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Contents for July 23, 2018

1. Martha Wilson, Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful, JP-Anne Giera, Nao Bustamante, Billy X. Curmano, Irina Danilova & Project 59, Beatrice Glow, Ivan Monforte, Linda Mary Montano, Praxis (Delia & Brainard Carey), Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle, FF Alumns, at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, Manhattan, opening Sept. 21

As Far as the Heart Can See
September 21 - November 17, 2018
At EFA Project Space, 323 W. 39th St., 2nd Floor
Gallery Hours: Wed - Sat, 12 - 6 pm or by appointment

Curatorial Walkthrough: Friday, September 21, 5 - 6 pm
Opening Reception: Friday, September 21, 6 - 8 pm

Artists: Nao Bustamante, Billy X. Curmano, Irina Danilova & Project 59, Beatrice Glow, Ivan Monforte, Linda Mary Montano, Praxis (Delia & Brainard Carey), Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle, and Martha Wilson & Franklin Furnace Archive

Curated by: Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful
Curatorial Fellow: JP-Anne Giera

In honor of EFA Project Space's tenth anniversary, we return to the heart of the matter with As Far as the Heart Can See, an exhibition that brings together art and everyday life through performance-based acts of care, transgression, and multigenerational collaboration. Curated by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful - whose elusive creative path embodies intimacy, healing, empathy, and radical generosity - the exhibition focuses on figures who parry institutional canons and over-professionalization to pursue art as a call to the heart. In the words of Linda Mary Montano, this is art that "gives one permission to..."

Artists fatigued by pressure to both make and "be" objects, take note: As Far as the Heart Can See assembles those who have shifted gear, broken away, found shelter in the wilderness, or ventured astray from art-historical validation in order to find truth. Many of those in As Far as the Heart Can See refer to what they do as a 'vocation,' suggesting bold acts and a readiness to trade normative success for something more. These artists construct new art worlds and disrupt disciplines such as ecology, healthcare, thanatology, gender studies, economics, anthropology, and social work.

Nao Bustamante's sculptures and photographs mingle the beautiful with the grotesque: duct tape, shadow-play, and boxed wine provide a material basis for an existential exploration of human desire - natural and contrived. Martha Wilson embodies a prophetic discourse, from her body transformations of the 1970s to her ongoing series of impersonations of U.S. dignitaries including Michelle Obama, Barbara Bush, and Bill Clinton. Wilson's lifework, Franklin Furnace, is an iconoclastic arts organization whose mission "to make the world safe for avant-garde art" has propelled the practices of hundreds of artists since 1976. Billy X. Curmano's performances manage to be at once modest and extreme: for instance, a ten-year-long performance in which he swam, lap by lap, the length of the Mississippi River, or the three days spent buried alive in order to perform for the dead. Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle meld sexuality and ecology into SexEcology (or Exosexuality), such as in their Exosex Weddings series, in which the duo weds soil, snow, the mountains and sea in environmental ardour.

Linda Mary Montano serves as a central guide, having cared for her elder father as art, performed blessings as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, and declaring her body to be a living sculpture, chiseled by time. Montano's performance video, NURSE! NURSE! (2016) leads us through a rehearsal of being cared for, and compels us to shout aloud the work's title. Likewise, Ivan Monforte encourages affect within the gallery's controlled emotional context. In There But For The Grace Of God Go I, he will facilitate free and confidential HIV screenings and referrals to visitors at EFA, in partnership with Gay Men's Health Crisis. Beatrice Glow traverses anthropology, ethnography, botany, and archeology to awaken latent imaginaries. Her film, Taparaco Myth (2009), unfolds as a journey through urban and rural South America to trace the migratory route of the Asian immigrant, El Chino. Russian-born Irina Danilova's move to the US in 1995 led to a numerological obsession with the number "59, " manifesting as a compilation of poems from page 59 of popular poetry collections, dinners prepared from recipes found on page 59 of different cookbooks, and a climbing plant that proclaims "59" on the gallery's wall. Praxis' (Delia & Brainard Carey) interventions comprise an unusual inventory of strategies, substances, and rituals, such as a long-distance prayer through the Internet and Band-Aids for invisible wounds. The exhibition features documentation of Forget Me Not (2004), which tells the story of Brainard Carey's mother's death and burial in two parts: "Tools for the Living" and "Tools for the Dying." Highlighting longform and durational work, the exhibition also features performance documentation, ephemera, manifestos, interviews, and artist proposals culled from nearly 20 years of the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art; a testament to the transient and intransigent lifework of cultural producers.

Launched in September 2008, EFA Project Space was founded on the belief that art is intrinsically tied to the individuals who produce it, the communities that arise because of it, and to everyday life. For our 10-year anniversary, we have assembled an exhibition of artists who give permission to operate astride genres, enact manifestos, rethink disciplines, initiate mentorship, nurture community, and redefine civic engagement. As Far as the Heart Can See asks us to roll up our sleeves and pursue our calling.

RELATED EVENTS

Wednesday, October 3rd, 6:30 PM to 8 PM
AGING AS ART and Performing for the Dead
An evening with seminal and enigmatic performance artists Linda Mary Montano and Billy X. Curmano
Saturday, October 20, 1 - 5 PM
In Honor Of ...
A performance series in the gallery hosted in conjunction with EFA Open Studios. Performers were nominated by artists in As Far as the Heart Can See, including former mentees, current students, assistants, and younger artists whose work they admire: Nina Isabelle, Sindy Butz, Elena Bajo, Xinan (Helen) Ran, and Larissa Gilbert

Thursday, November 1st, 6:30 - 8 PM
Screening: Elizabeth Stephens' and Annie Sprinkle's Good Bye Gauley Mountain: An Eco-Sexual Love Story (2013)
Post-film Q&A with Lillian Ball and Brooke Singer
Saturday, November 10th, 2018, 2-5 pm
The Non-Professional Development Workshop
In partnership with the Artist Alliance Inc. (AAI)
Participants: Bill Carroll, Mary Ting, Jodi Waynberg, and Martha Wilson

Meghana Karnik, Associate Director
meghana@efanyc.org / 212-563-5855 x 229

CURATOR
Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful's approach manifests itself performatively or through experiences where the quotidian and art overlap. He has exhibited and performed extensively in the U.S. as well as internationally. Residencies attended include P.S. 1/MoMA, Yaddo, Center for Book Arts, and the MacDowell Colony. Estévez Raful Holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, where he studied with Coco Fusco; and an MA from Union Theological Seminary. He has received mentorship in art in everyday life from Linda Mary Montano, a historic figure in the performance art field. Montano and Estévez Raful have also collaborated on several performances. Publications include Pleased to Meet You, One Person at a Time, Life as Material for Art and Vice Versa (editor), and For Art's Sake. He has curated exhibitions and programs for El Museo del Barrio; the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary; Art in Odd Places; Cuchifritos; the Center for Book Arts; and Longwood Art Gallery/Bronx Council on the Arts, New York; and for the Filmoteca de Andalucía, Córdoba, Spain. Estévez Raful is the founding director of The Mangú Museum (pronounced man-goo). He was born in Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, Dominican Republic. In 2011, he was baptized as a Bronxite; a citizen of the Bronx.

ARTISTS

Nao Bustamante is an internationally known artist, originally from California; she now resides in Los Angeles. Bustamante's precarious work encompasses performance art, video installation, visual art, filmmaking, and writing. The New York Times says, "She has a knack for using her body." Bustamante has presented in galleries, museums, universities and underground sites all around the world. In 2001 she received the prestigious Anonymous Was a Woman fellowship, and in 2007 named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, as well as a Lambent Fellow. In 2008 She received the Chase Legacy award in Film (In conjunction with Kodak and HBO). In 2014/15 Bustamante was the Queer Artist in Residence at UC Riverside and in 2015 she was a UC MEXUS Scholar in Residence in preparation for a solo exhibit at Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles. Bustamante's video work is in the Kadist Collection.

Billy X. Curmano is an award winning artist/adventurer and former McKnight Foundation Interdisciplinary Art Fellow. He was trained as a painter and sculptor. His works have found their way to MoMA, among other prestigious collections. Curmano came to music through the back door using soundscapes in "live art" and is probably best known for edgy performances. His more eccentric pieces include a 3-day live burial, a 2,000 plus mile Mississippi River Swim, a 40-day Death Valley Desert Fast and a sojourn to the Arctic Circle on public transport. He's won awards for performance and film as well as for a solo CD. Curmano has toured every way imaginable including 6,200 miles and 15 cities in 45 days on a Greyhound Bus and intrigued audiences from the Dalai Lama's World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles to New York City's famed Franklin Furnace. Journalists have dubbed him the court jester of Southern Minnesota.

Irina Danilova is an experimental visual and performance artist of life long and serial projects, curator, founder of 59 Seconds Video Festival and Executive Director of Project 59 Inc. Born and raised in Kharkov, Ukraine, she lived in Moscow, and since 1994 lives and works in New York. Danilova has an MFA from the School of Visual Arts (1996) and teaches art at CUNY. In 1995, she started Project 59, using a random number as a lens of perception and a universal motive for exploration. Originally conceived as a one-year project, "95 as bread and butter, 59 as butter and bread - the same", the project has generated an ongoing sequence of artworks. Within Project 59 Danilova examines the mechanism of perception and outermost range of creative approaches.

Beatrice Glow tells stories that lie in the shadows of colonialism through installations and experiential technologies. She has been named Artist-in-Residence at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, Honolulu Biennial artist, Wave Hill Van Lier Fellow, Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Finalist, Hemispheric Institute Council Member, Franklin Furnace Fund grantee and Fulbright Scholar. Solo exhibitions include "Aromérica Parfumeur" with Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Chile; "Lenapeway" and "The Wayfinding Project" at NYU; "Rhunhattan" at Wave Hill; and "Floating Library" on the Hudson River. She is featured in Duke University Press' Cultural Politics 13.2, and wrote What is Chino? Memories and Imaginaries of Asian Latin America for post at MoMA.

New York-based Ivan Monforte was born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996, and an M.F.A. from New York University in 2004. He has shown at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Longwood Art Gallery, The Queens Museum, El Museo del Barrio, Artists Space as part of PERFORMA05, Elizabeth Foundation Gallery, Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, La MaMa Galleria, and Socrates Sculpture Park. He is the recipient of a UCLA Art Council Award, a Lambent Fellowship in the Arts from the Tides Foundation, and an Art Matters grant for research in Samoa. He has participated in residencies at Sidestreet Projects, Lower East Side Print Shop, Center for Book Arts, and Smack Mellon.

Linda Mary Montano is a seminal figure in contemporary performance art and her work since the mid-1960s has been critical in the development of video by, for, and about women. Attempting to dissolve the boundaries between art and life, Montano continues to actively explore her art/life through shared experience, role adoption, and intricate life altering ceremonies, some of which last for seven or more years. Montano's artwork is starkly autobiographical and often concerned with personal and spiritual transformation. Montano's influence is wide-ranging - she has been featured at museums including The New Museum in New York, MOCA San Francisco, and ICA in London.

Praxis (Delia and Brainard Carey) is a two person collaborative that was formed in 2000 and was first featured in 2001 in PS1/MOMA's Greater New York show. In 2002 they were in the Whitney Biennial for their visual art and a series of performative actions. They are a husband and wife team. After numerous other exhibitions: Reina Sofia, MOMA, Whitney solo show in 2007, they began a new artist project - building an institution, MONA, (The Museum of Non-Visible Art). MONA has been interviewing artists, curators, and writers from all over the world, as part of an artist-built institution and a social practice. Over 600 interviews have been conducted to date.

Elizabeth Stephens, Ph.D., has been a filmmaker, performance artist, activist and educator for three decades. Stephens is the Founding Director of E.A.R.T.H. Lab at UC Santa Cruz where she is the Department Chair and a Professor of Art. In the last five years she has produced two feature documentary films, and has exhibited installations and done performance art in galleries, museums and in public space. Annie Sprinkle has been creating multi-media projects about sexuality for four decades. She made adult films and B movies from 1974 - 1994, then earned a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality. She bridged into art and toured theater pieces about her life and work in sex to many countries. Her newest book, which she co-authored with Beth Stephens, Explorer's Guide to Planet Orgasm-For Every Body, is all about orgasm. Together Stephens and Sprinkle are founders of the "ecosex movement" where they aim to make the environmental movement more sexy, fun, and diverse. They were official Document 14 artists (2017) where their new film, "Water Makes Us Wet-An Ecosexual Adventure" premiered, along with a visual art exhibit and gave Ecosex Walking Tour performances. Currently they're completing a book about their 18 years of collaboration, Assuming the Ecosexual Position for University of Minnesota Press. They are in love with each other, and with the Earth.

Martha Wilson is a pioneering feminist artist and gallery director, who over the past four decades created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity through role-playing, costume transformations, and "invasions" of other people's personae. She began making these videos and photo/text works in the early 1970s while in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and further developed her performative and video-based practice after moving in 1974 to New York City, embarking on a long career that would see her gain attention across the U.S. for her provocative appearances and works. In 1976 she also founded and continues to direct Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc., whose mission is to present, preserve, interpret, proselytize and advocate on behalf of avant-garde art - especially forms that may be vulnerable due to institutional neglect, cultural bias, their ephemeral nature, or politically unpopular content.

EFA Project Space is located at 323 W. 39th St., 2nd Floor, NYC.
www.projectspace-efanyc.org, projectspace@efanyc.org
Gallery hours: Wed - Sat, 12 - 6 PM

EFA Project Space, launched in September 2008 as a program of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary arts venue founded on the belief that art is directly connected to the individuals who produce it, the communities that arise because of it, and to everyday life; and that by providing an arena for exploring these connections, we empower artists to forge new partnerships and encourage the expansion of ideas.

The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (EFA) is a 501 (c) (3) public charity. Through its three core programs, EFA Studios, EFA Project Space and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, EFA is dedicated to providing artists across all disciplines with space, tools and a cooperative forum for the development of individual practice. www.efanyc.org

EFA Project Space is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and additional funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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2. Paul McMahon, FF Alumn, at Super Dutchess Gallery, Manhattan, opening Aug. 3

Please visit SuperDutchess.com for complete information on Paul McMahon, FF Alumn, at Super Dutchess Gallery, Manhattan, opening Aug. 3

Thank you.

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3. Hector Canonge and Verónica Peña, FF Alumns, at Espacio Lavadero, Granada, Spain, July 25, and more

Espacio Lavadero
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Granada, Spain
https://www.facebook.com/events/627298624311052/

Arte en la Tierra
Residency, July 29 - August 4, 2018
Performance, August 4 / In-situ Installation, August 4 - 26, 2018
La Rioja, Spain
https://www.facebook.com/arteenlatierra/

Hector Canonge and Verónica Peña continue their collaborative projects for 2018 with the presentation of "CONVERGENCES" at Espacio Lavadero in Granada, Spain, and "REFLEJOS" at Arte en la Tierra in La Rioja, Spain. The new body of work created by the artists proposes possible explorations of unfamiliar territories through the use of everyday elements, corporeal movement, and physical endurance. Through installation, performance art, and immersive environments, Canonge and Peña will further develop the collaborative explorations in performance art they started in New York City in 2016.

Statement:
Our collaborative work is centered around the practice of Performance Art, and it treats issues related to identity, migration, cultural exchange, and human understanding. Our creative process often departs from the space in which we will work or deliver the performance. At other times we draw inspiration from local customs, traditions, and popular objects we encounter in the places we visit or where we spend longer periods of time. Our new body of work is inspired by the geographical properties and characteristics of the places we will inhabit in the upcoming months. As we take our work on the road, we hope to further contribute to the development of Performance Art and to its various modalities of expression and exploration.

Biographical Information (Brief):
HECTOR CANONGE and VERÓNICA PEÑA are performance artists working at the convergence of various disciplines. Peña (Spain) and Canonge (Argentina) are based in the United States. They met in 2014 during their participation at the Month of Performance Art in Berlin. After presenting work independently in the United States, and coinciding in various programs in Europe and Latin America, they started to collaborate in a series of works exploring themes of identity, migration, intercultural exchange, and human cohesion. As collaborators, since 2016, they have presented their work in the United States and Spain. In New York City, they have performed: De lo Posible (of Possibilities) at Triskelion Arts; De lo Ajeno (of Others) at Queens Museum, and Rabbithole; De lo Lejano (of the Distant) at Panoply Performance Lab; and De Lo Nuestro (of Ours) at The Woods Cooperative. They presented the Exhibition and Performance Art program Under Our Skin: Body and Territory in Performance Art at Purdue University, Indiana. In Spain, as part of their project Derivas y Jornadas, they presented their work at Fundación BilbaoArte (Bilbao), Festival Instramurs (Valencia), Tabacalera (Madrid), and La Grey Gallery (Tarragona), amongst others. The artists are currently preparing the continuation of their collaborative series for future presentations in Europe (Summer 2018), and in the United States (Fall 2018).

Contact:

Hector Canonge
hectorcanonge@gmail.com
http://www.hectorcanonge.net

Verónica Peña
veronicapemar@gmail.com
http://www.veronicapena.com

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4. EIDIA House, FF Alumns, summer news

Hello Colleagues and Friends of EIDIA House & Plato's Cave,

Busyness has kept us from reaching out to you, but if you happen to be in the NYC area this summer, we have "duo" exhibitions at Ryan/Lee Gallery, and or if you happen to be in Switzerland in August we will be there filming artists cooking and performing food-you could participate.

Open now to August 10, 2018, at the Ryan Lee Gallery in Chelsea (26th Street at the High Line), you can view a selection of 32 artworks from FOOD SEX ART the Starving Artists' Cookbook & Video Archive curated by Jeff Lee and Arthur Fournier Fine & Rare with EIDIA and view video of THE HIGHLIGHTS TAPE looping on two classic 1980s period Sony 23″ PVM-2030 Cube CRT monitors.

For the Gallery's RLWindow EIDIA was invited by to created a site specific installation. "Done Deck," consists of 61 repurposed skateboard 'decks' - best viewed from the High Line.

Plans for the launch of video taping for the second edition of FOOD SEX ART the Starving Artists' Cookbook & Video series has been in the works for the past year and next month we will be in Bern Switzerland to video tape numerous Swiss and European artists for a special large chapter in the second edition and yes including all those artists in the first edition-with their original artworks and recipes! EIDIA House is looking for a publisher and an editor for its publication in 2019 and are open to your suggestions and referrals.

We have been encouraged by many to take our archive of 30 years of the FOOD SEX ART the Starving Artists' Cookbook & Video Series (1986-91) out of its climate controlled storage and place it in the public domain (artworks, video and ephemera in their entirety to a museum and or library) for viewing and scholarship of those "heady" East Village art scene days. We will keep you in the loop as to how all of this shapes up.

Thank you again for your following the antics of EIDIA House, best in your work.
Melissa &
Paul
EIDIA
eidia.com
eidiahouse@earthlink.net
Follow us on instagram #eidiahouse

https://ryanleegallery.com/exhibitions/food-sex-art-the-starving-artists-cookbook/

https://ryanleegallery.com/exhibitions/melissa-wolf-paul-lamarre-done-decks/

https://www.eidia.com/food-sex-art-the-starving-artists-cookbook.html

PS : And if you have colleagues who you feel would enjoy cooking or performing for the FOOD SEX ART shoots in Bern, Switzerland, please refer.

As I type we just received this listing in the Armory Show Newsletter

Three's a Crowd

A selection of four not-to-miss group shows taking place around New York City this summer.

Sean Kelly
Chelsea
Ravelled Threads
July 22 - August 3
Organized in collaboration with Mariane Ibrahim.

Kasmin Gallery
Chelsea
Almost Solid Light: New Work from Mexico
June 21 - August 17
Organized in collaboration with Mario Navarro.

Lyles & King
Lower East Side
Dead Eden
June 6 - August 3

Ryan Lee Gallery
Chelsea
Food Sex Art The Starving Artists' Cookbook
July 11 - August 10

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5. Nancy Burson, FF Member, on Time Magazine, July 30

For the illustrated cover of Time Magazine please visit
http://time.com/5342562/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-summit-crisis-cover/

At first glance, the man on TIME's July 30, 2018, cover might seem familiar: it was created by morphing images of two of the world's most recognizable men, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The composite image, by visual artist Nancy Burson, is meant to represent this particular moment in U.S. foreign policy, following the pair's recent meeting in Helsinki, Finland. As Brian Bennett writes in this week's cover story, "A year and a half into his presidency, Trump's puzzling affinity for Putin has yet to be explained. Trump is bruised by the idea that Russian election meddling taints his victory, those close to him say, and can't concede the fact that Russia did try to interfere in the election, regardless of whether it impacted the outcome. He views this problem entirely through a political lens, these people say, unable or unwilling to differentiate between the question of whether his campaign colluded with Russia-which he denies-and the question of whether Russia attempted to influence the election." To represent that conflict, Burson merged the faces of Trump and Putin into a still image and video which morphs between the shifting appearances of the two world leaders. Over three decades ago, Burson, featured in TIME's 100 Photographs, which documented the most influential photographs of all time, began her pioneering photographic work with MIT scientists, leading to the development of computer-generated compositing technology. "I wanted to create answers to unasked questions," says Burson, about the origins of her artistic process, "like what would it look like if you put six men and six women together?"She became well known for developing a technique to age faces, which is used by the FBI to find missing children. Most famously, she created the aged image of kidnapped 6-year-old Etan Patz that appeared on the front page of the New York Post in 1985.She says the goal of her latest composite is to help readers "stop and think" when it comes to similarities between the two leaders. "What my work has always been about is allowing people to see differently," she adds. "The combining of faces is a different way for people to see what they couldn't see before.""I think the best art can change people's perception of how they see how they are as human beings," says Burson. "Art makes everything possible and beyond."

In addition to the still image for the July 30 issue, Burson created a video image as well, which morphs back and forth between the seemingly-ever changing appearances of the two men. Burson, the designer of the latest cover, is a trailblazer in this type of art, starting with her work 30 years ago with scientists at MIT which led to the development of computer-generated compositing technology. Burson told Time her goal with the Trump-Putin image was to make people "stop and think" about the similarities between the two leaders. "What my work has always been about is allowing people to see differently," she said. "The combining of faces is a different way for people to see what they couldn't see before." (https://wgntv.com/2018/07/19/trump-and-putin-morph-into-same-person-in-new-time-magazine-cover/)

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6. Paul Henry Ramirez, FF Alumn, at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas, and more

Dear friends and colleagues,

I hope you are having a terrific summer!

I'm happy to announce Sweet On, my solo exhibition at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, August 17, 2018 - July 28, 2019. Sweet On, commissioned by The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, is a site-responsive installation consisting of wall paintings, canvases and stained-glass-like murals. If you are in town I hope you will have a chance to see the show!

I'm also pleased to announce that the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Washington, DC has acquired my papers for their permanent collection. See NEWS below.

Please contact me at phr@paulhenryramirez.art if you have any questions.

Warmest regards,

Paul Henry

Sweet On embraces the sophistication of the body and its abilities to elicit joy, one of our most sought-after emotions. -Erin Dziedzic, Director of Curatorial Affairs

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7. Guerrilla Girls BroadBand, Jenny Holzer, Suzanne Lacy, Ana Mendieta, Shirin Neshat, Yoko Ono, FF Alumns, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Manhattan, opening Sept. 12

THE UN-HEROIC ACT:
Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women's Art in the U.S.

curated by Monika Fabijanska

September 4 - November 2, 2018

opening reception: September 12, 5:30-8:30 PM
symposium: October 3, 5-9 PM
gallery hours: Monday-Friday 10-6

The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY presents a groundbreaking exhibition The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women's Art in the U.S. It will be on view at 860 Eleventh Avenue (between 58th & 59th Street, ground floor), New York, NY 10019, from September 4 to November 2, 2018, Mon-Fri 10-6. The opening reception will be held on Wednesday, September 12, from 5:30-8:30 PM. The exhibition, curated by Monika Fabijanska, will be accompanied by a catalog and public programming, including a symposium on October 3, 5-9 PM in the Moot Court, John Jay College.

The Un-Heroic Act is a concentrated survey of works by a diverse roster of artists representing three generations - and including Jenny Holzer, Suzanne Lacy, Ana Mendieta, Senga Nengudi, Yoko Ono, and Kara Walker - which aims to fill a gap in the history of art, where the subject of rape has been represented by countless historical depictions by male artists, called 'heroic acts' by Susan Brownmiller. What makes women's works radically different is the focus not on the action or drama, but on the lasting psychological devastation of the victim: her suffering, silence, shame, and loneliness. Recent works also address regaining control over the victim's sexuality and psyche and reclaiming the cultural narrative. Often strikingly beautiful, these works are rarely shown or their true meaning is obscured.

Fabijanska's research shows that rape constitutes one of central themes in women's art, and the aim of the exhibition is to analyze its rich iconography in all mediums: drawing, painting, sculpture and installation, photography, video, film, new media, performance, and social practice. Since she originated the project in 2015, the curator has identified more than 250 works about rape - just by the most acclaimed artists, from Käthe Kollwitz and Frida Kahlo to Louise Bourgeois, Niki de Saint Phalle, Shirin Neshat, to Tracey Emin.

The exhibition title refers to Susan Brownmiller's phrase 'heroic act,' which characterizes the male narrative of rape as a dramatic struggle culminating with romantic submission. The use of the term 'rape' in the title of the exhibition reflects the selection of only those works that directly concern rape rather than the broader problem of sexual harassment. It also confronts society's reluctance to use the word that in four painful letters directly describes the utmost suffering of millions of women and bias toward euphemisms such as 'sexual abuse.' Only recently, thanks to the Me Too movement the use of the term has become more frequent, calling attention to the shaming of victims and lack of public debate.

Recognizing the vastness of material, the exhibition narrows the selection of works to the rape of women. With a diverse roster of US artists, it presents subjects specific to American culture, not the artists' countries of origin, and explores such issues that inspired artists to treat the subject of rape as: fairy tales and art history, rape as a war crime, rape in the military, slavery, rape epidemic on Indian reservations, women trafficking, college rape culture, domestic violence, criminal trials, the role of social media, etc. The Un-Heroic Act examines remarkably varied visual languages artists employed - from figuration to abstraction to text - depending on their purpose, from shocking the audience, evoking empathy, to healing.

The Un-Heroic Act is not so much an exhibition about rape as about the iconography of rape. The curatorial selection takes into account several elements at the same time: 1/ three generations of artists; 2/ ethnic diversity (artists of American Indian, African American, and Asian origins, and Latinas); 3/ all visual mediums, from drawing to social practice; 4/ themes that inspired artists to treat the subject (from fairy tales and art history to rape as a war crime); and finally 5/ varied visual languages artists chose to tackle such sensitive subject.

The exhibition is organized by the Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Generous funding for the exhibition is provided by the Affirmation Arts Fund and Sarah Peter. Public Programming Artists' Fees are made possible by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Museum Educational Trust. The catalog is made possible by Barbara Lee Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by Sigmund A. Rolat and Beth Rudin DeWoody. The Un-Heroic Act is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts.

ARTISTS IN THE EXHIBITION: Yoko Ono, Ana Mendieta, Senga Nengudi, Suzanne Lacy, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Carolee Thea, Guerrilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Kathleen Gilje, Angela Fraleigh, Natalie Frank, Jennifer Karady, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Andrea Bowers, Ada Trillo, Kara Walker, Roya Amigh, Naima Ramos-Chapman, Bang Geul Han, and Guerrilla Girls BroadBand.

ABOUT THE CURATOR
Monika Fabijanska is an art historian and independent curator based in NYC, who specializes in women's art and feminist art. She originated the idea and provided curatorial consulting and institutional support for The Museum of Modern Art acquisition and retrospective exhibition of the feminist sculptor Alina Szapocznikow (2012); she consulted on WACK! Art in the Feminist Revolution with curator Connie Butler (MoCA LA, 2007); and Global Feminisms with Maura Reilly (Brooklyn Museum, 2007). She produced and co-organized Architectures of Gender: Contemporary Women's Art in Poland (SculptureCenter, NYC, 2003) with Aneta Szylak.

ABOUT SHIVA GALLERY
The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY is a 4,000 sq. ft. art facility opened in 2013 on the ground floor of JJC's building near Lincoln Center. It established a profile, noted in the coverage by The New York Times, as a venue devoted to socially engaged art. Shiva Gallery provides an unrestricted forum for artists and curators to explore issues that challenge our precepts of social justice and human rights and the engaged role that the arts play in this process. The whole JJC campus is fully ADA compliant.

For more information, visit www.shivagallery.org

Please contact the gallery at gallery@jjay.cuny.edu, 212.237.1439 for inquiries, images and interview requests. You may also direct questions to the curator, monika@monikafabijanska.com; detailed updates at www.monikafabijanska.com

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8. Isabella Bannerman, FF Alumn, at White Plains Public Library Gallery, NY, thru September 25

https://whiteplainslibrary.org/gallery/

Two shows by the Studio Collective, "Our River", and "Our Library", are combined in the second floor gallery space at the White Plains Public Library Gallery. The gallery follows the same hours as the library, and will be on view until September 25th, 2018.

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9. Rachel Mason, FF Member, at Red Cat, Los Angeles, CA, Aug. 2-4

Singularity Song
Tickets $20.00
Thursday August 2, 8:30pm
Friday August 3, 8:30pm
Sat August 4, 8:30pm
31 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or REDCAT
A large scale video environment creates a virtual black hole, where a song cycle becomes a score for gravitational waves, and renowned dancer and choreographer Oguri inhabits a dimension beyond earth. Interviews with Caltech's Kip Thorne and Rana Adhikari weave into the musical landscape.

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Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller