Sunday, December 21, 2014

Red Library, Parallel Lines

Exhibition Description
“The Red Library, Parallel Lines” is an exhibition proposal of newly paired work by multi-disciplinary artists, Tereza Swanda and Angela Rose Voulgarelis.

Generated over the course of the last seven years, and shared via their collaborative blog: Art, Life (no separation), the proposed exhibition will mark the first presentation of the artists’ work side by side, out of the digital realm and into tangible space. Swanda and Voulgarelis have led significant, parallel experiences at different points in time. For example, they both studied at Lorenzo de' Medici, in Florence, Italy, 1995 and 1997 respectively. They were visiting artists at Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa, 2004 and 2007, three years apart. They continue residencies with “Rosenclaire,” in the same studio over the last decade and a half, but have yet to attend one together.

Their themes overlap. Voulgarelis’ work is informed by commonplace routines of domestic life, notions of interconnection, and impermanence and loss. Swanda questions notions of the other, male-female, brother-mother, victim-perpetrator, and husband-wife. Through painting, performance, and object making, both place two aspects of the same thing in the same space, drawing connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, images, and forms. They address the importance of equating the masculine/feminine in relation to domestic labor and notions of 'High Art.' Both individually and together, their work opens up dialogue between seemingly disparate ways of working and perceptions of duality. They create visual analogies. Much like two toddlers working side by side yet independently, the artists are inspired by the idea of "parallel play", in which they react, respond, and create, "working" together but remaining independent. They plan to reveal their creative processes, methodologies and bring to light the seriousness of two women 'playing' together within the absurdity inherent in the current political, social, and economic realm; our notion of reality.

The Red Library, or Cervena Knihovna, was an edition of romantic fiction bound by red cover targeting a female audience at the turn of last century in Swanda's native Czech Republic. The books were formulaic usually containing misogynistic content whose aim was to shape feminine stereotypes. In this show we intend to flip, play with and dismantle those stereotypes.

Angela Rose Voulgarelis received her BFA from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She also attended the Sculoa Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence Italy, where she studied under Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky (“Rosenclaire”) through whom she met Tereza Swanda. Swanda resides both in CZ as well as the US and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts; BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Swanda and Voulgarelis have exhibited nationally and abroad at educational and alternative spaces such as: The Berliner Kunstprojekt (Berlin); 450 Broadway Gallery (NYC); Chemeketa Community College Gallery (OR); One Mile Gallery (NY); Center on Contemporary Art (WA); both were visiting artists at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa; online in Art:21, Storyscape Journal, and, at AIR Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and at the Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY. However, they have yet to exhibit together.

(For gallery layout, I took the largest walls and assigned the series/projects on our respective websites, mirroring each other. Inside, smaller spaces I wrote in for performances; Meaning Cleaning, Mutual Cleanse, Airing Dirty Laundry, Conscious Object Making, and nooks I reserved for small objects, paintings, videos and installation of our notebooks.)

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