2018-2019 Visual Arts AIRspace Exhibition

Opening Reception: June 27, 6:00 – 8:00PM
Culpepper, Upper, and Main Galleries

For nine months, 2018-2019 AIRspace Visual Artist Residents American Artist, Emilio Martinez Poppe, Tuesday Smillie, and Sasha Wortzel have maintained studio practices at Abrons Arts Center, during which they have developed independent projects, engaged closely with each other’s work, and participated in Center activities at large.

While each of their aesthetic perspectives are distinct in form, the Residents share a similar concern for political dynamics that shape human relationships to virtual, natural, and built environments. The works in this exhibition consider the potential for transformation in such relationships through strategies ranging from material accumulation to negotiations between visibility and opacity.

American Artist is an interdisciplinary artist whose work extends dialectics formalized in Black radicalism and organized labor into a context of networked virtual life. Their practice makes use of video, installation, new media, and writing to reveal historical dynamics embedded within contemporary culture and technology. American Artist’s legal name change serves as the basis of an ambivalent practice—one of declaration: by insisting on the visibility of blackness as descriptive of an american artist, and erasure: anonymity in virtual spaces where “American Artist” is an anonymous name, unable to be googled or validated by a computer as a person’s name. American attended the Whitney Independent Study program as an artist, and has been a resident at Eyebeam. They have exhibited at The Kitchen (New York), the Studio Museum in Harlem, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and have participated in group shows internationally. They have published writing in The New Inquiry and New Criticals and have had work featured in Mousse, ARTnews, AQNB, and Huffington Post. American is a co-founder of the arts and politics publication unbag.

Emilio Martinez Poppe is a New York based visual artist working in sculpture, installation, video, performance, web design, and participatory projects. Their work explores forms of knowledge exchange and how the interfaces that host these movements affect the ways in which groups work together. Emilio earned a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art and was a recipient of the SOMA+CU 2016 Scholarship for research in Mexico City. Emilio has exhibited their work at the Queens Museum, CUE Art Foundation, Flux Factory, The Cooper Union, and Pratt Institute in New York; Framer Framed, Side Room, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, and Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond, in Amsterdam, NL. They have been an artist in residence at Pratt Institute’s Project Third, a participant in the EmergeNYC program at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a Create Change Fellow at The Laundromat Project, and a member of NEW INC at the New Museum. Emilio is currently enrolled in The Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program and is a contributor to BFAMFAPhD.

Tuesday Smillie is a visual artist, living and working in New York. At the core of her work is a question about the individual and the group: the binary of inclusion and exclusion and the porous membrane between the two. In 2018 she had solo exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum and Participant Inc. Her work has shown at the New Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Artists Space and will be part of an upcoming group exhibition at Museu de Arte de São Paulo. This fall Smillie was awarded the Rose Museum’s Perlmutter Award. She has been an Art Matters grantee and was the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art’s first Resident Artist. Her work has been featured in ArtForum, New York Magazine, and the Boston Globe.

Sasha Wortzel is an artist and filmmaker living and working in New York City. Working in film/video and installation, Wortzel often blends documentary techniques, found footage, and fictional narratives to explore the ways that structures of power shape our lives around race, gender, sexuality, and place. Wortzel has exhibited and screened work at the New Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, The Kitchen, BAM Cinematek, Berlinale, UnionDocs, Leslie Lohman Museum, and A.I.R. Gallery. Their work has been supported by Art Matters, the Astraea Foundation’s Global Arts Fund, and she was recently awarded a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in film/video. Wortzel was a 2016-2017 participant in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace program and a 2012-2013 fellow of filmmaker in Queer/Art/Mentorship program. Wortzel’s work has been featured by the New York Times, New York Magazine, Artforum, Art in America, and The Nation. They received an MFA from Hunter College.