The EAI Collection: New Artists

Feature

 

Robert Beck/Robert Buck

In his body of moving image work that spans the mid-1980s to the present, Robert Beck/ Buck merges cinematic, televisual, and visual art aesthetics and strategies to singular effect, paying careful attention to the viewer's experience of his art. From his conceptual cable access television series of the 1980s through his activist works, "alternative" music videos and found-footage pieces, Beck/Buck's privileging of unexpected interpretations is the heritage of an eclectic list of influences, including Marcel Duchamp and Cady Noland, Robert Bresson and George Romero, film theorist Carol Clover and novelist Cormac McCarthy, the true-crime genre, the teachings of Jacques Lacan, and forensic science.

 

Ellen Cantor

Through a multimedia art practice that encompassed drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, video, and film, as well as through her work as a curator and writer, Ellen Cantor (1961-2013) advanced bold new feminist representations of sexuality and female disempowerment and empowerment. With wit and a critical eye, Cantor displays a masterful facility in re-editing appropriated footage, from Disney and The Sound of Music to Antonioni and Cassavetes films, porn, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Through her self-conscious use of consumer video, Cantor both calls attention to the constructed fantasies on screen and heightens an illusion of reality. Integrating Hollywood fairy tale castles, horror movie "final girls," homemade sex tapes, and video diaries into her own "'true' love stories," Cantor troubles boundaries between fiction and life, as well as public and private.

 

Barbara Hammer

With a career spanning forty years, Barbara Hammer is recognized as a pioneer of queer cinema. A visual artist working primarily in film and video, Hammer has created a groundbreaking body of experimental work that illuminates lesbian histories, lives and representations. States Hammer, "My work makes these invisible bodies and histories visible. As a lesbian artist, I found little existing representation, so I put lesbian life on this blank screen, leaving a cultural record for future generations."

 

Sondra Perry

Sondra Perry was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, in 1986. Perry holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BFA from Alfred University. In 2015, the artist's work appeared in the fourth iteration of the Greater New York exhibition at MoMA/PS1. Other exhibitions include Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 2015; A Curious Blindness, Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, New York (2015); Of Present Bodies, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington VA (2014); and Young, Gifted, & Black: Transforming Visual Media, The Camera Club of New York (2012). Perry performed Sondra Perry & Associate Make Pancakes and Shame the Devil at the Artist's Institute, New York, in 2015. The artist's work has been screened at venues such as Les Voutes, Paris, France; Light Industry, New York; Video Art and Experimental Film Festival, Tribeca Cinemas, New York; Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Shenyang China; and LOOP Barcelona Media Arts Festival. Perry was a panelist at Black Artists on Social Media at the Brooklyn Museum, NY. In 2014 Perry was Guest Lecturer at the School of Visual Arts, New York, for the course History, Theory, and Practice of the Image. Perry has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center, Ox-bow, and the Experimental Television Center. Perry is currently based in Houston, Texas as part of the artist-in-residence program CORE at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

 

Jacolby Satterwhite

Jacolby Satterwhite is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses video, performance, 3D animation, drawing, fibers and printmaking to explore themes of memory, desire, and personal and public mythology. In his video works, Satterwhite creates fantastical digital landscapes populated with multiple, costumed avatars of himself, engaging with hand-drawn objects and text as extensions of the body, in a seamless exchange between live performance and constructed worlds. Satterwhite's computer-generated realms—densely layered with proliferating drawings, objects and performances—encompass animated narratives of personal memory and identity.

 

Wu Tsang

Wu Tsang is a filmmaker, visual artist, and performer who incorporates strategies of activism, art making, and stage production across a range of multi-disciplinary projects. While Tsang’s work has a rich visual style, her attention to shifting identities, transitional spaces, and communities emphasizes contingent identifiers such as language, voice, and persona, prompting inquiries into how individuals and communities resist ingrained social prejudices. Using the frameworks of popular media forums such as cinema, television, theater and dance clubs, her work considers prescient debates about social gathering as a form of insurgency and the political capacity of contemporary art.

 

Tommy Turner

An artist working in print, performance, photography, and film, New York native Tommy Turner is considered a key figure of Downtown No Wave. In the mid-1980s, he directed arresting small gauge films that retain their ability to inspire shock, awe, and revulsion, while conveying a biting sense of humor and incisive social commentary. Turner's concise oeuvre encompasses black magic, domestic dysfunction, addiction, rock ‘n’ roll, demagoguery, murder, and wasted teenhood, often addressed through gleefully graphic, lo-fi special effects that swerve between clinical detachment and sardonic irreverence.

 
 
 

New Artists

 

Michael Bell-Smith

Michael Bell-Smith uses digital forms to explore contemporary visual culture and how it is mediated through popular technologies. His work often incorporates the visual vocabulary of the Internet, such as animated gifs and lo-res images, and references the aesthetics and semiotics of common computer programs such as Powerpoint and Web sites such as YouTube. Remixing and reinterpreting sources ranging from industrial videos and music clips to classic cinema and contemporary art, Bell-Smith reconsiders the cultural meaning of these materials in a "post-personal computer, post-Internet, post-Google" age.

 

Bernadette Corporation

Since 1994, the anonymous, international group of artists known as Bernadette Corporation has explored strategies of cultural resistance and détournement, appropriating contemporary entertainment modes for their own experimental purposes. From the New York-based BC fashion label, which garnered a cult following in the 1990s, and the magazine Made In USA, launched in 1999, to the collectively-authored novel Reena Spaulings (Semiotexte, 2005) and videos starring the likes of Sylvère Lotringer and Chloe Sevigny, Bernadette Corporation's interventionist projects amount to a precisely-calibrated critique of a global culture that constructs identity through consumption and branding.

 

Jaime Davidovich

Jaime Davidovich was a conceptual, video and installation artist, as well as a pioneering activist for the potential of artist-run, local cable television programming. Davidovich was a founding member of Cable SoHo (1976) and president of the Artists' Television Network (1978). His own cable access show, a weekly variety program called The Live! Show, aired on Manhattan Cable Television from 1979 until 1984. In the guise of his alter-ego, Dr. Videovich, Davidovich hosted the show, which featured performances by and interviews with art world personalities, live phone-ins and a home-shopping segment from which he sold his collection of TV-related kitsch.

 

General Idea

The artist collective General Idea — AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal — forged a unique conceptual practice that deployed parody and irony to critique the artworld and popular media culture. In performances, installations, video, photography, prints, and editions, they explored social phenomena ranging from the production, distribution and consumption of mass media images to gay identity and the AIDS crisis. General Idea worked together from 1969 until the deaths of Partz and Zontal in 1994.

 

Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn

In the video works of the Los Angeles duo Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn, the artists approach the alienation and violence of contemporary American life with absurdist humor. Dodge and Kahn's collaborative, performance-based videos inhabit an urban L.A. landscape that evokes both the everyday and the post-apocalyptic. In deadpan performances and elliptical narratives, Dodge and Kahn infuse their uncanny visions of Bush's America with wit, dread and longing.

 

Julia Heyward

Julia Heyward, once known by the pseudonym "Duka Delight," is a multi-media artist whose performances and moving-image works orchestrate sound, language and image into indelible symbolic compositions. Heyward's earliest performance and video art from the 1970s through to her recent focus on digital and interactive technologies show the artist's expressive use of staging, cinematography and her own charismatic presence and vocal techniques to deliver visceral monologues that have the blunt cadence and rawness of poetry.

 

Alex Hubbard

Alex Hubbard's signature videos involve carefully choreographed and dynamically composed studio experimentation with objects, paint, comedic timing and deconstructive gestures, on and off-screen. Through precise pacing and edits, Hubbard applies the logic of slapstick and physical comedy to objects, their relationships, and potential transformations, within the frame and over time.

 

Ken Jacobs

Ken Jacobs is an essential figure in the history of American avant-garde film. A leader in cinematic and now digital experimentation since the late 1950s, he explores the mechanics of the moving image and the very act of viewing. Jacobs investigates the cinematic experience in its entirety, from production to projection. Whether undertaking archaeological journeys to the dawn of cinema or scrutinizing the interstices of new digital technologies, Jacobs' work investigates, provokes, and draws power from the mysteries of the nature of human vision.

 

Andrew Lampert

Working primarily in film, video, and performance, Andrew Lampert pursues the alchemy between artist, art, and audience in a public space, especially that of cinema. A trained film archivist, Lampert combines a Duchampian attention to the gap between an artwork's private intent and public reception with an appreciation for the contingency of film as a medium, bringing unscripted and chance elements into cinema's veneer of control. Reveling in cinema as a performative environment, Lampert reclaims this space from a mass media culture to emphasize its potential for immediacy and accident.

 

LoVid

Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus began collaborating as LoVid in 2000. An alchemy of independent interests in technology has defined LoVid's aesthetic, combining craft-oriented analog processes and playful engineering with natural and social science. LoVid's live performances, participatory public art works, immersive installations, and video and textile projects express the radiant noise of an electrified but human world.

 

Shana Moulton

Shana Moulton creates evocatively oblique narratives in her video and performance works. Combining an unsettling, wry humor with a low-tech, Pop sensibility, Moulton plays a character whose interactions with the everyday world are both mundane and surreal, in a domestic sphere just slightly askew. As her protagonist navigates the enigmatic and possibly magical properties of her home decor, Moulton initiates relationships with objects and consumer products that are at once banal and uncanny.

 

Takeshi Murata

Takeshi Murata produces extraordinary digital works that refigure the experience of animation. His innovative practice and evolving processes range from intricate computer-aided, hand-drawn animations to exacting manipulations of the flaws, defects and broken code in digital video technology. Whether altering appropriated footage from cinema (B movies, vintage horror films), or creating Rorschach-like fields of seething color, form and motion, Murata produces astonishing visions that appear at once seductively organic and totally digital.

 

Jayson Scott Musson

In writing, performance and visual art that incisively satirizes pop culture and the art world, Jayson Scott Musson provokes the boundaries that define cultural and racial stereotypes. His most well-known creation is the "art critic" Hennessy Youngman, whose episodic Internet talk show Art Thoughtz has become a viral video phenomenon. In the guise of Hennessy Youngman, Musson uses hip-hop vernacular to critique the exclusionary language of art discourse, hilariously pitting hip-hop and art world idioms against each other in a dual parody of cultural clichés. Engaging hybrid media and contexts, Musson uses platforms such as YouTube to circumvent traditional art institutions and reach a mass audience on his own terms.

 

Antek Walczak

The video works of Antek Walczak grew out of his participation in the art/fashion collective Bernadette Corporation and the late '90s downtown New York scene. Characterized by what Walczak terms a "neo-Godardian lo-fi Rousellian distracted-narrative style," these works define an early-21st-century condition, "...a passion for dead fictional substances and authentic forms, a haunted authorial voice speaking across grids of nonlinear layers, tracks, clips and timelines."

 

David Wojnarowicz

David Wojnarowicz channeled a vast accumulation of raw images, sounds, memories, and lived experiences into a powerful voice that was an indelible presence in the New York City downtown art scene of the 1970s and '80s. Through writing, film, painting, drawing, photography, mixed-media installations, and performance, Wojnarowicz affirmed art's vivifying power in a society he viewed as alienating and corrosive, especially for those who were not part of the "pre-invented existence" of the mainstream. Using blunt symbology and graphic illustrations, he exposed what he felt this mainstream repressed: poverty, abuses of power, blind nationalism, greed, gay sex, and the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. His nihilism, however, was also infused with his celebration and empathetic documentation of the alternative histories that he witnessed and lived.

 

C. Spencer Yeh

C. Spencer Yeh is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist, composer and improviser, as well as his music project Burning Star Core. Much of Yeh's video work engages with avant-garde composition and performance, variously as studies in form and technique, or as documentation of other artists working within his musical, geographic or social spheres. Other projects are humorously charged excursions into pop and trash cultural anthropology within "tape trading"-style distribution, such as applying highly polished treatment to bootleg video sources or canned pop songs. Pitched at the turn-of-the-millennium transition from "IRL" trades of prized physical objects to BitTorrent file transfers, this aspect of Yeh's work engages questions of value, authenticity, access, and social interactions within shifting paradigms for (unauthorized) circulation of images.