Witches of Bushwick:
Kick In The Door
May 3 – June 1, 2015
An interdisciplinary group exhibition showcasing new works by seven female artists-in-residence, the exhibition is the culmination of the WITCHES Artist Residency at Mana, a three-month collaboration with the Brooklyn-based creative collective and the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation (ESKFF).
Mana Contemporary and the Witches of Bushwick are pleased to present Kick In The Door, featuring Meriem Bennani, The House of ia, Monica Mirabile, Jesse Moretti, Minka Sicklinger, Anne Vieux, and Lilly Walden. The dual-gallery exhibition will be held on Mana’s first floor and features new work the artists created onsite during the residency, including a wide variety of media such as film, installation, performance, and visual art.
Each artist varies in perspective and style, and presented collectively, the works explore our immediate present, reveal evolving considerations of contemporary art, and challenge current notions of art and gender.
Meriem Bennani presents 3 episodes from a reality TV show documenting the life of Fardaous Funjab, the avant-garde Moroccan Hijab designer. In 2014, Bennani spent two months filming moments of the designer's life. Bennani watched her explore creative solutions for eyebrow underlining, tan through a mesh swimsuit and play mini golf in a hijab themed course. The project explores the encounter of fashion and religion with a focus on the aesthetics of sexuality/sexiness in a contemporary Muslim context. Bennani is interested in reappropriating tropes and questioning systems of representation through a strategy of magical realism and humor as an unreliable pacifier.
The House of ia is the collaborative works of Jillayne Hunter and kb Thomason. Their installation will actualize their most ambitious iteration of their ‘HUMANS PROJECT,’ a two-year conversation, research series, and experiential inquiry probing sociologically upheld ways of being creators in an ever-evolving post-modern culture. Performance artists will be on display as a living installation and commentary on the relationship between the human body and a commodifiable (disembodied, techno-centric) approach to life and art.
Monica Mirabile’s performance art addresses themes of technology, sensuality and control. Mirabile presents SubDerivatives: FADED, a social choreography in which the hypnosis of culture compels the body to nod between control and lack of control. The drug induced body produces the synonymous glitch of a technologically dramatic everyday. Exploring the physical action of temporal existence within a subconscious escape, the house and the body become a marketed comfort. Spirituality in a middle American, drug-minded worldview is constructed as a 3D “home” hypnotized by a soundscape collaboratively produced by Sigrid Lauren with sample by Cloaking.
Jesse Moretti uses illusionistic techniques to play with the space between flatness and dimensionality in her vibrant, geometric abstractions. Large strokes, saturated gradients and hard edges characterize Moretti’s paintings, prints, and sculptures. She draws on aesthetics associated with op-art, graphic design, and digital manipulation tools. According to Moretti, her cast of floating, colliding forms reference “architecture, landscape, design and myth, reimagining them to become something other,” as she has said “I am interested in how historical reference may collapse into the present and create a proposition towards and alternate conception of cultural objects.” Moretti will be debuting three spray pieces.
Minka Sicklinger weaves ritual and ceremony into the narratives of her work. Sicklinger presents stunning large-scale paintings made from acrylic, oil, gilding paste, ink, shellac, and brass created by utilizing her entire body. She complements these works with a series of hanging chrysalis sculptures glowing internally “with the light of transformation and rebirth.”
Anne Vieux works with light as an effect, process, and image, fluctuating between flat and dimensional. She presents layered prints on plastic and fabric which pursue a techy minimalist re-enchantment of space. Additionally, her installations become abstract esoteric zones using frames and video to delineate space. Columns made from lenses placed on low-rise plinths simultaneously evoke the permanence of architectural space and become ethereal in their transparent distortion.
Lilly Walden is an environmental consultant specializing in corporate interiors. She helps create serene environments ideal for maximizing productivity. Her paintings have been described as “breathing” and “capable of producing energetic environments”.
WITCHES is a creative agency based in Bushwick, NY, specializing in event production and creative management. By providing platforms for emerging artists and creatives to explore their voice through multiple mediums and projects, WITCHES creates sustainable systems for artists to work within.