From The New York Shitty Inbox: Saturday at St. Cecilia’s Convent

This item comes to me from a lady named Amanda Schmidt of the Physical Center. What can you expect at this event, you ask? If the press release is any indication quite a lot!


We are pleased to present Physical Center: Brooklyn, a one-night exhibition, video screening, and performance event at the Convent of Saint Cecilia in Brooklyn, NY; a tactile soirée featuring both local and international artists, performers, and musicians. Physical Center will be a celebration of material existence, and a showcase for emerging talent in the arts.

“…I truly believe that the lack of adequate imagery is a danger of the same magnitude [as over population and global warming]. It is as serious a defect as being without memory. What have we done to our images? What have we done to our embarrassed landscapes? I have said this before and will repeat it again as long as I am able to talk: if we do not develop adequate images we will die out like dinosaurs.”               – Werner Herzog

In answer to Herzog’s call, Physical Center will showcase performances, videos and installations that promote new images of physicality, engaging and responding to the contemporary contexts that frame material being. The works in this exhibition seek to challenge the viewers’ minds and bodies with visual, tactile, and aural sensory experiences that undermine purely conceptual readings.

Physical Center: Brooklyn is an opportunity to bring together emerging Brooklyn and London-based video and installation artists. The event will act as a fundraiser for Physical Center: London, a two-month series of performance art, video art, photography and sculpture that will take place between January and February 2011 at artist Yinka Shonibare’s warehouse, Guest Projects, in Hackney, London. Our Brooklyn edition’s after-party, with DJ sets from Luiza Sá of Brazilian pop group CSS and DJ Lauren Flax, aims to raise funds for flying two Brooklyn-based performance artists to London. This is a unique opportunity for these two artists to take part in a not-for-profit international exchange and perform in London.

A main exhibition addressing the artist’s reaction to physicality will feature work of varied media by New York based artists such as Paul Bergeron, Jenn Brehm, Adam Cruces, Jonathan Ehrenberg, Kerry Downey, Danny Durtsche, Leah James, Chris Marshall, Naomi Schliesman, Eric Shows, Sallie Smith, iO Tillet Wright, Weston Ulfig, Hans Viets, JD Walsh,Kristof Wickman and many more. In addition to the main group exhibition, there will be scheduled performances throughout the evening by various artists including Eliza Swann, Genevieve White,Shantell Martin, Lisa Sikorski, Oliver Warden and sex-advice comedy by Rose Surnow.

The video screening room at Physical Center: Brooklyn will both bombard and numb the viewers’ senses with its program. One might enter the room and leave relaxed and/or nauseated. The works will continue in a 90-minutes loop throughout the evening. Featured video artists include: Jesper Carlsen, Marrianna Ellenberg, Chelse Isaac, Erica Magrey, Sean Simpson, Patrick Smith, Hyla Skoptiz, Andrew Steinmetz, and Jennifer Sullivan.

In addition to both live performances and video art Physical Center: Brooklyn will house a collection of installations by an international group of artists. Philip Hausmeier, a German artist based in London and Berlin will coordinate the installation of Black no. 2. Visitors are invited to enter the work and be engulfed by thousands of strips of black plastic made from trash bags, which are quickly transformed from ordinary everyday objects into something terrifying and foreign as one moves deeper into the overwhelming sounds and darkness of the installation. Awst & Walther, the Berlin and London based Welsh/German art duo, will install Das süße Leben, a large chandelier made of real grapes that will fill the space with the smell of fruit, creating an intense visual and olfactory experience. Amelia Whitelaw, a London-based artist, will exhibit new work developed specifically for this show. Amelia has exhibited her work extensively in London and often uses uncooked dough, hung and slowly pulled by gravity through a series of nets, breaking up and mixing as they work they way to the floor. Viewers will be invited to lay underneath Melanie Schiff’s video, Perfect Square,and become entranced by the repetition and variation of the work. The viewer looks upwards from what appears to be the bottom of a lake at the silhouette of a female figure swimming circles in the water. Her movements alter the light’s reflection in the water – we hover between a relaxed state and suspense, unsure of where our point of view originates.

And here are some samples of participating artists’ work that Amanda was kind enough to provide me!

Philip Hausmeier, Black Room, installation

Jennifer Sullivan and Andrew Steinmetz, Sexual Healing, video still

Amelia Whitelaw, no title,  installation

Awst & Walther, Das sube Leben, 2010, grapes, neon

Art Happening/Fundraiser For The Physical Center
November 20, 2010 starting at 5:00 p.m.
Price of admission: $10.00 (Includes beer!)
Convent of St. Cecilia
21 Monitor Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather


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