an exploratory and cross-disciplinary group exhibition focusing on the prevalent friction between states, psychologies and ideologies
Featuring: Tom Bogaert, Hasan Elahi, Jessica Feldman & John Movius
Live & Active uses the exhibition model as an action-based and critical forum that focuses on current political situations and their effect on global society and the individual. Artists/Creators/Activists Tom Bogaert, Hasan Elahi, Jessica Feldman and John Movius use interventionist and interactive art practices to examine conflicted spaces in society in order to re-imagine artistic solutions, escapes and platforms for empowerment.
As Jessica Feldman states, “Live & Active grew from a feeling of desperation and frustration with our current political and economic moment, one wherein the art object and the creative act seem completely devoid of power and influence. Art is either illegal and censored, or commercialized to the point of becoming decorative… Art has historically been defined as distinct and separate from ‘reality,’ rhetorically rendering it without direct consequence in the ‘real world.’ This distinction may in fact be among the only refuges that we currently have for freely productive, creative, and constructive behavior.”
About the Artists: Tom Bogaert documented genocide and human rights abuses in Africa and Asia for fourteen years for Amnesty International and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Five years ago, he resigned to become an artist. Tom Bogaert offers us a strongly uncomfortable mixture of tragedy and farce. On the one hand, he takes on immensely difficult subjects, including genocide, war and terrorism. The artist does not see his artwork as an extension of his human rights work, though it directly confronts the intersection of human rights, entertainment and propaganda. Given his background and history, an autobiographical reading is to some extent unavoidable.
Hasan Elahi is an interdisciplinary artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, simulated time, transport systems, borders and frontiers. His current multi-faceted project, Tracking Transience, was inspired by Elahi’s experiences being investigated by the FBI. As a result of an erroneous tip called into law enforcement authorities, he was singled out as a terrorist suspect. After undergoing months of regular interrogations and finally nine consecutive lie-detector tests, he was cleared of any suspicions. However, this experience lead Elahi to conceive a self-tracking device that constantly transmits and maps his exact location alongside his financial data, communication records and transportation logs. Elahi recently was invited to speak about his work at the Tate Modern in London, New York University, and at the American Association of Artificial Intelligence at Stanford University. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Venice Biennale (Italy), the Kulturbahnhof (Kassel, Germany), and the Hermitage (St. Petersburg, Russia). His work has been supported with significant grants and numerous sponsorships from the Creative Capital Foundation, Ford Foundation/Philip Morris, and the Asociación Artetik Berrikuntzara in Donostia-San Sebastián in the Basque Country/Spain.
Jessica Feldman is an intermedia artist with a background in sound, sculpture, and installation. Recent works engage primarily with issues of interactivity and intervention, addressing the tension between the inner and outer worlds and between the private and the public, motivated by an interest in communication and in dissolving the barriers of institutional- and self-censorship. Her work has been performed, installed and exhibited internationally at art galleries, museums, concert halls, public parks, city streets, tiny closets and the internet. New York venues include The Kitchen, Roulette, Monkeytown, The Museum of Contextual Amputations (online), the Flux Factory, The Stone, The Tank, Danspace at St. Mark’s Church, and outdoor locations such as bridges, sidewalks, streets, parks and passageways. Her work has received awards from the LMCC, the Max Kade Foundation, Columbia University, Meet the Composer, and the Experimental Television Center. She received an MFA in Intermedia Art from the Milton Avery School for the Arts at Bard College (2007), an MA in Experimental Music and Composition from Wesleyan University (2005) and a BA in Music from Columbia University (2001).
John Movius’ photography and collages capture both the moment and an underlying tension or questioning as to what we are viewing and what are the implications and context of the image. Movius received a BFA in Photography & Imaging/Art & Public Policy for Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Select exhibitions include Hinterconti Gallerie in Hamburg, Germany (artist and curator), Cinders Gallery in New York City, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in California, Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center and Holocene, both in Portland, Oregon. He has been a featured artist at the National Grassroots Media Conference and Guild the Lily website. He received the Daniel Rosenberg Travel Fellowship Award and has published his photographs in Far From It (2006) poems by Andrew Tillinghast.