Remember our Arrival, 2017

Dense Lightness 

Ivan Forde
Curated by Anna Harsanyi

Opening Reception: November 8th, 6-8pm
Exhibition dates:
 November 8, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Performance: November 29th, 7pm

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by Ivan Forde, organized by curator Anna Harsanyi, opening November 8th from 6 – 8 pm and running through January 5th. The exhibition will also include a performance on Thursday, November 29th at 7 pm. 

Dense Lightness is Forde’s first solo exhibition, bringing together multimedia works from the artist’s interdisciplinary experimentations with cyanotype. Drawn from Forde’s long-term work and research around the ancient Mesopotamian epic poem Gilgamesh/He Who Saw The Deep, this installation invites visitors to experience the artist’s studio practice.

Forde inserts his own image into photographs and prints in order to embody fragments and motifs addressed in the Gilgamesh narrative from varying perspectives, assembling the imagery to create a poetic mirror of the artist as both subject and viewer. Rather than re-tell, represent, or illustrate the epic, Forde shifts our perspective toward Enkidu, Gilgamesh’s double, and considers the story as a point of departure for an exploration into the struggle between opposing spaces: public vs. private, destruction vs. creation, the self vs. the collective, abstraction vs. representation. His deliberate use of cyanotype becomes a constant thread through a multitude of experimentations with medium and style; the artist creates fabrics, sound collages, sculpture, writing and prints from photographic performances. Throughout the narrative, polarities of personalities, environments, and power are constantly matched against each other. Forde’s work explores the nuances that lie in between such oppositions, mining the complex nature of harmony in the face of conflict, and how these divergent subtleties are reflected in contemporary discussions on marginalized identities, environmental issues, and systems of power. As part of the exhibition, Forde will stage a sound performance within the installation on November 29th, reading text from his research that also riffs off of selected verses from the Gilgamesh epic.

Ivan Forde (b. 1990) works across printmaking, digital animation, sound performance, and installation. Residencies and fellowships include the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, ACRE Projects, Vermont Studio Center, Pioneer Works, the Lower East Side Printshop, and Sharp Snug Harbor. Group exhibitions and performances include Studio Museum Harlem Postcards, Mana Contemporary, The Jewish Museum, The Whitney Museum, The DC Arts Center, Lower East Side Printshop, Denny Gallery, Steven Kasher Gallery, the International Print Center, and Lagos Photo Festival 17. Ivan graduated from SUNY Purchase College with a B.A. in Literature and Columbia University with an MFA in printmaking.

Anna Harsanyi is a curator, educator, and arts manager. Her participatory projects and exhibitions have taken place within public and alternative spaces, exploring themes of memory, cultural identity, and collective experience. She recently completed a project presenting artist engagements with the historic Essex Street Market in New York’s Lower East Side. She co-curated Hot & Cold: Revolution in the Present Tense, a public art project in Timișoara and Cluj, Romania which presented three artist projects about the 25th anniversary of the Revolution that ended Communism. Most recently, Anna worked as the Project Manager for the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

PRESS

“Spending time with Dense Lightness, Ivan Forde’s first solo-exhibition with Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, is to take a journey through large-scale works on paper and fabric that echo the ancient myth of Gilgamesh. Using self-portraiture and the antiquated photographic process of cyanotype, the young multidisciplinary artist (born in Guyana and raised in Harlem) presents a body of work where technical mastery meets a sense of playfulness. Through Forde’s subtle weaving of fragmented stories, a space is created to reflect not only on the old tale of rivalry, self, love, companionship, and death, but on more contemporary issues such as representation, race, and historical loss.” The Brooklyn Rail.

“Although Ivan Forde’s blueprint, Morning Raid, takes the ancient epic poem Gilgamesh as a starting point, the work feels solidly contemporary. What initially seems like a battle between man and nature shifts upon closer examination. Numerous delicate, ephemeral characters attempt to wrangle and take control of a monumental tree in some graceful choreographed dance. It seems they are trying to topple it, though their movements feel strangely celebratory, as if honoring this tremendous life-giving monolith. The physical power of the figures’ gestures is offset by the fragility of the thin, bright red string. I see my own relationship to nature so clearly in this image. This back and forth – wavering between delicacy and brute force, control and submission – is what drew me in, what I love, and what keeps me looking.” Photograph Magazine.

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by Ivan Forde, organized by curator Anna Harsanyi, opening November 8th from 6 – 8 pm and running through December 15th. The exhibition will also include a performance on Thursday, November 29th at 7 pm. Musée.

“A conversation between interdisciplinary artists Derrick Adams and Ivan Forde will celebrate Forde’s current show, “Dense Lightness.” Drawing inspiration from both Adams and the Mesopotamian epic poem “Giglamesh/He Who Saw The Deep,” Forde’s work explores finding harmony despite mounting obstacles and conflict.” All Arts.

“Ivan Forde’s first solo show features his experimental work with cyanotypes, a cross-disciplinary approach that incorporates photographic performance, fabric, sound collage, sculpture,writing, and printmaking. The artist takes the ancient Mesopotamian poem The Epic of Gilgamesh as his point of inspiration, considering the tale from the point of view of Enkidu,Gilgamesh’s less-civilized rival-turned friend and companion.” Artnet News.

“Dense Lightness is Forde’s first solo exhibition, bringing together multimedia works from the artist’s interdisciplinary experimentations with cyanotype. Drawn from Forde’s long-term work and research around the ancient Mesopotamian epic poem Gilgamesh/He Who Saw The Deep, this installation invites visitors to experience the artist’s studio practice.” F-Stop Magazine.

“Remember Our Arrival,” a cyanotype by Ivan Forde, whose work is on view this week at Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, in New York City.” Harper’s Magazine.

“Forde, whose solo exhibition “Dense Lightness” is currently on view at Baxter St, will have a conversation with his mentor, artist Derrick Adams. A few talking points will include epic poetry and the black figure, the artistic practice of working in multimedia, and, of course, the influence these two artists have had on one another.” Galerie.

This exhibition is part of a series of guest-curated exhibitions at Baxter St at CCNY resulting from an open call for proposals, and is made possible in part by generous support from public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Steven Amedee Framing, and Yarden Wines.