BAXTER ST at CCNY is delighted to announce a group exhibition, Polaris, including work by Ofri Cnaani, Eric Corriel, Zachary Fabri, Mario Navarro, and Igor Revelis, organized by guest curator Joey Lico.
Lico invited five artists from disparate backgrounds to examine their relationships both experienced and witnessed, to their political communities. By bringing together these voices, Lico aims to provoke a larger conversation about the social engineering of inequity. Each artist’s work reveals these charged relationships as either indiscreet or discreet, but in all scenarios, ever present.
Beginning in the street outside and woven throughout the entire upstairs and downstairs, each area in the gallery is activated into the conversation. Systems of control are brought to the forefront though interactive video, sculpture, performance, and photography. Within Polaris, the artists have all confronted their personal, dynamic, relationships to things that are more subtly controlling such as, surveillance and architecture; to the more explicit inequalities of violence, immigration, and segregation.
On opening night, in the basement space, which typically hosts workstations for CCNY members, Ofri Cnaani will present ?D (Command+ Duplicate) – a participatory performance. The workstation and the printer she will use are symbols of a bureaucratic system that, contrary to it’s purpose, deepens a divide. By combining items from the audience’s personal belongings together with objects culled from the artist’s collection of found materials from the gallery’s Chinatown neighborhood, Cnaani will sit with each participant to enact the live creation of a personalized image. The print will be signed by the artist and given to the participant as a unique work of art. Cnaani refers to these works as “original copies” – a copy habitually just reproduces without change, but here, creativity and new dialogues between herself, the visitor, and the community of strangers replace that customary, unyielding, efficiency. Thus shifting the control of the unchanged systems through interpersonal exchange.