Curated by:
Lal Bahcecioglu, Maya Castro Gutiérrez, Kayla Fanelli, Mohammad Golabi, Allison Peller, Manuela Reyes, Lalita Salander, Ana Sophie Salazar, Marie Vigneau, Danielle Whalen
Pop-up exhibition at 1199 1st Avenue, New York

Opening Reception: April 9, 6-9 pm
April 10 - 26, 2015

Press Release / (RE)VISION:

In Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex, the prophet Tiresias is a blind man who is able to see the truth. Oedipus only becomes wiser after physically blinding himself. This paradox, found in the roots of Western culture, is an early example of our ambiguous relationship to vision. As the inaugural class of the School of Visual Art’s Masters in Curatorial Practice program, we decided to start at the beginning. What is vision, and how do we convey it?

Adding the prefix “re” imbues the word “vision” with another level of meaning, speaking to our need to look again, and to look further. It puts intentionality into the act of looking. Revision is against our nature, especially in this information age when the impulse is to look once and move on. We are future-oriented beings, constantly imagining and planning our next steps. In order to grow in the future, however, we need to assess our past and present. Revision as an act obliges the subject to stop, to stay for a while, to look around. This will lead to a deeper understanding of where we stand and who we are. Art can, ideally, hold us in this state of prolonged looking. This is our goal with (RE)VISION, an exhibition that invites the viewer to look, and to look again.

The artists included in the exhibition all question, in different manners, our various ways of seeing. Some of the artists are concerned with finding ways to represent what is normally invisible to the eye, others with how to create optical illusions. Our faces and eyes are interfaces for communication, and this concept has a strong presence in this exhibition. Playing with this idea, some works in the show reflect and re-configure the viewer’s face through different lenses and filters. This raises questions of how we see ourselves and others, as well as what our relationships to each other are. The post-Internet era has generated an image-saturated virtual reality that has transformed the way we use our eyes. How will we use them in the approaching age of hyperreality? The more we see, the more we know? Or are we just as blind as Oedipus, with functioning eyes? 

The site of (RE)VISION is itself a place in transition between its former use by LensCrafters, a retailer of prescription eyewear, and a future tenant. With the intervention of the exhibition, we are revising the potential of the space, opening up possibilities to envision transitional use for artistic platforms and to turn vacancy into a resource to be explored.

Artists: Rollin Beamish, Uday Dhar, Ryan Foerster, Omer and Tal Golan, Fiorella Gonzales-Vigil, Hhu, Daniel Lopera, Mary Mattingly, Caleb Nussear, Demetrius Oliver, Farideh Sakhaeifar, Marvin Touré, Elizabeth Tubergen, Carrie Elston Tunick, James Tunick 

This exhibition was made possible through the support provided by Stonehenge, IMC Lab + Gallery, and No Longer Empty.