1991

MING FAY: Nature Reborn, From Archaeology to Science Fiction

2/2/1991 – 3/23/1991

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Exhibition: Ming Fay’s sculptures challenge our perceptions of truth, scale and time. This installation consisted of over 100 of Ming Fay’s mixed media sculptures whose imagery is derived from vegetables, fruits, plant, animal skeletons, and other organic structures all reproduced on a huge scale, some larger than human size. The works, from 1979 to 1990, some representational and others more ambiguous, brought renewed attention to the spirituality and transience of nature, with a sense of humor and mortality. The work is startling both for its humor and the decay that hovers over these near perfect forms.

ARCHIE RAND: The Letter Paintings, 1968-1971

4/6/1991 – 5/18/1991

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Exhibition: This group of paintings was created as a tribute to icons of popular R&B, early rock’n’roll, and blues musicians. The works were a response to the minimalist Color Field paintings that dominated the dialogue of the New York art community of the time. Rand’s paintings are covered with names of music groups and individual musicians, for the most part totally forgotten outside of music circles. The paintings’ elaborate surfaces and hot colors utilized the newest developments in acrylics and other synthetic painting materials that were not yet available to the public at that time.

JAIME DAVIDOVICH: Forces/Farces

5/29/1991 – 7/13/1991

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Exhibition: Forces/Farces was a new multi-media installation that combined the artist’s work in video and painting. This work addressed the changing global dynamics through seven tableaux installations. Using the metaphor of the theater, the installation examined the global society and our attitudes towards it. A visual play with different chapters, the work was divided into seven separate acts or tableaux dealing with the issues of ecology, consumerism, media blackout, globalism, multi-national economics and overpopulation. The show featured new video work by Davidovich shot in Hong Kong, Japan, Argentina, and Germany. Each tableaux was a freestanding structure with its own visuals, video, and sound. Upon leaving the gallery space, the public was able to respond to the installation through videotaped interviews at the gallery, answering a series of questions that Davidovich developed with a cultural anthropologist. The videos of collected viewer responses became part of the exhibition with screenings daily in which the public could view other responses to the exhibition.

NANCY GROSSMAN

9/7/1991 – 10/12/1991

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Exhibition: A comprehensive mid-career exhibition of a multi-disciplinary artist. Best known for only one aspect of her work, leather covered sculptures of abstract heads, this exhibition for the first time revealed the depth of a career that spanned twenty-five years, from 1965 to 1990, and placed that work within a context of contemporary art history. As a woman artist in the early 1960s, Grossman was one of the pioneers to use industrial materials to create collaged 3-dimensional mixed media sculptures. The formal diversity of Grossman’s art is integrated in how they address fundamental concerns about the human condition threatened by the alienation of the machine. Grossman’s art combines human forms in symbolic reference to the technology that enslaves us. Juxtaposing the environment of the 20th century, what she calls “materials of civilization” with primitive, instinctual, or animalistic human nature is a theme that pervades her work and is at the root of its dialectical nature.

PARALLEL HISTORY: The Hybrid State

11/2/1991 – 1/25/1992

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Artists: Ida Applebroog, Luis Camnitzer, Juan Downey, Jimmie Durham, Ming Fay, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Nancy Grossman, David Hammons, Jerry Kearns, Juan Sánchez, Anton van Dalen, Cecilia Vicuña, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Martin Wong

Exhibition: The Hybrid State was an exhibition in which the artists’ conceptions were revealed through the curator’s installation of each work, providing a commentary on the different margins of culture. The installation of each artist’s work was a portrait homage to that artist and a dynamic curatorial archive of each artist’s ideas. The Hybrid State exhibition introduced the conceptual basis of the Parallel History program.

Events: November 6 – November 17, 1991, The Hybrid State Films, curated by Coco Fusco, was a two-week festival that showcased recently produced independent films and videos about the hybrid cultures of migrants, exiles, and the burgeoning postcolonial communities in the United States, Canada, Africa, and Europe. These features and shorts from around the world offered a range of interpretations of life in places where “first,” “second” and “third” world intersect, and where cultures meet, synthesize and are continuously transformed. The project was conceived by Papo Colo and presented at the Anthology Film Archives, surveying the work of over twenty-five artists. The Hybrid State Films examined how independent film and video makers in many parts of the world were coming to terms with the significant demographic and social phenomena of the post-WWII period: the cultural hybridization that results from the shifts in population, the restructuring of national boundaries brought about by the Cold War, the decline of colonialism, and the massive move of peoples between the north and the south.

January 17 and 18, 1992, Speaking Tongues were performance evenings that explored the diverse uses of the English language by writers and performance artists. At a time when the culture of this country was changing as the result of shifting populations, our perception of American culture was also transforming. Speaking Tongues examined how writers of diverse backgrounds who were writing in English were influenced by other cultures and how that changed their creative use of the English language. Each evening was organized by one writer, around a specific idea. Artists included: Papo Colo, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Keith Anton Mason, Jessica Hagedorn, Thought Music (Hagedorn, Laurie Carlos, Robbie McCauley), Ching Gonzalez, Ramon Hodel, Nicky Paraiso, Ching Valdes, and Roberto Villaneuva.

Publication: A documentary catalog for The Hybrid State exhibition contains statements by the artists and texts by Luis Camnitzer, Papo Colo, Joshua Dector, Jimmie Durham, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Celeste Olaquiaga, Cecilia Vicuña, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Warren Niesluchowski. A separate catalog was produced for The Hybrid State Films, featuring essays by Cameron Bailey, Daryl Chin, Miriam Rosen, Coco Fusco, and Papo Colo as well as program notes.