Nov 152023
 

The images above are from SUPERFLEX: This Is The Tip Of The Iceberg, GENERATOR: USF Contemporary Art Museum’s inaugural exhibition. The two part exhibition includes a sculptural installation and the mesmerizing interactive animation Vertical Migration, in which viewers encounter a siphonophore that reacts to their movements.

From the gallery about the exhibition-

This Is The Tip Of The Iceberg emerges from SUPERFLEX’s in-depth research into the deep sea, biodiversity, and the climate. The exhibition immerses viewers in two parallel and interconnected realms, separated by a curtain which acts as an imaginary filter between land and sea. Passing through the curtain brings visitors from a terrestrial space unsettled by rising water to the ocean’s dark depths, to meet one of the most important cleaners of the ocean, the siphonophore. Relatives of the jellyfish, siphonophores bring between two and six billion tons of carbon a year from the surface down to the seabed, where it is stored. This Is The Tip Of The Iceberg offers an opportunity to encounter this unfamiliar species, prompting reflection on the impacts and consequences of climate change, especially relevant to Florida and its coastal communities, and encouraging humans to imagine a future defined by interspecies living and ecological coexistence.

For a more detailed discussion of the work, the gallery has created an exhibition catalogue that can be viewed online or downloaded as a pdf.

Vertical Migration was originally created in 2021 by SUPERFLEX for ART 2030  and was projected on the United Nations Secretariat Building in NYC during the 76th United Nations General Assembly.

SUPERFLEX’s statement on the project-

The sea is not an abyss. It teems with an almost unimaginable array of life. Every night, the largest biological migration on Earth takes place, as trillions of creatures travel closer to the surface to feed. Some of these animals, like shrimp, are well-known. Others, like siphonophores—relatives of jellyfish—are unfamiliar: varying wildly in size, from the slightness of a fingernail to the length of a whale, they look like nothing that we find on land.

How does it feel to be one of these creatures? To explore this question, SUPERFLEX designed a computer-generated siphonophore and created an animated film, Vertical Migration, depicting its ascent. At first, the film mechanically circles the creature, getting closer and closer while giving the audience a view of it from all angles. But eventually the perspective shifts, the camera’s movements become more fluid, and the viewer sees the world from the perspective of the siphonophore.

Unsettling our perceptions of scale and otherness, Vertical Migration is an intimate encounter with a life form that bears no resemblance to human beings, though we share a planet, an ecosystem, and a future. Because of sea-level rise, humans will also be migrating vertically in the coming centuries, to higher elevations and raised buildings. The siphonophore’s story is our story. Though we can never experience its journey through the pitch-black ocean depths, we can shift our perspective to recognize that we’re connected, that our actions affect each other, and that we share a common fate.

For a look at the work in motion, below is the trailer from ART 2030.

About SUPERFLEX from their website-

SUPERFLEX was founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, and Rasmus Rosengren Nielsen. Conceived as an expanded collective, SUPERFLEX has consistently worked with a wide variety of collaborators, from gardeners to engineers to audience members. Engaging with alternative models for the creation of social and economic organisation, works have taken the form of energy systems, beverages, sculptures, copies, hypnosis sessions, infrastructure, paintings, plant nurseries, contracts, and public spaces.

Working in and outside the physical location of the exhibition space, SUPERFLEX has been engaged in major public space projects since their award-winning Superkilen opened in 2011. These projects often involve participation, involving the input of local communities, specialists, and children. Taking the idea of collaboration even further, recent works have involved soliciting the participation of other species. SUPERFLEX has been developing a new kind of urbanism that includes the perspectives of plants and animals, aiming to move society towards interspecies living. For SUPERFLEX, the best idea might come from a fish.

This exhibition closes 11/22/23.

Jun 232023
 


Closing tomorrow, 6/24, is Cross Communication, an exhibition of Chris Burden’s relics, films, video works, and other materials that document his early performances at Gagosian’s 75th and Park location in NYC.

Walking into the gallery and hearing one of his TV commercials in which he reads off the names of famous artists followed by his own name (Chris Burden Promo (1976)), is a humorous introduction to Burden’s often audacious work. Poem for LA from 1975, which follows with the messages- “SCIENCE HAS FAILED”, “HEAT IS LIFE” and “TIME KILLS” still resonates today.

Check out the video below to see the commercials and hear Burden discuss the work.

Other videos included have him crawling across glass; lying between two sheets of glass that are on set on fire (Icarus); and one of his most infamous- being shot in the arm (Shoot, 1971). The less outrageous works are great too, including Disappearing (1971), pictured above.

For more on the artist, the excellent documentary Burden, by Richard Dewey and Timothy Marrinan, follows his career from these earlier works to the large scale sculptures like Metropolis II and Urban Light that came later. Both of these installations are on view in Los Angeles at LACMA.

Jun 212023
 

These days it’s hard not to think sometimes about the end of the world. But have you started putting together a plan? Thought about who would be good in a crisis? Put together a pros and cons list of your friends, family and acquaintances?  Wondered if things would actually be better?

Finn Schult’s current exhibition Everything You’ve Ever Wanted at Gallery 114 at Hillsborough Community College’s Ybor City location, presents an interesting take on the current state of things for those with the end on their minds.  It includes paintings, animal traps, an ipod and walkie talkie, as well as a book containing photos, prepper information, journal entries, drawings, and some pros and cons for the people in his life, including his mom. The paintings are titled “L’appel Du Vide” a French phrase meaning “the call of the void” or the urge to jump when you are standing in a high place.

From the gallery’s website-

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted is a solo exhibition of new work by Finn Schult (b. 1993, Naples, FL) reflecting on the inevitability of the end of the world and the fantasy of apocalypse as catalyst for utopia. Schult’s multimedia series exists as fragments, sketches and interludes distilled from an otherwise deranged web of theories. At times, the artworks presented in Gallery114@HCC feel terroristic, violent and unbearably bleak–at other times, they remind us of the beauty inherent in loss, longing and love. Schult’s work yearns for a world that doesn’t yet exist and mourns for a world that isn’t yet gone, answering the cry, “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” with “The only way out is through.”

There is also a video in the exhibition, Where r u rn? which mixes a variety of imagery with a bit of author and mystic Terence McKenna’s 1999 final interview where he discusses “the fire in the madhouse at the end of time”- the possibility of the craziness in the world being a sign of the dying of our species.

This exhibition closes on 6/22/23.

Jun 192023
 

Robert Pruitt, “A Song for Travelers”

Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition, A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, is an opportunity to learn about an important period of American history, and see it interpreted through the eyes of twelve contemporary artists.

From the museum’s website-

Between 1915 and 1970, in the wake of racial terror during the post-Reconstruction period, millions of Black Americans fled from their homes to other areas within the South and to other parts of the country. This remarkable movement of people, known as the Great Migration, caused a radical shift in the demographic, economic, and sociopolitical makeup of the United States. A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration brings together twelve contemporary artists to consider the complex impact of this period on their lives, as well as on social and cultural life, with newly commissioned works ranging from large-scale installation, immersive film, and tapestry to photography, painting, and mixed media. Featured artists are Akea Brionne, Mark Bradford, Zoë Charlton, Larry W. Cook, Torkwase Dyson, Theaster Gates Jr., Allison Janae Hamilton, Leslie Hewitt, Steffani Jemison, Robert Pruitt, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, and Carrie Mae Weems.

A Movement in Every Direction presents a departure from traditional accounts of the Great Migration, which are often understood through a lens of trauma, and reconceptualizes them through stories of self-possession, self-determination, and self-examination. While the South did lose generations of courageous, creative, and productive Black Americans due to racial and social inequities, the exhibition expands the narrative by introducing people who stayed in, or returned to, the region during this time. Additionally, the Brooklyn Museum’s presentation centers Brooklyn as another important site in the Great Migration, highlighting historical and contemporary census data about the borough’s migration patterns. Visitors are encouraged to share their own personal and familial stories of migration through an oral history “pod” available in the exhibition galleries.

About Robert Pruitt’s work, pictured above, from the museum’s wall information plaque-

“A Song for Travelers” celebrates the individual and Black collective experiences that have shaped the histories of rural East Texas and Houston’s Third, Fourth, and Fifth Wards. In this drawing-based on an early 1970’s photograph of a reunion of the artist’s family in Dobbin, Texas -sixteen people gather around a seated central figure about to embark on a journey. During the creation of this work, the masked traveler became a stand-in for Pruitt, who had recently left his hometown of Houston.

Pruitt often draws inspiration from his and others’ family photographs while examining historical events that have impacted Houston’s Black communities. Wearing costumes and adorned with items that reference various aspects of Black culture found in schools, social clubs, and religious spaces, the figures in the work reflect the numerous networks that remained and flourished in the South. Merging the Great Migration period with the present, Pruitt centers the Black neighborhoods across the southern region that served as safe havens and rich sites of cultural expression for migrants during the twentieth century. This link extends to today as many Black Americans leave the northern and western cities that once attracted their elders and return to the South.

Allison Janae Hamilton’s A House Called Florida, below, takes the viewer on a journey through part of northern Florida’s natural beauty.

From the museum’s information plaque about the video installation-

Allison Janae Hamilton produced the three-channel film installation A House Called Florida in her hometown region of northern Florida. The breathtaking landscapes of Apalachicola Bay and the swampy Blackwater Lakes of Florida’s Big Bend frame musicians, dancers, motorists, a Victorian house, and a slow resounding rhythm.

The artist references French Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar’s 1946 short story “Casa Tomada.” (“House Taken Over”) about ghosts that slowly take over a home and eventually push out its owners, room by room. Hamilton echoes the story’s theme of displacement with two regally dressed, spirit-like protagonists who move about the house engaging in mark-making and ritual performances. Hamilton’s film pays tribute to the Black Floridians who remained in the Red Hills and the Forgotten Coast regions, despite the racial violence and environmental precariousness they faced throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Carrie Mae Weems‘ personal and moving contribution is in two parts- a series of photographs and a unique digital video installation.

The museum’s description of the work-

Carrie Mae Weems explores a painful family story: the disappearance of her grandfather Frank Weems, a tenant farmer and union activist who was attacked by a white mob in Earle Arkansas, in 1936. Presumed dead, he narrowly escaped and made his way to Chicago on foot, never again reuniting with his family. Frank Weems may have followed the North Star to Chicago. Weems’s series of seven prints, The North Star, makes an apt metaphor for Frank’s life. In Leave! Leave Now! Weems conjures the figure of her grandfather with a Pepper’s Ghost, a late nineteenth-century form of illusion first used in theater. By weaving historical events with fragmented family stories, photographs, poetry, music, and interviews, the artist reveals the tragedy of her grandfather’s disappearance and the aftermath.

This exhibition will close on Sunday, June 25th, 2023.

Apr 282023
 

Leo Villareal’s exhibition at PACE, Interstellar, consists of fifteen mesmerizing, colorful sculptures that are a joy to watch.

From the PACE website-

Villareal’s practice is part of a lineage of artistic engagement that explores the connections between nature, technology, and human experience. The artist’s upcoming exhibition with Pace in New York will feature wall-based sculptures, including works from his new Nebulae series. Emitting hypnotic, diffused light, the Nebulae sculptures are informed by celestial imagery and evoke the dynamism of space through interplays of color and shape. Villareal creates unique and specific sequencing for each artwork through code that is generative and visceral, like nature itself. As such, no two sculptures are the same.

This presentation at Pace in New York will also include works realized at a scale that Villareal hasn’t explored in nearly a decade: two-foot square wall-mounted sculptures. These intimately scaled artworks, paired with their glass enclosures, encourage focused readings of Villareal’s abstractions. Like his larger works, the two-foot pieces invite viewers to consider the boundary separating physical and digital worlds.

This exhibition is on view until 4/29/23.

Apr 282023
 

Installation by Molly A. Duff

Work by Trinity Oribio (left) and Manon VanScoder (videos on right)

Currently on view at The USF Contemporary Art Museum is SOMEDAY YOU’LL HAVE TO SAY IT OUT LOUD, an exhibition of eight students graduating with MFA degrees from the USF School of Art and Art History.

The artists included are Molly Duff, Kai Holyoke, Caitlin Nobilé, Trinity Oribio, Rachel Treide, Manon VanScoder, Alicia Watkinson, and Willow Wells.

For the artists’ statements about their work, as well as more information on the exhibition, the museum has produced this PDF.

The show will be on view until 5/6/2023.

Installation by Molly A. Duff, another view

Alicia Watkinson, “Notations in Passing II”, 2023, plywood, lightbulbs, ceramic bases, timers. Duration of light set daily according to the previous day’s activities and observations

Alicia Watkinson, “Notations in Passing II”, 2023 (detail)

Photo transfer on glass by Rachel Treide

Still from video by Rachel Treide

Caitlin Nobilé, “The gap in the door”, 2023 triptych, acrylic on wood

Willow Wells, “Whispers”, 2023, oil painting on panel

Trinidad Oribio “Untitled”, 2023 oil on canvas

Trinidad Oribio, “La Trinidad”, 2023, archival pigment print

Video installation by Manon VanScoder

Manon VanScoder, “each day is an endless scroll”, 2023

Kai Holyoke “Paradise Lakes”, 2023

Kai Holyoke “Paradise Lakes”, 2023

 

 

Feb 242023
 

Micaela Amateau Amato, “Yoran Por Aire (contes brevas)”

Photographs by Amadia Shadow Rabbit

Film still from Kiara Mohammed Amin’s “Black Presence”

Film still from Kiara Mohammed Amin’s “Black Presence”

Soonoqo: We Become Body in Waves of Light and Sound at Dunedin Fine Art Center is a multimedia exhibition of 18 artists from around the world who “share a common desire for healing, communal growth and interdependence with nature” curated by S. Toxosi.

S. Toxosi’s statement about the exhibition (from the gallery wall)-

I do not possess the language to truly describe the be-holdings within Soonoqo. As a term within the Somali language, it would be difficult to translate into contemporary English. It considers a pluralistic worldview that allows ‘becoming and returning’ to bear witness of itself, within oneself while conjoining through space and time. Soonoqo, basks in the universal soul. Its otherness is imbued as the ‘physical cosmos’ and all its avatars and manifestations.

To speak in metaphor or in a sense of ‘poetic meditation’, one would engulf whirling vortexes, volcanoes and maelstroms that end up in other universes from which bring new revelations or images, The senses are engaged as viewed in Bruno Ferreira Abdala’s video art When Mother Breathes. It is here we can see a pluralist’s sensibility where the cohorts of Soonoqo ‘become and return’ with offerings that contend with the mythical genesis through the acknowledgement and practices of ancestral wisdom, queering mores, spirituality and love. Thus creating fission through initiating and remembering. There is a subtlety of conjuration, ritual, humility, vulnerability in K. Tauches’s Q.A.L. video-making that unfolds and reveals the sentience of a Nature that provides true sustainability.

Soonoqo is a web of interconnected lights in continuous synchrony. It enables manifestations from varied domains of areas of perceptibility through human inner weavings of life experiences and becomes a variety of communicative prowess that encompasses video arts, film, photography, the written word and sonic compositions. These forms all ultimately resonate with and point toward healing where one/all is purified, catalyzed and cleansed through cooperation with nature, technology, shadow matter, dark matter and invisible matter. As can be seen in the film Womb not Tomb by Dea, where she investigates and yields to the teaching of the four elements or in Kiara Mohammed Amin’s Black Presence, a short film of talismanic energy and transformation.

Artists included in the exhibition- Brandy Eve Allen, Viveka Krumm, Harry Wilson Kapatika, Cara Judea Alhadeff, Sadie Sheldon, Chelsea Rowe, Micaela Amateau Amato, Saudade Toxosi, Jennifer Pyron, Amadia Shadow Rabbit, K.Tauches, Javier T. Dones, Bruno Ferreira Abdala, Sall Lam Toro, Kiara Mohamed Amin, Nayetesi, Dea

For more information on this exhibition check out @soono.qo and this conversation with S. Toxosi and DFAC Curators Catherine Bergmann and Nathan Beard which is very informative.

Feb 042023
 

Le’Andra LeSeur, “In Reverence (An Honoring)”, 2019

Le’Andra LeSeur, “There are other hues of blue”, 2019-2022 (ongoing)

Le’Andra LeSeur, “There are other hues of blue”, 2019-2022 (ongoing)

Le’Andra LeSeur, “The CD Man”, 2017

Le’Andra LeSeur, “Superwoman”, 2018

Spirit, Rhythm, BluesLe’Andra LeSeur’s exhibition at Gallery221@HCC Dale Mabry Campus is a multimedia exploration of life, death, and rebirth- all bathed in blue.

From the Gallery 221 website-

LeSeur’s body of work—a celebration of Blackness, queerness, and femininity—seeks to dismantle systems of power and achieve transcendence and liberation through perseverance. In “Spirit, Rhythm, Blues” at Gallery221@HCC, LeSeur’s installation encourages viewers to contemplate themes such as identity, family, grief and joy, the experience of invisibility, and the power of language.

From the Gallery 221 press release description of Superwoman

This video is a documentation of a self-baptism that took place in the summer of 2018. The work speaks to the cyclical process of the emotional “waves”- highs and lows- experienced in life. As LeSeur conducts the baptism Donny Hathaway’s rendition of Superwoman plays over the visual, and the words “Where were you when I needed you last winter” repeat as the video proceeds then visually plays out in reverse. The words in the song symbolize the internal struggle present when asking how we show up for ourselves during moments of transition and change. Instead of putting pressure on ourselves to be better or do better, those words bring us back to a place of understanding the importance of self-love in how we overcome and get back to a place of grounding and balance in our lives.

It is a moving piece and works well as a balance to the other video works that reference the police killings of Akai Gurley and Alton Sterling (The CD Man, 2017, pictured above).

This exhibition is on view until 3/2/23.

 

Dec 132022
 

“Thru” by Jessi Sherbet and “Remi” by Mia Makes It (sculpture on the right)

“Untitled” low fire ceramic by Mike Cannata

There were so many great artists showing work at the group of galleries in the Kress Building in Ybor City, this post needed to be split in two. For part one, on Tempus Projects’ three spaces, head here.

Quaid Gallery is an artist cooperative gallery founded by a group of Tampa artists and is focused on contemporary artists creating mixed media exhibitions. In addition to monthly curatorial projects, they are planning to host events which will include readings, drawing nights and film screenings. Liquid Snow is their current exhibition and included the artwork pictured above by Jessi Sherbet, Mia Makes It, and Mike Cannata.

Parachute Gallery is showing One and Only · يكتا , which centers around the project Green Wedding by Fort Myers, Florida-based Iranian artist, Leila Mesdaghi.

From the website’s description of the project-

In late 2021, Mesdaghi traveled to her childhood home in Tehran, Iran, to throw herself a wedding, sans partner. She writes, “As a child I had dreams about getting married and having a wedding in our house. An Iranian wedding is a heavily glamorized and festive event where the bride is treated like a princess and guests come celebrate and admire her with gold and jewelry. I decided to have a wedding for myself. I made my dress at a high-end fashion boutique, bought a beautiful gold ring with my dad’s money, hired Maryam Saeedpoor (a well-known photographer,) a hair stylist, played Persian wedding music, and had a few friends plus my aunt and uncle as my guests.”

Documentation of the ceremony—a series of six limited-edition portraits by Saeedpoor and a collaborative video piece with director Khashayar Khalilkhani and vocalist Mahboubeh Golzari, reciting a poem by Iranian poet Houshang Ebtehaj about love and longing—beautifully articulates the complex emotions behind the project.

The photos and dress are seen in the image below, along with the work of six regional and national artists whose work ties into this project thematically. These artists are Sharareh Allahyari, Jordan Blankenship, Golbanou Moghaddas, Pottery Boys – Glenn Woods and Keith Herbrand, and Rebecca Stevens.

Tampa artist and photographer Jenny Carey has opened a new space, Gratus, which is currently showing her work. She also had her book, All I See Is Your Glinting: 90 Days in the Pandemic, which she created with Gianna Russo, the inaugural Wordsmith of The City of Tampa, available for sale.

For more of Carey’s work and to see what’s next for the gallery, check out her Instagram. She also founded Creatives Exchange, a collective of professional women artists in Tampa.

Finally, Department of Contemporary Art Tampa, FL, once a week for three weeks is hosting a mystery local artist. During the event the artist of the evening was revealed as Selena Ferrer. This week on 12/15/22, the last artist will be revealed. Also check out the gallery’s Instagram for updates.

Oct 052021
 

Kim Anderson, “Alone Together”, 2021

Stereoscope for viewing the above painting

Skyway 20/21: A Contemporary Collaboration, is the second iteration of a joint exhibition across four institutions that highlights contemporary art created in the Central Florida region. Artists selected by a jury are from five counties- Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, and Sarasota. The exhibitions are an excellent sampling of the work being made in the Tampa Bay area.

The works shown in this post are from the exhibition at the Tampa Museum of Art. The museum has a video playlist on YouTube that includes all of the artists in the exhibition discussing their work. The links below are to the artists’ websites or those videos.

Selina Román “XS” 2019

For Selina Román’s XS series, she created abstract self portraits that examine standards of beauty in relation to expectations of weight and body. The title XS references an extra small size and alludes to the word excess.

This exhibition closes 10/10/21.