Posts Tagged ‘video’

Fixing the Sky part 2: the gatherings

The opening of Fixing the Sky on Thursday night was well attended. People really seemed to like the work and there were two entrancing sets of music by Brett Hool, half of the singer-songwriter duo Hool, managed by our new friend Yannick. They brought a video of Brett’s that played in the background, which added another dimension to the exhibition/performance.

There was a lot of wine, new friends, and a fun kaleidoscope to play with (see the amazing image of Yannick below). Nicole and I were both surprised when old friends from grad school showed up.  My childhood friend Meghan, now an attorney in Manhattan, also trekked down to Brooklyn for the festivities and was kind enough to host me for the five days I was in New York. Brick & Mortar (Helen’s loft) was a perfect setting for the event.

Helen, me and Nicole in front of the Island Projects installation Fixing the Sky. Check out my and Nicole’s site for more images of the installation.

Saturday morning, we hosted a brunch. It was wonderful to see the show in the daylight. We had a good crowd at that event as well, including friends from Michigan, Jen and Walter. Jen had video work in the Media Lounge at the concurrent College Art Association conference. Walter was pleased that a childhood friend, who lives only a train stop away in Brooklyn, was able to make it to the brunch.

Thanks to Nicole for flying in from Iceland, Helen for hosting and organizing, to Hool and Yannick for lending their talents and to everyone who came out. It was great to meet and see so many wonderful people!

fekete leves

I didn’t really want to write any details about my and Nannette’s exhibition until all was said and done in case we didn’t pull it off in the way that we wanted.  But now that a successful opening has come and gone, I am happy to tell our tale.   I went to Budapest with only the goal to finish a video project Nannette and I began last summer, do a couple of drawings, and see a few museums…maybe hit the spring baths.  In short, I was going to take a break over break–treat it like a mini residency.  Instead, pretty much as soon as I arrived, we started hatching major plans.  We planned to both make work for the entire week and put a show together in addition to the video (which quickly transpired into an installation).  We had hints of possible venue spaces at the beginning of the week, but it wasn’t until Monday (or Tuesday?) that we secured the venue (for a Thursday night opening…).  Nothing like cutting it close, right?

Nannette’s background is in photography and video, but she is a closet draw-er and makes these gorgeous ink drawings on crayon resist with faint, meticulous etching which she never shows to anyone.  I was flattered that she showed them to me and excited she was considering exhibiting them.  So she got down to work on a larger-scale series of those drawings and a photography project based on rivers.  Meanwhile we were going to the office every day and working on the video together, and I was furiously drawing in the mornings and evenings- (into the mornings again).  It turns out that the venue, Chinese Characters, has the perfect back space for video projection, and was the perfect width to create a reflecting pool for the video (which contributes enormously to the content of the piece).  We we aided immensely by David, who did a lot of the heavy-lifting during the installation, including making the structure for the pool.  Working collaboratively all week was wonderful, as even our 2D work influenced each other’s to a strong degree.  We brainstormed titles for awhile and came up with fekete leves (where the sky used to be). Fekete leves literally means “black soup” in Hungarian (Magyar).  When used as slang, it implies a sense of foreboding or bad things to come.  Where the sky used to be is the name of the video project, upon which the rest of the show hinged.

Here are some snapshots from the show.  Sorry about the quality of these images.  I only had my aged point-and-shoot, but Nannette got some great install shots with her camera, so as soon as I get those images, I’ll update this post.  Thanks to everyone who came out to the opening!  For those who didn’t make it, the orb-looking images on black are C-prints by Nannette, and she also has the black ink drawings (installation) on resist with scratching.  We each made one of the white “north” drawings and collaborated on the video and installation.  Mine are the small gouache and ink drawings on blue paper.

front right corner

entrance from Vittula into the gallery space with two of Nannette's C-prints flanking two of my drawings

a C-print and my other four drawings- along the left wall

her drawing installation

the near and far left walls of the space

view from the entrance (the video installation is through the black curtains)

North 1 and North 2 (Nannette-left, me-right)

Where the Sky Used to Be- video installation with reflecting pond

Thank you to Nannette and David for putting me up (and putting up with me) all week, to Tim of Chinese Characters/Klub Vittula for providing the space, libations and an open mind, and to Fabian for DJ-ing and acting as impromptu photographer.  Next I’ll post images of the six drawings I made while there and maybe a couple of shots from the opening.

show show

Fekete Leves (where the sky used to be) is a two-person installation that engages aspects of disorientation and loss of control by Budapest-based artist Nannette Vinson and Detroit-area artist Amy Sacksteder.  Sacksteder is exploring mortality by channeling the last moments in Amelia Earhart’s life through mostly drawings, paintings and installations.  Through her ink drawings, Vinson is revisiting the turbulence that accompanies loss of innocence.  Her visual art background is primarily in photography and video art; Sacksteder’s is in 2D media.  Through this collaboration, each artist is working in an as-yet “foreign” medium to her, thus each is experiencing her own lack of control.  This is their first collaborative endeavor.

Chinese Characters Contemporary Art Space

1073 Budapest – Kertész u. 4

Thursday, March 4, 6 – 10 p.m.

corner studio

David and Nannette were kind enough to loan me a space in their flat to use as a drawing studio while I’m here.  So far, we’re spending a lot of time editing video and making work–with some feasts here and there for good measure.  Tomorrow we’re off to the hardware store to get installation materials.  Then we’re headed to the Glenn Brown exhibition at the Ludwig Museum.

it’s show time!

One show just came down at the Gallery Project in Ann Arbor and one show just went up at Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester (MI).  I am honored to have been/be a part of both of them.  Here are some photos of my work from Presence/Absence at PCCA (including some new work hot off the drawing table):

back right wall of gallery; all small pieces are propped up on scrabble tile trays mounted onto the wall

In Lights: oil on canvas with theater light and glass window blocks. Gobo projection reads Amelia Earhart's last words: We are running north and south.

Last Map drawings: gouache, ink, and gold leaf on blue paper

Object Lesson panels: gouache and gold leafing pen on birch panels

back left wall of gallery

Slides From the Trip- slideshow of stills from silent film project, a collaboration with Budapest-based artist Nannette Vinson

white drawings

Captured Island: gouache and ink on paper

Longitude: gouache and ink on paper

Navigation: gouache and ink on paper

Skullscape: gouache and ink on paper

Presence/Absence runs from January 15-February 20 with an opening reception at Paint Creek on Friday the 22nd from 7-9.  I am accompanied in the show by four amazing artists: Faina Lerman, Luzhen Qiu, Alison Wong, and Sun You. Here is a sweet blurb about the show in Real Detroit Weekly. Hope you can make it out to the opening!

i done got tagged

photo credit: Susan Tusa, Detroit Free Press

photo credit: Susan Tusa, Detroit Free Press

I am waiting for plaster to dry on some islands, so it’s as good a time to blog as any.  Lauren of Dear Golden tagged me with a “ten things” request.  Now my job is to post ten things about myself you don’t already know.  I think I will try to keep these art-related as that’s the nature of the blog.

1. I have attended four artists residencies: in Illinois, Newfoundland, Southern France and Budapest, Hungary

2. It must say something about me that I have twice been offered dead birds and have twice accepted.  In my freezer are a dead hummingbird and a dead cardinal.  They were that way when my friends found them, I assure you.  What will I do with them?  I’ll let you know when I find out.

3. I have been in academia since kindergarten with only summers off.  I went straight from high school to college, from college to grad school, from grad school to teaching adjunct and from teaching adjunct to assistant professor.  (Does kindergarten count as “academia”?)

4. I have taught three summers at Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan near Traverse City (03-05)–painting and life drawing.

5. I have taught three classes that I never actually took when I was in school.  What are they?  Hmm… it’s a mystery.

6. My top three four favorite art shows I have ever seen are (in no particular order): William Kentridge retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2004), Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection in Venice (2009), Drawing Now: Eight Propositions at Museum of Modern Art (Queens) in New York (2002), damn, I remembered another one (thus the strikethrough): Peter Doig at the Tate Britain (2008).

7. I am working on a video, and a sculpture (of sorts) right now and am pretty inexperienced in the particular media I am using.  I am googling a lot and relying on my friends for help.  Thanks guys and gals!

8. Despite the above statement, I generally don’t work collaboratively.  I tend to prefer working alone in the studio, usually listening to audio books, NPR or music.  I am currently listening to The Plot Against America by Philip Roth and The Terror by Dan Simmons.

9. I am starting four large scale paintings, and am a bit scared of them at this early point.

10. I have a REALLY hard time balancing  a regular work-out routine and an art practice.  I tend to be sporadic with both and can rarely sustain the two simultaneously, though they’re both so important to me.

So that’s it- my ten things.  Okay, I am going to pass the tagging love around to:

Mark from Irreverent Vegan

Val and/or Ryan from i’m just doing this thing

3+3: Venice

I’m skipping Florence because we were only there for an afternoon and the museums wouldn’t allow photos, so I don’t have many.  But Venice is another story because we were there for the opening weekend of the Pinault Collection and the 53rd Venice Biennale.  Ok, art first, my photos next.

Here are three experiences with amazing art (it was hard to choose only three!) Mark and I especially enjoyed.  These choices are probably a little bit mediated, by the extent to which they were photographable.  Behold:

Lydia Pape at the Arsenale

Lydia Pape at the Arsenale

Lydia Pape uses gold thread and light in a darkened space to create these ethereal prism-like shafts of majesty.

Grazia Toderi at Arsenale

Grazia Toderi at Arsenale

Grazia Toderi has made a video project like no other.  Combining imagery of stadia, space, lights at night and god knows what else, she gives the viewer a reverse-symmetrical kaleidoscopic experience of another world.  For an idea of the way these videos move and shift, visit my flickr page, starting here and flip through the next few images.

Denmark and Nordic Countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden) The Collectors

Denmark and Nordic Countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden) The Collectors

The Nordic countries outdid themselves with their two pavilions invaded and transformed by the group The Collectors.  Creating a David Lynch meets mid-century homoerotic swingers’ loft, it is up to the participant to put the pieces together to form a sort of ramshackle pseudo-narrative.

And for my “artful” photos, which are, incidentally, of art:

Russian Pavilion- Anatoly Shuravlev

Russian Pavilion- Anatoly Shuravlev

Korean Pavilion- Haegue Yang

Korean Pavilion- Haegue Yang

Russian Pavilion- Andrei Molodkin

Russian Pavilion- Andrei Molodkin

There’s so much more to include, but these are the images I settled on.  Here are more photos from our stay in Venice.

Next stop: Vienna!

Shadow Art Fair Video

Shadow photo

This excellent fellow Mike Ambs condensed the entire 12-hours of Shadow Art Fair into a four minute video (for fun!) which really captures the day quite well.  Here’s the link to view it.

a recommendation from a friend

My friend and art colleague Ryan, recently texted me the somewhat cryptic message:  “Check out the paintings of Jordan Kantor.”  Where had he come across these paintings?  Why was I supposed to see them?  An email cleared it up: Ryan has seen them at the exhibition Untitled (History Painting): Painting and Public Life in the 21st Century at the newly opened University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) in Ann Arbor.  I still need to get over there to see them.  In the meantime, we can take a look at why Ryan thought I should check them out:

Jordan Kantor Untitled (Challenger), 2007 Oil on canvas 70 x 60 inches

Jordan Kantor Untitled (Challenger), 2007 Oil on canvas 70 x 60 inches

Jordan Kantor Untitled (Basel lens flare 6761), 2009 Oil on canvas 21 x 28 inches

Jordan Kantor Untitled (Basel lens flare 6761), 2009 Oil on canvas 21 x 28 inches

Jordan Kantor Untitled (Basel lens flare 5727), 2009 Oil on canvas 21 x 28 inches

Jordan Kantor Untitled (Basel lens flare 5727), 2009 Oil on canvas 21 x 28 inches

Jordan Kantor Installation view, 2009 Art Statements Art | 40 | Basel

Jordan Kantor Installation view, 2009 Art Statements Art | 40 | Basel

Ryan and I discussed his text message to me.  He thinks something in my new work resonates with Kantor’s work.  What do you think?

pig guts and ink

Nannette and I have been collaborating on a video piece the last couple of days…

I’m not exactly sure how it will turn out, but it’s been a lot of fun to work on so far.  Props involve a bathtub, oil paint, a rock, the stuffing from a plush pig’s belly, a sharp knife (to procure the pig guts), a gold threaded cloud puppet, one broken video camera, one working video camera, ink- black and shimmery blue.  Here’s a still image from shoot #1.


The clouds have been floating over my bed.  I think they like it near the map drawings…