19.11.2019 - 11.02.2020 Events, History, Visual Arts

Group Exhibition Portable Landscapes: Memories and Imaginaries of Refugee Modernism

The James Gallery, The Graduate Center, CUNY

365 Fifth Avenue, First Floor, New York, NY 10016

Opening reception: November 19, 2019 6-8pm

Exhibition dates: November 19, 2019 – February 15, 2020

The Polish Cultural Institute New York is proud to announce Portable Landscapes: Memories and Imaginaries of Refugee Modernism, a group exhibit to be opened on Tuesday, November 19, at The James Gallery, The CUNY Graduate Center. Curated by Inga Lāce, Katherine Carl, Andra Silapētere and Solvita Krese, the exhibit is a part of the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art four-year project “Portable Landscapes,” which begins with the stories of the exiled, émigré Latvian artists of the Hell’s Kitchen collective, and extends into contemporary international artistic voices, locating all within broader context of the context of 20th century art history, and wider processes of migration and globalization.

Departing from the Hell’s Kitchen collective, the exhibition highlights personalities and artistic phenomena that have resulted from migration, bringing forward a web of lesser known stories of individual artists and collaborators who played supporting roles in, but also worked to diversify and challenge, the overarching art historical narrative. In addition to pursuing these stories with the help of archival material, historical works of art and artefacts, the exhibition also includes works by contemporary artists including the Polish artist, Karol Radziszewski, working on the themes of cultural displacement and its attendant questions. In his film America Is Not Ready for This (2012), Radziszewski retraces the 1977 visit of the Polish artist Natalia LL to New York, who since 1975 engaged in the International Feminist Art movement. Re-evaluating the geopolitical map of the East and the West in different eras, the film confronts the narratives of both Western and Eastern art history, turning to questions about identity, gender, feminist art, and cultural displacement. Emphasizing the importance of diversity, different modernisms and alternative undercurrents to main narratives, the exhibition suggests that both present and history are living processes in a constant state of change.

Participating artists: Daina Dagnija, Yonia Fain, Yevgeniy Fiks, Hell’s Kitchen collective, Rolands Kaņeps, Boris Lurie, Karol Radziszewski, Judy Blum Reddy, Vladimir Svetlov & Aleksandr Zapoļ (Orbita Group), Viktor Timofeev, Sigurds Vīdzirkste, Artūrs Virtmanis.

Exhibition Portable Landscapes: Memories and Imaginaries of Refugee Modernism at the James Gallery is the last exhibition in the series of the exhibition and research projects Portable Landscapes that took place starting 2017 with exhibitions at: Villa Vassilieff, Paris (2018), Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga (2018), Körsbärsgården Konsthall, Gotland (2018) and District, Berlin (2019). The project’s culmination is planned in spring 2020 when Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art together with Berlin based publisher K.Verlag will launch a book “Portable Landscapes: Art Histories of Latvian Exile”, that views together all the project’s stories.

„Portable Landscapes” is one of the events of the Latvia’s Centenary Celebrations. It is supported by Latvian Republic Culture Ministry and State Culture Capital Foundation as well as the Polish Cultural Institute New York. Public programs of the exhibition in November 2019 and February 2020 is possible thanks to the support of the Baltic American Freedom Foundation.

PROGRAM:

Opening reception: November 19, 2019, 6-8:00 pm

Exhibition dates: November 19, 2019 – February 15, 2020

November 21, 2019 at 4:00pm — “(H)ell(e)s* Kitchen” performative walk from the James Gallery to Hells Kitchen by Orbita group: Vladimir Svetlov & Aleksandr Zapoļ, in conjunction with the Portable Landscapes: Memories and Imaginaries of Refugee Modernism exhibit.

February 5, 2020 at 6:30pm— Yiddish Poetry and Culture—Workshop, poetry reading, and film screening “Yonia Fain: With Pen and Paintbrush” by filmmaker Josh Waletzky, with participation of Yiddish literary scholar Sheva Zuker and Yiddish actor Shane Baker in conjunction with the Portable Landscapes: Memories and Imaginaries of Refugee Modernism exhibit.

February 11, 2020, 4:00-8:00pm –gallery talks in conjunction with the Portable Landscapes: Memories and Imaginaries of Refugee Modernism exhibit.

  • Talk by exhibition curators Inga Lāce and Solvita Krese
  • Judy Blum Reddy in conversation with curators Inga Lāce, Solvita Krese, Katherine Carl
  • Artist talk and a discussion with Karol Radziszewski about his film “America is Not Ready for This” (2012)
  • Presentation of Boris Lurie book “In Riga” (2019) with participation of poet Igor Stanovsky
  • Discussion about younger Latvian art scene in New York with exhibition artists Artūrs Virtmanis, Viktor Timofeev, curator and art historian Ksenia Nouril

Karol Radziszewski (b. 1980) lives and works in Warsaw (Poland) where he received his MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2004. He works with film, photography, installations and creates interdisciplinary projects. His archive-based methodology, crosses multiple cultural, historical, religious, social and gender references. His work has been presented internationally including the National Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; The New Museum, New York; VideoBrasil, Sao Paulo; Cobra Museum, Amsterdam, among others. He has participated in several international biennales including PERFORMA 13, New York; 7th Göteborg Biennial; 4th Prague Biennial and 15th WRO Media Art Biennale. www.karolradziszewski.com

The Amie and Tony James Gallery’s mission is to bring artists and scholars into public dialogue on topics of mutual concern through exhibitions as a form of advanced research. As a window into the research work of The Graduate Center and a hub of international discussion, The James Gallery is central to The Graduate Center’s and the City University of New York’s contribution to the cultural life of New York City. Located in midtown Manhattan at the nexus of the academy, contemporary art, and the city, the gallery creates and presents artwork to the public in a variety of formats. While some exhibitions remain on view for extended contemplation, other activities such as performances, workshops, reading groups, roundtable discussions, salons, and screenings have a short duration. The gallery works with scholars, students, artists and the public to explore working methods that may lie outside usual disciplinary boundaries. All exhibitions and programming are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. https://www.centerforthehumanities.org/james-gallery

The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) is the largest institution for contemporary art in Latvia, curating and producing contemporary art events on a national and international scale. Since 1993, it has researched and curated contemporary art processes both in Latvia and abroad, aiming to provoke critical reflection on issues relevant to contemporary society. The LCCA is widely recognized for its annual international contemporary art festival “SURVIVAL KIT” and its regular exhibitions at the Latvian National Museum of Art, as well as for representing Latvia at the Venice Biennale, Manifesta, São Paulo Art Biennial, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Rauma Biennale of Contemporary Art, and others. https://lcca.lv/en/

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