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Space Station Sixty-Five - September 2012

Solar Plexus

Exhibition preview

SPACE Station Sixty-Five has two exhibitions opening in September in their new Kennington site.

Solar Plexus – September 1 to September 30, 2012.

Solar Plexus is the second of three exhibitions curated and organised by the international MyPeople Project – Ronnie Gillam and Jiri Torisek.

Participating artists are Anika Schwarzlose, Brian D. McKenna, Colm Lally, Ellen Nolan, Irina Birger, Charbel Ackermann, Lu Yang, Peter Vink, Wu Juehui, Xu Wenkai, Xu Zhifeng, Yaron Lapid.

Bringing together twelve critically acclaimed artists from London, Shanghai and Amsterdam, the MyPeople Project explores the subject of networking. The project is a collaboration between a group of artists, curators and event organisers culminating in the exhibitions, Solar Plexus.

This project suggests a new approach to developing a network for an intercultural dialogue and exchange between artists from different countries. All the artists in this show were invited to join the project by other participating artists, creating a true network of peers. The process will result in exhibitions in London, Amsterdam and Shanghai.

The exhibitions will present work from these twelve artists, while promoting this groundbreaking networking model with an open dialogue, an exchange of ideas, knowledge, skills and cultural experiences between the artists and audiences, locally and internationally.

An online and offline combined platform will be used for the interactions between artists, viewers and participants.

In MyPeople one will find artists who reinterpret traditional media, such as in the sculptural creations of Anika Schwarzlose and Colm Lally, the works of Wu Juehui, and the photographic works of Irina Birger and Yaron Lapid. In addition there are those who exploit current technological developments, including Aaajiao’s fascination with the transition of data into reality and vice versa.

In many cases, the transgressive and collaborative agenda of the exhibition is present within the work of individual artists, and often within particular pieces such as Brian Mckenna’s installation that traverses the human senses by combing audio and visual in a physical environment.

Who is Ana Mendieta? – September 22 to November 4, 2012.

This exhibition at SS65 showcases original drawings from the book Who Is Ana Mendieta? by Christine Redfern and Caro Caron, published by The Feminist Press.

This gripping graphic novel richly documents the tragically brief life of artist Ana Mendieta (18 . 11 . 1948 – 8 . 9 . 1985), her violent death and it’s aftermath.

Starting in 1973, Mendieta filmed her ephemeral earth-body sculptures or performances using photography and the latest video technology. Her subject was the female form, her subject matter the power and transience of life. Producing close to eighty films during her career, she is one of the most prolific filmmakers of her generation and a pioneer of the video art genre.

She was also brown-skinned, female and an immigrant. Coming of age in the United States at the height of the feminist revolution and civil rights movement – everything, including equality, must have seemed possible.

In 1985, Mendieta married well-known Minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. Less than eight months later, already planning to divorce him, she plunged from the 34th floor window of his Greenwich Village apartment.

Though Andre (like O.J. Simpson) was acquitted of his wife’s murder, as Calvin Tomkins in the December 5, 2011 issue of The New Yorker notes, “Except for initial confused and somewhat contradictory statements to the police, (Andre) never talked to anyone about Mendieta’s death.”

The official art world stance has been to pretend nothing untoward happened or even to portray Andre as the victim. Tomkins in The New Yorker laments that “circumstances that have nothing to do with his art” have unfairly damaged Andre’s career, while completely overlooking the artistic loss caused by Mendieta’s death at the age of 36.

In her introductory essay in Who Is Ana Mendieta? renowned art critic Lucy R. Lippard writes, “Ana’s death is one of millions that, despite four decades of feminist struggle, remain underestimated – social crimes that have yet to be fully confronted.”

‘Nothing in this world happens by itself, everything is linked, and that is the message Mendieta was exploring with her art. She already saw what most of us are just now starting to comprehend. We are not above nature, not separate from nature, not in control of nature – but one small part of nature.

Her artworks are an attempt to move us beyond the male/female, virtual/real, contemporary/ancient dichotomy, to a place that doesn’t separate us into what we are or aren’t, but instead connects us, from the micro to the macro, from the past to the present, to everything that surrounds us.’ (Christine Redfern).

Space Station Sixty-Five, Building One, 373 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PS

Tel: 020 7820 1120