¡Qué Lástima! @ Godine Family Gallery of Massart – May 20 – 31

" El reflejo de cascada analfabeta" by Eduardo Restrepo

” El reflejo de cascada analfabeta” by Eduardo Restrepo

¡Qué Lástima! Brings together a group of Latina artists from the Boston area who are working to reframe and reclaim Latina identities and narratives. The show features a wide variety of work in photography, performance, and installation. Ian Deleón, Adriana Sevila, and Ximena Izquierdo Ugaz performed for the opening on May 23rd.

The detritus from Ian Deleón's performance

The detritus from Ian Deleón’s performance

Deleón (whose solo show I wrote about here) poured mud over himself and then wrote “The Natives are Restless” on the gallery wall, while Sevila continued her durational performance of cleaning the floor on her knees for the entire opening. Later Izquierdo Ugaz read a series of poems.

"Untitled" by Génesis Báez

“Untitled” by Génesis Báez

¡Qué Lástima! is a strong and evocative show that holds no punches and speaks up loudly to demand recognition of Latina artist perspectives.

SMFA Senior Thesis Show – May 17 – 21

I unfortunately didn’t get this review together before the show came down, but I’m just going to trust that accolades and opinions are appreciated even when late.

I was very impressed by this year’s Senior Thesis Show, “KEEP IT TOGETHER.” True to its name, the show was consolidated to a single floor of the school and the length of the show was shortened from previous years. These changes combined with some impressive student work helped the show feel more cohesive and curated than in years past. Here are just a few standout highlights:

"Periplus" by Sarah Danly

“Periplus” by Sarah Danly

From the delicate decal transfers to the effortlessly spindly stands, Sarah Danly‘s islands float between the pre-longitudinal and the post-Google Earth world, inviting gallery viewers to contemplate the changing identities of islands as mapping techniques advance over time.

Excerpts from"Natural Mirror" by Eduardo Restrepo

Excerpts from”Natural Mirror” by Eduardo Restrepo

Eduardo Restrepo exhibited a circle of five televisions, each playing a short, repeated, slowmotion clip of the artist with his head underwater in different bodies of water. Viewed from within the circle of TV’s, the video installation is quite striking. Each moving image is almost reminiscent of a GIF, featuring slowly waving legs and gently rippling waves. Restrepo successfully combines the accessibility of low-tech with drama of performance and the result is nothing short of elegant.

16mm film loop by Miro Hoffman

16mm film loop by Miro Hoffman

Miro Hoffman’s 16mm film loops were simply incredible. Hoffman’s work filled an entire room, each piece composed of a complicated film roller system as much as the resulting projection itself. The projections were both technically masterful and conceptually powerful, a very mature body of work.

"Coexistence" by James Traggianese

“Coexistence” by James Traggianese

James Traggianese’s sculptures bring digital space into the physical world using projection flat screens, checkerboard scrolls, and repurposed technology. His sculptures are funny and smart, letting us both laugh at and appreciate our addition to technology.

"Products and Produce" by Salad

“Products and Produce” by Salad

The Salad magazine collective created an awesome installation/store/living room experience for the thesis show. The freestanding room was decked out it custom wallpaper, screenprints, and issues of Salad Magazine. Bags, magazines, stickers, and even Salad water was for sale and visiters were encouraged to sit down and spend some time in the fun space.

"Repeating Histories" by Ryan Hawk

“Repeating Histories” by Ryan Hawk

I finished my tour of the show with Ryan Hawk’s arresting video performance installation. Hawk’s installation bridged the space between performance, video, and sculpture, isolating the projection and reflection from the rest of the room for a more focused viewing experience.

Art Radar – May 27 – June 2

Wednesday May 29

Radical Film Night: Assata Shakur Documentary: “Eyes of the Rainbow”
When: May 29th 7-9pm
Location: Lucy Parsons-Center, 358A Centre St Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Sentient: A Cognitive Flow
What: Sentient is an original production created by artists in the Studio for Interrelated Media’s Art and Science Immersive Media course.
When: May 29th 6 & 7pm, free, RSVP needed
Location: Charles Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Science, 11 Science Park, Boston

Last week to see Infinite Scroll
When: Open Wed-Fri 12-5
Location: Blanc Gallery, 110 Brookline Street in Cambridge, MA 02139

Last week to see an SMFA MFA Thesis Show 
When: Up till the 30th, Open Wed-Fri 1-6pm, Sun 1-5pm
Location: Fourth Wall Gallery, 132 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA

Saturday June 1

Last weekend to see Poetic Codings
When: Sat & Sun 11-6pm
Location: Boston Cyberarts Gallery, Green Street T Station, 141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

The National Poster Retrospecticus
When: Sat June 1, 7-11pm
Location: The Aviary, 48 South St, Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA

Sunday June 2

South Boston Spring Open Studios
When: June 2nd 12-6pm
Location: The Distillery, 516 E 2nd, South Boston, MA

Cuba + Puerto Rico | Invitación a Volar @ La Galería – May 1 – June 29

Ian Deleón’s first solo exhibition, Cuba + Puetro Rico | Invitación a Volar, is currently on view at La Galería. Deleón has worked closely with the gallery curator to give his show a unique format that includes an open instillation, an extended run time, and a series of events that keep the gallery space active and free from mental stagnation. I was able to stop by the gallery the night before the show’s official opening reception, so the gallery still had an air of creativity in progress.

Ian Deleón in his in-gallery studio.

Ian Deleón in his in-gallery studio.

In Invitación a Volar, Deleón uses intense research of histories, primary sources, photographs, and news to fuel his creative process. The gallery is centered around Deleón’s in-gallery studio – a desk and corner brimming with source material. He then reorganizes the raw information into a series of historical interventions that problemetize conventional historical narratives of Cuba and Puerto Rico. The exhibition reads like a multi-media chose your own adventure research paper – each photo, each sculptural element is imbued with Deleon’s intense research process and the simple is made complex.
"Speak Softly Now..."

“Speak Softly Now…”

In “Speak Softly Now…” Deleón has taken a split second of footage from a news reel – a Teddy Roosevelt sports mascot banging his head against the wall in frustration – and looped it into a rhythmic expression of absurdity that he dubs “pop-cultural decolonization.”
"The Influence of Power Upon History"

“The Influence of Sea Power Upon History”

“The Influence of Sea Power Upon History” features the only photographs in the show taken by the artist’s hand rather than appropriated from other sources. In these photographic performances, Deleón took a nineteenth century maritime propaganda book with him to Puerto Rico and photographed the book’s idealized imagery in juxtaposition with the land that has felt its impact.
"Invitación a Volar"

“Invitación a Volar”

The show’s title piece, “Invitación a Volar” plays upon the duel translation of the show’s title. The phrase can mean literally, “an invitation to fly,” but it can also mean “an invitation to explode.” Here Deleón transforms a tropical vacation drink, the daiquiri, into a molotov cocktail – the potential for explosion lurking beneath the veneer of luxury. He describes the piece as a “decolonization revenge fantasy,” an expression of the desire to rewrite history through brute force.

Invitación a Volar is smart and sharply incisive. Deleón gives the viewer the tools and the information that they need and demands that they rethink and question what they thought they knew about the history of colonization, but at the end of the exhibition, the choice between passiveness and violence is in the viewers hands.

Art Radar – May 20 – 26

Things have slowed down after last weeks art madness. I will update the post if any more events come across my radar.

Wednesday May 22

Sound Electronics
What: A weekly evening of electronic music, this week by Citrusphere and Emily Reo
When: May 22 at 8:30-10, $5
Location: The Aviary Gallery, 48 South Street, Jamaica Plain

Thursday May 23

Qué Lástima! May 20-31st
A fluctuating group of latin@ artists coming together as a result of a lack of space and discussion surrounding their experiences within and outside the academic/artistic institution.
Opening: May 23 at 7:00pm
Location: Godine Family Gallery, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA

Charles Crowell and Shana Harden: Inherited State & In the Altogether May 23-June 6
Two UMB undergraduate honors thesis candidates
Opening: May 23 5-8pm
Location: The Harbor Gallery, UMass Boston, 100 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA

Odd Spaces @ the MFA – May 15th

The MFA launched its Performance Art program on Wednesday with the event “Odd Spaces.” The event consisted of four different durational performances integrated into the galleries and was followed by a panel discussion led by Liz Munsell, the MFA’s Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art.

Sandrine Schaefer and Philip Fryer perform "Untitled View"

Sandrine Schaefer and Philip Fryer perform “Untitled View”

Phil Fryer and Sandrine Schaefer, the co-creators of The Present Tense, performed “Untitled View” in the main rotunda. For two and a half hours, Fryer looked into one of the mirrors in the center of the room inspecting the rotunda’s elaborate ceiling, while Schaefer gazed at a John Singer Sarget, slowly backing up until they ended the performance back to back. The performance raised questions about the nature of prolonged looking, the intimate shared space that looking creates, and the dynamics of museum visitor interactions.

The performance reminded me, and asked me to reconsider, my own experience of prolonged looking at the MFA. I went to the MFA during the last weekend of the Ori Gersht exhibit and despite the throngs of weekend museum goers, I was determined to have a final experience with my favorite piece in the show, “Falling Bird.” I planted myself firmly a few feet front of the screen and watched the the video loop through at least three times, not moving for 15-20 minutes. I kept my eyes locked on the screen, attempting to memorize every feather, every drop of water, and as I stood there, others came and went, shrieking children rolled on the floor by my feet, and a man started taking pictures of me. I stoically did not unlock my eyes to meet his gaze, yet because of the heightened level of attention I was paying the art piece, I memorized these other peripheral interactions  along with the art work. Although I watched “Untitled View” from afar, it certainly succeeded in making me reconsider my own experience of looking at art and interacting with other art viewers.

"With the Others" by Marilyn Arsem

“With the Others” by Marilyn Arsem

When we went looking for Marilyn Arsem’s performance, “With the Others,” my friend commented that it felt a bit like Where’s Waldo. Even though we knew there was a performance going on in the gallery, it took us a while to find the performer. Once a few people started crouching down to see the figure under the bench, others were clued in and followed suit. I began to wonder if I was “giving it away” by snapping a few pics, but my worries evaporated when a young girl wearing a tutu ran up to the bench despite the gathered crowd of onlookers, as if wondering what all the fuss was about someone hiding under a bench. Meanwhile, David Levine’s performance, “durance,” featured an actor giving Greenberg’s essay, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” on repeat.

"durance" by David Levine, performed by actress Angie Jepson

“durance” by David Levine, performed by actress Angie Jepson

Odd Spaces sets an exciting precedent for the presence of performance art in the MFA, yet in the context of Boston’s thriving performance art scene, I couldn’t help but think that the performances chosen for the program were a bit tame. They were quiet, clean, and unobtrusive – patrons were in no way inconvenienced or startled, and were free to come and go as they pleased. We all know the MFA is fond of schedules and planned art interactions – let’s hope that Odd Spaces is a first step for the MFA loosening up a bit and embracing a little of the unexpected.

On My Art Radar This Week! May 13-19

There is an overwhelming amount of openings and art events going on this week!

The Flash Forward Festival is going on all week, so instead of listing all the events individually – check out the schedule here!

Wednesday May 15th

Odd Spaces Performance Art Event
Performances 4-7pm, Panel discussion 7-8pm
Odd Spaces Performance Art Event and Panel Discussion will launch the MFA’s new performance art program, involving the Boston arts community in a discussion on this new initiative, and the role of performance art in museums today. Co-presented with Big Red & Shiny
Location: The Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA

Thursday May 16th

Flash Forward Festival Group Show 2012 May 16-19
Opening: May 16 7-10 pm
Featuring Emerging Photographers from Canada, the UK & the USA
Location: Flash Forward Festival @ Fairmont Battery Wharf, Upper Level

MassArt MFA Thesis Show 2013: Exhibition II
May 10 – May 24, 2013
Reception: Thursday, May 16, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Gallery Talks: Saturday, May 11, 1:00 pm
Location: Bakalar Gallery at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

SMFA Graduate  Thesis  Film and Video Exhibition
Showing: May 16, 7 pm & May 17, 6pm
Reception: May 17 5-8pm
Location: School of the Museum of Fine Arts, 230 The Fenway. Boston, MA

Friday May 17th

On View: May 1 – June 29, 2013
Opening: May 17, 6-9 PM
Artist Talk: June 21, 6-8 PM
Location: La Galería at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 W. Newton St, Boston, MA
On View: May 17-22
Openings: Friday 5/17: Public/Alumni Opening @ 5-9pm & Saturday 5/18: Family/Friends Opening @ 5-9pm
Location: School of the Museum of Fine Arts, 230 The Fenway. Boston, MA

 Saturday May 18th

Sunday May 19th

Young New England Photographers @ The Nave Gallery – May 10-24th

Another Flash Forward Festival Satellite show! This one in conjunction with Ain’t-Bad Magazine.

by Tony Luong and "Untitled Image (comb)" by Quinn Gorbutt

by Tony Luong and “Untitled Image (comb)” by Quinn Gorbutt

The Nave Gallery is small, but exudes a cozy intimate feeling, and the close quarters help bring the work together rather than making it seem crowded in any way. Having seen the Undergraduate Photography Now! show the night before, the difference in curation was especially striking: this show has clearly graduated from college. The fact that Young New England Photographers is peer-juried and not limited by comparisons between institutions allows the show to present and link the photographs in much more subtle ways. In addition, The zine Ain’t-Bad Magazine published in conjunction with the show is a professional looking takeaway. I left the show feeling excited about the state of emerging photography in New England – I hope you can stop by and get excited too.

"Chastity, Chesire, OH" by Justin Kaneps and "My Brother Chris Waits in his Buick While it Idles" by Roland Jackson

“Chastity, Chesire, OH” by Justin Kaneps and “My Brother Chris Waits in his Buick While it Idles” by Roland Jackson

Learn more about the show and artists here.

Undergraduate Photography Now! @ BU Architectural College – May 3-20

Undergraduate Photography Now!, a satellite exhibition associated with the Flash Forward Festival, is currently up at BU’s Architectural College.

Before I was able to engage with the artwork, I first had to get past a few obstacles in terms of curation and exhibition space. The biggest problem with shows that pull work from a variety of colleges is that they inevitably encourage comparisons of quality between the participating schools. This show seems to do its best to discourage this kind of comparison by not hanging the work of any two students from the same school next to each other, but I still found myself checking the labels. The somewhat awkward gallery space of the architectural school’s entrance lobby is also something of an unfortunate hindrance to the show.

Both of these aspects were of course outside of the artists’ control and once I got past these hurdles, I was able to enjoy a fun and lively show featuring strong work from New England undergraduate photographers. The photos are varied, ranging from the performative,

"Thahab: Three" by Nabeela Chowdhury and "The Arrival" by Cassandra Klos

“Thahab: Three” by Nabeela Chowdhury and “The Arrival” by Cassandra Klos

to the colorful,

"PineApple" by Bridget Murphy and "Untitled #1 & #4" by Meghan Lowney

“PineApple” by Bridget Murphy and “Untitled #1 & #4” by Meghan Lowney

to the architectural.

"Someday I will Use that Tea Set" by Simone Schiess and "Apart" by Anastasia Dubrovina

“Someday I will Use that Tea Set” by Simone Schiess and “Apart” by Anastasia Dubrovina


On my Art Radar this Week! May 5-12

I won’t be able to make it to all of them, but here are the art events that are on my radar for the coming week!

Thursday May 9th

Undergraduate Photography Now: A Celebration of New England’s Best Student Photographers
Flash Forward Festival ~ Exhibition Opening ~ MAY 09, 6:30-9PM
Location: Boston Architectural College, 951 Boylston St., Boston, MA, 02115

Human & Machine, Retrace & Depart
At the Howard Art Project with Andy Lauzier and Valerie Ng (MFA Thesis Show)
opening reception on May 9th, 6-9PM
Location: The Howard Art Project, 1486 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA

Friday May 10th

Young New England Photographers Group Exhibition
Flash Forward Festival Opening Reception May 10th 6-9pm
Location: NAVE Gallery Annex 53 Chester Street Somerville, MA 02143

Saturday May 11th

[Photo]gogues: New England
Flash Forward Festival Exhibition Opening ~ MAY 11, 6-8PM
Location: Faneuil Hall Marketplace, One Faneuil Hall Square, Boston, MA, 02109