Special Projects Fall 2004: Paolo Canevari, Amy O'Neill, and Petra Lindholm

October 24, 2004–February 21, 2005

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is proud to present new Special Projects on October 24, 2004, including works by Paolo Canevari, Amy O'Neill, and Petra Lindholm. Special Projects are selected individually, without attention to a theme in order to reflect the extraordinary energy and variety of practices among young artists working in New York City and abroad.


Paolo Canevari's (b. 1963, Rome, Italy) installation, Welcome to Oz, revolves around a photograph that ran in several newspapers depicting American soldiers outside the entrance of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison with the words "Welcome to Oz" hanging over their heads. Underscoring the irony and sarcastic implications of this sentence, Canevari defines and develops the idea of imprisonment as both a physical and psychological state. This site-specific installation, a barbed wire structure in P.S.1's courtyard, is constructed of rubber from tire inner tubes bound to a wooden structure. This "fence" designates a private protected territory, defining a space that cannot be entered or escaped as well as addressing an ambiguous concept of prohibition. Viewers in the space, by experiencing a sense of physical and mental constriction, are encouraged to reflect on the authoritative and symbolic meaning of signs, barriers, and borders.

Paolo Canevari's work has been included in major group and solo exhibitions throughout the world, including at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland;  XIII Quardriennale di Roma, Palazzo della Esposozioni, Rome, Italy; Centre for Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; and the 2004 Liverpool Biennial, U.K.  He was awarded the International Fellowship in Visual Arts by the Mid American Arts Alliance and U.S. Information Agency in 1996, and received an art prize for his work in the Art for the World, Playground and Toys for Refugee Children project in New York in 2001. His work can be viewed in many permanent public outdoor projects, such as Uomoerba at the Sculpture Park in Villa Glori in Rome, Italy.

This exhibition was selected by P.S.1 Executive Director Alanna Heiss.


P.S.1 presents a new, major sculptural installation by Amy O'Neill (b. 1971,  Pennsylvania). Ethay, Arkway, ofway Oahnay (Pig Latin for "The Ark of Noah") is based on a float from the 1968 Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. Entered into the parade by the fraternal order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, the original float, titled Hark, Hark the Ark, was covered in white and pink chrysanthemums, with a blaze of red roses on the deck. In O'Neill's reconstructed version, which is 16 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 11 feet high, the ark and its animals are pared down to skeletal forms and rendered in chicken wire. An archival recording that describes the 1968 parade in florid detail plays from inside the hull of the ark. While it seems to offer an escape from disaster, O'Neill's version, stripped bare of all decoration, has come to rest where all old, abandoned floats end up—in the Parade Float Graveyard.

Amy O'Neill: Old Noah's Ark (from Parade Float Graveyard) is on view in the vault and was selected by P.S.1 Curatorial Advisor Bob Nickas.

P.S.1 presents a suite of three videos, each 10 minutes long, by Paris-based artist Petra Lindholm (b. 1973, Karis, Finland). The videos, exhibited on monitors on the three different floors of P.S.1's central stairwell, use video techniques such as the close-up, jump-cut, accelerated and slowed images, and compressed or stretched time and space. Each sentimental and carefully constructed narrative, for which Lindholm composed the soundtrack and sings, poetically investigates the psychological terrain of our inner selves. Sunrise 5AM (2001), shot in a living room and bedroom in a modest apartment in Sweden, is absent of figures. Shifting light, dancing across rooms as the sun and moon move throughout the day, creates a deep psychological tension. Reported Missing (2003), which was shot in Stockholm, Italy, Easter Island, Chile, the Grand Canaries, and Australia, is a fragmented narrative of suggestive moments charged with emotion and imagination of self. Until (2004), making its debut at P.S.1, is a portrait of two strangers (a man in a bath and a girl in a bar) chronicled through a nighttime narrative of phone calls. Their desires and the mystery of their meeting are juxtaposed with images of the emotional landscape of their (and the viewer's) subconscious.

Petra Lindholm studied at the Royal University College of Fine Arts in Stockholm, Sweden, 1996-2001. Lindholm has had solo exhibitions at IrmaVepLab, Reims, France (2004); Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm (2002 and 2004); Galleri Bacchus, Bor's, Sweden (2003); Prima Kunst, Collaboration with Stadtgalerie in Kiel, Germany (2002); MUU Galleria, Helsinki, Finland (2002); and Galleri Platform, Vaasa, Finland (2001).

This exhibition was selected by P.S.1 Curator Amy Smith-Stewart.


  • Paolo Canevari
    Welcome to Oz (2004)

  • Petra Lindholm
    Installation view