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Studio Museum in Harlem Opens Three New Exhibitions
Ellen Gallagher, "DeLuxe" (detail), 2004-05. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase made possible by a gift from Thomas H. Lee and Ann Tenenbaum, New York 05.8.1

NEW YORK, NY.- Collected. Reflections on the Permanent Collection offers a series of meditations on artworks entrusted to The Studio Museum in Harlem. Envisioned as eight exhibitions within an exhibition and featuring approximately 100 works that span the mid-century to today, Reflections investigates shared thematic concerns between the works on view. These include media and materials; traditional art historical genres like portraiture and landscape; and cultural notions of history and memory. The distinct viewpoints of the exhibition’s sections aim to provide fresh modes of visual reflection by reinterpreting, reexamining and resituating these pieces into critical conversation with one another. Reflections is the second in the “Collected” exhibition series, continuing the exploration begun in Collected. Propositions on the Permanent Collection (Spring 2009).

Each section within Reflections uses the featured objects as catalysts for expanding upon how art is produced and traditionally presented in museum spaces. Catalogue: Systems of Dis/Order looks to the legacies of Minimalism and Conceptual art to consider the idea of seriality, featuring works that employ repetition, pattern and musical scores to challenge modes of structure and organization. Subject casts artists as the focus, via self-portraiture or visual tributes to other artists of varying disciplines; while Site brings together interpretations of the studio as a nexus for social relations, artistic production, self reflection and the foundation of an expanded, “world-as-studio” practice. These perspectives, along with Gleam, Masquerade, Place, Work and A Delicate Touch offer multiple ways of experiencing and understanding the breadth of the Studio Museum’s holdings. In addition, several Highlights consider individual pieces, including artworks by Robert Colescott, Leonardo Drew, Ellen Gallagher, Louise Nevelson and Howardena Pindell, in depth. The wall texts accompanying these featured artworks include the contributions of scholars and artists in our extended community, who lend new insights in a continuing interpretative process.

The works on display embody the Studio Museum’s mission and programming, presenting historically significant work by artists of African descent, and art inspired by black culture locally, nationally and internationally. They also evidence the Museum’s ongoing collecting processes, incorporating pieces acquired from former artists in residence, artists featured in past exhibitions, as well as gifts and works acquired through the Acquisitions Committee. Collected. Reflections on the Permanent Collection was organized by the curatorial team of Thelma Golden, Naomi Beckwith, Lauren Haynes, Thomas J. Lax, Tasha Parker and Abbe Schriber. Reflections offers innovative ways to see the Museum’s collection in the present moment, and allows an opportunity to contemplate the rich, expansive range of ideas linking artists throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

VidéoStudio: New Work from France
In a trio of month-long programs, the Studio Museum presents the work of three North African artists—Yto Barrada, Bouchra Khalili and Djamel Kokene—who were born or currently live in France. While these artists emerge from a specific Afro European context, the exhibition brings together work that considers “France”—and the very idea of the nation—as a concept rather than a stable category. Together their work encourages us to consider the relationship between individuals and the state; culture and the law; and identity and modes of representation. VidéoStudio: New Work from France is the second installment of VideoStudio, an ongoing series of video art Barrada, Khalili and Kokene use the immediacy and transience of film and video to question conceptions of cinematic form, national identity and statelessness. Each artist reinterprets techniques drawn from artistic genres including guerilla theater, documentary film and narrative storytelling. Yto Barrada (b. 1971) recounts narratives of individuals—botanists, smugglers and magicians—and specific places, such as gardens and vacant lots. She addresses issues of postcolonial power in Morocco, where she lives and works.

Bouchra Khalili (b. 1975) follows the stories of contemporary migrants as they navigate geographic and psychological landscapes. Her subjects are made discernible only through overheard conversations, maps and urban panoramas. Djamel Kokene (b. 1968) stages site-specific interventions in spaces such as museums and workshops, and records these performances on video. For the artist, the performances and videos of them each function as individual works, a move that tests the boundaries of media specificity and the limits of the artist’s role in contemporary society.

Harlem Postcards
Represented, revered, and recognized by people around the world, Harlem is a continually expanding nexus of black culture, history and iconography. Venerable landmarks, such as the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the Apollo Theater, Hotel Theresa, Audubon Ballroom and 125th Street, remain popular emblems of important historic moments and moods. The Studio Museum’s ongoing series, Harlem Postcards, invites contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds to reflect on Harlem as a site for artistic contemplation and production. Installed in the Museum lobby and available to visitors free of charge, Harlem Postcards present intimate views and fresh perspectives on this famous neighborhood. This season we feature images by Xenobia Bailey, Yara El-Sherbini, Brendan Fernandes and Monique Schubert.

StudioSound: DJ /rupture
This season’s StudioSound composer Jace Clayton is a writer and musician living in Brooklyn, who performs internationally as DJ /rupture. In addition to his work as a turntablist and producer, Clayton is a member of the band Nettle and host of Mudd Up!, a weekly radio show on WFMU, 91.1 fm. He also runs Soot Records, an independent label dedicated to international urban music.

Clayton’s interests include music, globalization, public space, and digital technologies/networks, with an emphasis on Latin America, Africa, and the Arab world. He has given lectures and artist talks at Harvard University and other cultural/educational institutions in Germany, Spain, Peru, The Netherlands, and Brazil.

StudioSound invites musicians, producers and musical innovators to create original compositions inspired by the works on view. This commissioned-based project activates the museum’s lobby and adds a parallel dimension to the art and artists on view. Past StudioSound artists include DJ Spooky, My Barbarian, Rich Medina, George E. Lewis, Marc Cary, and Guillermo E. Brown. StudioSound is organized by Dominic Hackley and Stephanie Pottinger.

The Studio Museum | "Collected" | Thelma Golden | Naomi Beckwith | Lauren Haynes |

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