Postmasters Gallery @ UNTITLED Miami Beach 2016
November 29 – December 4, 2016
NIDAA BADWAN EVAN SCHWARTZ MARK DORF
Nidaa Badwan: 100 Days of Solitude
Palestinian artist Nidaa Badwan’s photographs are from Gaza but not of Gaza. For 20 months, the artist did not leave her 100 square foot room to face the outside world. Inside, in her war-imposed withdrawal and isolation, she created–and photographed–an immersive world of her own. Safe and free in this small oasis, she produced a series of stunning self-portraits, a project she calls 100 Days of Solitude, an homage to the landmark novel of magical realism by Gabriel García Márquez.
She is alone. She becomes a cook, a seamstress, a dancer, an artist. Mental space creating a bulwark against the world outside, then transcending it, a peaceful new world. The materials available to construct her tableaux are understandably limited–painted newspapers, a patchwork bedspread, pieces of salvaged wood, household utensils–but Badwan transforms them completely. “Time was the single element that I used to recover a reality that was as clear as possible, in the midst of this city’s racket,” Badwan says. “A city drowned in its own misery, where values are overwhelmed by a vile surrealism, and that knows neither colors nor peace.” Then, as Badwan told The New York Times in 2015, “I wait for the light.”
Time and light, the fundamental medium of the photographer.
Considered in an art context, Badwan’s images evoke references as far afield as the various staged photo practices of Jeff Wall, Cindy Sherman, and Thomas Demand, and Alyse Emdur’s photos of escapist photo backdrops painted on the walls of prison visiting rooms. It is the transformative power of art, the resolve to create even in the direst conditions, that distinguishes Badwan’s works, and which gives them resonance far beyond her Gaza walls. It’s as if Badwan took the title of Harald Szeemann’s landmark 1969 exhibition literally, to “Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form,” transmuting mental space into physical space, and then into images. Art that, as Gerhard Richter said“is the highest form of hope.”
Born in 1987 in Abu Dhabi (UAE), Nidaa Badwan has been living in Gaza since 1998 and graduated in 2009 from the Fine Arts Department of Gaza's Al-Aqsa University. Her first exhibition was inaugurated that same year in the ruins of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society's theater, after the Cast Lead operation launched by the Israeli army. Between 2009 and 2012, she worked for the Tamer Institute for Community Education, as a trainer in the fields of plastic arts, artistic expression and photography. Nidaa Badwan has also exhibited in Palestine, Jordan, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy and the Republic of San Marino.
Evan Schwartz: Best Man (2012-2016)
This is the study of male bonding. I was born in a female body and raised as a woman. Yes, my own natural instincts afforded me a beginning. Just enough male instinct for transitioning to make sense. Body language, intimacy and the silence that forms the masculine relationship are behaviors I've studied for invisible survival. Some of male behavior is nature, much of it is how men are raised; taught that masculinity is founded in lack of intimacy. Silence is an integral part of communication between men, perhaps to insure a level of intimacy isn't verbalized. By creating these moments, not only am I synthetically filling the void from my past, I am experiencing the intimate male bond that I crave. These moments are missing pieces in my quest to fully understand and identify with the men in my life. -Evan Schwartz
A Chicago native, Evan Schwartz received his BA in Photography from Pratt Institute in 2005. His narrative work explores the process of human behavior and transformation with a focus on gender. To maintain sanity, he decided to have fun with his own transgender identity which began his public photography career. Prior to graduating from Pratt, he had his first solo exhibit which received acclaim from the New York Times and Gay City News among others. Within the past decade, Evan has shown his work in New York, Russia and Italy. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY
Mark Dorf: _//PATH and Emergence series
Mark Dorf’s work explores the post-analogue experience – society’s interactions with the digital world and its relationship to our natural origins. Dorf scrutinizes and examines the influence of the information age through combining photography and digital media. He is looking at how we encounter, translate, and understand our surroundings through the filter of science and technology. Mark seeks to understand our curious habitation of the 21st century world through the juxtaposition of nature and the digital.
Emergence, the series shot in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado while working with ecologists at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory updates the field of landscape photography into post-analog experience. Through his altered images of forests and mountains, Dorf scrutinizes the influence of information on the sublime, examining how we represent the natural world through the filter of science, math and technology. Emergence as well as _//PATH series explores the translation of our surroundings through this scientific method of data collection and its subsequent analysis and transformation. Science is an abstraction of our reality: collected data and theories are but translations and predictions of what we experience with our senses. Emergence repeatedly highlights the hyper-focal quality of science and the simultaneous representation of a single subject in multiple ways: photographs with pixels re-ordered by hue and saturation placed on top of the source image or landscapes split into planes representing measured division of space.
Mark Dorf graduated from The Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Photography and Sculpture. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Dorf has exhibited internationally including at Galerie Philine Cremer, Dusseldorf, DE, 2016; Division Gallery, Toronto, 2015; Postmasters Gallery, New York, 2015; Outlet Gallery, Brooklyn, 2015; The Lima Museum of Contemporary Art, Lima, 2014; Mobile World Centre, Barcelona, 2014; Harbor Gallery, New York, 2014; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, 2013; and Phoenix Gallery, New York, 2012. Dorf’s work is included in the Fidelity Investments Collection, the Deutsche Bank Collection, and the permanent collection of the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Austin Lee: Artist-in-residence at Miami's Fountainhead Residency with special project for UNTITLED Art Fair
To the beachcombers of Miami: Fire up your metal detectors for a treasure hunt!
Austin Lee is planning to bury some art in the sand. Three small bronze sculptures will be buried on the beach in close vicinity to UNTITLED art fair's tent. If you find one you can have it. Finding a surprise in the sand is nice.
He will post a photo of the location on his Instagram (@austinleee)
Austin Lee’s work will also be presented at Postmasters Gallery booth.
Austin Lee (b.1983) lives and works in New York. He received an MFA in Painting from Yale School of Art and a BFA from Tyler School of Art. His most recent solo exhibitions include shows at Postmasters Gallery in New York, Carl Kostyal in London and Stockholm, BANK in Shanghai, Kaleidoscope in Milan and New Gallery in Paris with upcoming exhibitions in Tokyo. Lee’s work has been written about in Artnews, Art in America, Artinfo, New York Magazine, Leap, Time Out New York and London, The NY Observer, Hyperallergic, Black Book, Dazed & Confused, Kaleidoscope Magazine, The Spectator, and Rhizome.