posted by Owner on July 23, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Danger Came Smiling: Feminist art and popular music

posted by Owner on April 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm

All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art

ARCHIVE: Press Release // Installation Photographs // Gallery Program

Franklin Street Works, University of Connecticut-Stamford’s Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and Sacred Heart University’s Masters of Film and Television Program have collaborated to co-curate “All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art,” an exhibition of video works informed by intersectional feminist approaches. The exhibition will be on view at Franklin Street Works from April 9 – July 10, 2016. Opening reception is Saturday April 9th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm with a member VIP preview from 5:00 – 6:00pm.

Feminist conversations and scholarship around the inseparability of class, race, country of origin and other factors when contemplating gender are reflected in artworks that, among other things, encourage viewers to listen across difference and explore matrixes of power. Through a call for submissions, the curators also sought out emerging artists in order to explore  “fourth wave” feminist approaches to video and film. “All Byte” features works made between 2013 and 2015 by nine artists or collectives: Michelle Marie Charles, INVASORIX, Kegels for Hegel, Sarah Lasley, Nicole Maloof, Virginia Lee Montgomery, Sunita Prasad, Legacy Russell, and Maryam Tafakory. This original exhibition is co-curated by the Program Director of Sacred Heart University’s Film and Television Masters school, Justin Liberman; Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut-Stamford, Ingrid Semaan; and Franklin Street Works’ Creative Director, Terri C Smith.

The term “intersectionality” was coined by feminist legal scholar and critical race theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. This analytic frame aimed to disrupt the approach of “single axis analysis,” which treated race and gender as mutually exclusive. Instead, intersectional work looks at how social factors and systems of power interlock and shape each other.  The “All Byte” co-curators chose videos that exhibit an understanding of intersectionality and a sophisticated or fresh use of the medium.  When taken as a whole, these works address gender in concert with many other factors, including: exploring the queer body through a transformative journey; queering of influential, usually white male, theorists through song; placing the alienated female body in surreal parallel to the predominantly white, male tech industry; addressing the contradictions between the lyrics and images in hip-hop videos that often portray women as sexual props; recounting academia’s gendered power structures through parody and art history; exploring inaccurate, race-based assumptions about citizenship and experience; unearthing colonial histories, preserved in the street signs of a small American neighborhood; gender based medical practices; and more.  Through the intersectional feminist lens, these artists shed light on systems that reinforce dominance to the exclusion of others and create narratives of inclusion and understanding.

This exhibition was sponsored, in part, by Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts.


posted by Owner on January 16, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Cut-Up: Contemporary Collage and Cut-Up Histories through a Feminist Lens


For close to a century, the techniques of collage and literary cut-up have been used to discover new forms in the visual arts, poetry, and music by undoing and restructuring text, image, and sound. “Cut-Up: Contemporary Collage and Cut-Up Histories through a Feminist Lens,” curated by artist Katie Vida, explores a multigenerational lineage of women artists who have pushed the boundary of cut-up techniques across media, including sculpture, video, sound art, painting, performance, printed matter, poetry, and photography. The exhibition is on view at Franklin Street Works from January 16 – April 3, 2016. The public opening reception is Saturday, January 16 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm with a member VIP opening from 5:00 – 6:00 pm. “Cut-Up” is sponsored, in part, by the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Featuring works from 1967 to the present, “Cut-Up” explores how collage and cut-up have informed the visual arts, literature, and experimental sound art. The exhibition also pays special attention to how the process of cutting apart and reordering language parallels an activist impulse to disrupt the status quo and develop new, alternative narratives. This skepticism and eschewing of “traditional” media is a strategy that was embraced by feminist artists in the late 1960s. At that time these artists embraced newer forms such as performance, film, text based works, and ephemeral sculpture, in part, to bypass patriarchal histories associated with established media such as monumental sculpture and painting.

 Through a layering of imagery, text, materials and sound, the artists in “Cut-Up” create tension by disrupting narrative and reorienting the viewers’ expectations “The cut itself is the technology through which these artists address and manipulate language and image,” curator Katie Vida elaborates, “Through an additive and/or reductive process of developing fresh visual and linguistic spaces the artists in this exhibition show a commitment to breaking apart what is seemingly codified to engage in alternative visions.”

Exhibiting Artists: Ruth Anderson, Phyllis Baldino, Dodie Bellamy, Ofri Cnaani, Lourdes Correa-Carlo, Mayme Donsker, Heike-Karin Foell, Susan Howe, Jennie C. Jones, Alexis Knowlton, Carrie Moyer, Lorraine O’Grady, People Like Us, Sheila Pepe, Faith Ringgold, Mariah Robertson, Carolee Schneemann, Nancy Shaver, Meredyth Sparks, Cauleen Smith, Martine Syms, and Janice Tanaka.

Guest Curator: Katie Vida
Logo Design: Lauren Francescone


This exhibition was sponsored, in part, by Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts.


posted by Owner on September 12, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Initial Conditions: Artists Make Spaces


“Initial Conditions: Artists Make Spaces” is a group exhibition that features alternative spaces initiated by some of Franklin Street Works’ past exhibiting artists. As a not-for-profit whose mission and vision is largely informed by the alternative art space model, Franklin Street Works is celebrating the beginning of its fifth year by revisiting the “alternative” through artist projects that make new spaces. Works on view represent the activities of eight collectives or involved artists: Canaries, Ceramics Club (cc), Culture Push, La Casita Verde, Park McArthur and Constantina Zavitsanos, microRevolt, Regina Rex, and USELESS magazine. The show is on view from September 12, 2015 – January 3, 2016. Opening reception is Saturday, September 12 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm with a VIP members’ preview from 5:00 – 6:00. Exhibiting artist Sarah Dahnke will perform “The Dance for Solidarity” during the reception.

Often times the initial condition of these spaces are not art centric, but instead are born from pragmatic, social or utopic impulses such as finding language for shared experiences, supporting an individual’s physical needs, sharing resources, and creating new models for production or distribution. The creation of space here does not necessarily mean a fixed space either. Like Franklin Street Works, the alternative art space model often involves a dedicated building that serves as a foil to the dominant museum and commercial gallery offerings. Many of the groups in “Initial Conditions,” however, do not have a fixed location or are using locations that, to quote exhibiting artist Park McArthur, “are already textured with other concomitant activities like people’s homes and ceramic studios.” The alternative spaces in “Initial Conditions” also include: a gallery space that is democratically run by eleven artists; globally located artists united through their use of a digital knitting program; and nomadically occurring programs and exhibitions that address autoimmune and chronic conditions.

The installations on view are created by artists and collectives for “Initial Conditions” and include: machine-made knitted wall works; ceramic-based objects by artists who usually work in a different medium and are exploring their inner amateur; choreographed dances for prisoners in solitary confinement; a magazine on culture and politics; community-produced handmade signs from a community garden in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; an artist-run gallery whose projects serve, in part, as an extension of the group’s artistic practice; takeaway zines and newsletters; works around maintaining a sustainable, healthy body that resists being in service to capitalism; a library of books written by black female authors; a wearable sculpture that reflects how insects respond to emergencies; and texts and videos that examine and critique the model of monetary exchange and the power dynamics surrounding care.

Exhibiting artists include Olaronke Akinmowo, aricoco, Trisha Baga, Clifford Borress, Jessica Sue Burstein, Lea Cetera, Jesse Cohen, Sarah Dahnke,Lucky DeBellevue, Corey Escoto, Taraneh Fazeli, Marley Freeman, Rochelle Goldberg, Dave Hardy, Zoey Hart, EJ Hauser, Nancy Haynes, Rebecca Watson Horn, Christine Kelly, Kathryn Kerr, Carolyn Lazard, Pam Lins, Sara Magenheimer, Cat Mazza, Park McArthur, Keegan Monaghan, Nick Parker,Krista Peters, Lucy Raven, Sam Richardson, Halsey Rodman, Elisabeth Sherman, Bonnie Swencionis, Katya Tepper, Conrad Ventur, Victoria Vreeland,Adam Welch, Constantina Zavitsanos, and Marina Zurkow.

This exhibition is sponsored in part by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, the Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts.



posted by Owner on June 13, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Acting on Dreams: The State of Immigrant Rights, Conditions, and Advocacy in the United States


“Acting on Dreams: The state of immigrant rights, conditions, and advocacy in the U.S.” is an original group exhibition curated by Yaelle S. Amir for Franklin Street Works. It will be on view from June 13 – August 30, 2015. Opening reception is Saturday, June 13 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. With a VIP members preview from 5:00 – 6:00 pm.

Acting on Dreams explores the work of artists who use creative, often process-oriented, strategies and community collaborations to advocate for authorized and undocumented immigrants and propose innovative alternatives to immigration reform. Exhibiting artists are: Andrea Bowers, CultureStrike & JustSeeds, Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani, Ghana ThinkTank, Marisa Morán Jahn (Studio REV-) in collaboration with National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations, Jenny Polak, QUEEROCRACY in collaboration with Carlos Motta, and Favianna Rodriguez. Immigrants now comprise approximately 13 percent of the total U.S. population (41.3 million), of which over a fourth are undocumented (11.4 million) and close to a fifth live in poverty. Despite numerous roadblocks, many in the United States have called for an overhaul of the immigration system, seeing it as a necessary and crucial step in the development of a more humane and just American society. Yet many others still fail to acknowledge immigrant hardships or to empathize with their conditions, prompting individuals, such as community activists and artists like those in Acting on Dreams, to attempt to fill the enormous gaps in immigration services and knowledge. With a recent surge in border crossings on the one hand, and stalled legislation in Congress and increased deportations on the other—the work of community and grassroots groups to raise awareness and ease immigrant living conditions has become more essential. The works included in this exhibition chronicle several efforts of immigrants and their advocates, while drawing connections between various communities and concerns within this highly complex issue. The artists apply their creative skills to further compassionate and respectful policies, and strive to communicate the immigrant experience in the United States—the frequent sense of isolation and uncertainty, but also courageousness, pride, and anticipation. The projects presented in Acting On Dreams include installation, sculpture, and video. Together, these artists present informed perspectives on U.S. immigration today via strategies such as research, storytelling and activism. In her video Sanctuary, Andrea Bowers tells the story of Elvira Arellano, an undocumented immigrant who entered into sanctuary on August 15, 2006, at the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago in order to avoid the prospect of deportation and separation from her 8-year old son, a U.S. citizen. Arellano was ultimately deported a year into her stay at the church, and continues to organize from Mexico. The work attaches a face to the ruthless federal deportation policies that often go overlooked and reinforced in the discussions of policy reform. The Index of the Disappeared is an evolving multidisciplinary, physical archive and platform for public dialogue that embodies a haunting chapter in U.S. history. Artists Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani have worked to compile an archive around post-9/11 disappearances to highlight the uncertainty many immigrants have experienced as a result of the geopolitical and policy shifts in the U.S. since 2001. Through official documents, secondary literature, and personal narratives, Index traces the ways in which censorship and data blackouts have enabled unprecedented disappearances, deportations, renditions, and detentions in the lives of immigrant, “other,” and dissenting communities in the U.S. A portion of the archive is included in the exhibition with a purpose of confronting audiences with the human costs of public policies, connecting domestic and foreign policies and policing, and challenging viewers to reevaluate the abstractions of political rhetoric in individual terms. In ThinkTank at the Border, Ghana ThinkTank has developed a multi-year project in an effort to investigate the seemingly un-crossable divide between “opposing” sides of immigration-related issues, collecting problems from citizen border-patrols like the Minutemen, and bringing them to recently deported or undocumented immigrants to solve. They collect these problems through focus groups, street interviews, and postcards, and present the immigrants’ solutions back to the Minuteman-like groups, working to find ways to have them implemented. The exhibition presents an iteration of the project, Border Cart – a mobile cart designed to fold into the back of a Tijuana Taxi, and then unfold at the border to provide shade, a seat, and a public think tank process to people crossing the U.S. – Mexico Border. Their border project is an outgrowth of a longer term project initiated in 2006 to “Develop the First World” by sending problems from the so-called “first” world to think tanks in Cuba, Ghana, Iran, Mexico, El Salvador, and the U.S. prison system to be solved. In an ongoing body of work entitled “CareForce,” artist Marisa Morán Jahn (Studio REV-) in collaboration with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations uses an artistic framework to develop tools that assist domestic workers in learning their rights and advocating for their socio-economic justice. Bridging public art, law, tech, and design, their projects have taken on various forms. From a mobile design lab and sound studio, to dance and movement, to an informative app accessible by any kind of phone—they offer crucial support to those who take care of our children, family, and homes. Jenny Polak has worked with residents and immigrant activists in Illinois and Indiana to advance recent struggles in blocking the construction of for-profit immigrant detention centers in their midst. Polak maintains an ongoing relationship with key figures in these communities—collaboratively developing imagery to create custom domestic objects that raise awareness to the effects of detention centers on jailed immigrants and on their surrounding communities. The photographs, drawings, and figurines that comprise (n)IMBY also assist the campaigners in documenting their achievements so that others can refer to them as a model. On Columbus Day in 2011, Queerocracy in collaboration with the artist Carlos Motta organized the distribution and collective public reading of excerpts from A Timeline of Queer Immigration – an exhaustive list of significant events in the global queer and immigrant movements. The intervention took place at Columbus Circle, the site commemorating the individual who marked the official start of immigration to Northern America. The timeline begins with Columbus’ arrival in 1492 and continues with dozens of seminal events that highlight the parallel struggles of immigrants and queer individuals to be recognized as equal citizens. Artist Favianna Rodriguez co-founded CultureStrike, a grassroots arts organization that engages cultural producers in migrant rights. Her work stems from the belief that art is necessary in promoting awareness of the disastrous effects of U.S. immigration policies, and in countering the often-negative perception of immigrants. As part of these efforts, Rodriguez initiated the campaign Migration is Beautiful featuring the now-iconic monarch butterfly symbol. The exhibition includes a coloring station by Rodriguez that provides advocates with on-site tools to construct their own butterfly wings in a public display of support for immigrant rights, as well as Migration Now!, a comprehensive print portfolio by CultureStrike and JustSeeds.


This exhibition was sponsored, in part, by Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts.


posted by Owner on March 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm

It’s gonna take a lotta love


“It’s gonna take a lotta love” is a group exhibition that explores ideas about inclusivity, authenticity, and commonality in an age of anxiety, isolated individualism, and virtually lived experience. The show is on view from March 7 – May 24, 2015, and is curated by Liza Statton and Terri C Smith.

The exhibiting artists avoid the detachment and slick seduction of the screen-based technologies that characterize our attention economy. Yet, rather than critiquing the sensationalist strategies embedded in the ever-expanding social media and advertising industries, they pursue modes of art-making that focus on the aesthetic and conceptual potential of society’s offcuts.

These artists also share a type of tragic-comic vision of contemporary culture. Humor, joy, and melancholy, among others, mix easily in their work. Yet, such emotional credibility creates a kind of slippage between empathy and alienation.

Wayne White, “See Do,” 2013, paint on offset lithograph, courtesy of Western Projects

Some artists create this slippage by making and re-making objects using seemingly inconsequential materials. Wayne White paints witty and sometimes biting phrases on found thrift store lithographs of scenes such as pastoral landscapes or rustic barns. Andy Coolquitt resituates familiar materials such as vinyl records, lightbulbs, synthetic shag fabric, and books-on-tape into installations that are inspired by functions and spaces outside of the gallery. His works articulate a tension between the familiarity of our real lives and the exclusive domain of the white cube gallery. Whiting Tennis creates drawings, paintings and sculptures that pit Modernist art’s fascination with pure form against an intentionally personal mode of a hobbiest aesthetic that wrestles with ideas of concealment and containment.

A.L. Steiner + Robbinschilds, C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience), Part 1, 2007, Courtesy of Video Data Bank

Other artists such as Jon Campbell, Stephen Vitiello, and Jeremy Deller create subtle interventions using everyday language and music. Deller’s poster “Attention all DJs” takes on the form of a handwritten sign with tongue-in-cheek instructions for DJs. Jon Campbell’s “four letter word flags” brightly declare words like “Yeah,” “Home,” and “Want.” By inserting his word flags between country, state, or corporate flags in a city, Campbell prompts passerby’s to ask if the words we all use are worthy of a public format usually saved for pagentry or branding.  Stephen Vitiello’s sound works in “It’s gonna take a lotta love” appropriate commercial music from well known singers. With “Dolly Ascending” Vitiello slows down Dolly Parton singing “Stairway to Heaven” to the point where it sounds like choral music. In A.L. Steiner + Robbinschild’s “C.L.U.E. Part I” video two women perform dance infused movements in backdrops of natural and built environments, connecting color, action, attitude, and environment in a straightforward way that includes the audience in their choreographed antics.

Two of the exhibiting artists, Andy Coolquitt and Jon Campbell, have been commissioned to make new works for “It’s gonna take a lotta love.” In the gallery, Coolquitt, whose assemblages reconsider the materials we unconsciously engage with, will be creating a new mixed media installation entitled oo oo. Australian artist Jon Campbell has been commissioned to make new works for the exhibition. His gallery contributions include a “four letter word” mural and a set list painting, which is based on a Melbourne band’s 1984 performance. Campbell extends his painting practice into the public sphere with an ambitious installation in Downtown Stamford, his first in the United States. Campbell, who is interested in representing “the overlooked and undervalued,” will design and exhibit flags and banners with the words: Hold, Home, Look, Play, Want, and Yeah. The works will be mounted on existing flagpoles in public parks, at office buildings, and on construction fences throughout Downtown.

Yeah Flag, 2009, Sydney/Courtesy of the artist and Darren Knight, Sydne

Artists include: Jon Campbell (Melbourne), Andy Coolquitt (Austin/NYC), Jeremy Deller (London), Stephen Vitiello (Richmond, VA), Jessica Mein (NYC), A.L. Steiner + Robbinschilds (NYC), Whiting Tennis (Seattle), and Wayne White (LA).

This exhibition is sponsored in part by:

Jon Campbell’s participation has been assisted by:
posted by Owner on November 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

About Like So: The Influence of Painting

Exhibition Materials: Installation photographs // Gallery Handout // Artcritical Review // Review in UConn, Stamford, Student Magazine.

“About Like So: The Influence of Painting” is a group exhibition that explores how the histories, forms, materials and other qualities associated with painting inform conceptual art practices today. The show is on view at Franklin Street Works from November 22, 2014, through February 22, 2015.

The exhibition, curated by Terri C Smith, aims, in part, to challenge expectations of painting, which are often attached to historic movements, decorative qualities or romantic notions of the artist in his or her studio. “About Like So” features works that use paint in unorthodox ways or bypass the medium all together to reveal how the “language of painting” can invade, obstruct and enhance other art forms. This exhibition asks, “In an era where painting no longer has the art historical primacy it once did, what can it contribute to the dominant art practices of today – art that is often not medium specific and is rooted in the theory-driven practices of conceptual art?”

The works include sculptures, videos, photographs, sound installations, and digital prints. Loose and disjointed narratives involving the histories and materiality of painting are found in several videos: Ragnheiour Gestsdottir’s video “As If We Existed,” portrays the fictitious

melodrama of a figurative painter working in Venice; Tameka Norris’s “Purple Painting” incorporates makeup and food in a provocative video that, with few words, touches on issues surrounding race, gender and the pressures of an art historical canon; in Alex Hubbard’s video “Hit Wave II,” a magician gives instructions for tricks, but the sounds and activities surrounding him allude to action painting with Hubbard in the background wearing a paint suit and creating gestural marks with spray paint.

Sculptures by Brad Tucker, Dave Hardy, and Taylor Davis also show painting’s influence. In one of Tucker’s box sculptures, “Potholder,” he incorporates a homemade-style woven potholder that mimics mid-century, shaped abstract painting while crossed bars in the box’s back reference hanging devices (hooks, wires, D-rings) usually hidden by the museum wall. In his sculptures, Dave Hardy uses pigment, cement-infused foam, glass, metal and other materials, combining them so it seems as though abstract wall works have sprung into three dimensions in the form of sophisticatedly constructed sculptures that intentionally appear unwieldy or precarious. Taylor Davis’s “TBOX No. 1” sculpture is a small double-stacked construction of birch plywood that sits directly on the floor and appears to have blue painters tape marking it with lines and arrows. In reality, the “tape” is painted on, creating an optical illusion that conjures trompe l’oeil painting.

Several works speak to painting through audio components. An installation by Australian artist Michael Graeve considers abstract painting via painted blocks of color and tonal audio overlays. Thinking about his sound work as an audio parallel to the painterly practice of translating information from the world onto a surface in the studio, Augustus Thompson’s installation combines sounds from the studio, outside noises and constructed harmonies into what the artist considers a “sound painting.” The collaborative sound and painting performance by K.R.H. Sonderborg, Wolfgang Hannen, Günter Christmann and Paul Lovens “in actu music & painting,” created in 1993 and produced by Institute for Music and Acoustics of the Center for Art and Media, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany, is the earliest work in the exhibition. It melds action painting with performed experimental music, providing a foundation for thinking about the many ways painting combines with other media in “About Like So.”

A handful of artists in the exhibition reference particular art historical figures or classic painting genres. In Paul Branca’s “Untitled, for Rodchenko,” he combines monochrome paintings in the style of Alexander Rodchenko with tote bags and tags. Sophy Naess’s gestural soap pieces began with a prompt to respond to abstract expressionist Hans Hoffman’s work. Composed of body friendly materials, scents, and pigments, these pieces address the fraught painting subject known as the bather. In their version of TV painter Bob Ross’s show “The Joy of Painting,” Peter Nowogrodzki and Max Kotelchuck’ YouTube video follows Ross’s instructions to make a landscape painting using a computer program rather than paint and brush. Polly Apfelbaum’s abstract fabric sculpture, “Split Station Stop,” hangs from the ceiling and was inspired by her stay in Rome with its abundance of Catholic-themed artworks, specifically the Stations of the Cross. In Tim Davis’s “Permanent Collection” series he takes photographs of classic paintings ranging from still lifes to religious, using the light of the camera’s flash to obscure bits of the composition and/or bring surface qualities, such as brush strokes and crackling, of the physical object to light.

Computer generated works by Seth Price, Paul Theriault, and Siebren Versteeg incorporate canned digital effects, flat bed scanners, and Google image search respectively. With Seth Price’s “Digital Video Effects: Spills,” the artist layers digitally imposed black “spills” that ebb and flow over artist Joan Jonas’s video featuring a conversation on the commercialization of art between art dealer Joseph Helman and conceptual artists Robert Smithson and Richard Serra. Paul Theriault paints directly onto scanner beds and then scans the composition, allowing for the occasional burst of scanner light to peak through the “painting.” Siebren Versteeg enters his algorithm paintings (abstract paintings produced using code) into the computer and prompts a Google image search to find a “concrete” image, which is hung just to the right. Rather than taking a realistic image and abstracting it, the computer conjures representational images based on an abstract composition, turning the usual dynamic between the representational and the abstract upside down.

Paintings are also included in the exhibition, but the artists use strategies that challenge our expectations of painting’s forms or the artist’s role as author. In Leslie Wayne’s “Paint/Rag” series, the artist plays with perception and a linguistic idea that’s embedded in the title (paint – slash – rag) by removing the layered paint off of one support and draping it over another, making it appear as if it were hung on a hook like a piece of fabric or an ordinary rag. John Knuth’s abstract paintings resemble the splattered layers of a Jackson Pollock painting, but are the result of Knuth relinquishing authorship to a business of flies that excrete the paint he feeds them onto paper. Obscuring elements of a book with paint to reconfigure artist books, Marley Freeman inserts abstraction that, much like an analogue companion for Price’s video, obscures and highlights texts and images in these artist books, in part, as a commentary on painting’s decorative associations and the influence of modernism on the medium.

Exhibiting artists: Polly Apfelbaum, Paul Branca, Taylor Davis, Tim Davis, Marley
Freeman, Ragnheiour Gestsdottir, Michael Graeve, Dave Hardy, Alex Hubbard, John Knuth, Sophy Naess, Tameka Norris, Peter Nowogrodzki/Max Kotelchuck, Seth Price, Paul Theriault, Brad Tucker, Siebren Versteeg, Augustus Thompson, Leslie Wayne, and “in actu: music & painting” (K.R.H. Sonderborg, Wolfgang Hannen, Günter Christmann and Paul Lovens).

posted by Owner on September 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm

It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information


Franklin Street Works presents It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information, an exhibition featuring artists’ projects that engage the postal system and its intersections with digital communications media. The artists in It Narratives find forms for everyday experiences of distance and time by reflecting on the way objects move through information networks. The exhibition is curated by New York-based guest curators Brian Droitcour and Zanna Gilbert and is on view from September 6 – November 9, 2014.

With areas of expertise in mail art (Gilbert) and Internet art (Droitcour), the curators take into consideration how Internet technology and digital forms of commerce have changed the way artists use the postal system. Mail art emerged in the late 1960s as a collective, networked medium allowing artists to circulate and exchange works and ideas in a sphere uncontrolled by curators, institutions, the art market, or state censorship. Today, mail is employed less frequently as an artistic medium, in keeping with an overall shift in how information is experienced and exchanged. News and greetings from friends and family have migrated from the postal system to the faster networks of email and social media, yet “snail mail” has not become obsolete. Sending objects over great distances is part of online commerce. Print-on-demand services that allow users to design their own T-shirts, books, or mugs with a few clicks of a mouse connect Internet browsing and data input to receiving objects by mail and handling them in everyday life.

It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information takes its title from a prose genre popular in the late 18th century, the “it-narrative.” These were accounts of objects circulating in the structures of emergent industrialized capitalist markets written in the first-person from the perspective of the objects. It Narratives the exhibition updates this concept for the 21st century by presenting artists’ projects that track the movement of objects online and by mail, taking measure of the physical and emotional experiences of time and distance inherent to these networks.

Participants include: Greg Allen, Tyler Coburn, Tim Devin, Yevgeniy Fiks, Lukas Geronimas, Frank Heath, David Horvitz, Jean Keller, Alexandra Lerman, Kristin Lucas, Cat Mazza, Kristina Lee Podesva and Alan McConchie, Paul Soulellis, Emily Spivack, The Thread, Ehren Tool, Print All Over Me, Forms of Melancholy, Lance Wakeling, Roberto Winter.


Brian Droitcour is a writer, translator, curator, critic, and a PhD candidate in comparative literature at New York University. Previous exhibition projects include “BFFA3AE – DTR” at 47 Canal in New York and “Big Reality” at 319 Scholes in Brooklyn. He has contributed reviews and essays to Artforum, Art in America, and Rhizome, among other publications. He has been yelping since January 2012 and his account was awarded Elite status last year. His web site, a collection of found Yelp reviews with commissioned illustrations and an accompanying essay, was featured as part of the New Museum’s First Look series of online exhibitions in October 2013. Among other projects, Brian is currently editing Klaus_ebooks, a series of artists’ ebooks published by Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery.

Zanna Gilbert is a postdoctoral fellow at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and she holds a PhD from the University of Essex and Tate Research in the UK. Her research focuses on artists’ networks and the transnational circulation of art through the mail. She curated the exhibitions Felipe Ehrenberg: Works from the Tate Archive (2009), Intimate Bureaucracies: Art and the Mail (2011), Contested Games: Mexico 68’s Design Revolution (2012), Daniel Santiago: Brazil is my Abyss (MAMAM, Recife, 2012; MAC-Niteroi, Rio, 2014) and Edgardo Antonio Vigo: The Unmaker of Objects (MoMA, 2014). She has taught postgraduate courses at the University of Essex, UK and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).


This exhibition is sponsored, in part, by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Thank you to our in-kind sponsor, MakerBot Store, Greenwich, CT. MakerBot is leading the Next Industrial Revolution by setting the standard in reliable and affordable desktop 3D printing, scanning, and entertainment. MakerBot Store, Greenwich, CT is located at 200 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich CT, 06830.

posted by Owner on June 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Showing the Work

“Showing the Work,” an exhibition curated by Sarah Fritchey, will be on view at Franklin Street Works June 7 through August 31.  For related performances see our June calendar.

At a moment when major art museums regularly program experimental dance on their premises, “Showing the Work” evaluates the stakes of this exchange.  The exhibition brings together eight artists whose work explores the meeting place between the artist, the performance and the audience and demonstrates how time-specific events might be meaningfully exhibited in the gallery over a multi-week period.  Six of the artists will perform a one-night-only performance during the show’s run, which will culminate in a roundtable discussion on the final day.

“Showing the Work” asks: How can the live, transitory qualities of a dance be represented during this exhibition? How does the “white cube” facilitate a critical analysis of artist-audience interaction that traditional “black box” theaters do not? How can the works on display resonate qualities of the performing body? How might choreography be understood as a visual manifestation that is alive with the possibility for change, truth, intimacy, and exchange?

The exhibition features artists working inside and out of the dance fieldwho design individual systems of choreography to generate new work.  Many of these works will be on view to the public for the first time and aim to introduce the audience to terminology from the dance field, as well as to show the physical and mental work of dance.  The exhibition also rethinks a performance as one of an infinite set of outcomes, a living form that much like the body is in a constant state of change.

Likewise, the work on display will act more like a live body than video documentation and include: a floor-to-wall-to-ceiling pattern that is the map for a duet, a video that simultaneously presents four versions of the same dance performed in different spaces over the course of a year, artist notebooks that contain scores for emoting sound and recognizable language, a gaming device that proposes consumerism as a form of choreography, text/object combinations that prompt viewers to become collaborators in a recorded performance, and a lecture that critically interprets an early dance work anew.

Exhibiting artists include:Jen McGinn and iele paloumpis, Robert Morris, Claudia La Rocco, Carolee Schneeman, Mårten Spångberg, Tatyana Tenenbaum, and Gillian Walsh.


posted by Owner on March 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

The Sunken Living Room

ARCHIVE LINKS: Installation Photographs / Gallery Handout / Stamford Advocate Feature / WPKN Interview

The Sunken Living Room is an exhibition of contemporary art that investigates the most recent economic recession. The show’s title simultaneously reflects the interior design phenomenon of the lightly stepped down or “sunken” living room, popular during the 1970s recession, and the crash of the housing market in 2008. Using sculpture, video, texts, drawings, prints, and photos, artists working today tackle recession-related topics that include: labor, debt, the collapse of the housing market, post-industrial cityscapes, unemployment, and banking practices. The exhibition is curated by Terri C Smith and is on view March 22 – May 25, 2014.

“The Sunken Living Room” installation view.

Through a mix of documentation, observation, allegory, and autobiography, the twenty-four artists in this show lend unique perspectives to recent fiscal crises. Some take an individualized approach, overlaying their work with personal experiences and narratives as with Kirby Mages’ video Where’s the Proof? where she combines information on bank bailouts with diaristic voiceovers, or with Danna Vajda’s Tearsforfears installation where the artist uses her own crumpled receipts as source imagery to explore money spent that leaves no physical trace but the transaction’s record itself.

“The Sunken Living Room” installation view

Others in The Sunken Living Room capture current events by resituating elements from cities into the gallery, such as Anya Sirota + Akoaki’s Piranesian Bling series of sculptures that are modeled after disused elements at Detroit’s abandoned Packard plant; and Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann’s photo series, the real estate, which features images of foreclosed apartments in Chicago, Illinois. Documentary style works also are included in this exhibition. Ana Pečar & Oliver Ressler’s video In the Red follows the group “Strike Debt,” an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street that organizes events and protests relating to debt, and Kevin Jerome Everson follows two Cleveland men who repurpose alloys throughout the city to earn income in his film Fe26.

“The Sunken Living Room” installation view (cafe).

The exhibition is also imbedded with references to the 1970s, another recession era. Disco is front and center with Kerry Downey’s video Nursing Disco; workers rights and union slogans appear in Andrea Bower’s Workers Rights Posters; and seventies cinema informs the title of Olga Koumoundouros’ essay “The Getaway,” which is also the title of a 1972 film with Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw. In the Franklin Street Works café, music from the mid and late-1970s, takeaways by Koumoudouros, and Jonah Emerson-Bell’s sculpture “This dude knows where you live” (which incorporates a Bootsy Collins album from 1978) touch on that decade’s popular culture landscape.

Thinking about artworks made during the 1970s recession, the site specificity of the city of Stamford, and in keeping with the exhibition’s themes of exchange and value, five artists were asked to recreate pieces from the UBS bank collection that date from the seventies. UBS has a corporate location in Stamford, Connecticut, and houses the largest stock exchange floor in the world — roughly the size of two American football fields. Each artist was paid a small honorarium to make an artwork by a blue chip artist that conjures art-as-investment, but in actuality has no monetary worth. This special project within the exhibition highlights economic themes surrounding art, including the subjective nature of an artwork’s value and the commissioning of artworks in exchange for payment.

Jonah Emerson-Bell, “The Losers Keeps America Clean,” installation view “The Sunken Living Room.”

By combining artworks from today with popular and high culture items from the past, The Sunken Living Room connects shared cultural experiences with contemporary projects to explore the utopic desires and deflating exasperation of post WWII recession economies. Exhibiting Artsits: Anya Sirota + Akoaki, Michael Bell-Smith, Andrea Bowers, Ingrid Burrington, Nancy Davenport, Kerry Downey, Jonah Emerson-Bell, Kevin Jerome Everson, Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann, Olga Koumoundouros, Urich Lau, Mads Lynnerup, Kirby Mages, Rainger Pinney, Oliver Ressler and Ana Pečar, Sal Randolph, Danna Vajda, and Constantina Zavitsanos, with special projects by Alberta Cifolelli, Roxanne Faber Savage, Peter Gramlich, Liz Squillace.

posted by Owner on December 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Neuromast: Certain Uncertainty and Contemporary Art

ARCHIVE LINKS: Gallery Handout / Juliana Huxtable Reading / Installation Photographs / Stamford Advocate article on Ingrid Burrington’s “Center for Missed Connections” / “Kaye Cain-Nielsen and Carolyn Lazard, “Health is Happiness,” 2013, PDF of ZINE 

Franklin Street Works presents Neuromast: Certain Uncertainty and Contemporary Art. The group exhibition explores “emergence,” the theory that says unforeseeable results happen when a system reaches a certain level of complexity. The show’s title is inspired by a very specific emergent phenomenon, “neuromast,” which is the sensory organ that allows fish to effectively behave in unison against the threat of predators. Neuromast features sculpture, videos, text-based works, photographs and more by contemporary artists, writers and theorists interested in theories of emergence.  Exhibiting artists are: Kari Altmann, Christian Bök and Micah Lexier, Ingrid Burrington, Kaye Cain-Nielsen, Mircea Cantor,, David Horvitz, Brian House and Jason Rabie, Juliana Huxtable, Thilde Jensen, Carolyn Lazard, M. M. Mantua, Preemptive Media, Robert Spahr, Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle’s Sexecology collaboration, and The Waterwhispers Ilse.

The exhibition is curated by Taliesin Gilkes-Bower and Terri C Smith and is on view from December 12, 2013 through February 23, 2014. It will open with a free, public reception on Thursday December 12 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The exhibition is sponsored, in part, by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Emergence often includes situations where a series of small actions can yield unexpected or unintentional outcomes.  Sociologist R. Keith Sawyer adds in a 2001 paper on emergence and sociology, “Canonical examples of emergence include traffic jams, the colonies of social insects, and bird flocks. For example the V shape of the bird flock does not result from one bird being selected as a leader. Instead, each bird’s behavior is based on its position relative to nearby birds. The V shape is not planned or centrally determined; it emerges out of simple pair-interaction rules.”

With Neuromast: Certain Uncertainty and Contemporary Art, several shared themes arose among the thirty-one works, including: how culture and gender contribute to constructing identity; the dynamic between an individual’s health and the medical industry, commerce, or the natural environment; and the collection and distribution of digital information as it relates to business, personal security, and persona.

A primary inspiration of the show was a series of photographs by Thilde Jensen called The Canaries, which served as an inspiration for the exhibition. Her photographs document the lives of individuals living with heightened levels of sensitivity to the toxic chemicals and powerful electromagnetic radiation found in modern, built environments. Preemptive Media’s Air project also explores emergence and the environment through the collective work of Beatriz da Costa, Jamie Schulte and Brooke Singer. Their portable air quality measurement kits demand reflection on the proliferation of smart phones and pocket computers that do little beyond promise increased entertainment and productivity. Mircea Cantor’s video Deeparture juxtaposes predator and prey by placing a wolf and a deer in a typical white cube gallery space. The artist calls into question traditional narratives of danger and the inevitability of death while he simultaneously hijacks the gallery by excluding art objects and audience. With Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle’s Sexecology project, the artists approach nature very differently, creating performative weddings that link the concept of a couple’s love to our love of the planet via inclusive, largely unscripted community events.

Neuromast also approaches personal identity as a microcosm of larger complex systems. Juliana Huxtable’s portrait series Seven Archetypes explores her process of gender transitioning through cultural expectations of performance. M. M. Mantua’s sculptures ask viewers direct questions that hint at the unequal distribution of privacy between viewer and artist while creating cognitive engagement through language. Brian House and Jason Rabie’s Facebook Portraits present identity through algorithm and data, attempting to humanize the ways in which social networks identify and classify their users. Kari Altman’s site-specific iteration of her Smart Mobility/Invisible Protection series calls into question abstract ideals of security as they relate to identity in finance and branding.

Moving out in scale to broader social phenomena, lngrid Burrington’s Center for Missed Connections identifies configurations of socially and sexually disconnected people in New York City through the missed connections section of Craigslist. David Horvitz also tried to change collectively authored online information through his zine documenting the artist’s attempted removal of himself from the group-edited encyclopedia site Wikipedia. Another text-based work that involves collaboration and an unpredictable outcome is Two Equal Texts by Christian Bök and Micah Lexier. The large vinyl wall work is an elaborate anagram that consists of two texts placed on either side of a freestanding wall. One side features Lexier’s descriptive text, which outlines the terms of the collaboration; the other side hosts Christian Bök’s elegantly resolved anagram of Lexier’s original text. Kaye Cain-Nielsen’s installation Miranda further explores the social consequences of shared responsibility in relationship to her own experience as a potential paid egg donor to an infertile couple.

Using contemporary art as its starting point, the artists in Neuromast investigate complex systems within social, environmental, and personal fields. The exhibition shows ways in which collective small-scale actions can prevail against seemingly insurmountable odds. Writer and activist Adrienne Marie Brown adds, “Rather than laying out big strategic plans for our work, many of us have been coming together in community, in authentic relationships, and seeing what emerges from our conversations, visions and needs. We can define emergent strategy as intentional, strong because it is decentralized, adaptive, interdependent, and creating more possibilities.” The artists in Neuromast: Certain Uncertainty and Contemporary Art join in an interdisciplinary conversation on emergence via the adaptive and generate approach Brown sites, giving us insights into the often invisible, yet shared, complex systems that pervade our everyday lives.


posted by Owner on November 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm

ArtShop! The Show, November 2 – December 1, 2013

Missed the party? ArtShop! is now online HERE with items from $5 – $150.

ArtShop! The Show is an exhibition on view from November 2 – December 1. During this time we will turn the galleries into a shop featuring new and existing multiples by artists we’ve worked with in our first two years. This show will form the backdrop, and provide an added funding stream, for our first fundraiser, which will take place on Saturday, November 23 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Items will include zines, videos, calendars, glasses, buttons, artists books and more! They will be available at sale prices from $3.00 and up, giving everyone a chance to take something home. Works will only be for sale at the November 23 party.  Participating Artists: Michael Asbill, Trisha BagaFrancis CapeHolly DangerChristopher DeLaurentiSimon DraperMatt DuckloStuart ElsterLindsey EskindKent EvansBethany FancherFlint Public Art Project, Flower Tour, T FoleyMarley FreemanBen GoddardIlana Halperin, Veronica Hryn,  Jared HaugRachel HigginsAnn HirschDana Hoey, David HorvitzTehching HsiehHudson Valley Seed Library,

Jessica Jackson HutchinsRenee KahnTara KeltonKarsten Krejcarek and Seth Kelly, Emily LarnedMads LynnerupNPeachesJeff Ostergren, Andrea Reynosa, Emily Roz and Carmelle SafdieJoshua SeidnerTrevor ShimzuBrooke Singer and Ricardo MirandaGordon SkinnerStephen SollinsRbt. Sps., Second FrontBrent StewartPenelope Umbrico, Siebren VersteegLinda WeintraubGrant Worth, Helen Zajowski, Dzmitry Zhykh.

posted by Owner on October 6, 2013 at 5:53 pm

“Tell All” – Looking Back at Franklin Street Works’ First Two Years

From October 6 – 20, 2013, Franklin Street Works presents documentation of our programs and exhibitions in the form of zines, gallery handouts, slideshows and videos from the last two years.

This two-week show celebrates our accomplishments and highlights the 160 artists, curators and cultural producers with whom we have collaborated since opening on September 22, 2011. This overview is a perfect opportunity to introduce friends and family to Franklin Street Works! As you stroll through the galleries, you stroll through time, starting with the inaugural exhibition, Fernando, and ending with Kool-Aid Wino. The exhibition also includes reception photos, audio works by local poets, and a lecture on food and art.


posted by Owner on September 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Collective Action Archive at Purchase College, SUNY

ARCHIVE LINKS: Installation Photographs / Gallery Handout / Symposium / AFTERIMAGE review

The New Media program at Purchase College, SUNY and Franklin Street Works, a contemporary art space in Stamford, CT, will present a group exhibition, “Collective Action Archive,” at Purchase College’s The Passage Gallery, beginning September 6. Curated and coordinated by Purchase College faculty and students along with the Franklin Street Works team, the exhibition kicks off the 2013 season at the school’s student gallery. The show features ephemera, documentation, and publications that include photos, videos, zines, and books from more than 30 artist collectives from across the U.S., including Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Winston-Salem, and San Francisco.

“Collective Action Archive” will be on view from September 6 – 29, 2013. A reception will take place in the gallery on Wednesday, September 11, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, followed by a symposium at the Neuberger Museum of Art Study (also on Purchase campus) of Purchase College from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Both events are free and open to the public. The symposium will include author, artist, and activist Gregory Sholette; along with a member of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.); and one of the founding members of the Knifeandfork collective.

The Collective Action archive began in 2012 with Franklin Street Works’ call for materials, which was sent to more than 90 socially engaged artist collectives for the exhibition “Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting and Collective Action” (October 27, 2012 – January 13, 2013). The Collective Action theme was inspired by Gregory Sholette’s writing on the Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D) archive in his book Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture). PAD/D materials— now housed in the MoMA QNS library collection —include a variety of printed items and photographs from socially and politically active collectives working in the 1980s. For the “Working Alternatives” exhibition, the curators considered what a call for materials (similar to art historian Lucy Lippard’s PAD/D call in 1979) would yield. What could these new materials, gathered together, tell us about the strategies and organizational structures of politically active artist collectives more than 30 years later?

For the Purchase College redux, every collective in the archive will be on display simultaneously, with the majority of the items in the Collective Action Archive being featured. In addition to the greater breadth, the exhibition includes new items sent to Franklin Street Works in the last four months. Interpretive labels and a comprehensive gallery handout will augment the materials, contextualizing the work of these socially active artists who tackle topics ranging from fair artist compensation, to environmental responsibility and reproductive rights.

Collectives included in this exhibition are: ABC No Rio, Artists Against Apartheid, Big Tent, Conflict Kitchen, Critical Making, fierce pussy, Floating Lab Collective, Futurefarmers, Guerrilla Girls, Guffey Hollow, Howling Mob Society, Illegal Art, Just Seeds, Kitchen Sink, Knifeandfork, Lucky Pierre, M12 Collective, Meme Rider Media Team, National Bitter Melon Council, Okay Mountain Collective, Paper Tiger TV, Philly Stake, Preemptive Media, Publication Studio, Regional Relationships, Second Front, Students of the African Diaspora, subRosa, Temporary Services, The Pinky Show, W.A.G.E., and Work Progress Collective.

The “Collective Action Archive” exhibition team includes: Purchase College interns Stephen Barakat, Gina Mischianti, Bonnie Moncada, and Diogo Sales; Franklin Street Works staff members Sandrine Milet and Terri C Smith; and Brooke Singer, Associate Professor of New Media in the School of Film & Media Studies at Purchase College.


Gregory Sholette: Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer and founding member of Political Art Documentation/Distribution (1980-1988) and REPOhistory (1989-2000). His most recent exhibition is Collectibles: Models, Action Figures, Objects (8/28-9/4) at Station Independent Projects, NYC, NY, and Imaginary Archive: Graz, Austria (9/21-11/2, 2013). The first chapter of his serial sci-fi graphic novel Double City appears in the Summer issue of Frieze, 201, and his recent books include Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto Press, 2010) and the co-authored book It’s The Political Economy, Stupid with Oliver Ressler, (Pluto 2013). Sholette is a frequent lecturer and seminar leader in the US and abroad, he teaches at Queens College CUNY where he recently co-founded the Social Practice Queens master’s concentration.


W.A.G.E.: Founded in 2008, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) is a New York-based activist group whose advocacy is currently focused on regulating the payment of artist fees by non-profit art institutions and establishing a sustainable model for best practices between cultural producers and the institutions that contract their labor. Over the past 5 years they have delivered speeches, made videos, held open meetings, teach-ins, coffee klatches and workshops, wage-raging in panel discussions and symposia at museums, galleries, conferences, festivals, schools, summits, and art fairs. In 2010 they launched the W.A.G.E. Survey, which gathered data from visual and performing artists about their experiences with the payment practices of New York City non-profit arts organizations.


Knifeandfork: Brian House is a co-founder of Knifeandfork with Sue Huang. He is a media artist whose work traverses alternative geographies, experimental music, and a critical data practice. By constructing embodied, participatory systems, he seeks to negotiate between algorithms and the rhythms of everyday life. His work has been shown by MoMA (NYC), MOCA (LA), LACE, Ars Electronica, Eyebeam, Rhizome, Conflux Festival, ISEA, and Issue Project Room, among others, and has been featured in publications including WIRED, TIME, The New York Times, SPIN, Metropolis, and on Univision Sports. He is currently a doctoral student at Brown University in the Music and the Modern Culture and Media departments and teaches in the Digital + Media program at RISD.

posted by Owner on July 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Kool-Aid Wino

Franklin Street Works is proud to present Kool-Aid Wino, a group exhibition curated by Brooklyn-based writer and critic Claire Barliant. The exhibition explores the foregrounding of mistakes and missteps in contemporary art practices and features works by Anne Carson, Choi Dachal, Frank Heath, Owen Land, Rotem Linial, James Merrill, Alice Miceli, Jenny Perlin, Aki Sasamoto, as well as an ikat-dyed silk suzani from the Middle East made in the early twenties.  It is on view at Franklin Street Works from July 20 – September 22 with a free, public reception on July 20 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. 

The show starts with the widely accepted premise that artistic process relies on trial and error. You try something, you mess up, you move on. But what if you stay with that mistake, or that troubling passage, and make it the focus? What if you let it be awkward, an irritant, wiggle it like a loose tooth or pick at it like a scab that never quite heals? What if, instead of being one (quickly deleted) step toward success or resolution, the error becomes the climax and the denouement—an end point in itself, or even a goal? Hence the title Kool-Aid Wino, which comes from Trout Fishing in America by poet and author Richard Brautigan, who deliberately fudged words while writing in order to invent new ways of saying things.

Choi Dachal, The Malformed Intersection II, 29.25 x 21.75, Digital print, 2012

The artists in Kool-Aid Wino poke and prod at systems—be they technological, linguistic, musical, or administrative—until they find or create a chink or flaw that sheds light on the whole. Jenny Perlin’s three-channel video projection, Sight Reading, presents three different pianists on each screen, each struggling to play a composition they are seeing for the first time. Choi Dachal’s photographs feature dress shirts that have been pressed, cleaned, and folded. Yet on close inspection they prove to be two different shirts with slightly varying patterns that have been buttoned together and folded to look like a single shirt. Owen Land, Rotem Linial, and Alice Miceli take a reflexive approach to film and photography, revealing and reveling in glitches and mechanical failures. Frank Heath and Aki Sasamoto disassemble objects to point out ruptures in systems such as urbanism and history that, while abstract, are often deemed airtight and error-proof.        

Errors, as Freud demonstrated in his writings on parapraxis (slips of the tongue), often tip others off to our secret aversions or buried desires, which we strenuously try to conceal. By highlighting or even celebrating errors, the art works in Kool-Aid Wino redeem flaws, accentuate their value, and open up myriad new possibilities. The last line of the pseudonymous chapter in Brautigan’s book reads: “He created his own Kool-Aid reality and was able to illuminate himself by it.” In a sense, each of the artists in this show creates his or her own Kool-Aid reality.  Cumulatively the works remind us that uniqueness relies on flaws and our imaginative negotiation in, around, and through them. It is also worth noting that Trout Fishing in America famously ends with the word “mayonaise,” a typo that may not have been intentional, but made it into the final draft.

About the curator: Claire Barliant has lived in New York City for the past fifteen years, except for seven months when she lived in Houston in 2004-05. Her various jobs during that time have included stamping words on rubber bands (when she worked for an artist who sold soaps, perfumes, and rubber bands with words stamped on them in upscale shops like Barney’s and Moss), fact-checking for the Village Voice, packing up props for a Wes Anderson film, and numerous editorial gigs at art magazines. Today she writes, edits, teaches, and curates.


posted by Owner on June 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm

As We Perform It

As We Perform It is a two-week, group exhibition at Franklin Street Works that brings together emerging and mid-career artists who use performance, painting, video, photography, and social practice to expand on the rich, ever-evolving role of contemporary art as a tool for exploring self-representation. This exhibition is the first by emerging curator and Franklin Street Works’ staff member Sandrine Milet. It is on view from June 22 – July 7, 2013, with a free, public reception on Saturday, June 22, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Exhibiting artists include Lisa Fagan, Christina Sukhgian Houle, Kristin Lucas, Erica Magrey, Peter Bonde Becker Nelson, Dani Padgett, Bastienne Schmidt, Devan Shimoyama, and Thuan Vu.

For many decades, especially during the “identity politics” era of the 1980s and 1990s, artists have investigated the self in relation to society, oftentimes reclaiming their identity or critiquing related politics and stereotypes. Yet how are current approaches of expressing identity affected by new modes of communication? “Today, there are so many platforms to express and communicate ourselves,” explains Sandrine Milet, “that it becomes a constant search and desire to define ourselves to others. This need and the accompanying confusion many of my peers talk about peaked my interest in how artists deal with these issues.”

These themes in As We Perform It are expressed in a variety of ways. Artists such as Peter Bonde Becker Nelson, Bastienne Schmidt and Devan Shimoyama create narratives that blend autobiography with the imagined, while also investigating the self’s ability to change and transform. Lisa Fagan, Christina Sukhgian Houle, Erica Magrey and Dani Padgett focus on the body and mind in relation to our physical and social environments, oftentimes foregrounding performance. Paying close attention to the political environment of the 21st century and its impact on identity, Kristin Lucas and Thuan Vu draw connections between their personal identities and the larger construct of the hyper-mediated world, bringing an understanding of the new and existing shared platforms.


As We Perform It features works made by artists who spent their formative years in the 21st century’s hyper-connected world where physical and digital lives collide. Focusing on the “multi-place-ness and multi-space-ness” of our society, as described by exhibiting artist Erica Magrey, the show, among other things, asks how the prevalence of expressing identity through immediate visual cues has affected contemporary art practices. Many of the works in As We Perform It map out experiences or narratives through performative self-representations in an attempt to answer the “where and how am I” inquiry, propagated by our sharing-obsessed society.

posted by Owner on April 6, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Strange Invitation

The newest contemporary art exhibition at Franklin Street Works is structured via a string of invitations. Three participants were invited by the art space with the understanding that they, in turn, would ask a collaborator to join them – a framework that encourages improvisation, experimentation and exchange.

Titled Strange Invitation (also the title to a Beck song), this show brings together three, collaborative teams that will design engaging installations, programming, and interactive hubs encouraging direct audience involvement. Strange Invitation, consequently, also invites the audience to participate in a manner that extends beyond that of a passive viewer. The exhibition asks questions such as: “What happens when you invite an artist who defines him/herself as both social activist and organizer to do a project at a gallery space?” “How do projects evolve and surprise if you then ask those participants to invite a collaborator?” “What is revealed and what is obscured through collaboration itself?” “How can this exhibition yield knowledge about social practice and audience engagement that will inform Franklin Street Works’ activities moving forward?” Strange Invitation is on view at Franklin Street Works from April 6 – June 16, 2013. The show will open with a free, public reception, Saturday, April 6 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. This exhibition is made possible, in part, through the support of a two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

With Strange Invitation, Franklin Street Works continues to blur the boundaries between participation and creation through collaborative projects. Each component reflects a mix of art and activism, addressing themes informed by the participants’ in-depth work with local communities. Those who were invited by Franklin Street Works to participate are: Andrew Beccone, founder of the Reanimation Library in Brooklyn, NY; artist, activist, community organizer, and founding director of Smack Mellon, Andrea Reynosa, Narrowsburg, NY; and, based in Brooklyn, New York, Stephen Zacks, an urban writer/critic and artistic director of the Flint Public Art Project.  Each one of these collaborators has invited artists, curators, and/or civic activists to join them. For the Franklin Street Works branch of the Reanimation Library, Beccone asked Pradeep Dalal to make new works using books from the Library’s main branch. Andrea Reynosa is organizing the Franklin Street Works Heritage Garden and Farmstand and invited ecoartpsace curator Amy Lipton to create a gallery exhibition that expands on themes surrounding the natural environment and sustainability in the show’s “Digging Deeper” component. Highlighting artists he’s worked closely with in Flint, Michigan, Zacks invited the artist collective “Flower Tour” to create installations and projections that highlight the group’s past performances.

Through its structure and range of participants, Strange Invitation brings multiple and variously informed viewpoints to the exhibition — all steeped in an understanding of how contemporary art can interface with grass roots, community-oriented projects. In addition to their knowledge of contemporary art, Franklin Street Works’ collaborators inform the show via their knowledge of urban planning, library science, and environmental activism, making this exhibition one that connects contemporary art with themes surrounding the natural, urban, and organizational environments in our daily lives.

Reanimation Library

1. Franklin Street Works invited Reanimation Library founder Andrew Beccone to participate in Strange Invitation.

2. Andrew Beccone asked artist Pradeep Dalal to make works for Franklin Street Works’ branch of the Reanimation Library.

Franklin Street Works will host the ninth Reanimation Library off site branch, which extends the reach of its Brooklyn-based main branch into new communities.  The Reanimation Library is a small Independent Presence Library, meaning a non-circulating collection that exists in the physical world. It is open to the public and is meant to inspire the production of new creative work. Reanimation Library features a collection of books that have fallen out of routine circulation and are acquired for their unique visual content. Outdated and discarded, they have been culled from thrift stores, stoop sales, and throw-away piles to be given new life as a resource for artists, writers, cultural archeologists, and other interested parties. “I consider the library itself to be an ongoing collaborative artwork that is activated by people who engage with and use it,” Andrew Beccone explains. Since 2006, the library has been situated in Proteus Gowanus, an interdisciplinary gallery and reading room in Brooklyn, NY.

Since 2009, Andrew Beccone has created branch libraries that are temporary site-specific manifestations of the Reanimation Library. This allows the library to exist outside of its Brooklyn home, giving the possibility of others to engage with its content. Each branch library contains a collection of books that has been gathered from sources in its local community. A free scanner and photocopier will be provided to allow visitors to use the books as resource material for their own creative projects.

For Franklin Street Works’ branch, the library will feature approximately 40 books found in Connecticut as well as Reanimation Library inspired artworks by New York based artist Pradeep Dalal. An artist and writer, Dalal’s work was recently included in exhibitions at Higher Pictures in New York, the Herter Art Gallery in Amherst and at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark. He has also exhibited at New York venues, including the New York Public Library, Orchard, and ps122 Gallery. Dalal’s reviews and interviews have been published in ARTWURL, Teaching Photo, Village Voice, and EGO Magazine. He is a recipient of the Tierney Fellowship, and has an MFA from ICP/Bard College and an MArch from MIT. Dalal works at the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, and is on the faculty at the International Center of Photography in New York.

Digging Deeper

1. Franklin Street Works invited Andrea Reynosa — artist, activist, and founding director of the alternative art space Smack Mellon to participate.

2. Andrea Reynosa invited ecoartspace curator Amy Lipton, who is collaborating with seven artists on an indoor/outdoor exhibition for Strange Invitation.

Digging Deeper focuses on sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, and artists who create projects informed by our relationships to natural environments. The exhibition and programming involve several components: An outdoor artist studio and greenhouse created by Simon Draper as part of his Habitat for Artists (HFA) project where artists Draper and Michael Asbill, in partnership with the Hudson Valley Seed Library, will germinate seeds and build a small food garden; The Franklin Street Works Heritage Garden and Farmstand conceived and coordinated by Andrea Reynosa, which is a civic ecology investigation into local youth, regional watershed/foodshed awareness, heirloom crop production and entrepreneurship; and a  gallery exhibition curated by ecoartspace curator Amy Lipton, featuring works by Habitat for Artists, Joan Bankemper, Andrea Reynosa, Jenna Spevack, Elaine Tin Nyo, and Linda Weintraub.

With the Digging Deeper exhibition, inventive projects around agriculture from greenhouses to urban furniture gardens to canning and color-coding vegetables to making cheese from goat’s milk will populate Franklin Street Works’ downstairs gallery and back yard. Some of the projects address farming as both activism and art form. Artists in this exhibition are known for bringing community-specific issues into their work.

A key component to the exhibition will be Andrea Reynosa’s project Franklin Street Heritage Garden and Farmstand in the Stamford community. Andrea Reynosa is an artist-farmer who actively aims to rally citizens to spark an interest in food production and to offer ways to get people involved. Reynosa’s project Franklin Street Heritage Garden and Farmstand, takes inspiration and instruction from her Big Eddy Farmstand project in Narrowsburg, New York, 2012.  The Franklin Street Heritage Garden and Farmstand will focus on mapping the food-shed of the Stamford region as a curatorial tool for garden and farm stand development with an overlay of youth workforce development, heritage food investigation and production, creation of a marketing identity and sales strategy.

Flint Public Art Project and Flower Tour

1. Franklin Street Works invited Stephen Zacks, executive director of the Flint Public Art Project and a reporter, theorist, and cultural producer based in Brooklyn, New York.

2. Stephen Zacks invited the artist collective Flower Tour to create sculptures and installations for Strange Invitation.

Flint Public Art Project (FPAP) has invited Flint-based artist collective Flower Tour to exhibit their work in Stamford, Connecticut as a part of Franklin Street Works’ upcoming Strange Invitation show. Flower Tour is a collective of young artists using public appearances and handmade objects to create excitement in the city. They design colorful paper hats, ceramic rings, and structural dresses, installing them in underused spaces, and donning them as instant fashion boutiques, creating immersive environments animated by their presence. Members of Flower Tour arrive wearing brightly colored flowers as hats, which they exchange and photograph with people they meet, and install custom displays to sell inexpensive multiples and specialty designs in the form of Bloom: The Traveling Shoppe.

For Franklin Street Works’ Strange Invitation, Flint Public Art Project and Flower Tour collaborate in an ongoing series of programs including crepe-paper flower installations in a gallery and storefront, video projections, interviews with the artists, meetings and workshops with community members, public appearances by Flower Tour, and a presentation by FPAP Executive Director Stephen Zacks. As a series of critical, entertaining, and economic activities, the collaboration will exchange and publicize information, connect networks, and share resources between Stamford, Flint, and New York.

Strange Invitation’s generous in-kind donors are Stamford based Green UP and Hotel 0 Degrees as well as the Hudson Valley Seed Library:








Strange Invitation visitors gets a discount! If you plan on visiting the show from out of town, Hotel 0 Degrees is offering a 15% discount if guests use the promo code “FACE” when reserving their room online or on the phone.



posted by Owner on January 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Your Content Will Return Shortly

Virtually since television’s invention, artists have used its form, content, and media to create artworks whose intentions range from homage to critique. Your Content Will Return Shortly is a group exhibition that explores how contemporary artists harness the in-between moments of our television experiences. By taking their cues from the physical and functional qualities of television and a variety of elements associated with broadcasting, they touch on phenomena that include: advertising; laugh tracks; the affects of VHS, DVD and remote control devices on viewing habits; public service announcements; and nuanced observations of the relationship between spectacle and cable news. The exhibition is on view from January 24 – March 24, 2013, at Franklin Street Works with a free public reception on Thursday, January 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Exhibiting artists include: Christopher DeLaurenti, Eric Gottesman, Jonathan Horowitz, Sophy Naess, Jeff Ostergren, Lucy Raven, Martha Rosler, Catherine Ross, Emily Roz, Carmelle Safdie, and Siebren Versteeg.

Catherine Ross, IFO, 2006, video still, courtesy of the artist

With Your Content Will Return Shortly, television is explored as both medium and subject. “Early exhibitions such as TV as a Creative Medium organized by gallerist Howard Wise in 1969 posited that video could be art, and that televisions would become as important to contemporary exhibitions as paint, canvas and other traditional materials,” says the exhibition’s curator Terri C Smith, “This show was inspired by a desire to connect my own research on historic video exhibitions and readings in media theory — including texts by David Joselit and Marshall McLuhan — with observations of our own contemporary relationships with ‘television,’ which for many is streamed at will via a laptop, bypassing the TV set altogether.”

Siebren Versteeg Prop, 2009 50 in plasma TV (7’), single channel DVD Courtesy of the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago

Rather than taking a comprehensive view of television as inspiration in contemporary art, Your Content Will Return Shortly, as the title implies, explores contemporary works that highlight televised elements tangential to the main narrative arc — our “stories”. This exhibition brings to light the physical, stylistic, and economic elements that surround the narrative arcs of situation comedies, melodramas, news features, etc. Exhibiting artists Jeff Ostergren and Martha

1Rosler focus on advertising in their works. With Global Taste, Rosler creates a three-channel work that brilliantly appropriates food advertisements from the 1980s. In Jeff Ostergren’s two-channel video Stimulus, pharmaceutical ads are deconstructed shifting focus to specific components such as health warnings. Ostergren asserts that the commercials are in fact the true content of our television experience, writing, “Advertisements are vehicles of capital. Despite our understanding of them as the filler surrounding our programming content (news, sporting events, sitcoms), in reality, commercials ARE the content – the programming they surround are sublimated by the lurking capital that funds them, that relates to the content, that is geared towards a target audience, a focus- group-determined viewer.”

Emily Roz, Presidents, 2006, 20 Polaroid prints, courtesy of the artist

Artists Jonathan Horowitz, Sopy Naess, Catherine Ross, Emily Roz, and Carmelle Safdie pull from specific and seemingly unimportant elements from televised narratives, reminding us of the devices such as laugh tracks, physical comedy, and repeated plot motifs that are interwoven throughout. In Roz’s work Death by Mel the artist takes Polaroid photographs of the TV set to capture scenes where actors are killed by Mel Gibson, “Archiving images from films into sub-groups strips them of their original meaning within a narrative and places them into reliable and familiar categories,” writes Roz, “An image of a president immediately brings to mind an entire genre without specifying any one film. Grouping many similar images reminds us of what we come to expect from certain genres and how those devices signal the moviegoer to understand and accept certain pretexts without question.” Similarly, Catherine Ross, who often uses old sitcoms as her material, feels that “Isolating the movements of humans and/or objects, ! create new sequences that reveal an inseparable relationship between motion and sound ! movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our vulnerabilities.”

Christopher DeLaurenti, Lucy Raven and Siebren Versteeg pay close attention to the physical and operative aspects of television. With Prop, Versteeg seems to “prop” a plasma screen on the wall with a long stick. The video on the monitor features someone spelling words in the sand with a stick. The first impression of the television is that it’s a sculptural element, followed by its role in conveying a moving image – with this Versteeg actively reverses the viewer’s usual dynamic with the television set. In Remote DeLaurenti’s 2002 performance employs a television remote control and TV set to create an audio work, flipping channels in order to make random sound patterns. Listening to the piece eleven years later, the antiquated sounds of an older technology are surprisingly audible. Mining the history, geography, and mix of commerce and community in cable access, Lucy Raven invents a public service announcement that elucidates the journey from taping to broadcast, including shared land use and other economies. In her work 4:3, a scrolling text reads in part, “The exchange is asymmetrical: images and sound travel from the production studio to the home and into the TV via copper cable wire, and money from the couch potato travels to the cable company via US mail. You can check if your payment went through by turning on your television.”

As Raven’s text implies, Your Content Will Return Shortly looks beyond the screen and asks questions about the cultural circuitry surrounding television as well as its relationship to daily life and contemporary art. Using videos, photographs, Internet, and sculptural elements, the artists in Your Content Will Return Shortly provide insights into the structures and languages of television, reminding viewers that their relationships with the commerce, programming, and operational structures of TV are multifaceted and extend far beyond the living room


posted by Owner on October 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action.

Franklin Street Works presents the original exhibition Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action, on view from October 27, 2012 – January 13, 2013. The exhibition looks at three threads of alternative art space histories and examines how engaged, inclusive strategies are still being used to break down perceived barriers between contemporary art and its audiences. The themes covered in Working Alternatives are conviviality and food, artists who use media (newspapers, television, and radio) as platforms for artworks, and artist collectives in the US, explored through an open archive gathered specifically for this exhibition.

Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag, Voting Booth Assembly, 2006, courtesy of the artists

Originally Working Alternatives was designed to be the backdrop for our first annual fundraiser, but Franklin Street Works is postponing that event until the spring so the indoor/outdoor extravaganza will coincide with warmer weather and have less proximity to long-standing regional art events. If you saved the date for our fundraiser, however, don’t despair and keep Saturday, October 27, on your calendars – there is still a party! Working Alternatives will open October 27 with a free, public reception from 5:00 -8:00 pm. The evening will include a lively performance of San Francisco artist Tom Marioni’s “Beer Drinking Sonata (for 13 Players)” where thirteen people will create music by blowing into beer bottles based on Marioni’s score.

Tom Marioni, The Museum of Conceptual at the San Francisco Museum of Art. 1979 (free beer) installation

For Working Alternatives, curators Mackenzie Schneider, Terri C Smith, and Jess Wilcox explore three threads of alternative art platforms and production: conviviality and food as components in alternative art space programming and mission (Wilcox); artists using media such as radio, television, and newspapers as alternative venues for presenting work (Schneider); and artist collectives presented in a living archive with weekly changing exhibitions using archive materials (Smith). In addition to historical examples, the exhibition also includes original artworks by contemporary artists that reflect and expand on the showʼs themes. Working Alternatives’ artists include: Paul Branca, Jaime Davidovich, ESP TV, Group Material, Ann Hirsch, Alison Knowles, Tom Marioni, Anna Ostoya, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag. Artist collectives involved will constantly evolve and grow, they include:  Basekamp, Conflict Kitchen, Fierce Pussy, Howling Mob Society, JustSeeds, M12 Studios, Paper Tiger, Philly Stake, The Pinky Show, Second Front, SubRosa, Temporary Services, and W.A.G.E.

Franklin Street Works is also excited to collaborate on several off-site artworks, including the live radio broadcast of an Ann Hirsch performance on WPKN, Bridgeport, and collages by Anna Ostoya in the Stamford Advocate via four, monthly ads during the show’s run.

More on Working Alternatives’ thematic sections


In the upstairs gallery next to Franklin Street Works’ café, curator Jess Wilcox presents creative and alternative projects that involve gathering and communing with food and beverages. This “Breaking Bread” theme imagines the kitchen table as an alternative space, presenting contemporary participatory, culinary art projects in juxtaposition with several 1970’s food art projects. According to Wilcox, “This thread of the show traces conviviality as a key characteristic that emerged from and continues to be central to alternative art practices.  These artists use food’s dual nature as something that both equalizes and distinguishes as means to explore ideas of collaboration, collectivity, individuality, and community.  Food unites us as humans in need of sustenance, but also divides and marks us culturally and politically.”  Paul Branca, Tom Marioni, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag take on these ideas through works that incorporate food and drink with performance, sculpture, and interactive installations. There are also several collaborative food-related events in the works. Check out Franklin Street Works’ website in November and December for updates.


Chris Burden, Chris Burden Promo, 1976

The “Art Broadcasting” segment of the exhibition is curated by Mackenzie Schneider and takes a look at artists that have used media as a way to distribute their work. Local newspapers, radio, and cable access have served as alternative spaces in and of themselves, allowing for the exhibition of work that offers alternative perspectives from the regularly scheduled programming. Beginning with a brief history from the 1970’s to today and then leading to works commissioned by emerging artists, the exhibition will explore media as an unexpected venue for art. Historic examples in the exhibition include videos by Chris Burden, cable access broadcasts produced by Jaime Davidovich, and New York Times newspaper inserts by Group Material.

The contemporary segment of “Art Broadcasting” will include three artworks placed into the Fairfield County region via newspaper, radio, and television. Brooklyn performance artist Ann Hirsch explores the contemporary portrayal of women in the media by inserting herself into popular culture through reality TV shows, Twitter and YouTube. For this exhibition Hirsch will perform on public radio for the first time thanks to Bridgeport, Connecticut’s, independent radio station, WPKN.  For the television component, a video shoot featuring ESP TV will take place at Franklin Street Works.  Slated for November 10, ESP TV will tape an installment of their nomadic showcase of contemporary and experimental art presenting music, performance, and video art in front of a live audience. Bringing print media into the mix, works by Anna Ostoya will be carried in the Stamford Advocate.  Ostoya will create a monthly collage in the newspaper using elements from the newspaper itself, simultaneously responding to and inserting herself into the local context.


Not for Sale PAD/D’s project against Displacement, PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution) poster, from Gregory Sholette’s Dark Matter archive:

For the “collective action” component of Working Alternatives Franklin Street Works’ team put out a call for materials from artist collectives working today as an informal exploration of that landscape. There are relatively recent examples of exhibitions and projects that overlap in some ways with this archive/alternative space concept, consequently, curator and FSW Creative Director, Terri C Smith, sees this project as one addition to a layered, ongoing investigation – as one exploratory moment that reflects the pulse of creative collective action today. Materials will be presented in an open archive that visitors can explore as part of an immersive installation that includes changing, weekly exhibitions drawn from the archive’s materials. This section of the exhibition was inspired, in part, by Gregory Sholette’s book Dark Matter and PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution).  PAD/D was an activist art group whose stated purpose was, “To provide artists with an organized relationship to society, to demonstrate the political effectiveness of image making, and to provide a framework within which progressive artists can discuss and develop alternatives to the mainstream art system.” The installation will, consequently, also include reproductions of documents from the PAD/D archive as an informative, historical backdrop for the contemporary materials collected by Franklin Street Works.

posted by Owner on October 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Franklin Street Works curates “Another Crystal Land” at City Wide Open Studios, New Haven

Franklin Street Works programming includes on and off site collaborative projects. We were excited to be asked to collaborate with ArtSpace New Haven on a project as part of the City Wide Open Studios alternative space on October 20 and 21!

On view October 20 and 21 at the New Haven Register Building at 40 Sargent Dr., New Haven, Connecticut, Another Crystal Land is a group exhibition curated by Terri C Smith. The show simultaneously explores the crystal’s structural characteristics/behaviors and its history within contemporary art. A starting point for the exhibition is the work of conceptual artist Robert Smithson, who was inspired by crystals, especially salt crystals, leading to his ambitious earth art work, The Spiral Jetty, 1970.

Debra Baxter and Margot Quan Knight

For the exhibition Another Crystal Land artists bring contemporary attitudes, technologies, and approaches to the mix of science/ science fiction references, shamanistic voices, and conceptual art making that Smithson explored in his work, making the crystal their own. Artists include: Debra Baxter & Margot Quan Knight, Ben Goddard, Chris McIntyre, Lucy Raven, Rob Smith, and Robert Smithson. A reading room of Robert Smithson books as well as poster-sized reproductions of critic/writer Ann Reynolds’  “Crystal Land” text from her book Robert Smithson: Learning from New Jersey and Elsewhere will further contextualize this two-day exhibition, which is organically arranged throughout the industrial newspaper production site. This is a collaborative project between ArtSpace, New Haven, and Franklin Street Works, Stamford, Connecticut.

posted by Owner on September 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

VHS The Exhibition

VHS The Exhibition: September 6 – October 14, 2012

Free, public reception, Thursday, September 13 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Gallery Walk Through, Thursday October 6, 6:00 – 6:45 followed by cocktails in the cafe.


(Recommended Reading for this show: Stamford Advocate article by Scott Gargan;  VHS The Exhibition Catalog, also available on site; and Rebecca Cleman’s article “Ghosts in the Machine” on VHS and the horror film genre. Click HERE to see installation photographs)

The black VHS tape, a brick-like relic of the pre-digital age, is a dark talisman of analog video culture.  Now a mysterious and outmoded technology that necessitates a physical ritual of loading the tape into the jaws of a temperamental VCR, the widespread marketing of a home video system of video cameras, recording decks, and cassette tapes in the 1980s represented a sea change in how individuals engaged with television.

Trevor Shimizu, "Final Analog Broadcast," 2009, 48 min, color, sound, courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, NY.

VHS The Exhibition, which is the brainchild of guest curator Rebecca Cleman, will explore the use of this format for artistic experimentation.  The exhibition will include works by Robert Beck, Sadie Benning, Dustin Guy Defa, James Fotopoulos, and Trevor Shimizu. Artworks will be accompanied by ephemera from ‘80s-era home video culture, such as the glitchy computer-generated, anti-corporate corporate spokesman Max Headroom, to give a broad perspective on the cultural shifts created by this technological phenomenon in entertainment, life, and art.

Artists have used video for personal ends since the release of the first consumer-grade video cameras in the 1960s.  This equipment gave them a way to intervene and critique the hegemony of television, often by focusing on themes and subjects that were excluded from mainstream broadcasts.  For many of these artists, it was important to characterize these interventions as alternative modes of professional production that could subvert the matrix of corporate television.  A later use of amateur home video equipment could also be described as anti-television and countercultural – but the innately low quality of VHS, related to its mass-market appeal, further illustrates how artists self-reflexively work with antiquated technology to provoke art mythologies of value, authenticity, and permanence.

Dustin Guy Defa, "Family Nightmare," 2011, 10 min, color, sound, courtesy of the artist

More than being formalist explorations of VHS’s inherent qualities, the works in this exhibition engage the psychological associations of the medium, especially those that reflect the fragility of institutions, whether of self, family or society. The ability to watch TV shows on one’s own schedule or to forego the broadcasters altogether to watch self-procured or self-produced content made the experience of television more private and interactive.  Cleman adds, “As an alternative to sanctioned broadcasts, home video enabled the broad distribution of unwholesome entertainment, marking the VHS tape as a carrier of ungovernable, possibly even corrosive content.  The ominous VHS tape of dubious origin, referenced in dark-themed films like Hideo Nakata’s Ringu, David Lynch’s Lost Highway, or the forthcoming horror film V/H/S, evokes an unconscious confusion of sex, violence, and death.”  Drawing connections such as these, Cleman positions VHS The Exhibition as an exploration of the cultural impact of home video on both a public and personal front. The exhibition will be on view from September 6 through October 14, 2012. A free, public reception is scheduled during the show’s second week, Thursday, September 13 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.


Rebecca Cleman is the Director of Distribution of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. She has programmed screenings for the New York Underground Film Festival, Light Industry, Anthology Film Archives and the Migrating Forms Festival among other venues.  In 2010 she co-curated the media content for Amnesia at Andrea Rosen Gallery. She has most recently organized two programs within the VHS series at the Museum of Art and Design, NY, and published an essay on the subject of horror movies and home video for the Moving Image Source.  Cleman lives and works in NYC.

posted by Owner on June 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm

These Transitional Spaces: June 30 – August 26, 2012

These Transitional Spaces is a group exhibition organized around contemporary art objects whose representational imagery crystallizes the temporal. The exhibition is curated by artist Seth Kelly for the not-for-profit art space, Franklin Street Works in Stamford, Connecticut. The art in These Transitional Spaces was chosen for its ability to simultaneously represent the time of its making and suggest the impossibility of a specific time and space being fully captured. These qualities allow for the works to serve as visual thresholds within the gallery, prompting viewers to imagine alternative spaces and histories. Artists include Matthew Buckingham, Matt Ducklo, Ilana Halperin, Dana Hoey, Adam Putnam, Karsten Krejcarek, John Miller, Matthew Ronay, and Aura Rosenberg. The exhibition is on view June 30 – August 26, 2012. The free, public reception is Saturday, June 30, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Can representational visual systems evoke presence and absence of space transforming it in the same ways that abstract works using light, color, and shape do? These Transitional Spaces proposes spatial transformations that expand beyond an abstract game of the senses.  Everyday scenes, objects, and shared histories act like a distorted mirror that transitions viewers from actual time/space to imagined eras, interiors, and worlds via videos, sculptures, and photographs. These works alter our sensory and psychological relationships to physical environments, including those of exhibition spaces themselves.

With Matthew Buckingham’s The Six Grandfathers, Paha Sapa, in the Year 502,002 C.E. the grand symbolism of a nation’s leaders, fathers in stone, is transported into the future through photo manipulation, sparking viewer imaginations and challenging them to cognitively contextualize an unforeseeable future. Ilana Halperin, on the other hand, evokes the past via new, cast objects made of the mineral composition found in cave formations such as stalactites. In both, the past and present are shifted through suggestions of other times and places.

The real and imagined take a more whimsical, sometimes satirical, turn with the inclusion of Dana Hoey’s Rainbow Painter – the photo features a romanticized, lounging artist and his muses; a floating plastic pear that is John Miller’s sculpture Pear Ubu; and the plastered smiles and stiff styling of Matt Ducklo’s WTVY Dothan, 2011, from The Newscasters series. These works suggest other spaces through the inclusion of set-like elements. With Ducklo’s photograph, characters that usually enter our homes from the virtual dimension of television in the form of light and sound are frozen, waiting for their cue. In Hoey’s photo, a “rainbow painter” and two young women recline by a tree, framed by a rainbow painted onto a concrete wall. The painting within the photograph is made in a style that straddles trompe l’eoil and street art. Its artifice is obvious and a bit out of place, creating a tension in the photograph between the urban and pastoral, between the earthly and the heavenly. With Pear Ubu, the humble plastic pear escapes the fruit bowl and gravity itself, simultaneously becoming a mental prompt and a theatrical prop in the gallery.

These Transitional Spaces also expresses its spatiotemporal concerns through the visceral. With Adam Putnam’s live video feed of an architectural model, the breathing “bones” of a building’s interior anthropomorphizes domestic space, creating a “living” room from a static object using a “live” video feed. The location becomes the subject, sexualized, yet devoid of human bodies — a place of projected space and fantasy existing silently on its own.  In The Astrological Ways, Sagittarius, by Aura Rosenberg, inverted silhouettes of paint on canvas float within the field as the canvas floats on the wall. Like a pear hovering in the gallery or a rainbow painted on cement, these white bodies drifting in black space are plucked from any typical living situation and are then aligned thematically with a heavenly pseudo-science through the artwork’s title. Also grounded in black and relating to the figure, Matthew Ronay’s Cloak of Tears is a collage painting on black canvas that references ceremonial dress, transforming the wearer into a sign of cosmic totemism. Finally, a disembodied voice hovers over the art space’s threshold, a location symbolizing transition between architecture and the world, in Karsten Krejcarek’s Nueva Era de Santo Daime. In this sound piecea voice calls to the woods from a fictional time in the future. With Nueva Era de Santo Daime, time, space, and body coalesce in a fictitious, time-bending narrative that aids in transitioning the visitor from exterior to interior as they enter the gallery.

The venue of Franklin Street Works is an exhibition space with a history of physical alterations. A nineteenth-century house with elements of the interior organized by the Bauhaus line via recent renovations, this location offers a unique setting in which to highlight the shared nature of these artists’ concerns surrounding the spatiotemporal.  The art space’s transitions, whether historical through use and renovation or from room to room as visitors travel the building itself, create a metaphorically rich environment in which to examine art’s aptitude for transitioning our space via imaginative conjecture, subject, and compositional structures.

Stamford Advocate Article/ It’s Relevant Video/


posted by Owner on April 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm


House Arrest is a group exhibition where artists intentionally challenge assumptions about the comforts of home. Works feature everything from Corin Hewitt’s disquieting still life photographs to Elizabeth Demaray’s upholstered rubble couch to Martha Rosler’s

Martha Rosler, Lounging Woman, 2004 Photomontage. Courtesy of Mitchell-Inness & Nash

politically charged collages. The result is a crosscurrent of alternative meanings and meanderings that flip the domestic on its head, exploring the complex relationships between daily life and everyday objects.  The exhibition is on view April 5 – June 10, 2012. A free public reception will be held April 5 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

House Arrest is curated by Terri C Smith whose approach to the installation will significantly alter the physical qualities of the space’s three galleries, creating living rooms of artworks that are informed by the history of Franklin Street Works’ Victorian row house buildings — originally working class homes –as well as the makeshift domestic situations at recent political protest sites such as Occupy Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park.

Participating artists are: Hector Arce-Espasas, Francis Cape, Alex Da Corte, Elizabeth Demaray, Stuart Elster, Marley Freeman, Jared Haug, Nate Heiges, Sean Hemmerle, Corin Hewitt, Rachel Higgins, David Horvitz, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Justine Kurland, ROLU, Martha Rosler, Heather Rowe, Penelope Umbrico, Se Young, and Helen Zajkowski.

Hector Arce-Espasas, Sheltering Sky, mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.

House Arrest also features a curated shop and zine by Talisein and original publications curated by David Horvitz in collaboration with several independent publishers: andreviewDominica, Fillip, and Triple Canopy. The exhibition features a PDF catalog that includes an interview on curating with ordinary objects between Taliesin and Bodhi Landa, an exhibition essay by Terri C Smith and Lisa A Porter’s essay on Zuccotti Park from a material culture perspective.




posted by Owner on February 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm


Franklin Street Works presents a series of video exhibitions titled Heavy Rotation. The exhibition will be on view from February 24 – March 16, 2012.

Reception: March 1, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Karsten Krejcarek, "We Believe in Everything"

Through multiple, short-lived, thematic shows, Heavy Rotation aims to provide an adrenaline rush of shifting contexts, fresh curatorial perspectives, and highly varied technologies. The show’s fluid structure also asks us to imagine an exhibition as a series of changing visual events, rather than a static installation.

In Heavy Rotation‘s roster, one grouping includes artists who harness specific elements from nature (including rocks, water, snow, and a snail) as imagery while simultaneously foregrounding a handful of unique approaches to “process” in the act of art making. Love and interpersonal relationships inform another show, which explores romantic communications, desires, and miscommunications via a variety of platforms and situations, including Chat Roulette, Craigslist singles ads, and public display of affection.  A third installation maps psychological and sociological landscapes that engage the viewer in privately-informed, off-kilter narratives situated in culturally specific, mentally imaginative, and geographically peripheral environments. Finally, New York-based curator Anthony Thornton rounds out the schedule with a selection of videos that explore the public inevitability of private performance within our increasingly connected world.

Grant Worth, "Unbirthday Alice for Philip"

Participating artists:  Bobby Chirila, Petra Cortright, Tim Davis, Keith Edmier, Lindsey Eskind, Don Evans, Jesse Fleming, T. Foley, Alexa Gerrity,  Matteo Giordano, Ilana Halperin, Seth Kelly, Noriko Koshida, Karsten Krejcarek, Camille Laurelli, David O’Reilly, Ariana Page Russel, John Pilson, Cheryl Pope, Joshua Seidner, Rbt. Sps., Brent Stewart, and Grant Worth.

Installment Dates and Artists:

Naturally / February 24 – 29 / Keith Edmier, Jesse Fleming, Ilana Halperin, Seth Kelly, Cheryl Pope and Brent Stewart. Click HERE for more on Naturally‘s theme and artist bios.

Let’s Talk About Love / March 1 – 4 / Lindsey Eskind, T. Foley, Noriko Koshida, David O’Reilly, John Pilson, Joshua Seidner.

Peripheral Landscapes / March 8 – 10 / Tim Davis, Don Evans, Alexa Gerrity, Karsten Krejcarek / Rbt. Sps., Grant Worth

INTO-ME-cy curated by Anthony Thornton / March 11 – 16 / Bobby Chirila, Petra Cortright, Matteo Giordano, Camille Laurelli, Ariana Page Russell

PS! to see additional historically influential contemporary art videos, visit:


posted by gallery admin on December 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Slipstreams: Contemporary Artistic Practice and the Shaping of Time, December 1, 2011 – January 21, 2012

Slipstreams: Contemporary Artistic Practice and the Shaping of Time

The perception, measurement, and manipulation of time in our everyday lives is a performance, both personal and shared. We agree on the indications of clocks and calendars, yet often disagree on the length of collective experiences, such as prayer or a television program. Language also influences how we “feel” a moment’s passage. Phrases such as “running out of time,” “wasting time,” and “on time,” cause us to feel hurried or relaxed, even responsible or irresponsible. Rituals, both societal and self-made, do the same. READ MORE

posted by gallery admin on October 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm


Dates: September 22 – November 13, 2011

Artists: Trisha Baga Lukas Geronimas, and Mads Lynnerup

Curator: Terri C. Smith (see more on the exhibition at curator’s blog)

For Fernando, artists Trisha Baga, Lukas Geronimas, and Mads Lynnerup collaborate with curator Terri C. Smith to develop an exhibition that is informed, in part, by Franklin Street Works’ location in the city of Stamford, Connecticut, and its unique position as a new alternative art space. Preparations for Fernando began this summer with Baga, Geronimas, Lynnerup, and Smith embarking on a two-day orientation in Stamford that included: tours of the Avon Theatre and NBC studios; discussions about Stamford’s downtown revitalization and historic architecture; and visits with civic leaders. Through ongoing exploratory approaches, the artists will continue developing deeper understandings of Stamford’s communities, organizations, and infrastructures as their original projects unfold. The exhibition’s structure promotes surprises and flux, fostering situations that welcome improvisation and experimentation.


Opening Reception: Thursday, September 22, 5:00 – 8:00PM

City Saturday event: Saturday, October 22, 12:00 – 6:00PM/Trisha Baga’s “Garden Party” 

Click on the categories below to view documents from the exhibition:



LINKS: Terri C Smith; Trisha Baga; Lukas Geronimas; Mads Lynnerup