International and National Projects Spring 2006: Johanna Billing, William Cordova, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Yaron Leshem, Ohad Meromi, Demetrius Oliver, and Kon Trubkovich

Feb 26–Jun 5, 2006


P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents the work of seven emerging artists as part of the International and National Projects Spring 2006 program. Featuring new and recent works, these solo exhibitions showcase a range of media, from video and photography to drawing and installation. The International and National Projects will be on view from February 26 through June 5, 2006.

Johanna Billing (b. 1973) uses performance and video to portray group interactions, merging the real and the staged. The exhibition at P.S.1 is Billing's first in a New York museum and will include her recent video Magical World (2005). Shot in a free after-school cultural center in Dubrava, a suburb of Zagreb, Croatia, the work provides a glimpse of a country in transformation. Through Billing's perspective, it is one still recovering from the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, yet projected to join the European Union in due time. Footage of a group of children carefully rehearsing the "Rotary Connection" song, Magical World is interspersed with imagery from an urban environment in development.

Billing lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. She received a M.F.A. degree from Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm in 1999. She has been the subject of numerous solo shows over the last few years in Europe and the U.S. and was included in the 9th Istanbul Biennial, the 50th Venice Biennial, and the 1st Prague Biennial. Her work is part of the collections of the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Holland; the Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita, Kansas; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

This exhibition is organized by P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss.

William Cordova's (b. 1971) work—which ranges in medium from drawing and sculpture to video and photography—is grounded in his Afro-Peruvian roots and contemporary pop culture. At P.S.1, he presents recent drawings and sculptures that investigate a multitude of themes, including authenticity and authorship, astrophysics, film, and conquest and colonialism.

Cordova was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in Miami. He received a M.F.A. from Yale University and recently completed his artist residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; the New Museum, New York; Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica; and the 49th Venice Biennial, among other venues. He is currently an artist in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

This exhibition is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, P.S.1 Chief Curator, and Curator, Department of Film and Media at The Museum of Modern Art.

Sara Greenberger Rafferty's (b. 1978) artwork is informed by slapstick and stand-up comedy, as well as photography and conceptual art. Theatrical elements such as props, sets, and stages are the building blocks of a visual vocabulary that revolves around jokes and gags, performance and the absurd. Pies ready to be thrown, lone microphone stands and spotlights allude to a show that is about to begin or one that was just missed.

This is Greenberger Rafferty's first museum exhibition. She has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, most recently at Artists Space, New York; Capsule Gallery, Denver; Marvelli Gallery, New York; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; and Champion Fine Arts, Culver City, Los Angeles. She received a M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2005 and currently lives and works in New York.

This exhibition is organized by P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss.

Yaron Leshem's (b. 1972) work investigates how media and military power depict and often distort reality. His fifteen-foot-long panoramic photograph, The Village (2004), shows a mock Palestinian village created by the Israeli Defense Force, which is used to train soldiers for combat. Built to scale, the simulated town is a blend of the imagination and the real. The houses are no more than facades with painted windows and doors, and yet this is not a stage set but a location for full-scale war games.

Leshem is an Israeli-born artist, living and working in New York. He received a B.F.A. in Photography from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2004. He has participated in several international group exhibitions including Video Zone at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel (2004), Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo (2005), and the 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005). This is Leshem's first exhibition in a U.S. museum.

This exhibition is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, P.S.1 Chief Curator, and Curator, Department of Film and Media at The Museum of Modern Art.

Ohad Meromi (b. 1967), an Israeli-born artist, presents a new installation riffing on history, politics and radio plays. The Random Element (2006) is a two fold project: a production of a radio play and a construction of a model of a reading room made of blue foam. The room loosely follows the design of Aleksandr Rodchenko's 1925 Workers' Club. The viewer will be able to enter the room and listen to the recording of the radio play. The script for the play is from an early episode of Star Trek (1967), where in an attempt to correct history, the crew returns to the 1920s and ends up killing an American pacifist who would otherwise have prevented America from entering World War II. The original Workers' Club had a utopian notion of the proletariat's cultural after-work activities. The reenactment plays with the idea of workers becoming culture consumers in their leisure time and proposes the possibility of the room becoming a site of cultural production.

Meromi has presented his work widely in Israel and internationally. He was recently part of the group exhibition Uncertain States of America at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, Norway. Meromi received his M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2004 and currently lives and works in New York.

This exhibition is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, P.S.1 Chief Curator, and Curator, Department of Film and Media at The Museum of Modern Art.

In Demetrius Oliver's (b. 1975) photographs, slideshows, and installations, the viewer is constantly psychologically implicated by the artist's simultaneous employment of sublimity and degradation. Drawing on literary sources ranging from Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman, Oliver's dramatic photographs document private performances in which he engages in absurd or painful activities like draping a heap of bacon over his own head or pinching his body with a legion of clothespins. For P.S.1, the Houston-based artist presents two new slideshows, both documentations of performances that viscerally connote a grey area within the emotional spectrum: the paradoxical space where defiance meets shame.

Oliver has exhibited primarily in Texas and Pennsylvania. He is featured in Frequency, an exhibition currently on view at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and is a Core Artist in Residence at The Glassell School of Art/Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

This exhibition is organized by P.S.1 Curatorial Advisor Nick Stillman.

Kon Trubkovich's (b. 1979) first museum exhibition, No Country for Old Men, includes a suite of six framed graphite drawings and the video piece Repeat Offenders (2006), with a score by Conrad Keely from the band, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead. Trubkovich's drawings are based on video imagery taken of the cemeteries surrounding the battle of Little Bighorn. The images themselves are drawn from paused moments extracted from the greater video narrative. Rather than the single exposure of freeze-framed perfection, the video playback head reconstructs and distresses the image, filling it with video static. Trubkovich's looped video tracks a fugitive fleeing through the woods. As the video loops and folds back on itself, the escapee is seemingly trapped in a figure eight—an imprisoning Mobius strip.

Trubkovich is a Moscow-born artist living and working in New York. His work has been included in the following New York group shows: For Pleasure at Priska Juschka Fine Art, New York (2004), Red White and Blue at Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York (2005), and Part II at Bjorn Ressle Fine Art, New York (2005).

This exhibition is organized by P.S.1 Curatorial Advisor Neville Wakefield.

International and National Projects at P.S.1 are supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Art. Additional funding is provided by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, Australian Council for the Arts, FaceCroatia, the Croatian Ministry of Culture, and the Consulate General of Sweden, New York.


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