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BIO
Recess’s mission is to support the creative process of contemporary artists by providing a space for
productive activity and a platform for a partnership with the public. By offering artists flexible work/ exhibition space, artists are given agency to determine the visibility of their work and the parameters of its presentation.

Free of charge and open to the public, Recess facilitates everyday interactions between artists and the
community in order to promote the productive space of the working artist as a site of valuable visual and intellectual interactions. Our endeavors offer critical exposure for the artists we support while fostering an inclusive environment in which artists and the public can engage in a meaningful exchange of art and ideas.

Recess was formed in May 2009 to address concerns that emerging artists cannot afford to live or work
in proximity to exhibition communities. Securing a platform to gain visibility and develop creative goals and a professional career is often a daunting task. The organization was likewise founded to actively respond to changing modes of production. Contemporary artwork, unlike more traditional forms, can be site-specific, performance-based or ephemeral in nature. The traditional gallery space is often unable to accommodate the interactive, process-based artistic production. The artist’s studio is also changing: no longer bound to conventional space, the studio of the contemporary artist is the street, the gallery, or anywhere the practitioner chooses to work. Session was conceived to directly take on the evolving conditions of contemporary art, realizing ambitious projects that don’t always “fit” in the customary context.
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EVENT

Mira Friedlaender: Half of What’s There


Dates:
Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:00 - Sat Oct 25, 2014

Location:
New York, New York
United States of America

Reception: Sept 18, 6-8pm
Public Conversation: Oct 11, 2-3:30pm
Closing Reception: Oct 23, 6-8pm

On September 2, 2014, Mira Friedlaender will begin work on Half of What’s There as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation.

Over the course of her Session, the artist will unpack, document, and inventory the life’s work of Bilge Civelekoglu Friedlaender.

Bilge came to New York at the age of 24 to become an artist. A Turkish émigré active from the 1970s-1990s, she produced non-objective work in the form of works with paper, installations, and sculpture. She was also Mira’s mother.

When Bilge died, her gallery did not continue representation, and so her life’s output has remained in storage, undisturbed, for years. Bringing these works from storage to Recess to be unpacked, Mira will take on the role of artist, art handler and registrar. Each week of the Session she will present a new installation of excavated works. She will display her mother’s work alongside the materials that have housed and informed it: storage bins, packing supplies, and a selection of original ephemera.

As she sorts these materials, Mira’s labor will become a public performance that draws attention to the epic archives that represent the fate of most artworks. Throughout the Session she will respond to the formal components of the evolving installation as well as her mother’s work by creating new works in video, on paper and with reconstituted stored materials.

In a series of conversations with art industry workers she will further excavate ideas of value, legacy, presentation and labor. Reframing the installation, deinstallation, and storage processes as the center of artistic activity, Mira will present the hidden economy of art removed from the market.

About the Artist:

Mira Friedlaender is a Brooklyn – based multidisciplinary artist who puts creative struggle at the center of her projects. She received a BA from Tufts University, BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and her MFA from NYU. She has exhibited her work locally and internationally and has been a Visiting Artist at the American Center, Dhaka, Bangladesh and at Dulcinea Independent Art Space, Istanbul, Turkey.
She has always been a fan of packing materials.

41 Grand Street, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10013
Tuesday – Saturday 12-6; Thursday 2-8
(646) 863-3765‎
Contact info@recessactivities.org for images and information.


EVENT

Ruka (To braid/ to knit/ to weave)


Dates:
Tue Jun 03, 2014 00:00 - Sat Aug 02, 2014

Location:
New York, New York
United States of America

June 14, 2pm: Community Braiding Workshop*
June 28, 12-6pm: Film Screenings
July 19, 12-6pm: Rent a Booth, invited artist projects

On June 3, 2014, Nontsikelelo Mutiti will begin work on Ruka (To braid/ to knit/ to weave) as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation.

Over the course of her Session, Mutiti will play the role of the artist, designer, and researcher to a space for the study and practice of hair braiding. While documenting the practice and resulting visual forms, the artist will excavate the language and motifs associated with this method of adornment across traditional and contemporary contexts. From the space, the artist will chart new territory in her artistic research through teaching and learning hair braiding techniques. In partnership with hair braiding professionals as well as members of her own community (of family, friends and colleagues) she will generate and consolidate an archive of materials related to hair braiding salons including archival images, field photography, texts, transcripts of conversations, braiding instructions, combs, and Harlem hair braider business cards. In response to this gathered material, Mutiti will create a new installation of custom floor tiles, video, posters and ephemera using the hair braiding’s formal qualities of repetition and diagramming as a starting point.

The African hair braiding salon, which can be found in cities all over the world, is a marker of diaspora and often an important site for African women living abroad to use their braiding skills to generate income. Spaces in New York City and Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom are a type of facsimile of the salons of Harare, Zimbabwe. When building her own installation, the artist will reference these important social spaces with walls painted in acid green or bright orange, magazine cut outs of celebrities, hair product models, flyers and posters from evangelical churches, not forgetting the ubiquitous small black television set on top of a cabinet playing Nollywood movies. The artist’s redrawing of an African hair braiding Salon will support her study of the technical skill involved, as well as provide a space to document and interpret these processes and forms through video, photography and printmaking.

About the Artist:

Nontsikelelo Mutiti is a Zimbabwean-born artist and educator working across disciplines to produce work that occupies the forms of fine art, design, and social practice. Mutiti received a diploma in multimedia from the Zimbabwe Institute of Digital Arts in 2007 and an MFA with a concentration in graphic design from the Yale School of Art in 2012. Also in 2012, she was a recipient of the Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship and a fellow of the Create Change Program with the Laundromat Project in New York City. Her recent exhibitions include T(H)READ, a solo installation at the Edwin Gallery in Hamtramck, Mich., curated by Chido Johnson; “Aural Map Making (125th Street)“ in Remitting Default: Sonic Diagrams for Recess Activities in New York City, curated by Kenya (Robinson); a performative lecture, “A New Work/A Now Work/A Non Work,” at Yale’s Davenport College Art Gallery; and Give and Take: A Currency of Culture, at the Community Folk Art Centre at Syracuse University. She is co-founder of the Zimbabwe Cultural Centre in Detroit which facilitated collaborative projects between astist living and working in Detroit. Michigan and the cities of Harare and Mutare in Zimbabwe. ZCCD mounted an exhibition of these works in sister exhibitions under the title Kumusha (Home). Mutiti is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the New Media Department at State University of New York, Purchase College.

*RSVP required. Contact info@recessactivities.org to secure a spot.


EVENT

Takashi Horisaki and Nina Horisaki-Christens: Metabolic Morphology


Dates:
Tue Mar 25, 2014 00:00 - Fri May 16, 2014

Location:
New York, New York
United States of America

On March 25th, 2014, Takashi Horisaki and Nina Horisaki-Christens will begin work on Metabolic Morphology as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation.

Inspired by Soho’s signature architectural form – the cast iron building – the main component of Metabolic Morphology will take the form of a semi-modular installation of cast colored latex and vacuum-formed plastic elements that will be rearranged and expanded upon over the course of the project. These forms will derive their basic aesthetics from casts of sections of actual buildings in Soho, including Recess’s own space, which will then be draped, stretched, and otherwise manipulated over plastic and wire structures. The modular components will then be suspended in arrangements that, when altered, trigger sound recordings detailing the histories of the neighborhood by its inhabitants, tying together the physical and narrative records of this urban space.

Metabolic Morphology takes as its conceptual basis both an awareness of the complex nature of urban development in Tokyo and New York, and the specific history of the Soho neighborhood, where ideas of modular architectural components seem particularly apt given the trajectory that cast-iron buildings set for architecture. Allowing the entire facade of a structure to be cast quickly and at lower cost than ornamental stone constructions, cast iron paved the way for more radical forms of pre-fabricated and modular architectures in the decades that followed. At the same time, this Soho was also intimately associated with evolving concepts of modernism through its artistic inhabitants, including prominent minimalist artists, whose work speaks to such modernist component-based aesthetics, taking them to their universalizing extreme, and Fluxus artists who sought a more open ended collaborative aesthetic. Drawing from these local histories, the artists seek to explore an urban aesthetic that melds modernist simplification with the heterogeneity of reality, hybridizing simple interchangeable geometries with unique ornamental details in an organic fashion.

Ultimately Horisaki and Horisaki-Christens would like to acknowledge the physicality of our urban environment, recognizing the tension it contains in balancing history with the drive toward technological innovation, and organizational structure with the uncoordinated forces of development.


EVENT

Bystander


Dates:
Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:00 - Sat Mar 29, 2014

Location:
New York, New York
United States of America


Recess, in collaboration with The Kitchen, Presents

Liz Magic Laser:
Bystander

Session at Recess: Jan 8 – March 22
Performances at The Kitchen: March 27-29, 8pm
Please check Recess website for schedule updates.

On January 8, 2014, Liz Magic Laser will begin work on Bystander as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation.

Bystander will be developed at Recess through a series of interviews conducted by journalists and actors with members of the public. Laser will work with her collaborators to produce a script based on interview responses. The culminating performance will stage a dialogue between television news production and its viewers. Reversing expected roles, professional newscasters will deliver subjective testimonies while actors, representing the public, offer factual reports.

Both the Session and final performances will be staged in a functioning newsroom installation, replete with time zone clocks. By re-contextualizing the television news scenario as theatrical dialogue, Laser lays bare the mechanisms at play in the presentation and reception of current events.

About the artist:
Liz Magic Laser (b. 1981, New York) lives and works in Brooklyn. Her performances and videos intervene in semi-public spaces such as bank vestibules, movie theaters and newsrooms, and have involved collaborations with actors, dancers, reporters, surgeons, and motorcycle gang members. She earned a BA from Wesleyan University (2003) and an MFA from Columbia University (2008). She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (2008) and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (2009). Most recently, her work was the subject of solo exhibitions at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2013) the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany (2013); DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas (2013) and Mälmo Konsthall, Mälmo, Sweden (2012). Her work has also been exhibited at Lisson Gallery, London (2013); the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2012); Various Small Fires, Los Angeles (2012); the Performa 11 Biennial, New York (2011); The Pace Gallery, New York (2011); the Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2011); and MoMA PS 1, New York (2010). Laser is the recipient of grants from Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation Grant (2013), the Southern Exposure Off-Site Graue Award (2013), New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2012) and the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art (2010). She was the 2013 Armory Show Commissioned Artist and has been in residency at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Space Program, New York (2012), Forever & Today, Inc.’s Studio On The Street artist-in-residence program, New York (2012), Smack Mellon, Brooklyn (2011) and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York (2009).

Collaborators:
Bystander will be developed with Actors: Audrey Crabtree, Annie Fox and Michael Wiener; Critical Writing Fellow: Sofia Pontén; Technical Director: Irwin Seow; Production Managers: Brian Mcelroy and Rachel Zaretsky; Costume Stylist Felicia Garcia-Rivera; and Research Assistants Laura Cooper and Lucia Hinojosa who will also present artwork and events during the Recess Session.
Please check Recess website for schedule updates.

Liz Magic Laser’s Bystander is produced in collaboration with The Kitchen.


EVENT

Nightlight


Dates:
Fri Oct 04, 2013 20:00 - Fri Oct 04, 2013

Location:
Brooklyn, New York
United States of America

Recess, along with event chairs Z Behl, Katie Cooper and Gordon Hall, Presents: Nightlight. Held in Pioneer Works’ sprawling garden, Nightlight is Recess’s fall bash to benefit emerging artists.

Come enjoy seasonal whiskey ciders over conversations with past and present Recess artists, view live performances and dance under the night sky.

Performances from Z Behl, ESP TV and Elizabeth Orr - Circular Track.

DJs: D’hana & Amber Valentine.

Tickets are pay what you wish ($20 Suggested donation) until September 20th. All tickets $20 after September 20th. Purchase tickets now! Get them here: http://tinyurl.com/o9yxxqs

Recess has partnered with the on-demand car service, Uber, to offer $20 off your first Uber ride to or from Nightlight on October 4th.

Special thank you to our sponsors: Chatham Imports, Duvel, Michter’s US*1 Sour Mash, Micther’s US*1 Bourbon, Ozwell Cabernet, Pioneer Works, Santa Marina Pinot Grigio, and Uber.