Guest Curator: Ryan Hawk presents Alpha: An Exploration of Masculinity Through Aesthetics
Nicholas Schaffer & John O'Donoghue
Alpha: An Exploration of Masculinity Through Aesthetics
Alpha: An Exploration of Masculinity Through Aesthetics is a one night event of live visual performance art and performative works. The show invites viewers to contemplate, alongside the artists, the utilization of masculinity as a vehicle and tool for ideas. The work chosen not only challenges preconceived notions of masculinity, but asks for the removal of masculinity and its often differentiated, femininity, from the gendered and binary body, as characteristics belonging to all individuals.
Myk Henry (Ireland/NYC)
Myk Henry was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to New York in 1984 where he was a pioneer in the Williamsburg bohemian warehouse scene. In 1994 he moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he graduated with both a BFA and MFA at Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels. Henry works with new media installation, sound sculpture, video and performance . As a performer Henry’s art investigates people’s sense of self awareness. His work is provocative, edgy and slams the viewer into the center of political issues, social conditioning and human taboos.
Nicholas Schaffer & John O'Donoghue (USA)
NICHOLAS SCHAFFER uses his art to investigate body image, gender identity, and emotional dissonance within the self. He’s a postmodern photograper who views the body as something seperate from the self, that endures the life we go through as we create our own identies. In his photographs, he says, “the body becomes a relic, a survivor or remnant left after decay, disintegration, and disappearance, a physical representation of stepping into a void, an escape from the self.” He does not digitally manipulate any of his images. They are photographed using a small theater set that he built with a mirror installation inside of it. All the images are photographs of a body’s reflection in the mirror. His photography is special not only because of his artistic process, but because it captures the complexity of gender identity and body image. His work is a mash-up of multiple identities in a single photo, the same way there are mash-ups within each individual. We create our own identies, seek coherence within our own conceptions or perhaps new ways to live with dissonance. “The work represents a collage of body image identities represented in a physical state. Metamorphosing itself into an alternative physical state involving cut up forms, colors, and shapes. Trying to condense an emotion with the use of the figure in distressed configurations,” he says.Nicholas Schaffer in Minnesotta:
Ryan Hawk is a transdisciplinary artist, utilizing performance with video, sculpture, and drawing. Hawk’s work has been shown in several venues throughout New York and was recently exhibited at Chicago's Rapid Pulse International Art Festival. Also, Hawk will be a featured artist for Select Industries Art Fair 2012 during Art Basel Miami Beach. Ryan Hawk was born in Houston, TX in 1992 and currently lives and works in Boston, MA.
Corey Dunlap (USA)
Corey Dunlap’s performative sculpture employs the body as an inanimate article. By relying on its most basic mode of presence, the body is incorporated into sculptural scenarios that ultimately object-ify the body and personify the objects in which it is found.
Sarah Hill (USA)
Sarah Hill's video performance, Flesh Prison, will be screening throughout the night.please note: "Flesh Prison" will also be showing at Anthony Greaney Gallery in Boston, MA
2011 / 2012
Flesh Prison became an aesthetic investigation of bodily imprisonment and a shameless fascination with the abject. It functions as a form of non-verbal, aesthetic intelligence. The video quickly became something much more than the deconstruction of Black Swan. I attempt to talk about the process of breaking down isolation in order to survive the trauma of day-to-day life. Filming each individual shot became a way for me to clean up the psychological mess on the inside of my own mind and body.
Gender confusion is a small price to pay for social progress. I define social progress as the visible presence of transgendered bodies in Flesh Prison. I am aware that others may not read my body as transgendered when viewing the video. However, this is how I choose to define my body and gender. People can learn to work around my definitions of gender because I have spent my life working around others’ definitions. I have the right and ability to exercise complete control over my flesh. It's mine. I live here. I don't rent. I am not borrowing it. My body belongs to me and I am going to do with it what I choose until I die. Gender as well as Flesh Prison becomes the performance of reclaiming psychological space.
ABOUT GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE for PERFORMANCE ART
Grace Exhibition Space is devoted exclusively to Performance Art. We offer visceral and challenging performance works by the current generation of international performance artists, whether emerging, mid career or established.
"On each night, and in each performance, the human body is redeemed from the mundane and made anew."
David Lagaccia in Williamsburg + Greenpoint News+Art June, 2012