The Creators Project speaks with Jim Campbell about his new exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, open from March 7 - April 19, 2014.
Jim Campbell at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, March 7 - April 19, 2014
March 7 - April 19, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, March 7, 2014, 6 - 8 pm
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Jim Campbell from March 7 - April 19, 2014. The show will focus on the pioneering artist’s most recent series of sculptural light installations. A consummate innovator, Campbell is considered one of the leading artists working today in the field of new media.
The exhibition coincides with Jim Campbell’s first New York museum retrospective. Organized by the Museum of the Moving Image, Jim Campbell: Rhythms of Perception, on view from March 21–June 15, 2014, spans three decades with an emphasis on his early experimental work.
In addition, New York’s Joyce Theater will present Constellation, a collaboration between Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Jim Campbell, from March 18 - 23, 2014. The performance will feature an installation comprised of 1,000 light spheres programmed in synchronized interplay with the dancers.
A former filmmaker, Campbell moved to interactive video installations in the mid-1980s and has been working with LEDs – light emitting diodes – since 1999. His investigations with LED technology have produced immersive, illuminated, sculptural environments that vividly record and recalibrate the presence of time in relation to light, space, and the human condition. Simultaneously shifting the viewer’s perception through works that synthesize acts of observation, reflection, and engagement in an all-encompassing pictorial realm, Campbell deconstructs these grand optical illusions by revealing the mechanisms at play.
In three separate series on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery: Topographies, Reconstructions, and Home Movies, the artist continues to challenge notions of image making and the experience of viewing by injecting color (an element rarely used before) into his illuminated palette. The exhibition includes panel projections comprising hundreds of LEDs strung from ceiling to floor form a grid that transmits low-resolution imagery distilled from found Kodachrome home movies; wall-mounted pieces, or topographies, composed of individually-scaled LEDs that comprise a gradient picture plane; and a series of four color LED-based bas reliefs, whose transparent, molded, resin front pieces act as both surface and content.
While his earlier LED-based transformative works – primarily featuring pixilated views of fleeting activity or quotidian events – relied on video as content, Campbell’s focus has recently turned more towards materiality and process. The new works “hover on the edge of abstraction, re-abstraction and representation,” says Campbell, and investigate how perception, as a visceral phenomenon of time and memory, can be altered, filtered, or manifested through the layering of media.
Ralf Schmerberg Greetings from our planet
Exhibition catalog essay by Bryce Wolkowitz
My first experience with Ralf Schmerberg’s work was his photographic book Dirty Dishes—page after page of dishes in disarray. My initial read was neutral, but then I looked past the repetition, and began to witness the layers of times and places: the experiences built into the imagery. These dishes were all over the world — their smears and crumbs and sauces were the accumulative detritus of dozens of culinary cultures. The dishes functioned as documents of this man’s travels. Once delicious, now vulgar consumables-on-porcelain. Suddenly the banal becomes strange.
The dishes were a potent entry point. From there Schmerberg’s mind began to open up to me. He is an obsessive cataloguer of categories—of people, of views from windows, of flowers, of fingernails, of feathers, of shrines, of colors, of clouds. And in cataloguing, the viewer is confronted with all of the difference and dissonance of imposed order. Categories begin to break down and recombine with the sensibility of a poem—the scraggly light of a firework will echo the edge of a fur in a window display, or a splatter of sauce on a plate. Faces become masks, beggars become icons.
Schmerberg’s viewpoint is highly personal—through his work he’s creating a diary, journal, poem of his life, work and travels. For me the work is most closely aligned to Robert Frank’s The Americans—notable for its distanced view both high and low. Like Frank, Schmerberg is intensely engaged with the reality of the surface of the world.
I like that I feel uncomfortable at times—that not everything is beautiful or refined. There is certainly a dose of the sublime, a touch of transcendence, but there is also a counterweight of stark reality, undressed, discreetly observed, both secret and messy. We are faced with truths that are poignant in their honesty—a girl in India whose legs are bowing under the weight of the metal pipe she is holding. This kind of reality, it sneaks up on you and slaps you across the face. Suddenly you are not neutral. You are looking at the world as an artist looks at the world.
This degree of discomfort, of the confrontational aspect of photography (also reminiscent of Frank), creates an emotional investment with the work. Imagery becomes drama. Each piece tells a story, functioning as stills in a movie the artist has shot. It’s probably no surprise that in addition to being a photographer, Schmerberg has a long history as a filmmaker.
Much like the Neo-realists of Italian cinema, Schmerberg often substitutes our desire for the ideal with hard facts and truths of reality — it’s not a beautiful woman seated in front of paintings at the museum, but rather a biker in a leather vest with the word Germany just below his long hair. Then there is the maid, struggling on the carpet under a baroque sfumato, unaware of how she matches the two yellow chairs beside her. And the veiled woman, passing by an erotically charged nude. People and paintings: another ingenuous category.
The longer one considers these images, the more questions they pose. Can this biker be a connoisseur? What does he think of this landscape he is leaning into? Could it be an image he has revisited for years? And the yellow uniformed maid: what has she found there on the cream carpet? Will she ever sit in one of the yellow chairs? And where is the veiled woman headed? Has she noticed the long cracks in the wall? This is the poetic mystery at the heart of the work.
Schmerberg has developed a form that is open-ended, even deliberately ambiguous — one that engages viewers, rewarding their prolonged consideration, and perhaps leaving them with as many questions as answers.
— Bryce Wolkowitz, 2013
Greetings from our planet
January 9 - February 15, 2014
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is pleased to present Greetings from our planet, an exhibition of photographs by Ralf Schmerberg.
Self-taught filmmaker and artist, Schmerberg has been chronicling his encounters with the world around him with an incisive and candid gaze through photography and film. The focus of this exhibition is the personal photo diary he has kept for the past two decades which constitutes an evolving autobiographical record of his life, work and travels.
Ralf Schmerberg (b. 1956) lives and works in Berlin. In 2008, Schmerberg founded the art collective Mindpirates, who, with their active presence and community-oriented projects, have become a staple in the cultural life of Berlin. Over the course of his career, Schmerberg has increasingly invested his creative enthusiasm into mobilizing large groups of people into modern forms of participatory art events that combine social exchange and action.
Schmerberg has been awarded the Cannes Lions Bronze-Film award for Craft & Editing (2012), The Leads Award for Creative Leader of the Year in Advertising (2012), the AICP Award for Cinematography (2012) and the Clios Silver- Television/Cinema award (2012).
Details Magazine: “Tastemaker: Gallerist Bryce Wolkowitz on the benefits of uniform dressing & starting your own collection”
Brigitte Kowanz / Mariano Sardón
November 14 - December 21, 2013
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 14, 6-8 pm
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is pleased to present Transmissions, an exhibition of new work by noted new media artists Brigitte Kowanz and Mariano Sardón. This exhibition investigates encoded language systems and their formation of a cultural dialogue through contemporary sculptural forms.
Using artificial light as her primary medium, Brigitte Kowanz explores its relationship with space, language and time. Kowanz uses light as a linguistic system, manipulating it through the use of glass, mirrors and metal and shaping it into symbols, codes and text. The ultimate metaphor, light is the very means by which all modes of visual communication are possible.
Morse Code, one of the first forms of communication at the speed of light, recurs in Kowanz’s work in various forms and materials. In “Morse Alphabet”, Kowanz presents us with a circular arrangement of neon tubes. At intervals, black sleeves of varying widths block out the chalk-white color emitted by each lamp, with the illuminated and black sections combining to produce each letter in the Morse alphabet.
As a second-generation video sculptor, programming is fundamental to Mariano Sardón’s works. Crafting both the software and hardware himself, he explores the interconnected relationships between technology, science and art. By examining the human bodies relationship to technology, Sardon’s works function as prototype cybernetic interfaces, elucidating the boundaries of the physical and the digital.
The Morphologies of Gaze series was created by using metrics to trace the pupil movements of several subjects as they were shown a portrait. The artwork recreates the original portrait by using the information gathered to re-form the image based on how the subjects’ eyes traced that portrait. This further exemplifies Sardon’s interest in the connection between the human and the digital leading to the formation of communication.
Brigitte Kowanz (b. 1957) lives and works in Vienna Austria. Her work was recently included in the seminal exhibition The Light Show at the Hayward Gallery (London, UK). Kowanz has also held solo exhibitions at Borusan Contemporary (Istanbul, 2013), Häusler Contemporary (Munich, 2012) and Museum Ritter (Waldenbuch, 2012).
Mariano Sardón (b. 1968) lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he is a professor, researcher and chair of the Electronic Art Degree at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero. Sardón was awarded the Konex Prize in Visual Art (2012) and obtained the Experimentation Prize in Non-traditional Supports and Video (2008) by the Argentinean Association of Art Critics.
"Nature of Language" by José Parlá
Site-specific installation commissioned by
SNØHETTA and North Carolina State University
Trailer for WATERMARK, a film by Jennifer Baichwal & Edward Burtynsky
Watermark is a feature documentary film that brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use.
Watermark is directed by multiple award-winning filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal and renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, and is the third part of Burtynsky’s Water project, which includes a book Burtynsky: Water and a major photographic exhibition. Filmed and produced by Nicholas de Pencier and three years in the making, it is a logical extension of the trio’s previous collaboration, Manufactured Landscapes.
In Watermark, the viewer is immersed in a world defined by a magnificent force of nature that we all too often take for granted- until it’s gone.