The group exhibition In Accordion Time, Unfolding : A Pandemic Archive marks the opening of Ursa Gallery, an experimental gallery showcasing contemporary art and design located at the historic Arcade Mall in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This art venue was founded by Cris Dam and conceived in collaboration with Dustin Malstrom. Cris was also cofounder of Dam Stultrager in 1998 – one of the earliest galleries in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Co-curated by Alexandra Rutsch Brock and Patricia Miranda, the exhibition features mail art in the form of accordion-fold books and digital dialogues by the London Calling Collective over the challenging past year. It runs through February 12th, 2021.
In Dialogue with Eric Fallen, Founder and Executive Director
Amy Butowicz solo show Boudoir Theatre at Peninsula Art Space features a collection of domestically scaled sculptures staged as a group of characters which are readily associated with notions of sensuality, ornamentation, and haute couture. Bulging cushion-like forms, meticulously hand-stitched over wooden structures, display intricate patterns and rich material suggestive of bedding, vanities, corsets and human anatomy. Bold and tender simultaneously, these anthropomorphic forms defy the disdain and fear that are frequently imposed upon feminine artforms, spaces, and bodies. Eric Fallen, founder and executive director of the Red Hook based Peninsula Art Space elaborates on Amy Butowicz’s exhibition and on his art venue.
Last year, after artist Eliza Evans learned she had inherited the equivalent of three acres of mineral rights in Oklahoma, she started receiving offers from agents for fossil fuel companies to buy or lease these rights. After researching the law, Eliza Evans learned that she could not refuse and that the property could be fracked without her consent if the neighboring property owners agreed. Eliza Evans says that since like most artist she does not like being told what to do, she took a deep dive on mineral rights and property law to see if she could create some options. This resulted in the conceptual art activism of All the Way to Hell.
All the Way to Hell is giving away fractions of this property to as many people as possible. Nearly 300 people are participating so far, and signups will remain open until mid-December. This aggressive fragmentation of the property drives up the driller’s acquisition costs and will impede their interest. All the Way to Hell is a platform for a new form of protest, the foundation for a 100-year sit-in. Although each fractional mineral property is minuscule from a practical and legal perspective, the space it occupies is vast. All the Way to Hell may be the largest land art project ever.
Aisha Tandiwe Bellis interested in the many manifestations of the traps of race, sex, and class. She makes drawings, paintings, ceramic sculptures, installations, and performance work that examine the metaphors and the allegory that this trap manifests. In her newest work Aisha Tandiwe Bell’s is looking at how one might negotiate traps, utilizing shape shifting, and code-switching as well as looking at identifying markers that both separate and unify. She says, “I am a Black African American Jamaican Woman Artist Wife and Mother. These are all categories that I consistently juggle and negotiate in a white male dominated space.” Aisha Tandiwe Bell is participating in Domestic Brutes at Pelham Art Center.
Jana Astanov is an interdisciplinary artist, a poet and an independent curator born in Poland, and living in the US. She is a founder of CREATRIX Magazine, portal for creative expression focused on art, activism and spiritual practice. Her work includes photography, poetry, performance art, sound art, and installation. In her work, she utilizes spiritual traditions, somatic movement, sound art, ritualistic theatre and Astrofeminism, a term she has developed through her character Yannanda The One Who Speaks With The Stars. Together with her partner Niko van Egten she co-created an electronic music group ASTRALOOP featuring her poetry in dark electronic arrangements. She has performed at Tate Modern, Smack Mellon Gallery, Grace Exhibition Space, Venice Biennale, Documenta 2017, and many other galleries, festivals and independent venues worldwide. She is also the author of five collections of poetry: Antidivine, Grimoire, Sublunar, The Pillow Book of Burg, and Birds of Equinox. In this interview for Art Spiel Jana Astanov discusses her ideas on performance art and specifically on her most recent upcoming curatorial project ALEMBIC: Body and Spirit. Live Art as Healing Art.