LMAKprojects is pleased to announce the presentation of In Between Time, the third solo exhibit by Silvia Russel at the gallery. In this exhibit, Russel sought to capture the process of gentrification in the Lower East Side, NYC, through drawings. She has done so by interacting and interviewing members of the LES community.
Russel submerged herself in the LES neighborhood – she approached inhabitants on the street, took part in individually guided walks with locals and spent nights in their residence – all in effort to view the neighborhood through a different lens. She interviewed across the board – from inhabitants whose roots are cemented in the community to new arrivals, asking both ends about the ways in which gentrification has affected their lives.
Russel is interested – as an artist and outsider – if and where the old and new meet. Through observation of the social networks and racial backgrounds, Russel questions the integrations of the old and new community as well as the ethnic backgrounds and whether this develops into a hybrid characteristic of the neighborhood.
In her work, Russel combined the stories she has been told with her own experiences and imagination. On view are colorful drawings accompanied by written statements of the interviewees depicting LES inhabitants, such as Chinese, Hispanic, Jewish and Caucasian people in a background typical for the LES area. The drawings give a glimpse of their social position in the neighborhood and how this has changed over time.
In relation to this, Russel will also present a series of portraits, which was made in a neighborhood in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, called the Bijlmer. It is a residential area that was developed in the 70’s and was presented as a suburban neighborhood, a utopia, however it became known as the ghetto of Amsterdam. In 1992 an airplane crash was the start of a drastic uplift and the area has seen drastic social and changes since then. With her drawings Russel aimed to present the new hope of this community. The two bodies of works offer an interesting relation and contrast to each other. The work offers a visual dialogue to the idea of gentrification, and makes the viewer a witness of a moment in an ongoing process.
Russel showed at institutions such as White Box, Artist Space, Cell Project Space in London, the Stedelijk Museum, Van Abbemuseum, Van Bommel van Dam Museum, Upstream Gallery in the Netherlands, and received several important commissions from the City of Amsterdam, St. Anna Hospital, and various Dutch art funds.