organized by Lily Faust & E.K. Clark
Artists: THIERRY ALET, GULSEN CALIK, NIIZEKI HIROMI, YONGKYONG KIM, SAERI KIRTANI, LIZ-N-VAL, JOE MENSAH, VALLESSA MONK, GAE SAVANNAH, WARD SHELLEY and KAORI UKAJI. these artists work to explore the exotic appeal of the hybrid form.
Performance by TROUT QUARTET: Kasia Clark, Catherine Dorn, Carl Larson and Graham Olson, at 6 PM during the opening reception.
Williamsburg Art & Historical Center is pleased to present HYBRID, a group exhibition of eleven artists, organized by Lily Faust and E. K. Clark.
Theres something odd and intriguing about definitions. Consider HYBRID. The usage implies a mix, an incongruity of parts. The outcome is an entity of and by itself, embodying a truth that surpasses the underpinnings of its collective being. The idea of hybrid, that product of mixed origin and composition, is the keystone of this exhibition. It reflects a state of mind; an intersection of artistic, social and political attitudes and practices, divorced from their original conception and grafted to reveal beginnings of novel definitions.
In HYBRID we bring together THIERRY ALET, GULSEN CALIK, NIIZEKI HIROMI, YONGKYONG KIM, SAERI KIRITANI, LIZ-N-VAL, JOE MENSAH, VALLESSA MONK, GAE SAVANNAH, WARD SHELLEY and KAORI UKAJI. These artists work to explore the exotic appeal of the hybrid form, conjoining the unexpected odd with the unlikely even. They manifest their personal voice and demonstrate a hybrid attitude in their conceptual and formal praxis: irreverence to dogma, openness to seemingly irreconcilable ideas and materials. Their work brings us to a crossroads where accepted norms and categories are questioned, spawning something new.
The show registers different examples of HYBRID attitude. In his digital prints, THIERRY ALET refers to the dispossession of people of African descent and the resulting cultural, racial hybridization. The primacy of the color red becomes the unifying physical factor in GULSEN CALIKs Hyb-RED. Niizeki HIROMIs WINDOWS MARU is a wall installation made of re-cycled see-through envelopes that fuse the personal/global, inside/outside, private/public and abstract/functional. YONGKNYONG KIM engages viewers in her installation, SEND MY BEST REGARDS TO A BIRD WATCHER, a work that is hinged on the psychology of uncertain danger. SAERI KIRITANIs video, IMAGINE 21 stands as a metaphor for cultural integration, layering images and voices inside a bowl of water. The art team LIZ-N-VAL produces PAPER ARCHITECTURE, interrogating the space between form and function. JOE MENSAHs painted video posters from Ghana offer imagined visuals for videos not seen by the artist, based on Hollywood B-rate movies. They depict a reflection of ourselves as "the other," conjured in Mensahs imagination.
VALLESSA MONK and GAE SAVANNAH share feminist concerns at the inception of their work, yielding diverse results. In CROSSOVER TOOLS, MONK challenges stereotypical ideas of gender and usage while SAVANNAHs floor installation, FOOTSTOOLS and VANITY BENCHES, displays idiosyncratic female aspects. WARD SHELLEYs MIR 2 REVISITED is a multi-channel video display of pre-recorded and live footage taken during the performance of Mir 2 at Smack Mellon Space last year. In KAORI UKAJIs three-dimensional drawing, SUBSTANTIAL, the melding between the graphite and paper becomes complete when their inherent qualities are fused at the end. In all of the works, aspects of culture, psychology and artistic function figure prominently, leading the viewer into a gradual understanding of hybridity.
My interest in painting water towers began while doing rooftop landscapes. These towers are landmarks of New York to me. Seeing these structures in difrrent light and from diffrenet perspectives, my fascination for them grew. Their beauty surpasses their functionality. In 1997 water towers became the main focus of my work.
I have approached these paintings like portraits, trying to capture the lifelike traits we do not usually recognize in inanimate objects.