Push Me – Pull You


May 12 – June 24, 2006

Curated by Carolyn Monastra
Artists: Betsy Andrews, Peter Fox, Madeline Djerejian, Jane Doe, Christine Callahan, Veronica Cross, Callie Hirsch, Jeanne Mischo, Derek Bermel, Will Eno, Andrew Russo, Wendy S. Walters, Steve Robinson, Tomas Ramberg

Opening :Friday, May 12, 6-8pm
Curator and Artists’ Talk: Thursday, June 8, 6-8pm

ISE CULTURAL FOUNDATION is pleased to present the exhibition: Push Me – Pull You, Incisions, Elisions, and Collisions in the Collaborative Process, curated by Carolyn Monastra. The show features work by Betsy Andrews + Peter Fox (bound books with text and digital art), Madeline Djerejian + Jane Doe (slide show), Christine Callahan + Veronica Cross (photographs), Callie Hirsch + Jeanne Mischo (paintings), Derek Bermel + Will Eno + Andrew Russo (piano composition with spoken word), Derek Bermel + Wendy S. Walters (songs), Steve Robinson + Tomas Ramberg (installation).

The very nature of collaboration – the act of coming together to achieve a common goal – is a unique condition for many artists who are accustomed to working alone. The pieces in Push Me – Pull You are representative of the innovation resulting from this disruption to the artist¡Çs normal working process.

Spinning off shared, spontaneous cues, Betsy Andrews and Peter Fox produced paired poems and digital artwork. When the artists began Supercollider in 2003, they decided their first cue would be taken from the next email Andrews received. That email was about the torture at Abu Ghraib. It set the tone for what is, in essence, an anti-war series.

A long-term friendship led to a cross-pollination of Christine Callahan¡Çs lush photographs of landscapes and Veronica Cross¡Çs delicately sculpted banners. Their project explores the themes of memory, loss, and desire that are also inherent in the artists¡Ç individual work.

Security, by Madeleine Djerejian and Jane Doe is a slide show of found imagery depicting a training program for security guards. Accompanied by a disjointed soundtrack of police radio transmissions the piece questions the possibility of true security in the present day.

A mutual interest in the ¡Ènoxious past and blooming possibilities¡É of Brooklyn¡Çs infamous Gowanus Canal motivated Callie Hirsch and Jeanne Mischo to construct their large-scale colorful panel-paintings together.

Internationally acclaimed composer/musician Derek Bermel has worked on several collaborations that integrate spoken word. With award-winning playwright Will Eno he created Fetch to be performed by pianist Andrew Russo. This nine-minute piece combines Russo¡Çs piano playing with his musings on metaphysical topics. Bermel also joins his musical compositions with poems by Wendy S. Walters to form an ongoing series of songs.

Steve Robinson and Tomas Ramberg created repetitively patterned wallpaper that is intended to induce a hypnotic trance. Old psychology books inspired the text for the wallpaper that is displayed as an installation in the gallery.

Although their reasons for collaborating vary, all the artists whose work is exhibited in Push Me – Pull You concur on the liberating aspects of the collaborative disruption. The results, as represented here, exemplify how the incision of another artist¡Çs vision and process, as well as the elision of the individual artist¡Çs ego and standard ways of producing, generate stimulating new collisions in art.

This exhibition is part of the Ise Cultural Foundation’s Summer Project. Please contact the gallery for further information.

About the curator- Carolyn Monastra is an independent curator and visual artist based in Brooklyn. She has curated several exhibits in the New York area. Monastra is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including a 2005 Multimedia Fellowship from Brooklyn Information and Culture (BRIC). Her own photographs are currently on view through June 10th in The Drop at Exit Art.

Image:Christine Callahan and Veronica Cross, I’m Coming Home, 2006, 30 x 40″, chromogenic print.

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