In 2017, exhibits at Open Source will explore culture through historical approaches, tradition and social practice. Through both solo and curated group exhibitions, artists will involve our community in contemplation about the effects of political and social history on our contemporary circumstances. Through solo and curated group exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists, we will contemplate culture and traditional across generational and historical timescales.
Exhibitions will include:
Liinu Grönlund (multimedia and film)
Francesco Simeti (sculpture and installation)
Sana Obaid (film and performance)
Andrew Snyder (sculpture and performance)
Omar López-Chahoud (curator)
Kimberly Mayhorn (film and installation)
April 22-May 27, 2017
Opening Reception: April 22, 7-9pm
Francesco Simeti presents Swell, a theatrical installation at Open Source Gallery that explores human impact on the environment.
In Swell, Simeti transforms appropriated images from the history of the Gowanus Canal into a motorized, sculptural installation in which the public can contemplate the consequences of human impact on our environment. The Gowanus Canal was built in the mid-1800s as an industrial transportation route. All of waste discharged into the canal over time has made the Gowanus Canal into one of the nation’s most seriously contaminated bodies of water. The canal was declared a Superfund site in 2010 yet remains the home of industrial factories, small businesses, artist studios and rapidly gentrifying residential areas. Currently the bottom of the canal is coated to a layer of toxic sediment–nicknamed “black mayonnaise”–that averages 10 feet thick, reaching 20 feet in some places. In a twist of irony, this sludge resembles a noxious primordial soup and microbes have evolved to live off the pollution. It seems that the canal has not only become uninhabitable for wildlife, but could be breeding new and previously unidentified organisms uniquely adapted to their putrid environment.
The diametrically opposed elements present in the history of the canal–life and death, order and destruction, the light-hearted and the devastating–mirror Simeti’s practice, which amplifies multifaceted environmental, social and political concerns into an immersive sculptural installation. Pairing images of plants and animals that once flourished along the canal with images of environmental devastation and human intervention, Swell uses ornament and subtext as an instrument of political critique. Adopting a DIY aesthetic, Simeti takes inspiration from Baroque mechanical automata, which combined an awe of nature with an affinity for artifice, to explore the social, cultural and historical significance of the Gowanus Canal. Combining the installation with workshops, collaborative projects and partnerships with local organizations, Swell engages with the consequences of human activity on a local level and encourages action. Visitors are invited to explore different avenues of inquiry, taking time for self-reflection while simultaneously connecting with their community and its history.
Francesco Simeti (b. 1968, Italy) received his BA from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Italy). He has created public art projects in the NYC transit system at the 4th Avenue-9th Street Gowanus and the 18th Avenue Bensonhurst Gardens subway stations. Simeti has exhibited at spaces including the Risd Museum (USA), Art & Idea Gallery (Mexico) and Columbia University (USA). His work has been featured at the Shanghai Biennial (China), Palermo Gallery of Modern Art (Italy), MASS MoCA (USA), Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains (Switzerland), and the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art (USA).
Sana Obaid was trained as a miniaturist at the National College of Arts (Pakistan) and received her MFA in Art and Design at Beaconhouse National University (Pakistan). She is interested in engaging, recording and presenting the banal nature of life through found objects and explorations of everyday subjects. She has exhibited throughout Pakistan as spaces such as Alhamra Gallery, Art Scene Gallery, IVSAA Gallery and Chawkandi Gallery. She has also exhibited outside Pakistan in spaces such as Herbert Gallery (UK), Glynn Vivan Gallery (UK) and Annant Gallery (India).
Andrew Snyder presents Mark of a Day, a performative installation at Open Source Gallery.
Traditionally the act of throwing is merely a means to an end; the potter’s wheel, a tool. How can the means be separate from the end? The means should determine the end. There is a truthfulness to work that does not hide the manner in which it is produced. When one commands a skill, there becomes an artistry shown in the process of performing that skill. The potter’s wheel is no different. There is a long history of demonstration in the crafts, whether it is weaving, smithing, or throwing. It is really a performance showing the mastery of the craftsman’s skill. Thus showing the audience the means that the end product is derived. This series is paying tribute to the tradition of demonstration by way of performance. Snyder is not making bowls on the potter’s wheel; he is simply throwing. It is the process of throwing that matters. Still, the documentation of the process is also very important. Customarily, the act of throwing is documented simply by firing the work. However, this piece shows the passage of time on the potter’s wheel, not by producing pots, but the mark that is left from throwing for a fixed length of time. Since his roots are in blue collar production pottery, he will spend the “normal” work day of 9 am to 5 pm at the potter’s wheel throwing nothing but small bowls. The bowls which are thrown are assembled in “boards” of 10. In production, a board is a measurement of a predetermined number of pots, and the number of pots is determined by how many will fit on a shelf; in this case, ten bowls equal one board.
This series is capturing that feeling of a day in production on canvas.
Andrew Snyder received a BS in ceramics and an MFA in sculpture from Towson University. He is currently an assistant professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has presented work in solo exhibitions at Knauer Gallery (PA), Saints and Sinners Gallery (MD) and Mulberry Art Gallery (PA). His work has been featured in group shows at The Art Trust (PA), Baltimore Clayworks (MD), Academy of Fine Arts Lynchburg (VA), Kevin Lehman Gallery (PA) and Thornhill Gallery (MO) among others.
In 2017, Omar López-Chahoud will curate an exhibit at Open Source that will utilize collaboration to generate international exchange.
Omar López-Chahoud has been the Artistic Director and Curator of Untitled since its founding in 2012. López-Chahoud has earned MFAs from Yale University School of Art and the Royal Academy of Art in London. As an independent curator, López-Chahoud has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions in the United States and internationally. He curated the Nicaraguan Biennial in March 2014 and has participated in curatorial panel discussions at Artists’ Space, Art in General, MoMA PS1, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. He is currently a member of the Bronx Museum Acquisitions Committee.
Kimberly Mayhorn is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist utilizing installation, sculpture, theatre, dance, sound and film/video. The Brooklyn-based artist is a Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Fellow, and was selected by Essence magazine as one of “30 Women to Watch.”
Kimberly creates large-scale, site-responsive installations, assemblages, and sculptures that are process-driven and often influenced by a historical context, then stripped away from their initial motivation, pared down to a singular thought and built back up slowly to create a new language and narrative in her artwork.
Kimberly has shown in a variety of institutions such as The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Rush Arts in New York, Five Myles in Brooklyn, Aljira in Newark, The African American Museum in Philadelphia, The University Museum at Texas Southern University in Houston, and the African American Museum in Dallas. She has also collaborated with choreographers Dai Jian, Shalewa Mackall and the late Lowell Dennis Smith.
It could have been | Press release | Artist talk February 25-April 8, 2017 Opening reception: February 25, 7-9pm Artist talk: February 27, 7-9pm “But at the risk of sounding anti-human–some of my best friends are human!–I will say that it is not, in the end, what’s most worth attending to. Right now, in the […]
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Jasmine Murrell: Some Impossibility Without A Name
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