P•P•O•W presents
Young Curators, New Ideas II
August 6 – 28, 2009

Amani Olu, in conjunction with P•P•O•W are pleased to present Young Curators, New Ideas II, a curator focused exhibition organized by amani olu and curated by Karen Archey, Cecilia Jurado, Megha Ralapati, Jose Ruiz, Cleopatra’s (Bridget Donahue, Bridget Finn, Kate McNamara & Erin Somerville) and Women in Photography (Amy Elkins & Cara Phillips).

Young Curators, New Ideas II examines new voices in contemporary art through the perspective of seven New York based curators. These varied micro-exhibitions experiment with curatorial practice and an exploration of ideas as physical form.

Low Museum curated by Karen Archey
What is the process through which one becomes a curator of contemporary art? How does popular culture view the role of a contemporary art curator? Delicately humorous, Karen Archey’s Low Museum considers these questions through two video projects and an installation of archived refuse from past curatorial projects. Archey seeks to demystify the clichéd identity of the art professional through her untitled video culling clips from popular TV shows and movies depicting art professionals. Another video collaboration with Daniel Chew depicts an anonymous curator smashing a borrowed Robert Smithson exhibition copy, capturing an impromptu conversation with a new neighbor about the identity of the art professional. Low Museum exists in an elucidative terrain between reality and the absurd revealing a much-needed sense of humanity in the contemporary art world.

In Heaven curated by Cecilia Jurado
In Heaven features works by Tom Fruin and Norma Markley and explores the paradox inherent within the exhibition title. Commonly interpreted as a paradisiacal space, the word “heaven” also conjures dramatic images of death and loss -- an unknown and potentially uncertain or even frightening alternate reality. Pairing Fruin's neon nooses titled “Necktie Party” with Markley's cloud-shaped neon lights creates tension between life and death. Formally, both pieces use fluorescent and austere white light to provide a sensory experience, summoning the audience into their contradictions. Conceptually, the dialogue between the two works creates feelings of anxiety undercut by humor.

1973 curated by Megha Ralapati
1973, When you grow up... curated by Megha Ralapati:  This project explores the processes by which we absorb and internalize information and questions the possibility of developing original thought.  Often ideas we think to be our own are merely reflections of information that has been filtered in and through our consciousness.  Jaret Vadera's video installation, based on an educational film from 1973 that has been digitally manipulated, presents the viewer with an experience of the way the mind constructs and (re)shapes information.

The Individual & The Family curated by Jose Ruiz
The Individual & The Family features Alejandro Diaz, Las Hermanas Iglesias, J&J, Jessica Ann Peavy, and Bryan Zanisnik and entertains the rhythmic patterns between two seemingly divergent threads of artmaking and social inquiry—identity-based and collaborative work.  Entering with a freewheeling interplay of handmade narratives, symbols and constructs that alter the stereotypes and clichés of their genres’ norms, the five artistic entities turn displacement into engagement, while addressing issues of homogeneity and authorship with irreverent and humorous actions. The result: a shared dialect between the individual and the collective that embodies sense of being and the sense of contributing.  

Comet Fever curated by Nico Wheadon
Comet Fever materializes a contemporary obsession with phenomena outside of human control and harnesses the tension of hysteria and choreography of ritual associated with the paranormal. Taylor Baldwin, Boyd Holbrook, Dawit L. Petros, Segtram, and Noelle Lorraine Williams neutralize this crisis of fear induced by the occult, rendering the world less fathomable and more magical. Imagination overthrows logic and testifies to the absurdist modes by which communal hallucination rivals the tools and science of modern intelligence. “Space”—beyond the confines of geography and invented borders—is celebrated as a universal unknown that elevates consciousness of a mediated existence and binds the human experience.

Inaugural Reference Archive and Library
Cleopatra’s (Bridget Donahue, Bridget Finn, Kate McNamara & Erin Somerville)

Cleopatra’s questions what curating means to those who define themselves as curators. As a way of inaugurating Cleopatra's reference archive and library, the four founders wrote letters to working curators they collectively admire or respect asking for a book of the curator’s choosing. Expected titles range from literature, art history, critical theory and individual artist monographs. This inaugural bookshelf, displayed as part of Young Curators, New Ideas II, will directly address the current tenor, the immediate reaction or perhaps the most available donation or promotion of these curators ideas, preoccupations or nascent motivations. Following the conclusion of the Young Curators exhibition, the reference library will be permanently installed in Cleopatra's storefront space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where all collaborators can reference and source continued inspiration.

Deconstructing the Female Gaze by Women in Photography (Amy Elkins & Cara Phillips)
Deconstructing the Female Gaze examines the work of Michele Abeles, Tierney Gearon, Els Vanden Meersch and Victoria Sambunaris, four artists working in methods that both question and challenge the stereotypical ways that women interpret the world through photographic practice. Instead of “seeing” from a fragile position, these artists delve into complicated subject matter, thus subverting and deconstructing cultural expectations of femininity. Engaged with contemporary art making practice in highly individualist ways, their work is both informed by and immaterial to their gender.


installation views

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