Special Projects Summer 2002: Matthew Buckingham, Monika Goetz, An-My Lê, Win Knowlton, Libby McInnis, João Onofre, Wolfgang Plöger, SolSax, and Qingsong Wang

May 19–September 1, 2002

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is proud to present new Special Projects on May 19, 2002, including works by Matthew Buckingham, Monika Goetz, An-My Lê, Win Knowlton, Libby McInnis, João Onofre, Wolfgang Plöger, SolSax, and Qingsong Wang. Special Projects are selected individually, without attention to a theme in order to reflect the extraordinary energy and variety of artists practices among young artists working in New York City.

The Special Projects Writers Series allows critical and creative writers to contribute texts on the artists and their projects.

Matthew Buckingham, Definition. Floor 2, Gallery S204. Selected by P.S.1 Associate Curator Larissa Harris.

Matthew Buckingham's Definition (2000) takes its inspiration from Samuel Johnson's English dictionary, the first of which Johnson wrote in a garret workshop with the help of only a few assistants from 1746 to 1755. Definition is poetic and simple, consisting only of a sloping room constructed around a projected image of a window in this famous attic, and someone's poetic and historical ruminations on the paradoxes of an individual's location inside and outside language.

Matthew Buckingham was born in 1963 in Nevada, Iowa, and currently lives and works in New York City. He received a M.F.A. from Bard College in 1997. Solo exhibitions include Subcutaneous, Murray Guy, New York; Sandra of the Tuliphouse (with Joachim Koester), National Art Museum, Copenhagen; and Contemporary Film & Video: Matthew Buckingham, Moderna Museet, Stockholm. He participated in Greater New York 2000, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and The American Century, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. His films have been screened at the Arnolfini, Bristol; the Danish Film Institute, Copenhagen; the Konsthall, Malmö; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and in various international film festivals.


Monica Goetz, Realm of the Mind. Basement , Boiler Room. Selected by P.S.1 Associate Curator Daniel Marzona.

Venturing down narrow stairs into the bowels of the 1895 former schoolhouse, viewers encounter Realm of the Mind (2002). A very bright light glowing from behind the door of the old boiler, left slightly ajar. The sheer intensity of the light in the dark cellar makes it impossible to tell what, or who, lies behind the door. Goetzs site-specific installation deals with the interdependence of light and space and how these conditions affect our visual perception, as well as evoking a moment from a sci-fi television show. Goetz' work provokes an emotional and physical reaction in the viewer, momentarily reawakening an awareness of our perceptions.

Monika Goetz was born in born in Würzburg, Germany, and currently lives and works in New York. Goetz graduated from the Art Academy of Kassel, Germany in 1998. Solo exhibitions include Artists in the Marketplace, Bronx Museum for the Arts, New York; Interval, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, New York; and blindness of the soul, Kunstetage Dock 4, Kassel, Germany. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, New York (2000, 2001); amanfang, Helmhaus, Zürich, Switzerland; and Neue Galerie Kassel, Germany (1997).


Win Knowlton, Birds Blocks Bamboo. Basement, Boiler Room.  Selected by P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss.

Installed in P.S.1's boiler room, Win Knowlton's Birds Blocks Bamboo (2002) is a site-specific work made of ceramic birds hanging on criss-crossed wires. The birds inhabit a subterranean space unfit for flight. As visitors enter the cave-like space, birds dangle upside-down by their wire feet while two business shoe-shod legs press against the walls.

Win Knowlton was born in Boston in 1953, and currently lives in New York. Knowlton received a BFA form Parsons School of Design in 1978. He has had solo exhibitions at Paul Rodgers/9W, New York (2002), Bill Maynes Gallery, New York (1998); Eugene Binder Gallery, Dallas (1993, 1991, 1990); and was featured in Projects, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1986). Group exhibitions include Beauty and the Beast, Paul Rodgers/9W; Forbidden Games, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York; and Out of Sight, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. Knowlton was an artist in residence in P.S.1's Studio Program in 1979 and 1981. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NW, the National Gallery, Washington, D.C., the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


An-My Lê, Small Wars. Floor 1, Gallery N101. Selected by P.S.1 Associate Curators Larissa Harris and Daniel Marzona.

An-My Lê was born in 1960 in Vietnam and came to live in the United Sates as a political refugee in 1975. In 1999, Lê began working with a group of Vietnam War re-enactors in South Carolina, who, like the better-known Civil War re-enactors, restage battles, training, and daily life of soldiers, both Viet Cong and American G.I.s. For two summers, with war veterans, their children, and military personnel who "missed out" on a combat tour to Vietnam, Lê participated in and photographed battles of the Vietnam War restaged on her adopted American soil.

Taken outdoors with a large-format camera, the richly detailed 30" x 40" black-and-white images possess the serenity and clarity of mid-19th-century American landscape photography. The work therefore participates in both documentary and staged veins within contemporary photography, in an achievement both rigorously aesthetic and conceptual. Soldiers at rest give themselves up to portraiture, while figures captured in mid-battle compositions recognizable from classic war photojournalism somehow possess the qualities of a dream.

An-My Lê received an MFA in Photography at Yale University in 1993. Recent exhibitions include Photographs from the Permanent Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Documents, Perceptions, and Perspectives, Rhode Island College, Providence; Re-imagining Vietnam, Fotofest, Houston; Selections from the Permanent Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; New Photograhy 13, Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Picturing Communities, Houston Center for Photography (1997).


Libby McInnis, Beans and Rice.  Floor 2, Gallery S203. Selected by P.S.1 Associate Curator Larissa Harris.

Libby McInnis' Beans and Rice is made up of larger-than-life jointed cardboard figures whose mechanics will remind viewers of childrens pop-up books. Visitors are invited to activate the work with pull-tabs and levers. In this installation, part of a five-part series exploring psychological and family issues, McInnis has created a pair of antagonistic couples who grab each other and knock domestic objects around a kitchen.

Libby McInnis was born in 1976 in New Orleans and currently lives and works in New York. She graduated from The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts in 1994 and studied at The New Orleans Fine Arts Academy while attending The Early Scholars Arts program at Loyola, New Orleans. In 1998 she received her BA from Parsons School of Design. Her solo exhibitions include: Lip Stick, Shiseido Studios, New York; The Meat Packing Art Fair, Alleged Galleries, New York; Barney's New York window installations, New York. Group exhibitions include: Space 1026 Gallery Show, The Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Play's The Thing, The Whitney ISP Curatorial Studies Exhibition, New York; The Sunshine Show, Alleged Galleries, New York; Fashion Takes Action, New York; God Bless America, Alleged Galleries, New York; Art In Bloom, The New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Los Angeles; Elevated, The Lincoln Center, New York (1996).


João Onofre, Pas d'action (2002); Untitled, 1999, and Nothing Will Go Wrong (2000) Floor 1, Gallery N102, and floor 2, Gallery S202. Selected by P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss.

In Portuguese artist João Onofre's video Nothing Will Go Wrong (2000), a gymnast steadily holds his body in a handstand atop a streetlight, effortlessly coming down when the light changes to red. As this is repeated, the actor's body becomes a part of the urban landscape, an elegant extension of the metal sign. In Untitled (1999), footage of a man and women pressing themselves away from and then falling back to the floor is shifted 90° so that they appear to be pushed and pulled from a wall by an unknown force. The acts captured in Onofre's videosa well-dressed couple pacing on treadmills, a woman hungrily eating flowers, models auditioning for an imaginary rolecontain a hidden tension which underlies the outcome of the action. Onofre creates complex readings of simple physical acts that explore how psychology and temporality structure the relationships between actor, artist, and audience. P.S.1 will also present a special three-week long screening of Pas d'action (2002).

João Onofre was born in 1976 in Lisbon, Portugal, where he lives and works. He graduated from the University of Fine Art, Lisbon, and received his MFA at Goldsmiths College, London. Solo exhibitions include João Onofre, I-20 Gallery, New York. Group exhibitions include Performing Bodies, Tate Modern, London; the 49th Venice Biennale; and Situation 0: Recent Portuguese Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. His work has also been shown at the Intermedia Gallery, Glasgow; the Entwistle Gallery, London; and Sweet and Low, curated by Kenny Schachter, at Rove, New York.

This project is made possible by the Luso-American Foundation, the Fundao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, and the Ministry of Culture, Portugal. Special thanks to I-20 Gallery, New York.


SolSax, These Hand Me Down Black and Blue Jeans. Floor 2, Gallery S201. Selected by P.S.1 Associate Curator Larissa Harris.

Through his complex and richly symbolic sculptural installations, New York-based artist SolSax proposes a connection between contemporary African-American culture and the Yoruban traditions of West Africa. These Hand Me Down Black and Blue Jeans (2002) is an installation of eight separate elements including a boat, a small figure of a boy, vertical sculptures which evoke ancestral staffs, and a video, all covered in dangling DNA-like strands of denim. Blue jeans, which have been worn from miners, frontiersmen, blues men, rock and roll musicians, and members of contemporary hip-hop culture, have been claimed by the artist as homonym (genes) and metaphor, symbolizing a fusion of American culture and African ancestry. The artist believes that hip-hop culture specifically has maintained and channeled West African themes through a new generation of improvisation.

SolSax was born Jamal Holtham in 1969 is Brooklyn, New York. He received a BFA from Cooper Union in 1992, and an MFA from Yale University in 1996. Recent solo exhibitions include Hood Flags, New York City Library, Grand Army Plaza, New York; The Wild Herb of Bushwick Presents: My Tea Blessed Heads of Kind County, Rush Arts Gallery, New York; Recognize the Real, Silverstein Gallery, New York. His work has been featured in group exhibitions including Bird's-Eye View, Grand Army Plaza New York; Tensionism, Kenny Schacters Rove, New York; Shine, Amnesty International and Downtown Arts Festival, New York; One Planet Under a Groove: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, and Bead Body and Soul (Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe), UCLA Fowler Museum, California.


Wolfgang Plöger, Monuments. Floor 2, hallway. Selected by P.S.1 Associate Curator Daniel Marzona.

Displayed on three monitors on the second floor hallway, Monuments (2002), a video by German artist Wolfgang Plöger, focuses on statues of historical or military leaders on horses, a ubiquitous sight in European city centers. As the artist filmed each statue, he moved his camera gently up and down, so that in the resulting footage, the statues appear to trot along like cowboys in a western or horses on a carousel. The blue sky behind the statues evokes associations with the "blue screen" used in television and film.

Wolfgang Plöger was born in Münster, Germany, in 1971, and currently lives in works in Berlin. Recent exhibitions include Galerie Enja Wonneberger, Kiel, Germany; allesedra, Villa Manin de Passariano, Udine; Hot Spots, Stella Lohaus Gallery, Antwerpen; Never Walk Alone, Gerlier Enja Wonneberger; Um und bej, Kunstverein Schon Plön; Still, Galerie Enja Wonneberger, Kiel; Badegäste, Galerie Andreas Schlüter, Hamburg.


Qingsong Wang, Bath House. Floor 1, foyer. Selected by P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss.

Chinese artist Qingsong Wang's large-scale photographs are influenced by the rapid change of cultural tastes and influx of western fashion and products in "new China." Bath House (2000) presents a scene of nighttime revelers cavorting in a small pool littered with discarded soda bottles and fruit floating in cloudy, stagnant water. Upon closer inspection of this "orgy," the grimacing faces of the Asian women (varying in age from older to very young) clustered around a lone cherubic man suggest the double-sided consequences of material wealth and personal freedom in contemporary society.

Qingsong Wang was born in Hubei Province, China, in 1966, and graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Chengdu. He currently lives and works in Bejing. Recent solo exhibitions include Eulogy of Life, Wang Fun Art Gallery, Bejing. Group exhibitions include Cross—Pressure, Innish Museum of Photography and Olou City Museum, Finland; China Album, Nice Contemporary Museum, France; Construction / Hong Kong Conceptual Photography, Hong Kong Arts Center; Dystopia and Identity in the Age of Global Communications, Tribes Gallery, New York; and Man + Space, 3rd Kwangju Biennale, Korea (2000).


  • Monika Goetz

    Realm of the Mind (2002)

    Installation view at P.S.1

  • Monika Goetz

    Realm of the Mind (2002)

    Installation view at P.S.1

 

The P.S.1 Special Projects Program is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Challenge Program. Additional support is provided by the Jerome Foundation.