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.
Discussions (0) Opportunities (4) Events (45) Jobs (0)

Seeing Voice The Seven-Tone Color Spectrum

Fri Mar 15, 2013 18:00 - Fri Mar 15, 2013

New York, United States of America

On March 15 & 16, Christine Sun Kim, in collaboration with the Center for Experimental Lectures, will initiate a conversation led by seven presenters, all of whom will give a lecture without using audible voice. This is the final event in Feedback, Sun Kim’s six-part Session at Recess.

Throughout Feedback, Sun Kim, deaf since birth, has performed auditory investigations that initiate a slippage of audio into visual. Using non-vocal methods of dialogue to form collaborative vision with visitors to Recess and a cast of collaborators, the artist has created multiple aural perceptions through the use of bodies in motion, microphones, delay pedals, and more.

For the final iteration of Feedback, Isaac Newton’s alignment of the color wheel and the octave will serve as a point of departure for conversations that do not privilege audible voice. Each of the seven presenters is assigned a particular color/note.

Some presenters will use their assigned color/note as a place to begin research while others will focus on topics in and around individual voice. Each presenter will engage his or her own specific interests and varied backgrounds.

Coming from a variety of disciplines, presenters will offer research-based lectures that critically engage the notion of transmuted, embodied voice. They will employ projected images, laptops, tablets, the physical body, and other communicative tools that do not require their vocal chords.

Visitors are free to come and go as they please.

Presenters: Christine Sun Kim, R. E. H. Gordon, Tom Finkelpearl, Corrine Fitzpatrick, Marc Handelman, Stephen Lichty, R. Lyon, Jesse Prinz, Eugenie Tsai

Image: Newton’s color circle, from Opticks of 1704, showing the colors correlated with musical notes. The spectral colors from red to violet are divided by the notes of the musical scale, starting at D. The circle completes a full octave from D to D. Newton’s circle places red, at one end of the spectrum, next to violet, at the other. This reflects the fact that non-spectral purple colors are observed when red and violet light are mixed. Isaak Newton. Opticks. 1704, from Book I, Part II, Proposition VI, Problem 2. Feb. 21, 2013.


Eyes as Big as Plates: Riitta Ikonen

Fri Feb 15, 2013 00:00 - Wed Apr 24, 2013

Brooklyn , New York
United States of America

February 15 – April 26, 2013
Performance & Reception: March 22, 6-8 pm
Closing Reception: April 24, 6-8pm

On February 15, Riitta Ikonen and her collaborator, Karoline Hjorth, will begin a new chapter in their series Eyes as Big as Plates 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 their Session, Ikonen and Hjorth will create costumes, settings, and performance programs for senior residents of New York who show a marked connection to their national and cultural roots. The artists will explore their subjects’ mental landscapes by playing with personifications of nature, while developing a series of photographs and performances.

From Recess’s project room at The Intercourse, Ikonen will create a series of personalized costumes using organic scavenged materials, and developed from interviews and activities with the senior participants. Working with residents from the Hamilton-Madison House – City Hall Senior Center in Manhattan, participants are encouraged to contribute ideas and stories for the photographs and to lend their own personality to Ikonen’s costumes. Hiorth will shoot selected stories in locations around New York, particularly amongst Red Hook’s waterways.

The photographs play with references from American folklore. Each image will present a solitary figure in a landscape, dressed in elements from surroundings that indicate neither time nor place, encouraging a sense of timelessness and universality. This blending of figure and ground recalls the way in which folk narratives animate the natural world through a personification of nature. The slippage of elderly figures into the landscapes suggests a return to the earth, a celebration of lives lived, reinforcing the link between humanity and the natural world.

The Session will culminate in a final performance featuring the resulting costumes, photographs, and artifacts.


Call for Artists Proposals: Recess 2013-2014

Fri Mar 15, 2013 23:59

New York, New York
United States of America

Session invites artists to use one of two flexible spaces in Soho and Red Hook, New York, to realize long-term projects that take advantage of a built-in public audience. Though similar to a residency program, Session goes beyond the traditional structure to provide resources and facilitate interactions between artist and audience throughout the creative process. Sessions last 6-12 weeks. Applications will be used to fill Sessions spring 2013 - summer 2014. To apply please visit Recess's Application Page here recessactivities.org/play/apply.

About Recess
Recess is an artists’ workspace that is open to the public. Recess facilitates every-day interactions between artists and audiences in order to promote the productive space of the working artist as a site of valuable visual and intellectual interaction. Our endeavors promote 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.


We Buy White Albums: Rutherford Chang

Mon Jan 07, 2013 00:00 - Sat Mar 09, 2013

New York, New York
United States of America

Middling Reception: February 7, 6-8pm
Closing Reception: March 7, 6-9pm
On January 7, 2013, Rutherford Chang began work on We Buy White Albums, as part of Recess’ signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’ public space as studio, exhibition venue, and grounds for experimentation. Pursuing an interest in exhaustive cataloguing, Chang has collected over 650 first-pressings of the Beatles’ White Album. He considers the serialized first-press, an edition running in excess of 3 million, to be the ultimate collector’s item, and aims to amass as many copies as possible. Over the course of his Session, Chang will create an archive, listening library, and anti-store to house and grow his collection of the Beatles’ iconic record.

Chang will create a record store that stocks only White Albums. But rather than selling the albums, he will buy more from anyone willing to part with an original pressing in any condition.

Visitors will be invited to browse the collection and listen to the records. The artist will digitally record every album played during the Session period, as well as document each gatefold cover and disc label. At the end of the Session, Chang will press a new double-LP made of the accumulated recordings and images layered upon each other.

The album covers are weathered, often with marks or writing from previous owners, and the vinyl discs are usually scratched or warped. The character of each copy, distinctly shaped by its history, is told through the physicality of the media. This phenomenon, at the cusp of extinction due to digital technologies, is made apparent by the identical yet unique multiples that comprise Chang’s collection.

About the Artist:

Rutherford Chang was born in Houston and currently lives and works in New York and Shanghai. He received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2002. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including White Space in Beijing, Brown Gallery in London, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.

For image requests or more information contact: info@recessactivities.org.


Here She Comes: Julia Sherman

Sat Dec 08, 2012 00:00 - Fri Dec 21, 2012

New York, United States of America

Here She Comes: Julia Sherman

December 8 – 21, 2012

Reception: December 13, 7-9 pm

“We could certainly use another protest, if I could think of one I would do it. I hope somebody does”
–Carol Hanisch, 2010 feminist activist reflecting on her 1960s activism

Dear Debra,
I am sorry if somehow my last email conveyed a lack of respect for you or The Miss America Pageant. In all my conversations about this project, I describe you as an articulate woman who was resourceful enough to seek out funding for her education so she might go on to become a musician and educator.
-Julia Sherman, 2012

Recess is pleased to present Here She Comes, a collection of Sherman’s research in the form of photographs, videos, drawings performance, and remnants. These artifacts and new works resurface and continue conversations that began at the 1968 Miss America Beauty Pageant and the Women’s Liberation intervention that occurred during the ceremony.

Sherman’s primary sources become raw material for inciting contemporary reflection on a shared history. Here, the events surrounding the 1968 Miss America Pageant are abstracted and collaged, misinterpreted and re-imagined. These composite gestures ask the viewer to consider how this historicized, yet little known, narrative of the Women’s Liberation Movement, and the history of the pageant, continue to be relevant as we look to define contemporary forms of resistance and appropriation.

Sherman initiated conversations with several 1968 Miss America candidates, collecting details about their talent show performances, personal recollections of the event, as well as their contemporary views on beauty pageants and the 1968 intervention. Her findings blurred a seemingly distinct social picket line, complicating notions of The Beauty Queen and The Activist alike.

In addition to tracking several 1968 participants, Sherman researched spin­off pageants that formed in response to the iconic Miss America pageant, including Miss Akademia (Czech Pageant), Miss America (a drag pageant that was later sued for using that name), Miss Indian America, and Miss Black America (started in 1968 and still in production today).

Julia Sherman employs unwieldy and untraditional research methods, feminist theory, and her own personal anxieties to create a view of the contemporary and historicized beauty queen through the soft focus of forgotten resistance.

About the Artists:

Sherman is currently based in Brooklyn. She is the founder of the artist-run Los Angeles gallery Workspace, and a recent graduate of Columbia University, M.F.A. program with a concentration in New Genres. She is a contributing artist/writer to Triple Canopy, White Zinfandel, Cabinet Magazine and The Highlights art journal. Her work will be featured in In Practice on view at Sculpture Center in January 2013.

Image: Farewell Miss America, C-Print, 2012

For more information contact info@recessactivities.org