"Queering the BibliObject" at the Center for Book Arts

exhibitions2016_queering-the-bibliobject_fowler_01-768x512.jpgWhen: April 15 - June 25, 2016

Opening Reception: April 15, 6-8pm

Artist Roundtable: Friday, May 13, 6:30pm

Gallery Talk & Catalogue Launch: Friday, June 17, 6:30pm

Where: 28 W. 27th St., 3rd Floor, NY, NY

Subway: N/R to 28th St, or F to 23rd St

Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm; Sat, 10am-5pm

Admission: Free

Event URL: http://bit.ly/1MkK0DV

The Center for Book Arts presents its Spring 2016 Main Gallery Exhibition Queering the BibliObject, on view April 15 through June 25, organized by John Chaich, Independent Curator, Designer, and Writer. An opening reception will take place April 15, 6-8pm, which will include a preface response by Ricardo A. Bracho, Every Day I (Un)Write the Book, at 7:30pm. Gallery admission is free. An artist roundtable will be held on May 13 at 6:30pm, and a Gallery Talk & Catalogue Launch will take place Friday, June 17 at 6:30pm.

A mix of assemblage, drawing, performance, photography, sculpture, and video, Queering the BibliObject presents contemporary lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer artists who explore the book as an object, removed from the form and function of the traditional artist's book. The artists restrict access to the book; repurpose bound, printed matter as medium; reclaim context and content in order to reimagine narrative; and represent the self through, and/or relationship with, the book. In doing so, the works examine access, affect, and agency, while the exhibition considers the phenomenological, physical, and social relationships between books and queer lives across cultures and chronologies.

Artists included are: Nayland Blake, Justin Vivian Bond, Stefanie Boyd-Berks, 

Ricardo A. Bracho, Anna Campbell, charlesRyanlong, Eve Fowler, Leor Grady, 

Kris Grey, Garry Hayes, KleinReid, Aaron Krach, Aaron McIntosh, Lucas Michael, 

Allyson Mitchell, Catalina Schliebener, Tamale Sepp, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, 

Tony Whitfield, and Jade Yumang.

An anchor of the exhibition, Eve Fowler utilizes 62 books of lesbian and feminist writing that were duplicates on clearance at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles, which the artist has wrapped in a custom-made screen print and carefully piled, at once restricting and preserving access to herstories on the brink of extinction. Jade Yumang responds to the history and geography of desire by piling and cutting through vintage gay porn. charlesRyanLong creates a choir robe using pages of the biography of the late African American queer singer and icon Sylvester, while Aaron McIntosh recreates the cover of Harlequin Romance novel at life-sized scale by using the pages of the book itself and carving negative space for the traditionally female figure. The book and the body are explored in video piece by Kris Grey, in which the artist balances on his head the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) manual that has pathologized transexuality, while Catalina Schliebener's assemblage and collage of children's book, instructional models, and blank journals move in and around a plexi-glass box to examine gender constraints and freedoms. Tony Whitfield documents how books live among decorative objects in his home library, while Allyson Mitchell draws shelves of books from Brooklyn's Lesbian Herstory Archives.

John Chaich is an independent curator, designer, and writer based in Manhattan. Recent exhibitions include Mixed Messages: A(I)DS, Art, and Words, produced for Visual AIDS at LaMama La Galleria (New York) and Transformer Gallery (Washington DC), and Queer Threads: Crafting Identity & Community at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (New York), the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore), and the Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts. With Todd Oldham, he is the co-editor of the forthcoming coffee table book Queer Threads (AMMO Books). For four years he curated multi-arts programming for the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. He holds an MFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.

A Curator Moderated Roundtable Discussion will take place Friday, May 13, 6:30pm, with artists Nayland Blake, Anna Campbell, and Tony Whitfield. A Gallery Talk & Catalogue Launch with artists Kris Grey, Aaron Krach, and Aaron McIntosh, and curator John Chaich is scheduled for Friday, June 17, 6:30pm, in honor of Pride Week. The exhibition catalogue will feature essays by Heather K. Love, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania) on affect and over-attachment and Scott Herring, Ph.D. (Indiana University, Bloomington) on queer objecthood. Suggested donation for the general public for these special events is $10 non-members/$5 members.

Image: Eve Fowler, 62 Books (2010). Courtesy of the artist.

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