1. March 18, 2012

    For her Midwest museum debut, Tangier-based artist Yto Barrada will exhibit “Riffs”, an installation of photographs and films that inquire into the daily traces of historical changes taking place in North Africa, the artist’s home. Barrada, who is Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year 2011, has developed an artistic practice which combines the strategies of documentary with a metaphoric approach to imagery, resulting in a body of work lauded for its emblematic power. The installation which was previously on view at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin draws from past bodies of Barrada’s work, including “A Life Full of Holes: The Strait Project” (1998-2004) and “Iris Tingitana” (2007), reconfiguring them in new relationships together with the artist’s most recent work.

    Barrada (b. 1971, Paris) grew up between Tangier and Paris, where she studied history and political science at the Sorbonne. She subsequently attended the International Center of Photography in New York. After sixteen years abroad, she returned home to Tangiers where she continues to engage the complex realities around her, avoiding the rigidity of any ideological discourse, and without recourse to the spectacular or the melodramatic. In addition to her recent solo exhibit at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, a partnership between Deutsche Bank and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, she also exhibited at the 2011 Venice Biennale.

    # vimeo.com/38924272 Uploaded
  2. May 5, 2002

    For the past few years, Los Angeles-based artist Catherine Sullivan has created performances combining installation art, dance and traditional theater dialogue. Sullivan refers to her work as second order drama, in which the dramatic process becomes the spectacle. The result is a hybrid theater in which there is a radical alienation between the body as a vehicle of perception and the body as a veyhicle of expression. Sullivan's quirky postmodern works, whose references range anywhere from Hellen Keller to Ted Nugent to Trisha Brown, are often steeped in emotional excess offset by choreographed movements ground in modern dance and sign language.

    The Renaissance Society has commissioned a new piece which will incorporate video, choreography, set design, and live performance.

    # vimeo.com/38516930 Uploaded
  3. Katarzyna Kozyra, Jan 14, 2001

    For her Midwest debut, internationally acclaimed photo and video artist Katarzyna Kozyra has produced The Rite of Spring, an animated film to be screened for the first time at The Renaissance Society. The new work from this veteran of the 1999 Venice Biennale features a series of senior citizens performing stop-action sequences based on the choreography of Vaslav Nijinsky.

    Throughout the last decade, photo- and video-based identity work challenged the physical and cultural immutability of socio-biological determinants such as race and gender. Treating the body semiotically, little if any of this work considered the physical realities of illness and aging. By taking into account such limits, the work of Katarzyna Kozyra investigates issues of self and identity as they relate to both "otherness" and "wholeness." Like many photo and video artists who disintegrate essentialist notions of self, Kozyra uses role-playing. The point, however, is not to transgress biological or physical determinants but to understand and project an image of our bodies (as is) into the space of longing. For a greater degree of comfort with our bodies as they are, defective or perhaps degenerating, Kozyra has resorted to unabashed voyeurism. In Bathhouse, Kozyra uses a hidden camera to capture men and women in a state of utter familiarity with their bodies, a state from which to begin discussions of difference from self to self (woman to woman, man to man) as predicated on a gaze from self to other (woman to man or vice versa).

    # vimeo.com/38240426 Uploaded
  4. January 13, 2002

    For his exhibition at The Society, Beijing-based artist Feng Mengbo has created Q4U, a customized version of Quake III, the popular internet game whose plot is simply kill or be killed. The dynamic audio-visual of contemporary videogames is magnified as Q4U is projected over three large screens (10 feet by 13 feet) each featuring a different point of view.

    # vimeo.com/38446372 Uploaded
  5. May 6, 2001

    The Renaissance Society presents Sky-Wreck, a large site-specific textile work by Chicago-based conceptual artist Helen Mirra.

    Given the disparate nature of her practice and her interest in language, the label conceptual artist suits Chicago-based Helen Mirra well. The components of her installations are often extremely simple, combining a textual element with a minimalist form. In addition, she has produced a sizeable output of film, video, audio recordings and artists books all of which bring to mind Fluxus. Mirra's wit, however, is largely at the service of poetry, a sensibility befitting her favorite subjects; the sea, the landscape and childhood.

    For her exhibition at The Society, Mirra has created Sky-Wreck, a work based on the geodesic designs of Buckminster Fuller, utopian engineer, inventor, cartographer and architect, best remembered for the geodesic dome. Sky-Wreck consist of 110 triangles with 330 edges of a polyhedral form cut from a coarse indigo cloth which is flattened to cover a large portion of the gallery floor. Mirra's form functions as one of Fuller's dymaxion maps in which he converted the globe into a triangulated polyhedron. Instead of representing the surface of the earth, Sky-Wreck represents the firmament, or the sky in its role as support for the heavens. On a formal level, Sky-Wreck corresponds to the interior architecture of the gallery which consists of an elaborate series of origami like folds configured to resemble a neo-gothic church. Conceptually, Mirra drew her inspiration for Sky-Wreck from a variety of spiritual, artistic, and scientific sources ranging from Paul Celan (from whom the exhibition derives its name) to Dr. Bronner, from Marcel Duchamp to the Milesian philosophers of Ancient Greece.

    # vimeo.com/38367204 Uploaded

Artist/Gallery Talks at The Renaissance Society

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The Renaissance Society features artist talks and gallery tours accompanying each exhibition.

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