Carol Szymanski and Barry Schwabsky “Emergency Eyewash”

Tanja Grunert Gallery

poster for Carol Szymanski and Barry Schwabsky “Emergency Eyewash”

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Galerie Tanja Grunert presents the exhibition debut of Emergency Eyewash, a conceptual “label” conceived by Carol Szymanski and Barry Schwabsky as a vehicle for collaborations using texts, imagery, and objects. In particular, Emergency Eyewash aims to open up space for language arts outside the medium of the book and the computer screen.

The gallery’s main space will feature “Do Not Deal,” an installation including performance, video and sound with contributions by American poets Judith Goldman, Tyrone Williams, and John Yau and Norwegian menswear designer Siv Støldal. The installation is centered on three garments designed by Støldal which carry poems by Goldman, Williams, and Yau. Each garment is a variation on the hoodie—an everyday item of clothing that most people like to wear even as it also remains a signifier of specific youth cultures, and one that paradoxically can be used to both hide one’s identity and to claim one. Two of the hoodies will be employed performatively during the course of the exhibition. The “landscape” in which the figures signified by these hoodies are placed is derived from the nonproductive office reflected in a series of photographs that circulated anonymously on the internet following the crash of the world financial markets in the fall of 2008, and which Szymanski incorporated at the time into her email art project cockshut dummy. Also incorporated are printed fabric text paintings derived from cockshut dummy and made by Szymanski in collaboration with Nicola Killeen Textiles in London, a renowned bespoke textile printer. In all these works, puns and other forms of verbal and visual ambiguity simultaneously posit and conceal their meanings.

Also on view will be “Emergency Eyewash presents Lisa Blas,” with new works on vellum and Arches paper by the New York-based artist. These delicately layered pieces incorporate lines from poets such as Seamus Heaney and Pablo Neruda using a strangely antiquated-seeming gothic-style font. Their fragility acts as a catalyst for interpreting social and political landscapes past and present.

Emergency Eyewash includes Carol Szymanski, Barry Schwabsky, and others. Szymanski is an artist working with language and any other media. She has exhibited internationally, most recently at Galerie Tanja Grunert and at Elga Wimmer PCC, both in New York, in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Schwabsky is a poet as well as the art critic for The Nation. His recent books include collections of poetry (Trembling Hand Equilibrium, Black Square Editions, 2015) and essays (The Perpetual Guest: Art in the Unfinished Present, Verso, 2016).

Judith Goldman teaches in the Department of English at the University of Buffalo. Her publications include l.b.; or, catenaries (Krupskaya, 2011), DeathStar/Rico-chet (O Books, 2006), and Vocoder (Roof, 2001). Tyrone Williams has published several books of poetry, among them On Spec (Omnidawn, 2008), The Hero Project of the Century (The Backwaters Press, 2009), Adventures of Pi (Dos Madres Press, 2011), and Howell (Atelos, 2011). He teaches at Xavier University in Cincinnati. John Yau lives in New York and is the author of many books of poetry and criticism including Paradiso Diaspora (Penguin, 2006), A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns (D.A.P., 2008), and Further Adventures in Monochrome (Copper Canyon Press, 2012).

In 2006 the British Fashion Council nominated Siv Støldal as Menswear Designer of the Year. Her idiosyncratic approach to design has incorporated numerous unusual research techniques and displays, such as the placing of a series of scarecrows in Norwegian fields or wrapping up buildings in London. She currently lives and works in Norway.

Lisa Blas is a New York-based artist who has exhibited and taught widely, working in painting, collage, photography and installation. Her most recent exhibition was at Kai Matsumiya Gallery, New York, in 2016.

“Do Not Deal” will include two poetry readings. On Wednesday, February 8, at 7 pm, Tyrone Williams and Brenda Iijima will read, and on Saturday, February 11, at 6 pm, Judith Goldman and John Yau will present their works.



from January 12, 2017 to February 18, 2017

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