Curators: Lauren Schell Dickens and Julie McKim
BAC Gallery is pleased to open its fall season with the exhibition Site Matters: Brooklyn Represents. Opening during the DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival, this exhibition explores the notion of site as physical location, cultural debate, and discursive exchange, and includes work by Malin Abrahamsson, Michelle Levante, Ethan Levitas, Greg Lindquist, Sara Macel, Cheryl Molnar, Lucas Monaco, Iviva Olenick, Sheryl Oring and Dhanraj Emanuel, Isaac Paris, Carolina Salguero, Karen Schoellkopf, Smudge Studio, and Michele Valdez. The artwork featured in Site Matters: Brooklyn Represents was culled from Brooklyn Arts Council’s Online Registry of Brooklyn Artists by curators Lauren Schell Dickens and Julie McKim.
How does one define Brooklyn? Site-specific art of the late 1960s and early 1970s was a response to a physical space, whether the Nevada desert or the architecture of the gallery, the work depended on its location for support. As the 1970s practice of site specificity merged with postmodern dialogues of the eighties, the notion of “site” expanded from a neutral and purely physical space, to acknowledge the implicit political and economic forces at work. In her article “One Place After Another: Notes on Site Specificity,” art historian Miwon Kwon pushes further, no longer defining site in physical and spatial terms, but as a conceptually discursive realm.
Using Kwon’s expanded definition of site, Site Matters: Brooklyn Represents examines the multiple and interwoven identities of the borough as they are psychologically, economically, viscerally, and imaginatively conceived. Greg Lindquist’s painting Monument to Open Sky documents Williamsburg’s changing landscape as a memorial and a repository for collective memory. Karen Schoellkopf positions Brooklyn as a site of social engagement. Her interactive Innerviews project, incorporating both dialogues with catcallers and a journal for open participation, explores the impact of catcalling on our shared public space. Isaac Paris and Iviva Olenick address the borough’s complex cultural identity. Olenick’s hand-stitched family albums focus on the interplay of memory and identity through generational history, while Paris’ Living in the Hood (Self-Portrait) subtly addresses his own position within the social context of Brooklyn.
In addition to the exhibition, there will be a performance by Sheryl Oring on Saturday, September 29 during the festival. Oring ’s I Wish to Say is a multidisciplinary project that engages public dialogue about electoral politics and implicitly examines women’s historical role as listener. For this work, Oring dresses as a 1960s secretary, sets up a portable public office complete with a manual typewriter, and types cards to the President as dictated by passers-by. From 2004-06, she typed more than 1,000 cards to President Bush. This fall she begins a new version of the show in which she invites people to dictate postcards to the next president.
There will be two film screenings in conjunction with Site Matters: Brooklyn Represents, including a screening at Outpost Lounge in Clinton Hill on October 13th, 8pm (www.outpostlounge.com) and a second screening at BAC Gallery on Thursday, November 1st, 6pm.