Category: Exhibition Reviews

The JMA Matriarchive in Resistance

Curated by Yohanna M. Roa

Installation view of “The JMA MATRIARCHIVE In Resistance”. Courtesy of WhiteBox

For the second exhibition at its new East Village venue, WhiteBox showcased “JMA Matriarchive In Resistance”, a complex interactive project curated by Yohanna M. Roa; an  exhibition doubling up as the premiere worldwide activation of the Mexican-Lebanese pioneer ecofeminist architect Josefina Mena’s archive reconsidered within the contemporary paradigm of New York’s present-day artistic, cultural, environmental, and socio-political scene. This proposal constitutes the seventh chapter in the EXODUS Series celebrating émigré artists in New York City. Questioning the ‘use’ of the archive and of its memory, a select number of key documents going back to the 1967-76 period, from the Mexican-Lebanese pioneer ecofeminist architect Josefina Mena’s Matriarchive were activated by contemporary NYC based immigrant artists.  The task at hand for each artist was to respond and react to Mena’s works from the present day, each availed of its own experience. As fodder, the curator-archivist Roa selected works from a network of collaborative actions Mena did in various localities, in this instance concentrated in Portugal, Mexico, Chile and London.

What do we see in an Matriarchive? It is not the inert evidence of an individual event arranged on those classic chipboard walls that serve the documentary purposes so well; the dialectic and multiple relationships between forces, bodies, and threads of different histories interweaved. At least, that is what we see in a living, open archive such as in this one. In her lecture for the opening of the exhibition, Ángeles Donoso Macaya recalled Ariella Azoulay’s challenging ideas about revolutionizing the archive: the Matriarchive as a feminist practice that defies the ways documents should be presented and made accessible to the public.

Installation view of “The JMA MATRIARCHIVE In Resistance”. Courtesy of WhiteBox

One of the artist’s … Click here to read more

Terence Falk’s Documentational Abstracts

Terence Falk’s Documentational Abstracts

Remains to Be Seen, Installation view, 2022

In his first solo show with Robert Berry Gallery, Connecticut-based abstract and found still life photographer Terence Falk’s intriguing and documentational, almost evaluational, photographs of the world taken with a large format camera. They’re about the natural world, but break it down into abstract shapes and form, evoking the viewer to slow down and rethink the world right around them. There is beautify and mystery right around us; it just takes a keen eye to find it. The artist has done just that.

Falk’s first passion as an amateur zoology thrived due to his observant nature. He minded snakes, butterflies, flatworms, and anything else that caught his fancy, and learned to observe them on a macro level through a microscope. He taught himself about every species of animal that lived at the shoreline near his home, and the nearby ponds and streams. At sixteen, photography entered his life, and has served to reaffirm the natural connection to the natural world that he felt since he was six, albeit on a more introspective level.  He wanted to continue discovering the world, but even though the tools are different, the passion for observing has never ceased. In 1976, he bought a Lindholf 4” x 5” view camera, since he was drawn to subjects that beckoned a slower, more intense process of photographing. The artist was right back where he started observing the world through a microscope, but now armed with a camera and documentarian approach.

Falk received his BFA in photograph at the University of Bridgeport in 1977. In 1986, the artist was awarded an Artist Residency Fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Sweet Briar, Virginia and in 1996 he received The Weir Farm Visiting Artist Fellowship. His … Click here to read more

White Noise V

White Noise at WhiteBox

White Noise V. Matt Sullivan and Beatrice A. Martino.

A skinny, disheveled Asian man spins on a pile of empty cans, screaming and waving his bare arms and legs while strangers throw more cans on him, producing a deafening noise. The man is Chin Chih Yang, a New York-based Taiwanese artist who is a familiar character at WhiteBox’s performative events. His act closes the second day of the fifth edition of White Noise, a series devoted to sound and multimedia visual performance art.   

Organized by WhiteBox, an alternative art space currently located in Harlem, White Noise was first started in 2005 in the organization’s original gallery in Chelsea. Now it moves around the city and its latest installment has been taking place in the New York neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant, hosted in a 19th-century mansion made available by Georgian artist Eteri Chkadua who lives here with her brother Gotcha, also an artist.

For White Noise, the curator and artistic director Juan Puntes assembles a diverse group of international artists that create an engaging and unpredictable soireè. At these events, a musical performance can follow a video projection, a poetry reading can accompany a multimedia installation and an occasional dancer can make an appearance –an eclectic bunch with one common denominator, exploration and experimentation. 

On Saturday, October 16th a packed living room was the setting for a gripping succession of performances including videos by transmedia artist Eva Petrič, and a live reading and screening of a graphic novel by indie-rocker and social critic,Jeffrey Lewis. Throughout the night, Mr. Puntes made sure that the artists had a proper platform to present their work and that the audience had an opportunity to connect and engage with the artists and explore the hosting space. He was clearly in his natural habitat, … Click here to read more