“Rising Awareness” in Artforum

“Rising Awareness” / Eve Bailey / Night of Philosophy / Artforum / Thursday, Arpil 30, 2015 / Domenick Ammirati / click here

Eve Bailey Rising Awareness at the Night of Philosophy. (All photos: Bruce M. White)

“Rising Awareness” in the New York Times

“Rising Awareness” / Eve Bailey / Night of Philosophy / New York Times  / Monday, April 27, 2015 / William Grimes / also online: click here

Eve Bailey walked across an unstable wooden beam affixed to two ladders during her philosophical presentation called “Rising Awareness” at the French Embassy on Fifth Avenue on Friday. Credit Christian Hansen for The New York Times

 

A Raging Night of Philosophy comes to New York

A Raging Night of Philosophy Comes to New York

By Sehba Mohammad on April 3, 2015

When you say a “Night of Philosophy,” most people’s eyes glaze over. However this event is anything but a snooze. It last from 7 pm to 7am, on 24 April, taking over two historic mansions in New York. Aside from the fascinating programming, including provocative discussions, enlightening art installations and performances, visitors can roam freely around the mansions. Plus, it is free and they provide coffee and croissants.

“Do we really want to be equal,” “Suicide,” and “Freedom of speech,” are just some of the topics covered in the lecture series, featuring contemporary philosophers Francis Wolff, Anthony Appiah, and Emily Apter, among others. The idea is to get people interested in philosophy and show them how it relates to various aspect of our lives from current affairs to contemporary art.

But it’s not all talk. There will be a funky Discotheque Philosophique, featuring DJs and sound artists. Sculptor Eve Bailey showcases 8-foot high kinetic sculpture made with large wooden beams and ladders, she will also balance on it. Marquis de Sade’s infamous social satire/erotica Philosophy in the Boudoir will be read live by actors, and French composer Karol Beffa improvises on audience suggestions like philosophers names.

The roaming event takes place in a different city each year. So far it toured Berlin, Paris, and London. Find out more here.

 

Review in Artsy Editorial

 

Two Collections Fuse the Ancient, Contemporary, East, and West

 

ARTSY EDITORIAL

July 2014
What happens when you insert contemporary works of art into pre-modern, or even prehistoric, collections of art? Grayson Perry grappled with such a project several years ago, when he was granted free access to explore the storerooms of the British Museum in search of works of art by unknown artists throughout history that could respond, so to speak, to Perry’s own work. Contemporary interventions into historical collections have become almost commonplace for some institutions seeking to draw younger audiences and inject some vitality into their inventories, in the form of new connections and resonances across centuries. Take, for example, the Asian Art Museum’s 2012 exhibition “Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past,” which juxtaposed Asian artworks, ancient and new, or the recent exhibition “Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China” at the Metropolitan.

This impulse to draw a thread between the artwork of disparate ages and continents was at the core of the practices of two internationally renowned collectors, Merton D. Simpson and Allan Stone, whose relationship and shared concerns are honored in an exhibition at Merton D. Simpson Gallery, “Simpson & Stone: A Special Selection of African & Oceanic Art from the Allan Stone Collection.” Alongside African ceremonial masks and Oceanic figures from the extensive collection of  the late Stone—who was as voracious an advocate and collector of the Abstract Expressionist artists such as Willem de Kooning and Barnett Newman, as he was of tribal art—are works by contemporary artists El AnatsuiEve BaileyGregory Michael CarterMehdi-Georges Lahlou,Charlee SwansonJoan ThorneLucia Hinojosa, and Merton D. Simpson himself.

In the gallery, Igbo masks perch adjacent to Bailey’s detailed line drawings, which resemble complex networks or cross-sections of sinewy limbs, contrasting with the simplified forms of the tribal works on view, while also reinforcing the elongated neck of a wooden figure close by. Swanson’s materially rich glass, steel, and fabric compositions invoke modernist abstraction—creating a ground of lines and geometry against which Stone’s fabulous African and Oceanic sculptures are reconfigured, their curvilinear shapes announcing themselves more readily, and their smooth wooden finish drawing the eye. Lahlou’s provocative juxtaposition of photographic images conjures ideas of sexuality, religion, and taboo—uncomfortable bedfellows by any standard—inviting viewers to contemplate the belief systems, as well as the national and gender stereotypes, that so often come into clashing contact when cultures intersect.

Perhaps most significantly, this melding of artists from divergent geographies and periods in history, mirrors the inclusive approach of Simpson and Stone, whose propensity was to look not for divisive binaries, but for evidence of influence and cultural contact between artworks, in awareness that it was these that imbue art with one of its greatest sources of vitality.

Installation images courtesy of Merton D. Simpson Gallery.

Simpson & Stone: A Special Selection of African & Oceanic Art from the Allan Stone Collection” is on view at Merton D. Simpson Gallery, New York, May 17–July 28, 2014.


Interview with Leopold Lambert on Archipelago


ARCHIPELAGO /// The Podcast Platform of The Funambulist

 

“THE BODY IS PLASTIC”: NEGOTIATING WITH GRAVITY

 

Conversation recorded with Eve Bailey in New York on March 10, 2014.

 

Eve Bailey and I recorded this conversation in her studio in Crown Heights (Brooklyn) surrounded by her tools and artworks. We talk about her work that consistently engages the body to ‘conquer’ the sculptures she constructs with her own hands. We also discuss about how, despite the fact that her pieces are based on her own body, each body has a chance to appropriate them with no prejudice — their aesthetics allowing so — and eventually find a point of equilibrium, unique for each body. Toward the end of the podcast, she talks about her current research that explores association of her understanding of the body with cognitive science and neurology.

Eve Bailey is a sculptor whose work focuses on the concepts of balance and coordination. She sees the body as a perceiving structure and is profoundly interested in how physical awareness fosters creativity. She builds kinetic devices and ergonomic sculptures that serve to express the elegance of a gesture, a finite moment of equilibrium, combining her love for architecture and dance into a single body of work that speaks to our environment and our human potential.

 

Review by Taney Roniger for The Brooklyn Rail

 

Suddenly, There: Discovery of the Find

 

Curated by Eileen Jeng and Tamas Veszi

By Taney Roniger

 

Garis & Hahn | November 26, 2013 – January 11, 2014

 “In order to invent, one must think aside.” This observation, made by the French philosopher Etienne Souriau, might have served as the inspiration for this refreshingly exploratory group show. Thematically oriented around the “find”—a work that reveals itself in some unexpected manner during the creative process—the exhibition brings together a wide range of works that represent a departure from the single-minded focus commonly associated with creative intensity in favor of more peripheral awareness. In all the works on view, the kind of lateral thinking embraced by Souriau led to a discovery that could not have been otherwise attained, and the result is a provocative collection that sheds light on one of the lesser-known conditions of creativity.

Of the 29 works presented, which run the gamut from painting, drawing, and sculpture to photography, video, installation, and performance, many fall under the “process art” rubric, in which accidents and the unexpected typically play a central role. Others feature assemblages of found objects and discarded materials. Some of the more intriguing “finds” were created unintentionally, either while the artist was making another work or while he or she was engaged in some other activity. Tamas Veszi’s “Work in Progress 360” (2013) was in fact the inspiration for the show. It is a short video taken by the artist’s iPhone while he, unaware, was installing another piece for an exhibition. With jerky movements indicative of a hand-held device, Veszi’s scattered tools and moving feet are recorded as he busily goes about his task. Projected onto the gallery’s floor from above, the piece draws our attention to the overlooked and/or marginal, inviting consideration of the latter’s poetic potential. In a similar vein, Eve Bailey’s “Playtime” (2013) came about when the cast for one of the artist’s sculptures had to be disassembled for some technical reason. Seeing the fragments laid out on the floor, Bailey noted their unexpected dignity and decided to consider them works in themselves.

(…)

For complete review: click here.

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Eve Bailey creates ergonomic and kinetic sculptures, based on the concept of balance and coordination, which embody her love for architecture and dance. Bailey has exhibited her work in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Cuba, Russia, and across the US. She was awarded funded residencies from the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE; Triangle Arts, Brooklyn, NY; I-Park Foundation, East Haddam, CT; and Sculpture Space, Utica, NY, among others. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from the École des Beaux Arts, Paris and a BFA in architectural metal work from Olivier de Serres School of Design, Paris. Bailey started incorporating performance in her sculptural work after receiving a fellowship from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Interview by Yana Soboleva for Blouin ArtInfo, Russia

June 17, 2013

Original article in Russian

Interview translated in English:

Eve Bailey - artist based in New York – presented her extraordinary creation to the Russian public this Summer : dance on a sculpture (that she built herself) in the open air. Her debut performance in Russia took place during the festival Art Ovrag 2013 which was held from May 30 to June 2 in Vyksa near Nizhny Novgorod. Bailey shared with reporter Jana Sobolev the story of the making of this original art form and its presentation in Russia.

How did the idea of your work come up? I created a kind of work that combines several types of mediums that I love. Dance and movement: I studied ballet for 10 years and practiced martial arts for another 10 years. Also, I have been sculpting since I was 17, and drawing as far as I remember. So I was eager to create an art form which combines all of these forms. The process involves the physical in dancing and in sculpting, and is intellectually stimulating because it requires some engineering. So I did put all my passions into one bag, shook it, and that’s what slowly came out of it.

Have you already done work similar to the one in Vyksa? I explore multiple directions with one main underlying concept. This particular work is new, a continuation of my very recent series titled “Entasis Dance”. This is the fourth sculpture in that vein: I made three in New York and one in Vyksa. It is a white column with organic shapes that derive from the imprints of the body in motion. Other works, which are also based on the concept of balance and coordination, are kinetic, with live -performances as well or in the form of videos.

What kind of work did you show on the water front in New York? The work was similar to what I have presented in Vyksa but the sculptures were displayed on the Brooklyn water front with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. A crucial distinction: because the scale and feel of the sculptures are very different when they are placed in a urban environment. For the project in Vyksa, the costumes stayed the same, the choreography and the sculpture were refined, but the main difference is the forest of pines which creates another kind of atmosphere: not as architectural, more symbiotic.

What can you say about your experience of the Russian culture? Too early to say: this is my first visit in Russia! I need a bit more time to process. This is one of the wonderful advantages of being an artist though: the opportunity to travel. When I was 12, I wanted to be either a scientist or an artist, because I was already interested in the characters and structures of forms, the transformations of matter and mass. I picked art because, at the time, I projected that it would allow me more travels. The people here in Vyksa are wonderful, such a warm reception, I had a great time.

What other artists inspire you? A lot of people, but among the first Gaudi and Leonardo Da Vinci, whose Codex have been at my bed side for twenty years.

And what kind of music do you like? Eclectic taste! The genre doesn’t matter: anything that moves me and makes my heart beat. For example: Rachmaninoff. I love his Concerto number 2. My mom listened to his music often when I was little.

Your parents are also artists? No. My dad: a sale person. My mother: a librarian. But both very sensitive to the Arts: they took me to a LOT of museums! My mother also plays the piano. Thanks to her, I listened to a lot of jazz as a child.

What are your creative plans for the future? I always have a series of ideas lined up in the back of my mind. I have an idea for a project on stage: a full length dance performance in the theater. It will take me a few years to realize that idea. And the older I get, the more I imagine that instead of having people go around objects, I shall bring people in. That is: I think I’m going to build architecture. I will probably grow in larger projects and slowly move to architecture.

How are your ideas born? Students often ask me that question. I say: “Don’t believe that creativity comes instantly. It doesn’t strike you as you sit at your desk. It just does not happen that way.” For me, creativity  is a set of problems. You choose your own set of constraints, define the framework within which you are working and experimenting. It’s a bit like a science. You can not create something out of the blue. Creating is an ever evolving and growing process that takes shape one very small step at a time. Exactly like in nature: one, two, three… And it grows and grows exponentially. I love the process and I love to dance and move. Sometimes I really surprise myself with the result. Importantly, the work must be authentic. Regardless of whether you like the end product or not, it must be true.

Would you like to come back to Russia? Definitely, I really enjoyed working here!

Article by Leopold Lambert for the Funambulist: Designing Gravity

June 7, 2013

Designing Gravity; Five Young Designers and the Body: Yiqing Yin, Lawrence Lek, Jieun Kim, Eve Bailey & Kordae Henry.

Today I want to talk (once again) about the body and its relationship to design by presenting five young (four of them are less than 30 years old) designers (two French, one German, one Korean and one American) who each in their own way challenge the body through their design and vice versa. In order to do so, I will introduce them successively from the design at the closest of the body to the one at the furthest. We might call the first one fashion, the last one architecture and the ones in between industrial design or art, but really that does not matter at all and attributing these designs to a specific discipline would be missing their common point: their investigation on the body. It is true that the scale of clothing (or prosthetic), because of its privileged relationship to the individual who wears it, might present a more direct political dimension as it introduces an immediate performativity of the same individual within the public realms. What we wear is necessary a form of political expression of our desires, our gender, our social class, our ethnicity, or rather the desire, the (non)gender, the social class, the ethnicity and the relationship to society and to the norm that we choose to express. I would like to claim nevertheless that the same is true for the localization and behavior or our body, and that also involves our relationship to the designed and built environment that surrounds it. Most of us do not design our own clothes, our own furniture, our own buildings. What the body make of them is obviously conditioned by the design, but it can also consist in the subversion of these conditions, or at least in the sum of behaviors that go beyond the original spectrum of behaviors imagined by the designer and other decisive actors of a design.

The following projects were not necessarily thought through political arguments; it is actually not impossible that none of them actually were. I would claim however that design being necessarily political because of the relationship its develops with the bodies, designing for the body cannot be not making a voluntary political argument. For example, none of these five works are arguing for the comfort of the body. They might nevertheless be at the antipodes of  the Cruel Designs (i.e. designs that are conceived in the voluntary goal of hurting the body) I regularly address in these articles. Comfort is certainly not the opposite of pain. The opposite of pain is the Spinozist joy experienced by a body who realizes that it is empowered by its vitality. These five works, all in their very specific way, invoke this joy. The gravity they design is not one that crushes the body to the ground, it is rather one that the body, in its materiality, can play with, dance with, jump with and support itself upon, taking advantage of each surface of fabric, wood, metal, plastic or concrete that interact with it.

(…)

Each work that Eve Bailey (see her guest writer essay) creates explores in a very direct way the relationship between the body and design. I chose here her Shoulder Path but it could have also been her own corporal experiment with a stepladder as a sort of dialogue with Jieun Kim’s film, or her Drunken Body, Entasis Dance or Intuit performances that all involves a design that has been thought specifically for the body, but that the latter requires to continuously negotiate with both the designed surfaces and gravity. Her work is an ode to the research of balance for the body who needs to not fall, of course, but also to find the various gravity points of the design in order for it not to fall either.

http://thefunambulist.net/

A Cage Went in Search of a Bird, Press Release

A Cage Went in Search of a Bird (Franz Kafka), curated by Sarah Walko

May 10 – June 19, 2013 at Radiator Arts, 10-61 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11106

Artists: Eve Bailey, Rachel Bernstein, Ryan V. Brennen, Diana Heise, Roxanne Jackson , Coralina Meyer, Sono Osato, Malingering Uvula (Camilla Ha and Michael Merck) and Gabriela Vainsencher.

The exhibition “The City of K. Franz Kafka and Prague” permanently on display at the Kafka Museum was the impetus for this exhibition. Kafka’s relationship with cities through his surreal lens coupled with his imagination and during the context of his time brought the simultaneous nightmare/dreamscape of the budding technological age into the realm of the real in his stories, projecting super psyches onto our cities.
The artists in this exhibition are all exploring the surreal space of our time now. Large cultural and philosophical shifts due to massive environmental and economic challenges and the level of technology we are reaching and working with daily is all ushering in new branches of consciousness and new approaches to how we live. The artists, like Kafka did, address our current cosmic predicament in various ways; our relationship with nature, our relationship to self within today’s technological tools, and with objects of alchemical/shamanic ritual and ceremony. They are writing out the dreamscapes of our now and a vision of the future that lacks the pasts’ patriarchal aesthetic and imagines the opening up of a future with more feminine traits, including acts of reclamation and the healing of our past and ourselves within our cities.

(…)

Eve Bailey constructs fixed rules that guide her experimentation and free her unconscious in the process of making her cartographic and anatomical drawings. As she does so, she finds herself in territories more elaborate than she would have consciously conceived of, uncovering more layers of the labyrinthine complexity of both the body and the structure of cities the deeper she delves. As an alchemist would, she takes her own body as a point of departure. The lines represent the bones, muscles and organs intertwining thus creating a framework. Each architectural pattern is carefully chosen for its geometric qualities and its relevance.  The series mixes the visceral, metaphorically and the intellectual with systems of representation; blueprints and geometry. The drawing creates a bridge between the physicality of the body and a very interior world with the relentless activity of the mind within an exterior blueprint. In her own words “It’s my way of trying to heal from the insanity of the scattered world around us, from the ambient disparity between the natural world and the constructed world.”

Common Frequency, press release

October 5 – 28, 2012 / opening reception: Oct 5, 6 – 9 pm

Radiator Arts gallery, 10-61 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11106

Curated by Daniela Kostova

Artists: Adam & Eve Bailey, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Boryana Rossa & Oleg Mavromatti, Yana Dimitrova & Sebastien Sanz de Santamaria

Press release, excerpt:

Concepts of balance and coordination are intricate parts of Eve Bailey’s work. Shoulder Path occupies the center of the exhibition space, raised on a platform evoking desire. In this piece, and in the video Work Force, the artist uses her body as a primary tool and experiments with equilibrium through physical, mechanical and conceptual means. Skin of Our Teeth, a collaborative photograph by Adam and Eve Bailey, shows the two artists wearing each other’s smiles, in a sequence resembling a photomaton.

Press release, full text:

Common Frequencies is a showcase of four artist couples. It is focused on each pair’s creative practice, in a daily reality where art and life are often inseparable, as an example of a micro-system and of a complex set of negotiations.

The exhibition represents a landscape of synched voices and their evolution in-to common artistic languages. It consists of works across the mediums that are the outcome of both collaborative and parallel strategies. Thus it raises questions about authorship, the power dynamics of a shared space, personal boundaries, gender roles and cross-cultural challenges. If in some cases individual voices are highlighted, in others two become one and, taken further, even “another” one.
Piñata Portrait by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy welcomes the visitors?with a potential promise of both destruction and reward. Exemplifying the?tendency of the McCoys to include autobiographical references in their projects,?here the piñata becomes an image-cliché of the battling married couple and the fragility of the collaborative model.

Boryana Rossa and Oleg Mavromatti show a large-scale mural incorporating photography, text and video. Developed over years of collaboration their work presents a critical examination of gender stereotypes. Vitruvian Body is a female embodiment of the “ideal proportions” of the human body as defined by the Roman architect Vitruvi, while Before and After is a performative expression of the ultimate bond, where two bodies become one but in imperfect balance.

Concepts of balance and coordination are intricate parts of Eve Bailey’s work. Shoulder Path occupies the center of the exhibition space, raised on a platform evoking desire. In this piece, and in the video Work Force, the artist uses her body as a primary tool and experiments with equilibrium through physical, mechanical and conceptual means. Skin of Our Teeth, a collaborative photograph by Adam and Eve Bailey, shows the two artists wearing each other’s smiles, in a sequence resembling a photomaton.

Yana Dimitrova and Sebastien Sanz de Santamaria create a dialogue employing symbols and text. Yana’s project I Don’t Think That’s Funny taps into issues of cross-cultural communication while hinting at the underlying ideological implications. Eat Faster is a work of embroidery, which functions as an acknowledgement of time in connection to labor and notions of success. Sebastien’s text-based drawing series Natural Calls, shown parallel to Yana’s wall, is the outcome of a long process of observing each other in a domestic situation, which results in name-calling.

Entasis Dance, press release

Image © Adam Bailey 2012

Eve Bailey To Exhibit At Dumbo Arts Festival 2012

Eve Bailey has been asked to participate again this fall at the Dumbo Arts Festival – held between September 28th and 30th.  Her new work, entitled Entasis Dancewas created specifically for the scenic Brooklyn Bridge Park Park (at Main Street), located at the base of the Manhattan Bridge.

Entasis Dance is primarily a performance art work where dancers will interact with three distinct sculptures that Bailey has shaped from nine foot columns. The columns began as cylinders, but Bailey has personalized each of them, carving recesses and curves and adding hand holds to make each sculpture sympathetic to human embrace. The resultant columns have a biomorphic sense to them in their own right, since in essence their contours are mirrors of the anatomy of the respective dancers.

As in last year’s entry to the festival, Intuit, Bailey creates in her work a wonderful stage upon which the performers can display their grace and precision of movement. Intuit used a monumental fulcrum balance where pairs of silent dancers had to carefully adjust their positions, keeping in mind the forces of gravity on each side of the center. In Entasis Dance, all movement revolves around the circular nature of the columns. Gravity again takes its toll, but now Bailey has added the extra complexity of swirling motion. Bailey has chosen to populate the present work with three sculptures and three dancers in order to foster, “a debate rather than a conversation.”  For the 200,000 visitors to this year’s festival, this will be one “debate” not to be missed.

Performances of Entasis Dance will take place on Friday, September 28th at 6 PM and at the top of the hour on Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th from noon to 6 PM.

Costumes: Anna Finke (Merce Cunningham Dance Company).

Dancers: Jenny Campbell (Misnomer Dance Theater Company), Andrea-Jane Dispenziere (Danielle Russo Dance Company), Coco Karol (Misnomer Dance Theater Company), Lynda Senisi (Bennyroyce Dance Productions).

Article by Henri Julien Sandront for Blend/Bureaux Magazine

Image: Etienne Frossard 2011

December 29, 2011

Eve Bailey (1975) is a French-born artist based in Brooklyn, NY.  Eve shares her studio with special effects make-up artist and husband Adam Bailey.  After graduating from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris she pursued her education at the San Francisco Art Institute and was awarded a number of residencies. She is now making a name for herself in the New York art scene and is currently busy with a number of projects, including a large-scale performance piece involving large sculptural columns as well as a several upcoming residencies and exhibitions.

It is as if Eve Bailey wanted to give us spontaneity and precision. When it comes to her vast sculptural mechanisms, her body and her mind (no Ying and Yang esotericism intended here) work together in a rather interesting chemistry. As she puts it, “the intellect occurs in the engineering of my structures and the sensuality arises from my body in motion”.

With the three-dimensional work Shoulder Path, it is her very own body that drafted the beginning of the sculpture. The artists, covered with wet paint, quickly rolled backwards onto a large piece of paper. The marks of paint became the blueprint from which she skillfully built the design of the sculpture. It is a living sculpture with a twist. The spontaneity of her body is impregnated in the object’s shapes and curves that once were mere movements. And the Genesis is reenacted as the artist performs on the odd piece of design which suddenly makes sense to the viewer again.

Her latest work entitled Intuit is a 7,5 meters long seesaw onto which two performers gracefully maintain their equilibrium as one’s slightest move influences the other one’s balance. The mechanics of the bodies is confronted with a situation that requires a game of precision and intuition.

http://www.blendbureaux.com/eve-bailey/

Between the Tongue and the Taste, press release

 

Between the Tongue and the Taste

September 1-15, 2011

Curated by Michael Merck.

Triangle Arts Association is pleased to present the work of two of our Artists’ Workshop alumni, Eve Bailey and Albert Pedulla. The exhibition opens Thursday, September 1, 6-9pm at 111 Front Street Galleries, Suite 222.

How does an artist’s mark derive its power? Using a variety of media, Bailey and Pedulla examine the relationship between body and mind  from opposite ends of the spectrum.

Bailey employs the body as a “perceiving mechanical structure” that serves to “express the elegance of a gesture,” a device reaching beyond the physical products conceived of and executed by the mind. The works she makes are preparations that seek to instigate an opportunity for the body to complete them. Series of 1/4 Scale Maquettes is a sculptural document of her process to create a form upon which the body can perform a series of movements.

In other works such as Shoulder Path, Drawing Bailey records a series of movements by marking her body with paint. The resulting work serves as a blueprint of an abstracted moment in which the body has moved through space.

Conversely, Pedulla focuses on the mind seeking to form an “epistemology of the artist’s mark”. In Extracted Wall Drawing #3 (Path) a representation of a walk he took is rendered and then dissected. Remnants of his thought process are portrayed in intricate threads literally pulling apart the initial route moment by moment.

In Double-Portrait (Meg #1, #2, #3) Pedulla takes the process a step further by using the body as a space upon which the mind can make a mark. In this instance Pedulla literally burns an image onto a human body by creating a stencil and exposing it in a tanning bed. This process which he refers to as a “tanagram” is framed in a manner that excludes almost any indication that the image exists upon a human body but eerily aligns the subject’s naval with the mouth of the image.

Despite these seemingly opposite approaches, both artists’ processes converge around an underlying similarity. Bailey’s Work Force and Pedulla’s Public Rectilinear Form (Modernist-Post) share a conceptual space in which both artists entertain a state of being that exists beyond mind or body. In Bailey’s piece, a precarious if not dangerous sculpture is constructed that she then climbs atop and walks upon. A palpable tension is felt as she confidently but slowly traverses the structure. This tension between the focused concentration upon the act and the simultaneous disregard of its potentially harmful outcome incites the viewer to contemplate the meditative state necessary to execute this performance.  Similarly, Pedulla’s piece creates a space in which to consider the conflicting notions of intention and intuition. By capturing the off-the-cuff gestures of passers-by and framing them within the context of a Modernist monolith Pedulla subverts the tradition of the over intellectualized artist’s mark by glorifying the purely instinctive human tendancy to express oneself.

Considering these works together, it becomes apparent that there is a state of being that neither the body nor the mind can rationalize. Perhaps another state exists between the physicality of the body and the relentless activity of the mind; a space where the actual mark is made and from which it derives its power of expression.

Review by Jeffrey Bussman in Title Magazine

 

Jeffrey Bussmann works at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is currently researching Brazilian cultural organizations for his master’s thesis in Arts Administration at Drexel University.  He also writes for his blog Post-Nonprofalyptic.

Review excerpt:

“I felt most favorably towards Eve Bailey’s Shoulder Path, a sculptural piece and a photograph of a performance using the sculptural object.  Bailey brings the sculpture alive, something like IKEA furniture crossed with a berserk pommel horse, as an apparatus for dissecting the stages of a back somersault.  There is more than a bit of Eadweard Muybridge in Bailey’s plotting of locomotion, but a key difference is her costume and how its orange sleeves and markings align with the form of the apparatus.  The shapes of her body frozen in motion play like a physical semaphore language. Looking back to the sculpture in the gallery I could appreciate how its design was dictated by her body rolling through space, as if she had left impressions in damp clay.  Then again, it could just as seamlessly pass for a cutting-edge daybed in the home of some very design-forward person.”

Full review:

Before visiting Blur: Six Artists/Six Designers in Contemporary Practice I wondered, “Why this show and why now?”  Nothing today could be more pertinent to explore than polymorhpic practice, which not only seems more prevalent than ever in the arts, but also in the creative sector at large.  It is a challenge that everyone must navigate: excel at your specialty, but do not excel only at that one thing; invent other avenues and parallels.  Curators Mark Campbell (of UArts) and Mary Anne Friel (of RISD and formerly the Fabric Workshop) are not preoccupied with categorizing the individuals they selected for the show: Eve Bailey, Laura Frazure, Todd Gilens, Andrea Gaydos Landau, Virgil Marti, Will McHale, Don Miller, Jenny Sabin, Anne Schaefer, Alexandra Ullrich-Schmidt, Silvano Sole, and Mika Tajima.  In the gallery notes a short bio illuminates where on the art/design spectrum each one falls.  Each of the twelve selected contributors has only one piece, or in a few cases two, spread over two galleries as representations of how they “blur” the distinctions between art and design.  The work on display shows their cross-disciplinary métiers to varying degrees.

Before I saw the show, Campbell said that he and Friel view cross-disciplinary activity as firmly established in contemporary practice.  If we take this view for granted, the curatorial basis of forming a show around “blurring” is generic—it becomes a standard group show that showcases people who are already within a curator’s circle of acquaintances, if not friends.  However, I am not entirely of this mind.  Blur functions as a chance to take stock of twelve artists/designers who are at all career stages, from emerging to firmly-ensconced, and who exemplify why “blurring” has become the new norm.

In our emails back and forth, Campbell reminded me that if the role (at least in part) of the contemporary artist is to comment on contemporary life, “design disciplines offer a number of interesting pathways, with their emphasis on social use and function, for the contemporary artist to be in the world, more centrally placed and actively engaged.”  Conversely, the contemporary designer has enthusiastically assumed the challenge of appropriating and innovating formal expression, which may have once been seen as the visual artist’s dominion.

It is beyond the scope of a review for me to carefully examine each work in Blur, so I will begin with the individual whose career I know best and whose stately pieces are so often examined for playing with fine art versus interior design.  Virgil Marti’s contributions to Blur bear the mark of his rummaging through Philadelphia Museum of Art storerooms for last fall’s Set Pieces at ICA.  And as in the VIP Room wallpaper in Philagrafika 2010, his surfaces have a reflective, distorting quality.  He has provided loaded titles, Nightwatch and Vesper, which call to mind a bevy of ideas: planet- and star-gazing, Greco-Roman mythologyRembrandt, and Casino Royale.  The design aspect of the pieces is overt; but my assumption as a viewer that these pieces are confounding mirrors was changed by the curators’ suggestion that they are “monochromatic paintings”.

An astral ambience in the gallery was reinforced by the sound bleed from Andrea Gaydos Landau’s One Night Sky.  I know Landau (a former colleague) more for her skill as a project coordinator at the Fabric Workshop than for her own handiwork.  I never fail to be fascinated by the comparison between how artists apply their aptitude to the work of another artist and what they do on their own. For example, at the Fabric Workshop Landau worked wonders with industrial felt to realize Tristan Lowe’s monumental Mocha Dick, which required great dexterity to manipulate the material into resembling a whale’s supple flesh.  With One Night Sky, she gives lace-cut painted fabric a dry, fragile texture not unlike peat moss.  What I liked best was how she intertwined speakers and earbuds into the latticework, weaving a constellation that mirrored the ethereal, tinkling soundtrack.  Is it a painting, a tapestry, or an elaborate trellis for delivering sound?

I felt about Jenny Sabin’s work the way I generally feel about architectural maquettes and schematics: they encapsulate the ideas inherent to the design, but are listless when compared to the full scale structures they represent.  Unless one is an architect, they are too technical to inspire wonder.  Besides, the actual Greenhouse and Cabinet of Future Fossils is now constructed and on view at the American Philosophical Society Museum—why not see it there?

The inclusion of Mika Tajima’s video Today is Not a Dress Rehearsal gives off a similarly muted effect.  For a performance that appears to have been so dynamic in the flesh, the video, which is simultaneously the documentation and the fruit of its high-production-value filming, is of feeble impact. Again, it is more instructive in its transparent aestheticizing (to an almost fetishistic point, reinforced by the droning New Humans soundtrack) of sets, equipment, lighting, and cinematic techniques than in engaging viewers as a piece unto itself. On a smallish LCD television, it reads like any competently made clip you might find on video sharing sites shot with widely accessible prosumer grade HD cameras. Across the gallery, Philosophers and Idlers offers a much more direct and engaging window into Tajima’s toying with modular units and Bauhaus design.

I felt most favorably towards Eve Bailey’s Shoulder Path, a sculptural piece and a photograph of a performance using the sculptural object.  Bailey brings the sculpture alive, something like IKEA furniture crossed with a berserk pommel horse, as an apparatus for dissecting the stages of a back somersault.  There is more than a bit of Eadweard Muybridge in Bailey’s plotting of locomotion, but a key difference is her costume and how its orange sleeves and markings align with the form of the apparatus.  The shapes of her body frozen in motion play like a physical semaphore language. Looking back to the sculpture in the gallery I could appreciate how its design was dictated by her body rolling through space, as if she had left impressions in damp clay.  Then again, it could just as seamlessly pass for a cutting-edge daybed in the home of some very design-forward person.

The stealthy strength of blurring boundaries allows an artist/designer to reach a wider audience and broaden their impact for a greater cause. Todd Gilens’ Endangered Species series, documented by photographs in the show, consists of San Francisco city omnibuses wrapped with photographs of endangered species indigenous to the Bay Area. Surely, these are meant to raise awareness of an environmental issue. More cleverly, though, Gilens subverts typical expectations of advertisement laden bus exteriors even as he juxtaposes tranquil animal life in nature with a manmade vehicle of mass transit spewing exhaust out its backside.

In all, Blur gave me pause to reflect: do distinctions between artist and designer, as well as their respective outputs, matter so much in contemporary practice?  The title of the exhibition still enshrines those labels, almost pitting one against the other.  But in viewing the show, even though it would be exaggeration to say that traditionally-held boundaries are obliterated, the ambiguity is thorough.  So I return to my initial question: “Why and why now?”  Does a show such as this tell us something that we already know, or does considering the ways that artists and designers “blur” point to further avenues forward?

 

Blur: Six Artists/Six Designers in Contemporary Practice, press release

The University of the Arts August 22 – September 30

Hamilton/Arronson Galleries, 320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, 215-717-6000, www.uarts.edu

Reception: Thursday, September 22, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Gallery Hours: Mon. – Fri. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sat. by appointment, 215-717-6210

Shoulder Path Sequence by Eve Bailey, 2011, c-print, 30 x 20 inches

The University of the Arts is very pleased to present an exhibition BLUR: Six Artists / Six Designers in Contemporary Practice, curated by Mark Campbell and Mary Anne Friel. The twelve artist/designers in this project include Eve Bailey, Laura Frazure, Todd Gilens, Andrea Landau, Virgil Marti, Will McHale, Don Miller, Jenny E. Sabin, Anne Schaefer, Alexandra Schmidt-Ullrich, Silvano Sole and Mika Tajima.

This exhibition focuses on art/design dialogue in contemporary practice, drawing from a number of established disciplines, including painting, architecture, sculpture, industrial design, landscape architecture and performance. These artists/designers offer works in which the evolving principles of cross-disciplinary thinking are manifest, freely extending the range of creative activities outside traditional boundaries. Variations include “parallel activities,” with designers maintaining a concurrent studio art practice, both as exploration for client based work and as an end in itself, as well as artists drawing on the traditions of design for forms, contexts and contents, erasing the lines between the respective super-categories in the process.

 

The Common Mind, press release

June 25 – September 19, 2009, CUETO PROJECT, 551 21st Street, New York

Curated by Julie Boukobza, featuring works by Eve Bailey, Christina Kruse, Elinor Milchan and Tatyana Murray

Installation view at Cueto Project, Drunken Body sculpture (foreground left) and Shoulder Path drawing (background left)

Press release, excerpt:

“Eve Bailey conceives sculpture, performance and drawings at the measure of her body. A strong presence and fluid movements are perceived as innate within her mobile form, remains of the intensive practices of dance and martial arts. Hers is a body that finds itself confronted by the city and its industrial architecture, which above all seems to never let her out of its confines, and that sometimes, as in Bailey!s “Drunken Body,” melts into the structure of her constructions.”

Press release, full text:

When reading over an article in Frieze magazine about the British artist Eric Bainbridge, I came upon an inspiring note that accompanied his works during a previous show: art critic and curator Greg Hilty states “We don’t all choose our neighbors but they affect us. We don’t always choose our thoughts but they also have a bearing.”

The title of this text is “The Common Mind.”

This equivocal notion, characteristic of our times, which claims all and avoids responsibility, operates as an entryway into the exhibition of the same title at Cueto Project NY. It encapsulates all that simultaneously links and distances the four artists who show their works in Valerie Cueto’s art gallery. Elinor Milchan, Christina Kruse, Tatyana Murray, and Eve Bailey. Their work, exhibited together for the first time, presents a great Jungian lava that fuses the collective subconscious with the personal subconscious. The product is a common spirit that embraces multiple artistic discourses and processes. Here one can say that the collective subconscious plays the role of an excuse because what stands out is what differentiates these women. In no way does the fact that they all live in New York City, that they are of the same sex and from the same generation, or that they speak the same language interfere or provoke this dialogue of creativity in a range of artistic media.

Sculpture, performance, photography, installation, drawings: all mediums twisted, magnified, abused, and galvanized by the artists’ incessant energies. Elinor Milchan walks through luminous fields with her photographic works. With a technique that she developed herself, she brings her light to touch the observer whether the images are in larger-than-life format or closer to the human scale. The eye looses its familiar habits, taken away by opposing currents, colorful streams and sensual waves. Whether they are named “LightLands” or “UrbanLands” these abstract scapes urge the viewer to surrender to their grandeur.On the other hand, Christina Kruse cannibalizes her image. She photographs herself, moving between glossy and matte paper, in such a way that the particulars, the figure herself, are absorbed and lost. The effect is superposition works in which detached body parts are intruded by diagram, when the body becomes measure, and then is displaced beyond said measure. In “Weeds” and “Ghost Trees,” Tatyana Murray presents for the first time a series of installations that are luminous and evolving. Her works are memories of trees that disappeared with childhood, plants that are often equivocally despised, whether this scorn is rightful and merited or not. With this subject matter and the solitary cardboard pieces that she pierces, embroiders, and adorns with many refinements, the artist achieves the necessary work of a memoir of the natural world. Eve Bailey conceives sculpture, performance and drawings at the measure of her body. A strong presence and fluid movements are perceived as innate within her mobile form, remains of the intensive practices of dance and martial arts. Hers is a body that finds itself confronted by the city and its industrial architecture, which above all seems to never let her out of its confines, and that sometimes, as in Bailey!s “Drunken Body,” melts into the structure of her constructions.

Four artists who, during a long summer, rather than having a common discourse, summon the spirit of community.

-Julie Boukobza

 

 

Finger in my Brain, press release

10 Avril – 30 Avril 2009

 

Née en 1975 à Nancy et installée à New York depuis 2002.
Eve Bailey utilise son propre corps comme outil de travail et matière première dans la réalisation de vidéos, de sculptures et d’ installations basées sur des actions-performances.
Dans l’ oeuvre intitulée ‘Such a Pretty Girl. Behave Yourself.” (Une Si Jolie Fille. Tiens-toi bien.), l’ artiste fait une galipette en talons hauts sur un escabeau adapté à cet effet, enfreignant avec humour les normes d’ utilisation et les règles de bonne conduite. Dans la vidéo ‘Corps Ivre’ , elle s’ approprie l’ esthétique des chantiers des rues de Brooklyn et met son propre corps en chantier à la manière d’ un Sisyphe moderne. A l’ occasion de son exposition à l’espace Window, elle présente une série de dessins préparatifs pour son prochain projet de vidéo intitulé ‘Xs’ (titre provisoire).
Eve Bailey est diplômée de l’ Ecole des Métiers d’ Arts Olivier De Serres (1996) et de l’ Ecole des Beaux- Arts de Paris (2001). Elle obtient deux bourses d’ étude – française et américaine – pour un séjour d’ un an à l’ Institut d’ Art de San Francisco durant lequel elle se familiarise avec l’ art de la performance. Elle entreprend des actions insolites dans les lieux publiques – bus, restaurants – et les galeries (1999). C’ est à son retour à Paris en 2000 qu’ elle intègre le mouvement corporel à son travail de sculpteur puisant dans ses acquis en danse classique et dans les arts martiaux. Son travail a été exposé et projeté en France, en Allemagne, aux Pays Bas, aux Etats-Unis et à Cuba. Les expositions récentes incluent On The Edge, A-1 Lab Art Space à Knoxville (TN), 30 second spot, Cuchifritos Gallery et Metaphoric Gestures, Chelsea Art Museum à New York. Les résidences subventionnées incluent Triangle (New York, NY, 2003), Sculpture Space (Utica, NY, 2008) et très prochainement Bemis Center à Omaha (NE) en Août, Septembre et Octobre 2009.