Presented by Recession Art, Curated by Legacy Russell
October 29-November 6, 2011 at The Invisible Dog
Jizzy Canal’s Commencement Speech © 2011 The Republican Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
VIP First Glance Reception: Friday, October 28, 2011
Rite of Initiation: Saturday, October 29th, 2011
All Saints Dinner: Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Talkin’ to You is Like Droppin’ a Dime: A Discursive Walkthrough Wednesday November 2, 2011
Bad Feminist Readings: Thursday November 3, 2011
Dancehall Queen / Last Rites: Saturday November 5, 2011
About American Idolatry:
Christopher Gideon, Cross of St George
For seven days, American Idolatry will transform the Invisible Dog Art Center in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn into a house of worship. Throughout the week, the public will be invited to view artworks and performances, and partake in evening educational programming, as curated by Legacy Russell and a diverse team of up-and-coming artists, academics, and cultural producers — the future of creative America.
The public in New York has a tradition of participating in collective gatherings and ceremonies, from the memorializing of those lost in 9/11 to the tributes made to Michael Jackson. These shrines can take a multitude of forms, complete with paraphernalia, flowers, and pictures. Never entirely permanent, our shrines represent triumphs, losses, and moments of realization. In addition to these physical manifestations, we mirror our beliefs in action, our bodies responding in rituals— knocking on wood, kissing the rearview mirror at a stoplight, locking eyes when toasting glasses, blowing out candles. These actions signify the existence of a rubric of belief and faith within the otherwise banal everyday.
Shrines and their rituals act as socio-cultural unifiers and signifiers. They function as modern-day relics of memory, creating a lens through which we reconstruct our personal perceptions and our notions of the world around us, provoking emotion and imbuing us with a sense of belonging, a sense of history. Shrine-building can orient us politically: putting flags in windows, bumper stickers on cars, or purchasing presidential memorabilia to mark a moment in history. They are not only a portrait of their maker, but also a reflection of the complex global culture surrounding us.
Artists of American Idolatry will make use of physical action, installation, and experimentation to assert spaces with a shrine-like religious artifice that, though constructed, will strive to function as “real” sites of idolatry, worship, and remembrance of America and its rich socio-cultural histories. Artists will be asked to reflect on what the notion of America and American identity means to them, as influenced by pop culture aesthetic and contemporary politics.
Meet The Curator: Legacy Russell
Maia Murphy and Eli Dvorkin, Dead Reckoning
Curator Legacy Russell (LEGACY) is an East Village born-and-bred artist, writer, curator, and creative producer. Residing in New York City, Legacy has worked at The Bruce High Quality Foundation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Brooklyn Museum of Art; in 2010 she was granted a six-month Curatorial Fellowship with CREATIVE TIME. Legacy is the co-founder of online journal and project space ContactProject.net (CONTACT) and was recently appointed as Art Editor of BOMB magazine renowned online journal, BOMBlog.
Meet The Artists:
Lizzie Gill, I Don’t See Me In Your Eyes Anymore
Danielle Abrams’ practice began in painting and installation and now encompasses performance and social engagement. Her works address the themes of cross-cultural history, bi-racial identity, and popular culture. She performs as her multiracial cast of family members, and incites participatory extravaganzas. From her New York City lineage of Jewish toomlers and bubbies, and African-American ancestry from the South, emerge a blend of personae that subvert a one-dimensional portrait. Abrams has performed at a wide range of art spaces, galleries, festivals, and museums including the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Jewish Museum (NY), Bronx Museum of Art, Queens Museum of Art, Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario, The Kitchen, WOW Café Theater, and the Intervene! Interrupt! Conference. She is the former director of the San Francisco performance space BUILD (Performance. Art.Objects.). She has been awarded grants and fellowships from theFranklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA),Urban Artist Initiative, Skowhegan School of Art, and Yale School of Painting. Abrams teaches at York College (CUNY) and at the MFA Program for Interdisciplinary Art at Goddard College.
CHERYL is a four-member, semi-anonymous, often cat-masked artist collective based in Brooklyn, New York, known for its video art, museum installations, performances and dance parties. CHERYL explores the themes of mortality, mania, the feline-human connection, the limits of shoulders, the flammability of dollar-store hair extensions, and the staining power of fake blood. Through themes ranging from topical to bizarre, the CHERYLs revel in the joyous power of dance-induced psychosis/euphoria. CHERYL has been bringing its particular brand of FRESHMAGICK™ to New York City since colonial times, and has since acquired a dedicated cult following and media attention for over-the-top happenings involving outrageous costumes, exuberant dance moves, and participatory dance floor suicide. Since 2008, CHERYL has produced a thematic video every four to eight weeks.
Jonah Emerson-Bell is a sculptor who lives and works in Brooklyn NY. By using a variety of materials including: found objects, bronze and neon he creates thought provoking and often humorous depictions of contemporary issues. Recently he was part of the Shadow Shop exhibition at the SFMOMA and his work was featured on the cover of the summer 2010 issue of Bookforum. He is currently involved in the Dithyrambalina project that will be opening in New Orleans in October of 2011.
Ryan Frank is a Recession Art alum, having exhibited his work in What is the Where? at the Invisible Dog last year. He is a current artist-in-residence at The Wassaic Project and has exhibited his artwork and projects in various venues throughout New York City, upstate New York and Connecticut. As a curator he organized a series of pop-up exhibitions throughout NYC with the curatorial collective Ad Nauseam Lyceum from 2006-2009. Recent curatorial projects include Ode Hotel at the Wassaic Project, Used Books at the Winkleman Gallery Curatorial Research Lab, and Reflective Landscape at the Granary, a private exhibition space in Litchfield County, CT.
Danny Ghitis (1982) was born in Cali, Colombia and emigrated to the U.S. at four-years-old. After graduating in 2006 with a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Florida, Danny interned at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and St. Petersburg Times newspapers. He now freelances in both New York City and South Florida for a variety of clients including the New York Times. The pursuit of Danny’s elusive cultural identity informs his work, compelling him to question his surroundings and embrace constant change. He believes that strong satirical imagery can spark curiosity in every person. And that everyone, in turn, is capable of contributing to social progress.
Christopher Gideon was born in Royal Oak, Michigan in 1977. After moving about the Metro Detroit area, he returned to Royal Oak where he currently lives and works. He completed his graduate program at Lawrence Technological University, where he received a Master of Architecture degree in 2005. In late 2009, after over a decade working in the field of Architecture, Gideon pursued the Arts. Gideon’s work has been featured in recent exhibitions at the Spring Arts Tower, Los Angeles, CA; the New Studio A.D., Albuquerque, NM; Art Effect Gallery, Detroit, MI.
Lizzie Gill recently graduated with a B.S. in Fine Art from Skidmore College. Her concentrations include oil painting, mixed media drawing and medium format film photography. She recently opened a studio/gallery in Port Chester, NY, where she continues to pursue the concept of appropriation and her interest in acknowledging the past through its visual incorporation into the present.
Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich and Diane Exavier
Madeleine Hunt – Ehrlich’s work considers the specific cultures of Caribbean-American neighborhoods. Her images and writing on the Caribbean have been published by the Studio Museum of Harlem and will appear in upcoming issue ofSmall Axe: A Caribbean Platform for Criticism. Her recent exhibit, funded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council,Things and Time was on view this past winter at Clemente Soto Velez Gallery in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She studied photography at Hampshire College where she received a Bachelor of the Arts degree in photography and film, as well as at Edna Manley College of the Performing and Visual Arts in Kingston, Jamaica and the International Center of Photography in New York.
Diane Exavier was born and raised in Brooklyn, USA. She left Flatbush Junction to pursue a BA in Theater and Dance at Amherst College and has spent the last two years working with teen programs at the Whitney Museum of American Art. When she’s not kicking it with 16-year-olds, she writes plays. Recent performances of her work include staged readings at PS122 and Space on White. Diane also lives for a good side hustle, which for her, includes work in costume design and dramaturgy. She has collaborated with new theater house for Midsummer at the Brooklyn Lyceum and has also worked on Blood Dazzler at Harlem Stage Theater and Ti Jean and His Brothers at Central Square Theater in Boston. Diane is headed back up to the Pioneer Valley this fall to pursue an MFA in Theater at Smith College.
Sam Keller was born in New York City, and received a BFA in Painting from RISD in 2009. In 2010, he co-founded R.K. Projects, an experimental gallery platform utilizing vacant and under-recognized spaces. Keller’s work is largely process driven, using materials ranging from food, high-tech industrial finishes and trash. He currently lives in Providence, RI.
Since receiving his MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2003, Lazarus has established an international exhibition history with solo shows at Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery (Cologne), D3 Projects (Los Angeles),Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago), and a 12×12 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Lazarus’ work has appeared in many group exhibitions, including: the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago),P.P.O.W (New York), the Renaissance Society (Chicago), Das Weisse Haus (Vienna), The Future Gallery (Berlin, Germany), Rotterdam Hofplein (Netherlands), and Queens Museum of Art. His work may be found in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Bank of America LaSalle Photography Collection, the Ruttenburg Collection (Chicago), and the Spertus Institute (Chicago), among others.
Maia Murphy grew up in Pueblo, Colorado and moved to New York in 2004. She received a BA in Art History from Barnard College and has both worked and volunteered for several New York-based arts organizations. Maia currently serves as Program Manager at Recess Activities, Inc.
Eli moved to New York in 2004 to attend Columbia University. After graduating with a degree in anthropology, he has worked as a journalist, editor, and cook, while occasionally organizing performances across the city. He is now the Operations Coordinator for Art House Co-op.
Maia and Eli live and work in New York City.
Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen’s artistic practice is multifaceted and uses a broad range of media, which includes sound, video, photography and printmaking. Her interest lies in revealing the unnoticed political relevance of seemingly innocent anecdotes by shedding a novel light on trivial stories. In this respect, the most valuable research material pertinent to this process is the one that was not intended for information or overlooked by the canons of History. Nguyen was a fellow at Whitney Independent Study Program in 2010-2011 and received her Masters of Fine Arts and Diploma in Critical Studies at the Malmö Art Academy in Sweden. Her work was included in reputable international exhibitions and was shown at Gasworks (UK); Pictura Gallery/Skånska Konstmuseum (SE); Cranbrook Museum (USA); Rooseum Museum of Contemporary Art (SE); and the Living Art Museum (IS). She also participated in a number of international residencies, including the Banff Centre (CA) and L’appartement 22 (MO) with an upcoming project at Nhasan Studio (VN). Nguyen distinguishes herself by being the recipient of numerous grants, notably the prestigious Swedish Research and Development Fellowship in the Arts and more recently the BRIC Media Fellowship by BRIC Arts|Media|Bklyn to name a few.
Rance Palmer grew up in Minneapolis, MN and began experimenting with drag at a very early age. He received his BA in Visual Arts and Photography from Hampshire College in Western MA where he also developed his new drag persona, Jizzy Canal, a celebrated film actress of Hollywood’s golden era who lives in the present day. By crossing disciplines and media Rance’s drag challenges notions of glamour, femininity, and class. Rance is also a working freelance hair stylist and make up artist in NYC.
Born in St. Louis, MO, Sandra Payne’s work includes installation, sculpture, digital movies, and collage. She currently resides in New York City’s East Village.
K.K. Pomerantz lives in Philadelphia, PA, where she works as a painter, writer, and sustainable agriculturalist. She also co-manages an oyster farm and habitat restoration project in Greenport, NY. She holds a degree from the University of Chicago in Art History, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She grew up in New York City.
Kenya (Robinson) is a community-taught artist from Gainesville Florida and is a manipulator of a variety of mediums. Ranging from performance to sculpture, and many spaces in between, she is a past resident of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s WorkSpace Program (2009-2010) and the 2010 Triangle Arts Workshop. Her sculptural work has been exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Diasporan Arts, The Jersey City Museum, The Aljira Center for Contemporary Art and The 60 Wall Street Gallery at Deutsche Bank. In addition, her performances have been featured atThe Kitchen, Rush Arts Gallery, MoMA PS1, The DUMBO Arts Festival, Recess Activities Inc. and Cabinet Space. She is the inaugural resident for ANALOG, Recess Activities’ online Residency.
Legacy Russell (LEGACY) is an East Village born-and-bred artist, writer, and creative producer. LEGACY holds a dual degree from Macalester College (2008) in Studio Art & Art History and English, with a concentration in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. LEGACY is currently working on a project titled OPEN CEREMONY. Beginning in 2011 and moving into early 2012, OPEN CEREMONY will be showcased by the public arts presenter Trust Art. This will be a durational project wherein LEGACY will spend the year intermittently building site-specific installations (“social shrines”) and points of interactive engagement in and around Lower Manhattan. LEGACY asks of her work, “Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?” Tangible constructions inspired by the often intangible landscapes of memory and identity, the objects that rise to the surface have escaped their original owners and serve the function of participating in wayward ceremonies of remembrance, iconography, and idolatry. LEGACY is the co-founder of online journal and project portal ContactProject.net and the Art Editor of BOMB Magazine’s renowned online journal, BOMBlog.