AROUND TOWN: “Show #9” at The Parlour Bushwick

Show #9

Location: The Parlour Bushwick, 791 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Exhibition Dates: January 25 through March 9, 2014
Opening Reception: January 25, 2014 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Gallery Hours: Sunday from 12:00pm to 6:00pm and By Appointment
Contact: info@theparlourbushwick.com or (718) 360-3218 / (718)360-6973

Text from their website:

The Parlour Bushwick is pleased to present “Show #9”. The opening reception will take place Saturday, January 25 from 6 – 9pm. The Parlour Bushwick is located at 791 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11221. The exhibition will run until Sunday, March 9, 2014. The gallery is open Sunday from 12 pm – 6 pm and by appointment. 


The work in show # 9 exudes a minimal aesthetic. Simplicity rather than decoration guarantees the essentialness of the piece. The work speaks to you thoughtfully as if carefully controlled. That is not to say that chance does not play a role in their process. In fact, all the artists’ experiment with the materials they work with whether it is a printer, a form or a surface. The decisions made during their process, calculated or random have an introspective quality.

Andrea Monti’s polaroids are a result of playing with different techniques, including multiple-exposure, long exposure, interference, addition of filters, as well as straightforward shots documenting his life. The accumulation of these images creates a sensory experience that describes a quiet and pensive solitude. On the other hand, much of his work can be playful. His piece entitled “The Most Useless Machine Ever” not only is a study in futility but is also a documentation of what has become a universal pastime – obsessively watching seemingly ridiculous and random subjects on the Internet. Combining YouTube videos of other peoples’ obsession with building and then displaying machines that immediately shut themselves off is a meditation in the act of nonsense and displays a sense of mischief.

Stacy Scibelli’s work is a contemplation on form. Intuitive and conceptual, her pieces are made to look like clothing but are impossible to wear. They call to mind minimalist art and fashion while denying the functionality of the clothing adding an element of frustration and suprise.

MaryKate Maher makes terrestrial-like objects that are based on notions of how to manipulate and control nature. The perilous arrangement of rocks in “Cairn,” convey a metaphorical unease. You don’t expect the rocks to fall nor the paper bag that supports it. The piece stands as its own entity, free from the laws of gravity. It is the restrained elegance and careful placement of parts that draw associations and mood while defying a narrative.

Images courtesy of The Parlour Bushwick.

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REVIEW: Violence of Everyday Objects: Thoughts on Phoenix Lindsey-Hall’s “Flame Tempered”

Violence of Everyday Objects: Thoughts on Phoenix Lindsey-Hall’s “Flame Tempered”
written by Conor O’Brien, The Living Gallery

"Flame Tempered"

“Flame Tempered”

The first object in Phoenix Lindsey-Hall’s show “Flame Tempered” is a ceramic knife. It is without much definition, and barely noticeable from a distance, fading into the white walls of the gallery. It seems small and fragile compared with the other pieces on display, especially the dramatic eponymous piece of the show. But this object sets a certain tone for when one goes on to encounter these other objects. The knife occupies a strange space in the world of objects: it belongs equally to the world of the everyday mundane and the world of violence. The particular knife Lindsey-Hall has chosen to cast highlights this fact. It is unclear without further definition whether this particular knife is a normal kitchen knife or some kind of hunting tool. The distinction between mundane object and weapon is obscured.

Objects do not have intent; they reflect the intent of their user. It is this reflective quality that is most unsettling aspect of everyday objects. And it is for this reason that even prior to understanding their context, the collection of ceramic objects exhibited in Lindsey-Hall’s show seem so unsettling cast in their ghostly, monochromatic white. The knife is the most obvious example of the crossover between the world of the mundane and the world of violence, but as soon as one is put into this frame of mind, it is difficult to not imagine the inherent danger of the other objects: a plunger, a bottle of bleach, a soup can, baseball bats. Without further definition, the objects in the show are reduced to pure reflectivity, bound neither by the world of the mundane or that of violence: each could cross with ease between these worlds.

Phoenix Lindsey-Hall speaking before the screening of 'Paris is Burning.'

Phoenix Lindsey-Hall speaking before the screening of ‘Paris is Burning.’

Phoenix Lindsey-Hall, a former lobbyist for queer-rights in Kentucky, researched and catalogued in a database a series of violent hate crimes targeting homosexual and transgender people, using this research to form the context for her work. While initially a photographer, Lindsey-Hall has of late produced ceramic sculptures of the everyday objects that she has discovered often become weapons in these violent crimes. At the “Paris is Burning” film screening and artist talk event at the Living Gallery, the artist talked about her process. She takes the ceramic objects out of their molds before they’ve dried completely so that she’s able to manipulate the slip. During the talk, she commented on how unlike photography, this process allowed her some intimacy with the object: how her hand-print is implicit in the manipulation of the clay, and how this manipulation of clay object parallels the violent act. It is an attempt at understanding the act by bringing her into closer intimacy with it, rather than the distanced understanding afforded by photography.

This process is most prominent in the surreal “Flame Tempered,” an installation of over 70 ceramic baseball bats, manipulated so as to suggest a swarming motion around a lightbulb situated in the center of the piece and which casts the piece in a dramatic, cinematic light. The artist’s photographic background translates into this piece, in the play with light and shadow, the sense of suspended motion. The piece was based on a hate crime that occurred blocks from the Living Gallery in 2008. The bat she used for the mold is one from her childhood: one with which she learned to play softball. This is a further heightening of the two poles of the object, at once a symbol of nostalgia and irrational hate. This personal context also heightens the artist’s intimacy with work, and by extension, the act it is based on.

By moving the crime from outside to inside the gallery, the artist asks for all viewers to participate in this intimate understanding of crime, criminal, and victim. Lindsey-Hall says on her website that she was interested in the bat as “an American symbol of masculinity, sport, and in this case, violent object.” Speaking at the artist talk about her interest in casting the bleach bottle, Lindsey-Hall mentioned how she felt the idea of cleansing, the need to “clean” someone who perceived to be dirty or immoral, was wrapped up in the use of the object for violent purposes. The work suggests that these objects, so often encountered and barely noticed, blending into the fabric of daily experience, not only have the potential for violence, but also that their mundane use is not entirely divorced from their violent use. Something about the fantasy of masculinity in the use of the baseball bat, the desire to purify in the use of the bleach, translates with an unsettling ease into an these acts of violence. We are invited to contemplate how the ideology and the violence exists already even in the object’s conventional use. In part due to their reduction to these characterless form, the objects in Phoenix Lindsey-Hall’s show ask the viewer to understand the crimes in which they are used not as a detached observer but as an intimate participant.

PHOTOS: “Flame Tempered” Exhibition by Phoenix Lindsey-Hall

Artist Talk, Potluck and Movie TONIGHT!
Information Below!

Photos from the Opening Reception on November 22nd:

Exhibition Date: November 21 – 26, 2013
Opening Reception: November 22, 2013 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Artist Talk, Potluck and Movie: November 25, 2013 from 7:30pm to 10:00pm
Location: The Living Gallery, 1094 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11221
For More Information: thelivinggallery@gmail.com
Artist: http://www.phoenixlindseyhall.com/

REVIEW: Code and Language in DataSpaceTime’s “Thresholds”

Review: Code and Language in DataSpaceTime’s “Thresholds”
written by Conor O’Brien, The Living Gallery

Video of a crosswalk as it is offset by video of a taxi

Video of a crosswalk as it is offset by video of a taxi

Microscope Gallery co-founder Elle Burchill said of the people who’ve seen the gallery’s current exhibition, “Thresholds” by DataSpaceTime duo Ray Sweeten and Lisa Gwilliam, those who seemed to respond most enthusiastically to the work were the poets who read at the gallery’s recent poetry event.

Distorted text of code

Distorted text of code

Poetry uses language in a particular way. It is about association more than point-making. A word does not only signify: it has a sound, a shape, and a web of connotations and image-inducing capabilities aside from whatever its standardized definition may be. Language, of course, is not limited to words. Language informs how we think and, by extension, what we think.  If we only “read” a certain way then we will only think a certain way, and will only think certain things. Poets often play with language in order to elucidate language’s relationship with thought, and how people’s ways of thinking can be manipulated by language.

View of the space

View of the space

DataSpaceTime’s installation consists of four screens that operate on four different browsers which send information to each other, and respond accordingly, using “web-chat technology.”

The two center screens

The two center screens

Two of the screens are separated into grids that play a series of image gifs. At times the gifs work together to form a larger, coherent moving image (aerial view of a street, the top of an escalator, panning view of a graffitied wall at night), at other times the gifs off-set the larger image into abstraction. These screens sometimes resemble a digital tapestry, the motion of the gifs often suggest weaving.

The smaller screen, detail of two gifs

The smaller screen, detail of two gifs

The two other screens, a smaller one to the left of the center screens on the same wall and another screen on the opposite wall, show a visual decomposition of the information being sent to the center screens. The smaller screen breaks down the image gifs being fed to the center screens. The other screen is similar in size and grid-structure to the two center screens, but instead of images of urban scenery, this screen displays a page of distorted text under the image of a magnifying glass. The press release reveals this text to be the code the artists wrote to run the piece.

Fourth screen: Image of magnifying glass offset by image of text

Fourth screen: Image of magnifying glass offset by image of text

The code is not hidden; it is aestheticized and incorporated into the piece. This can be framed in a poetry context, as a poetic use of this language. The language of computer programming is both ubiquitous and invisible in the internet age, and only a relative minority of people can “read” it or understand its rules. The piece reveals how text informs image informs text: the language of computer code influences the images as they appear on screen, manipulating and distorting them, while the text of the code itself also becomes an image that is manipulated.

At the Listening Party, sketch #2

At the Listening Party, sketch #2

DataSpaceTime’s Ray Sweeten performed during the Microscope Gallery’s “Listening Party.” During the event he premiered what he described as two unfinished “sketches,” using the same technology as the “Thresholds” to allow the browsers send and respond not only to gifs, but also different sounds, creating audio compositions that correspond to the visual ones.

Ray Sweetey, ½ of DataSpaceTime

Ray Sweetey, ½ of DataSpaceTime

Before beginning the second sketch, Sweetey opened up a computer file in order to put finishing touches on the program’s code, explaining to the audience that he needed to “pull back the curtain for a second.” The effect is that of making the audience aware of the language behind the experience of the piece. It is a comment on language, a breaking down of text, image, and sound, and the relationship of language to experience. There is a sense that our experience, the sounds we hear and images we see, can be manipulated not only by the languages we can “read,” but perhaps even more so by those we can not, such as the language of computer code. Our everyday experience is similarly manipulated by the ways we can or cannot “read” it. DataSpaceTime is interested not only in creating the experience, but allowing the mechanics that inform the experience to be unveiled and incorporated into it.

“Pulling back the curtain”

“Pulling back the curtain”

For more information about this show visit the gallery’s page
or check out their Facebook Event. The show runs through December 1st.

Limbus by James Cullinane @ Robert Henry Contemporary

Limbus by James Cullinane

Robert Henry Contemporary
56 Bogart Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

(718) 473-0819
Thursday through Sunday
from 1:00pm to 6:00pm

September 6 through October 6, 2013

James Cullinane "Coop Trap," 2013

James Cullinane
Coop Trap, 2013
Acrylic, Mylar, spray paint and map pins on panel
30″ x 28″

Click here for more information!

Click here to see more of his work!

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BYO Art: Call for Artists

Our walls are naked!

So, come by for BYO ART at The Living Gallery!

We’re doing it again!
The gallery will be empty, so come by, bring some artwork, and hang it!
Please try to be reasonable concerning size, so that there is enough room for everyone.
We provide hammer, nails, level, and push-pins!

September 6, 2013
from 6:00pm to 10:00pm

If you are an artist and want to participate, email us(Cost: $10/Artist)

The work will be on display from September 6th through the 12th!

Question? Comments? Want to participate? Email us!

BYO Art

Live music & refreshments will also be provided!

RSVP on the Facebook Event!