System:System Open Through November 1st

by Art Fag City on October 29, 2009 · 10 comments Events

POST BY PADDY JOHNSONart fag city, system:system
System:System at St. Cecilia’s Convent in Greenpoint. Image: Kai Vierstra

Pealing paint and wooden banisters have a unique old-timey appeal that plays off an almost innate response to nostalgia and, visually, it just looks good. Past aesthetics however, in the art world this often says “great exhibition venue.” Such is the case with System:System, a temporary exhibition currently on display at St. Cecilia’s convent curated by Adam Henry and Christina Vassallo of Super Square. The place has all the stereotypical markings of exhibitions launched on the cheap — namely, a run-down building with plenty of rooms — and while this is at times distracting from the art, mostly the sheer size and architecture impresses.

Nobody ever wants to say this about first time efforts or emerging artists, but unfortunately for System:System, the greatest weakness of the show is much of the art. Marked by a few too many scrappy paper chandeliers and naked men showering, the exhibition would have benefited from a little more thoughtful effort by some artists. I mention this because as a critic I feel I have the responsibility to do so, but also because I believe criticism is ultimately countered by the success of the show itself.  There is certainly enough good work on display to make the exhibition worth the trip and the community of artists who worked to put up the show seem particularly tight-knit. This suggests we’ll see more strong efforts efforts in the future.

We’ve compiled a few highlights from the show after the jump.  All pictures culled from Facebook.

art fag city, christina vassallo, system:system
Matthew Schenning, Image via: Christina Vassallo

In this urban vista, Matthew Schenning recreates the man-made barrier placed on a mountain top, providing a Polaroid of the scene just in front.  The piece makes the museum practice of placing guards around the art seem a lark.

art fag city, eteam, system:system
Eteam, myspace, 2009, durational performance

art fag city, eteam, system:system
Eteam, myspace, 2009, durational performance

Amongst the strongest work in the show, Eteam prevents viewers from looking at their room, by sitting behind an inviting partially opened door, and pushing against it whenever someone tries to enter.  Art that is difficult.

Meridith Pingree, art fag city, system:system
Meridith Pingree

Meridith Pingree’s hanging mobile reacts to the energy and movement in a room through the use of sensors. She describes the work as quasi scientific and akin to mood rings, which I like, simply for its opposition to known art world biases – the use of DIY technology amongst them.

art fag city, gandalf gavan, system:system
Gandalf Gavan

What’s not to like about a glowstick mop and speakers made of hot stones?

tom brauer, art fag city, system:system
Tom Brauer, Installation view, 2009

Former masthead artist Tom Brauer exhibited a suite of new paintings distinct for their variation of texture and pattern. We approve!

Related:

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS

Abby Manock, Adam Henry, Anya Kielar, Arthur Ou, Chris Dorland, Curver Thoroddsen, David Brooks, Derick Melander, [dNASAb], Emily Mae Smith, eteam, Ethan Breckenridge, Francesca DiMattio, Gandalf Gavan, Garth Weiser, Ian Davis, Inna Babaeva, Jeff Konigsberg, Johannes VanDerBeek, Kai Vierstra, Lisha Bai, Maria João Salema & Lee Wells, Marius Watz, Matthew Monteith, Matthew Schenning, Melissa Brown, Meridith Pingree, Mike Hein, MiYoung Sohn, Nika Sarabi, Peter Kirn, Phil Vanderhyden, Saira McLaren, Skyler Brickley, SOFTlab, Studio Mode, Suzanne Song, Tom Brauer, Yeni Mao

  • http://kaivierstra.blogspot.com Kai

    Thanks Paddy, There won’t be any naked men showering, but everyone should come and see the show and the all-powerful architecture this weekend (fri, sat, sun, 12-6pm -show closes on Sunday)
    +++The priest says there’s ghosts in the convent so Saturday would be the best day to come see the art and get some bonus paranormal activity.

  • http://kaivierstra.blogspot.com Kai

    Thanks Paddy, There won’t be any naked men showering, but everyone should come and see the show and the all-powerful architecture this weekend (fri, sat, sun, 12-6pm -show closes on Sunday)
    +++The priest says there’s ghosts in the convent so Saturday would be the best day to come see the art and get some bonus paranormal activity.

  • http://unlekker.net Marius Watz

    Slight misunderstanding here: The exhibition will be open Saturday Oct 31 and Sunday Nov 1, not the weekdays before. Details on the Super Square web site: http://www.supersquare.org/portfolios/4101-about

    Nice coverage, though!

  • http://unlekker.net Marius Watz

    Slight misunderstanding here: The exhibition will be open Saturday Oct 31 and Sunday Nov 1, not the weekdays before. Details on the Super Square web site: http://www.supersquare.org/portfolios/4101-about

    Nice coverage, though!

  • Kristian Nammack

    I agree all up and down. I am a longtime fan of all the eteam projects. Nobody was behind the door, it was a mechanical device that simulated this!

  • Kristian Nammack

    I agree all up and down. I am a longtime fan of all the eteam projects. Nobody was behind the door, it was a mechanical device that simulated this!

  • http://meridithpingree.com meridith

    I heard some peope finally managed to push eteam’s door open later in the night.

  • http://meridithpingree.com meridith

    I heard some peope finally managed to push eteam’s door open later in the night.

  • Justine

    I thought Jeff Konigsberg’s piece was pretty amazing (- via a hole in the ceiling the viewer could see a section of exposed structural support beams for both the ceiling and the roof, when the viewer turned the lights off, the beams glowed in the dark-)

  • Justine

    I thought Jeff Konigsberg’s piece was pretty amazing (- via a hole in the ceiling the viewer could see a section of exposed structural support beams for both the ceiling and the roof, when the viewer turned the lights off, the beams glowed in the dark-)

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