Kamil by Keren Benbenisty
October 17- November 16, 2014
Pseudo Empire is pleased to present Kamil, a solo exhibition by New-york based artist Keren Benbenisty. The exhibition questions contemporary interpretations of language and codes; the spoken vs written, the word vs. the image. As a nexus point to these riddles is the figure of the sphinx, who according to legend acted as guardian of the city, only allowing passage to those who could reply correctly to the riddles she posed.
Kamil draws its title from a graffiti tag on the Fontaine du Palmier in Place de chatelet in Paris Benbenisty photographed before moving to New York. A nexus in her current series of work, the Napoleonic-era fountain, a head of a Sphinx in the four cardinal directions is likewise a fountain of water and language. Benbenisty’s sphinx, speaking in gurgling water, poses riddles in a silent language that does not have written form. Likewise ambiguous in meaning, (translated to “the perfect one” in Arabic in addition to having roots in early Etruscan, Turkish and Greek) the graffiti is in part an individual’s solution to the sphinx’s ongoing riddle, an ambiguous response to the fountain’s silent speech.
Benbenisty paralells the iconography of the sphinx by posing contemporary linguistic riddles is the user-dialogue system, CAPTCHA. Based on its existing technology, the reCAPTCHA, originally developed by Luis von Ahn, Ben Maurer, Colin McMillen, David Abraham and Manuel Blum at Carnegie Mellon University was created in an attempt to capitalize on this brief, conceptual labor. Like the CAPTCHA interface, reCAPTCHA asks users to enter words seen in distorted text images onscreen, a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human. By presenting two words it both protects websites attempting to access restricted areas and helps digitize the text of the archives of The New York Times and books from Google Books. By correctly translating the images into typed words, the user solves the “riddle” and gains access to the desired webpage. Benbenisty’s animation uses pairs of reCAPTCHA words hand copied onto carbon paper, seen through a light from a projector. A pair of two words appear for 10 seconds, the time required for the average user to decipher the reCAPTCHA into text.
Benbenisty’s hand-drawn reCAPTCHA pairings and water form the mouth of the sphinx reverse the computer’s translation; words morph into images. How these images can reflect the sentiments and intentions behind them, how images can be words and words images are the ideas with which Benbenisty plays. For Benbenisty, language is set of riddles. Our ability to understand context and use critical reasoning allows us to continue to succeed where a computer, for example cannot. By recognizing an image as an aesthetic translation of a concept, we set ourselves apart in our ability to and successfully solve the riddle of the sphinx.
Keren Benbenisty (b. 1977, Israel) moved to Paris in 1998 where she graduated with honors from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2004. She attended The California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in 2003. Benbenisty was a resident at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 2009 and participated at the The International Studio & Curatorial Program ISCP in 2011. Benbenisty received grants from the Ostrovsky Family Foundation (OFF) (2011-2013), ARTIS – Contemporary Israeli Art fund (2011) the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in NY (2011) and the Shpilman Institute of Photography (2013) among others. She currently lives and works between New York and Tel-Aviv.
September 5- October 5 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, September 5, 2014
Pseudo Empire is very pleased to present a new exhibition by video artist Elizabeth Orr. Traffic (2013/2014) is a encompassing installation in the form of a single channel video projection within the gallery.
Moving from the walls of the gallery onto a hanging screen, Orr’s video works with an image of traffic on a Los Angeles fwy. Using the slow movement of the cars as the pace of the animated embedded video. The hypnotic images interrelate, obscure, and highlight one another. The phenomena of traffic, understood in the driver’s vernacular as a state of being in transit but moving slowly (or not at all) suggests a movement-based temporality and object-like stillness. Traffic is a state of being and a noun.
Orr, who spent her formative years in Los Angeles, where often hours of one’s day are spent likewise behind the wheel of a car, reflects on this experience for all its mundane, even aggravating emotions as at once engaging and strangely meditative.
Elizabeth Orr (b. 1984 in Venice, CA) is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been featured in multiple organizations in the U.S and abroad including Artists Space Books and Talks, New York, Recess Projects, New York, MoMA, Bodega Gallery, New York, If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution, The Netherlands, ICA Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Girls Like Us Magazine, Harvard University Carpenter Center, Massachusetts, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), California, NurtureArt, New York. Orr has also been commissioned by MOCAtv. Currently she is part of the collaborative group – No Total based at Artists Space Books and Talks, and is part of the collaboration Bulk Purchases with artist Emma Hedditch. Orr is the executor of California Light and Space Artist, Eric Orr’s, Estate. She received her B.A. in Liberal Arts at Hampshire College and her M.F.A at Bard College in 2014.
THE OLIVE BRANCH: A BENEFIT FOR PEACE
1-Day Art Show
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Brooklyn Fireproof East 119 Ingraham Street Brooklyn, NY 11237
As a small effort against violence, warfare and the violation of human rights at home and abroad, Pseudo Empire presents a 1-day art show at Brooklyn Fire Proof East. Works of all media from dozens of emerging artist from Bushwick and the greater New York area will be available. Proceeds are divided 40/60 between the artist and Peace Direct, an NGO that supports local initiatives for peace worldwide.
Come check out some amazing work at affordable prices, support local artists and a greater cause!
See below for a sample of what will be available for purchase on Saturday:
July/ August 2014
July 11 – August 11, 2014
For our summer program, Pseudo Empire presents a solo exhibition of new work by Bushwick-based painter Olivié Ponce. In this series of new work, Ponce continues an exploration of the aesthetics of the city in which lives. Drawing on visual themes shared by both his home of Mexico City and New York, Ponce builds off visual elements of the landscape—telephone wire, poles, bridges, features simultaneously an intrinsic element of industrial zones and a romantic trope of the urban landscape.
Extending outside the gallery into public space, Ponce diffuses the boundaries between inside and outside, surface and reality. His paintings on plexi frames allow the viewer to look at as well as beyond what is represented. At the heart of this work is Ponce’s idea of the Extra Aesthetic, a concept through which he represents what it means to look beyond reality and expand manner in which quotian experiences are perceived. Employing elements from construction sites and work areas, Ponce seeks to expand and complicate the meaning of everyday objects and language through use of materials and settings.
Olivie Ponce: New Paintings will physically incorporate the urban space of Bushwick, utilizing public spaces outside the gallery. The neighborhood’s gritty past and increasingly aestheticized present mirror the elements found in Ponce’s work, where the beautiful and the crude are continually brought up against one another.
Bushwick Daily Top 10
Olivié Ponce was born in Mexico City and trained in Fine Arts at the Universidadde Guanajuato (BFA). Since 2007, Ponce has lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York. He was represented by FONCA (National Fund for the Culture and the Arts, Mexico) in 2001 and 2005. He participated at the NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists in 2009. Ponce has exhibited his work in several international venues: Gallery Ho, Seoul Korea; The Brick Lane Gallery, London, UK; and La Esmeralda Gallery, Mexico City. Olivié Ponce: Extra-Estetica was the artist’s first solo gallery show in New York. He was awarded a fellowship from the Dedalus Foundation for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 2011. Ponce’s work is featured in the movie What Maisie Knew (2013) with Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard.
Pseudo Empire’s Inaugural Exhibition :
May 30 – June 29, 2014
Opening Reception May 30, 6-8pm
For our inaugural exhibition, Pseudo Empire presents a solo exhibition of the work of Marissa Perel, a Brooklyn-based performance and visual artist, writer and curator. Perel’s practice complicates the presence of the performing body, creating and interrupting narratives that complicate cultural associates of gender, performance and the body itself. Perel’s exhibition at Pseudo Empire will expand on her ongoing Yentl project, which has taken a number of forms in exhibition and performance over the past year.
View Press Release Here:
Marissa Perel is an artist, writer, and independent curator Brooklyn, NY. Her work spans performance, video and text-based installation and poetry. Her installations and performances have been presented internationally, including at Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, and The Chocolate Factory Theater (NYC), The D.I.V.O Institute (Prague, C.R.), Medium Gallery (Bratislava, Slovakia), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and commissioned for the Chicago Cultural Center. She currently organizes Lobby TALKS, a forum for open and in-depth discourse on contemporary issues in dance and performance at New York Live Arts. Perel writes the column, “Gimme Shelter: Performance Now” for the Art21 blog. She recently served as co-editor of Critical Correspondence, an on-line journal of Movement Research, for which she co-curated live interviews and events at Judson Memorial Church and New Museum, NY. She was also a curator of the Movement Research Festival Spring 2012: Push it. Real. Good. Perel received her B.A. in Writing and Literature from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, and her M.F.A in Studio and Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.