SculptureCenter Spring 2014 exhibitions

SculptureCenter announce the simultaneous presentations of new work by four artists, Rossella Biscotti, David Douard, Radamés “Juni” Figueroa, and Jumana Manna, each artist to have a solo project in a U.S. institution for the first time.

Radamés “Juni” Figueroa, Tree House – Casa Club, 2013. Image courtesy the artist.

Radamés “Juni” Figueroa, Tree House – Casa Club, 2013. Image courtesy the artist.

SculptureCenter will present the U.S. premiere of Rossella Biscotti’s film The Undercover Man (2008). Part of a larger project that includes sculptures, photographs, and a publication, the film is a portrait of Joseph D. Pistone, an FBI agent also known as Donnie Brasco. Pistone spent six years undercover with New York’s Bonnano crime family, resulting in the conviction of over 100 members of the mafia in the 1980s. To make the film, Biscotti worked directly with Pistone, interviewing him at length and reviewing with him photographs and documents she retrieved from the archives of the FBI and National Archives and Records Administration. Unlike the dramatic narrative of the 1997 Hollywood film Donnie Brasco, Biscotti’s film uses the stylistic tropes of film noir to present direct interviews with Pistone, original audio recordings and surveillance images, and symbolic objects such as a light bulb, a clock, and an audio recorder. The film explores the memories and identity of a man who lived a fictional role and now lives in the shadows to protect himself.

For his exhibition at SculptureCenter, )juicy o’f the nest., David Douard is creating new works that explore notions around the literal and figurative underground, or underbelly, of a city. Mirroring systems that aren’t necessarily seen, but are essential to the support of daily life and routine (such as sewage systems and public transport), Douard creates an elaborate scheme connecting fruit, fountains, a sofa, as well as other elements. The resulting kinetic sculptures incorporate systems of decay, growth, and contamination. Through these disparate elements, Douard’s works employs poetics to integrate organic and technological modes of degeneration, a process that reforms and questions assumptions around hygiene, energy production, and nutrition. Through breaking down technological and biological systems, Douard creates a new logic.

For his exhibition at SculptureCenter, Radamés “Juni” Figueroa is creating a site-specific structure that will reference a previously built tree house in Naguabo, Puerto Rico. The construction will incorporate materials from and related to the tropics, but also from the city. This hybrid environment invites interaction, celebration and socialization, essential elements to most of his works. The sculpture incorporates materials inspired by the tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico, as well as by urban structures found throughout the island. With this work, Figueroa is further investigating ideas concerning tropical architecture, a type of construction mostly determined by available materials, while also making connections to the context of New York City. Figueroa’s works explore and amplify associations from the tropics through a mix of personal references and critical humor. At SculptureCenter, Radames will further explore his experiences within the forest though sound installations, paintings, and his “Tropical Ready Mades.”

Jumana Manna is creating a group of new sculptures in relation to her video work, Blessed Blessed Oblivion (2010). The video work references Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1963), and examines macho culture in East Jerusalem. The men in her video are portrayed in the social spaces they have carved out for themselves, in auto shops, barbershops, and gyms, in an examination of this particular performance of gender and the materials that support it. Objects like tires, watches and dumbbells become props in an assertion of masculinity that borders on camp.

The sculptures that Manna is producing in relation to the video comprise a reexamination of its subject matter through the notion of relics. Using archaeology as a device, Manna explores ruins and architectural forms from a site in the same area that the protagonist from her film lives in. Creating an unlikely pairing of subject matter, Manna questions the construction of power, nationalism, gender, and history through material relationships.

About SculptureCenter
Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution in Long Island City, New York dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new works and presents exhibitions by emerging and established, national and international artists. Our programs identify new talent, explore the conceptual, aesthetic and material concerns of contemporary sculpture, and encourage independent vision.

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