Short Stories: Alejandro Cesarco and Ursula Mayer
New York – SculptureCenter is pleased to announce a unique exhibition series Short Stories, guest curated by Isla Leaver-Yap. Short Stories navigates the fabricated spaces of representation. It questions the role of art historian and critic as the best readers of an artwork, favoring instead the internal logic and fiction of the artist's practice. The series will feature rotating solo exhibitions by six New York-based artists, an onsite reading room, as well as readings and performances. Exhibiting artists include:Alejandro Cesarco, Iman Issa, Ursula Mayer, Ben Schumacher, Danna Vajda and Rona Yefman. The reading room, configured in collaboration with Angie Keefer, also features work by Sarah Chacich, Matt Keegan, and Rita Sobral Campos. Short Stories will be on view September 10 – December 4, 2011. An opening reception in conjunction with SculptureCenter's Artist in Residence Commission, Sanford Biggers: Cosmic Voodoo Circus, will take place Saturday, September 10th, 5-7pm and is open to the public. Please note the following schedule, there will be an opening reception for each of the exhibitions.
September 10 - October 2: Iman Issa, Ben Schumacher
October 8 - November 6: Danna Vajda, Rona Yefman
November 12 - December 4: Alejandro Cesarco, Ursula Mayer
During each month of Short Stories, SculptureCenter's lower level galleries will be turned over to two artists who will each present an autonomous exhibition project. The rear ground floor gallery, meanwhile, will be transformed into a reading room, a locus and constant throughout the duration of project. It will feature artworks, books selected by the artists in relation to their exhibition presentations, commissioned texts, audio works and other ephemera. This space will act as a site of production and dissemination, where the accrual of material will also serve as the documentation for Short Stories. Finally, in the closing week of Short Stories, the main gallery will be used as an event space by participating artists to feature performances, screenings, and talks.
Through the artist independently fashioned narratives, Short Stories presents work engaged in the architecture of how to read and write the object, the image, and the practice. Short Stories takes the notion of 'reading' as a framework through which an artist might begin to construct personal positions and self-determined subjects.
Exhibiting Artist Biographies
Iman Issa (Cairo, Egypt, 1979) works with photography, video, sound, objects, and texts, creating reconstructed images of personal yet inaccessible places, and exploring collective memory. Her practice asks whether place is independent of history and questions how the frame of the image informs our understanding of context.
Ben Schumacher (Kitchener, Canada, 1985) creates images and sculptural installations that explore diverse ways to conceptualize and present art, both in-situ and online. He is interested in the collapse between object and image, and the artist frequently engages with the dispersion and circulation of images of his work on the Internet as an uneasy surrogate or postscript to his gallery-based work. Schumacher customizes the image documentation of all his sculptural output, thus creating a visual fiction of the original object.
Danna Vajda (North Vancouver, Canada, 1983) is an artist and writer who works with performative readings and scripting of objects, images, and situations. Her work uses points of contact with disparate fields such as economics, acting, policy research, fan-fiction, and graphic design as means to rethink scenarios in which abstract ideas are disseminated, while highlighting the pervasive fetishism that surrounds the aesthetics of knowledge.
Rona Yefman (Haifa, Israel, 1972) is engaged in notions of freedom, and the gap between what we are and what we want to be. Yefman often collaborates with individuals that have formed a radical persona, documenting her relationship to them and exploring identity with photography, video, and text. Her practice reveals the humanity of her subjects, reinventing positive and complex notions of a customized conception of identity.
Alejandro Cesarco (Montevideo, Uruguay 1975) creates films, photographs, spoken word, and text installations, which address literature, translation, history, and memory. Taking cues from high modern literature, the artist develops parallels between texts and ideas that, when converged, produce creative infidelities. Cesarco questions the nuanced differences between reading and looking. Often examining the holes within narratives and memory, he uses such gaps to renegotiate the relationship between a work and its reader.
Ursula Mayer (Ried im Innkreis, Austria, 1970) explores the functions of architecture manifested through historical and cultural settings in her films, sculptures, and photographs. Her seductive films often exploit historically-charged settings, and the artist recasts these sites as possessing similar attributes to the characters she introduces into such spaces. Alternate worlds collide, fictional encounters unravel, and singular histories converge to produce new dialogues. Through subtle gestures and gaze between characters in her films, Mayer explores the interweaving of time and space, identity, perception, and the seduction of the image.
SculptureCenter's exhibition program is generously supported by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts; The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Kraus Family Foundation; the A Woodner Fund; the Lambent Foundation Fund of The Tides Foundation; Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; and contributions from our Board of Trustees and many generous individuals.
Short Stories is generously supported by Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York.
Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution in Long Island City, NY dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new works and presents exhibitions by emerging and established, national and international artists. Our programs identify new talent, explore the conceptual, aesthetic and material concerns of contemporary sculpture, and encourage independent vision.