News Open Air, happily, was a resounding success. During this project’s September 20-October 14 span, brought to Philadelphia by the Association for Public Art and artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer nearly 6,000 iPhone recordings in over 20 different languages were made, and more than 17,000 visitors came to the Ben Franklin Parkway. The Open Air website is up permanently, allowing people to listen to the recordings and vote for their favorites. It’ll be tough to narrow down: aside from some heart-tugging marriage proposals, there is the 127-message “Voices of Philly” archive of famous local voices. To learn more about the project, visit The Creators Project, the press release here, and some wonderful high-res photos. ... More » »
The gigantic first floor space at Locks Gallery is occupied this month by the massive, multi-channel video installation 1967 by Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib. The collaborative project by the husband and wife team uses appropriated footage from cinema and protest videos to raise questions about political dissent, utopian movements and the role of mass media in driving protest movements in general.
Collaboration is a road paved with landmines, and the way to avoid those is to stay focused on the goal. Luckily for the artists involved in the Institute of Contemporary Art’s “One is the Loneliest Number,” they have their eye on the prize. The exhibit features five collaborative teams, each comprised of two emerging artists who’ve been working together for four, six, even 10 years. Some of the work feels like the call and response of two individual voices, while other works sing with one voice. The show is haunting, as several pieces focus on isolation or miscommunication, shedding light ... More » »
Historic house museums all face considerable challenges. On the practical level, their fund-raising depends upon visitor numbers and these days there’s a lot of competition for visitors’ leisure time. Furthermore, historic houses have been premised on the idea of stepping back to a particular moment in time, an idea that has made historians increasingly uncomfortable. Heritage properties have often portrayed simplified and sanitized histories that mislead as much as educate. Since 2006 the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks has engaged artists both to attract new audiences for changing art installations and to offer more complex interpretations of its ... More » »
If you’re on the road this summer, or hanging out far and wide, we have some tips here of Philadelphia artists who are all over the place. Italy to Cyprus by way of L.A.
Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironika, The Soft Epic or: Savages of the Pacific West, as seen at the Crane’s Ice Box space here in Philadelphia. It’s traveling to L.A. This from Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironaka: If you’re in LA or NYC in the next week, we hope you’ll be able to check out our most recent projects–The Soft Epic or: Savages of the Pacific West, and Black Hole. The Soft Epic opens at Telic Arts Exchange in LA’s Chinatown this coming Saturday, July 26th, and runs through late August. Helen Cahng has organized the exhibition and related public programs ... More » »
Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib’s Soft Epic (detail) at the Icebox. I caught Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib‘s Soft Epic video projection at the Icebox on the last day of its run and want to add my appreciation here to what Andrea wrote previously. Deep into a seemingly endless war and at a time of severe ecological peril, The Soft Epic rides both those waves of anxiety and yet, with its sweep of imagery and magical sound, the work has beauty as well. The post-apocalyptic panorama, with fires consuming the urban landscape and animal-headed avatars watching, had a kind of ... More » »
Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib The Soft Epic or: Savages of the Pacific West (2008) detail of multi-screen video projection; all photos by the author There’s lots of anxiety in art at the moment; we are living in dark times and it shows. Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib have occupied the entire Icebox space at the Crane Building with The Soft Epic or: Savages of the Pacific West, a 120 foot long video projection with a soundtrack by Bird Snow. It depicts the site of an unspecified disaster set in a modern city, locale unidentified. A street sign bears the ... More » »
This month’s Vox exhibit is nearly all video and really all pretty great! It looks like more and more video artists are part of the Vox membership, and this show reflects the shift. The only non-video in the show, a sculpture installation, is by Brent Wahl, who also makes videos. Here’s who and what: Black Hole, a video by Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironaka; I had to play with the image to show anything other than a pure black rectangle, so I’m afraid it’s a bit misleading.The first ever collaboration between married video-makers Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironaka is a ... More » »
We learned from Andrea Kirsh that Matthew Suib shot the competition out of the water in the Dec. 24 & 31 New Yorker briefs (p. 30) for his video piece at Smack Mellon in DUMBO. Under “Infinitu et Contini” at Smack Mellon it said … Best of all is “Cocked,” Matthew Suib’s montage of closeups from classic Westerns. Cutting from squinting gunmen to loaded holsters (and adjacent crotches), it’s a deadpan deconstruction of the showdown.Next Page »