NEW YORK, NY.- Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
presents Live Theory, an exhibition of artwork by Brigitte Kowanz, Shirley Shor, and Ingo Günther.
Through a variety of media technologies, both new and old, each of these artists describe and interpret our rapidly changing social, political, and economic landscapes. This group of internationally diverse artists are in the midst of reshaping our understanding of how to create and disseminate information. The modes developed for mapping information, the roles of language across media networks, and the pictorial authority of photography, are all changing at rapid speeds. An array of media interfaces from the Google map that gives us immediate access to any place on earth to the social media that support regional activism all are becoming new tools and the means for artists to reshape our conventional modes of creative expression.
Ingo Günthers installation of illuminated globes foreground our planet as a place of shifting power relationships that can be imagined in new ways. His subtle and incisive articulations of visual information inform his brilliant remaking of the traditional globe into a sculpture representing history and todays changing world. One can look back over time to see how the history of mapping captured how the world was imagined. During the Renaissance, maps depicted uncharted seas filled with monsters and lands containing unknown populations. As territories distant from Europe were colonized the mapping of the then known world reflected the changing relationships of competing spheres of power. The map of the nation states has been in a constant state of flux perhaps most dramatically with the end of the Cold War toward the end of the last century.
Brigitte Kowanz creates elegant sculptures that shape the movements of language and give an added dimension of expression to the constant flow of written language and our codes of communication. Written language has taken on a new presence through the internet and i-Phone technology. We are constantly texting one another through a neverending sequence of blogs, tweets, and emails. Although technology is giving us new ways to communicate it is still language and the constant flow of information, data, that shapes so much of how we see the world.
Shirley Shor has created an innovative computer program that creates an infinitely changing human face. Taken from a series of still photographic portraits, her algorithm renders a continually changing portrait that never repeats. The changing topologies of the self become the material of an evocative redefinition of the portrait, and how we see ourselves over the course of time. Whether it is homeland security or the passport we use to identify ourselves, the photographic portrait is a fundamental tool for identifying and proving who we are as individuals. However, the ability to digitally manipulate the photograph as a document of reality has called into question the truth of the photograph.
Ingo Günther grew up in the city of Dortmund, Germany. In the 70s, travels took him to Northern Africa, North and Central America and Asia. He studied Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at Frankfurt University (1977) before he switched to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1978, where he studied with Schwegler, Uecker and Paik (M.A. 1983). Based in New York, he played a crucial role in the evaluation and interpretation of satellite data gathered from political and military crisis zones; the results were distributed internationally through print media and TV news. His work with satellite data led to Günther's contribution to documenta 8 (1987), the installation K4 (C31) (Command Control Communication and Intelligence). In the same year, Günther received accreditation as a correspondent at the United Nations in NY. Since 1989, Günther uses globes as a medium for his artistic and journalistic interests.
A Vienna native, Brigitte Kowanz is one of the most successful contemporary Austrian artists. The medium of light is central to her work. Since the early 1980s she has consistently employed the medium in various ways in works for walls and room installations. Initially there were three-dimensional pictures made of neon lights that gave off a phosphorescent light and appeared to be spatiallyexpanded paintings. Thus, at the beginning of the 1980s, at a time when the Junge Wilde dominated the art scene with their rather traditionally-defined notions of pictures, Kowanz was setting a future-oriented counter accent. She signalized a relationship to technology and the present that was missing in contemporary painting and created a new articulation of the relationship between artwork, viewer and space that literally outshone traditional rules.
Born in Israel and part of an emerging generation of new media artists, Shirley Shor employs technological processes in the service of larger issues related to human experience and fine art. Shor creates real-time computer generated installations, and environments that alter our experience of concepts such as conflict, language, and the passage of time. Shor's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is part of many private and public collections in the US and abroad.