Conversation with Nikita Vishnevskiy, Curator of UNSEEN HAND

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March 15, 2017

Curator Nikita Vishnevskiy speaks with Knockdown Center’s Stephanie Acosta about the exhibition, UNSEEN HAND, which was on view March 4 – April 9, 2017.

UNSEEN HAND is a group exhibition that brings together fifteen artists who employ various mediums and processes to question technology and expand upon its conventional definition. The artists exhibited assert their practice as an encounter with a technological event, whether by disrupting the technical order, poetizing methods of industrial production, or inciting sensuality by means of devices typically associated with disconnection. By presenting these instances, the exhibition warns us of the danger in comprehending technology merely through scientific merits.

Including Tom Butter, Lars van Dooren, Juliette Dumas, Todd Fink, Langdon Graves, Rachel Harrison, Corin Hewitt, Ross Knight, Andres Laracuente, Jen Mazza, William McMillin, Thomas Stevenson, Alina Tenser, Steven Thompson, and dan Waller.

Learn more about the exhibition here.

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Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

Poetry Reading: You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously

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February 10, 2017

In conjunction with the exhibition You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously., poet Steven Zultanski curated a poetry reading featuring texts that share affinities with his own poem, Agony (2012). The evening included readings by poets Alejandro Crawford, Mónica de la Torre, Shiv Kotecha, and Stacy Szymaszek and a sound installation by Fernando Diaz.

You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously. is a group exhibition curated by Alison Burstein, on view at Knockdown Center January 13 – February 26, 2017 with artwork by David Court, Erin Diebboll, David Horvitz, Anouk Kruithof, Amanda Turner Pohan, and Steven Zultanski. The show brings together artworks whose techniques resonate with Agony’s provocative alchemical idiom: these pieces quantify bodily and affective features, apply logical and scientific reasoning to absurd ends, and manipulate the linkages between language and things.

Alejandro Miguel Justino Crawford is a poet, video artist, and game designer living in Brooklyn, NY. http://amjc.tv

Fernando Diaz is the author of “Autocorrelation and Regularization of Query-Based Retrieval Scores” (University of Massachusetts, 2008). His work has been screened at the Melbourne International Animation Festival.

Mónica de la Torre is the author of five books of poetry, including The Happy End/All Welcome(forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse in the spring of 2017). Recent and forthcoming publications include Triple Canopy, Harper’s, andPoetry. She is a contributing editor of BOMB Magazine and teaches poetry at Brown University.

Shiv Kotecha is the author of the Unlovable (Troll Thread, 2016), and EXTRIGUE (Make Now, 2015). Other stuff can be found @ shivkotecha.com

Stacy Szymaszek is the author of Emptied of All Ships (2005), Hyperglossia (2009), hart island(2015), Journal of Ugly Sites & Other Journals(2016), and A Year From Today, forthcoming from Nightboat in 2017. She is also executive director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church.

You can learn more about the exhibition here.

Image: Erin Diebboll, “Thirty Years – Basement” (detail), (2010). Pencil on paper, 51” x 85”.

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Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

Conversation with Alison Burstein, curator of “You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously.”

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February 2017

Curator Alison Burstein and author Steven Zultanski talk with Knockdown Center’s Stephanie Acosta about the exhibition You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously, which was on view in Knockdown Center’s gallery January 13 – February 26, 2017.

Alison Burstein is the Program Director at Recess. Burstein previously worked as a member of the education departments at MoMA, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum and organized a wide array of public programs, performances, experimental classes, and artist projects across these institutions. As an independent curator, she has staged exhibitions at NURTUREart (Brooklyn, NY) and the Museum of Jurassic Technology (Los Angeles, CA). Burstein is a master’s student in Art History at Columbia University.

Steven Zultanski is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Bribery (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014) and Agony (BookThug, 2012).

Exhibition Info:

You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously.
January 13 – February 26, 2017

Taking up the processes of formal alchemy that lie at the core of the book-length poem Agony by Steven Zultanski, You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously. is an exhibition that traffics in transformative acts.

The show brought together the work of five artists whose techniques resonate with Agony’s provocative alchemical idiom: these artworks quantify bodily and affective features, apply logical and scientific reasoning to absurd ends, and manipulate the linkages between language and things. By placing the objects in calculated proximity to one another—and in relation to the connective tissue of Zultanski’s text—the exhibition format effects its own dynamic shift, conjuring poem-as-exhibition.

You can tell I’m alive and well because I weep continuously. invites viewers to inspect examples of morphed materiality within and between the elements on view, and thereby creates opportunities to consider the potential (and celebrate the futility) of giving stable form to ephemeral traits or experiences.

Featured Artists:
David Court
Erin Diebboll
David Horvitz
Anouk Kruithof
Amanda Turner Pohan
Steven Zultanski

You can learn more about the exhibition here.

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Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

“Read My Lips” Roundtable on Queer Abstraction

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November 12, 2016

In conjunction with the exhibition Read My Lips, (on view October 28 – December 18, 2016), this round table focused on the constellation of art practices that have been termed Queer Abstraction, a moniker not without its own limitations. Queer abstraction is in no way a new turn-of-phrase, and its origins would be impossible to locate. The goal of this conversation was to wonder out loud and together, what are the offerings and limitations of this term in contemporary queer art practices?

Read My Lips is a two-person show featuring work by Kerry Downey and Loren Britton that considers queer abstraction as an investment in indeterminacy, which allows for an expansive sense of embodiment, including but not limited to, the slipperiness of gender, affect, desire, and language.

Presenters included: John Edmonds, Mark Epstein, Avram Finkelstein, Chitra Ganesh, Glendalys Medina, Sheila Pepe
Moderated by Ashton Cooper, curator of Read My Lips

 

John Edmonds (b. 1989) is a photographer and writer who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA in Photography from the Yale School of Art and his BFA in Photography at the Corcoran School of Arts + Design. His work is in both private and public collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, FOAM Museum Amsterdam Library and the George Eastman House, and has been shown both nationally and internationally.

Mark Joshua Epstein (b.1979) is a visual artist based in New York. Epstein received his MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art in London and his BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Epstein’s work has been shown in recent solo exhibitions at Biquini Wax, Mexico City, Brian Morris Gallery New York, and Illinois State University and in recent group shows at School 33 in Baltimore, Vox Populi in Philadelphia and Schema Prjects in Brooklyn. Epstein has participated in a number of residency programs including the Millay Colony, the Macdowell Colony and the Saltonstall Foundation.

Avram Finkelstein is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn. Finkelstein is a founding member of the collective responsible for Silence=Death and AIDSGATE, which was recently included in Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years at The Metropolitan Museum in New York. He is also a founding member of the art collective, Gran Fury, with whom he collaborated on public art projects for international institutions including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Venice Biennale, ArtForum, MOCA LA, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Creative Time, and The Public Art Fund. The collective had its first retrospective at 80 WSE in 2012, and has work in the permanent collections of The Whitney, MoMA, The New Museum and The New York Public Library. His solo work has shown at The Whitney Museum, The Cooper Hewitt Museum, Kunsthalle Wien, The Harbor Gallery, Exit Art, Sue Scott Gallery, Monya Rowe Gallery, La MaMa La Galleria and The Leslie Lohman Museum, and is in the permanent collections of MoMA, The Whitney, The Metropolitan Museum, The New Museum, The Smithsonian, The Brooklyn Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and The New York Public Library.

Chitra Ganesh is a Brooklyn based artist whose drawing, installation, text-based work, and collaborations suggest and excavate buried narratives typically absent from official canons of history, literature, and art. Ganesh graduated from Brown University with a BA in Comparative Literature and Art-Semiotics, and received her MFA from Columbia University in 2002. She has held residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York University, Headlands Center for the Arts, Smack Mellon Studios, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, among others. Her works have been widely exhibited across the United States including at the Queens Museum, Asia Society(New York), Berkeley Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (California), and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, with solo presentations at PS1/MOMA (New York), The Andy Warhol museum (Pittsburgh) and Goteborgs Konsthalle (Sweden). International exhibition venues include MOCA (Shanghai), Fondazione Sandretto (Italy), Monte Hermoso (Spain), Kunsthalle Exnergrasse (Austria), Kunstverein Göttingen (Germany), and the Gwangju Contemporary Arts Centre (Korea).Her works are represented in prominent international collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, the Saatchi Collection (London), Burger Collection (Zurich) & Devi Art Foundation (New Delhi). Ganesh is the recipient numerous awards and fellowships including the Art Matters Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation for Painting and Sculpture, and a 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in the Creative Arts. Upcoming solo exhibitions include a site-specific commission at the Brooklyn Museum opening in December 2014.

Glendalys Medina investigates structures such as architecture, character, language, image and culture. Through drawings, sculptures, videos and performance she pulls these structures apart, pieces them together, and makes them hers. Self-improvement and habitual practices such as incantations and mediation activate her work. Medina’s artistic practice is a spiritual one in which geometry reveals creative intelligence and daily practices cultivate personal growth. Hip-Hop, abstraction, and new age thinking inform the work. Born in Puerto Rico, Medina received an MFA from Hunter College. Her work has been exhibited at such notable venues as Artists Space, Museum of Contemporary Art in Vigo Spain and the Bronx Museum. She has been awarded a residency at Yaddo in 2014, the Rome Prize in Visual Arts for 2012-2013 from the American Academy in Rome, a NYFA Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Art in 2012, and the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace residency in 2010.

Sheila Pepe is best known for her large-scale, ephemeral installations and sculpture made from domestic and industrial materials. Since the mid-1990s Pepe has used feminist and craft traditions to investigate received notions concerning the production of canonical artwork as well as the artist’s relationship to museum display and the art institution itself. Pepe has exhibited widely throughout the United States and abroad in solo and group exhibitions as well as collaborative projects. Venues for Pepe’s many solo exhibitions include the Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina. Her work has been included in important group exhibitions such as the first Greater New York at PS1/MoMA; Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art & Craft, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Texas, and Artisterium, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Pepe’s work was recently featured in the exhibition Queer Threads at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Lesbian and Gay Art in New York, and commissions for the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale,  exhibitions include a commission for the ICA/Boston’s traveling exhibition Fiber: Sculpture 1960-present.  Two new solo projects are scheduled for 2016 – a summer installation at Diverseworks, Houston, TX, with special event works by  CORE participant Sondra Perry. Pepe is also known as an educator who likes to trespass the boundaries of fixed disciplines in art and design. She has taught since 1995—for many years as adjunct faculty in a variety of programs and schools including Brandeis University, Bard College, RISD, VCU, and Williams College—until 2006 when she took a full-time position at Pratt Institute as the assistant chair of fine arts. Her own artistic development was a mix of academic training and non-degree granting residencies: BFA, Massachusetts College of Art, 1983; Haystack School, 1984; Skowhegan School, 1994; MFA, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 1995; and Radcliffe Institute, 1998–99. Pepe was a resident faculty member at Skowhegan School, 2013. She is now a Core Critic in the Painting + Printmaking Department at Yale University.

Ashton Cooper is a Brooklyn-based independent writer and curator. This past summer, she curated “Mal Maison” at Maccarone in New York. Recent writing projects include an essay for a publication on artist Ellen Cantor to be released by Capricious in late 2016 as well as a catalog essay for Mira Dancy’s exhibition at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai. Her writing has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, Modern Painters, Hyperallergic, Artinfo.com, Cultured, Art + Auction, Pelican Bomb, ASAP Journal, and Jezebel. She contributed the essay “The Problem of the Overlooked Female Artist: An Argument for Enlivening a Stale Model of Discussion” to the exhibition catalog for “Lucid Gestures” at the McCagg Gallery at Barnard College. She is the director of Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York.

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Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

“Read My Lips” Poetry Reading

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December 8th, 2016

“Read My Lips” Poetry Reading

In conjunction with the exhibition “Read My Lips,” artists Kerry Downey and Loren Britton organized a reading with five queer poets whose practices address marginalized bodies and problems of language. Featuring readings by Ana Božičević, Wo Chan, Rin Johnson, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, and Jespa J. Smith.

Read My Lips is a two-person show featuring work by Kerry Downey and Loren Britton that considers queer abstraction as an investment in indeterminacy, which allows for an expansive sense of embodiment, including but not limited to, the slipperiness of gender, affect, desire, and language.

Ana Božičević, born in Croatia in 1977, is a poet, translator, teacher, and occasional singer. She is the author of Stars of the Night Commute(2009), the Lambda Award-winning Rise in the Fall (2013) and Joy of Missing Out, forthcoming with Birds, LLC. She is the recipient of the 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism award from the Feminist Press, and the PEN American Center/NYSCA grant for translating It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire by Zvonko Karanović, forthcoming from Phoneme Media. The anthology of translations The Day Lady Gaga Died: An Anthology of Newer New York Poets she co-edited with Željko Mitić appeared in Serbia in Fall 2011. https://www.anabozicevic.com/

Wo Chan is a queer Fujianese poet and drag performer. They hold fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and the Asian American Writers Workshop. As a member of Brooklyn-based drag alliance Switch n’ Play, Wo has performed at venues including Brooklyn Pride, The Trevor Project, and Vox Populi. Their all Asian American experimental theater piece WHITEFLAG/WHITEFACE debuted at the Dixon Place HOT! Festival in 2016. http://brooklynpoets.org/poet/wo-chan/

Rin Johnson is a Brooklyn based sculptor and poet. Moving between Virtual Reality and sculpture, Johnson has exhibited and read widely in Europe and the US. Johnson has a BFA in photography and urban planning from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Johnson is an MFA Candidate in Sculpture at Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts. Johnson is the author of “Nobody Sleeps Better Than White People” from Inpatient Press and the forthcoming VR book, “Meet in the Corner” from Publishing House.Johnson writes for the Brooklyn Rail and teaches image literacy and photography at Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU). Johnson runs Imperial Matters with Sophia Le Fraga. http://www.rinjohnson.com/

Julian Talamantez Brolaski is the author of Of Mongrelitude (forthcoming, Wave Books April 2017), Advice for Lovers (City Lights 2012), gowanus atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011), and co-editor of NO GENDER: Reflections on the Life & Work of kari edwards (Litmus Press / Belladonna Books 2009). Julian is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist in the country band The Western Skyline (www.thewesternskyline.org). Currently in Queens, NY, Julian also sometimes lives in California. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/julian-brolaski

Jespa J. Smith is a poet, visual artist and part-time philosopher. They were born in Germany, where they studied Philosophy and Anthropology, and are currently living in Montréal, Canada.Their poetry focusses on the small, personal interactions, on transitional and surreal situations.

Images from Read My Lips

 

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Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

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