Special Projects Summer 2001: Bill Beirne, Miguel Angel Rios, Nedko Solakov, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Aida Ruilova, and Gruppo A12, Udo Noll, Peter Scupelli with Marco Bonelli

May 20–September 20, 2001

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is proud to present new Special Projects on May 20, 2001. This series of Special Projects brings together an international roster of artists reflecting on the "white cube" exhibition space in different ways. American artist Bill Beirne creates a white cell within the exhibition space where visitors may spend 15 minutes in seclusion. His "white cube" explores the relations between modernist thought and control/imprisonment. Argentinian artist Miguel Angel Rios comments on the "black cube" of the video-projection space through his video-installation around a hallucinogenic trip. Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov presents A (not so) White Cube (2001), a site-specific installation of tiny wall drawings only visible when the viewer moves close to the white walls of the gallery space. Finally, young architects Gruppo A12 (Udo Noll, Peter Scupelli and Marco Bonelli) present Parole, an interactive and continuously mutating web-site as an experiment in breaking open the controlled systems of traditional archiving, thus moving outwards from the exhibition space through the web.

Alongside these Special Projects, P.S.1 presents two single channel video works in its Art on a Monitor program: Paul Ramirez Jonas, A Longer Day (1997) and Aïda Ruilova's Hey! (1998–2000).


Bill Beirne, Timeless (Cell ), (2001).

In his work, American video installation and performance artist Bill Beirne (b. 1941) focuses on human behavior and "attribution." Attribution is that aspect of human interaction that assigns significance to an action or an anticipation of behavior based on expectation. The surveillance camera, a means of maintaining the immediacy of performance in public space and a metaphor for the frames of reference we use to determine the truth of a given situation, has been a key element in Beirne's work since the early '70s and informs this new project for P.S.1.

Beirne's work has been featured at the National Center for Contemporary Art in Kaliningrad, Russia; TV Gallery, Moscow, Russia; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachussets; The Sculpture Center, New York; The International Center of Photography, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Artists Space, New York; Herron Art Gallery, Colgate University, New York; and 112 Greene Street, New York.


Miguel Angel Rios, Los Ninos Brotan de Noche (The Children that Spring out at Night) (2001).

Miguel Angel Rios (b. 1953, Catamarca, Argentina) lives between New York and Mexico, and draws inspiration from the Latin American experience. His works explore modernism through works using grid-like structures, with paintings incorporating maps and focusing on issues of cultural translation. In Los Ninos Brotan de Noche (The Children that Spring out at Night) (2001), his new video installation for P.S.1, the artist develops the notion of a journey both on a geopolitical and a broader symbolic and mythical level. A shanty made of dark pieces of plywood is installed diagonally in the exhibition space, recalling, yet also denying, the notion of a pristine "white cube," as a video tracing a journey caused by hallucinogenic mushrooms alternately illuminates and goes dark in the space.

Rios work has been featured at the 6th and 7th Havana Biennial, Cuba; 5 Continents and 1 City, Mexico City, Mexico; Kwangju Biennial, Korea; The Edge of Awareness, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Transatlantica, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Canary Islands, Spain; Mapping, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Trade Routes, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Manhattan Codice, Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City and Los Vientos del Sur, Ruth Benzacar Gallery, Buenos Aires.


Nedko Solakov, A (not so) white cube, (2001).

Nedko Solakov (b. 1957, Cherven Briag, Bulgaria) is a Sofia-based artist who has exhibited widely in international venues, often creating installations of drawings, paintings, objects and writings on the gallery wall. A (not so) white cube (2001) is a site-specific project for P.S.1 which humorously plays on the expectations of the art audience. Each artwork is a universe of small stories and anecdotes that refer to contemporary life in a globalized world from the perspective of someone living on its edge. With his funny stories with sad endings, the artist hints at the pointlessness of action and choice in a hegemonic society. In his project On The Wing (Luxembourg, 1999–2000), for example, Solakov screened the text of little stories and messages on the wings of 6 Boeings 737 from the LUXAIR fleet, visible only from the window seats.

Nedko Solakov represented Bulgaria in the 1999 Venice Biennale. His work has been shown at the 5th Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany; Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Germany; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Kwangju Biennale, Korea; Deitch Projects, New York; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York ; Manifesta 1, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul; São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil; and the Aperto '93, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.


Gruppo A12, Udo Noll, Peter Scupelli with Marco Bonelli, Parole (Words), (1993-2001).

Parole (Words), designed by the Italian architect Gruppo A12, Udo Noll, Peter Scupelli with Marco Bonelli, is a dynamic online archive of words referring to cities. Gruppo A12 began working together in 1993 in Genova, Italy. The group focuses on architecture, urbanism, and contemporary art, and is interested in researching the transformation of the contemporary city and the critical role of architecture within that transformation. A12's projects are based on the idea of sharing experiences across disciplines and have collaborated with new media artists on various occasions.

Philip Pocock, Gruppo A12, Daniel Burckhardt, Udo Noll, Roberto Cabot, Elena Carmagnani, Wolfgang Staehle, Florian Wenz and others participated in net_condition, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 1999 and Voil, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 2000 with the project HUMBOT. A12 also participated in La Ville, le Jardin, la Memoire, Villa Medici, Rome, 2000; Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, 2000; VII Biennial di Architettura, Venice, 2000.


Paul Ramirez Jonas, A Longer Day (1997).

Paul Ramirez Jonas (b. 1965, California) is a New York-based artist who was raised in Honduras. In his work, Ramirez Jonas uses the semiotics of scientific inquiry towards poetic ends. Often involving ancient or obsolete technologies, Ramirez Jonas has sent kites into the sky equipped with video cameras to take pictures of the person flying the kite, and used wax cylinders to record transmissions from missions into space. As material metaphors of history, Ramirez Jonas' works can be seen as failed heroic gestures, attempting to reveal the mechanics of time, while calling into question the possibility of a unified system of knowledge.

Selected solo exhibitions include The Public Art Fund, New York; Roger Bjorkholmen Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden; Postmasters Gallery, New York; White Cube, London, U.K. Selected group exhibitions in 2000 include The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Seoul Biennial, Seoul; and Apex Art, New York.


Aïda Ruilova, Hey! (2000).

Aïda Ruilova (b. 1974, Wheeling, West Virginia) is a video artist and musician. Her looped video works, often no longer than a minute, and shot in a dull, saturated color, build single ambiguous scenes through vivid repetition of brief moments: a breath, the screeching sound of a vinyl record being scratched, a muttered phrase. As Ruilova's characters perform mysterious acts, the work suggests discomfort and anxiety.

Ruilova's work has been shown in Casino 2001, Museum of Contemporary Art, SMAK, Ghent, Belgium and White Room, White Columns, New York. Her CD and Vinyl LP with the band Alva, Slattery for Ungdom, came out in 1999.

P.S.1's Special Projects Program, with a national and international component, is geared towards untraditional use of exhibition space by individual artists. Specifically continuing P.S.1's tradition of site-specific work or "interventions" in a space, the Special Projects program also includes performance, and work that refers to P.S.1 itself as a unique physical site or to its role as an institution.

 

This series of Special Projects were selected by P.S.1 Senior Curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and P.S.1 Assistant Curator Larissa Harris.

Parole is a project by Gruppo A12, Udo Noll and Peter Scupelli with Marco Bonelli. It is suported by the Comune di Genova, Provincia di Genova. Nedko Solakov's project is made possible by The Trust for Mutual Understanding and the Ava Olivia Knoll Fund. Additional support for the Special Projects program is provided by the Jerome Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.