ART & SOCIAL JUSTICE
October 14 - December 10, 2010
Union Theological Seminary
Broadway at 121st Street
New York City
In this exhibition we offer ten vitrines to ten artists, in which to display a project each: we look to artists who use research, found materials, and the world they find themselves in to generate their work. In part this strategy reflects the difficult space that Union has to offer, primarily cloisters and hallways; but in fact the vitrine lends itself well to much of the research-oriented activity in the art world. Cathy Busby reflects on her father’s time at Union, and her family involvement with issues of residential native schools in Canada. Electronic Disturbance Theater displays modified cell phones with which it proposes leading illegal immigrants in the desert to caches of water. David Kennedy Cutler investigates the Greenpoint oil spill, which is situated in the aquifer below his studio. Robert Ransick gathers the 31 marriage acts passed by 31 states, limiting marriage to a man and a woman. And more.
Lisa Anne Auerbach
Often combining wry humor with a biting critique of the complacency and routine of modern life, Lisa Anne Auerbach’s subversive brand of post-punk, DIY aesthetics mixes art and politics in a manner both highly personal and thoroughly embedded in contemporary culture. Recent projects have addressed topics ranging from the current Iraq war to the politics of bicycling in a city of freeways. In her slogan-adorned sweater sets, each outfit becomes a wearable canvas, literally weaving together the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the everyday. Recent solo exhibitions include Take This Knitting Machine and Shove It, at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK, and The Tract House: A Darwin Addition, at the American Philosophical Society (APS) Museum and and Philagrafika2010: Out of Print, Philadelphia.
Cathy Busby’s conceptually-based art practice responds to the socio-political tensions inherent to everyday lives. Her most recent projects include: Giving Notice: Words on Walls at Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax (2010); We Are Sorry by invitation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (2010); and the companion, We Are Sorry, a public artwork for the Laneway Commissions, Melbourne, Australia (2009). She has a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax (1984) and an MA in Media Studies (1992) from Concordia University, Montreal. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, was a Visiting Researcher at New York University (1995-96) and held the Contemporary Art Fellowship at the National Gallery of Canada (1997-98). Busby has a Phd in Communication (1999) from Concordia University. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Center for Tactical Magic
The Center for Tactical Magic engages in extensive research, development, and deployment of the pragmatic system known as Tactical Magic. A fusion force summoned from the ways of the artist, the magician, the ninja, and the private investigator, Tactical Magic is an amalgam of disparate arts invoked for the purpose of actively addressing Power on individual, communal, and transnational fronts. At the CTM we are committed to achieving the Great Work of Tactical Magic through community-based projects, daily interdiction, and the activation of latent energies toward positive social transformation. The Center for Tactical Magic is a not-for-profit organization that survives and thrives on grants, commissions and the generosity of those who believe.
Nicolas Dumit Estevez
Nicolas Dumit Estevez is an interdisciplinary artist working mainly in performance art and art-and-life experiences. He has exhibited and performed extensively in the US as well as internationally at venues such as Madrid Abierto/ARCO, The IX Havana Biennial, PERFORMA 05 and 07, IDENSITAT, the Bulgarian Biennial, Prague Quadrennial, The Pontevedra Biennial, The Queens Museum of Art, P.S.1/MoMA, The MacDowell Colony, El Museo del Barrio, The Center for Book Arts, Longwood Arts Project/BCA, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Franklin Furnace, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. He teaches at the Transart Institute in Berlin, Germany. Residencies attended include Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. Born in Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, Dominican Republic, Estevez lives and works in the South Bronx.
Electronic Disturbance Theater
The Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) is a group who developed Virtual-Sit-In technologies in 1998 in solidarity with the Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico. This recent Electronic Disturbance Theater project with Ricardo Dominguez, Brett Stabaum, Micha Cardenas and Amy Sara Carroll is entitled Transborder Immigrant Tool (TBT). TBT is a GPS cell phone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/U.S border and was the winner of “Transnational Communities Award”, funded by *Cultural Contact*, Endowment for Culture Mexico – U.S. and handed out by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. The project was also funded by CALIT2 and two Transborder Awards from the UCSD Center for the Humanities. Sustenance: A Play for All Trans[ ]Borders, a collectively written script, edited by Amy Sara Carroll and Ricardo Dominguez, was released by Printed Matter Inc. (2010) and was performed at Galería de la Raza. TBT has been presented at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, California, and will be included in the 2010 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, California.
Fritz Haeg is based in a geodesic dome in the hills of Los Angeles. His work has included edible gardens, public dances, educational environments, animals homes, domestic gatherings, urban parades, temporary encampments, documentary videos, publications, exhibitions and occasionally buildings for people. Recent projects include Sundown Schoolhouse - an itinerant educational program; Edible Estates - replacing domestic front lawns with edible landscapes; and Animal Estates - making homes for native animals in cities around the world, which debuted at the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Recent books include The Sundown Salon Unfolding Archive (Evil Twin Publications, 2009), and the expanded second edition of Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn (Metropolis Books, 2010). For 2010-11 he is on a Rome Prize Fellowship.
Haha is an art collective—originally including Richard House, Wendy Jacob, Laurie Palmer and John Ploof—that formed in Chicago in 1988 and continued to work together until 2008. The work addresses the particulars of living in a locally and sensually embedded situation, with all the political, discursive and social elements at play there, and how they deeply affect our lives, our senses of self and of possibility. Central to Haha's working process is the belief that collaboration dislocates work from a focus on the artist's identity as the basis for its interpretation, and becomes a means of research: a way to see, interpret, and affect the world.
David Kennedy Cutler
David Kennedy Cutler was born in Vermont in 1979. He has had solo exhibitions at Derek Eller Gallery, New York and Nice & Fit, Berlin. He has been featured in recent public exhibitions at Portugal Arte 10, Lisbon, and The Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY. He lives in and works in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently working on several projects exploiting the Greenpoint oil spill, which is situated in the aquifer below his studio.
Robert Ransick works in a wide range of media. He has exhibited in New York City at such venues as Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, Exit Art, Storefront for Art and Architecture, White Box Gallery, and others. In addition he has shown at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Palazzo delle Esposizione in Rome, and elsewhere. He has received funding from Franklin Furnace, the Mellon Foundation and the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network and has been an artist in residence at Eyebeam Center for Art and technology and LACE. BFA, Photography With Honors, The School of Visual Arts; MA, Media Studies, The New School for Social Research. He is currently a full-time faculty member in digital arts at Bennington College. Robert Ransick lives and works in New York City, but spends a good deal of time in Vermont and Southern Arizona.
Nomadic in nature, Red76's origins reside in Portland, Cascadia/Oregon where it was founded in the winter of 2000. The socio-historical landscape of the Cascadian region greatly informs the methodological underpinnings of their work. The group, often in flux and geographically dispersed, is the moniker for initiatives most often conceived by Sam Gould, and collaboratively realized with the assistance of Gabriel Mindel-Saloman, Zefrey Throwell, Dan S. Wang, Mike Wolf, Laura Baldwin, and many others. Often situating itself in public space, or creating an atmosphere wherein the definition of space may have an opportunity to redefine itself, Red76 initiatives utilize overlooked histories and common shared occurrences as a means of creating a framework in which to construct their public inquiries. Social histories, collaborative research, parallel politics, free media, alternative educational constructs, gatherings, masking, and public dialogue play a continuing and vital role within the methodology and concepts of Red76's work. Along with independent initiatives on street corners, in laundromats, bars, and kitchen tables, Gould and Red76 have engaged in projects commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, the Drawing Center, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Printed Matter, Creative Time, the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Gallery at Reed College, 01 San Jose, SF MoMA, Rhizome/New Museum, The Bureau for Open Culture, The Walker Arts Center, and others.