In her meticulously constructed videos, VLM conjures a surreal and idiosyncratic visual vocabulary, frequently populated by oozing cheese Danishes, animate ponytails, and manicured hands. Her practice bears the influence of her work as a graphic facilitator, a job for which she travels the country to diagram the development of ideas at group meetings and conferences, often for corporate clients. In her work as an artist, VLM turns this skill, which she describes as “mind map scribing,” inwards, rendering the contours of her own subconscious and the logic of her dreams and memories.
In the selection of videos on view, certain visual motifs—revolving drills, video glitches, prodding digits, reaching limbs, and dripping viscous liquids—recur in different contexts. Collectively, these forms and gestures rupture material surfaces, opening up portals to unknown ends.
Virginia Lee Montgomery (b. 1986) is an artist working between Texas and New York, primarily with video, performance, sound, and sculpture. VLM is a current 2018–2019 Socrates Fellow at Socrates Park, NY, and a 2019 member of CRITGROUP at The Contemporary Austin. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: “HONEY MOON,” Midnight Moment, Times Square Arts, NY (2019); “PONYCOCOON,” False Flag, NY (2019); “The 2018–2019 Socrates Annual,” Socrates Sculpture Park, NY; “CRASH TEST: The Molecular Turn,” La Panacée-MoCo, Montpellier, France (2018); “An unbound knot in the wind,” CSS Bard, Hessel Museum of Art, NY (2018); “OPEN MIND: Selva Aparicio and VLM,” CRUSHCuratorial, NY (2018); “Material Deviance,” SculptureCenter, NY (2017); and “The Particle Accelerator Memorial Project,” Wright Laboratory, Physics Department, Yale University, CT (2015). She has been awarded residencies at The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, Wright Laboratory, Coast Time, The Shandaken Project at Storm King, and The Vermont Studio Center. VLM was the recipient of Yale University’s Susan H. Wedon Award (2016) and was a nominee in sculpture for the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship (2016).
HONEY MOON (2018) was performed, produced, and edited by Montgomery, and filmed by the artist in a single, 170-second take within a miniature set, custom-built from black mirror planes. The title is coyly literal and the work itself is straightforward, documenting a real-time, solo performance with simple materials. And yet the effect is dreamlike, with a syrupy slowness that encourages serene contemplation.
In the center of the screen, amidst a dark void, a single hand — left, white, French manicure — holds a glowing model Moon. In two bursts, a second, unseen hand pours honey onto the orb. The viscous, aerated, translucent gold fluid flows over the surface of the Moon and the fingers of the hand, streaming into the darkness below. The fingers seem to react to the experience, moving through the honey and caressing the globe.
“We live in an age that often feels more unreal than real, in which things seem to move faster than we can perceive them. As an artist, I wanted to do something different; I wanted to create a sculptural film that felt material, soothing, and real. The inspiration to hold the Moon came from a dream. There, I touched the Moon and found peace. Times Square moves so fast. HONEY MOON asks that we slow down.”
—Virginia Lee Montgomery
Virginia Lee Montgomery (b. 1986, Houston, Texas, lives and works in Texas and New York City) received her MFA from Yale University in 2016 and her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008. She is a 2018 Socrates Fellow at Socrates Sculpture Park. Past exhibitions include AN UNBOUND KNOT IN THE WIND, Bard Hessel Museum of Art, NY (2018); CRASH TEST: The Molecular Turn, La Panacée, Montpellier, France (2018); MATERIAL DEVIANCE, SculptureCenter, NY (2017); Things you can’t unthink, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, Canada (2016); and Particle Accelerator Memorial Project, Wright Laboratory, Yale University, CT (2015). She has been awarded other residencies at The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, Wright Laboratory, Coast Time, The Shandaken Project at Storm King, and The Vermont Studio Center. Montgomery was the recipient of Yale University’s Susan H. Wedon Award and the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship Nominee in Sculpture (2016).
HONEY MOON is courtesy of the artist and was performed, produced, and edited by Virginia Lee Montgomery.
Image courtesy of Virginia Lee Montgomery.
For “Until it reached into our lives and destroyed the tranquility that we had,” Davis and curator Mike Maizels, assistant professor of art history at the University of Arkansas, conducted extensive archival research and fieldwork at various sites in western Arkansas connected to covert military training, money laundering, drug smuggling, and arms trafficking. This fieldwork included taking a recon flight over the region’s Ouachita National Forest and trekking into the forest in search of covert aistrips and drop-sites. Davis also conducted interviews with Arkansas residents who first-handedly investigated or witnessed some of the clandestine events, including a former Green Party Senate candidate and activist and an aviator who worked and flew from the Mena Intermountain Airport in 1980s. The research led to discoveries, including the frame of a windsock in a remote field, corroborating the location of a former covert airstrip in the Ouachita National Forest.
The event includes a film, photographs, and sculptures made from materials extracted from the remote Arkansas sites Davis journeyed to — earth hauled from runways, water scooped from Fourche La Fave River, spare parts and airplane windows mined from the Mena Intermountain Regional Airport aviation junkyard.
“Until it reached into our lives and destroyed the tranquility that we had" had its world premiere at the University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center Gallery in August 2018, The project is generously supported by the University of Arkansas School of Art, the University of Arkansas Humanities Committee, the Fine Arts Center Gallery and the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
Matty Davis’ work has been presented by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Max Ernst Museum, Steppenwolf Theater, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Judson Church, the 92nd St. Y, the Watermill Center, and the Arts Arena in Paris, among others. Apart from his own work, Davis has collaborated with Hito Steyerl, participated in Performa13 with Guido van der Werve and in Performa15 with David Hallberg and Francesco Vezzoli, and performed works by Tino Sehgal and Andy de Groat. He was the recipient of 2016 Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellowship, and recently selected as 1 of 25 artists to watch in 2019 by Dance Magazine. For more information visit www.mattydavis.net
Virginia Lee Montgomery’s video CUT COPY SPHINX screens tomorrow at CYFEST12, International Media Art Festival, curated by Victoria Ilyushkina.
30 John Street
DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Thursday, December 13th
6 pm - 10 pm
On view: December 13th -31st
”My guest is the artist Camille Hoffman. In her work Camille rethinks the narratives embedded in traditional American landscape painting. She points out the political motivations of the romantic landscape, it’s enforcement of ideas of Manifest Destiny and Western Exceptionalism, and, in doing so, she begins a conversation about the monolithic history of painting. Looking closely at this history motived Camille to focus on her materials. In addition to traditional oil paint, she uses printed matter collected from her daily life, ranging from holiday themed plastic tablecloths to discarded medical records, from plastic bags to nature calendars. The resulting works reimagine what a landscape painting can be, and point out how charged the medium has always been.
You can see Camille’s current show Excelsior: Ever Upward, Ever Afloat, in which she remixes the allegorical figures in the New York State Seal, now at the Queens Museum. It’ll be up through Fall 2019.
I’d like to thank Camille Hoffman, as well as False Flag Projects for hosting our talk. This show is produced by Sarah Levine and our music is by Jack + Eliza. Remember to leave a rating and review and subscribe to hear all of our episodes. Have a great week!
Find more of Camille Hoffman’s work at http://www.camillehoffman.com/
Find her show at the Queen’s Museum HERE
Camille is on Instagram @camillehoffmanstudio”
UNTITLED Miami 2018
Ocean Drive and 12th Street
South Beach, Miami
False Flag will present a solo booth of works by Emilie Gossiaux.
Visit us at booth A24.
Press and VIP Preview
1pm – 8pm
Three in-gallery conversations with scholar Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés, artist Camille Hoffman, and healer Veronica Agard focused on the forms and processes on view in Firelei Báez: Joy Out of Fire.
1:00 pm - Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés
2:00 pm - Camille Hoffman
3:00 pm - Veronica Agard
Presented as part of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture's annual Open House, there will also be opportunities for visitors to learn about the archival process, explore the Center's offerings, and get tips on creating a personal archive. For a full schedule of the day's activities click here.
Artists on Artists: Joy Out of Fire
Saturday, November 10, 2018
“Among the artistic projects i used to illustrate the issue, i’ll only mention Sterling Crispin’s N.A.N.O. , B.I.O. , I.N.F.O. , C.O.G.N.O. because of the way it illustrates the tension between the grand vision and promises of the Silicon Valley and the fragility of a world that is increasingly shaken by contingencies such as the depletion of natural resources (energy, minerals, etc.) and climate change.”
In a First Look profile for our October issue, Wendy Vogel discusses how Virginia Lee Montgomery subverts the paternalistic expectations of the business world in her sculptures and videos. “Montgomery . . . travels up to three weeks a month for her job as a graphic facilitator, diagramming the flow of ideas at focus groups and tech conferences,” Vogel writes. “So it seems fitting that her art highlights disruptions in the smooth machinery of capitalism.” Here, the artist shares a YouTube playlist of videos reflecting her interest in uncanny natural phenomena. —Eds.
Bitcoin Is the New Birkin Bag
Ten years after Bitcoin's launch, the coin’s scarcity has generated a market that's more luxurious than libertarian.
Link to the full article here.
“I see Bitcoin as an exotic financial asset that rich people are using to make more money, which at times is similar to art.”
“In 2012, Crispin came up with an idea for a sculpture about the apocalypse—which at the time seemed nigh: The end of the Mayan calendar threatened universal extinction. The technological singularity, when humans would mesh with robots and we would upload our souls to the cloud, threatened the end of our species as we know it. And the rise of Bitcoin threatened financial, political, and social chaos. Crispin titled the sculpture Self-Contained Investment Module and Contingency Package. Inside its cubic, steel framework is a post-apocalyptic survival kit composed of an emergency radio, heirloom seeds, a filtration water bottle, and, most importantly, Bitcoin mining hardware.
When Crispin completed the sculpture in 2015, the price of a Bitcoin was $220. “If I had dedicated [the hardware] to mining for the three years I had it, and then didn’t panic and sell when the price hit $300, I would probably be a multi-billionaire right now,” Crispin says. He’s transformed this regret into a kind of perverse creative delight. “I love the idea that as a material within a sculpture, the cryptocurrency might become more valuable than the sculpture itself,” he says.
Crispin intended the sculpture to be tongue-in-cheek; like the rest of his work, it’s critical of technological utopianism. Yet it demonstrates how cryptocurrency has evolved from a financial tool into something more akin to a Louis Vuitton suitcase, a Cartier watch, or a Jeff Koons sculpture. “People are not only buying Bitcoin in order to make money; they’re buying Bitcoin to be the kind of person who holds Bitcoin,” explains Jay Owens, a futurist and research director at the London firm Pulsar. “It’s functioning as a brand name.”
Altar: The Raising of a Colonized Child
Jana Lynne Umipig
Camille Hoffman with Jana Lynne Umipig
Sunday, October 28, 2018 at False Flag from 2pm to 4pm
Altar: Re-memberings of a Colonized Child | Ag Pada Tayo - We are the Same
Altar: The Raising of a Colonized Child is a multi-media play that pays homage to the relearning of spiritual practices by women who were born in the US and have ancestral backgrounds that are indigenous to another land. Uplifting those who have maintained spiritual practices crucial to survival in the face of the cultural erasure and oppression of migrant peoples. These truths are told through the raising of a child by her grandmother.
Altar speaks to the corporeal relation of a young woman to her grandmother, and the notion that our ancestors inhabit our physical selves. The body is an Altar carrying remnants: fragments of ancestral being that are honored by recalling the memories of exchange between the young woman and her grandmother.
Written and Conceptualized by: Jana Lynne (JL) Umipig
Choreographer: Afaliah Tribune
Music: Blessing Ritual by Shant
Jana Lynne (JL) Umipig creates transformative artistic experiences. She has dedicated her life to the use of art as a medium for healing, education, understanding, empowerment, and connection.
JL’s education is rooted in classical and physical theatre: she received formal training from New York University, The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at The University of California, Irvine and The Academia Dell' Arte in Arrezzo, Italy. Collaborative and experimental, JL’s practice addresses human spirituality, human rights advocacy, art therapy, and healing connected to the development of her work around "For the Movement Theatre" and "Theatre as Spiritual Practice."
Camille Hoffman (b. 1987, Chicago, IL) earned an MFA from Yale University (2015), a BFA from California College of the Arts (2009), and was a recipient of the Carol Schlosberg Memorial Prize for excellence in painting from Yale University, a National Endowment for the Arts scholarship, a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for research in Spain, and the Van Lier Fellowship from the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD). She has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in Europe, in exhibitions including Pieceable Kingdom at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY (2018), Lincoln Center, New York, NY (2017), Times Square, New York, NY (2017), Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT (2015), Nuit Blanche arts festival, Paris, France (2015), and Espai Cultural Biblioteca Azorín, Valencia, Spain (2008). Current exhibitions include Excelsior: Ever Upward, Ever Afloat at the Queens Museum (through fall 2019) and Rockabye My Bedrock Bones at False Flag Projects in Long Island City, NY (Through Nov 4, 2018). Hoffman has been an artist-in-residence in numerous programs including Wave Hill, Bronx, NY (2017), QueenSpace, Long Island City, NY (2016-17), Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY (2017), and Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School through the Yale University Office of New Haven and State Affairs, New Haven, CT (2015). Hoffman has also worked for over a decade as an arts educator and community organizer in Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, New Haven, Brooklyn, and Queens. She currently lives and works in New York, NY.
About the exhibition:
CAMILLE HOFFMAN || Rockabye My Bedrock Bones
September 21 - November 4
False Flag proudly presents Camille Hoffman’s first solo New York gallery show — Rockabye My Bedrock Bones.
Beachcombers, a 1956 painting by Hoffman’s late grandmother, hangs at the show’s heart — in acknowledgement of its role as the exhibition’s catalyst. As Hoffman puts it: “I developed this installation thinking about both my body and my landscapes as vessels of creative inheritance.” With her grandmother, Shoshannah (1921-1998), as lodestar, Hoffman reconfigures the gallery into a site of personal archaeology, expanding her landscape work in a matrilineal excavation. This conceptual approach is most strikingly applied to the previously all-white gallery walls: painted “the colors of my skin throughout the seasons and under varying degrees of light and pressure, to match the sand in Shoshannah’s painting and the papers, plastics, paints of my landscapes.” These paintings cover over 3,000 square feet of wall-space in a striated palette of browns, olives, and peaches. Enfolded in an infinite, fleshy ground, “the space wears you,” as Hoffman says. Her topographical paintings read as birthmarks, extending and punctuating the tones and textures of the walls. While honest, the work is never obvious: running across the gallery floor, Hoffman forms her “dunes” from the actual tarps used while painting the walls. Detritus is not simply relocated, nor is the show a literal facsimile: there are no props, no gimmicks.
For Hoffman, “this show is an exploration of my landscape work as a form of creative and biological unearthing—an interior reinvention and reconfiguration of past ruins.” In a 1956 issue of Art in America, Shoshannah stated: "Painting, to me, is an extension of living, and interwoven into the life process, not a thing apart from it." Just as her grandmother—born Susannah S. Siporin in 1921—refashioned fragments of her given name to forge an identity of her own—adopting Shoshannah in 1943—Hoffman repurposes the physical substance of her life to similar effect. “Disposable things take on different meaning when one separates an object from its market value,” Hoffman explains. “How do I create value? Personal value, economic value—how do I support myself? I have to be resourceful. Everything matters.” By “laying claim to the space,” Hoffman forms a new economy: one in which material is measured by its inherent physical properties—a particular color, transparency, texture, visual effect or structure—rather than its transactional worth. The overlooked becomes valuable; the seemingly discardable earns respect. Hoffman’s bracingly honest approach reflects a fundamental aim of her practice: the reclamation of agency through confrontation and acknowledgement of her everyday experience.
Grounded in accumulation, personal narrative, and historical critique, Hoffman describes her practice as “a ceremony of reconfiguration and critical reflection on the themes of diaspora, domesticity, and disposability.” Composing her work with material collected from her everyday life, Hoffman’s media range from medical records, credit card offers, calendars, plastic bags, tablecloths, found photos, maps, to paint. Hoffman draws on her family’s creative legacy, along with traditional painting techniques from her academic training, employing resonant visual and historical references: Philippine weaving, Jewish folk traditions, and influential American landscape paintings of the 19th century. Recontextualizing these figurative, nostalgic, and abstract cultural fragments, Hoffman forms layered, richly-textured geographies, charting new territory that is at once surreal and familiar.
The exhibition is on view from September 21 through November 4.
Link to the full article here.
“SORCERY AND CORPORATE creativity don’t make for the most intuitive pairing, but Virginia Lee Montgomery unites them in her persona of Business Witch. This presence haunts the artist’s surreal videos, where, for instance, her Dewalt drill opens a portal to another dimension, and a three-foot-long ponytail from a blond wig (resembling Montgomery’s own long tresses) bounces through a business hotel room.”
Camille Hoffman and Asif Mian will present new work at the Queens International 2018: Volumes.
QI 2018 artists represent a dialog among Queens-connected producers of several generations, including for the first time artists who have exhibited in earlier Internationals. The artists’ works respond to sites throughout the entire museum and select Queens Library branches. They question and expand systems of knowledge production using both analog and digital strategies. They rethink histories and policies through embodied experience, redemptive archives, subjective abstractions, and intangible architectures. Via these methods, they explore the potential for a nonlinear progression of time and correspondingly, a fluid approach to space.
Camille Hoffman will present work in the Watershed Gallery.
“In April 2018, I had the privilege of speaking with Two Clouds, a Ramapough Lenape tribal member and full-time water protector at Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp in New Jersey. Preserving the language, religion, and history of his tribe, Two Clouds is especially focused on indigenous rights while actively fighting against the Pilgrim Pipelinethat threatens New York and New Jersey waters. Our insightful and ongoing exchange around water as it pertains to deep cultural traditions, ancestral trade routes, and long-standing colonial violence on this land has prompted me to critically reexamine my own personal interconnection with water, consumption and transoceanic identity. Drawing from our conversations and responding to the Queens Museum’s 1939 World's Fair relief model of the New York City water supply system, I researched the colonial symbols pertaining to water and commerce emphasized in the New York state seal, ultimately reformulating them with my own found materials.”
Asif Mian will present new work in Skylight Gallery.
“I have been working with surveillance imagery and video since I was teenager. This started with collecting images of events and "portraits" from CCTV footage on the web. I was always drawn to its institutional method of raw capture—high angle, pixelated, and inherently disposable. I made many drawings based on these images, employing the same high-angle, isometric perspective. The attraction extended to making films using black-and-white pinhole surveillance cameras, remote-controlled CCTV cameras, and night vision cameras. An attraction to thermal (IR) cameras was inevitable.”