The ArtCat calendar is closed as of December 31, 2012. Please visit Filterizer for art recommendations.



Unsound Practice

Dutch Kills Gallery
37-24 24th Street, Suite 402, 718-784-2737
Long Island City
September 1 - September 14, 2009
Reception: Saturday, September 5, 6 - 9 PM
Web Site

Opening night:

9:00 pm Performance: Live Sound/Video Performance by Twistycat

Special Video Screening: Gaia Persico, KAMouflage Films – Rosebud Pettet and Kirt Markle

Curated by Christine Kennedy

Featuring Virginia Batson, Matthew Callinan, Jools Johnson, Tom McCloskey Jo-ey Tang, Mikel Telleria and Marjorie Van Cura

Dutch Kills Gallery is pleased to announce “Unsound Practice,” September 1-14, a group exhibition showcasing seven artists whose work investigates the interplay of visual art, sound and text. The exhibition will be on view from September 1-14, 2009. A reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, September 5th, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Featuring the work of Virginia Batson, Matthew Callinan, Jools Johnson, Tom McCloskey, Jo-ey Tang, Mikel Telleria and Marjorie Van Cura, this exhibition takes as its point of departure the contemporary experience of an excess of “noise.” If the phenomenon of “noise” characterizes the information age, constituting a soundscape of competing voices, textual and discursive networks, transmissions and communications— how has this transformed both what and how we “see;” how do such plurivocal emissions –as well as their suppression, loss or erasure—influence contemporary image-making and the cultural production and status of works of art?

Whether reflecting a theme of “noise” through a practice grounded in a critical appropriation of existing materials and technologies or through aesthetic choices, the show’s artists share a concern with exploring the margin between visual art, text and sound. Using a diverse array of strategies and techniques, each provides a unique interpretation of the contemporary soundscape. Receptive to the incessant murmur, whisper or disappearance of sound, to words and the circulation of texts, to noise perceived as viral, disruptive and disorderly or, alternatively, as generative, riotous, and dissonant, each of the show’s artists rejects traditional forms of representation in favor of an experimentation with new or invented codes, unsound practices.

A re-evaluation of the relation of noise/silence (signifying, for example, the presence of absence) opens a space for unexpected liaisons, translations, re-encodings, interruptions inscriptions and recordings that blur the lines between genres, mediums and inside/ outside. Listening to the cacophony as well as to the omissions, deletions and hegemonic relations of power in discursive constructs, each offers a critique of the autonomy of systems of perception as well as a positive conception of an artistic practice that is embedded in the social, economic and political situation.

Virginia Batson’s work engages the senses. She works directly from the body, harnessing the spontaneity of improvisational drawing to make and strengthen her conceptual foundation. She is intent on discovering the inherent nature and potential of her (often unusual) materials through sensory-based research and experimentation. A focus on process, and the body’s generative capabilities, is at the core of her installations, sculptures, and works on paper. Batson lives and works in

Matt Callinan‘s installations and sculptures, composed of mundane and recycled materials, from car bumpers to shopping bags, water bottles and NYC subway metrocards, emphasize the critical social relevance of the ubiquity of plastic in life today. Callinan created the site-specific 10’ x10’ TEE-PEE 2006 for the DUMBO Art Festival Brooklyn NYC, and his water bottle mobiles have been exhibited by White Columns. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

Jools Johnson’s recent series, ‘God lives in Details’ (2007-present) involves deconstructing and assembling recycled computers. These constructions, resembling architectural fantasy landscapes or miniature worlds, provoke a range of issues from environmental, recycling and waste to consumerism, utopia and escapism. The ideas for composition and structure are inspired from the metal skeletons and colourful circuit boards of computers; every screw, nut and bolt is reused to assemble new constructions, and nothing is added that is not already a part of a computer. Each computer holds a story and this reconfiguration of its life presents a new beginning for the viewer. Johnson lives and works in London. His conceptual, installation and construction work has been widely exhibited within the UK and recently internationally.

Tom McCloskey’s “ Sleeping Rag Dolls in a Duel” (2005) is a comical piece with an underlining sarcasm toward our desensitization to violence. Two sleeping dolls face each other with outstretched arms pointing a gun at one another. 5” monitor “heads” show a video image of sleeping eyes. As the dolls snore away, a gun blast is heard, waking one of the dolls for a moment; the doll falls right back to sleep. McCloskey lives and works in South Philly with his wife Noelle, his son Miller, and his dog Parker. If Tom is not with his family or creating absurd sculpture you can find him skating FDR Skate Park.

Jo-ey Tang’s “Desire”—a lo-tech work on paper comprised of Xerox copies of the word ‘Desire’ that fades and disappears—reflects Tang’s interest in the unfinished, the broken, and the damaged. Tang’s sees his work as a constellation of fragments: meditative pieces in which sensitivity rubs against the sterile codes of Minimalism. Small-scale and unframed, with Tang’s work the mark of the hand and the edge of the paper are all the more visible and visceral. The materiality of paper – torn, crumbled, folded, copied and photographed – fill out an intimate and emotional spectrum of proximity and distance. Born in Hong Kong. Tang lives and works in New York City.

Mikel Telleria’s paintings are abstractions suspended between the poles of the doing and undoing of signification, which, like re-encoded bits of information, prompt reflection on the pair fiction/truth. Telleria, who lives and works in the Basque country, has exhibited internationally, including the A&C Art Fair SEOUL in 2009. In his current NYC show, Telleria juxtaposes documentary photography and paintings to achieve a visceral cinematic effect.

Marjorie Van Cura views her work as social commentary, informed by several themes of interest that include the origin and genetic make-up of species, the phenomenon of evolution, and issues of identity, alienation, and community in our Digital Age. Her mixed media paintings combine graphic, Op-art aesthetics with invented hybrid creatures, or Chimeras, that contain human-animal-mechanical parts. Intense optical color relationships and repetition of shape dissolve into a complex pattern and create a visually intense, visceral experience. Van Cura maintains a studio in Greenpoint Brooklyn.


Gaia Persico’s ‘World Animations (Night-time)’ (2005/09) is a looped animation made with drawings produced on-situ from observations of cityscapes seen from hotel window views. Only the real-life movements that occur during the making of the original ‘computer’ drawings are annotated and turned into the moving parts. A single freeze-framed viewpoint of the metropolis acts as a stage for a door opening, a shadow appearing on the floor, a light flicking on and off, a flashing neon or an ascending elevator. Long intervals of stillness punctuate time between each of these actions; a sense of expectancy and tension that something is about to happen arises, but the narrative is never fully expounded.

KAMouflage Films Kirt Markle & Rosebud Pettet

The experimental animations from KAMouflage Films evolved from the efforts of Kirt Markle and Rosebud Pettet. Based on Markle’s die-cut collage artwork, he and Pettet began collaborating on films in early 2007. They were greatly inspired by the work of legendary animator, Harry Everett Smith, who considered Pettet his “spiritual wife” until his death in 1991. Their films have been shown with great success at NYC’s Anthology Film Archives and at animation festivals throughout the country. “Seeing these movies is the most psychedelic visual experience I’ve had since I last ingested psychedelics. Any given still seems to contain a vast field of visual images that can only be processed by some deep chamber of the brain. See them and levitate!” Luc Sante (Low Life, Kill All Your Darlings) “Films look ultra-cool, I really like them. Really in Harry Smith’s spirit!” Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth)


Twistycat Lea Bertucci and Ed Bear

Formed in 2005, the Brooklyn-based improvising duo of electro-acoustic Bass Clarinet and Baritone Saxophone has developed a live audio-visual performance that combines amplified feedback and expanded video projections. In 2008, Twistycat released Bore Hole, a cassette on Baked Tapes, and the double-disc Megaflora/Megafauna, recorded in the abandoned Widow Jane cement mine.

Lea Bertucci is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn NY who works with photography, video and sound. She is a 2007 Tierney fellow and has received a degree in photography from Bard College. The emphasis of her work lies in the creative description of space through light, movement and sound.

Ed Bear is a musician and engineer working with found electronics, video, and collective improvisation. He has toured extensively in North America and Europe as a former member of the group Talibam!, performing at major venues such as Issue Project Room, Free103Point9, Tonic, The Montreal Pop Festival, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Duke University. As an educator and artist, his workshops aim to technologically empower artists as both scientists and magicians and promote ecologically sound alternatives to modern electrical power systems and electronic devices.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcat10061 to see them here.