Carlos Motta

Carlos Motta, courtesy of Hall Collection

I see in the sea nothing except the sea.
I don’t see a shore.
I don’t see a dove.

Curated by Heather M. O’Brien
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 19, 6-8pm
Saturday, April 19 – Saturday, May 17, 2014

Featuring: Adam Golfer, Ashley Hunt, Carlos Motta, and Samira Yamin

The radio tells me my school is the next target for a shooting. I practice holding my head under the desk. I wake up in a dorm room and watch the second plane hit the tower. People are holding newspapers in the subway; they show a city that’s underwater. Light beams down through a hole in the roof of the stadium. 2,500 men sit inside Orleans Parish Prison. Water rises to their chests. I finally see his eyes on the cover of a magazine. People peer beyond the fence, hoping to catch a glimpse of the ash. He tells us we will not fail. He tells us we are with him or we are with them.

I see the snow fall on her face and I’m reminded of the ash. The desert feels cold at night, even inside the trailer. They watch the shadows shimmer from above. He tells us to get on board and do our business around the country; to go and enjoy a great American destination spot, like Disneyworld. I see a tent city at the base of the skyline. It’s dusk and the light is soft. But I can’t see the prisoners. There’s a bottomless fountain but no people. There are no images of his body. I search but my eyes are tired. I search but I don’t want to see anymore. I search but I’m completely numb. I must search.

The document tells us nothing. Let’s begin there. Now, what is the site? Is it here or is it there? How do we tell this story? A conscious choice is made to tell it otherwise—to mull over media, memorial, technology, detention. That which is unseen begins to leak, and slowly we begin to see: blue, white, foam, waves.

CCNY CONVERSATION SERIES EVENTS 

Roundtable discussion with the artists + video screening
Saturday, April 19, 3:30-5pm at CCNY
Join us for an afternoon of video works/presentations, followed by roundtable dialogue with the four artists and Heather M. O’Brien (artist, educator, organizer, and guest curator of the show). An opening reception will follow the discussion.

Additional Roundtable Event
Saturday, May 10, 2-5pm at CCNY
Facilitated by Amin Husain, of MTL Collective, Gulf Labor and Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.), and Heather M. O’Brien.

To RSVP for either roundtable event, please email baxterst@cameraclubny.org

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How do we live? Who’s telling the story? – MTL Collective

Through dialogue and note-taking we will re-consider and re-contextualize four artworks included in the exhibition. Some of the questions we hope to unpack: What “here” (in the US) makes war “there” (outside the US) possible? How is the struggle “there” connected to “here”? How are the four artworks in the exhibition connected to contemporary struggles on the ground and the larger economic system? What are the contradictions? What is art after occupy? How are we implicated? Can we separate art and the way we choose to live? How do we rearrange our desires? What do we want?

Amin Husain is a Palestinian-American lawyer, artist and activist. He is a Part-Time Lecturer at The New School for Public Engagement, an editor of Tidal Occupy Theory magazine, and producer of Tidal on the Waves show on WBAI Radio. He a founder of MTL Collective, and an organizer with Gulf Labor and Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.)

Heather M. O’Brien is a Los Angeles based artist, educator, and organizer who works with photography, text, performance, and printed publications. She questions how life is impacted by the current political landscape, where media and capital form a complex relationship between the national and the global. Her work considers a re-telling of the patriarchal History she was taught growing up, while investigating our shared visual moment—a fractured space where corporate interest too often penetrates the optical experience. She is a founder of the Work Progress Collective in New York, and a member of Critical Resistance and School of Echoes in Los Angeles. www.heathermobrien.com

A publication in conjunction with the project will be released in the Fall of 2014; edited by Heather M. O’Brien, and published by Secretary Press.

CCNY‘s guest–curated exhibitions are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. This show is also supported by the Hall Art Foundation.

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