Christine Hou & Lisa Iglesias: Me, We

The Abrons Arts Center is proud to present me, we, a multi-platform collaboration partnering with the Dia Art Foundation’s education program, Abrons Arts Center StudioLab program, and 11th-grade Studio Art majors at Lower Manhattan Arts Academy (LoMA). Grounded by a continuously evolving installation on view at the Abrons Arts Center from February 17-March 17, 2012, me, we is an exploration and articulation of collective authorship that blurs the lines between studio space, exhibition, and public forum.

The gallery will act as a response laboratory between Dia Art Foundation’s Education Associate and poet Christine Hou, Dia Teaching Artist Lisa Iglesias, and the LoMA students. Audience members will witness a visual and text based exchange that will include large format graphite drawings, text as image, signage, and miniature casted monuments. Supporting programming will include two public events in the exhibition space and 16 workshop sessions for LoMA students in the Abrons Arts Center StudioLab classroom.

Beginning with the direct quote from Muhammad Ali in 1967, and arguably the shortest poem in the English language, me, we considers the notion of a poetic politics, and how the voice of the individual is shaped within a collective experience. Ideas central to this program will be: text as image (and vice versa), collaboration as a form of growth, and art as a lateral community-building practice. Together, the students will consider thinkers and gestures, such as Joseph Beuys, Sol Lewitt, Gertrude Stein, Kara Walker, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the performance art of William Pope.L and writing in relationship to the body. Throughout the duration of the project, LoMA students will integrate critical thinking within an arts practice as well as develop public programs and exhibit works-in-process to their peers and the Lower East Side community.

Additional participants included in this specialized partnership are me, we co-creator, Studio and Gallery Programming Manager at the Abrons Arts Center, and LoMA StudioLab Cultural Partner-in-Residence Carolyn Sickles, Queens Borough Poet Laureate Paolo Javier and The Friendly Falcons, a collaborative arts duo featuring Jeffrey Kurosaki and Tara Pelletier.

Public programming in conjunction with me, we:

Thursday, March 8, 2012 | 6-8 pm
Upper Main Gallery
Performance by The Friendly Falcons, oh, river

Thursday, March 15, 2012 | 6-8 pm
Upper Main Gallery
Open Mic Night
Audience members are invited bring personal or found text for participatory reading.

Dia Art Foundation:

A nonprofit institution founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is renowned for initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects. Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York, on the banks of the Hudson River as the home for Dia’s distinguished collection of art from the 1960s to the present. The museum, which occupies a former Nabisco printing factory, features major installations of works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half century, as well as special exhibitions, new commissions, and diverse public and education programs. Dia:Chelsea is located on West 22nd Street in the heart of New York City’s gallery district which it helped to pioneer. Currently open for artist lectures and readings, Dia is developing plans to expand its presence in Chelsea.

Dia also maintains long-term, site-specific projects. These include Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room(1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) (1988), and Dan Flavin’s untitled (1996), in Manhattan; The Dan Flavin Art Institute, in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977), in Kassel, Germany; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), in the Great Salt Lake, Utah; and De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977), in Quemado, New Mexico. For additional public information, visit www.diaart.org.

Funding: Support for Abrons Arts Center Arts-in-Education programs is provided by the New York City Department of Education, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Department of Education, New York City Council, the Barker Welfare Foundation, and the Kornfeld Foundation.

The Dia Art Foundation Education Program in New York City is made possible by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Council Member Robert Jackson, and the Keith Haring Foundation.