POLITICS OF PLACE
January 18 – March 30, 2018
Organized by Monica Oppen and Alexander Campos
Place. Power. Politics. Voice. Placeless. Powerlessness. Voiceless. Politics. In this exhibition we allow the voice of the voiceless, the displaced be heard. From the mechanisms of colonialism to intractable wars to economic opportunities, people have been displaced over the centuries, forced to moved by the politics happening around them. The artists’ works touch on indigenous issues, slavery, post-war migration, displacement for monetary gain, and contemporary refugees. They are all or have been caught up in political policy beyond their control.
The works in this exhibition mainly from Australia and North America, both new world territories, share a parallel history of being forged by the power wheeled by a few, The exhibition includes works by: Adam Golfer, Aileen Bassis, Anne Twigg, Anne Gilman, Claudia Heinermann, Michael Iwanowski, Indre Serpytyte, Clyde McGill, Colette Fu, Doug Beube, Gideon Mendel, Iviva Olenick, Jason Lujan, Juana Valdes, Judy Watson, Julie Barratt, Lyall Harris & Patricia Silva, Patty Smith & Claire Fouquet, & Teresa Carbone, Peter Koch, Peter Lyssiotis, Philip Zimmermann, Refugee Art Project, Sue Anderson & Gwen Harrison, Taller Lenateros, Tammy Nguyen, Tatana Kellner, and Tia Blassingame.
Monica Oppen works in the book arts, writing, printmaking and bookbinding. Her most recent major work Stabat Mater received a highly commended in the 59th Blake Prize for Religious and Spiritual Art. Over 20 years she has been collecting books by artists. As a way of promoting the genre she established the Bibliotheca Librorum apud Artificem, the library for the artist’s book. While studying printmaking at art school in Sydney in the 1980s Monica Oppen became interested putting her work into books. There was no formal book arts component in the course. Realising she liked to create series of prints and work with text and disliking the impact of framing on the visual texture of the printed surface she decided that books were the medium to explore. She learnt to bind with Daphne Lera, a traditionally trained hand binder from England, and began to collect the books of other artists. The motivation for collecting was to connect with other book works, so her own books were not alone on the shelf! A key artist whose work she collected initially was the work of Peter Lyssiotis. It was when a Sydney student wanting to see Peter’s work visited that she realised that sharing the books with others was as interesting as owning them. Since then she has continued collecting, has catalogued the collection and set up a website of the work. She continues to work as a printmaker and bookbinder.
Alexander Campos is an independent curator who has organized numerous exhibitions for The Center for Book Arts, WPU Galleries, Paterson University, the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective and more. Campos has over 25 years of museum experience with positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. He has an MA from New York University in Arts Administration and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Art History and Romance Languages.
Support for the Center for Book Arts’ Visual Arts Program is provided, in part, by the New York State Council for the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs of the city of New York in partnership with the City Council.