and Founder of the Piranha Club, an artist-run underground supper club that was launched out of the Roots and Culture Contemporary Art Center in Chicago. Eric teamed up with artist Paul Anthony Smith in a long-anticipated culinary throw down to present an intimate dinner on Saturday, March 28.
Curated by Stacie Johnson and Gabrielle Garland
image: Kevin Frances, “Lucas’s Clothes (3),” 28x14x6 in, Ceramic, pigments, acrylic varnish. 2014.
In June of 2014, choreographer/director, Emily Terndrup and writer/director, Derrick Belcham presented “The Wilder Papers”, an experiential narrative surrounding the lives of the composer Julian Wilder and the choreographer, Dorienne Lee.
Presented free of charge by way of a generous commission from the Knockdown Center, the event was invitation only and marketed by word of mouth. For one night only, ten dancers transported the audience back to the 1950’s, leading them through every remote corner of the Knockdown Center’s voluminous space to a live score set by five musicians.
Find out more information on the productions of Emily Terndrup and Derrick Belcham.
Traversing synchronously a single lifetime, A Nutcracker: Part I reinvented a classic narrative for a contemporary audience of all ages, inviting them to wander freely and explore a dreamlike world in which the breadth of life’s manifold emotions and experiences harmoniously coexist.
Choreographed by Katie Rose McLaughlin and directed by Joshua William Gelb, “A Nutcracker” used Tchaikovsky’s music to depict the life story of a woman (and dancer) named Clara.
In this new adaptation, Clara’s childhood, young adulthood, middle and old age appeared simultaneously, accompanied by live musicians in a playful yet poignant exploration of coming-of-age-stories bookended by tragic death, of leaving things unsaid, and of loved ones left behind.
A Nutcracker: Part I was created by:
Choreographer: Katie Rose McLaughlin
Director: Joshua William Gelb
Music Director: Ian Axness
Story: Dan O’Neil
Lighting Design: Josh Smith
Set Designer: Sara C. Walsh
Costume Design: Diego Montoya
Sound Design: Gavin Price
Assistant Choreographer: Mary Kate Sickel
Featuring: Valda Setterfield, Lisa Lockwood, Gary Chryst, Kaitlyn Gilliland, Pierre Guilbault and introducing Louisa Blakely