PRoJECTS SPECIAL COMMISSION: Hector Arce-Espasas "Ode to paradise (dancers)"
Héctor Arce-Espasas uses images that are inherent to the geographic and cultural milieu of the tropics. He appropriates and transfigures some of these images in order to transgress their current symbolic meaning in a sensuous play of conflicting alliances.
Ode to Paradise (Dancers) is an epitome to the exotic, the derriere. Pineapple was once the symbol of welcoming and Europe's unattainable fruit of the Royal court. The Latin derriere has now replaced it as alluring and seductive. Arce-Espasas' ceramics, in the shape of the derriere, bring to mind both literal and figurative modes of decadence. There is, of course, the explicit sexual connotation of the form itself, but also the metaphorical nature of its contents: fruit. These vessels are reminiscent of the overflowing fruit bowls popular in 17th century Europe, which served as symbols of wealth and social class. Here, ripe, tropical fruit and the body coalesce to create an interplay of indulgence, exoticism and frivolity. Arce-Espasas' use of palm trees, fruits, and the exotic creates an indexical visual experience on the idea of the tropical paradise, constructing new realities, or rather, new fantasies.
Arce-Espasas was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1982. He received an MFA from Hunter College in 2011 and a BFA from SAIC in 2005. Arce-Espasas was nominated for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s Emerging Artist’s Grant, was a recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship, and has participated in residencies such as the ISCP Residency, the AIM Program at The Bronx Museum, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency. Arce-Espasas hosts D’marquesina a New York based Latin party.
Fischer Cherry "Fertility"
Historically, fertility has been symbolized by large breasts, full hips, a small waistline, or wide set eyes. However, today there is an increasing rise in the use of artificial reproductive technology due to a variety of factors: e.g., women in their 20s freezing their eggs, LGBTQIA people starting families, women delaying childbirth until their 40s, or women of all ages suffering from the rise of auto immune diseases which may lead to infertility. In all instances, these historically iconic associates with fertility are now inaccurate. Present day technology offers a range of progressive fertility options which endeavor to liberate women and hopeful parents from the restrictions of biology and age.
Fischer Cherry addresses this outdated concept of conception in Fertility. Shifting the lens from physical attributes, the artist juxtaposes objects associated with traditional female gender roles with the latest fertility advancements and medications. Fertility suggests an updated and more comprehensive symbol of fertility that addresses the reproductive complexities women and families face today.
Johannes Girardoni "Resonant"
Johannes Girardoni is an American sculptor and installation artist. Girardoni’s work is driven by his interest in perception, and how combining natural and artificial phenomena can shift our experience of site and space. His sculptures and environments are often overlaid with digital interfaces that collect data and create artificial sensory mechanisms that merge with our own human perception.
Girardoni’s Resonant is an interactive installation composed of multiple monochromatic resin discs, each in one of the twelve fundamental colors of the visible spectrum. The sculptures express pixelated architecture in physical space, blurring the line between virtual and material content. The installation’s digital component is Resonant Lens, an iOS app that sonifies the color of each disk in real time. Resonant Lens acts as an extension of the five senses, augments reality, and allows viewers to hear what they see.
Jeana EVE Klein "Recent activity"
Recent Activity began on January 27th, 2017: the day President Trump signed the Muslim travel ban. Protests immediately erupted at JFK airport and then spread to other airports around the country. Although Klein wanted to join the fight, she lived far from the closest airport, so participated in the only way she could: scrolling through Facebook, doling out hearts and thumbs-up to all the people doing the important work of making voices heard. It was profoundly inadequate.
Rather than attempting to achieve the idealized, impossible version of herself that exists on social media, Klein now documents her daily failures with text-based works on fabric panels. Through these panels, Klein is thinking about the false sense of participation, the ineffective activism, the twice-removed relationship to concrete action, and the echo chamber of social media.
Phoenix LindsEy-Hall "Never Stop dancing"
Extending from Lindsey-Hall's ongoing practice of examining violence in queer communities through the medium of cast porcelain objects (often ones people have used in hate crimes), the 49 porcelain disco balls that make up Never Stop Dancing will each be illuminated with light and suspended at various heights from the ceiling, casting shadows, invoking reflection and paying homage to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting that took place in Orlando last year.
The disco ball is a firmly rooted signifier of nightclubs and, by extension, celebration. By matting the ball’s traditionally mirrored panels, its reflective quality becomes muted, turning the viewer’s gaze inwards. More heavenly body than corporeal presence, more lamentation than party, the clay acts as a surrogate for the body in the way it can be at once fragile and strong. Never Stop Dancing looks at how queer nightclubs and bars existed as places of safe harbor while attracting danger just outside. In a post-Pulse reality, Lindsey-Hall asks viewers how we move forward after a harbor has been compromised.
alan rath "YET Again"
An M.I.T.-educated engineer and a pioneer in electronic art, Alan Rath builds mechanical sculptures infused with uncannily life-like characteristics. “Machinery is not unnatural,” he says. “It’s a reflection of the people who make it.”
Unpredictability is a key component of this work. As well as building the technology and each component of every piece, Rath writes the programs that animate them. His works do not simply ‘run on a loop.’ The algorithms are open-ended, allowing the sculptures to modify their own choreography. The more time you spend with them, the more you learn about their behavior. But as in any relationship, there is always the potential for the unexpected.
Alan Rath's work has been exhibited extensively and is in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Hara Museum in Tokyo.
Hiba Schahbaz "Self Portrait as Grand Odalisque (After Ingres)"
Self Portrait as Grand Odalisque (After Ingres) is one of Hiba Schahbaz's first life-size paintings and marks a departure from her use of traditional miniature painting. Deeply steeped in the artistic traditions of her native Pakistan, Schahbaz combines these references with those from her own life and the legacy of western art history. Here, the figure has been painted entirely with black tea on earth-stained, handmade paper which was collected from a 92 year old paper maker in Jaipur, India.
Matthew sleeth "it was all a dream"
Matthew Sleeth seeks to draw attention to how signs “program” us to behave in a prescribed manner. By adopting their form and aesthetic while misappropriating their ideology, Sleeth has constructed a series of sculptural works that question the dogma of a politically correct society. In It Was All A Dream, the artist suggests we delve beyond superficiality for a deeper meaning in life.
Many of the conventions explored in It Was All A Dream depend on a range of cultural assumptions in order to function. Part of the rationale of this project is to make these assumptions visible through the process of pattern recognition within and between the insignias. The construction itself is an exact scale model of the Pepsi-Cola sign that has graced Brooklyn’s waterfront for decades. Using the same iron fabrication in the same structural design and the same neon in the same script brings a sense of deja-vu to the viewer. We know we have seen this before, and yet search as we may, our memory cannot place it.
Matthew Sleeth's work is held in public collections including The National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Aya Rodriguez-Izumi "Wish"
Rodriguez-Izumi’s Wish is an audience participation and installation piece based on the Japanese tradition of the Ema – a wooden wishing plaque used in the Shinto and Buddhist tradition onto which worshippers write prayers, wishes and gratitudes. They are traditionally used to convey a wish to the priests of the temple and the kamis (gods) but also serve a social function as public communication within the community that an individual has made a wish in. Wish is an experience that references this communal ritualistic process in a quotidian manner.
Visitors will have the opportunity to partake in Wish with the artist on Thursday, December 7 during the Private Preview Brunch and Young Collectors Cocktails as well as on Friday, December 8 and Saturday, December 9 from 10am - 12pm. During all other times, the work will be activated by visitors to PULSE.
Kennedy Yanko "33"
Kennedy Yanko has a vested interest in recognizing the lineage of her materials and understanding their origins. She is fascinated, and somewhat amused by, the human ability to see an object as is, without also appreciating its road to objecthood.
Yanko encourages viewers to question their casual interactions with things by pairing metal and skins. The dynamic she creates by weaving the skin through, around, and between metal pieces illustrates an investigation into perception. In Yanko's project, 33, which has been created specifically for PULSE Miami Beach 2017, the skin explores found objects, physically probing them, and establishing a stark contrast in their compositions.