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Ann Carlson and Mary Ellen Strom

Alexander Gray Associates
508 West 26th Street, 2nd floor, 212-399-2636
December 14, 2007 - February 2, 2008
Reception: Friday, December 14, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Alexander Gray Associates presents an exhibition of video works by Ann Carlson and Mary Ellen Strom. Through their collaborative work since the early 1990s, Carlson and Strom have brought together social, political, historical and formal concerns. These collaborations are notable for their community engagement, experimental form, technological experimentation, and cultural activism. Among their highly celebrated works are Geyser Land(2003), a multi-media installation and performance experience that took place on a Montana train ride; West(1997), at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and projects at the Ins titute of Contemporary Art Boston, Creative Time, Sculpture Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Their collaborative practice will be the subject of mid-career survey at the DeCordova Museum of Art in 2009.

On exhibit is Sloss, Kerr, Rosenberg & Moore(2007), a video made in collaboration with four practicing New York City attorneys John Sloss, Chet Kerr, Scott Rosenberg and Thomas Moore. The work features the lawyers performing a movement and vocal score that references their work and lives. The rhythmic sequences illustrate the performative aspects of litigating, the pressures experienced while working inside the juridical system, the contest, the service and ultimately the lawyers’ individual humanity. Highly formal in its spatial design and patterning, the work becomes a 21st Century folk dance, ritualizing and capturing the essences of argument, oral representation, and group dynamics.

Also on exhibit is F our Parallel Lines(2007), a video installation made in collaboration with four day laborers, Jose Bautista, Joel Gomez, Lisandrow Vicente and Carlos Hernandez. Four parallel lines are drawn on a stretch of Pacific beach using 6×2 inch lumber, drawing on Walter De Marias’s 1968 seminal earthwork. During the scene the ocean eventually washes the workers’ line drawings away, with the water resembling a white paint spill. With this work, Carlson and Strom deploy art historical references to re-frame the lives of immigrants, linking the near-invisibility of their labor to the development of post-Colonial theory and Modernist tendencies of invention.

Ann Carlson’s award-winning, performance-based works are renowned for expanding the boundaries of dance and choreography. She has performed internationally since the late 1980s, including commissions from the Whitney Museum, Creative Time, the Walker Art Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Ar t, Los Angeles, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; and is the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Doris Duke Trust, the CalArts/Herb Alpert Award, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2006, she was a Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University.

Collaborative in content and process, Mary Ellen Strom’s video works have blurred lines between activism and art history, media and representation. Her community-based work in the early 1990s was widely regarded for merging experimental video with political concerns, most notably her vanguard work with at-risk, queer youth. She has received dozens of grants and fellowships, including multiple fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts; Artadia, the Fund for Art and Dialogue; Art Matters, Arts International; the Nat ional Endowment for the Arts, the LEF Foundation; and residencies at Bellagio, PS1, the Headlands Center, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Strom is a professor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
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