475 10th Ave (36th Street)
Exit Art commissions artists to create eight holiday inspired window displays
November 19, 2005 – January 1, 2006– Visible 24 hours a day
Opening Nov. 19th 6-8pm
Holiday Window Artists
Karen Dolmanisth, Hector Ducci, Kate Gilmore/ Anne Spurgeon, Charles Juhasz-Alvarado, nicoykatiushka, José Letelier/ Jimmie Stone, Seth Weiner, Saya Woolfalk.
In the spirit of the holiday windows featured in New York’s major department stores, Exit Art has commissioned ten artists to create installations in its eight storefront window spaces. Viewable twenty-four hours a day through the 10th Avenue and 36th Street windows, each display expresses a unique take on the holiday season and spirit.
In FLUX, Emptying Karen Dolmanisth creates a surreal, dreamlike installation. Utilizing objects found in nature at this time of the year, such as berries, nuts, leaves, pine needles, and sand, and festive household items such as silverware, mirrors and glass; Domanisth invokes a magical, symbolic environment reminiscent of old Christmas traditions.
Taking inspiration from historical Japanese prints that depict powerful, winter landscapes, Hector Ducci recreates Niagara Falls using overhead projectors, silk fabric, fans, glass, mirrors and running water. Niagara Falls is the biggest producer of electricity in New York State, producing 2.4 million kilowatts, which is enough to power 24 million 100-watt light bulbs at once. Niagara Power Plant reminds us that during the holiday season, electric consumption raises substantially in order to light up pine trees, living rooms, red plastic toys and store windows.
Kate Gilmore and Anne Spurgeon’s window installation, With Love, Anne and Kate, humorously addresses Christmas overconsumption. Remnants of torn gift boxes and destroyed Christmas ornaments fill the window display while a video documenting the cause of the chaos, a fight between the two artists for gifts, plays on a large monitor.
Charles Juhasz-Alvarado’s installation features a festive scene filled with sparkling holiday colors, strings of lights and traditional children’s Christmas gifts. One of the gifts, a dollhouse, depicts the murder scene of patriot Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Ojeda Rios was a Puerto Rican nationalist leader killed by the FBI with a single bullet in September 2005, he was wanted for his role in a 1983 Connecticut bank heist. Flying around the house are wooden helicopters and scattered around the base is a stolen breathless trumpet (Ojeda Rios was a salsa musician), dollar printed pillows and toy pigs. A tall syringe-shaped sculpture filled with lava-lamp motion liquid will tower over the gifts, surrounded by paper lanterns in the shape of a heroin molecule.
nicoykatiushka’s Lighting From the East, is based on a religious sect who believes that the second coming of Jesus happened 33 years ago and is embodied in a Chinese woman. This woman, who has never been photographed, lives hidden in the mountains of China. Her faction, Lighting From the East, spreads the word of her existence to more than 300,000 followers. nicoykatiushka honor her by creating a bubble gum nativity scene for her, all of the objects used in their installation were made in China.
José Letelier and Jimmie Stone’s installation Due Date, presents an oversized translucent egg being broken out of by an old man. The installation reflects on some overarching concepts surrounding the holidays including the passing of time, faith and new beginnings. This project exposes the idea of rebirth and the hope that is implied by it, while being confronted by the presence and fear of death.
Seth Weiner’s installation, Brooding, fills the window with an array of 250-watt ruby-colored heat lamps. Commonly used on farms, the lamps are also referred to as “brooding lamps” for hatching or incubating eggs and young animals. The thermal array produces a glowing field of infrared radiation that passes through the clear glass of the window to warm people outside the building.
Commodification of the holidays is at the crux of Saya Woolfalk’s window display, To Us, From Them (from me, to you). Holiday windows are typically a place where toys, jewelry and other goods are made desirable. Woolfalk’s installation is about her interpretation of the holidays as a time when corporate interests outweigh the giving intent of the season. Woolfalk’s installation features a hand-sewn indigenous looking doll bearing gifts of boxed bananas.
Exit Biennial II: Traffic
The 51 multidisciplinary artworks in Exit Art’s second biennial exhibition look at the varied ways in which contemporary culture responds to different ideas of traffic. Artists included in Traffic created works in response to Webster dictionary’s five definitions for “traffic”, the artworks explore how traffic is defining our constantly changing world; borders being redefined, global import and export of goods, people moving from one place to another, the trafficking of drugs, people and children, the flow of information over the internet, etc.
Exit Art is located at 475 Tenth Avenue at 36th Street. Holiday Windows are viewable from the street 24 hours / day. Exit Art is open each Tuesday through Thursday, 10 am – 6 pm; Friday, 10 am – 8 pm; Saturday, noon – 8 pm Closed Sunday and Monday (the gallery will be closed December 24, 2005-January 6, 2006). For more information, the public may visit www.exitart.org.