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World Views Open Studio - LMCC And The New Museum Present Work By The Resident Artists Whose Studios Were In The Wtc On Sept 11

NEW YORK CITY, NY -- On December 1, 2001, WORLD VIEWS OPEN STUDIO opened at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

At the time of the World Trade Center tragedy, the participating artists -- Simon Aldridge, Naomi Ben-Shahar, Monika Bravo, Laurie Halsey Brown, Justine Cooper, Lucky Debellevue, Carola Dertnig, Mahmoud Hamadani, Kara Hammond, Jeff Konigsberg, Motonobu Kurokawa, Geraldine Lau, Nathan See, and Hyungsub Shin -- were all artists in residence in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's World Views program on the 92nd floor of One World Trade Center. Many of them lost all, or a substantial amount, of their work.

Presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and the New Museum, the exhibition is dedicated to World Views resident artist Michael Richards, killed while working in his studio on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Some of the artists remade lost works for the exhibition. Kara Hammond recreated a series of drawings of interiors of the World Trade Center, mostly from memory. Monika Bravo, Laurie Halsey Brown, and Naomi Ben-Shahar created new work using video footage created inside the Trade Center -- of now non-existent interior spaces, of a party organized on the 91st floor on the night of September 4th, of the views from their studio windows.

There are difficulties and emotional issues involved in recreating destroyed work, in reconceptualizating work which had been in progress but of which nothing now remains, Moukhtar Kocache, Director of Visual and Media Arts at LMCC, observed.

In addition to recreating on a different scale, in a short time frame, the artists "have had to balance intellectual, moral, and ethical parameters in light of the disaster and the loss of one of their colleagues," he said.

The work which Justine Cooper lost on September 11 involved making a synthetic gene of the twin towers. Using synthetic DNA, liquid crystal glass panels, and proximity sensors, her current installation at the New Museum was created by translating the light patterns of Tower One of the World Trade Center into the base pairs of guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine, (G.A.T.C.) the building blocks of DNA. She had originally envisioned that the final piece would involve taking the synthetic gene she had made, sequencing it in an actual DNA sequencer, then knitting that pattern with wool. "Knitting patterns look like DNA microsatellites," she explained. "Plus the knitting machine I was using, used punchcards, like the first computers did. So I was trying to layer these systems of translation and combine that, to a degree, with the idea of creation."

As a part of the World Views program, at the end of each five-month residency cycle the public was invited to a series of special events culminating with a two-day Open Studio exhibition in the studio space. In response to this component of the program, the World Views Open Studio exhibition has created an environment similar to the Open Studios weekend. The participating artists and LMCC staff were available at the New Museum on the opening day, and other events which introduce the public to the artists, their works, and the program are planned throughout the exhibition, which runs through January 13, 2002.

"WE ALL FELT STRONGLY THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO COMPLETE OUR RESIDENCY SOMEHOW" -- Simon Aldridge

LONG, HARD STARE, Simon Aldridge's work in the New Museum exhibition, is made of 500 translucent plastic tubes, hanging in an eight foot square cube which captures clouds of fluorescent orange construction paint. Long, Hard Stare is the second in a series of sculptural works.

Made in the 92nd floor studios in the World Trade Center, and intended to hang there, the first piece in the series, HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME, was destroyed on September 11.

Aldridge describes the destroyed work as "an orange cloud suspended in mid air by 400 clear plastic rods hung from above in an 8' x 8' grid." In August, 2001, the month before the attack, it was exhibited in the exhibition GROUNDZERO01.

"Working in the twin towers was a remarkable experience because of the buildings, but I also felt that our particular group was unusually cohesive, as people and as artists," Aldridge told Arts Wire. "Dealing with a tragedy like this has been much easier when it is shared with others. We all felt strongly that we would like to complete our residency somehow. "

Aldridge had the space next to Michael Richards on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Center, and he remembers how much he enjoyed working with Michael. "It was a lot of fun making my work along side him," he said.

DESPITE THE DESTRUCTION OF ITS PHYSICAL SPACE, LMCC CONTINUES TO WORK FOR THE MANHATTAN ARTS COMMUNITY, AND THEY THANK ALL THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED

"In the September 11th disaster, LMCC lost its administrative offices in Five World Trade Center, its outdoor performance venue on the World Trade Center Plaza, and its exhibition and studio space for artists," said LMCC Executive Director Liz Thompson. But she emphasized that "We are committed to rebuilding and continuing support for working artists, and appreciate this opportunity to present this exhibition with the New Museum."

LMCC's mission -- to provide support for individual artists and arts organizations while fostering public participation in the arts through free events in the performing, visual and new media arts -- is of continuing and vital importance in the wake of the World Trade Center disaster, and the organization is proactively continuing its commitment to serving artists and audiences in its financial district headquarters and throughout the diverse neighborhoods and cultural communities of Manhattan.

LMCC wishes to thank to the many groups and individuals throughout the country who have given support for the resident artists, to continue the World Views program, and to make the World Views Open Studio exhibition possible, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, GAle GAtes et al., Not Still Art and the Micro Museum, Tri-State Artists Association of West Virginia, Carroll County Arts Council of Maryland, Brighthill Press, Ohio Independent Film Festival, Whit Press of Seattle, Feel Better Sidewalk Sale, Stephen Filler, Annette Rusin, and many others.

They also express their gratitude for the much-needed support they have received following the World Trade Center disaster from Philip Morris Companies, France Telecom, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Morgan Stanley, Jerome Foundation, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Commercial Real Estate Women, (CREW) and many other caring individuals and groups throughout the country.

"It is crucial for cultural institutions to work together now and we felt it was important to support a vital downtown arts institution in need," said New Museum Henry Luce III Director Lisa Phillips.

Sources/resources:

THE NEW MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART -- http://www.newmuseum.org

THE LOWER MANHATTAN CULTURAL COUNCIL (LMCC) -- http://www.lmcc.net

"Many Artists in LMCC World Views Program Lost all Their Work; But Group Pulls Together to Mourn Those Who Died and to Dialogue about the Future"
Arts Wire CURRENT -- http://www.artswire.org/current/2001/cur100201.html#news1
October 2, 2001


Arts Wire is a service mark of the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Arts Wire CURRENT is a project of Arts Wire, a national computer-based network serving the arts community. Arts Wire CURRENT features news updates on social, economic, philosophical, and political issues affecting the arts and culture. Your contributions are invited. Contact Judy Malloy, editor.

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