Mierle Laderman Ukeles

[UN]NATURAL LIMITS – Austrian Cultural Forum New York

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Jan 23 – April 1, 2013

Austrian Cultural Forum New York 11 East 52nd Street – New York, NY 10022

Artists: Desire Machine Collective, Thomas Hirschhorn, Mathias Kessler, Superflex, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Lois Weinberger
Curated by Dieter Buchhart & Arnaud Gerspacher
Curatorial Advisor: Mathias Kessler

The new international group exhibition [UN]NATURAL LIMITS, which opened on January 22nd, gathers together different artistic reactions to the alienating effects of the unfettered global exploitation of resources, and offers insight into the denial and myopia of current political responses to what increasingly appears to be a perpetual crisis.
It focuses on the environmental relays sent back in response to our human activities (or failures to act), while giving voice to various groups, thinkers, and artists who seek to interrupt narcissistic and destructive self-involvements in society.

The exhibition, which was commissioned by the Austrian Cultural Forum’s director Andreas Stadler and curated by the Viennese-New York team of Dieter Buchhart and Arnaud Gerspacher, maintains a deep ambiguity towards the modernist legacies of endless expansion and selective prosperity, as our social and political systems slowly begin to confront the limits of growth and sustainability. Each artist or collective poses a challenge to the perceived limits that condition our understanding of the world: on the one hand, the limited prospect for action, compassion, and change, while on the other, the limitless drive for resources and capital in all its forms. A reversal is necessary: it is compassion that should be limitless.

The show will include an installation by Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn titled Resistance-Subjecter (2011), which was first shown as part of his Crystal of Resistance at the Venice Biennial 2011. The bodies of the eight mannequins have seemingly been infested and corroded by 1 million year-old crystals. We are left to guess whether the crystals were produced in the body and stand for a material resisting cultural, economic, social, ecological, and aesthetical habits, or whether the body was produced by the crystals, now hosting them in order to resist the jaded times we live in.

Austrian artist Lois Weinberger’s Invasion (2005/2011) also plays with the limits of the organic and inorganic. The installation consists of a group of mushrooms that climb, protrude, and seem to grow from the Austrian Cultural Forum’s gallery walls. The work is a striking confluence of nature and artificiality, though the limits between the natural and unnatural are not as clear as they may first appear: the walls themselves were once organic growths in a forest and the artificial lighting is itself produced by natural sources of energy.

Equally engaged in uncovering the often-arbitrary limits between ecology and the economic functioning of the urban landscape, Mierle Laderman Ukeles has been committed to interrogating the social role of art within these processes. Her Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969! (1969) states that art should be concerned with maintaining life, its systems and environments. In her yearlong performance documented in Touch Sanitation Performance (1977-80), Ukeles shook hands with 8,500 sanitation employees, while sharing and documenting their stories, and thereby drawing attention to the ecological underbelly of New York City and its often socially stigmatized workers.

In Experience Climate Change As… (2009), the Danish collective Superflex advertises a series of hypnosis sessions offered in conjunction with international global climate change summits. The first one took place in 2009 at the UN Global Climate Summit in Copenhagen, and future events are planned through the year 2050. These hypnosis sessions allow participants to experience climate change as a specific animal, in a relatively playful gesture that nevertheless points to the serious relationship between the natural limits of global ecosystems and the seemingly limitless capacity of world powers to defer action due to realpolitik and economic reasons.

The rapacious capacity to excavate natural sites is documented by Mathias Kessler in his piece,Jarrells Cemetery, N37o53.96’ W81o34.71’. Eunice Mountain. West Virginia. (2012). The artist traveled to a commercial surface mining site in West Virginia to document the operation and the local stories mourning the lost landscape, the political situation, and the area’s history. Verbal accounts are audible to visitors outside the gallery, before they are confronted inside by a massive wallpaper depicting the carved out hillsides which appear overwhelmingly dry and diseased. In serious irony, the only remnant and survivor in an otherwise lifeless scene is a cemetery, now even more cut-off from the living.

Finally, [UN]NATURAL LIMITS includes a documentation of Periferry – An incomplete Balance Sheet (2013), a nomadic space for hybrid art practices mounted and maintained by Desire Machine Collective. Located on a ferry barge on the Brahmaputra River in India, this project provides a space for experimentation and new media approaches, public and community arts, which are relevant to immediate local concerns and aim at the empowerment of the community and reclaiming the public space, while at the same time connecting with the global.

For more information, visit acfny.org

Reposted from eflux newsletter

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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Summer Residency Program: “Reconfiguring Site”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

July 11 until August 19 in New York City by the School of Visual Arts

The six-week summer program ”Reconfiguring Sites: New Approaches to Public Art and Architecture” highlights different areas that are currently manifest in public art: such as social intervention, new media technologies, interdisciplinary collaborations with architecture, ecological and environmental interventions, and performance.

Prominent figures working in these areas will discuss their practice and offer critiques of participants’ work. In addition, resident artists will attend workshops that are designed specifically to learn the tools essential to working in the field of public art.

Through the workshops and the guidance of faculty and guest lecturers, interdisciplinary and collaborative teams will be encouraged and artists will develop and present a professional proposal. This program covers topics such as reading from the plan, grant proposal writing, contracts, funding for self-initiated projects and workshops in fabrication.

Taking full advantage of New York City’s rich resources, participants will engage with leading artists, architects, landscape architects, curators and critics in the field. SVA’s state-of-the-art digital sculpture facility offers the resources for experimenting with ideas in an environment conducive to creative exploration and supportive of logistical issues involved in public art pursuits. Sculpture facilities and facilities for working with custom electronics, high-end digital photography, video, 3D graphics and sound production equipment are available.

Current faculty and lecturers include: Herve-Armand Bechy, Mary Ellen Carroll, Charlotte Cohen, Eiko and Koma, Christina Ewing, Wendy Feuer, Anita Glesta, Deborah Gans, Marlina Gonzalez, Kendall Henry, Jonathan Lippincott, Tom Otterness, Lauren Ross, Harriet Senie, Meryl Taradash, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Jerry Van Eyck and Krzysztof Wodiczko.

For more information about this program visit: reconfiguringsite.sva.edu.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)

– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)

– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)

– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

ecoartspace NYC 2010 benefit “What Matters Most”

ecoartspace invites you to participate in our first NYC benefit exhibition titled What Matters Most? The show and benefit party will be hosted by Exit Art in NYC from April 15 – 28th, 2010.

What Matters Most? will begin with responses to this question posted on Monday February 15th on Andrew Revkin’s NY Times blog, Dot Earth by leading environmental experts, writers and readers. Participating artists will have the option of creating an original artwork related to the blog entry of their choice or donating an existing work.

All proceeds from this fundraiser will support ecoartspace activities and programs. ecoartspace has been operating as a bicoastal nonprofit platform for artists addressing environmental issues since 1999. In our ten years of programming we have worked with over 400 artists, curated 38 exhibitions, 70 programs and collaborated with over 140 organizations. To celebrate our achievements as well as raise money for future programs we recently held our first benefit auction at Mina Dresden Gallery in San Francisco on December 4th, 2009.

What Matters Most? begins Thurs April 15, 2010 and ends with our Benefit Sale: Thursday, April 28th , 2010. Please click on the image above for more detailed information.

Artists participating as of 2.13.10 include:

Joan Bankemper, Andrea Reynosa, Joy Garnett, Chrysanne Stathacos, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Diane Burko, Sandy Gellis, Fritz Haeg, Steven Siegel, Joanne Greenbaum, Lisa Hoke, Dove Bradshaw, Jaanika Peerna, Chris Kennedy, Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, Teri Hackett, Elizabeth Demaray, Robert Lobe, Kathleen Gilje, David Schafer, Claudia Hart, Lori Nozick, Christy Rupp, Kathe Burkhart, Joanne Howard, Abigail Doan, Alan Wexler, Charles Goldman, Marion Wilson, Emily Brown, Katie Holten, Robin Kahn, Nina Yankowitz, Carter Hodgkin, Geoffrey Hendricks, Nina Katchadourian, Hunter Reynolds, Erik Hanson, Janet Pihlblad, Kunie Suguira, J.J. L’Hereux, Austin Thomas, Mikael Levin, Rhona Bitner, Michael Somoroff, Sandi Sloane, Jill Levine, Steve Keister, Alison Moritsugu, LC Armstrong, Stacy Levy, Jan Harrison, David Webster, Simon Draper, Mary Mattingly, Susan Leibovitz Steinman, Ann Rosenthal, Steffi Domike, Mary Ann Strandell.


We give thanks to the Exit Art staff for their support. This event is a continuation of our relationship with their Social-Environmental Aesthetic (SEA) program including our participation in The Drop exhibition in 2006 and EPA in 2008.

Amy Lipton and Patricia Watts

Go to EcoArtSpace