The Portrait is Political Opening Wednesday, April 24 at BRIC, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 12.
Portraits have become one of the most ubiquitous forms of imagery in our society. While their origins lie in fine art, today’s portraits can take any form, but the most common is surely the selfie. Some might argue the vast proliferation of selfies and such has diluted the significance of this form, but I’m more inclined to believe it has opened up the opportunity to start thinking more purposefully about portraiture; one must, to cut through the churn. The Portrait is Political, a “suite” of exhibitions opening at BRIC this week, seeks to reassert the power of depicting people in art. Jaishri Abichandani immortalizes Brooklyn’s South Asian feminists in paint, Texas Isaiah creates collaborative works with his subjects, and Liz Collins curates a sprawling spread of portraits from over 35 queer artists. More →
Did you know there is a recently-excavated mass grave in Athens, Greece with contents dating back to 7 B.C., including “eighty shackled skeletons” with great teeth? Artist and current resident at the International Studio and Curatorial Program Hikaru Fujii does, and he’s spent a lot of time documenting and learning about this curious piece of history. The result of this work will be on view in The Primary Fact, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. It features predominantly video and photography, focusing on the “inconclusive scientific viewpoints” that have emerged about the grave, its contents, and its history. In addition to displaying actual imagery from the Athenian grave, Fujii also assembled a group of Greek men to recreate the choreographic moment of mass execution (presumably due to a political coup) that led to this grave in the first place. More →
Home Away From Home Opening Wednesday, March 14 at Aperture Gallery, 7pm to 8:30 pm. On view through May 10.
For some people, home is the place they have lived for their entire lives. But for immigrants, it’s not always so clear-cut. Photographer Taysir Batniji is originally from Gaza, in Palestine, but he is also French and splits his time between the two places. Members of his family, on the other hand, have ended up in America, in places like California and Florida. Batniji paid these people a series of visits, photographing and interviewing them about their sense of home and experience living in America. His new solo exhibition at Aperture Gallery combines these new images with archival material, such as old photographs and sketches of their family home made from memory, creating a portrait of generational memory and history contrasted with current lives.More →
Nkiruka J. Oparah, study n° 080415, 2015, digital collage (image via BRIC)
BRIC Biennial: Volume II, Bed Stuy / Crown Heights Opening Wednesday, November 9 at BRIC, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 15.
BRIC’s largest exhibition to date is centered at Downtown Brooklyn’s BRIC House but also taking place in portions of Crown Heights’s FiveMyles, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Weeksville Heritage Center. The show’s sprawling spread reflects the artists represented in the show, as all 40 are local to Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. The theme for the exhibit is “Affective Bodies,” placing a focus on “bodily experience rather than on learned knowledge,” a somewhat subversive move in the world of art exhibits, as so many are grounded in theory, explained using highly academic terms, and/or featuring high-class educated folks. Each non-BRIC venue will showcase a different sort of work: Weeksville Heritage artists are focused on the “emotional resonance” people give urban spaces, the Brooklyn Public Library artists use preexisting documents as their source material to create new works, and FiveMyles will focus on performance art. More →