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Artists Space: The New Normal | Christa Blatchford: See Around | Local River - 25 Apr 2008 to 21 June 2008

Current Exhibition

25 Apr 2008 to 21 June 2008
Opening Reception: Friday, April 25, 6-8pm
Artists Space
38 Greene St, 3rd Floor
NY 10013
New York, NY
New York
North America
p: +1 212.226.3970

Ezawa, Home Video II, 2007 (video still)
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Artists in this exhibition: Sophie Calle, Mohamed Camara, Hasan Elahi, Eyebeam R & D/Jonah Peretti & Michael Frumin, Kota Ezawa, Miranda July & Harrell Fletcher, Guthrie Lonergan, Jill Magid, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Trevor Paglen, Corinna Schnitt, Thomson & Craighead, Sharif Waked, Christa Blatchford, Mathieu Lehanneur, Anthony van den Bossche

MAIN SPACE: The New Normal

Curated by Michael Connor
Co-organized with iCI (Independent Curators International)

With works by: Sophie Calle, Mohamed Camara, Hasan Elahi, Eyebeam R & D/Jonah Peretti & Michael Frumin, Kota Ezawa, Miranda July & Harrell Fletcher, Guthrie Lonergan, Jill Magid, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Trevor Paglen, Corinna Schnitt, Thomson & Craighead, Sharif Waked

The New Normal brings together thirteen recent artworks that use private information as raw material and subject matter. The concept of privacy, though widely invoked, is difficult to define. The private sphere encompasses domestic spaces, bodies, thoughts, communications, and behaviors—contexts that are usually rendered inaccessible to the public eye by legal, social, and physical boundaries. The practices that demarcate the private sphere are so much a part of the fabric of everyday life—wearing clothing, politely pretending not to overhear a cell-phone conversation— that they only become noticeable when they shift, making the private sphere visible to the public eye. Privacy, to put it bluntly, captures our attention only when it is under threat.

In the wake of 9/11, the specter of terrorism was used to justify increased collection and sharing of personal data by governments around the world. This time of heightened surveillance, characterized by luggage searches, Internet monitoring, and wiretaps, was dubbed "the new normal" by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.

The spread of social technology has affected privacy no less profoundly. With the rise of online commerce, many banks and retailers have developed sophisticated methods of tracking and studying the behavior of consumers, while increased use of the Internet has created new platforms for voluntary self-disclosure, from blogs to MySpace. Private information has never been less private, as evinced by Kota Ezawa's Home Video II, made from "leaked" video files of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's honeymoon,widely available on the Web. Each of the works in The New Normal—video, Web sites, sculpture, artist's books, found objects, and photographs—grants access to the private sphere of the artists themselves, of strangers, and of public officials. Overall, the exhibition creates a sense that access to private information is a kind of currency, the exchange of which is growing and evolving in bewildering ways. We may find it frightening or fascinating, but we are all inescapably complicit in it.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue co-published with Independent Curators International, with essays by Michael Connor, Clay Shirky and Marisa Olson.

Christa Blatchford: See Around

Curated by Meredith Johnson

Brooklyn-based artist Christa Blatchford explores the perceptual and physical conditions of seeing, translating location through personal and sensory reference. By focusing on her subject with an extended gaze, and slightly altering fragments frame by frame, she draws attention to elements normally passed over by the quick encounter.

In See Around, a four-channel video installation, Blatchford examines the boundaries of place. Isolating herself for periods of time on an island, her prolonged view envelopes the viewer in four fragments. Constructed walls reflect the impromptu structures that exist on the island, shelters that provide an intimate vantage point to visually navigate the surrounding landscape. The installation extends the psychological relationships in the film to the physical terrain, and the artist’s subtle manipulation of the perception of time, light, and location.

Born and raised in New England, Christa Blatchford is a video artist that examines perception through the study of object, place, and personal experience. Her work has been included in a number of group exhibitions in New York, Boston, and Cape Cod. Blatchford completed her MFA in Combined Media at Hunter College in 2005. She recently taught digital media at Hunter College and is currently conducting seminars around New York State for the New York Foundation for the Arts. This is Blatchford's first solo exhibition in New York.

Mathieu Lehanneur in collaboration with Anthony van den Bossche: Local River

Curated by Alexandra Midal

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