posted by Caroline Picard

Hey! We got a write up! check out the whole thing by going here…what follows is an excerpt-

Isolated Fictions at FLUXspace–our collective memory

By libby | March 2, 2010

You have a few days left to get to Isolated Fictions, an evocative exhibit at FLUXspace of work related to the publication of The North Georgia Gazette, a beautiful reprint of an 1821 shipboard journal, by Chicago’s Green Lantern Press.

Bookmark/postcard from nowhere to nowhere, that comes with the North Georgia Gazette. Like this bookmark, everything in this bookmark is thoughtful and artful.

Green Lantern Press is the artist-run organization that also publishes the Phonebook, a national directory of artist-run spaces. (The most recent edition, 2008-2009, Philly’s artist-run spaces are severely underrepresented, but then even we can’t keep up.) And of course this show is at an artist-run collective space. There’s a theme here.

The story behind the book goes back to when a British fleet of exploration ships got stuck in the Arctic ice while searching for the Northwest Passage. Trapped for eight months, waiting for the ice to melt, they published a ship’s journal, The North Georgia Gazette, on orders from the fleet’s Captain Parry to keep spirits lifted. No whining allowed.

Amanda Browder, Installation, 2010 and Nike Desis standing there for scale

posted by Caroline Picard

posted and written by caroline picard

What follows is the curatorial statement used for FLUXspace exhibit

“Isolated Fictions”

February 6 – March 6, 2010

Opening Reception: February 6, 2010, 7 – 10 pm  CLOSING RECEPTION TBA

Gallery Hours: Saturdays 12 – 4 pm or by appointment
Contact: Angela Jerardi, 202.258.9670 /
angela@thefluxspace.org

Image taken by friend and Philadelphia artist, Hiro Sakaguchi : This is what it looked like the day after the storm, the day after the opening....

ANTENNAS in the middle of a snowstorm

curatorial statment about Isolated Fictions

It has been snowing for the last several hours. In the short time I’ve been in Philadelphia, anticipation for that snow has been the main subject of conversation. It was the anticipation of that storm that made me think about imagination and the way we project ourselves into the future, building and sharing expectations.

Three nights ago, a stranger crossed my path at midnight. He shook his head repeatedly, “Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow…” he said. That’s when I knew. That’s when I knew it was going to be a big storm.

It’s fitting that Isolated Fictions would open with a storm; 189 years ago a group of sailors who created the original North Georgia Gazette were very cold. They were cold and they sat in the dark for many months, waiting for the ice that locked their ships into the Arctic Circle to melt. It’s fitting that an exhibition inspired by the Gazette would coincide with a hazardous storm. There are a number of comparisons worth noting.

Due to preventative weather conditions, almost two feet of snow, we expect a small turnout. The sailors were cold on a ship; we’re cold in a warehouse. The sailors made work, imagining the possibility of a future audience. We put up an exhibition—Rebecca Grady and I came from Chicago, Amanda Browder came from New York. We anticipate someone other than ourselves and our hosts at FLUX will witness it. Further, Isolated Fictions takes place in North Kensington, an out-of-the-way neighborhood with narrow streets, families, an occasional bodega, a bar, a hair salon. FLUXspace is a destination venue for contemporary art enthusiasts. Most of those would come from elsewhere—other neighborhoods in other parts of the city. The North Pole is also a destination venue, though it’s enthusiasts are, perhaps, of a different sort.
Obviously, it is absurd to draw any literal comparisons between the inhospitable, natural Arctic North and a contemporary urban art gallery. Yet perhaps in this show, in this place, there are echoes and refractions which, having extended out of Parry’s experience, muting and deviating through time, suddenly, and oddly, reappear here as a kind of temporary eddy.

In 2009, The Green Lantern Press reprinted and re-contextualized that 1821 newspaper. In addition to excerpts from the Captain’s journal and the newspaper itself (featuring original poems, play reviews, classified ads, etc.), the text is punctuated with images of work by contemporary artists. Both the design of the book and the interjection of those artists creates a bridge from an historical event to our contemporary present; from the world of the sailor/expeditionist to that of the artist.

Those sailors wrote from a place without a guaranteed audience. They had no way of knowing whether the papers they wrote, the experiments they executed, journals kept, would ever find their way beyond the arctic landscape. Nevertheless, they put on plays for one another, wore sometimes girlish costumes, published writing—investing in the idea of posterity. Creating something for a hoped-for audience, an audience that would only exist if they were to survive their conditions and escape the ice. To believe in such an audience is as life-affirming as the fictions they made for one another. Both are hopeful. I would argue that such an investment was essential to their survival. Considering the odds they were up against, Parry’s expedition was an unprecedented success. Only one man died.

Isolated Fictions picks up on the idea of communication; focusing on the action of (art)work. That desire to make work, to be heard, in order to communicate something specific. Each piece is evidence of such work, an attempt for an individual to communicate. Each piece demands its own terms, using different formal vocabularies using found material. The necessary idea behind each work is that, despite its idiosyncratic aesthetic language, both (art)maker and audience believe its meaning can be communicated. Similarly, the everyday speaker assumes his or her thought can be expressed in words, while the listener assumes he or she can grasp that same speaker’s thought. It’s remarkable, really. Impossible. Absurd.

And yet.  A suspension of disbelief is required in order to participate in the world. One must hope that the work can and will be heard, just as the work must hope that it is understandable. That hope is a kind of striving.

Jason Dunda’s The Tower, shows a painstaking care to brushstroke and detail;  he shows us an impossible construction, cartoon-like with intricate pattern and color. The tower looks like it’s constructed with a variety of found and various two x fours. From far away, the tower looks believable. On closer inspection, however, one sees the individual pieces of the tower are not connected by any nail or screw. At best, they are dubious load-bearers. The Tower demands a degree of imaginative participation from the viewer, asking that one imagine it can be used. It also points to a natural desire to climb above one’s perspective. Towers are erected to see from a higher vantage, for protection or knowledge. When creating a tower, one also creates a point of vulnerability, a place from which one is easily seen. The Tower is self-reflexive, in this way, pointing to the art making process—the illusory potential of materials, the demand of viewer participation (via imagination/projection), the desire to communicate and or see something greater than oneself. Even, the vulnerability of imagination.

Devin King’s 2 squared + 4 = 8 samples sentences from different sources. He gathers these and reforms them onto a page, creating a poem, or a space, or a narrative. He borrows characters from the Gazette, “Hooper” for instance, is captured as he might have been in the Arctic, performing on stage. Splice that image together with Kathryn on the telephone curling the chord, or Victor Hugo’s proverbial octopus (what Hugo called “killjoys of the contemplator,”) to mixtapes and aggressive historicizing. King’s work actively lays out various examples of communication-attempts. By re-contextualizing them he disrupts the specific meaning of each original phrase. By creating a new surface with those phrases, the words become flat objects, the disjointed and intuitive narrative a spectral projection who’s meaning is ultimately subjective.

No Floe (2005), by Carmen Price, operates similarly, providing a space—revealing more than anything the work of an introspective process. The care of the graphite coloring, its texture, its soft mottled-ness—like fur almost—provides a means to measure time taken in the drawing’s completion. It seems almost like a landscape painted of a very particular inner space, one inaccessible to a larger audience beyond its present form, as a representation of that space, not a literal depiction of it. There are three distinct forms of mark-making or color that used. The first operates like a kind of wash, or pale blue sky. The ground is the graphite–a solid field of grey, textured by the directional lines its comprised by. Then too there is a floating overlay of triangular marks–these combine to read as a single structure, appearing in one sense like a floating iceberg. Yet her too, the combined meaning of these marks is projected, a result of the viewer making assumption, assuming even that each constituent family of mark making can be associated with the literal, physical world out the window. While the marriage is successful in composition, they could simply be doodles, a collection of found lines.

Iceberg is a soft sculpture by New York artist, Amanda Browder. In some way Browder creates a three-dimensional, tactile experience of what Price hints at in his drawing. Stitching one-dimensional fabric surfaces together, Browder creates a sense of depth, abstracted from the variant kinds of ice and surface that make up icebergs. Here too, she uses found, donated materials and the coalescent patterns, the gingham print on one facet of the structure, abutting the polyester pants-suit leg of another facet, topped with a crag of white stuffed animal fur, recontextualize mass-produced, factory materials into a singular object that mimics nature. Here too, the form points beneath itself, to the space it theoretically occupies underneath the floor, extending into the well-known metaphor that the tip of any given iceberg represents one tenth of its true size. Using this three-dimensional structure, Browder defines a phsyical space of abstraction. One which the viewer must then negotiate.

Deb Sokolow’s work creates a different kind of space for the viewer. While integrating text and images, she always uses the second person, teasing out paranoid fantasies. In this instance, however, she projects a specific relationship onto that viewer, controlling the viewer’s position by way of suggestion. “Is there a draft in the room?” she asks, imposing on you the role of Captain Parry. “Odd. There shouldn’t be.” Imposing on you again the beginnings of concern. Integrating historical events with rumor and suspicion, Sokolow builds a narrative as one might a house—composing her narrative around your head. It is as though she cannot be sure that you will understand her work as it might take place in her eyes. Instead, she controls what you see through your own eyes.

Rebecca Grady has a number of pieces in this exhibition. She made the framed grid at the bottom of the stairs. She also made the Arctic Map, where again, one sees the result of interpretation and fantasy projected onto an existing landscape—the earth. Her most curious piece is comprised of sheets of paper that hang straight down from a pipe parallel to the floor. The sheets curl under themselves. They are crinkled in places with devising topographies. It is likely the most cryptic piece in the show. The most demanding. And for all it’s simplicity, the most inaccessible. Here one must ask what the piece is asking; what the (art)maker is trying to communicate. A Fraction of an Instant Where Water and Human Ambition Collide creates a wall upon which we look, through which we cannot pass. It is constructed of usable material, material humanity can manipulate to express other things. And yet its largess, its emotional inexpressiveness is daunting. Reminiscent of sheets of ice or  a waterfall, the paper becomes a metaphor for natural elements beyond human control. The ice that locked Parry’s ships into a winter season of darkness.

Finally, Nick Butcher’s piece Grain Advance is a mirror replica of an original, vintage historic record. Butcher pours woodglue on the record, applies paper to the back and, when dry, the paper pulls the woodglue cast. That cast is then played. The sound is ghostly, full of pops and static. The needle gets stuck in tracks and loops over and over itself. Here too the meaning of the original record is lost. A shadow remains and that shadow creates a new audio space, one the viewer inhabits. The audio space, the way it repeats itself, is also a measure of time, whereby the repetition, the tireless monotony, influences our experience of progression. I always find myself imagining that the record is very old. I project myself into a past that presumably exists, in as much as the record is evidence of it. And yet. That record is false evidence. It has been fabricated.

Each piece reflects a process of making just as much as it reveals an earnest intention to communicate. We are here now, standing in an idiosyncratic space, in a part of the city generally overlooked by upwardly mobile denizens with annual subscriptions to the New Yorker. Nevertheless it is such bizarre and focused and marginalized activities as these that make life interesting. As a final note on communication, I thought I’d pull a quote that Devin sited during the book launch for the Gazette. At one point, Victor Hugo spoke to the ocean. Hugo asked it to write a piece of music that described itself for the flute. This is what it said, rapping on a table:

“Your flute pierced with little holes like the ass of a shitting brat disgusts me. Bring me an orchestra and I’ll make you a song. Take all the great noises, all the tumults, all the fracases, all the rages that float free in space, the morning breeze, the evening breeze, the wind of the night, the wind of the grave, storms, simoons, nor-easters that run their violent fingers through the hair of trees like desperate beings, rising tide on the beaches, rivers plunging into seas, cataracts, waterpouts, vomitings of the enormous breast of the world, what lions roar, what elephants bellow with their trunks, what impregnable snakes hiss in their convolutions, what whales low through their humid nostrils, what mastodons pant in the entrails of the earth, what the horses of the sun neigh in the depths of the sky, what the entire menagerie of the wind thunders in its aerial cages, what insults fire and water throw at each other, one from the bottom of his volcanic yap the other from the bottom of his abysmal yap, and tell me: here is your orchestra—make harmony from this din, make love from these hates, make peace from these battle, be the maestro of that which has no master.”

Installation Video

February 5, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

Fluxspace Card!

February 3, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

check it out!

image by Deb Sokolow

polarsketch by rebecca grady

posted by caroline picard

Remember how we went to AS220 with “Isolated Fictions?” Now we’re taking the North Georgia Gazette to Philadelphia! The following artists are going to be in a group show based on the book. You can go here to get a copy!

Isolated Fictions FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

featuring the work of Amanda Browder, Nick Butcher, Jason Dunda,

Rebecca Grady, Devin King, Carmen Price & Deb Sokolow

Exhibition Dates: February 6 – March 6, 2010

Opening Reception: February 6, 2010, 7 – 10 pm

Gallery Hours: Saturdays 12 – 4 pm or by appointment

FLUXspace is pleased to present Isolated Fictions, a group exhibition featuring work by Amanda Browder, Nick Butcher, Jason Dunda, Rebecca Grady, and Deb Sokolow, and curated by Caroline Picard, Founding Director of Green Lantern Gallery & Press (Chicago, IL). Isolated Fictions is an Independent Project of Philagrafika 2010, Philadelphia’s international festival celebrating print in contemporary art. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on February 6, 2010 from 7 – 10 pm. In conjunction with the exhibition, FLUXspace will also host a temporary reading room in the gallery and launch a new project, the yet-to-be-named archive.

About 200 years ago, a fleet of English ships got stuck in the Arctic ice for a year. Their Captain had them run up canvas, covering the ships’ masts. They battened the hatches, so to speak, and watched as the sun set for winter’s entirety, waiting with unimaginable patience for spring. They waited for their passage home to melt. Under Captain Parry’s orders, the fleet printed a newspaper: the entries of which were solicited from the men on deck, under the condition that nothing depressing be published. These men also put on plays.

Chicago’s Green Lantern Press is proud to announce the re-release of this manuscript, The North Georgia Gazette. Touring the country along with this book is a group exhibition, Isolated Fictions, featuring contemporary artists from the publication. The book has been published in an edition of 250 with original silk-screen covers and features excerpts from the Captain’s Journal, the newspaper in its entirety, an essay by contemporary Arctic explorer John Huston, end notes by transcriber/poet Lily Robert-Foley, original artwork by Daniel Anhorn, Jason Dunda, Rebecca Grady, and Deb Sokolow, and a limited edition 7″ record by Nick Butcher. The North Georgia Gazette will be available at FLUXspace for $30.

Isolated Fictions features works on paper by Deb Sokolow that address the second person, incorporating that viewer into the Arctic landscape; large gouache paintings of impossible wood towers by Jason Dunda that parallel the newspaper’s impossible success; maps of the Arctic, as well as a sculpture of an ice floe by Rebecca Grady; and a 7” record made of wood glue by Nick Butcher that plays on repeat.

The Newspaper itself functions as a metaphor for an inherent aspect of humanity: whether the Arctic is a devastating place, or a place wild with imagination and longing, it represents the unknown. That unknown can exist in the world, between neighboring communities. But often that unknown space is within oneself, and though it is essential to try and communicate those territories—to study them and map them out, they maintain a mysterious ground. And it is in the failure of exposing everything, or knowing everything, that we accomplish great heights of beauty.

In conjunction with Isolated Fictions, there will also be a reading room in the gallery space; books, magazines, newspapers, and a variety of printed ephemera will be on display and available for perusal. The reading room will be part of a new project at FLUXspace, the yet-to-be-named archive, which aims to collect printed documents from Philadelphia’s visual art scene, and also books and magazines of general interest.  We hope to build this archive over time and would welcome submissions from other art spaces. Materials included in the archive thus far: Arts Exchange, Green Lantern Press, machete, Megawords, New Art Examiner, and various Philadelphia exhibition postcards and printed materials.

**********

Caroline Picard is the Founding Director of The Green Lantern Gallery & Press, and a Co-Editor for the literary podcast The Parlor (www.theparlorreads.com). Her writing has been published in a handful of publications including the Philadelphia Independent, NewCity, Ampersand Review, MAKE Magazine, the Chicago Art Journal Review, and Proximity Magazine. Twice a year she meets with a performance group and records improvised music under the collective alias Thee Iran Contras. She continues to paint and exhibit her visual work.

Born in Missoula, MT in 1976, Amanda Browder currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Amanda received her MFA/MA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2001, and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2001-07. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at the Nakaochiai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Lothringer 14, Munich, Germany; White Columns, New York; Mixture Contemporary Gallery, Houston, TX; The Missoula Museum of the Arts, Missoula, MT; Gallery 400-UIC, and The Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL. She is also a founding member of the art-podcast: http://www.badatsports.com.

Nick Butcher is an artist and musician living in Chicago, IL. Since the summer of 2006, Butcher has run a studio space/printshop with Nadine Nakanishi called Sonnenzimmer. While the focus is poster design and printing, they also host exhibitions and art events. Recently, Butcher completed a solo-album called “Bee Removal.”

Jason Dunda received his BA in Fine Arts from York University, Toronto and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently lives and works in Chicago. Jason has previously exhibited in Toronto and Chicago.

Rebecca Grady is a Chicagoan by way of Alaska and Maine. When she was too little to walk, she was pulled around on a sled by a German Shepherd called Namer. When she grows up she wants to be a sailor. Meanwhile, she is an MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also teaches drawing. Mini comics, mix tapes, tropical storms and more can be found on her website: http://www.rubaccaquon.com.

Devin King is an artist who lives and works in Chicago, IL. Using text, music and performance as a coalescent medium, King has performed a variety of one-man operas, including most recently “Hadyn’s Head and Madame X,” as part of The 2010 Rhinoceros Festival. His long poem, CLOPS. is due out spring of 2010 with the Green Lantern Press.

Carmen Price’s work creates new relationships between familiar visual elements to express joy in contemporary culture. His celebratory drawings use personal symbolism and a strong faith in the accidental to form occasionally narrative and often confusing scenes. Originally from Kansas City, MO, Carmen Price currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.

Deb Sokolow’s recent projects include site-specific installations at the Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO and at Inova [Institute of Visual Arts] in Milwaukee, WI. She is an Illinois Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship recipient, and her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL. Sokolow received her MFA in 2004 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.

The Green Lantern Gallery & Press is a 501(c)3 non-profit gallery and paperback press dedicated to the study, presentation, and archive of contemporary art practice. Because we believe that independent cultural production and idiosyncratic effort is the fount for meaning and friendship, The Green Lantern also hosts monthly art exhibitions for emerging artists and publishes limited-edition books by new or forgotten writers who are making significant contributions to today’s cultural landscape. With a focus on the visual arts, The Green Lantern establishes paths of accessibility between the work and its audience by contextualizing its events through writing, a literary reading series – The Parlor, video, performance and music. For more information please visit http://www.thegreenlantern.org.

FLUXspace is a Philadelphia based 501(c)3 contemporary arts space which provides artists, curators, and instigators the opportunity for unrestricted and uncensored experimentation, professional presentation, and critical dialogue for the purpose of exploring and creating new art practices and media.  FLUX consists of an exhibition space, an artist residency program, as well as public programming including artist lectures, panel discussions, workshops, movie nights and performances.

posted by Caroline Picard

Just because we don’t have a location doesn’t mean we’re giving up! (In fact we’re releasing a record number of books this fall. Seven. That’s right. We’re putting out seven super fantastic books and if you want to see what’s coming up, you can go here.) But more to the point:

The Green Lantern Press is proud to announce the release of THE NORTH GEORGIA GAZETTE  at The Whistler on Tuesday September 1st 2009 at 8pm. And, on Thursday September 3rd at 6pm at 57th Street Books.


gazette press copy cover
The Whistler: located at: 2421 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647-2627 (773) 227-3530
Arctic Explorer John Huston will give a 30 minute presentation about his latest (unassisted) expedition through the North West Passage followed by  readings from the Gazette by poet/transcriber Lily Robert-Foley and resident performer Basia Kapolka. After that, Devin King and Michael Thibault will collaborate on a reading/musical performance responding to the Gazette. “Home-made electrical musician” Nick Butcher of Sonnenzimmer and bassist/clarinet player Jason Stein will close the evening with an original music performance. This event is Free. Books will be available for purchase at a discount. (See prices/publication description below).

At 57th Street Books is located down in Hyde Park at: 1301 E 57th St,  Chicago, IL 60637-1724 (773) 684-1300. On  Thursday September 3rd at 6pm there will be a mellower evening where the audience is encouraged to ask any and all questions. Here again, Lily Robert-Foley will read alongside Caroline Picard with a Q&A to follow. This event is free.

The North Georgia Gazette is an original newspaper from 1821 published by a fleet of sailors trapped in the Arctic for eight months of darkness. In order to ward off scurvy, their Captain Parry insisted they put on plays for one another and keep a newspaper featuring only happy news. Re-released by The Green Lantern Press, our new edition features excerpts from the Captain’s Journal, the newspaper in its entire, an essay by contemporary Arctic explorer John Huston, end notes by transcriber/poet Lily Robert-Foley and original artwork by Daniel Anhorn, Jason Dunda, Rebecca Grady, and Deb Sokolow. This book was printed in an edition of 250 with original silk screen covers, a limited edition 7″ record by Nick Butcher and is available for $30. Advance copies for sale now. Books will be available at both venues for a discounted price of $25.

BIOS & Links:

http://www.forwardexpeditions.com/ (john huston)
http://www.katharinemulherin.com/dynamic/artist.asp?ArtistID=27&Count=0 (jason dunda)
http://danielanhorn.com/home.html (daniel anhorn)
http://debsokolow.com/home.html (deb sokolow)
http://www.rubaccaquon.com/ (rebecca grady)
http://www.programmablepress.com/jan08/nickbutcher.html (nick butcher)

Lily Robert-Foley writes plays, teaches piano and makes radical linguistic translation devices known as machines. Her work has and will have appeared in bathhouse, digital artifact, viviparous blenny and Omni a Vanitas. She is also the author of 12 Graphemachines, forthcoming as part of Xeroxial Edition’s Xerolage series.

Basia Kapolka is an actor, writer and director living in Chicago. Most recently she wrote and directed Jinx, a play based on the novel by Theophile Gautier at Act One Studios. She is also the Green Lantern’s resident actor.

A philologist with a heart of gold, Devin King writes about pop music for The Boston Phoenix, teaches poetry to young adults, and probably listens to too many showtunes and too much bubblegum pop. His serial-opera Dancing Young Men From HIgh Windows can be seen bouncing monthly from gallery to gallery in Chicago and his long poem, CLOPS, will be out from the Green Lantern Press in fall 2009.

Michael Thibault is a time-based artist, painter and curator.  A solo show of his video work entitled Love’s Secret Domain will be shown in New York in the spring of 2010.  Michael will debut his new, yet-to-be-named gallery space in Chicago’s Humbolt Park in the fall of 2009.  He is also a member of the bands Silk Stalkings, Pleasure Principle, and The Paradise Spell.

THE GAZETTE IS GOING ON TOUR!
A travelling exhibition featuring a handful of artist included in the publication are scheduled to exhibit at AS220 in Providence Rhode Island, this Oct/Nov & at fluxSPACE in Philadephia this February. Additional information available.