February 10, 2011

March 2–April 15, 2011

March 1, 2011

Neville Wakefield to curate Involuntary at fordPROJECT

fordPROJECT is pleased to announce that Neville Wakefield will curate a group exhibition titled Involuntary that will premiere with a reception for the artists on March 1st and will be part of The Armory Fair’s VIP program. Wakefield’s exhibition is based on the premise that most of our interactions with the world are governed by restraint and decorum but others are involuntary and beyond our control i.e. breath, laughter, tears, yawns, vomit and other ejaculations. In addition to the body’s involuntary actions, Wakefield was also inspired by the sadistic history of the exhibition space itself, which includes violence, debauchery, murder, hauntings and madness. Artists in the exhibition include Mike Bouchet, Scott Campbell, the artist collaborative Claire Fontaine, Eloise Fornieles, Norma Jeane, Liz Magic Laser, Miranda Lichtenstein, Ryan McGinley, Gianni Motti, Melodie Mousset, Laurel Nakadate, Dominic Nurre, Michael Sailstorfer, Olympia Scarry, Superflex, Hank Willis Thomas, Naama Tsabar and Kaari Upson. A special VIP Open Viewing and Brunch with the curator will take place on March 4th in association with The Armory Show, please contact fordPROJECT for more details.

A number of works respond to the history of the penthouse, which has been marked by sexual infatuation, violence, murders and subsequent hauntings. Scott Campbell’s “Wish you were here” tombstone is positioned on the 19th floor terrace near the very parapet wall over which Edna Crawford Champion’s lover Charles Brazelle was thrown to his death by bodyguards after he bludgeoned her with a telephone. Michael Sailstorfer’s Reactor is a sound art installation with a speaker attached to a microphone embedded in concrete. The speaker will record the sonic imprint of the building (said to have been haunted since the murders) and its psychic resonance. Miranda Lichtenstein’s spectral photographic portraits portray various states of emotional extremis while Naama Tsabar’s piece invokes the intoxications that went with the tragic playground of sex and drugs that Champion and Brazelle created. Eloise Fornieles’ has created a special performance that reflects the sad story of dementia that befell the subsequent owners and was first manifest in the nervous breakdowns of their four Great Danes.

Sex, violence and a certain kind of excess are written into the fabric of the building and the exhibition is a reflection of that innate story. Mike Bouchet’s composite of ten thousand pornographic films functions as an atlas of codified desire. A video work by Superflex, originally commissioned for Frieze in 2009, entitled The Financial Crisis (Sessions 1 to 5) features renowned Danish hypnotist Bo Groth Christensen lulling the viewer into a trance like state in order to ruminate on the economic crisis and induce an extreme state of stress. Claire Fontaine, the artist collective based in France, will present two works—the first titled Private is part of an ongoing project that consists of a cable snaking through the space and emitting an alarm when tread upon—literally responding to physical presence. The second piece Untitled (Suspended Ram) is a tactical battering ram suspended from the gallery ceiling. It is a violent action in a state of suspended animation and a weapon by which the barrier between public and private is destroyed.

Also blurring the lines between public and private is Norma Jeanne’s fully functioning port-a-potty installed on the terrace, entirely without walls. Untitled (Yawn) a self-portrait by emerging artist Olympia Scarry captures the artist yawning with the use of forensic photography that is able to slow down the act to a glacial progression. The involuntary act is highly sexualized, as the viewer is able to see intimately inside the artist’s body, literally peering into the architecture of her throat. Another self-portrait by Scarry is a polygraph test drawing, a record of a visceral response (sweat, heartbeat etc.) that is literally drawn out of her body’s involuntary responses to ten questions.

Neville Wakefield most recently curated MoMA PS1′s Greater New York show and Matthew Barney’s major exhibition at the Schaulager. In addition to being former Senior Curatorial Advisor for PS1 MoMA Wakefield has also served as Curator of Frieze Projects at the Frieze Art Fair in London. Neville is a writer and commentator on contemporary art and culture and has contributed to ArtForum, W Magazine, The Journal and other publications.

fordPROJECT launched in January 2011 as an exclusive gallery space designed for site-specific installations, exhibitions, artist commissions, art collectives, curatorial programs, collaborative initiatives, unique events and more. Under the direction of Rachel Vancelette and Tim Goossens, fordPROJECT will present a unique alternative to the traditional fine art models and will offer innovation for artists, curators, collectors, organizations, institutions and estates.

Press Contact: Bettina at Prentice Art Communications, Inc. (212) 228-4048 or [email protected]