Imperceptible

Daniel Cerrejón, Irini Miga, and Claudia Peña Salinas
Curated by Xavier Acarín

Opening Reception | Saturday December 2, 6-9 PM
Press release »

Abrons Arts Center is pleased to present Imperceptible, curated by 2016-17 Curator in Residence Xavier Acarín. The exhibition features work by New York based artists Daniel Cerrejón, Irini Miga, and Claudia Peña Salinas. Departing from an interest on fragility and precariousness, the exhibition presents a series of sculptural acts that draws attention to the connections between the physical and the intangible.

Daniel Cerrejón’s [Whispers] X., 466 ***** St., are material manifestations of two distances between two people, one is measured when a whisper becomes audible, and the other when the whisper is fully understood. In this case, the action was performed by the artist and the curator in the gallery space. The resulting measurements are particular to the variations of sound, and hearing conditions of the whisper receptor (the curator). Both measures are later translated to rope and presented as a knot, these signals the ephemeral qualities of the whisper performance, intrinsically fugitive and volatile. By materializing the whisper, the work suggests a possibility for grasping the non-material.

Irini Miga has written a poem that describes a collection of chain events, moving through physical states and conceptual frames, either material or abstract. While poems are usually characterized as highly subjective devices, we could render them as systems that use words as code to depict inner motions. The explicit series of transformations included in the poem trace a way to navigate thought as produced in relation to the immediate physical surroundings, an expresses an atmospheric quality that contributes to the exhibition as a whole. The poem will be presented as a performance during the opening reception. 

Claudia Peña Salinas has developed a research on the architectural structures and mural paintings of Theotihuacán in Mexico. In this installation, she considers modernist legacies of display and introduces elements that reference Mesoamerican cultures, such as the colors associated to the Aztec deities of water, Tlaloc and Chalchiuhtlicue. With these arrangements, the artist searches for a formal articulation of an overlapping of natural and social orders, one that considers the vernacular, and the histories hidden by colonialism. This piece incorporates a woven component, in reference to the god’s eye, a ritual tool often valued as a symbol for understanding the unseen.

Imperceptible signals the fragile as a condition that is not only material, but also affective and cognitive. While the physical presence of the works often evokes vulnerability and impermanence, these are connected to a set of circumstances that are not always visible. From interpersonal relations to ancient knowledge structures, the works presented here are rendering the forces and tensions behind these abstract dimensions. As they emphasize the physical as a space for the negotiation of personal and social transformations, at the same time they recognize that there is a conceptual fluidity beyond material characteristics. Perhaps, an easier way to frame this exhibition would be to describe the intrinsically contradictory nature of our context. For instance, tactility has become key in our interactions with technology, but actually we barely touch each other. We know the concrete effects of our economic system, manifested in precarious life and working conditions, or in the obsolescence of the products we consume, or in the consequences for our environment, but yet, the financial organization of the world is impossible to grasp, much less possible to change. We live within these contradictions that result in the accumulation of anxieties, instability, and uncertainty as the usual states of our existence, a normalization process of the exceptionally destructive effects of a world (dis)order. This exhibition is an attempt to make all of this present by giving attention to what is usually unperceived.

Including Imperceptible, 2016-17 AIRspace curatorial resident Xavier Acarín, has organized three group exhibitions and one solo artist project at Abrons Arts Center this past year (Pep Vidal: Who Wants To Be An Impatient Gardener (!?)Conspiracies Are ThingsPublic Formats). Additional projects include collaborating on Abrons’ NADA Art Fair booth and annual visual arts residency exhibition. Acarín’s research during his residency has focused on the material conditions that mobilize a set of artistic issues related to contemporary feelings, like togetherness, anxiety, and disruption. His exhibitions have presented the work of seventeen artists, received media attention (The New Yorker and NY Art Maps), collaborated with two external galleries, ESTE in Brooklyn and ADN in Barcelona, and received external funding by two European cultural agencies.

Daniel Cerrejón (Spain) lives in New York. He earned an MFA from Parsons, The New School in 2015, and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2016. His work has been shown at venues such as The Elizabeth Foundation, NY (2016), Laboral Art Center, Spain (2016), The Kitchen, NY (2015), and Museum of the Moving Image, NY (2013).

Irini Miga (Greece) lives in New York. Studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts, London’s Central Saint Martins College, and received her MFA from Columbia University, New York on a Fulbright grant. Miga has been awarded residencies in several organizations including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Workspace Program; The Watermill Center; and she is currently a participant at The Drawing Center’s Open Sessions program. Her work has been exhibited internationally. Recent shows include: Scraggly Beard Grandpa, at Capsule Shanghai, in Shanghai; The Best is the Least We Can Do, at Atlanta Contemporary, in Atlanta; Marginalia, at The Drawing Center in New York; The Equilibrists, organized by the New Museum in New York, the DESTE Foundation in Athens and shown in the Benaki Museum in Athens (curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari and Helga Christoffersen with Massimiliano Gioni); and Frida Smoked. at Invisible Exports, in New York. I

 Claudia Peña Salinas (Mexico) lives in Brooklyn, New York and Mexico City, Mexico. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and received her MFA from Hunter College, New York (2009). She has exhibited at the Queens Museum of Art, New York (2012), El Museo del Barrio, New York (2005), El Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (2006), and Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico (2015). Residencies and awards include: the Lower Manhattan City Council, Process Space, New York (2016), and SOMA residency, Mexico City (2011). She is a recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship (2007).