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Mary Ivy Martin, Christine Sciulli, Dan Waber

AC Institute
547 West 27th Street, 6th floor
May 14 - June 13, 2009
Reception: Thursday, May 14, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

AC [Direct] I presents Christine Sciulli’s planeSPACE, the latest installation in her current series Intercepting Planes. Points of light map the intersections of light planes and network pathways.

The networks used in this body of work have utilized various materials. In earlier installations, a random, taut, linear network of string was used to define pathways and synapses in gallery spaces. Operating on a much larger scale, Intercepting Planes X mapped planes of light onto a network of tree canopies high above Duane Park.

In planeSPACE a mishmash of vines, roots and bramble forms a dense, organic network. Points of light variously slink, careen and collide along twisted pathways, the result of a projected line mapped onto the tangled network.

Christine Sciulli is a New York based video installation/intervention artist. Her works have been seen on the street, in New York area galleries and institutions. Recent exhibitions include: The Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Florida and New York’s Islip Art Museum, where Janet Goleas described her installation of Intercepting Planes B to be “a quiet riot of controlled chaos.” In 2008, Sciulli exhibited a solo installation with Frederieke Taylor Gallery, had her second solo show with Chi Contemporary Fine Art (both New York), exhibited her outdoor video installation, “Everything’s Rosie” as part of Plugged-In (Hudson, New York) and was a recipient of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Grant to produce a roving outdoor video installation, Intercepting Planes X, in Duane Park (New York). Her collaborations with composers have been shown widely at European and American festivals. A recent collaboration featured her video and light work for the Mabou Mines waterfront piece, “Song for New York: What Women Do While Men Sit Knitting” by Ruth Maleczech, which was developed during her Sundance Institute Theatre Lab Residency at White Oak, Florida.

Mary Ivy Martin: Untitled Abstract No. 3

AC [Direct] II features the installation Untitled Abstract No. 3 by Mary Ivy Martin. For Martin, absence and presence are important elements in her work, both literally and figuratively. Whether this presence is site-specific or metaphysical, it leads her to ask: What is missing in her life? How do we deal with the complexity of contemporary life? How do we relate to our surroundings and the natural world? How do our experiences differ?

To expand on these questions Martin collects objects that are often walked over, passed by and taken for granted. As such, extracting these objects from their element draws attention to their own inherent history and meaning: the appearance, texture and smell, all being significant.

Through the processes of collection and installation, the artist creates new relationships between familiar objects, the installation space and the viewer; consequently reanimating the objects. Moreover, grids, binding techniques, landscaping and placement are tools used to impose an unexpected or “un-natural” order upon the materials.

Untitled Abstract No. 3 demonstrates Martin’s current work with natural materials such as grass and dried leaves which conjure up a sense of nostalgia and longing within herself. The act of working with these materials addresses her heightened awareness of a certain disconnect with nature as a resident of New York City, while also alluding to contemporary movements of environmentalism, ecological art and a rebellion against the electronic age. The materials work as a kind of gateway for the artist to explore their rich histories, contexts, complexities and questions. As with Untitled Abstract No. 3, Martin’s work challenges the boundaries between indoors and outdoors as she re-evaluates the role of nature in daily life.

Dan Waber: A Depiction of a Broken Allegory

AC [Chapel] presents Dan Waber’s latest series of visual poems created by taking detailed rubbings from memorial plates on-site at local churches around Northeastern Pennsylvania. Entitled A Depiction of a Broken Allegory, these works grew out of a convergence of several ongoing areas of investigation with the primary motivation serving as an attempt to come to grips, both literally and metaphorically, with the way American culture uses language to intermix concepts of memorialization with those surrounding religion and politics.

Each rubbing was made in situ, using lumber crayons on paper—a set of tools whose rich potential Waber learned through the work of, and in correspondence with, visual poet David-Baptiste Chirot. Moreover, each individual piece limits itself to the language found on a single monument, though some monuments themselves yielded multiple pieces.

The artist’s hope is that the pieces operate on such a universal level that those who view them will, from that day forward, regardless of ideological agreement or disagreement, find themselves automatically locating the “anti-language” contained within the language of monuments.

Dan Waber is a visual poet, concrete poet, sound poet, performance poet, publisher, editor, playwright and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in a kaleidoscope of places, from digital to print, from stage to classroom, from mailboxes to puppet theaters, from Harvard to Smith. His expansive artistic range has currently led him to working, as he states, “on and everywhere in-between.”
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