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Contents for December 27, 2013

1. Miao Jiaxin, FF Fund recipient 2012-13, at OUTLET Fine Art, Brooklyn, Dec. 31

NO RETURN
by Miao Jiaxin

December 31, 2013 from 6-8 pm
Performance begins at 7 pm

Performance: News 2013
Videos:
Laundromat 2010
Lunch Break Soccer Game 2013

OUTLET Fine Art
253 Wilson Ave, Brooklyn

Bushwick, Brooklyn: On December 31, Miao Jiaxin presents his most recent performance, "News," 2013, along with two videos, "Lunch Soccer Game," 2013 and "Laundromat," 2010 at OUTLET Gallery.

Originally from Shanghai, Jiaxin came to the United States as young photographer to pursue a career in the art world. Having grown up in a primarily communist country, he was nonetheless introduced to the American Dream as an emerging ideal of Chinese culture. Living in the United States since 2005, Miao is aware of the existing disparities within certain sectors of the American population--in particular recent immigrants--for whom these dreams remain elusive. The work in this exhibition questions our notion of freedom in our extremely corporate and legislated society, which threatens to limit individual potential.

Miao Jiaxin's performances have included placing himself nude in the winter night landscape of New York City; traveling in a suitcase through Shanghai pulled by his mother; or dressing in full business attire during his MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The "News" performance builds on universal existential themes in his earlier work to specifically address a personal immigrant narrative in the context of economically driven politics and culture. Miao will perform alone against the large wall of the gallery surrounded by four surveillance cameras, implementing daily routines as metaphors for the tension of the individual consciousness within oppressive social constructs.

The two video works, "Lunch Break Soccer Game," and "Laundromat," are presented on flat screens in the rear gallery. Shot from the perspective of surveillance cameras, these scenes of seemingly mundane activities in semi-public spaces nonetheless depict personal activities, such as washing clothes and playing sports. In "Laundromat," the further act of removing clothes that are washed prompts the building doorman to request the performer cover himself. In "Lunch Break Soccer Game," a moment of play is actually just a brief respite in the workday of an otherwise grueling labor environment and only permitted under strict guidelines.

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2. Jon Hendricks, Keith + Mendi Obadike, Martha Wilson, FF Alumns, at MoMA, Manhattan, Jan. 6, 2014

There will be a public program at MoMA coming up Monday, January 6th, 6pm entitled Artist Readings in conjunction with the exhibition. Artists Derrick Adams, Jon Hendricks, James Hoff, Johanna Fateman, Keith + Mendi Obadike, and Martha Wilson will be presenting works from the collection.

The Museum of Modern Art Library
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019
Telephone (212) 333-6511
Fax (212) 333-1122
Email lori_salmon@moma.org
Website http://www.moma.org/learn/resources/library/

CURRENT LIBRARY EXHIBITION:
Reading List: Artists' Selections from the MoMA Library Collection
September 25, 2013-January 6, 2014
The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
Exhibition Website - http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1432
Tumblr - http://momareadinglist.tumblr.com

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3. Gretchen Faust, FF Alumn, in Modern Painters and Frieze magazines, Dec. 2013

Matthew McLean, Reviews, Modern Painters, London, December 2013

LONDON
Gretchen Faust
greengrassi// September 3-October 5

Two circles, each over 13 feet wide, lie like pools in the middle of the gallery floor. One is stitched together from rabbit skins in a series of deep, undulating overlaps; the other from commercial camouflage hides simply laid out. With something of the decorative intensity of Gothic rose windows, the two materials display a contrast between the subtle textural diversity of the rabbit skins and the contrived "naturalness" of the camouflage print's reiterated motifs of branch and leaf. Their titles- Shroud 1 (Start) and Shroud 2 (Stop), both 2010- not only imply that the mortal pairing of hunter and prey but also allude to the complicity of covering and concealment.

In a compelling video work, Faust sets her attention firmly on the secret beneath the surface. For 20 minutes an antique windup toy bear moves uncannily across a blank space. Every few minutes, as the increasingly audible whirring of the bear's motor begins to betray its artificiality, it lurches to a stop and the artist's hand reaches down to rewind it. The metaphor of clockwork has a long history in materialist conceptions of the body, and this piece- like the show's title "carne inteligente"- both manifests and refutes certain dualisms: material/mental, animal/human, inert/animate. Amenuensis (series 2), 2013, a set of works on paper composed from the residue of burned incense, shows the same concern with the permeability of apparent boundaries. From even a short distance, each trace of smoke appears as a clearly formed, almost perfect circle. But the process resists a clarity of mark making, and up close the distinction between brown-hued and untouched paper is so tenuous as to be indiscernible. Faust, who also runs a yoga centre in Devon, deploys economical means with a deft sensuousness- even the air is heavily scented by the solitary incense stick of 'Source', 2013- and this is fitting, since the exhibition negotiates nothing less than the mysterious experience of embodiment itself.

and

Martin Herbert in Frieze No. 159 November-December 2013 p. 173

GRETCHEN FAUST
greengrassi, London

What a long strange trip it's been for Gretchen Faust. In New York during the early 1990's, she became known for daintily incising textual fragments of art history lectures into gallery walls with the tip of an ice-pick, while also working as a critic and acupuncturist. After her gallerist, Pat Hearn, died and Faust herself suffered serious illness, she travelled to India, focused on yoga and meditation, and wound up in Totnes, Devon, where she is now a highly regarded yoga instructor. Google 'Gretchen Faust' and you'll find her on the mat first, in the gallery second. But in the last decade she's also had four exhibitions at greengrassi, each premiering a revised aesthetic approach. The first brought forth pensive, mandala-like paper cut-outs; the second included engraved slabs of Portland stone; the third photographs of paired handguns. There have, nevertheless, been continuities throughout: symmetry and asymmetry, refinement and violence, and a variably explicit focus on cutting, punching, firing- penetrating the surface of things.
The first things one sees in 'carne inteligente', Faust's latest and most aesthetically varied show, is Source ( 2013), a metal cup screwed to the dividing wall blocking off the gallery proper. The blackened vessel is filled with dried rice, upon which rest the dusty brown coils of used joss sticks. Incense, reduced to dust, recurs in four framed drawings collectively entitled 'Amenuensis (Series 2)' ( 2013), in the form of orange-brown smudges on paper- something once burned, now spent and circular. The four part 'Amenuensis ( Series 1) ( 2013), with its faint, scrabbly, vertical lines of ink on paper, suggests abstracted vitality or mediumistic reports from the ether. But both series are low-wattage. You must move in close, slow your heartbeat, attend patiently to minor shifts in density and pressure. At this point, one might note that in a recent interview with Axel John Wieder, Faust compared art and yoga: "I'd say the personal process is the same. Cultivating presence and intimacy. And the outcome can result in different forms, depending on the circumstances of the intention and form.'

Interspersed with the drawings, on a wall-mounted monitor, is "Where is your tambourine now, sleeping bear?" ( F.P.)( 2013), a 20 minute HD video in which a lugubrious mechanical toy, a brown bear, is repeatedly wound up, set down in a blank white space, and allowed to walk grindingly, querulously, towards the camera. Once it stops, it is wound again and noses forward once more. The 'F. P.' of the title, a little legwork suggests, is Fernando Pessoa, since the exhibition title, which translates as 'intelligent flesh' can be found nestling in his 1935 poem 'Love is the Essential': 'Man is not an animal/Is intelligent flesh.' The involuntary relentless mechanical bear, under these auspices, could be man- preinstalled with endless curiosity- or animal, blindly and unreflectively stumbling forward, not learning from its mistakes, having no choice in the matter.

One visits a similar zone of circumscribed ambivalence via 'Shroud 1 (Start)' and 'Shroud 2 (Stop)' ( both 2010), the pair of large, rug-like circles that dominate the gallery floor. The former, faintly grotesquely, is made from stitched-together rabbit skins; the latter from camouflage hides, those deceptive domes used to get closer to wildlife- to admiringly watch it or to kill it- without frightening it away. There is, one would hazard, a philosophic equilibrium of life and death, hunting and being hunted here; a sense too that Faust wants viewers to travel, vis-a-vis this, towards a far shore of understanding and accepting.

One published criticism of her ice-pick works was that, while the phrases themselves were somewhat ambiguously decontextualized, the artist accompanied them with pamphlets specifying their intended effect on the viewer. This tutelary strain still seems present in Faust's work, suggesting she's a teacher not only in Totnes. The scent of the retreat swirls around her art, which appears keen to focus attention, facilitate presentness and entrain large-scale contemplations, to hail and harness the human capacity for abstract thinking. At the same time, however, Faust has a tendency towards the variously nebulous and gnomic that suggests someone who's sojourned lengthily inside her own head, emptying and refilling it, and is relaying back the results in a species of stenography- one that , circularly, a viewer may already need to be initiated to appreciate.

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4. Magie Dominic, FF Alumn, publishes new book

After two years of writing, it's official! New book link, Street Angel! Hope the link works.

http://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/press/Catalog/dominic-street.shtml

Happy Christmas season and a magical 2014!

STREET ANGEL. new book forthcoming in 2014
www.magiedominic.blogspot.com
Magie Dominic at Lincoln Center Archives
twitter @magiedominic

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5. John Baldessari, Peter Downsbrough, FF Alumns, at Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA, thru Feb. 1, 2014

Barbara Krakow Gallery is pleased to announce:

CLUES:
John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Sophie Calle, Peter Downsbrough, Hendrik Kerstens, Allan McCollum, Stephen Prina and Lorna Simpson

14 December, 2013 - 1 February, 2014
(closed 24 December - 1 January for the holidays)

Barbara Krakow Gallery announces CLUES, an exhibition featuring the work of eight artists: John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Sophie Calle, Peter Downsbrough, Hendrik Kerstens, Allan McCollum, Stephen Prina and Lorna Simpson.

In 1947, Mark Rothko wrote that "the familiar identity of things has to be pulverized in order to destroy the finite associations with which our society increasingly enshrouds every aspect of our environment." Each of the works in this exhibition successfully overcomes the limitations that come from the 'finite associations' with which popular society operates most easily by balancing hidden, overt and subtle information, thus providing open-ended opportunities for exploration.

Robert Barry's mirror-piece consists of two mirrored glass panels. The diameter of the circular element is equal to the length of the side of the square element (40 inches / 100 cm). Both panels are inscribed with various same sized block-letter words. Barry evenly dispersed these words across the surfaces of the panels in different orientations and states of completeness (some extend off the edge, some begin off the edge and others are fully present). Barry''s choices of layout, arrangement and juxtaposition do not point to a specific narrative, description or relationship. However, when looking at the physical objects of the mirrors and thinking about the consistency of choices, one recognizes the particulars of the setting, as the work is mirror. The words and shapes combine the traditional form of art (perhaps a window into another world) with mirror (reflection of the world within which the object exists). The meaning of the work depends on the viewer''s presence and is a combination of the physical objects, the words as graphic representations, the reflections of the surrounding environment and the viewer's interpretations and associations among these elements. The piece explores the interaction of meaning and context all the while blurring the boundaries between art, object and situation, as well as writer, artist and viewer.

In Sophie Calle's work, Last Seen (Rembrandt, The Storm in the Sea of Galilée), she created a poetic remembrance of the theft of thirteen works in 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The repercussion of Gardner's stipulation in her will that the arrangement of the galleries remain fixed is that a sense of loss remains a permanent fixture of the museum. Calle recognized this and shortly after the crime interviewed curators, guards, and other staff members, asking them to describe what they remember of each of the absent works. The responses vary dramatically and thus show the variations in memory, awareness, perception and involvement different people have with any given work. The physical manifestation of Calle's work is a framed, life-size photograph of the 'empty' space and a framed text consisting of the various responses. Conversation and memory, which are most often ephemeral, become concrete and where a painting once was is now just a memory.

Peter Downsbrough's work BUT, BUT consist of six metal elements that are to be installed within a fixed arrangement, yet the size of the overall installation may vary. Most easily legible within the work is the word "BUT". To its left is the same word but a mirror image thereof. Each one of these words is laser cut from metal and hovers 1/2" away from the wall, as each letter is attached to the 1" deep piece of metal that forms a right angle. All six elements contain form angles, four of which combine to create the corners of a square. The two other elements reference the corners of, what one could imagine is, a second square that is missing its right corners. The "reflection" of "BUT" is within a square, yet the actual "BUT" is left unconfined, open-ended and left to be a conjunction on the wall with whatever comes after it. With all of this reading, it is hard not see the reflection of the "BUT" as a contained object. While it can be contained in a bigger or smaller square (size variable installation), it cannot lead to anything else - it is merely a contained (read: fully understood) reflection. However, the actual "BUT" is open-ended, a reminder of the relationship between the "real" and the "reflected".

Two framed pieces of paper comprise a diptych by Stephen Prina that is included in this exhibition. While not readily apparent, this diptych is from an ongoing series. The right piece of paper graphically lays out the relative size and shape of each of the 556 paintings that Edouard Manet painted over the course of his life. The small monochrome shapes are proportional to the sizes of Manet's actual paintings. The piece of paper on the left is a gestural ink wash on paper that is the exact size of one of the 556 paintings Manet painted. The references within the piece also include the accurate title of the related painting (in this case it is the 218th - Masked Ball at the Opera with Punchinello) and that the order in which the paintings have been created are the same for Prina's as it was for Manet's. When looking directly as the piece in this exhibition, a somewhat mysterious system seems apparent, whether because of the chart-like piece on the right, or the pairing via identical frames of the companion pieces of paper. In addition, the title, "Exquisite Corpse: The Complete Paintings of Manet, begun January 1, 1988", the "Scale: 1mm=11.39cm" and then the ownership of the image: "(c) Copyright 1988 Stephen Prina" are all presented as facts. On the reception counter is the checklist referencing each piece in the exhibition, which in this piece's situation, includes the titles of the actual Manet painting being referenced (more facts, but fully invisible if just looking at what's on the wall). With all of this information, one can accept the reality of the project or extend beyond and imagine the Manet painting and the entire body of Manet's work. One can also question the validity of the information - which because of Prina's 1960's Manet catalogue raisonné, is in fact, outdated and no longer fully accurate.

Allan McCollum's Surrogate Painting is one of the earliest examples of McCollum's surrogates. It was made from wood and museum board, glued and pressed together, and painted all over with numerous coats of paint. In 1979, Tiffany Bell reviewed McCollum's exhibition of the Surrogate Paintings and stated the following: "Allan McCollum's recent paintings could easily fit into context with the work Joseph Masheck has described as "Pictures of Art" in his essay of that title (Artforum, May, 1979): each one has the appearance of being a painted-over painting. The objects are small, literally shaped in relief like framed and matted painting, drawing, prints or photographs, and each, entirely including the sides, painted in a single, flat color. The idea seems to have been to reduce the paintings to their most common and recognizable elements in terms of their perception as framed objects on the wall. The result, paradoxically perhaps, is that one's attention is thrust out from the interior space of the object to that which surrounds it." Thirty-three years later, the Surrogate Painting, now no longer just a single austere surrogate for a framed work hung on a wall but, now the generic-ness of the work has become specifically recognizable by many as a Surrogate by Allan McCollum. The issue of specificity has been complicated by time in a way that provides an even greater conversation than before.

Lorna Simpson's Details consists of 21 photogravures with juxtaposed silkscreened texts. The imagery of the photogravures was taken from the artist's collection of family photos that she then edited and cropped. The accompanying texts, also cropped and edited, are descriptions of the artist's family members. The gravure process gives a specific feel of age to the images, unifying them in one period and yet the texts are silkscreened and thus have a much more contemporary feel, leading one to not only explore and question the information within any of the images and texts, but also the relationship between the text and image. Unified on the same piece of paper, yet printed using different techniques, one seemingly much older than the other, makes one see the texts as coming after the images, in effect making them labels - things placed on other things to try to locate/describe them. Seeing as labels are rarely fully accurate and most often not useful in deeper understandings, it is interesting to note that the artist specifically jumbled the descriptions to no longer be 'attached' to the corresponding images, which further clarifies the experience of understanding the limitations of labels.

John Baldessari's Crowds with Shape of Reason Missing is, in one sense, the most straightforward work in the exhibition. Baldessari has taken a film still and removed the central focus of the scene, thus, as the title of the work suggests, the shape, of what or whom-ever everyone is looking at, is missing and the viewer is left to wonder what is actually occurring in the scene. However, Baldessari adds to the gesture by actually creating a sculptural relief in cast paper to be situated in this void. What initially looks like a removal and loss has been transformed into an addition. This can be said, too, of the work as a whole. What was once a B-movie set with a supposedly simple plot line has been turned into a scenario where the supporting cast is the immediate focus with all its subtle relations and the formerly central focus is now a mysterious form that provides the opportunity for dynamic and semi-surrealistic mysteries.

Since 1995, Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens has been photographing his daughter, Paula. He uses his daughter as his model, immortalizing her, picturing her in relation to events in her own life as well as projecting onto her his fascination with the Dutch Master painters of the seventeenth century. Conceptually, Kerstens' photographs play with the dialog between the mediums of painting and photography, all with a nod to the subjects of time and humor. On a more emotional level, they address everyday reality while expressing his love for his child, and the knowledge and development of his craft. His 'Paula Pictures', are reminiscent of Vermeer's painting. The austerity and clarity of the photographs, coupled with the serenity of the subject and the characteristic 'Dutch' light all combine to create striking, beautiful and haunting works of art. However, Kerstens does not just imitate painting. As the series progressed, he became increasingly interested in the game of creating a conceptual and humorous dialog between past and present. Napkin looks like a maid's bonnet. In Bag, a plastic grocery bag is shaped to look like a lace hood and in this piece, Book, the book serves as a nun's wimple.

With all these explanations and clues into the backstories, meanings and processes of the works, what holds them together as an exhibition is their formal properties. Variations on similar structures provide opportunities for comparisons and conversations between the works.

The exhibition is open this coming week, December 17 - 21 and then reopens after the holidays on Thursday, January 2 and runs until February 1.

If you can't make it in to see the show in person, please do view the show on our site

and if you have any questions or want further information, please feel free to contact us.

BARBARA KRAKOW GALLERY
10 Newbury Street Boston Massachusetts 02116
617.262.4490 www.barbarakrakowgallery.com
info@barbarakrakowgallery.com
Tuesday - Saturday, 10 - 5:30

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6. Buzz Spector, FF Alumn, at Beverly, St. Louis, MO, opening Jan. 18, 2014

Hi there. I will have a two artist show (with poet and visual artist Mary Jo Bang) at Beverly, the new annex gallery of Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, St. Louis:

beverly: Mary Jo Bang & Buzz Spector

January 18 - February 8, 2014

Opening reception Saturday, January 18, 7-10 PM

Buzz Spector

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7. Jim Costanzo, FF Alumn, at Pine Box Rock Shop, Brooklyn, Dec. 27

BEYOND CAPITALISM: People and the Environment before Profits

The Aaron Burr Society is launching the next incarnation of the 2nd Whiskey Rebellion, an Occupied Rebellion. Videos, performance and music will follow the Society's activates from the summer of 2008 though Occupy Wall Street to current actions. The Society began as an absurdist public artwork using street performances in and around Wall Street then posting videos, fotos and text to social media in addition to publishing in art journals and political blogs. The artwork combined humor with serious research based on America's lost and forgotten economic history framed by the ongoing international financial meltdown of our failed economic and political systems.

Friday December 27th at 9pm at the Pine Box Rock Shop, a bar and performance venue-12 Grattan Street Bushwick Brooklyn- L Train @ Morgan stop

jim costanzo
http://aaronburrsociety.tumblr.com/

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Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller