What is the difference between erotic art and pornography; and why is it that the change of medium changes perspective?
These are questions Los Angeles based photographer Rowan Metzner is presenting in her latest photography book collection, Erotic Masters:A Photographic Exploration of the Provocative Works of Rodin, Schiele and Picasso, a collection of photographic representations of erotic works by modern masters Rodin, Schiele and Picasso. Each scene is photographed as if the original artists had done so themselves, inviting the viewer to contemplate the ultimate question: is photographed erotic art viewed as pornography?
We are announcing Tribes 2.0: Live from Steve's Couch ---as a way to keep the old Tribes spirit alive -- and keep a flow of new energy into the 6th St space. So Gander TV put in a camera and mic in 6th St for us.
The working dynamic here is that since Steve left 3rd St and the open door, every night a performance policy there, there has not been the kind of flow-through energy that sustained him and Tribes for a couple of decades. This is an attempt to find a way to find some new Tribes energy, to enter the digital world, and to have some fun with art.
You don't need to do anything different than what you always do here at Tribes, shoot the shit, heckle and read to the blind guy. The only thing that will be different is it'll be taped for people to watch live! (And there will be future events which we are in process of developing)
We will be setting up times and dates for people who want to participate. If you're interested please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Friends of Steve Cannon: A Evening of Poetry and Jazz In Celebration of A Gathering of the Tribes & An Incredible Man A National Poetry / Jazz Appreciation Month Benefit for A Gathering of the Tribes
Hosted by Mariposa, Frank Perez & Sheila Maldonado
Featuring: Jesus-Papoleto Melendez, Melanie M. Goodreaux-Fielder,Stephanie Agosto, Dusty Rhodes, Ron Kolm, Danny Shot, Tsaurah Litzky, Bonafide Rojas, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Patricia Spears Jones, Paul Beatty, Eve Packer, David Henderson,Bob Holman, Sophie Malleret, Bonny Finberg, Howard Pflanzer, John Farris, Willie Perdomo, Anyssa Kim, Jill Rapaport, Thaddeus Rutkowski and others
Wed, April 23, 2014 @ The Nuyorican Poets Cafe 236 E. 3rd St. (Pedro Pietri Way) Bet Aves. B & C http://www.nuyorican.org/
Doors open 5:30pm Show 6pm - 9pm
ADMISSION: $20 at the door / $15 in Advance Students & Seniors $10
"Come hell or high water, Tribes will exist." - Steve Cannon
For more info: http://www.tribes.org/web/
Photographs Merging Urban Landscapes and Humanity: Fine Art Photography From a Joint Exhibition @ A Gathering of the Tribes
February 8 - 15, 2014
The highly energized yet, at times, startlingly tranquil exhibition of art photography by native New York photographer, Eugene Hyon, organizer and curator at A Gathering of the Tribes on East 3rd Street in Manhattan, was an original artist's view of urbanites and cityscapes not to be missed. The gallery show entitled, Urban Landscape and People: A Symbiosis of Nature and Culture, was a joint showing of recent works by him and Multimedia Artist, Musician and Professor of Fine Arts, Pilar Viviente of the University Miguel Hernandez, Altea, Valencia, Spain. Included in the week-long exhibition were art-evoked poetry recitals by Howard Pflanzer and Helen Peterson. There were also piano improvisations by Prof. Viviente and Richard Clements, enriched by the art.
Artistic and Photographic Styles and Methods of Exhibitors
In her abstract multimedia art works, Viviente strongly projects the message, "Save Nature, Save Culture!" She reveals the symbiotic relationship between the two as primary factors supporting humankind's reliance on both nature and culture in building a healthful, functional and rewarding urban habitat. Starting from stacked constructions of books and CD cases as model city scenes, she creates the familiar dynamics of brightly lit skyscrapers against dense night darkness. With touches of color, she adds sparks of light to the ebony sky, and in some paintings, an over-glaze of translucent brush-strokes of color to lend a Zen-like mystique of reassuring continuity.
In sharp but pleasing contrast to her style, Hyon magnifies, demystifies and dramatizes the organic, pliable balances that underlie the urban environmental core and humanity. By combining three distinctive modes of understanding and focus through his lens─spiritual, poetic and painterly, he artfully guides his viewers to a realization of these balances against the characteristic, somewhat predictable background of city buildings. Yet through his unique lens and vision, nothing is quite predictable or totally definable, and this is what makes his photographs at once arresting and reassuring.
Within his compositions, there is an outward appearance of simplicity, but after a deeper look are layers of subtle complexity that interplay with blatent verity in areas of seemingly opaque mystery. By means of these creative balances and layers of death, destruction, decay, vibrant energy, vitality and extreme beauty, he very astutely and artistically shows us specific aspects of the totality of the active urban lifestyle, death mode, and the stages of existence and experience among them all. We find ourselves absorbed and fascinated by these facets depicted, minus any tendency toward hesitancy or avoidance of viewing even the most destructive or disparaging scenes. We delight in the lighter moments and grieve with or ponder on the darker ones. As a highly accomplished artist, photographer and philosopher, he is able to guide viewers of his works through the complete essence and embodiment of each moment in time, human experience and artistic vision that he captures and conveys.
Eugene Hyon’s Artistic Journey Traced
Hyon’s personal involvement with photography began in the late 1960s, working with his father who was an independent commercial black and white darkroom/studio photographer focusing mainly on fashion, industrial and commercial subjects in New York City. Quoting from him, "There is 'magic' in having a photographic idea and letting it materialize, then doing as many different things with it. I have watched as this transformative process took on a life of its own."
When discussing his art photography, he states, "My work has been described by others as down-to-earth, intimate, mysterious, evocative and visionary. No matter the description, I seek to turn the everyday experience into an extraordinary 'non-ephemeral' moment from the very things that others take for granted." He works with black and white, because it clearly communicates the barest essence of the idiosyncrasies and attributes of our environment and is most suitable for depicting nostalgia. He explains that use of color grasps and concisely conveys instants in the "here and now" modern surroundings.
His art photography has been substantially influenced by the late 19th and early 20th Century photographic works of Eugene Atget, Berenice Abbott, Andre Kertesz, Paul Strand, and Irving Penn. Additional interests of his include living as an integral part of nature and traveling to distant destinations, preferably on the fringes of society.
Hyon’s Individual Art Photography Works on Display
His works of art photography speak to us on different levels. For example, in his fine art photographs entitled, Beard Street Slip and Beard Street Slip II, the use of sepia toning lends a touch of history and nostalgic warmth to the still, deserted scenes of factory buildings and open structures in Brooklyn built around the 19th Century behind empty boats moored at the weathered dock. What is especially evident is that the subtlety of the sepia tones in both works elevate unpretentious, ordinary and true-to-life scenes to classical levels of composition and proportion, as well as evoke by-gone days. The viewers are transported into an alternate reality that looks back in time without having to leave the present. If one looks closely within the photographs, there are only contemporary boats and cars along the docks and streets.
In the stark reality of the scene depicted in Mannequin on Van Brunt, the damaged yet stylish legs of a discarded mannequin dangle over the edge of a large industrial garbage bin. On one level, these legs, though mud or blood-stained and grotesque in their embodiment of a life roughly lost, hint at a previous lifestyle of posed elegance and beauty. Since the torso, head and arms are not visible, this former figure and existence may compel the viewer to imagine horrors underneath the pile of refuse. On a second level, the whole picture takes on a completely surreal vision with half a woman's figure left dangling off the side of the boat. The third level deals with the actual context, which is the collection of damaged commercial artifacts inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.
In Sunken Taxis, a large fleet of yellow city cabs lies dormant and half-submerged in a flooded parking lot. Their yellow exteriors are offset by the dark murkiness of the rising water engulfing them. With a wide-angle lens, the diamond-like geometry of the grouping of taxis is exaggerated almost to the point of saying that even in state of being engulfed during a super storm like Hurricane Sandy, order somehow survives disruption and chaos. This makes one think that there still might be hope for society and culture in the face of ever more destructive and uncontrollable floods of the urban landscape created by Global Warming.
In Cooling Off On Milton Street, a young man and woman in swimsuits enjoy the cool, forceful spray of water from an opened fire hydrant on a hot day in a city neighborhood. Water, which is a theme that runs throughout the entire exhibition, is seen here in it's benevolent and most controlled form, completely in the service of humanity for pleasure. In the background, the orange and white cylindrical warning barriers surrounding a parked heavy construction vehicle typify the constant mix of different residential and commercial/industrial environments, accessories and attitudes in city environments. The human spirit, culture and social interaction are a reflection of the natural world, even if that natural world manifests itself in an urban environment. Humanity shapes itself around the urban landscape as much as the urban landscape shapes humanity.
Greenpoint Welcome shows the large, nearly street-to-rooftop sign on the side of an urban building. Of prominence are the expansive block letters "BK" for "Brooklyn." They are a curiosity, because of the difficulty in determining whether the ghoulish graffiti lettering was the original work of the artist or added by passersby afterward, as well as strangely reminiscent of European political propaganda posters of the 1930s. The three figures rushing off with a baby-in-stroller down the sidewalk bring a sense of normalcy to the overall scene.
In the art photography displayed in this exhibition, Hyon has definitely transformed ordinary objects, scenes and experiences into bigger than life, non-ephemeral time segments. With his choice of subject matter that is often overlooked or taken for granted by others, he artfully applies his unique spiritual, poetic and painterly perspectives to focus his lens. The result is a visionary's diversified and complex, yet direct and concisely dynamic art photography. The intimate and warm humanistic qualities of urban life merge with its stark, bold and often harsh realities. With artistic expertise, he captures the very heart of the commercial-industrial impact on city dwellers and environments in subtle sepia, honest black and white or playful, emotional and infinite gradations of color.
Eugene Hyon's link: http://about.me/eugenehyon/#
Eugene Hyon, photographer, writer and collaborator with Ellen Gilmer. Ellen Gilmer, writer, Culture & Art section, IMPress/International Press Association Publication, an online magazine. Article published March 6, 2014.
10 March 2014
Beloved Wordsmith and Living Treasure Honored
“Steve Cannon is the only admittedly blind gallery owner in New York City, as well as the only Paid Heckler in town,” says Dean of the Scene Bob Holman, founder/proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club and board member of HOWL!. “When you walk into his gallery aka his living room, you know this is the secret portal to the real Art World—as open, creative, wild, and outside the establishment as it's been since the days of the Beat poets and Abstract Expressionist painters.”
But as the neighborhood changes, artists and creative spaces are being displaced by rising rents and gentrification. “This is a call to arms,” says Holman, as Mr. Cannon is being threatened with eviction from his residence and Tribes as an incubator of visual and performing artists may be shuttered. To help out, contact Tribes Here.
Tribes was conceived as a venue for underexposed artists, as well as a networking center and locus for the development of new talent. The formation of Tribes was motivated by the thriving artistic community in and around the Lower East Side: poetry at The Nuyorican Poets Café; performances and plays at the Living Theater; activist art at Bullet Space; as well as hundreds of artists trying to find and develop a voice in their medium and a place in which their work might be appreciated. Housed in a historic federal house built by the founder of The Nation magazine, (Hamilton Fish), Tribes is located on East 3rd Street between Avenues C and D.
About HOWL! Festival
Founded “to lionize, preserve, and advance the art, history, culture, and counterculture unique to the East Village and Lower East Side,” the HOWL! Festival is a call to arms across time and boundaries of culture, taste, and creative expression. Named the Village Voice’s Best Outdoor Festival, HOWL! Festival is the quintessential community event celebrating the history and creativity of the EV/LES. The spirit of Allen Ginsberg comes alive as more than 350 artists, poets, and performers, including youthful new talent, transform the Park into a participatory artwork infused with the creative energy, flamboyance, and panache that’s the hallmark of the neighborhood. A three-ring circus of wonderment and amusement, HOWL! Festival is entirely FREE. Signature Events include:
• The Great HOWL! OUT LOUD Kids Carnival
• Art Around the Park and Kids Around the Park
• The group reading of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl
• Riki Colon’s Men in Skirts
• Chi Chi Valenti and Johnny Dynell’s Low Life 8
• Soap Box Poets
• The Beatification Station featuring dance and theater
• And continuous performances on the Main and Kids Stages
X X X X X
Tribes Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of John Milisenda’s photography
Show “Metonym”, a personal symbolic portrait of American Culture spanning more than thirty years. Random images include a girl playing Nintendo in a darkened room, a rocket sculpture from the 1964 world’s fair, a parking lot full of golden school buses.
John Milisenda has taught photography at Drexel University, The New School
and Parsons School of design. His work is in the Bibliothèque nationale and the Museum of modern Art. He has been in over 125 shows, both here and abroad, and he is currently offering a workshop class at Tribes Gallery on “Photoshop Imaging”.
Shirin Neshat is one of the leading contemporary artists in the world. She was born in 1957 in Iran. In 1974 she moved to the United States where studied art at the University of Berkeley. The Islamic revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeiny had introduced many changes into the Persian society which fell under the yoke of the Fundamentalists. All the liberties were restricted, the moral rigour was imposed and the condition of women worsened. It was only in 1990 that Shirin Neshat was able to return to her native ground- what really shocked there was the dramatic evolution of the situation of women. A recipient of many international awards, she began a series of photos called Unveiling in 1993. For these self-portraits, she wore the chador and exposed only body parts (eyes, hands, feet) which women are allowed to reveal in public according to the Islamic Law. Neshat wrote on the surfaces of the photographs, covering the exposed parts of the female bodies with Farsi script. Soonafter, in 1997 she began her video creations while continuing with her photography. Primarily inspired by the great Persian tradition and culture, Neshat shows the foresmost interest for the universal approach to concepts of society, identity, asylum, refuge and utopia.In her recent work which we were lucky to see at “Jerome Denoirmont” gallery in Paris this past spring, Neshat took a more cinematographic approach to her work – the bold metaphorical imagery of her early films and videos has given way to a more narrative approach bringing in the current dialectics of the binary oppositions such as man/woman, east/west, and oppressor/oppressed. Her recent work has drawn its inspiration from Women Without Men, a novel by the Iranian author Shahrnush Parsipur which describes the lives of 5 Iranian women who lived through the history of the CIA's regime in Iran, supported by the Pahlavi royal family. Through the exploit of the themes which she had already explored in photography and video, Neshat gave us her reinterpretation of the Parsipur's novel in a double-sided project which encompases cinema and art. There is a feature film, shot in Morocco, due to be released in 2008 along with 5 videos depicting the lives of these five women during the summer of 1953. As her name in Persian means “sweet” and cultured, we were not surprised to find her answers open and responsive to the media while interviewing her at Gallery Denoirmont in Paris last spring. Question: Shirin, are you a feminist, in the largest sense of that word? Yes and No. Yes, because I’ve devoted my entire body of work to the subjects relating to women. I believe in the female power in emotional, intellectual and biological terms. No, because I’ve always fallen shy of claiming to be ‘feminist’ because at least in my culture, it has a very concrete meaning, seemingly someone who is involved in an organized movement, something that I don’t belong to and have no interest in.
QUESTION: What idea made you create 5 videos dealing with Persian women such as Mahdokht, Zarin, Munis and Faezeh? When I began to re-adapt the novel of “Women Without Men” written by Iranian author Shahrnush Parsipur, into a feature length film, which essentially evolved around 5 female characters; I knew that I would develop an art component of this project. I quickly became interested in making a series of short videos that related to each one of the five female characters. I was very interested in how in a museum or gallery setting the audience could walk from room to room, visiting each women and at the end, they could put the story together. The audience in a way becomes the editor of the film, in the way that they could put the puzzle together. This approach indeed was very different than a film made for a theatre setting where the audience is quite passive seated and the narrative is linear. So at the end I managed to make the five installations and have just finished the feature too.
Question: You left your original country a long time ago. How do you relate to the images of these women now, when the Persian reality is so far away from you. How do you connect? This film of course takes place in 1953 before I was born, so it does not directly reflect the life that I experienced in Iran. But of course each woman in one way or another symbolically embodies obsessions, issues and problems that has continued to this date to haunt Iranian women, whether stemming from religion, political reality, sexual taboos.
Question: What made you draw, make photography, create art in your life to begin with? Do you remember your earliest stages of interest? Art has been a wonderful escape from the banality of everyday life and more so a way to find a meaningful engagement with life and people around me. My life since active as an artist has been an exciting one, not always easy but wonderfully full and adventurous. Also, for me making art is a way to face my own emotions and anxieties. I consider my first serious attempt in art began in 1993 with the “Women of Allah” series, a group of work that brought me back to my home country, if not geographically, spiritually and emotionally.
Question: I almost called you "female Jean Luc Godard"...What draws you towards film and video as medium, and - do you prefer that medium to painting, sculpture ? And if yes, why so? I’m very touched by what you say! Of course I don’t believe I deserve it! I developed a love affair with the moving image back in 1993, with my first video attempt for a small gallery show at Franklin Furnace. There is strong potential of poetics in this medium that I don’t believe is as tangible through mediums of painting and sculpture. At least I found myself right at home with video and film.
Question: What are its advantages and what are the limitations of these media (such as video, film) for you? For one thing with film and video, an artist can incorporate elements of photography, painting and sculpture by the way she or he visually constructs the picture. More so, with film one can be a story teller, and can experiment with music, sound, choreography, performance, and more. As for myself, making videos and films have become an incredibly challenging and ambitious creative experiences. The limitations are that the process is often tedious and complex as it takes a lot of preparation and organization, so it’s not as spontaneous as medium like painting, where you can simply pick up your brush and paint. Furthermore, once you begin to experiment with the language of cinema, one has no choice but to gain the tools, by studying its tools, and history.
Question: How do you chose your subject and themes in your work? Do you search for them or they come to you? It changes from time to time, but most often my ideas are inspired by literature that I read by various authors. Otherwise, there are times that I become obsessed with certain themes, often existential ones which eventually find their way into my art.
Question: Given the fact that your subject is often political (social commentary etc), Would you call yourself an "engagé"? I am not sure exactly how you use this term, but if I understand it right, the question is how engaged I feel in relation to the socio- political subjects of my work. The answer would be that, I feel extremely connected to all the topics that I depict, as they are all topics that have and continue to effect my personal life. Sometimes I see myself as an activist, not the type who marches into the streets but one that is constantly preoccupied by political issues and is quietly confronting them by engaging in the community.
Question: A committed artist or just a human being who observes injustice? How do you see your work? I see my art as a vehicle for dialogue and this is something I take very seriously. The subversive nature of my art is often my form of objection against any social and political injustice, in particular in relation to my own country. Of course, I can’t help but express myself not in the form of propaganda but in the form of poetry and aesthetic.
Question: What's the situation like in the American contemporary art scene? Closed, open? How do you see your own place in it? America is usually qualified as ‘melting pot’ so it’s the best place for a ‘nomadic’ artist like myself. I do however feel that I live in my own bubble in the way that I don’t follow any particular models, groups or trends. Also my subject matters (in a healthy matter) tend to pull me away from the what I consider the ‘glossy’ art world and closer to reality of everyday life. Question: What's your experience with the Iranian contemporary art scene? Are you familiar with it and are there any outstanding artists, in you view? I’m very happy to say that I’m extremely active with the Iranian community particularly with the artists and filmmakers. I regularly try to educate myself in what’s going on culturally inside and outside of Iran and there are always fascinating talents around. Next week, a show will open at the Asia Society in New York that I’ve curated with another Iranian artist Nicky Nodjoumi. This is a very powerful show of an older Iranian artist, political satirist, Ardeshir Mohassess who was once a legend in Iran, but sadly neglected for decades due to illness. I take great pride in being involved with such magnificent event.
Question: You covered your recent photographs of men and women with letters, writing. What role does literature and writing in general have for you and your work? Literature and words are suggestive of emotional and intellectual minds of the writers that deeply inspire me. Having been obsessed with Iranian female writers, in a way, I feel my visual work are embodiments of these ladies’ strong expressions. In earlier work for example I often used poetry by Forough Farokhzad, a heroic figure in Iran, a writer of enormous talent and imagination. Later, for the past five years for example, I’ve been devoting my time to the novel of “Women Without Men” by Shahrnush Parsipour whose imagination is equally extraordinary and beautiful. So literature for me is food for thought and inspiration