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Horsefeathers Etc...

November 29 ~ December 22, 2005
Curated by: Thalia Vrachopoulos

Horsefeathers Etc…is an exhibit that references the Dada spirit in its re-investigation of irony, absurdist contrasts, and its desecration of materials-- glassine paper, cotton, or feathers. In its anti-classical disposition this show relates to the Swiss generated movement of 1916 with Marcel Janco, Hans Arp and Hugo Ball who in the Dada style, created performance, conceptual and other experimental forms of art negating conventional creative practices. Horsefeathers features six international artists whose works in their extrinsic white beauty appeal to the purist sensibility but that upon closer inspection confound traditional readings through their underlying critical framework.

Lucile Bertrand, Migration, 1999 ~ 2005, Bird wingspans, varying sizes, mixed media.
 Lucile Bertrand’s Migration installation is composed of white feather wings with metal spoon features as tails that can be read as she intended them, utensils to erase global hunger. In the alternative, the spoons can be seen as heat containers for drugs that can bring anesthetic oblivion on the wings of flight. The repetition of these winged angels throughout the gallery, proposes their ubiquitous existence while their whiteness alludes to the afterlife and to a paradoxical purity in their possible underlying assertions.
 Marie Christine Katz’s Maps of Displacement, 2005 installation is comprised of beautiful components such as gauze, thread, paper, glass and sound, while its content is fraught with horror. For this project Katz interviewed displaced persons from the 9/11 catastrophe recording their relocation experiences up to the time of their return home around Ground Zero. Katz’s installation is comprised of 24 gauze strips of varying sizes upon which their journeys are embroidered and accompanied by a sound track entitled Still There.

Marie-Christine Katz, Maps of Displacement,
2001 ~ 2002, 9'x5'x5', Room installation & sound 24 cloths, thread and glass.

Rakuko Naito, RN1536-2, 2005, 37 1/4"x37 1/4"x2 1/2", Burnt edge rolled Mino paper. Wooden box frame.


 Rakuko Naito’s modular pieces are created on a small scale but her use of paper involves burning, folding, stacking, tearing, creasing or somehow eliminating the purity associated with the white material. And, although her works are about the ordering of chaos just by the mere acknowledgment of the underlying constitution of chaotic nature, Naito engages with critical issues to formulate more than just formal exercises in purity.


 The paper sculptures of Angiola Riva Churchill are for the most part created on a monumental scale as seen in her Pandora’s Box, 2005. Churchill’s site-specific installation for this show is beautiful as an artwork made of delicate Florentine paper and gauze, folded and worked assiduously into complex configurations. But, regardless of its seeming exterior beauty, this work is about the loss of purity in several ways but especially in its subject matter, Pandora who is usually associated with the Fall of Man.


Angiola Riva Churchill, Pandora's Box #2, 2005, Mixed media, variable sizes

Cat, UUHIIWOM, 2005, 4.79" x 3.48', Cotton woven words with white acrylic paint on barbed wire lines in iron frame.

 Cat’s white cotton wool textual grid Nasty Words, is covered in clouds of fluffy white cotton making it difficult to read yet appealing aesthetically. So that initially, the viewer is entranced by its beauty rather than seeing the work’s content but once he see realizes it he cannot fail but register the idea that the words are constructed from barbed wire associated with pain and violence. So in effect the words become metaphors for piercing weapons and painful memories juxtaposing verbal and visual puns to wage war on conventional notions of art aesthetics as well as on traditional and contemporary constraints on freedom of expression.


  Insook Seol’s installations underline the non-sensical experimental state of artworks that seek to upset traditional audience perceptions. She uses plastic sheeting an unconventional material due to its disposability, to pun the idea of beauty and aesthetics while rejecting cultural preconceptions of permanence not only for shock value but also as a way of offering a new and personal view of the nature of the world. A number of her recent works have been clustered around three interrelated themes: the house, traveling bags and baby supplies. Her pieces are metaphors for the powerful family ties that are both loving and stifling In the White House and In the Black House, 2005 are site-specific installations that continue this theme of family, belonging, career, and their accompanying challenges.

Insook Seol, Under the Skin, 2005, Mixed Media



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