On view: Imagined Communities, Nationalism & Violence
December 16 to January 31, 2018
Jon Henry, Yael Malka, Myeong Soo Kim, Pacifico Silano, Maggie Shannon, Minstrel Kuik, Carlos Jiménez Cahua, Catalina Ouyang, Hank Willis Thomas, Res, Vincent Bezuidenhout, Farideh Sakhaeifar, Lionel Cruet.
Benedict Anderson’s seminal text “Imagined Communities” investigates the origins of Nationalism as a modern condition and serves as the starting point for our group exhibition. From the influence of rationalist secularism to the conception of homogenous, empty time, Anderson outlines the convergence of factors which led to nationhood as a vehicle for the creation of meaning and ultimately self-sacrifice.
As Nationalism is revitalized through increasingly extreme rhetoric whether it is nativism or protectionism, the exhibition explores this new wave of anxiety around nation-hood and ways nation-ness is constructed. Whether it is through the oblique nature of our informational channels which function as echo chambers reminiscent of the earliest ways Nationalism spread through print media or the conflation of meaning with sacrifice, it is clear that there are precedents for how Nationalism as a construct has led to and sustained cycles of violence.
The group exhibition aims to complicate and implicate conversations around the theme by co-opting Anderson’s own way of contextualizing Nationalism, “…nationalism has to be understood by aligning it, not with self-consciously held political ideologies, but with the large cultural systems that preceded it, out of which - as well as against which - it came into being”. By acknowledging larger cultural systems such as capitalism, slavery, the industrial military complex, perhaps Nationalism can be delineated from the politics of Nationalism; allowing us to consider more open-ended questions. For example, is Nationalism intrinsically violent since it assumes an other and requires intensive cycles of suffering/glory as modes of imagining communities.
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Upcoming: Patricia Voulgaris, Nothing Can Stop
Opening: February 3, 2018. 6 to 8 pm.
RUBBER FACTORY is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Patricia Voulgaris.
Patricia’s practice combines elements of photography, sculpture, and drawing. She uses the human body as a platform to assert agency over and test boundaries of space. By observing shape, form and composition, Patricia explores the concept of memory and it’s relationship to the body. The work in Nothing Can Stop in particular explores our physical experiece of the world and investigates the tensions which arise from spatial limitations. Patricia’s body is always in conversation with the material forms which obscure and augment the viewer’s vision. Her process is intuitive and subverts the formalism of portraiture by introducing unexpected interruptions to the body. Lines and body combine to form new hybridized compositions.
By incorporating readily-available materials such as foam board, paper, and wood, Patricia eschews a hierarchy of materials. Drawings begin to lay an open-ended blueprint for the possibilities (or impossibilities) of a photograph and human body, from which she employs a process of continous deconstruction and resonstruction. In the exhibition, pieces of Patricia’s set will be exhibited alongside her drawings and photographs in order to animate each step of her studio practice.
Patricia Voulgaris (b. 1991, New York) earned a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in 2013. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions such as Aperture Foundation, Photo LA, Red Hook Labs and Baxter Street at CCNY. Her photographs have been featured in publications and blogs including Dear Dave Magazine, Der Greif, Vice, PDN and The New York Times Lens Blog. She is the recipient of the Lucie Foundation, and Aaron Siskind Foundation grants and is represented by Mary Mary Projects.
Download the Press Release here
Upcoming 2018 exhibitions
Yael Malka, Almost Touching
Jia-Jen Lin, Funes Broken Mirror
Past: Christie Neptune, She Fell From Normalcy
November 18 to December 14, 2017
RUBBER FACTORY is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Christie Neptune. Neptune creates counter-narratives which examine pedagogies of resistance, black subjectivity and the nuances of identity construction amongst marginalized female bodies of color.
She Fell From Normalcy is the second installment of Christie Neptune’s multi-media series, Eye Of The Storm. It is a body of work that examines how constructs of race, gender, and class limit the personal experience. Working across photography and video, Neptune critiques hegemonic systems of whiteness that shape one’s definition of “self”, and in She Fell From Normalcy, places particular emphasis on the emotional and mental health of people of color. As subject, Neptune employs two females trapped in a sterile, white environment in which they are controlled by an unseen presence; it is only after a cataclysmic break in the system that the females are granted clarity and self-recognition. In this afro-surrealist world, their bodies are reduced to mechanical, functional flesh, unable to break away from the gaze of the camera. Within this matrix-like construct, Neptune references an absent mythical norm defined by the Black feminist, Audre Lorde as ““white, thin, male, young, heterosexual, Christian, and financially secure.” Instead, the bodies become a site around blackness, femininity, and psychological spaces. In the video piece ““Ms. _______ (Interior)”, Neptune explores black subjectivity as a platform for quiet resistance. Through convoluted portraits of anonymous black women poised in fluorescent illumination and wiring, she warps time and place, transporting viewers from the real world into a contemplative space that grants fleeting access into her subject’s inaccessible psychological life.
Christie Neptune (b. 1986, Brooklyn, NY) is an interdisciplinary artist working across film, photography, mixed media and performance arts. Neptune holds a BA from Fordham University (New York, NY). Her films and photography have been included in shows at the Hamiltonian Gallery, Washington, DC (2017); Washington College, Chestertown, MD (2017); the Queens Museum of Art, Queens NY (2016); A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2016); Yeelen Gallery, Miami Fl (2015); and Rutgers, Institute for Women and Art (2014). She has been featured in publications including The Creator’s Project and Juxtapoze Magazine. Neptune is a 2015 participant of More Art’s Engaging Artists Residency and a cohort of the Hamiltonian Gallery Fellowship Program. She has been recently awarded the Bronx Museum of Arts Artist in Marketplace (AIM) and 2017 Smack Mellon Studio Fellowship.
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Past: Pacifico Silano, John John
September 30 –November 15, 2017
RUBBER FACTORY is presenting a solo exhibition of new works by Pacifico Silano from his series, "John John".
Every aspect of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life was photographed, televised, and written about in a headline. His classic good looks and sexualized physique became a staple of mainstream media coverage. American culture feeds off of name recognition, likability and attractiveness. These reworked photos blur the line between the public and private self, our obsession with creating celebrity, and the American fascination with political royalty. We project our hopes, dreams and aspirations on those that are telegenic.
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Past: Women in Colour
August 19 – September 27, 2017
RUBBER FACTORY is pleased to present a group exhibition exploring the pioneering role of women in the use of color in photography.
Artists included in the group exhibition:
Amanda Means, Carrie Mae Weems, Cindy Sherman, Ellen Carey, Elinor Carucci, Jan Groover, Liz Nielsen, Laurie Simmons, Patty Carroll, Meghann Riepenhoff, Marion Belanger, Moira McDonald, Penelope Umbrico, Susan Derges, Mariah Robertson.
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Past: PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai with Jordan Sullivan
September 8 – 10th, 2017
RUBBER FACTORY is making its Asia debut at PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai with a solo presentation of Jordan Sullivan's new hand treated photographic bases.
Jordan Sullivan’s installation, ”The California Sun Was All I Had For Breakfast, And It Burned My Eyes”, is composed of redemptive pieces; things made from failures through a process open to destruction and mistakes. Jordan prints each photograph on a basic office printer, the lo-fi nature of the prints is a decisive gesture against the image as a precious object. Each print is then saturated with chemicals, left in the rain, and manipulated by hand. This cumulative process results in the colors of the images seeping into the backs of the prints. The images are then flipped over, cut-up, and reassembled. From these photographs of physical landscapes, psychological spaces begin to emerge. Abstract fragments and scraps of opaque evidence recall open-ended moments from Jordan’s lived experience. All that is seen of the original photographic base is the hazy nebula of colors that have bled onto the backs of each print.
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Past: Ryan Oskin, Subdivision
April 8th – May 11th, 2017
In the project Subdivision, Oskin utilizes architectural renderings – found posted in the public space enclosing worksites throughout New York – to create new blueprints for each site. These blueprints are made into vinyl prints that interrupt and create new spaces within the gallery. The translation of buildings from a two-dimensional surface to a physical entity by architects is mirrored in Oskin’s practice.
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Past: Alex Kwok, Land's End
May 13 – June 21, 2017
Land’s End is the edge of the oceans, where the land and the sea collide. These are remnants of relentless conflicts between the two elements. With his feet in the ocean looking back towards the land, Alex photographs an earth under continuous erosion. Like lovers, water confronts the land, water caresses the land, and nevertheless water needs the land. The combination of a close up, rotated frame defines seemingly extraterrestrial landscapes, eliminating the tremendous weight and force of the depicted. Land’s End, thus, is as much landscapes of nature as it is portraits of a relationship between the two forces.
Printed on Japanese rice paper, each photograph is rinsed with the ocean water it is geographically taken in. The photographs are then crumbled by hand and sequently released by the material’s inherent tension. Not only does the crumbling references the subject matter, it simultaneously highlights the print’s tactility. The distorted dimensions of the photographic print speaks to the difficulty in the empiricist desire of measuring. The treatment of the photograph makes it dimensionally variable, the same way the land is in a sublime, permanent, and yet, malleable state.
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Past: PHOTO LONDON 2017
May 17 – 21, 2017, Somerset House, London
In our European Art Fair debut, Rubber Factory is pleased to present an exploration of singular photographic works challenging the notion of photograph as reproducible through Alex Kwok’s “Light Inflection” and Moira McDonald’s “Pacifica” at PHOTO LONDON 2017.
Moira McDonald places her darkroom trays out overnight to collect small puddles of the clouds to dip her silver papers in. They were then exposed on an overcast day until the fog was either absorbed by the paper or evaporated back into the atmosphere. These photographs are traces of automated nature, of collecting and letting go, of natural breath, of process and of intervention, participation and engagement within the landscape.
In “Light Inflection”, Alex Kwok mimics this cyclical, self referential exploration of the photographic medium except here the fluid, digital future is the counterpoint to Moira’s indexical, analog past. In the simplest sense, these elusive photographs by Alex Kwok explore the rendering of light within the photographic process and the way our brains process this visual information. Kwok begins by photographing a white backdrop with a number of lights equipped with specific color balancing filters, to create a gradient representing the human visible light spectrum in terms of color temperature. These photographs of light are also printed as if they are shadows, further accentuated by its sculptural element. The resulting overall effect blurs the line between image and object. Further, Kwok avoids describing works such as these as abstract since they render a complex and meticulous process concrete. The deferred process of recognition elicits creates uncertainty in our definition of what a photograph can be.
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Past: Kate Stone, As It Was (As It Were)
June 24 - August 1, 2017
RUBBER FACTORY presents a solo exhibition of new works by Kate Stone from her "As It Was" series. As It Was (as it were) is a mixed media installation that uses photography, drawing and construction materials to dissect the psychological space of memory - specifically the memory of home. It blends the familiar with the unfamiliar to challenge associations we have with common architectural structures. The installation celebrates memory’s inaccuracies, its narrative gaps and the way we put the pieces together.
Find out more HERE