Rituals of the Reflective Self

When 22 Mar 2014 - 25 Mar 2014
Where Residency Unlimited
360 Court Street #4
Brooklyn, NY 11231
United States

Opening reception: Saturday, March 22, 12-6pm with performance at 4:30pm

“Rituals of the Reflective Self” presents work by artists who create a vehicle to reflect on the experience of the subject in relation to daily rituals and structures such as food, tradition and ceremony. A confessionary eat-in stand “A Bar for America” by Chilean artist Nora Silva; an installation of vases and a pile of text in “Tragedy” by Danish duo ja ja and evolving melodies in “Seeding Echoes along the Wind” by Meng-Hsuan Wu (Taiwan) all use imitation, repetition and tension to reflect on cultural tradition, corporeal existence and spiritual essence.

“Seeding Echoes along the Wind” presents sound, melodies and songs by families from the South Bronx that Wu met through the intermediary of Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education as the means to reveal the process of learning and preserving the personal culture. Parents teaching lullabies to their children who in turn teach them to a parrot, exemplifies the oral tradition of utilizing imitation and repetition to strengthen families and communities “by passing down the cultures.” In her survey of nine families , Wu explores the cultural identity of each individual family as well as the whole community through this collective creation process.

Fast-paced and somewhat alienating times and lifestyle have caused our relationship with food to deteriorate and develop into unhealthy habits. A tongue in cheek design for RU’s church setting, Silva’s confessional titled “A Bar for America,” asks the participants to kneel at the confessionary stand – a posture of reverence and respect – and offers them to choose food from a menu which intends to put on the table our current food industry issues and expose the participants to the reality of flawed eating choices. At the same time, this act reestablishes a respectful and appreciative relationship to food through the ritualistic process at the confessionary stand; taking the time and devoting the space and attention to the nourishing ritual.

The duo ja ja creates an interaction between materials, bodies, and space in their new installation and performance piece, “Tragedy.” Vases filled with water and blue pigment, and a pile of text dispersed throughout a bare space explore the meditative and ceremonial experience that emerges from the staging and ensuing tension between text, object, and form. Filled with poetic material, interpreted dictionary definitions, a night song about the color blue and photographs, the book serves as a referential and archival work while reflecting on the space in which it is exhibited. The installation is pointing at the historical connotations of the Greek tragedy as being a dramatic composition.

Walter Benjamin pointed to the fact that the unique value of the ‘authentic’ work of art has its basis in ritual. In these works Silva, ja ja duo and Wu reinforce this authenticity by isolating the ritual element in our daily life. Via a sequence of activities, involving gestures, words and objects these artists create a reflective form to reinforce our connection to the past and inspect our present corporeal and metaphysical experiences, thus allowing for an awakening of the self.

-Danish duo ja ja (Julie Stavad and Johanne Lykke) are currently 4th year students at The Jutland Art Academy in Aarhus, Denmark. Together they form the art duo JAJA that works within the sphere of collective thinking and create art works that raise the following questions:
-How to be in a collaborative creating system?
- How to connect objects, language and form?
-How to respond to the dialogue?

Recent works include the publication “Mangoes” with 65 text pieces, written individually and shaped by a specific vocabulary. “Mangoes” was realized last Fall through the Ox-Bow Fall Artist Residency Program . In the summer 2013, JAJA did the performative reading “The Grammar of Lungs A Compact Situation With More Than One Need” held at The Architecture Museum in Tallinn, Estonia. JAJA’s residency at RU is made possible through The Jutland Art Academy (Aarhus) five year education program in fine arts. djk.nu/english/index.html

-Meng-Hsuan Wu (Taiwan)
Meng-Hsuan Wu records her insights into life as a means to observe other people’s perspectives about being. The exploration of one’s identity in a specific time and place lies at the core of her artistic practice. She combines different artistic methods including site-specifically interactive performance and time-based video installation to investigate the relation to context of time, space, and place. Her work is strongly focused on community-engagement to further look into the identity of a specific group of people . By actively engaging the viewers’ participation, she questions their physical and mental existence.

Meng-Hsuan Wu has exhibited at the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, NYC (2010); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Juming Museum in Taiwan (2011), Walpodenakademie in Germany(2011); Cross Gallery at Treasure Hill Artist Village and Suho Memorial Paper Museum in Taiwan (2013). Residencies include the Elsewhere Artist Collaborative , NC 2008); Franconia Sculpture Park, MN and Flux FactoryNY (2009), and most recently at the Vermont Studio Center, VT, and Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion Program, OH (2013). Meng-Hsuan Wu ‘s residency is organized within the framework of Residency Unlimited ’s partnership with Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, and is supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs of New Taipei City, New Taipei, Taiwan.

-Nora Silva is a Spanish/Chilean artist interested on the perception of space, nationality or identity. She is also fascinated with the possibilities of collaborative practices, hence the foundation of the project MilesKm mileskm.com through which they research on the subject. After finishing her degree on Fine Arts, Nora Silva decided to take a step back and dedicate herself to a completely different thing to gain a wider perspective. That’s how she decided to go to culinary school and then embarked herself in a trip around the American continent on an adventure research on anthropology through food on her project “Travel Around the Hob” aroundthehob.com. It was when she got to Mexico that she felt the need to go back to the arts, but this time from a more critical point of view. She currently writes for a Mexican art magazine and her practice revolves about how to address social issues and contemporary problems through creativity or through metaphorical pieces, which she believes are indeed very powerful communication tools and potential agents of change.

-Ayelet Danielle Aldouby is a co-founder of Artea Projects, a New York based organization that supports the public art process from the earliest planning stages through the installation and promotion of a wide range of projects. She has curated public art projects commissioned by Alliance for Downtown New York, Department of Design and Construction, by MTA and developers (Silverstein Properties, Time Equities Inc) such as the “Re:Construction public art program initiative”. Projects include: “Walking Men” by Maya Barkal (a photographic collage of pedestrian traffic icons assembled from around the world, presented in human scale) at 99 Church, and “Rendering Leonard” by Helen Dennis at 56 Leonard landmark designed by Herzog & De Meuron.

As independent curator, Aldouby’s has organized exhibitions in venues such as the Kennedy Center for the Arts (Washington DC), the Art Barn in the Hamptons, International Artists’ Museum() with “Poles Apart, Poles together” and “Divine In Tent” at the 51st & 52nd Venice Biennales and Documenta (Kassel), at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Jerusalem) as well as the Orensanz Foundation (NYC) and Yeshiva University Museum (NYC).

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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