Dust: The plates of the present

Image by Daiga Grantina, courtesy of Dust: the plates of the present, Paris

Image by Daiga Grantina, courtesy of Dust: The plates of the present, Paris

Dust: The plates of the present,
February 2013 – July 2015

Curated by Sonel Breslav

September 15th – October 17th
Opening Reception TuesdaySeptember 15, 2015 | 6 – 8pm

Nearly three years ago, artists Thomas Fougeirol and Jo-ey Tang began a project with the intent of turning a small storage space in Ivry-sur-Seine, a suburb just southeast of Paris, into a means of communal production.

An improvised darkroom was built and friends were invited.

The space was named Dust and the residency, The plates of the present. The name was inspired by a well-known text in The Pencil of Nature (1844–1846), a groundbreaking photographically illustrated book by William Henry Fox Talbot, the pioneer of 19th century picture making in both optical and chemical aspects of photography.

The project began in February 2013 with New York based artist G. William Webb. He completed a series of eight photograms, and as a result Thomas and Jo-ey decided that each of the following participants would continue to produce eight photograms for the archive.

The archive of The plates of the present is ongoing to this day and is on view for the first time in its current entirety for the occasion of the exhibition Dust: The plates of the present, February 2013 – July 2015 at Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York.

The pictures and experiences that are encountered through the process of making a photogram are invariably individual. In producing a photogram there is an immediate understanding that regardless of your desire to construct a precise image you will most often be surprised by what appears in the light sensitive emulsion. It is fitting then that Thomas and Jo-ey invite various practitioners of art, as well as literature, science, and education to participate and experiment. Furthermore, photograms have become part of the work of a number of artists since their encounter with The plates of the present.

Thomas and Jo-ey’s invitation is one that spans beyond the production of the eight photograms that become part of the ongoing archive of The plates of the present. We are invited to participate in a process that traverses the history of photographic processes…together. The proposition that Thomas and Jo-ey present embraces both the unpredictable, poetic, and performative nature of this form of image making, as well a surprising affirmation in collective practice.

The plates of the present residents to date include:
(2013) G. William Webb, J. Pasila, Allison Somers, Marina Faust, Joy Episalla, Shanta Rao, Carrie Yamaoka, Ofer Wolberger, Munro Galloway, Bettie Nin, Raffaella Della Olga, Madeleine Aktypi, Robin Cameron, Benoit Fougeirol, Cécile Dauchez, Drooid5z, Ben Dowell, Nickolaus Typaldos, Nathan Gwynne, Emmanuel Van Der Meulen, Camila Oliveira Fairclough, Sonja Engelhardt (2014) Davide Cascio, Delphine Trouche, Daiga Grantina, Carlos Reyes, Agnes Lux, Jiajia Zhang, Zoe Paul, Chloé Quenum, Jean-Baptiste Maitre, Joe Namy, Jesus Alberto Benitez, Mimosa Echard, Antoine Barberon, Renaud Regnery, Thomas Fougeirol, Yonatan Vinitsky (2015) Anne Laure Sacriste, Antoine Donzeaud, Hubert Marot, Julien Bouillon, Lorraine Châteaux, Loup Sarion, Sylvie Fanchon, Jean-Luc Blanc, Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, Nancy Brooks Brody, Mo Husain, Sergio Verastegui, Julien Carreyn

The first comprehensive publication on this project will be launched alongside the opening of the exhibition, Dust: The plates of the present, February 2013 – July 2015. Published by Blonde Art Books and Secretary Press, the publication includes images from the archive and text contributions by Robin Cameron, Thomas Fougeirol, Mara Hoberman, Flora Katz, Brett Littman, and Jo-ey Tang. The publication is available HERE.


Sonel Breslav is an independent curator and the founder of Blonde Art Books, a Brooklyn-based organization dedicated to promoting self-published art books through exhibitions, book fairs, talks, and online exposure. She has organized exhibitions and events at venues such as MoMA, PS1, Queens, NY; ICA, Philadelphia, PA; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Hyde Part Center, Chicago, IL; Schema Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Dorsky Curatorial Programs, LIC, NY; SIGNAL, Brooklyn, NY; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, NY; and Present Company, Brooklyn, NY. The first book published under the Blonde Art Books imprint was Kitsch Encyclopedia, 2014 by Sara Cwynar. She received her MA in Art History from UCL, London in 2010 and her BFA in Photography from University of Buffalo-State University of New York in 2005. She currently works as Director at Murray Guy, New York.

Thomas Fougeirol lives and works between Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Ivry, Paris, where he runs the non-profit exhibition space, Dust. He holds a DNSEP from École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and is the recipient of the 1998 Coprim Foundation Award. Fougeirol is represented by Praz- Delavallade in Paris, he has shown with CLEARING in Brooklyn, New York, and Galerie Fred Lanzenberg in Bruxelles. This past year, he was included in Fifteen Year Anniversary Exhibition at the Margulies Collection in Miami, as well as From Pre-History to Post-Everything at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York. Acquisitions have been made by Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, FR; Musée Estrine, Saint Remy de Provence, FR; Fondation Louis Vuitton pour l’art contemporain, FR; FNAC, Fond National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, FR; Fondation Antonio Perez, Cuenca, ES; Collection Chanel and FRAC Haute Normandie, Rouen, FR, The Margulies Collection, Miami, FL,and Berezdivin collection in Puerto Rico.

Jo-ey Tang is a Hong Kong-born American curator, artist, and writer based in Paris since 2011. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from San Francisco Art Institute, and Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University Steinhardt School. He founded the curatorial project The Notary Public in 2010 in his Upper East Side apartment while attending New York University. In 2013, he curated the group exhibition Forming the Loss in Darkness at Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris, as part of Nouvelles Vagues, the young curators season in Paris initiated by Palais de Tokyo, and in 2014 became a curator at Palais de Tokyo and a contributing curator for the institution’s projects in 2015. He was an Edward F. Albee Foundation fellow in 2011, and the arts editor of Brooklyn-based literary journal n+1 from 2009 to 2014. His solo exhibitions include Like An Intruder, Exile, Berlin (2011); Like An Intruder, The Speaker Removes His Cap, Galerie Joseph Tang, Paris (2014); and Pant Hotel, Taylor Macklin, Hershey Beach, Galveston, Texas (2015). He is a contributor to Artforum.com.

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”16″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_slideshow” gallery_width=”600″ gallery_height=”400″ cycle_effect=”fade” cycle_interval=”4″ show_thumbnail_link=”0″ thumbnail_link_text=”[Show thumbnails]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]The 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, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.