First Truth

Images from First Truth exhibition at Camel Art Space I co-curated with Sara Jones.

February 10-March 11, 2012: First Truth, Camel Art Space, Brooklyn, NY:
Opening Reception: February 10, 6-9 pm.

Curatorial Statement:
The artist who sets out to examine or establish a truth often runs into the bigger truth that came before it: that what one wants to accomplish may be fleeting and possibly unaccomplishable, or that what one creates will transform into an unforeseen thing between the time it is conceived and the time it is completed. This first truth takes the form of gaps and inconsistencies that erupt when attempting to tell a story, remember a vision, or attempt to follow a rule, and it is fueled by unreliable memories, unraveled experiences, and inexplicable imprecisions. It can be fought against, accepted, ignored, or even embraced, but the first truth — which can also be called the first anomaly or the first disappointment — emerges through the work whether it is intended or not. The artists in this exhibition intend and do not intend, but nevertheless communicate this first truth in a variety of ways.

Siobhan McBride, Janelle Iglesias, Megan Hays, Danielle Mysiliwiec, Gina Beavers, Sara Hubbs and Sara Jones

Abu Bhloggi 'Blog'

Check out pics from "No Customs" show in Abu Dabi at Jen and Kevin McCoy's blog.

No Customs at Sama Tower, Abu Dhabi

No Customs

November 4-27, 2010

opening reception: Thursday Nov 4, 7-9 pm

curated by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

an exhibition of transmissible ideas with:

Vito Acconci

Jason Robert Bell / Marni Kotak

Torsten Z. Burns

Jennifer Dalton / Susan Hamburger

Anthony Discenza

Melissa Dubbin / Aaron Davidson

Bill Durgin

Tara Fracalossi

David Grubbs

Sara Hubbs

Thomas Lail

Michael Mandiberg


Marisa Olson

Jonathan Schipper

Mark Tribe

Karen Yasinsky

A common art-making strategy when one enters into new territory is to listen, to ask, and to wait. As newcomers to Abu Dhabi, we considered this strategy, but then rejected it. Instead of waiting to receive information, we begin our sojourn in the Emirates by making an offer. In curating this show, No Customs, held in our remarkably gallery like living space, we offer the work of artists connected to us from our home community of New York City. When they asked what life is like here, we answered we didn’t yet know. We told them to send what they could send via email, via instructions, via concept. We told them to send it fast. So then, what we have is a show called No Customs. This title is a double entendre. Practically, since no objects have been mailed, we were not slowed by the expense of shipping and the delays of customs. Metaphorically, the show is not about tradition or interpretation, but rather about mapping and transcription. How does form map onto landscape? How does it transform landscape? How do you demarcate space for contemplation, for understanding, for revolution? What happens to the body when its image occupies this demarcated space?

First, the approach to a problem. This is what we hear when listening to Vito Acconci’s audio piece, Research Station, Antarctica, For Your Ears Only (2004-2010). How does an artist (here architect) turn a landscape into a series of constraints to be addressed, to create a form? In the photographs of Melissa Dubbin and Aaron Davidson, the long time collaborators use smoke bombs to test the landscape. They create form with weather, wind, light, and clouds. In a site specific project by Thomas Lail, a series of Buckminister Fuller domes are superimposed over the city view of Abu Dhabi, creating another take on the domes of the city and adding to the enormous architectural speculation already here. In another project, a memory sequence of images by Tara Fracalossi offers a counterpoint to the desert with images of most verdant spring and bleakest winter. These images purport to be memory, but their repetition on the wall creates matrices of classifications that map new space. In the end they are more like letters in an alphabet than like stories of particular landscapes.

Demarcated space
In answering a call to show work in Abu Dhabi, many artists considered the question of mapping, both graphically and metaphorically. In the work of Michael Mandiberg, the artist asked us to find an Arabic map of the USA in which we recreate the laser cuttings of print media that he is known for. In this work the message and the map collide. The artist duo MTAA and the sculptor Sara Hubbs sent ideas for works that, though they are generated very differently, come up with surprisingly congruent projects. MTAA asked us to find “the most colorful place” in Abu Dhabi. Then they provided software that translated this image into an abstract digital image (referred to as “the aesthetic object”). We could then display this any way we saw fit. In Sara Hubb’s project, an abstract form also results from a behind the scenes process. She photographed decaying areas of New York City and asked us to reproduce the patterns they create in plaster, building up a surface to form decoration from blight.

The projects of Jonathan Schipper and the collaborative team of Jennifer Dalton and Susan Hamburger ask us the audience to participate in the creation of the artwork by zeroing in on our patterns of behavior. In the ambitious project by Schipper, entitled A Million Dollar Walk, attendees of the opening reception will be given the opportunity to carry a briefcase full of money on a prescribed path through the building. Dalton and Hamburger ask participants questions about their behavior in Abu Dhabi, creating a changing sculptural bar graph that measures their assumptions about life in the capitol against actual practice.
Four artists in the exhibition deal with space by creating voids some for the viewer to inhabit speculatively others by creating spaces for lost objects. In her video mixtape project, Marisa Olson casts herself as an outsourced worker and creates a mash-up of Arab covers of American karaoke classics. The singers of course, are us by implication. In The New Revolution (2010), Mark Tribe creates an installation that invites spectators to consider their own ideas about revolution. David Grubbs, a noted musician, sent us instructions to render a beautiful wall drawing whose omissions create open spaces for meaning to drift. In an animation by Karen Yasinsky, You’d Better Be Careful, omitted objects and spaces set interpretation even farther adrift.

Several of the artists in the show responded with work implying performative space. In the video Double Face Fantasy by Jason Robert Bell and Marni Kotak this space is a virtual one in that a portrait transforms through a technical gesture. Anthony Discenza’s video, The Future has Already Been Written creates a tour de force collage of science fiction, and we follow the body of Charlton Heston through alternate visions of the future. In the work of Torsten Burns, Resurrectables (Yellow-Mobilers), the artist asked us to curate a selection of performance stills from a huge array of images of costumes, props, and locations. We selected images of vehicles, conveying transmission, speed, and the framing of the body as it moves through space. Finally, the work of photographer Bill Durgin presents work that brings it all together. The body becomes a landscape of skin, finally an abstracted “aesthetic object”.

No Customs is located at Sama Tower, Suite 3708, Abu Dhabi. Sama Tower is at the corner of Airport Rd and Electra Rd., near the NMC (New Medical Center). The exhibition will be open Saturdays from 1-5 through Nov. 27 and by appointment. Please contact Jennifer or Kevin McCoy with questions and image requests:

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy's multimedia artworks examine the genres and conventions of filmmaking, memory and language. They are known for constructing subjective databases of existing material and making fragmentary miniature film sets with lights, video cameras, and moving sculptural elements to create live cinematic events. They have relocated to Abu Dhabi in affiliation with New York University Abu Dhabi and are presently teaching and working on a commission for the downtown campus.

The McCoys' work has been widely exhibited in the US and internationally - their most recent shows include Museum of Modern Art in New York, BFI (British Film Institute) Southbank in London, Hanover Kunstverein, The Beall Center in Irvine, CA, pkm Gallery in Beijing, The San Jose Museum of Art, Palazzodella Papesse, The Addison Museum of American Art, The Nevada
Museum of Art, and Artists Space in New York. Their work can be seen in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Speed Museum. They are represented in New York by Postmasters Gallery.

image credits: from left to right, Michael Mandiberg, “Us and Them”, David Grubbs, “Untitled (I Just Want to Say)”, and Karen Yasinsky ”You’d Better Be Careful”

EJECT 2 - Segundo Festival de Videoperformance de la Ciudad de Mexico

My piece "Becoming Cactus" was recently exhibited in Mexico City at EJECT -Segundo Festival de Videoperformance de la Ciudad de México


gabrielle civil - estados unidos | montserrat payró y mariella greil - españa/méxico | graham macleod - canadá/china | sylvia winkler & stephan köperl - austria/alemania | gabriel sasiambarrena - argentina | jorge luis santana - cuba | lucas grandin - francia | verónica allocati - argentina | grupo proyector - colombia | cinthya reyes - méxico | karen zalamea - canadá | elizabeth neira - chile | maría eugenia chellet - méxico | gabriela golder - canadá/argentina | michele beck y jorge calvo - estados unidos/costa rica | federico martínez montoya - méxico | sara hubbs - estados unidos | mariana peralta – méxico | rachelle beaudoin - estados unidos | kenji ouellet - canadá | caroline barc - francia | irene loughlin - canadá | nadja marcin - alemania | lysette yoselevitz - méxico/canadá | micheline durocher – canadá


mónica dower | pancho lópez | ricardo nicolayewsky

23 y 24 de octubre de 2008

20:00 horas

entrada libre



lic. verdad no. 8

centro histórico

méxico df - (metro Zócalo)

Conner Contemporary - Academy 2008

I've been included in the Annual Survey of MFA Work in the Washington/Baltimore Area


Girlish Ways


A selection of twelve artists under the age of 35 investigate how contemporary lifestyles effect and re-define the women of this generation.


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