Alt-Art Spaces and the Question of Identity Refusal: IntroductionBy Ysabel Pinyol
Despite the rise of alternative arts spaces in New York and around the world, especially within the last decade, we are still unable to shed pressures to define nontraditional arts spaces.
The exploration of the artist’s studio as a discursive, autonomous, and above all social community space plays an important role in my curatorial practice. The traditional model of the studio, as a place dedicated to solitary experimentation and research, has given way to a fascinating subcultural variant that I call the social studio, denoting a shared forum for peer-driven art and discussion.
Artists over time in history have constantly needed to build strong communities. When I lived in the Old Tel Aviv, I was part of a group of artists who did not receive the attention of the Tel Aviv Museum, so in response we created our own gallery that had exhibitions, a group of artists, dealers, and collectors. By establishing our own artist community, we built strength and prestige as artists in our own right.
My fondest childhood memories are not of playing on grassy backyard lawns, in idyllic single-family homes on tree-lined streets, but instead include exploring the remnants of these semi-abandoned factories and decaying structures (and subsequently empty concrete lots once they began to began to be torn down). I look back on those adventures with an uncanny, yet fond, nostalgia. I’ve taken special interest in art spaces housed in former industrial settings. Lately, I’ve been asking myself: What does it mean when arts spaces co-opt, preserve, and re-contextualize industrial remnants?
Endless large rooms, some raw, some scary, some sanitized and institutional, and some so large you can’t imagine making enough work to fill them.
When someone first asked me if I knew what Mana was, I had to be honest and say that I had no clue, and after being an artist-in-residence for almost a year I’m still not quite sure.
We moved our studio to Mana Contemporary four months ago after eighteen years in Chinatown…Whaaao…..so much space and opportunity for threeASFOUR …. It was difficult at first, but surprised how fast we got used to the commute.
As an institution, Mana believes in the power of art to inspire and is filled with wonder and possibility. During the last four years, I’ve seen major transformations, ambition, and potential.
Artists help shape every community they enter. When people are exposed to art on a daily basis, it has a transformative effect on them and the community at large. Civilizations have been transformed by the communication of ideas, vision, and the possibilities gained from exposure to the arts.
My whole career as an artist in New York has been annually running away from impending gentrification. Like every other artist in New York, I have had an amazing studio for a period of time, then the building gets sold, the rent goes through the roof, the neighborhood gets re-branded, blah, blah, blah. I am, in part, the cause of my own demise. I’ve had studios in Long Island City, the Lower East Side, and DUMBO.
The Trustees of the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation will be a largely traditional exhibition space upon its opening in February 2018. Housed in Milton Resnick’s former studio building on Eldridge Street, the Foundation will exhibit paintings on canvas and paper by Resnick, his wife Pat Passlof, and other mature painters working out of the Abstract Expressionist tradition, broadly defined.
An optimal balance between community and intimacy for the artist’s daily practice—the necessary back and forth between these two sides of the creative work—is generated at Mana in an organic and dynamic fashion. In my particular case, moving my studio here came at the right moment when I most needed the support provided by this concept and this team of people.
What sets an arts space apart is its ability to be a part of art embracing process in front and behind the event of art making.
Art, I suppose, probably from the very beginning was always done as a type of community activity. Even when the cavemen were inside those caves spittin’ charcoal onto their hands and leaving their marks on the wall, I can’t imagine that that wasn’t just an amazing collaborative project of some sort. Art is a communal sport.
I know of very few companies that seek to remain static. Those that do, or those that resist necessary change, are usually faced with consequences that don’t positively impact the strategic goals of the organization.
Is dance less popular in the U.S. because it is missing from the media? Does its lack of a role in the economic system make it irrelevant? (I am not referring to win/lose TV or adding heat to a pop star’s glamour.)
I think about the body and mind of an artist, my mind goes to the painting Papilla Estelar (Celestial Pablum) by Remedios Varo, a Spanish-Mexican para-surrealist painter and anarchist.
In an increasingly dynamic world filled with over-consumption, starvation, debt, terrorism, and a laundry list of other issues, art stands as a reminder that the communication and understanding of our surroundings through the objects we encounter defines our experiences and creates the reality we live in.
There is an accelerated eagerness to rate art institutions today. Those whose missions include the new and the alternative prove most vulnerable.
Creativity has been defined by many, many people in different ways, and it is appreciated through various forms out in the world.
Sue De Beer
I’m an artist working in film installation. I make these films that are narrative films. If they connect to a genre in film it would sit somewhere between New German Cinema, and Italian Horror.
On the 50th anniversary of Smithson’s Passaic stroll, America is catching up to him in the sense that our assumptions of what a monument is have been deeply shaken, and what was once presumed to be a given now is not.
Suffice to say that ME’s cryptic description did not even begin to prepare me for the experience that was the Reborn-Art Festival.
WE ARE THE FREEDOM WARRIORS WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF INTUITION SONS OF SACRED EUPHORIA DAUGHTERS OF SPONTANEOUS ILLUMINATION
We as a human race are not supposed to have an awareness of our aloneness in the world. We traverse out into the world each day and fill it with fleeting interactions and moments spent with those we cherish—both fulfill the conditional need for interaction and validation.