Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) is proud to announce Process and Progress: Sonya Blesofsky and Lan Tuazon, the first in the series of four exhibitions that invites artists and architects to engage with systems of urban development in the Bronx and beyond. Process and Progress is presented in BRAC’s temporary gallery space in Mott Haven while its facility is undergoing renovation.
The exhibition series, Process and Progress: Engaging in Community Change, highlights the Bronx River Art Center’s development during a time of significant structural and cultural change in the borough. BRAC’s major building renovation project, now underway, is leading the way for more environmentally sustainable and technologically advanced designs within the West Farms Community. At the same time, the surrounding area has become home to new and imminent urban development projects that plan to dramatically alter the landscape and its residential makeup. A proposed real estate project located across the street from BRAC’s facility will be the largest housing development initiative in the Bronx since Co-op City, one of the largest cooperative housing developments in the world. In addition, the West Farms Rapids section of the Bronx River Greenway, slated to open alongside our facility in the near future, will allow access to the river by directly linking BRAC with the Bronx Zoo, expanding a new corridor of green space. These and other developments will inevitably transform the built environment, social fabric, and cultural composition of our community.
Artists Sonya Blesofsky and Lan Tuazon have individually researched these and other urban development projects in the West Farms area during a focused one-month period. For the first exhibition in the series Process and Progress, the artists created new works that are directly informed by their time engaged with the neighborhood.
Depicting the new with the old—future developments, historic architectural details, blighted corners, latent construction materials, forgotten spaces, and scenes of the BRAC building under construction—Sonya Blesofsky’s installation is a bricolage of drawings and 3-dimensional forms, overlapping and juxtaposed with one another to reflect the inconsistencies at play within the landscape of West Farms. Her project is based on a series of street-level studies and research regarding future developments and change in the area.
Lan Tuazon presents a series of works titled Fault of Form, architectural explorations of utopian and public housing designs. Using the traditional Japanese craft of Kirigami, cut and folded paper, she builds four composite sculptures inspired by utopian designs such as Charles Fourier’s Phalanstère, Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist City, as well as abandoned housing developments such as the Sails of Scampia in Italy and newer developments such as Pinnacle@Duxton in Singapore. These sculptures are accompanied by a series of prints titled,Shadows of Malevich’s Ghost, utilizing silhouettes of similar utopian structures overlaid with cityscape prints of the Bronx. Tuazon’s search for the ideal is echoed in the work Cloud Sentences, drawings that use clouds as words to write a forecast of the future through understanding the present.