Saturday, August 1, 2009
NAIL is a group of curators focused on experimenting with exhibition forms in a workshop setting, the results of which are shared with the public in a variety of venues. NAIL 1, Home Sweet Home, took place in October as an apartment show, engaging ideas of personal and private space. NAIL 2, Surrounding Area, took the form of a walking tour, divulging to participants details about a little-known area in San Francisco. NAIL 3, Out of Order, took place in a more traditional gallery setting, but our concept was all but traditional; we chose artworks through the “Exquisite Corpse” method developed by the Surrealists. For our fourth project, we were invited by independent curator Jan Van Woensel to curate an email exhibition in conjunction with his show Bad Moon Rising 3 at Boots Contemporary Art Space in St. Louis; every day for two weeks in January, viewers received an email containing an artwork. NAIL V was our most recent project. It began as a response to philosopher Boris Groys' essay, “The Loneliness of the Project.”
NAIL is: Jacqueline Clay, Nicole Cromartie, Courtney Dailey, Emily Gonzalez, Jacqueline Im, Kristin Korolowicz, Sharon Lerner, Katie Morgan, María Elena Ortiz, Arden Sherman, Joanna Szupinska, and Josephine Zarkovich. You can contact us at email@example.com.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
3.1 (Curated by Jacqueline Clay)
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 5:59 PM
Today (and tomorrow in Washington, D.C.), power and ascendancy will be actively re-considered. Although not explicitly part of this exhibition installment, the subversive nature of language in this object opens broader considerations of collective memory and constructions of the other. My contribution consists of a postcard from 1935; it functions in a place between hostile stares (silent, passive aggression) and violent acts (active physical oppression). On the back of the postcard is casual correspondence: travel updates and well wishes along with racist terminology. There are historic similarities between postcards and email: the length of messages, the frequency of being sent and the familial recipients.
3.2 (Curated by Nicole Cromartie)
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 7:26 PM
Please click here to watch this video
Will You Be My Liver by Catherine Galasso Featuring Alexandra Bradshaw, Mimi Cave, and Kathryn Shearman Music by Michael Galasso December 2008, CounterPULSE, San Francisco, California For more information on the artist and a schedule of upcoming performances, visit:
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 8:39 PM
Tracking Transience: The Orwell Project
2002 - ongoing
Due to a hotline tip in 2002, Hasan Elahi was repeatedly interviewed and investigated from June to November of that year. At the end of that term, the artist was cleared of suspicion, but he decided to continually prove his innocence by making his life completely transparent and began posting his location and activities on the internet . The artist carries a modified cellular phone that updates his website with his location; posts images of the airports he visits, the food he eats, and the restrooms he uses; and logs his credit card transactions, telephone conversations, and travel itineraries. Through his website, the artist places the visitor in his position by taking each picture from his point of view. His image is not seen in the entire database thereby making himself invisible despite the wealth of information available. By taking control of his own surveillance, Elahi robs those watching him of secrecy and power and embraces the technology that so many fear.
For more about the artist, please visit http://www.elahi.org/.
3.5 (Curated by Jackie Im)
Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 10:21 PM
Some Last Meal requests from inmates in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice: The Alchemy of Food, 1999-2000
Figure 1: Rick McGinn - Declined Last Meal
Figure 2: T-bone steak, onion rings, mashed potatoes
Figure 3: Turkey leg, hot dog with relish on a bun, bell pepper
For many death row inmates in the United States, the last meal is the only order that an inmate can place while in prison. Artist Richard Kamler explored this subject with his "Last Meal" series, using the requested last meals by inmates in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. This small glimpse of who is being executed reveals the humanity that is often lost in the bureaucracy and controversy behind the death penalty. Through their representation as serial numbers, statistical figures, or political causes, death row inmates lose their basic identity as people.
Richard Kamler has expanded The Last Meal to those of us who are not incarcerated. Forcing us to think of our own mortality, we think of what would we order and, in effect, begin to relate to those on Death Row. We ask you to visit The Last Meal and place your order.
3.6 (Curated by Kristin Korolowicz)
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 5:59 PM
Photographs courtesy of Zoe Strauss*
At once disturbing and beautiful, Strauss' photographs depict people and places that in one way or another highlight the detritus of the American dream. In her work, we see rural and urban American neighborhoods littered with lonely signs that illuminate phrases like: "Together we make dreams come true." These phrases cast shadows on the beaten faces and scarred smiles of the individuals in her other photographs. Strauss' work often poignantly captures the tension between this dream and its everyday reality.
Zoe Strauss currently lives and works in Philadelphia. Take a second to look at the artist's blog, which provides insight into her process and interests: Zoe Strauss' blog.
*Images are formatted for the blog and appear much smaller than in the original email.
3.7 (Curated by Sharon Lerner)
Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 8:36 PM
Estereoscopía (Diego Lama-2000) from SharonLerner on Vimeo.
"ster-E-'äs-k&-pE, "stir-; 'ster-E-&-"skO-pE, 'stir-
1 : a science that deals with stereoscopic effects and methods
2 : the seeing of objects in three dimensions
Estereoscopía (Stereoscopy, 2000) is a piece that confronts the viewer with tension that results from the way our minds are predisposed to build narratives and expect logical cause and effect. Each part of the diptych depicts virtually unrelated actions. However, the viewer’s natural inclination to make causal connections creates a third, disturbing, setting. The increased silence builds a dense, almost perturbing, atmosphere that transcends the individual scenes and comes together in a mental synthesis. Besides dealing with language and mental processes, the slippage in Estereoscopía could easily remind us of striking atrocities that governmental powers constantly incur.
Diego Lama (Perú, 1980) is considered one of Peru’s most representative video artists. His work often incorporates uncanny imagery and underlying tension. Most of his recent productions strive towards developed forms of sublime narrative structures which flirt with cinematographic formats and condensed theatrical settings.
Diego Lama lives and works in Lima, Peru. He received first prize for best experimental video in the first National Biennial of Film and Video in Peru (2004), and a prize at Videofest in San Francisco (2006). His solo shows include Vouyeur, Galería 80 m2 (Lima, 2008), Bold, Galería Vértice (Lima, 2007), and Painting, Galería Lucía de la Puente (Lima, Perú, 2005). He has also participated in numerous group shows in Peru and abroad.
3.8 (Curated by Katie Morgan)
Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:36 PM
Parker Ito, the agony and the ecstasy, 2009
Parker Ito is a pixel prospector, a miner of the internet. For him, HTML code is the 21st-century's answer to Duchamp's readymade and the porn star is the new artistic muse. In this recent work, found video clips of ice cream, candy, splattered paint, and fireworks are overlaid with clips of online pornography to create a layered and textured core sample of the pleasures and vices of the World Wide Web. Beautiful, yet repellent and strange, Ito's videos, websites, and paintings explore and push at the boundaries of the image-saturated, hyper-technological reality of our age.
Parker Ito lives and works in Berkeley, CA.
Please visit www.parkerkooito.com.
In Dang we trust.....
3.9 (Curated by Maria Elena Ortiz-Romero)
An afternoon in San Juan with Gamaliel Rodríguez-Ayala and Medallas
María Elena Ortiz-Romero - The America’s favorite villain of the 21th Century (Bush) and A Normal day; cokes and bombs belong to The advertising Series, how you would describe the relationships between the two works within the series?
Gamaliel Rodríguez-Ayala-In this series I am focused on issues such as health, militarism, development, economic power on the part of drug trafficking and crime that are part of contemporary culture. Also, it is a review of contemporary painting and Neo-figuration. America’s favorite villain of the 21th Century and A Normal Day; cokes and bombs, I appropriate images which are recognized within the mass culture within a social and historical context to reconstruct its meaning. In Iraq or Afghanistan, the quantity of bombs (Mortars Rounds) and Coke are almost parallel. Both have a similar shape, and represent the heritage of a country. In the case of Bush and Darth Vader, they are famous figures around the globe. Both fought for what they believe and both had the power to command. The interesting thing is that one was in science fiction and one in the real events.
M.E.O.R. -Your study on the social and historical context of an image is seen in American favorite 21th Century villain (Bush) and Dog Mask, where the mask of Darth Vader is presented in two different frameworks. However, the Dog Mask belongs to The Series 11B. Do they deal with the similar issues?
G.R.A. -No, The 11B Series is based on my reinterpretation of the famous book of the Infantry of the United States entitled Soldier’s Manual of Common tasks also known as the “Bible of Infantry”. Is part of the military training… I kept mine.
Well… in this series, I explore the illustrations presented in the book, but develop my own illustrations based on events of society. The works are comprised of pictures found by various means such as magazines, internet, or personal drawings, texts taken from books and are impregnated with blood of real lamb alluding to the nickname of “bible”. The similarity between the Darth Vader mask and the (George W. Bush) is just a coincidence.
After Gamaliel Rodriguez-Ayala served in the United States’ army, he successfully pursued an education in the arts. Rodriguez-Ayala graduated with a Master Degree in Visual Arts from the Kent Institute of Art and Design in England. Currently, he is a professor at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de San Juan. For more information on the artist contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
3.10 (Curated by Joanna Szupinska)
Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 5:00 PM
Click here to watch the videos.
Straight Edge, 2007
Artist Stuart Bailey uses drunkenness and drug-induced states to discuss a kind of willful disengagement common in Western societies. Effectively securing their own comfort by numbing a creeping unease, many individuals turn with apathy from the otherwise shocking realities of today's world: widespread militarism, blind nationalism, horrific torture, economic disaster, and global warming.
In the video Straight Edge by Minor Threat (For Lagerphones), Bailey re-stages the 1981 hardcore punk song that provided the name for the anti-drug, -tobacco, and -alcohol youth movement. Minor Threat's "Straight Edge," the lyrics of which are screamed out by the artist himself, is set to the percussion of five lagerphones. These Australian folk instruments, fastened with beer bottle tops, are a variation of the traditional aboriginal instruments that use shells, and simultaneously produce bass drum and tambourine sounds. Subverting American pop-culture hegemony by re-appropriating the song into an Australian context, the artist calls attention to drinking culture down under. In Out of Step by Minor Threat (For Lagerphones), Bailey reflects in the slow part of the song, "Listen, this is no set of rules/ I'm not trying to tell you what to do..." at which point his distinct accent is revealed. His accent serves to further underscore his Australian authorship within the reading of this work. In the above untitled collage (2009), Bailey combines elements that, depending on the viewer, alternately refer to Minor Threat, bush culture, and mainstream American and Australian cultures.
The artist would like to thank Minor Threat (Ian MacKaye, Lyle Preslar, Brian Baker, Steve Hansgen and Jeff Nelson), Fayen d'Evie, Michael Ascroft, Imogen Beynon, Rosemary Forde, Dylan Rainforth, Geoff Newton, Danny Jacobsen, Karra Rees, Andy "Moose" Newton, and Andrew Uttley.
Stuart Bailey was born in Newcastle, Australia in 1970. He received a BA in Visual Arts at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University in 1996. He is currently a Masters candidate at Sydney College of the Arts where he also lectures in Printmedia. His recent solo exhibitions include Desert Mouth, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, ACT (2008); Straight Edge, Hell Gallery, Fitzroy, Vic (2008); Low level week (with Rozalind Drummond), RMIT Project Space, Melbourne (2007); Party H.Q., Enjoy Gallery, Wellington (2007); Crafting self-esteem (with Basil Hadley), Fremantle Arts Centre (2007); Carpetweed (with Rozalind Drummond), Victoria Park Gallery, Melbourne (2007); and NEVER UPSTAGED EVER AGAIN, Canberra Museum and Gallery (2005). He has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Cryptophilistinists, Gertrude Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne (2009); Bon Scott Project, Fremantle Arts Centre, WA (2008); Old Skool (never loose that feeing), Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, WA (2007); Dislocated, Toronto Foreshore, Canada (2006); and So you wanna be a rock star?, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra (2001). He has curated a number of exhibitions, including Little Deaths, Apartment, Melbourne (2008); Wolfgang Sievers: Work and Slowing Down, both at Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne (2007); and World famous in New Zealand, Canberra Contemporary Art Spaces (2005).
Please visit www.stuartbailey.info for more information.
3.11 (Curated by Josephine Zarkovich)
Francois Hughes, Running. 2005-6. mixed media. Interactive Installation
"Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush" – Garrett Hardin
Combining rolls of sod with mechanical elements, Oakland based artist Francois Hughes highlights the ways in which natural materials have become industrialized commodities. His installation Running consists of an indoor "lawn machine" acting as a decomposing conveyor belt allowing the artist to walk at a brisk pace without actually moving forward. This performative aspect of the work addresses both the body obsessed Californian exercise culture and the absurdity inherent in the American desire for a perfect lawn.
Playing off the fact that rolls of grass are sold in hardware stores—more fabricated than natural—Hughes' work combines dark humor, mechanical invention, and whimsy. Placing himself on a course that is both figuratively and literally unsustainable the artist's actions evoke a subtle sense of doom. His installations draw the viewer into a surreal and unsettling dreamscape, if you are the type to dream about modernism: things catch on fire, kinetic sculptures click and whirr towards their destiny and the body fuses with machine. Each of Hughes' sculptures are united by the futility inherent in their processes. Their labor results in their destruction.
3.12 (Curated by Arden Sherman)
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To say that the World Wide Web has changed the way Americans go about their daily lives is an understatement. From methods of communication and information exchange to product marketing and avenues of immediate gratification, the Internet has opened doors for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers as well as those with less than noble intentions. Like the universe it purports to mimic, the Internet is ever expanding. The present is combined with the past and the predictions of the future, leaving layers upon layers of words, text and images piling up into a boundless mountain. The following list is a selection of instructional, resource-based, and creative websites found amongst the highways, byways, and mainframes of the World Wide Web, ranging from the sensational to the serious—a mere sampling of the virtual American melting pot. Vanity, money, fear, and an unyielding desire for convenience are dominant themes in this brief glimpse of the seedy underbelly of a Google search.
Through the Bad Moon Rising email exhibition series, NAIL curators have provided insight on artists who utilize the web for publicity, concept, or artistic tool, and this list revisits those websites, often drawing unforeseen parallels between the spaces of the artists' work and the cacophony of the Web itself.
Special thanks to Daniel Morgan for his internet prowess and nobility of the graphic.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
January 19 - January 31, 2009
I fear that we are becoming a nation which simply sits in front of a television screen and orders its lives at the press of a button or mouse. There is in the internet the potential for destroying ourselves.
-- David Hope, Archbishop of York, April 2000 (news.bbc.co.uk)
This latest incarnation of the traveling exhibition Bad Moon Rising takes the form of a series of emails as well as an exhibition at Boots Contemporary Art Space, St. Louis. Individually curated by the members of NAIL, the emails will showcase artworks in a variety of media, from video to web design to found objects and more, exploring and expanding on the artistic possibilities of a form of communication that is often taken for granted. In many ways, the vehicles for this project, email and the internet, embody the spirit of Bad Moon Rising. A powerful tool for education and research, the internet can also expose us to predators, steal our identities, and spread dangerous or unwholesome images and video. On the internet, America's more subversive and iconoclastic citizens find community and the perfect, anonymous speaking platform. Religious and political figures' warnings of the web's latent evils are all but drowned out by praise for its perceived commercial and educational benefits.
The Bad Moon Rising project exposes some of the dark sides of the world's self-proclaimed greatest nation: the United States of America. With the election of a new President in November 2008, people are optimistic about the future of the USA's national and international politics, economy and warfare. Nevertheless, the country's continual increase in unemployment, poverty, the financial downfall, expensive and unreliable health care, equal rights and overpriced education are problems that are yet to be resolved. Offensive, annoying, naughty and whimsical, Bad Moon Rising helps to reminds us of some of the most disturbing facts of the USA's past and present. Through a selection of artworks, artifacts and a-historical references, major themes such as politics, religion, society, family, war and the media are disturbingly portrayed, casting a dark shadow over the USA's promised ideologies of freedom and prosperity.
Bad Moon Rising is a traveling group exhibition conceptually designed by New York-based curator Jan Van Woensel which premiered at Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, in Jan - Feb 2008. Bad Moon Rising 2 was a one-night only exhibition at ISCP in New York, which took place on September 12, 2008. The 3rd and most recent incarnation of Bad Moon Rising opened at Boots Contemporary Art Space in St. Louis, MO, and is co-curated by Jessica Silverman and Jan Van Woensel with the assistance of Kara Smith.