Source: Arts Wire CURRENT, a project of Arts Wire, a program of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) -- http://www.nyfa.org
NEW YORK CITY, NY
YAHRZEIT: SEPTEMBER 11 OBSERVED
To commemorate the first anniversary of September 11, The Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will present YAHRZEIT: SEPTEMBER 11 OBSERVED. Commemorating "the yahrzeit of our collective loss."
In this yahrzeit -- a Jewish observance of the anniversary of a death -- "In keeping with the Museum's narrative approach, the exhibition will examine ways in which some responses to September 11 have been framed within the structure of traditional Jewish rituals, the involvement of communal organizations, and the outpouring of individual volunteerism, and social action," the Museum writes on its website at http://www.mjhnyc.org/new/fr_exhibit.htm "Our proximity to the site of the tragedy, our identity as a downtown cultural institution, and our mission of remembrance compels us to reflect and remember with the community and our neighbors."
The Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is located on Battery Park City, overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Last year when the museum reopened after being closed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, KOSHERFINDER quoted museum chairman Robert M. Morgenthau as saying: "The Museum represents the ability of human beings to rebuild after catastrophe and is a symbol of remembrance and renewal. This is why it is so important that we reopen now."
In the fall of 2003, it will open its new East Wing, with multimedia classrooms, a theater, exhibition galleries, a living center, a memorial garden, a cafe and Museum offices. The architect is Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates.
THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE -- http://www.mjhnyc.org
Amy Sara Clark
"Political art is the force of gravity to which all surrounding life converges. GROUND ZERO would reassert this art of intelligence and intensity into our lives, to reaffirm its obsession to penetrate and to conquer by all means the sense of the moment. The power of political art has always forced itself on us, yet it would be hard to imagine living without it. After all, the final goal of any artistic activity is the understanding of its subject, the world we live in - without which the arts lose all vitality and even their reason for being." - Jef Bourgeau, director The Museum of New Art (MONA)
Organized by artists Frank Shifreen, Daniel Scheffer, and Julius Vitali, GROUND ZERO, an exhibition of post 9/11 art, features the work of over 50 artists. Artists from all over the country have created works in many styles, in varied media and with many reactions to the world since last September and to the drama of cultural clash.
In Douglas Fishbone's CAGED ARAB, a young Arab-American man sits in a cage in the middle of the museum. During the opening of the show, he sat "in a small dog pen, completely inexpressive, dressed in traditional Arab dress -- a long, flowing robe and a skullcap," Fishbone said. "The intention of the piece was to examine the increasingly problematic relationship between Americans and the Arab world, the absolute terror that Arabs inspire in the mainstream population, now that they have assumed the mantle of US public enemy number one. By placing my performer in a cage, I was alluding to that sense of menace, the threat that needs to be penned in, or removed from our reality."
He added that with the use of the cage, he wanted to evoke the dehumanization which is the result of such stereotyping and to call attention to the Administration's unlawful detention of Arab-Americans.
"There was a wonderful Performance piece by New York Artist Amy Shapiro about her experiences at work on 9/11 next door to ground zero," artist/curator Frank Shifreen told Arts Wire. He also noted Brooklyn artist and co-curator Danny Scheffer's work utilizing rose thorns on hand made paper branches and Francisco Henriquez Sims' digital pixelized blowups of the main characters in the post 911 drama.
"Tom Corn of Lower East Side did a great piece of the cockpit of the jet with the WTC in the window. Another with a baseball bat and machete in a glass case capturing the implicit violence of the situation," said Shifreen, whose own work in the exhibition is a photoshop montage of the second plane about to fly in to the second tower flying over the Statue of Liberty. (as it must have done, he notes)
Among other artists in the ground Zero exhibition are Lance Winn, Eve Stuart, Rozalinda Borcila, Mariella Bettineschi, Travis Hanmer, Francoise Doherty, Steven Haigh, Cynthia Greig Matthew Gebhardt, Kristin Anderson, Robert Nielsen, Meryl Meisler, and Bob Dombrowski.
In a statement-in-progress about the exhibition, Frank Shifreen writes:
"I believe in the importance of political art exhibitions that can explore topics of relevance to us. Many artists and critics disagree. They see politics as an intrusion, that propagandizes and muddies art. Walter Benjamin , and later in another context, the Situationists believed that all art is political. That fascism in any form creates a aestheticization of politics (hollywood, hype, constructed narratives, demonized enemies ) that can be countered by art that expresses the truth of these relationships. Art that conceals it's political nature allows for the smooth functioning of the dominant order. The Situationists critique is that our society is a mediacracy, where all the media, politics and business create a soap opera story. The celebrities, politicians are the actors and stars, the people are passive consumers living through the media. Art can create a space which breaks the spell of the soap opera. In this case I am talking about the narrative by the Bush administration that has created a story that has become the gospel of September 11th."
He adds that "We need more political art exhibitions, theater, dance, poetry because the beauty of art also counters the repression of spirit in our society."
Jef Bourgeau, director of MONA, which was founded in 2000, hopes "that the exhibition can help in healing, and also examine our present and future."
"The events of Sept 11 were an overwhelming visual experience that demanded a visual response ... In the midst of chaos and destruction, art stands witness to the creative soul," the exhibition's organizers write in the catalog.
THE MUSEUM OF NEW ART (MONA) -- http://www.detroitmona.com
"Pontiac MI Dismisses Obscenity Ticket for FEAR NO ART"
Confronting what blurs architecture's boundaries, BLURRED is the Center on Contemporary Art's (CoCA) inaugural architecture show. "It explores the breadth and depth of architectural possibility, expanding the traditional definition of architecture in the Northwest," the gallery states. "The participants, who represent Portland and the Puget Sound, will engage CoCA's gallery space to express their thoughts and hone their research through site-specific installations. Participants include landscape architects, game designers, sole practitioners, artist architects, and graphic designers. The show features newcomers to the profession, as well as elders who focus on the subtle nuances of the field."
blurred includes: ABBP, Iole Alessandrini, Michelle Arab,Mike Barrette, Michael Culpepper, Marc Dombrosky, James Harrison, John Jenkins III, Mark Johnson, lead pencil studio, r-b-f architecture, Alex Schweder, SHED, and Philip Thiel.
Associated events include architects lecturing about their work, films, and a tour of Capitol Hill artists and architects.
CoCA serves the Pacific Northwest "as a catalyst and forum for the advancement, development, and understanding of contemporary art." It provides opportunities for the art audience in the NorthWest to view new and experimental artwork firsthand in exhibitions, which show the work of international, national, and local artists in work which includes site-specific installations, performance art, multi-media, and multi-disciplinary programs, and gallery exhibitions of visual arts.
For more information, visit http://www.cocaseattle.org
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