Video 2012 - This Winter at Momenta Art
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VIDEO 2012
January 27 through April 1, 2011

Jan 27 - Feb 5
Juliane Zelwies
Meisterwerke (Masterpieces)
Event on Sun, Jan 29, 5pm

Feb 10 - Feb 19
Bahar Behbahani
Saffron Tea
Event on Sun, Feb 12, 5pm

Feb 24 - Mar 4
Paula Delgado
Cómo sos tan lindo
Event on Sun, Feb 26, 5pm

Mar 9 - Mar 18
Michelle Handelman
Rehearsal for a Vamp
Event on Sun, Mar 11, 5pm

Mar 23 - Apr 1
Janet Biggs

Jayson Musson
Amber Hawk Swanson
Leslie Thornton

Event on Sun, Apr 1, 5pm
Momenta Art is pleased to present the 2012 edition of its annual Video Series. In lieu of traditional openings, each exhibition will be accompanied by a Sunday evening event – an artist talk, a performance, or a discussion. The series will span five two-week exhibitions and will feature works by artists recently added to Momenta Art’s Video Library, an ongoing resource for video art.

This year’s series will focus on the evolving nature of video distribution and its impact on meaning. The growing variety of approaches to presentation will be represented -- illustrating the unstable relationship between video and existing distribution systems and networks. The works here demonstrate the problems posed when comparing works that utilize multi-channels or installation as well as those that exist ambiguously, not easily pigeon-holed as ambient, feature, short, or experimental. These topics will be discussed specifically in a final panel discussion that will include artists who have experience in both new online contexts and those who work within the gallery context that has been defining and redefining the nature and meaning of video since the 1970’s.

The first four exhibitions will feature a solo presentations of video works, each anchored by an event programmed by the featured artist. This year’s solo artists are Juliane Zelwies, Bahar Behbahani, Paula Delgado, and Michelle Handelman.

The finale to this year’s video series will present a two-week screening of work by Janet Biggs, Jayson Musson, Amber Hawk Swanson, and Leslie Thornton. These artists will be on hand for a panel discussion centering on the topic of video distribution and its formal impact on meaning. The discussion will take place on April 1st, the last day of the series and will be moderated by Edward Winkleman.

Visitors to Momenta are always encouraged to view the gallery’s video library, which allows them to choose from and screen over 200 works by over 80 video artists who have shown with the gallery since 1991.

zelwies_meisterwerke_150 2Jan 27 - Feb 5
Juliane ZelwiesMeisterwerke (Masterpieces)
with special event on Sunday, January 29th at 5 PM, a discussion with Juliana Zelwies and artist Jude Tallichet.

Meisterwerke (Masterpieces - 2009) is a 5 channel black and white video installation in which a group of people use a family therapy method known as “Family Constellations” to investigate the relationships between the people and objects portrayed in five popular works of art: The Glass of Wine by Jan Vermeer van Delft; Le déjeuner sur l'herbe by Édouard Manet; Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David; Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez; and Summer by Claude Monet. Each of five monitors placed in a circle presents the analysis of one of the pieces. The monitors face inward like a group of people engaged in a discourse. Simple and seemingly trivial questions about the iconography of the images prompted extremely emotional reactions from the participants. The original works are never seen, only the therapeutic examination performed by the group.

Born and educated in Berlin, Juliane Zelwies holds an MFA from Berlin University of the Arts and has performed and exhibited internationally. Her work explores the social and cultural phenomena of our society through video installations, short films and drawings. In her performances she initiates and radicalizes social situations to understand both the limits and possibilities of human interaction. Zelweis’ work has been shown internationally at venues such as Deutsches Technikmuseum, Berlin, Germany; Galerie Sans Nom, Moncton, Canada; 59th Berlin International Film Festival / Berlinale, Berlin, Gernamy; Laundromat Gallery, Brooklyn; Galerie D21, Leipzig, Germany; Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Kassel, Germany; NBK, Berlin, Germany; Berliner Liste / Umspannwerk, Berlin; Maritime Museum, Stockholm; The Whole Gallery, Baltimore.

SaffronTea150 2Feb 10 - Feb 19
Bahar BehbahaniSaffron Tea
with special event on Sunday, February 12th at 5 PM

Saffron Tea (2008) is a strongly autobiographical single channel video, drawing on both personal and cultural history. Dreamy and ethereal scenes of a serene domestic space lull the viewer into an almost overwhelming sense of comfort. An antique fan, armchairs draped with doilies, and women fanning themselves allude to a safe setting imbued by a strong matriarchal presence. The viewer is jolted out of this soporific reverie as they are confronted with the stark visual of the dreamer submerged in a tank of water inside an empty room. The abrupt contrast of these images conveys an incredible sense of displacement and longing, suggesting the insuperable isolation from a memory of childhood happiness.

Bahar Behbahani was born in Tehran, Iran and lives in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BFA and from Al-Zahra University, Tehran, in 1995 and an MFA from Azad University, Tehran, in 1998. Her work has been exhibited at the Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY, the Sharjah Biennial 10, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, White Box, New York, Al-Ma’Mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem, Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, Tokyo. Her work Suspended was the Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival, 2008.

delgado-150 2Feb 24 - Mar 4
Paula DelgadoCómo sos tan lindo (How come you’re so beautiful)
with special event on Sunday, February 26th at 5 PM

Paula Delgado’s Cómo sos tan lindo (How come you’re so beautiful), begins with an ad in a local paper requesting attractive males for a photo shoot. Without subjecting the candidates to a screening process, the artist invites them to meet her in a hotel room. Though this location provides an ostensibly neutral meeting place, it is replete with associations of the intimate, sexual, and transient. The results of these encounters present a destabilization of male stereotypes through a process of re-subjectivation through conversation.  

Delgado first placed the advertisement for the project in her hometown of Montevideo, Uruguay. Since then it has appeared in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Valparaiso, Chile; Vienna, Austria; Barcelona, Spain; London, UK; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Prague, Czech Republic. Conceived as a work in progress, the project began in 2005.

Paula Delgado was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, where she now lives and works. Her photography, video and performance art examines issues surrounding national, personal and gender based aspects of identity construction. She has exhibited internationally and is currently directing “CRUCES”, an international art workshop and residency program in Montevideo.

handelman-150 2Mar 9 - Mar 18
Michelle HandelmanRehearsal for a Vamp
with special event on Sunday, March 11th at 5 PM

Rehearsal for a Vamp is a work-in-progress installation of Michelle Handelman’s latest video project Irma Vep, the last breath, a multiscreen project based on Musidora, the French silent film actress who played the character Irma Vep in the film Les Vampires (1915, dir. Louis Feuillade). The work takes up motifs from the film such as gazes, affected body language and the figure of the masked woman. Presented on a starkly illuminated set, Rehearsal for a Vamp makes space for anxious projections of desire on the void that is Irma Vep - a space between genders, between vamps of the silent era and the contemporary queer - smashing the shiny veneer of artifice to reveal dark, subconscious layers of identity. Rehearsal for a Vamp imagines one of the many iterations of Handelman’s Irma Vep, the last breath which is due to be completed in late 2012.

Michelle Handelman is a multimedia artist, writer and teacher. Her work has shown internationally including the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris; The Institute of Contemporary Art, London; and the American Film Institute. Her feature documentary on the San Francisco leatherdyke scene, BloodSisters - winner of the 1999 Bravo Award - continues to play around the world and her recent collaboration with Paul Miller AKA DJ Spooky "DJ Spooky vs. WebSpinstress M", an animated look at the pecking order of the art world, is currently on the festival circuit. She is an Assistant Professor in the video department at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston.

groupMarch 23 - April 1
Janet Biggs, Jayson Musson, Amber Hawk Swanson, and Leslie Thornton
with panel discussion moderated by Edward Winkleman on Sunday, April 1 at 5 pm.

The final exhibition in Momenta’s Winter Video Series will be a group show featuring works by Janet Biggs, Amber Hawk Swanson, and Leslie Thornton.  This cross-generational group will convene on Sunday, April 1st for the final day of the Video Series to discuss the evolution of video distribution and its connection to meaning, the steady growth of video as a collectible item, and how the mode of distribution affects the perception of the work. Edward Winkleman, director of Winkleman Gallery and co-founder of the Moving Image art fair, will moderate the discussion.

The impetus for this discussion has in part been inspired by the questions raised through our efforts to manage, develop and provide public access to the works in Momenta’s Video Library, an archive spanning 25 years, consisting of over 200 works by over 80 artists whose work has been featured at Momenta. All are invited to attend.

Based in New York City, Janet Biggs is known primarily for her work in video, photography and performance. Her work has been exhibited both domestically and abroad, and is held in public collections including the High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina; Gibbes Museum of Art, South Carolina; and the New Britain Museum of Art, Connecticut.

Jayson Musson is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and is best known for his internet-based ‘Art Thoughtz’ video series. Musson holds a BFA in Photography from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and an MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA, West Galerie, Den Haag, The Netherlands, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL, Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA.

Amber Hawk Swanson, a native of Iowa, is a video and performance artist living and working in Brooklyn and Chicago. She has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad, including New York, Miami, Atlanta and Estonia. She has also participated in a number of residencies and has been a visiting artist at McGill University and Hunter College, among other prestigious appointments. Her work is included in the permanent and MPP collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and has been profiled and reviewed extensively. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Educated at MIT and SUNY Buffalo, Leslie Thornton is a filmmaker and artist based in New York and Rhode Island. Her video and film art is energetic and experimental, rigorously combining original and archival footage, video and still images, and digital media in the service of meaningful investigation. The process serves as an examination of the creation of meaning through media, and explores the critical relationship between form and content. Thornton has shown extensively, including at the 2008 Whitney Biennial. She is a professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University.

Top Image: Bahar Behbahani
Saffron Tea, 2008
Courtesy of the artist

Momenta Art
56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn NY 11206
718.218.8058 |
Gallery Hours: Thu through Mon, 12-6pm

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Momenta's programming is supported in part by: NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Harriet Ames Charitable Trust, The Greenwall Foundation, The Greenwich Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, The Lily Auchincloss Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The New York State Council on the Arts, and individual contributors.

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