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Contents for July 14, 2014

1. Mark Tribe, FF Alumn, at The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, July 19-Sept. 28


I'm showing a new body of work called Plein Air at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. from July 19 through September 28. If you can't see the show in person, you can check it out on my website. More info below.

I discuss the work, along with other projects, in an interview with Chelsea Knight that appears in the current issue of Modern Painters.



NOW at the Corcoran-Mark Tribe: Plein Air

July 19, 2014 to September 28, 2014

"Photography often walks a line between objective fidelity and artifice, between accurately reproducing something and transforming it through a series of aesthetic decisions that result in a new expression. In this sense, photography is akin to appropriation, which also involves finding, selecting, and reframing something that already exists to create a new thing." - Mark Tribe

In Plein Air, his first major solo museum exhibtion, Mark Tribe explores the aesthetics and representation of aerial views in landscape photography through the virtual lens of computer simulation.

Commissioned by the Corcoran, these new images were created in the studio with appropriated software that uses geospatial data and fractal algorithms to create digital simulations of real landscapes. Plein Air-a French expression that refers to painting outdoors in the open air-alters our perceptions, presenting outdoor landscapes from a "drone's eye view," a machinic perspective that is playing an increasingly important role in contemporary culture. Working indoors, Tribe pictures a computer-generated world in which familiar environments appear distant, almost foreign. Unlike traditional depictions of landscapes in art, these aerial views abstract what we know; they do not reproduce our "natural" terrestrial viewpoint.

Plein Air collapses the boundary between the actual and the virtual-the representational and the abstract-in ways that challenge the basic premise of photography. This project pushes some of the technological boundaries of image making and at the same time connects Tribe's innovative practices to the historical conventions of both landscape painting and photography.

Tribe presents a catalogue of virtual landscapes that appear to have been shot by drones. He interrogates, frames, and implicitly critiques the ways in which landscape images are used to expand territories and defend geopolitical interests. By using software to generate his uncanny panoramas from data, Tribe suggests that the hovering lenses of unmanned devices produce images that can be as powerfully seductive as they are artificial.

Each of the shaped prints was made using a UV inkjet printing process directly on Dibond, a durable aluminum composite material. UV inks solidify when exposed to ultraviolet light, which allows high quality printing on nonabsorbent materials like Dibond.



2. Judith Sloan, Warren Lehrer, FF Alumns, at New York Institute of Technology, Manhattan, July 14, and more

Judith Sloan in performance of

Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America

Monday July 14 at 7pm
New York Institute of Technology

Auditorium on Broadway

1871 Broadway between 62 and 61st Streets.
tickets in advance

$5 students/seniors $10 general CLICK HERE
or purchase at the door $15

As immigration is being talked about this summer in terms of "threats" to our national and cultural security, Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America presents the very human stories of why immigrants and refugees have migrated to the US and what their experiences have been since they came here pre- and post-9/11. Actor/writer/documentary artist Judith Sloan "channels" many of the people that Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan interviewed on their three-year journey around the world through the borough of Queens resulting in a critically acclaimed book, exhibition, performance and radio series. The performance is illuminated by projections of Lehrer's photographs along with an original soundtrack of music, sounds and voices, including Sloan's audio mixes, music by Scott Johnson and Gogol Bordello.

"Crossing the BLVD is a whirlwind tour and love poem of what has often been called the most racially and ethnically diverse county in America. In the tradition of the playwright Anna Deavere Smith, Ms. Sloan performs "Crossing the BLVD" adopting the personae (and respectfully mimicking the accents) of the varied immigrants whose stories are in the book...

The New York Times, City Room Blog, Sewell Chan

Sloan will also be presenting at the
Association for Theatre in Higher Education National Conference July 27.
Theme of this year's conference: "Dream Acts: Performance as Refuge, Resistance, and Renewal" Scottsdale, Arizona

What the critics say:

"Immigrant life in Queens, as told in the intimate, rich, comic, ironic and sad stories so often seen but not heard in America's big cities... The Washington Post

"Riveting stories about a new wave of immigrants to America... " The New York Times

Winner 2004 Brendan Gill Prize

"A celebratory chronicle of the immigrant experience in New York, Crossing the BLVD is a Whitmanesque book that reveals a staggering array of humanity... [It] chronicles life in Gotham in both its despair and boundless promise. The first-person narratives are drawn from audio interviews, while the book's ever-changing graphics and typefaces mirror the rich pastiche of religion, language and tradition that coexists in the borough... chosen for its ability to convey the inspired resiliency of the myriad communities that contribute to the city's dynamism."
Municipal Art Society of New York


Judith Sloan's
YO MISS! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide

at KO Festival of Performance

Holden Theatre, Amherst College, Amherst, MA
July 18, 19 and 20
Friday, Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 4 PM

call (413) 542-3750 or email info@kofest.com

Fusing the art of theatre, radio, and music, YO MISS! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide is an eye- and ear-witness account of one artist navigating her art, her life, and the lives of her students. Judith has spent 15 years teaching in schools and jails encountering and reporting on immigration stories, cultural clashes, and generation gaps. After colliding with Hip Hop Culture and rapper Immortal Technique, Sloan remixes her own experiences with those of her students and transforms into a multitude of characters in this sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always truth-seeking show. In addition to her work as an educator, Judith Sloan is an award-winning character actress, oral historian, and radio producer.
YO MISS! is a project of EarSay, in collaboration with Viper Records
Dramaturgy: Morgan Jenness
Direction: Claire Lebowitz and Bob Berky

Music and sound developed and designed by
Judith Sloan, in collaboration with the musicians and various engineers including:
David Krakauer, MiWi La Lupa, Frank London, Taylor Rivelli, Adam MJ Hill and
Red Ukachukwu, Immortal Technique. Contributing engineers,
Touré "Southpaw" Harris, Ariel Bujorow, Taylor Rivelli, Josh Valleau

"In YO MISS!, Judith Sloan's art and teaching cross-pollinate. It is a performance about performances, a story containing many stories."
New York Times

"This is immersive, resonant theater. Communication, cultural destabilization, history and commonality, are dramatized, raising questions, offering response. [Sloan] is an audacious artist." Woman Around Town


writer/artist Warren Lehrer
A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley

Tuesday July 29, 7pm
2014 GSA Summer Speaker Series
George Stevens Academy

23 Union Street, Blue Hill, Maine 04614
For more information, call 374-2800



3. Doug Beube, FF Alumn, at Bridgehampton Historical Society, NY, July 10-13 and more

Doug Beube, FF Alumn, at Jayne H. Baum, Art Market Hamptons, July 10-13, at Bridgehampton Historical Society, NY


Behind the Personal Library, a group exhibition at the Center for Book Arts, opens Oct 10th with a conference at MOMA on the 11th and a public opening at CBA that evening.

Doug Beube: Bookcase, BravinLee programs, opens mid-Oct, (date to be determined)

Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection, at the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT with an artists' reception on Nov 6. (details forthcoming)


CT (un) Bound, ArtSpace, New Haven, CT, in response to the Allan Chasanoff Bookwork collection opens on Nov. 7th. (details forthcoming)

Emendation, a solo exhibition at Christopher Henry Gallery, NYC, artist's reception on Saturday, Nov. 8th from 6-9pm (full schedule, details forthcoming)



4. Agnes Denes, FF Alumn, at SITE, Santa Fe, NM, July 20, 2014-Jan. 11, 2015

Agnes Denes in SITElines 2014
Unsettled Landscapes SITE Santa Fe
July 20, 2014 - January 11, 2015

Agnes Denes participates in the first edition of SITE Santa Fe's new biennial series.
SITElines 2014 - Unsettled Landscapes examines the urgencies, political conditions, and historical narratives that inform the work of contemporary artists across the Americas through three themes: landscape, territory, and trade.

The exhibition will present, for the first time, a comprehensive view of Agnes Denes's pioneering work Wheatfield-A Confrontation in more than 120 color photographic images made by the artist in 1982 and never previously exhibited.

Denes's photographs will appear sequentially in a large-scale projection, accompanied by selected prints and an explanatory text. Wheatfield - A Confrontation is Agnes Denes's best known work. Scholar and curator Jeffrey Weiss called it "perpetually astonishing . . . one of Land art's great transgressive masterpieces" (Artforum, September 2008). MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach described it as "... a temporary, fragile, living intervention...really ahead of its time, and a very groundbreaking, influential piece." (New York Observer, July 22, 2013) Wheatfield was created during a four-month period in the spring and summer of 1982 when Denes, with the support of the Public Art Fund, planted a field of golden wheat on two acres of rubble-strewn landfill near Wall Street and the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan (now the site of Battery Park City and the World Financial Center). The harvested grain traveled to twenty-eight cities around the world The International Art Show for the End of World Hunger, organized by the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Born in Hungary in 1931, Agnes Denes was raised in Sweden and educated in the United States. Since the 1960s, she has participated in more than 450 exhibitions at galleries and museums worldwide. Her pioneering works of conceptual and environmental art are in the collections of MoMA; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and many other major institutions. Works by Agnes Denes are also currently on view in As Exciting As We Can Make it: Ikon in the 1980s,
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK
(through August 31, 2014); and Art of It's Own Making
, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts,
Saint Louis, MO
(through August 20, 2014)
SITE Santa Fe
1606 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe NM 87501

Agnes Denes
Wheatfield - A Confrontation, Wheatfield: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan 1982
Commissioned by the Public Art Fund, New York.
Two acres of wheat were planted and harvested by Agnes Denes on the Battery Park landfill, in New York's financial district, one block from Wall Street and the World Trade Center in the Summer of 1982.
After months of preparations, in May of 1982, a wheat field was planted on a landfill in lower Manhattan, facing the Statue of Liberty. Two hundred truckloads of dirt were brought in. Two hundred eighty-five furrows were dug by hand and cleared of rocks and garbage. The seeds were sown by hand and the furrows covered with soil. The field was maintained for four months, cleared of wheat smut, weeded, fertilized, and sprayed against mildew fungus. An irrigation system was installed. The crop was harvested on August 16 and yielded over 1,000 pounds of healthy, golden wheat.
"Planting and harvesting a field of wheat on land worth $4.5 billion in the hub of the Great City created a powerful paradox. It was a symbol, a universal concept that represented food, energy, commerce, world trade, and economics. It referred to mismanagement, waste, world hunger and ecological concerns. The harvested grain traveled to twenty-two cities around the world in an exhibition called The International Art Show for the End of World Hunger, organized by the Minnesota Museum of Art (1987-90).The seeds were carried away by people who planted them in many parts of the globe." - Agnes Denes
The Philosophy

My decision to plant a wheat field in Manhattan grew out of the long-standing concern and need to address misplaced priorities and deteriorating human values.

In 1982 Manhattan was perhaps the wealthiest, most congested, most fascinating island in the world. To plant, sustain, and harvest two acres of wheat in its financial center, wasting valuable real estate, created a powerful paradox.

It was insane and impossible but it would make people realize that unless human values were reassessed, the quality of life, even life itself, was in danger. Placing it at the foot of the World Trade Center, a block from Wall Street, facing the Statue of Liberty, also had symbolic import.

Wheatfield was a symbol, a universal concept, representing food, energy, commerce, world trade, economics and referring to mismanagement, waste, world hunger, and ecological concerns. It was an intrusion into the Citadel, a confrontation of High Civilization but also Shangri-La, a small paradise, one's childhood, a hot summer afternoon in the country, peace, forgotten values, simple pleasures.

What was different about this wheat field was that the soil was not rich loam but a dirty landfill full of rusty metals, boulders, old tires, and overcoats. It was not farmland but an extension of the congested downtown of a metropolis where dangerous crosswinds blew, traffic snarled, and every inch was precious real estate. The absurdity of it all, the risks we took and the hardships we endured were all part of the basic concept.

After months of preparations, planting began in May. Two hundred truckloads of dirt were brought in, 285 furrows were dug by hand and cleared of rocks and garbage, seeds were sown by hand and the furrows covered with soil. The field was maintained for four months, cleared of wheat smut, weeded, fertilized, irrigated, and sprayed against mildew fungus.

In August we harvested more than 1,000 pounds of healthy, golden wheat which later traveled to twenty-eight cities around the world in "The International Art Show for the End of World Hunger", organized by the Minnesota Museum of Art (1987-90). The seeds were taken by people who planted them around the globe in solidarity with the concept.

The area became the site for a billion-dollar luxury office and apartment complex. But I think this magnificent metropolis recalls a majestic, amber field and the power of the paradox, a more poignant memory since September 11, 2001, a block from the Wheatfield site.



5. Raquel Rabinovich, FF Alumn, now online at https://vimeo.com/96989937

Raquel Rabinovich and Julie Manna
Sculpture and Dance Collaboration
Hudson River, 2013

Beginning in 2001, Raquel Rabinovich created a series of stone sculpture installations, Emergences, along the shores of the Hudson River. These installations exist in a perpetual state of flux, being gradually concealed and revealed with the rising and falling of the river tides.

Ancestral stones and flowing waters are in an ongoing conversation. Rabinovich's sculptures evoke the history of the earth and the stages of life. They function as metaphors for the passage of time and the ephemeral nature of the world.
In 2013, the dancer Julie Manna engaged in a poetic dialogue with two of these installations, one that was visible and one that was invisible. The performances were videotaped and the video, documenting the magical encounter that took place between sculpture and dance, can be watched by clicking on


With many thanks and kind regards,

Raquel Rabinovich



6. Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, FF Alumns, in the New York Times, July 10

Art & Design
JULY 10, 2014
The New York Times
In January, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles announced that it had acquired the archives from the Kitchen, the New York performance and exhibition space devoted to art, dance, music and video, which was also a headquarters for experimental performances and early Minimalism, with figures like John Cage and Steve Reich. The research institute had also has been promised a gift from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation of tens of thousands of photographs and hundreds of thousands of negatives taken by the photographers Harry Shunk and Janos Kender that captured the avant-garde art worlds of New York and Paris in the 1960s and '70s.

Now the institute has acquired Robert R. McElroy's archives, as well. McElroy, a photographer who died in 2012, documented hundreds of Happenings in the early 1960s and captured images of artists like Jim Dine, Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg and Robert Whitman as they worked. Included in the archive are about 700 vintage prints.

"It captures that moment in the 1960s that became radical in a way that is still with us," said Glenn Phillips, acting head of the architecture and contemporary art department at the Getty Research Institute. Together, he added, the three archives "make a New York trilogy."



7. Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, FF Alumn, in the New York Times, July 10

The New York Times
N.Y. / Region
Guiding and Gliding, the Urban Bush Women
JULY 10, 2014
Weekend Miser
By A. C. LEE

From their debut in a Manhattan loft 30 years ago this month, in a dance performance that Jennifer Dunning called "deeply affecting and stylishly produced" in The New York Times, the Urban Bush Women have gone on to win awards, tour internationally and take part in cultural diplomacy for the State Department.

All the while, the group, founded by the choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, has remained focused on its founding mission: presenting dances that tell stories from the perspective of women in the African diaspora, promoting social change and forging communities.

This weekend the troupe stays true to those roots, giving a free workshop and performance at St. Mary's Park in the Bronx as part of the City Parks Foundation's sprawling SummerStage series. The evening begins with a master class, open to all levels of experience, followed by performances that will include the premiere of "Chalabati," a piece choreographed by Ms. Zollar with inspiration from the Gnawa musical tradition of Morocco.

(Saturday at 7 p.m.; 450 St. Anns Avenue, at 146th Street, Mott Haven; summerstage.com.)



8. Split Britches, FF Alumn, summer news

Welcome to the fabulous world of Split Britches!
Ruff Tours London, Manchester and Montreal
Ruff, Peggy Shaw's response to a stroke she suffered in 2011, took to the road in May and June 2014, with performances in London, Manchester and Montreal.

Supported by the Wellcome Trust People Award, Ruff drew in the London crowds for a three-night run at the Wellcome Collection in Euston. The performance was followed by Doctor in the House, an interactive post-show Q&A chaired by Lois Weaver and featuring Peggy and a host of medical professionals.

In addition to London, Ruff's UK presence extended to Manchester, appearing at Contact. Ruff was also accompanied by Green Screening: A Conversational Workshop, a public workshop organised as part of the Sexuality Summer School (SSS) at the University of Manchester. The show was also followed by Ask the Doctor, an interactive post-show Q&A with Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver and Dr. Khalil Kawafi, a Stroke Consultant at Fairfield Hospital in Bury and Greater Manchester Stroke Clinical Network Lead. These events were supported by Science Stroke Art 2014. Finally, Ruff traveled all the way to Montreal, where it was performed as part of Encuentro 2014 at the Hemispheric Institute.

In Ruff, Peggy ponders her life before and after her stroke, investigating her mind and her memory. Ruff is a tribute to those who have kept her company over the last 68 years, a lament for the absence of those who disappeared into the dark holes left behind by her recent stroke, and a celebration that her brain is able to fill the blank Green Screens with new insight. Ruff was created by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

Peggy and Lois also extended their Green Screening Workshop to Queen Mary University of London as part of this year's Peopling the Palaces Festival, organized by AiR Project.

Encuentro 2014 at the Hemispheric Institute
Split Britches participated at Encuentro 2014 at the Hemispheric Institute for the Study of Politics and Performance, where they were made Senior Fellows by the Executive Board.The Institute awards the distinction of Senior Fellow to scholars, artists and activists whose work illustrates the highest achievement in the field of performance and politics.

Lois also took her a travelling library all the way to Canada! From June 21 to 28, Lois's Library of Performing Rights - a portable archive of documents that explores the intersection of performance and human rights - was open to the public, encouraging visitors not only to browse the collection but also contribute to its evolving collection, and more importantly, engage in conversations about it. Weaver was joined by over 750 scholars, artists and activists. Lois developed the concept in collaboration with London's Live Art Development Agency and was designed by Jo Palmer, one of Weaver's collaborators. The installation also featured a Long Table, as well as screenings and impromptu talks.

Corporeal Extravagance!
A presentation of materials from the Extravagant Age Exhibition in Zagreb (2013) and Belgrade (2014), which featured What Tammy Needs to Know About Sex, was featured at Peopling the Palaces Festival at Queen Mary, University of London. The festival also featured a book launch for the Extravagant Age Catalogue hosted by Olga Majcen and Suncica Ostoic of Kontejner in Zagreb and Milica Pekic from Belgrade.

Up Coming...
Exciting news all round. Watch out New Yorkers...Tammy is heading your way this Fall. She'll be taking over La MaMa, filling the space with singing, laughter, serious (and not so serious) discussion and of course pink sparkles! Lois and Peggy will also take residence at La MaMa later in the year, as they are busy working on a project focusing on sex and aging. And if that's not enough, Lois is also collaborating with Queen Mary's Jen Harvie, LADA and Intellect on a new publication all about her 30 plus years of performance and practice, which will be beautifully presented to the world in pretty pinks and vibrant visuals. We can't wait! More soon...

Copyright (c) 2014 Split Britches, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Split Britches
65 East 4th Street, New York, NY, United States
New York, NY 10003



9. Yvonne Rainer, FF Alumn, at Raven Row, London, UK, thru Aug. 10

Yvonne Rainer: Dance Works
11 July-10 August 2014

Raven Row
56 Artillery Lane
London E1 7LS
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11am-6pm

T +44 (0) 20 7377 4300


Dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and writer Yvonne Rainer (born 1934, lives in New York) is widely acknowledged as having played a key role in revolutionizing post-war dance, inspiring generations of performers. In the sixties and early seventies, initially as part of the Judson Theater in New York (alongside Trisha Brown, Simone Forti and Steve Paxton), Rainer made dance works that were concerned with social and political form. Her choreography incorporated 'ordinary' movement and 'neutral' performance, rethinking the performer-audience relationship.

This exhibition is the first to present live performances of Rainer's dance works alongside other aspects of her practice: theoretical and lyrical writing, sketches and scores, photographs of performances, documentary and experimental films, and an audio recording of one of her early performative lectures. Together these convey a vivid picture of Rainer's production from 1961 to 1972, and its proximity to the visual arts of the time, notably to minimalist sculpture.

A highlight of the exhibition is a 45-minute dance programme performed four times daily. Dancers trained for the occasion by Rainer and her long-time collaborator Pat Catterson will perform her celebrated works Trio A (1966) and Chair Pillow (1969), as well as the UK premieres of the very rarely seen Diagonal and Talking Solo (both 1963).

The exhibition is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator of Contemporary Art and Performance at Tate Modern, and made possible through the generous cooperation of the Getty Research Institute. The live performances are organised with Martin Hargreaves, Programme Leader at Trinity Laban Conservatoire.

Daily performances will be at 11:45am, 1:15pm, 3pm and 4:30pm.



10. Adrianne Wortzel, FF Alumn, at A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, July 22

Adrianne Wortzel, FF Alumn, at A.I.R. Gallery
Women in Art and Technology
VERSION II: July 22, 2014
A.I.R. Gallery and 2013-14 Fellowship Artist, Amelia Marzec, are pleased to announce the second installment of "Women in Art and Technology," an evening of presentations, discussion, and exhibitions.

Technology is the medium we use to communicate today, but we still experience a gender gap and a generation gap in terms of women's participation in technology as a creative medium. A.I.R. Gallery invites artists, curators, creative technologists, critics, historians and researchers with an interest in women, art, and technology to join us on July 22 for an evening event. We'll talk about women trailblazers in new media; enjoy presentations and exhibitions by digital artists; and hold a roundtable discussion to consider these issues within the larger context of the history of art. Our interest is in creating a platform for further conversations and participation at the first all female cooperative gallery in the United States.

Adrianne Wortzel
Ursula Endlicher
Abby Echiverri
Marisa Olson
Bang Geul Han

Laurel Ptak
Sarah Grant
Caleigh Fisher
Daria Dorosh
Amanda Turner Pohan
Adrianne Wortzel
Ursula Endlicher
Abby Echiverri
Marisa Olson
Bang Geul Han
Amelia Marzec

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 from 6-9pm
A.I.R. Gallery
111 Front Street, #228
Brooklyn, NY 11201
FREE with suggested donation



11. Barbara Pollack, FF Alumn, in The New York Times, July 10

Art & Design
Artists Look Beyond the Arab Spring


JULY 10, 2014

Egypt's street artists, with their in-your-face approach, aim for an immediate public response. Other Arab artists are more conceptual about their art projects, referring to current events obliquely. "Here and Elsewhere," on view at the New Museum, at 235 Bowery, Lower East Side, from July 16 through Sept. 28, features 45 artists from Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Dubai, Ramallah and Sharjah, among other cities. "There are artists looking at conflict and wars, but we did not want to restrict this to the Arab Spring," said Massimiliano Gioni, the museum's associate director, who worked with a team of curators. "This is not a show in which the artists are forced to illustrate historic changes."

Inspired by the 1976 film "Ici et Ailleurs," by the French directors Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, and Anne-Marie Miéville, a meditation on the ethics of filming the Palestinian struggle, this exhibition is preoccupied with whether images can tell the truth, "particularly when you have an overexposure through media or a simplification due to media," Mr. Gioni said. "Perhaps the role of the artist is to make the narrative of history much more complex."

ANNA BOGHIGUIAN Born in Cairo in 1946, Ms. Boghiguian, a painter, draws on a range of influences, from Queen Nefertiti to Tahrir Square to German Expressionism. Her disturbing drawings and watercolors evoke a stream of consciousness, channeling the frustration and desperation that fueled a revolution into surrealistic self-portraits and disturbing street scenes.

FAKHRI EL GHEZAL This Tunisian photographer responds to the ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 with images that blur the distinction between public and private archives. He shows aspects of his identity through pictures of collections of family photographs. But, far more pointed and satirical are his views of the empty frames and the blank spaces that once held the omnipresent visage of the former ruler.

ETEL ADNAN A Lebanese-born poet, essayist, philosophy professor and visual artist, born in 1925, she is the éminence grise in the show. Now living between Paris and Sausalito, Ms. Adnan produced a book of poetry, "The Arab Apocalypse," regarded as one of the most important literary responses to the Lebanese civil war. Combining text with marks and symbols, it offers a vision of redemption in the face of massacres and tragedy.

LAMIA JOREIGE This Lebanese artist and filmmaker demonstrates how difficult it sometimes is to distinguish fact from fiction. Her video installation "Objects of War" brings together interviews with ordinary citizens and the personal objects that evoke memories of the successive wars in Lebanon. "These testimonials, while helping to create a collective memory, also show the impossibility of telling a single history of this war," she said.

A version of this article appears in print on July 13, 2014, on page AR19 of the New York edition with the headline: Artists Look Beyond the Arab Spring. Order Reprints



12. Nina Yankowitz, FF Alumn, in The New York Times, July 11

The New York Times
N.Y. / Region | Arts | Long Island
Playing Word Games With Sacred Texts
JULY 11, 2014
The artist Nina Yankowitz is known for projecting words in glass houses, and oh how they can shatter the place. For "Criss-Crossing the Divine," her current exhibition at Guild Hall in East Hampton, she takes on sacred texts. "I've always been disturbed by the way religion is so often used to incite people towards divisive behavior," she said of the interactive show, which is scheduled to run through July 27. "It prompted me to think of ways to motivate individuals to re-examine their personal value judgments."
"Criss-Crossing the Divine" combines scriptures, digital games, video art, three-dimensional animation and robotic avatars. Examining intolerance through the lens of five major religions - Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism - the lively, intuitive piece provides visitors with a different way to experience art, despite its rather serious implications.
"I've been following her work for 20 years," said Christina Mossaides Strassfield, Guild Hall's director and chief curator. "It's intellectual and conceptual - the kind of work that can, frankly, be boring for people to look at. But Nina transcends that. Her work comes alive; you have that 'aha' moment."

Visitors entering the gallery initially find themselves in a "sanctuary" where "robotic devotees" - mannequins dressed in traditional garb representing the five faiths - communicate through their respective spiritual gestures. A Jew in a tallit and skullcap prays, a priest raises his hands in blessing; a Buddhist wearing a robe nods meditatively, a Hindu wrapped in a sari clasps her hands in prayer, and a Muslim wearing a hijab raises her open hands to praise Allah.
Behind these figures, a three-dimensional multifaith glass cathedral spins, trapped in an endless cycle of creation and destruction. The sound of the sea, of apocalyptic waters swooshing in, fills the space. Three-dimensional images of glass shards fly by. The devotees, however, are unscathed: Human folly may be able to destroy the architecture of religion, but it cannot shatter faith.
After taking in these attention-grabbing images, visitors turn to the projection-based game that is the heart of the piece. Displayed on one of the gallery's walls is a virtually painted spiral vortex; displayed on another, a six-line graph. Tap on either "game board" with a laser rod, and a topic word, culled from a vast database, appears. Up to five words may be selected at once, and players prioritize each one, assigning it high or low importance.

The value that users place on the words cues the database to search for them within five holy books: the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Old and New Testaments, the Quran and the Vedas (the Rigveda in particular is used for this exhibition). Passages from those texts and relevant to the chosen words pop up on the wall instantaneously, color-coded by religion, though players don't learn the significance of the colors until much later.

Visitors seem beguiled. The game momentarily endows each player with a bit of power, and there is a kind of a high that comes from playing high-tech wizard, wielding a wand and decreeing where, say, "God" should rank. But the endgame can be humbling when participants study their "plays."

Devon Leaver, 21, was among the perplexed. "I gave high priority to 'Woman,' and the word means something different to me than it does in these texts," said Ms. Leaver, a Guild Hall employee. One passage that appeared on the wall said women must be covered. Another read, "Neither was man created by the woman, but the woman for the man."

Taking his turn, Joe Brondo, 32, gave the word "existence" a low value, because, he said, he "thought of it as an egocentric word related to self-absorption." Mr. Brondo said he was surprised at what the database produced because he had not considered the word "in terms of being, the existence of life itself." He added: "I think this project will have people look inward, to think of their own values and compare them to different religions."
Challenging stereotypes appears to be one of the exhibition's goals. Barry Holden, Ms. Yankowitz's husband, an architect who serves as project coordinator for his wife's installations, edited the 46,000 texts in the database down to readable lengths.
"Some texts setting down rules emerged when religion was inseparable from economic and political life," Mr. Holden said. "Faiths you stereotype as gentle have violent passages, those you may think are harsh advocate love and kindness, but in most instances the core values of each faith are remarkably similar."
In addition to her husband, Ms. Yankowitz credits two international designers, Mauri Kaipainen, a Swedish media professor, and Peter Koger, an Austrian professor and software interface designer, for helping to create the user-friendly experience.
One message to be taken from "Criss-Crossing the Divine" is that shifting cultural interpretations drive human behavior more than scriptural texts do. Players can reflect further by visiting a website where they can download a copy of their word rankings, a customized mini-bible of sorts.
"This is the museum's first interactive digital exhibition and it brings timely, technology-based art to a new millennium of Guild Hall museum visitors," Ms. Strassfield said. It can also bring individuals face to face with their biases - a good idea in an age often marred by religious strife.
Nina Yankowitz: "Criss-Crossing the Divine" is at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, through July 27. Information: guildhall.org or (631) 324-0806.
A version of this article appears in print on July 13, 2014, on page LI9 of the New York edition with the headline: Playing Word Games With Sacred Texts.



Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller