Everything is Index, Nothing is History
Presented by Recession Art, Curated by Melanie Kress and Natalie Bell
On view June 2 – June 17, 2012
Everything is Index has closed. Check back in the fall for more information on Prolonged Exposure.
Everything is Index, Nothing is History explores a world chronicled by gestures and physical traces that establish a factual connection to the world independent of cultural codes. Nearly a century and a half ago, philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce defined index
The Curators: Melanie Kress and Natalie Bell
Melanie Kress is an independent curator living and working in New York. She is the curator of books and works on paper at RAC, Recession Art’s Manhattan gallery and store, as well as the Development/Communications Assistant at the American Federation of Arts. Having begun organizing exhibitions in 2007, her work includes: the POTLUCK series, public programs and exhibitions inaugurated at Art in General (2007-2009); the French-American collaboration DIALOGUES, hosted by Columbia University and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Angers, with programs at Artists Space, New York and Bétonsalon, Paris (2009); and the exhibition and publication i am not a good enough feminist (2011). In 2009 she was the recipient of a Curatorial Fellowship at Slought Foundation in Philadelphia, and in 2010 founded the project space Concrete Utopia. She received her BA in Art History with a concentration in Visual Arts from Barnard College in 2009, and in September will begin her MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths College, London.
Natalie Bell is a New York-based writer, researcher, and curator. Her previous experience includes work at the Guggenheim, The New Museum, the Diapason Gallery for Sound and Intermedia, and Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center. She is a member of the Peer Review Board for FRAME: Journal of Material and Visual Culture and is also the recipient of the Arts Writing Workshop award through Creative Capital (AICA/USA) and a regular contributor to Art Papers. She received her BA in philosophy from Barnard College and her MA in philosophy from the CUNY Graduate Center.
Through a process of reduction and transformation, Kate Bonner’s work withholds explanation and proposes simple fictions. Made of degenerated photocopies, cuts, and MDF board, her structures value perceptual failures and contain real boundaries, literal walls, windows and frames that limit visual access. Bonner has participated in group exhibitions in New York, California and the Midwest, including the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born in Michigan, she has has just completed her MFA at California College of the Arts (2012).
Eric Timothy Carlson studied in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, where he maintains a practice of intuitive image making, often focused on the manipulation of cultural and symbolic contents inherent to glyph and image. Carlson exhibits internationally, produces artists books, and with the collective Hardland/Heartland has shown work in institutions such as Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MN), Van Abbe Museum (The Netherlands), and the Walker Arts Center (MN).
J and James Carpenter are an artistic collaborative who make visual and text-based works. J is an artist and teacher based in New York, and James is a poet based in Philadelphia. For Everything Is Index, they will show Ekphrastic Inversions, a set of diptychs, each comprised of a drawing and story, in which each element bears an inverse and opposed relationship to the other, serving as a map of the other’s terrain by reformulating texts into visual objects and drawings into chronicles. Though the texts embrace the inherent attributes of narrative, these attributes are null representations awaiting a reader for their final composition. Characters are nameless and action is ambiguous—something has happened, but in each diptych it is left to the reader to construct or conjecture.
Courtney Chappell’s paintings, videos, and installations explore incomplete narratives that are derived from media presentations of modern warfare. She attended Florida State University and received her MFA from Western Carolina University. Chappell lives and works in Asheville, North Carolina.
Sarah Crofts’ work explores how societies organize information in both natural and virtual systems by examining what is revealed in the construction and disintegration of data and systems. By manipulating image code data and working with corrupt files, she creates compositions of digital entropy, documenting the loss and decay of images and information. Crofts received her BFA from Pratt and currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
Trained in traditional printmaking techniques, Lizzy De Vita works in a constellation of media, including performance and digital media. De Vita’s work examines the constant shifting of identities in our post-Internet world, where, “we perform our multiple selves everyday through technology and words.” Process is crucial to her work, and she considersthe private, meandering creation of a piece to be a performance in and of itself. Concise, yet elusive the final work is often only pressured by the invisible, complex history of its coming to be. De Vita’s work is most often defined by what it refuses to reveal. For Everything is Index, she presents a series of enlarged digital prints taken from “self-destructive” Polaroid film exposures. ThePolaroids were scanned repeatedly as their images emerged and colors warped, eventually fading to black over the course of 24 hours, providing glimpses into the life of an image and object (in this case, De Vita’s baby blanket, a family heirloom) through the fleeting presence of its exposure on film. De Vita received her BA in Art History and English Literature from Barnard College in 2008. She currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Shannon Finnegan’s work addresses the idea of productivity by traversing the line between meaningful and meaningless activities. By repeating the same action at length, she uses durational performance to question the value of labor and the concept of “wasted time.” For her one-day performance at Everything Is Index, she will be working for eight hours in the gallery writing repeatedly, “I should be working more” and “I should be working less.” A portion of the ephemera generated by the performance will be included in the Landfill Quarterly, a project that studies socially engaged art works by redistributing the surplus materials they produce. Finnegan lives and works in New York.
Ben Garthus’ work extends beyond sculpture’s traditional boundaries to include the unexpected discoveries that are possible when human interaction merges with systems, objects, and structures. By creating environments, equipment, and situations for play, his projects and practice invite experimentation, invention, and accidental discovery. Garthus has been awarded recognition from the International Sculpture Center and was a 2011
Field Office Fellow at the Walker Art Center. He holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota and currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
Sam Keller is a former Recession Art artist from the 2011 exhibitions Irrational Exuberance and American Idolatry. Keller works in a variety of media and styles and uses materials that range from food, to high-tech industrial finishes, to trash (perhaps best exemplified by his works The Dorito Sphere and Trasube). He is a co-founder of R.K. Projects, a Providence-based pop-up gallery and currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.h C
Working mainly with the medium of drawing,Yujin Lee’s recent work centers around our difficult relationship between aestheticism and violence. Lee received her BFA from Cornell University and currently lives and works in Berlin. She has exhibited extensively in Berlin including group shows at Loop-raum für aktuelle kunst, Freies Musuem, Kreuzberg Pavillon, and Salon Populaire. She will be participating in NordArt in June 2012 and have her first solo show in Seoul in July 2012.
Hudson Lines’s work draws on personal narrative, historical memory, and boyhood imagination through video, photography, and sculpture. By recontextualizing found objects and historical footage, his works seek to explore new meanings and examine the potential for anonymity in aesthetic objects. Lines lives and works in Brooklyn.
Saul Melman’s work examines energy and material through attention to light, space, and physical processes. He has exhibited sculpture, installation andperformance at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park and Thierry Goldberg, and his work is among the collection of long-term installations at MoMA PS1. Saul lives and works in Brooklyn.
Peter Neu’s interdisciplinary practice expands on the visual language of photography to create sculptural works that alter the function of objects and aestheticize found materials. By supplanting their original purpose and reframing materials, he articulates surfaces or perspectives that would otherwise been obscured. Peter studied photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and recently received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts. He currently lives and works in New York.
Leah Raintree is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice addresses our relationship to land, the environment and the permeability of bodies in space. She recently completed a site-specific installation for No One is an Island at Building 110, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center on Governors Island. She has exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and has had solo shows at Foley Gallery, New York, and Reynolds Gallery, Virginia. Raintree received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and MFA from Parsons the New School for Design.
Kameelah Janan Rasheed is a self-taught photo-based artist, archivist, editor, and high school history educator based in Brooklyn. Rasheed holds a BA in Africana Studies and Public Policy from Pomona College and an Ed.M. from Stanford University. She has exhibited in numerous shows in New York City, Oakland, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Johannesburg, South Africa, and is co-founder of Mambu Badu, a collective for women photographers of African descent, as well as Photography and Interviews Editor at Specter Magazine. This summer she will be an Artist-in-Residence at The Center for Photography at Woodstock in Woodstock, New York.
Jordan Rathus’s videos navigate the spaces between fact and fiction and humor and drama. By recontextualizing popular formats such as narrative film and reality television, she explores the complexities of capturing and creating realities in relation to the construction of on-camera identities. Rathus received her BFA in Film and Television Production at New York University and her MFA from Columbia University. She currently lives and works in New York.
Nancy Woods received her B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design (2002) and M.F.A. from The City College of New York (2012). She has apprenticed with the Master Book Binder Gregor Campbell and also worked as a book and paper conservator for Columbia University‘s Rare Books Collection. Her recent exhibitions include Dona Nobis and Under Pressure, at Concrete Utopia, Brooklyn, and Out of Context at WestGermany, Berlin. Woods also exhibits small works at RAC | Recession Art at CULTUREfix.