[events-nyc] Mondays at White Slab: The Commensurate

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Fri Dec 17 23:40:45 UTC 2010

The Commensurate
Curated by Chelsea Knight

Monday, December 20, 8 pm
77 Delancey Street (Allen and Delancey)

The Factory of Found Clothes
Mathew Paul Jinks
Elizabeth Axtman
Curver Thoroddsen
Fiona Whitty
Shana Moulton

This program is about cultural inheritance. It presents collapsed
boundaries—both historical and cultural—as forms of political and
social resistance. All of the selections in the screening re-engage
stereotypes, fantasies and failure through extreme proximity rather
than emotional or narrative distance. All of these artists engage
proximity and play to challenge conventional associations about our
relationships with the cultures and selves we have inherited, and
those we have produced.

In Natalia Gluklya's Crimson Sails, a young Russian women are working
in a factory in Kronstadt, a famous historical place during the 1917
revolution. The factory is invaded by old women who dramatically wrest
long bolts of fabric from the young seamstresses and drag them out of
the factory, as if to activate the young women against their own
history of labor. In Mathew Paul Jinks's On Sundrun, a British man in
Chicago converses with and plays a cricket-like ball game with local
Pakistani/Chicagoans who are all wearing specially designed costumes
and masks, to exaggerate the social charade of post-colonial immigrant
identity across class. Elizabeth Axtman's video Where the Party At? is
a single-take of an African American woman dancing in a field in front
of a burning cross. Nelly's otherwise benign lyrics take on a sinister
tone in the context, and yet the irony of the context plays back
against itself in a kind of bacchanalian gesture.

In Curver Thorredson’s Trying To Get Out Of The Slump, and I Can Say
I’m Sorry, But I Can't Beg Your Forgiveness, a man is unable to
accomplish what we perceive as his desired activities because of his a
lack of tools and accessories, or his exaggerated use of them.  His
character sees us seeing him perform and amplify his role as victim in
a funny but uncomfortable way; we are all both pathetic and implicated
in our failures. Fiona Whitty’s video trailer Warlord’s Wanton
Granddaughter takes up the ironies of profit in war as she films Naomi
Campbell testifying on blood diamonds gifted to her by Charles Taylor.
Whitty’s dizzying media appropriations and chaotic edits dismantle the
official faces of fashion as clean and war as dirty and force them
together in the gleaming, strangely ugly gaze of Cambell on the
witness stand and in the avuncular embrace of Nelson Mandela. In Shana
Moulton’s The Galactic Pot Healer, a woman is guided by messages in
her medicine cabinet as she seeks to heal her broken ceramic pot. In
the piece, the woman’s consumption of new-age objects and redemptive
treatments amplifies the fragile economy of her body. The character
displaces and then rediscovers her own body in a gesture that joins
her, both alien and intimate, with herself.


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