No Longer Empty (NLE) was commissioned to create "If You Build It,"
a mutli-level art exhibition for the inaugural opening of their development
in Sugar Hill, Harlem. Working with new construction posed a new set
of challenges for NLE, an organization that has mastered temporary art
and community engagement projects in raw spaces. The exhibition identity
had to reiterate the existing NLE identity, while also being unique to
the nature of the current project. We incorporated the existing "ribbons"
and color palette of NLE, which contrasted well with the dark-toned materials
of the new building. The identity included a lock-up for the exhibition title
and an abstract pattern for various scales, from environmental graphics
to hand-held materials. NLE produces extensive social and educational
programming, which require flexible templates for last-minute changes in-house.
Way-finding focused on egress in order to encourage visitors to experience
the building and wander between artworks.
Photos of the entire exhibition available here.
Artwork labels designed for Abreaction 2: Muscle Memory
in the Middle East and the Caucasus at Freeman Space,
July 10–23, 2014. Curated by Caroline Partamian in collaboration
with Isabella Bruno. The design intention was to evenly weigh
the artist statement in their native language and English
translation with an elegant solution encouraging visitor interaction.
This exhibition continues the Muscle Memory series initiated by Caroline Partamian,
digging deeper into the concept of abreaction by working with artists who have a family
history in refugee, revolution, civil war, or genocide. Abreaction is the extraction
of memory stored within a muscle, resurfaced through kinetics and physical movement,
of which the individual was previously unaware.
Partamian asks, “How does becoming conscious of their kinetic movement and families’
memories while creating their artwork affect the process and outcome of the work?”
While artists have “abreaction" in mind, the design of the exhibition furthers it with labels
and signage that require visitors to do repetitive movements, bringing the unconscious
into the foreground. A textile artwork by Lynn Hunter, Jess Rees, and Hannah Schultz
evolved over the course of the exhibition in the gallery windows, drawing reference
to the reclamation of memories that are stored indefinitely in our muscles.
While the curatorial theme is largely performative, artists who produce non-ephemeral
forms of art are asked to explore it. Artists Bassel Al-Madani (of the band “Bassel and
the Supernaturals”) in collaboration with his bandmate Philip Anderson, and Angel
Deradoorian (formerly of “The Dirty Projectors”) presented sound works, alongside
the large two-dimensional works of Ibrahim Ahmed, Samer Almadani, and Shadi Ghadirian.
Caroline Partamian was Summer 2014 Exhibitor-in-Residence at Freeman Space.
A collaborative opportunity to present ideas in an exhibition form.
Our first cycle, Oct 2014–Feb 2015, is now open!
For information about the residency, download PDF here.
For dimensions of Freeman Space, download PDF here.
For photos of Freeman Space, click here.
For video interviews with previous residents during their residency, click here.
This exhibition represents a new direction for shamanistic artist, Michael Dudeck.
More than merely displaying art, the collaboration explores how the exhibition form
—its language, visitor participation and design—becomes a valuable tool for an artist
to continue the creative process. With this exhibition, Dudeck and Bruno question
objects’ identity, and therefore, challenge the exhibition as authority. “In the museum,
information is presented as fact, even though often it is not,” says artist, Michael Dudeck.
Dudeck’s methodology of Punc Arkaeology creates a framework for viewing objects
in new ways. “Punc Arkæology is the term for Dudeck’s effort to move beyond such
literal definitions, to dig deeper into what we expect and desire from objects in our lives,
and to create works of art that get viewers to think about what is materialized and left
unmaterialized,” says Daniel Larkin of Hyperallergic. Dudeck starts from the beginning
of narrative–our Western story of creation–questioning assumptions about gender, desire,
and the identity of G-d. Guided by the exhibition, we are opened slowly to alternate
viewings of the creation of Man. Using Dudeck’s arsenal of performance, drawing,
sculpture, photography, and academic research, we are invited to a new experience
of viewing these mediums, and therefore, a queering of the Museum itself. The audience
completes the exhibition by participating in Punc Arkaeology, through an invitation
to interact with curated objects and to make their own artworks.
Michael Dudeck was Spring 2014 Exhibitor-in-Residence at Freeman Space.