art fairs

The Armory Show preview: Morehshin Allahyari, Booth F12

The Armory Show preview: Morehshin Allahyari, Booth F12

Morehshin Allahyari’s She Who Sees The Unknown recontextualizes goddesses and female Jinn of Persian and Arabic origin. Using scanning, 3D printing, video and archiving as tools of investigation, the artist explores ancient myths as they relate to digital colonialism, oppression and catastrophe.

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Q&A with Rodrigo Valenzuela: The Mesmerizing Depth and Desolation of Desert Landscapes

During the recent Material Art Fair in Mexico City, gallery artist Rodrigo Valenzuela spoke with Hyperallergic's Anna Furman about work from the series New Land and Sense of Place.

Using a multi-step photocopying process, Valenzuela projects abstract lines onto unpeopled desert scenes — hinting at houses, governmental offices, and memorial structures yet to be built. Valenzuela’s labor-intensive practices reference the paperwork-heavy process of applying for citizenship in the US, with which he’s directly familiar. He’s now a professor with permanent residency, but when he first moved to the US in his 20’s, he was an undocumented construction worker. He spoke to Hyperallergic about growing up in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, reckoning with the troubling histories of beautiful landscapes, and reconciling the idealized American Dream with the realities of life as an undocumented person.
— Anna Furman for Hyperallergic
New Land No. 10  by Rodrigo Valenzuela, 2017

New Land No. 10 by Rodrigo Valenzuela, 2017

Upfor presents Ben Buswell at Photofairs San Francisco

Join us at Fort Mason in San Francisco, February 23rd through 25th, for Photofairs as we present photo-based works by Oregon artist Ben Buswell. These new works further his exploration of tensions between image and object: Buswell experiments with ways to abstract, interrupt or erode photographic imagery to emphasize the physical characteristics of media, such as the emulsion layer's gloss. His imagery is typically grounded in geologic features laced with histories of ethical and political tensions.

Detail from  Untitled (Limit)  by Ben Buswell, 2018, hand-embellished Lambda print, 18×12 in (46×31 cm)

Detail from Untitled (Limit) by Ben Buswell, 2018, hand-embellished Lambda print, 18×12 in (46×31 cm)


February 23 – 25, 2018
Booth A09

Upfor at Material Art Fair with Rodrigo Valenzuela

Gallery director Melissa Soltesz traveled to Mexico City to present Rodrigo Valenzuela's newest works at Material. The fair's scaffolding brought to mind Rodrigo's 2015 Future Ruins installation at the Frye Art Museum, making it feel like a particularly appropriate venue for his work. Thank you to everyone who came out to this lively fair! Visit our Artsy page for other available works by Rodrigo Valenzuela.

Rodrigo Valenzuela will lecture at Portland Art Museum tonight at 6:00pm. The Museum debuted Valenzuela's latest video work in Labor Standards, which opened in October 2017 and remains on view through April 22, 2018.

Miami art week part 2

Miami art week part 2: Of the three fairs I was able to attend (ABMB, UNTITLED, NADA), very little screen-based work was on display (haha). I have no data to substantiate this, but I believe that presentations of media art at Miami peaked several years ago and have declined since. Even at the peak, much on view was video or generative digital work added to an otherwise conservative booth to signal “contemporary!” to anyone motoring by. A few galleries besides yours truly (Aspect/Ratio, Cherry & Martin in 2014 and 2016 come to mind) reliably present challenging work in a way that doesn’t feel narrow or genre-ish. But on balance, given my predilections, I would have enjoyed seeing more moving image work and more thoughtful engagement of tech in art this year.

One gallery I cannot fault for its dedication to presenting new media is Pace, though the dedication is mostly to high production value spectacle (yup, I’m talking about you teamLAB). I’m grateful to Pace (and yes, BMW) for one of my best events of the week: Studio Drift’s hundreds of mini-drones mimicking flocking behavior over the beach on Wednesday night, titled FRANCHISE FREEDOM.

I can vaguely imagine the technical mastery required to pull this off, but what made the event for me was its moment of imperfection. About a quarter of the way into the flock’s ascent, one drone suffered some minor malfunction and separated from the rest, returning to the landing pad. The drone’s solitary trip was so quiet and stately that hardly anyone noticed. Standing in the press of hundreds, I identified with the little drone, a moment of insecurity and sense of alone-in-the-crowd that I imagine everyone feels at some point during Basel week. As is so often the case in contemporary art, it was the gentle mistake and moment of serendipity that made the experience for me.

FRANCHISE FREEDOM by Studio Drift, courtesy of the artists.

FRANCHISE FREEDOM by Studio Drift, courtesy of the artists.