ISE NY Grant Program 2015 Fall Grantees

Alejandro Morales

Exhibition’s Title: La Arquitectura del Sexo (The Architecture of Sex)

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Installation Views of La Arquitectura del Sexo (The Architecture of Sex), Photo Credit: Proyectos Impala

Venue: Proyectos Impala, Parque Central & Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico

Exhibition Date: April 6 – May 25, 2016

Curator: Alejandro Morales

Artist: Kurt Hollander

Concept:

Although it’s hard to generalize about cities and cultures there are several reasons why people in Cali might very well enjoy more, better sex than people in most cities around the world. The fact that Cali basks in intense, year-round tropical heat, which allows women to strut their stuff in the skimpiest clothes and keeps people sweating long into the night; that even complete strangers call each other papi, mami and amor; that Cali is Colombia’s “blackest” major city; that the sensuality and beauty of local women is praised in dozens of Salsa songs; that most everyone learns to dance when they’re young and are thus great movers and shakers; that the city has long produced some of the world’s finest athletes, beauty queens and actresses; that the mega-industry of plastic surgery in Cali has inflated the proportions of women’s curves to unimagined dimensions; that the sugar eaten here is raw and delicious; that the coke produced here is pure and cheap; that an incredible variety of local fruits are known to act as aphrodisiacs, and a local alcohol made by indigenous and black communities from green sugar cane is famous for inciting sexual activity; that in the dozens of sex shops inexpensive pharmaceutical and natural sex drugs are readily available; that in porn theaters in the city female or transvestite prostitutes are available to accompany your viewing pleasure; that prostitution is legal and that there are dozens of houses and bars that cater to all income levels; that hundreds of pre-pago call-girls offer their services online 24 hours a day; and that there are affordable, extravagant love motels throughout the city that promote safe sex; all combine to inspire locals to enjoy sexual activity as often as possible within the city of Cali.

MOTEL KISS ME

With its theme rooms based on Egyptian fertility temples, Greek Dionysian temples, Roman orgies, Arab harems, Oriental pagodas, Japanese geishas and Las Vegas whorehouses, the Motel Kiss Me, with more than 150 rooms, provides a faithful recreation of the history of the architecture of sex. Many of the most popular rooms here evoke ancient cultures that promoted an intimate, inspirational relationship between architecture, art and sex. But we can also find rooms with Dinosaurs or the Polar room with icicles hanging down from the ceiling, a fantasy escape from the sweltering heat of the city, there are also rooms that represent countries around the world: Germany (complete with a wall paintings of Hitler and a VW bug), Argentina (soccer players and tango singers), France (Eiffel tower), Spain (the bed is located within a bullfight ring), Venezuela (life-sized figures of Fidel and Chavez standing arm in arm in front of oil fields), Iraq (Saddam with more oil fields) and the USA (life-sized sculptures of George Bush and Osama Bin-Laden standing in front of the World Trade Center towers in flames). Kurt Hollander gives us an incredible documentation of how architecture and sex shapes an entire city and its philosophy.

Installation Views of La Arquitectura del Sexo (The Architecture of Sex), Photo Credit: Proyectos Impala

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Moving Exhibition Venue: Photo Credit: Proyectos Impala

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Works: Untitled 2, Kurt Hollander, 2014, Archival Ink on paper, 20 x 30”, Untitled 4, Kurt Hollander, 2014, Archival Ink on paper, 20 x 30”, Untitled 10, Kurt Hollander, 2014, Archival Ink on paper, 20 x 30”

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Cat Del Buono

Exhibition’s Title: Voices

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“Voices” Video monitors and sound. Installation view at Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC

Venue: Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC

Exhibition Date: January 21 – March 11, 2016

Curator: Karen Derksen

Artist: Cat Del Buono

Concept:

My exhibit, Voices, is a 20-monitor video installation and a panel discussion addressing domestic violence. This is a topic that is not often openly discussed openly in local communities or in the arts. Therefore, I created a social practice project that utilizes art as a focal point for an open public dialogue about an ongoing social problem. And Winthrop University invited me to exhibit and host a panel discussion at their gallery.

While in Rock Hill, I will be working with local domestic violence organizations to film survivors recounting their stories of domestic abuse and then adding their voices to the project. On several small video monitors, the mouths of survivors are displayed as they speak of their own personal experience. Showing only their mouths keeps them anonymous and keeps the focus on what is being spoken. The monitors surround the gallery walls so when visitors enter, they hear a symphony of unrecognizable words. Only when they approach a single monitor do they begin to hear the individual’s story and have a one-on-one experience. The necessity of this movement functions as a metaphor: we are not aware of victims in our own social circles until we become close enough for them to tell us their story.

Studies show that humans react more strongly when seeing images versus text. Consequently, using visuals is a more affective way of raising awareness and promoting change. As a social practice artist, I use Voices as a way for viewers to experience the reality of an ongoing issue. The project transforms victims from statistics to real people.

In conjunction with the installation, a panel will be held on the opening night of the exhibition. This important part of the project allows the community to ask questions and hear from survivors, advocates, and art professionals speaking of traumatic events, recovery, and how art can be a catalyst for change. I’m particularly excited to engage university students for the first time, since education and awareness about violence at a young age is critical.

I am in the process of inviting domestic violence professionals, law enforcement, survivors, and journalists to join the panel. Currently, advocate and star of documentary “Private Violence” Kit Gruelle is confirmed. Also, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalists from Post and Courier have been contacted. They are an important part of the project and being able to provide for them is a necessity. The University has a small budget, but I am in need of funding to pay for the panelists travel and participation and the expenses that go beyond the university budget.

Being a daughter of a domestic violence victim, this is something I am very familiar with. The project stemmed from being a socially engaged artist wanting to influence change and give a voice to the voiceless. The opportunity to have this solo exhibit at Winthrop University is a life changing experience for me as an emerging female social practice artist. With the ISE grant, this exhibit and panel will be a success.

Installation View of “Voices” at Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC

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Panel Discussion at January 21, 7pm at Dina’s Place in DiGiorgio Campus Center

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