Just as nine-tenths of the iceberg is out of sight below the water line, so is nine-tenths of culture out of conscious awareness. The out-of-awareness part of culture has been termed deep-culture.
An important reminder that there is much more to culture than a traditional food. Culture shapes others and ourselves in many ways that are not immediately self-evident but are deserving of lengthy consideration.
This Iceberg Theory of Culture was shared at the most recent installment of Cool Culture’s Laboratory for New Audiences: The Family as Context for Learning in Museums, by Dr. Tatyana Kleyn, Professor in the Bilingual Education and TESOL programs at the City College of New York.
Learn more about the Laboratory for New Audiences on our website.
Silence of the Lambs/Sheep (2009) - Egyptian Artist AMAL KENAWY
What happens when you present a work of art to the streets? That is what Amal Kenawy experienced when she carried out the “Silence of the Lamb” performance in the streets of Cairo. Dressed as a shepherdess, Amal Kenawy guided a crawling flock of men and children (including her brother Abdul Ghani) through the streets of Cairo, portraying in a very literal and visual manner the problem with conformity the society in general engages in. The performance sought to tackle the influence powerful and privileged institutions have on perpetuating a state of helplessness in the society, both political and cultural. It is important to note that Amal Kenawy wasn’t merely criticizing her Egyptian society. Instead, she was criticizing the whole mental state of submissiveness; and from that, “us”, the viewers can extend its application to situations that are relative to our experiences. Religious, political, cultural, professional, and educational submissiveness. She was criticizing all forms of submission and conformity that halt the development of critical thinking, and instead place the society and its components under the mercy of those who have the power to persuade a society into accepting a position of submissiveness and disengagement from the power to change.
This aspect of the performance soon became overshadowed by what the people on the streets hurled at Amal Kenawy herself. The debate suddenly shifted from that of power and privilege, to one that highlights gender inequalities and patriotism in the Egyptian society. According to Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, men on the street began insulting Amal personally using derogatory sexist names and accused her of demeaning Egypt. She believes that they also felt a sort of vulnerability and humiliation that a woman was the one who led the crawling men. Thus, the debate shifted from one that merely tackles submissiveness as a mental state, but also to one that introduces gender, patriarchy, and patriotism into the midst of this theme, which gave it a more inclusive perspective. I believe this was Amal’s goal from the beginning. To engage the society in a lively and raw multifactorial debate about conformity. Amal Kenawy and all those who engaged in the performance were arrested later that day, and the performance was never carried out again by that gallery.
!! Woah guys! Pixelovely’s new tools are finally out, one for hands & feet, and one for faces!
There’s now 429 photos of hands & feet, and 314 photos of faces. Dang!!
This is super cool news and I certainly can’t wait to start using them haha
Holy moly this is just what I need
Through a programming partnership with VOLTA Art Fair, ARC will present “Metanoia: Practices of Exhaustion,” an artists’ talk centered around the practices of Caribbean and diaspora based practitioners whose work intersect various disciplines including New Media, Performance Art and Social Engagement.
The discussion will take place on March 7th from 6 p.m. in the Talks Lounge at VOLTA NY 2014, and will feature John Cox, Olivia McGilchrist, Jayson Keeling, Joiri Minaya and Ian Deleón. The talk will be moderated by Holly Bynoe and Blake Daniels.
RSVP and see more here: http://on.fb.me/NYpMn2 and http://bit.ly/1f9R4Am
nycARTscene Interview: Pavel Acosta
Pavel Acosta’s site-specific artwork, “Wallscape,” was recently installed directly upon a wall in El Museo del Barrio’s permanent collection gallery. The large scale collage will be featured in El Museo’s upcoming biennial exhibition “La Bienal 2013: HERE IS WHERE WE JUMP" opening June 12th, 2013.
nycARTscene contributor Keith Schweitzer leads us in conversation with the artist:
KS: You recently installed an artwork directly upon a wall in El Museo del Barrio’s Permanent Collection gallery. The wall is scraped almost completely raw of paint, leaving only a large rectangular section at the wall’s center, within which we find a meticulously detailed collage. Please explain the collage and the process used to create it.
PA: My work at El Museo del Barrio is titled “Wallscape.”
In the process of making it I actually scraped the whole wall. I lifted all the existing layers of paint I found on the wall — about five of them— until reaching the brown paper of the sheetrock. Only then, I started pasting the scraped paint chips back again, to make a collage. It has been a long process that always starts by classifying the different textures and colors found in my scrapings. Although the material found was pretty homogeneous, there were different tones of white and beige, which allowed me to re-create the forms and contrasts in the picture.
I wanted to reproduce the piece that was in front of the wall I was assigned to. I was not thinking of any specific image, but Macarulla’s painting was perfect. It is a very challenging image, colorful and baroque, and I needed to achieve it with a very limited palette. On the other hand, this process is a way for me to engage in the dialog with the history of the institution, because these walls have accumulated layers and layers of paint that relate the stories which other artists have come to tell, throughout the years.
KS: Years back, you began a series, “Stolen Paint,” while living in Havana, Cuba. Please describe this series and the motivations behind it.
PA: Back then, I decided I needed to find the way to make a living as an artist, and I did it through stealing —in the middle of the economic crisis in Cuba everyone was doing that. As a painter I use pigments, and I realized I could obtain them from anywhere in the city without buying expensive art materials. The streets of Havana are filled with aging and falling bits of paint, as buildings and objects are not regularly maintained. I started scraping layers of paint and using them to create collages on canvas and on paper. I found a range of possibilities this way. This variety made every collage different. The quality of the paint chips would determine the look and style of the work. I developed an ability to adapt myself to whatever I found, and I thought this was interesting, both formally and conceptually. The recycling and re-utilizing of found materials somehow echoed the whole Cuban experience of the time.
KS: While viewing your “Wallscape” at El Museo, there is no placard or signage to indicate who or what we are looking at. It’s as if a vandal broke into the museum, destroyed a wall, and left behind a gift in the form of an artwork. Gazing across the gallery, we realize that what we’ve been looking at is a reproduction of Manuel Macarulla’s painting, “Goat Song #5: Tumult on George Washington Avenue.” You’ve previously described yourself as a thief and here appear to be a vandal. Are you either of these things?
PA: Sure. I am possibly a thief and definitely a vandal. However, I am not sure whether it is a bad thing to be. I have been destroying one of the Museo’s walls, and copying another artist. Only I did not break in, they just let me in this time.
KS: Why did you choose Manuel Macarulla’s painting?
PA: I didn’t choose that specific work; the curators did. They assigned me that wall, and Macarulla´s work was across from the wall. All I knew was I wanted to reproduce whatever work was in front of my wall; even a sculpture if that was the case. I am very happy it was Macarulla’s though, because of what I explained before.
KS: How long have you been living and working in New York? Do you feel that New York has influenced your work and artistic practices in any form? How has your experience at El Museo affected you?
PA: I came to New York two years ago, and the experience has definitively changed my work. I still am in the process of digesting the vastness of what this city offers visually, and even materially. Looking at my former work in Cuba, I realize that the person who started the Stolen Paint series has very different concerns now. The links between the technique employed and the context where my collages were generated have definitively disappeared. I felt I had to re-think my approach to painting and to art as a whole, in relationship with new subjects and issues. I am opening up to new possibilities, including developing site-specific projects, such as Wallscape. This is only my first intervention in a U.S. Museum, where the relationship between the artist and the institution is quite different. I really appreciate this great opportunity at El Museo.
"Wallscape" will be featured as part of El Museo’s Bienal, but in the context of the permanent collection galleries, and it will be on view for almost a year. I look forward to the reaction of the audience to the dynamics that this work activates inside the gallery.
Pavel Acosta: pavelacosta.com
Keith Schweitzer: keithschweitzer.com
Video of the installation: https://vimeo.com/67144633
El Museo del Barrio: elmuseo.org
1230 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029 (at 104th Street)
Since its first edition in 1999, La Bienal – formerly known as The (S) Files – has been a significant means for creating ties between institutions and artists, while building networks and opportunities for a wide variety of talented Latino artists.
images courtesy of El Museo del Barrio and the artist
LAST CHANCE TO SEE LA BIENAL! The critically-acclaimed exhibition be up until Saturday, February 15th! Stop by this week and check out works by emerging and established Latino artists.#supportlatinoartists #elbarrio #latinopride
via - The Y Gallery.
This presentation consists of preparatory drawings from my studio, recent international residencies and editions produced in New York and Johannesburg in collaboration with David Krut Projects. I have also included studies from a commission for the TTFF and our National Museum. All of these investigations lead to various exhibitions between 2010 -13. It is my hope to be able to show the outcomes in Trinidad one day.
So, “Now Showing” is a silk screen that visually grappled with the poetry of Derek Walcott, the lyrics of Vybz Kartel and the daily loss of our architectural legacy and young lives. It was a return to a visual response I did in the 90’s to David Rudder’s insightful, “Madman’s Rant.” The cinemas of my youth are gone. My weekly walks, in Port of Spain, are now dominated by the crumbling walls of empty lots and car parks. These concerns were further developed with my “all that’s left” series, also produced and shown in New York.
In 2011, I inherited an archaic object, a “silent butler.” At the time, I was thinking of the outrage being expressed by young people occupying various financial districts around the world. It is a device to brush crumbs from a table. It developed into “after all that talk,” a series of lino-cuts done in Johannesburg.
The “inDevelopment” series, which opened in January 2013, in New York, followed on with my interest in “breeze” or “ventilation” blocks and our daily oil-gas-blood-cash-flow. These patterns, which were at the forefront of new-nation, domestic and state, architecture now appear as backdrops for sites of conflict in daily news reports.
One particular sequence, came to me on Facebook along with YouTube Soca releases for 2014. It became the inspiration for a commission for an installation at the Betsy Hotel during Art Basel. I now just call it - “the arrest, hands up, hand out…” So, I am making visible a sequence of overlapping responses to things I see, experience and feel.
I think it may be interesting to bring Trinidad’s art world - an open, investigative dialogue that extends beyond the island over the last twenty years and it’s art galleries. The two rarely ever cross paths or can find common ground.
I would like to thank Y Art Gallery for the invitation to share elements of my work and to make it available here at home.