Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Spring 2019 Residency Program
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts announces artists selected for its international Residency Program
Omaha, Neb.– Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts announces artists selected for its international Residency Program taking place January 23–April 19, 2019. The diverse range of disciplines includes video, installation, writing, sculpture, drawing, architecture, performance, poetry and sound. Represented areas of focus include humans and artificial intelligence; the psychological and cultural dislocation of war; the language of objects and everyday performativity; geographic and mnemonic landscapes of historical and social events; spatial, behavioral and social implications of design; place in and role as a product of American media; diasporic narratives, folk-art-constructivist forms and oral language; the materiality of the gendered and racialized body and the intersections between biology and identity; and human value systems embedded in systems of display and conservation.
Participating artists include:
Rodney Ewing (San Francisco, CA)
Rodney Ewing’s drawings, installations and mixed media works focus on his need to intersect body and place, memory and fact to re-examine human histories, cultural conditions and events. He is pursuing a narrative that requires us to be present and intimate. During his Bemis residency, Ewing plans to create a series of paintings and drawings titled Longitude and Latitude, exploring the geographic and mnemonic landscapes of historical and social events.
Jes Fan (Hong Kong / New York, NY)
Jes Fan’s studio practice investigates the materiality of the gendered and racialized body. In his sculptures, he uses these materials to speculate the intersections between biology and identity, in order to locate the edges in which bodies become othered. While at Bemis, Fan will continue to explore his series of Diagram sculptures. Inspired by clinical drawings of melanin in our dermal layers, the sculptures are an abstraction of the epidermis, sutured by vein-like clay supports, oozing gem-like glass globules.
Kandis Friesen (Chicago, IL / Montréal, Canada)
Kandis Friesen’s work including video, sculpture, installation and text is anchored in diasporic language, dispersed translations and disintegrating archival forms. During her time at Bemis, she will continue her ongoing material research into diasporic narratives, folk-art-constructivist forms and oral language as a portable terrain. She will also begin work on a new project titled Odessa State Archives Vol.1, a constellation of works in sculpture and sound, grounded in the provisional exterior buttresses holding up the crumbling walls of the state archives building in Odessa, Ukraine.
Cameron Granger (Columbus, OH)
Cameron Granger’s current work is an exploration of both the music and media that fathered him and the effects of that relationship. Primarily manifesting as lens, text and installation, the work uses the micro to speak to the macro, with personal narrative and cultural artifacts as a vehicle to find his position within and as a product of American history. At Bemis, Granger plans to explore video as a sculptural material to activate the viewer within installations and conduct research on Black representation in film.
Melanie McLain (Brooklyn, NY / Mexico City, Mexico)
Melanie McLain’s work combines architectural sculpture, performance and video. Borrowing the familiar, functional aesthetics of these body-centric public spaces, McLain creates architectural sculptures and performances that forefront the emotional, behavioral and social implications of design. During her time at Bemis, she plans to experiment with sculpture, installation, performance, costumes and rubber and plaster mold making and casting.
Irini Miga (New York, NY / Larissa, Greece)
Irini Miga’s interdisciplinary practice employs sculpture, installation, film, text and elements of everyday performativity. She is particularly interested in the language of objects and the way we navigate and perceive our environments; today and in the past. Thus, her work engages with the memory of place from the point of origin to the present. While at Bemis, Miga plans to continue exploring techniques in bronze casting, sound, video, everyday performativity and notions of anti-monumentality while pursuing large scale multi-material installations.
Adam Milner (Pittsburgh, PA)
Adam Milner's sprawling and idiosyncratic practice combines and confuses the hoard, the museum, the home and the body to examine notions of value, intimacy and power. His work takes the form of sculptures, drawings, texts and interventions which draw from deeply personal experiences to examine how we hold on to things, and what value systems are embedded in systems of display and conservation. While at Bemis, Milner will be experimenting with glass, taxidermy, carpentry and furniture making to create a series of interiors for an upcoming exhibition at The Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, PA) and a large casting project for a solo exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, NY).
J.C. Todd (Philadelphia, PA)
J.C. Todd investigates the psychological and cultural dislocation of war, especially for women, children and the poor, through poetry and artist-book collaborations. Her poems grapple with the awareness that each war or act of domination, whether at home or at large, carries the seed for the aggression that answers it. During her time at Bemis, Todd plans to construct poems responding to the prints and drawings of Kaethe Kollwitz and the etchings of Francisco Goya. These depictions of survivors’ suffering resonate with contemporary events and are central to her new manuscript, Blood Work, ekphrastic poems in dialogue with visual art.
Marc Vilanova (Barcelona, Spain)
Marc Vilanova is a sound and light artist working at the intersection of art and technology. His artistic production has always been led by a spirit of innovation fueled by an interest in new media. At Bemis, Vilanova plans to create an immersive sound and light installation exploring the relation of humans and machines and translate those experiences to an environment, opening a space where artificial intelligence can produce feelings of control and oppression.
The artists-in-residence were selected from an international pool of 305 applicants. All applications were reviewed and finalists were selected by a twelve-person panel including Sterling Allen, Artist, past Bemis Artist-in-Residence, Assistant Professor, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX and Co-Founder, Okay Mountain, Austin, TX; Lyndon Barrois Jr., Artist and past Bemis Artist-in-Residence, Saint Louis, MO; Alison Burstein, Independent Curator, New York, NY; Amy Chaloupka, Independent Curator, Bellingham, WA; Anna Campbell, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI; John Engelbrecht, Director, Public Space One, Iowa City, IA; Ciara Ennis, Curator and Director, Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont, CA; Lindsey French, Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Jason Lazarus, Artist and Assistant Professor of Art and Art History, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; Jared Thorne, Artist and Assistant Professor, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Pedro Velez, Artist and Critic, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Jovanna Venegas, Curatorial Assistant, Contemporary Art Department, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA. Finalists were then reviewed and chosen by a three-person panel including Sylvie Fortin, Independent Curator, Critic and Editor, Montréal, Canada and New York, NY; Joaquin Segura, Artist, founding member and board advisor, SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico; and Natalia Zuluaga, Artistic Director, ArtCenter/South Florida, Miami Beach, FL.
About Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Founded in 1981, by artists for artists, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts supports today’s artists through an international residency program, temporary exhibitions and commissions, and innovative public programs. Located in the historic Old Market district, Bemis Center serves a critical role in the presentation and understanding of contemporary art, bridging the community of Omaha to a global discourse surrounding cultural production today.
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